Heat stylers, such as flat irons, get a bad rap for singeing hair beyond repair, but that doesn't have to be the case. The key to preserving your hair's health while using these hot tools is passing a quality straightener over heat-protected strands without letting the heat sit on one spot too long. Speaking of stellar straighteners, here are 11 of our top picks, ya know, if you're looking to upgrade yours.
Before placing your entire head under unnecessary heat conditions, try straightening a small section of your hair with what you believe is your ideal heat setting. Take notice of the way your hair reacts to this temperature, paying close attention to any fraying or singeing that may result. Smoking and that dreaded burnt hair smell are a sign that you may need to tone it down a bit to avoid permanent damage to your precious locks.

The type of heat you use to style your hair makes a big difference in how healthy it will be. Our Xtava Pro-Satin Infrared Ceramic Flat Iron for Hair uses infrared heating technology, which heats hair from the inside out. Infrared technology is a game-changer for styling your hair because it allows heat to penetrate directly into the inner part of the hair strand, not just the outside layer. Infrared heating to the middle of the hair strand provides a more effective heat for styling and decreases damage to the outside of your hair. Infrared technology also stimulates negative ions in your hair that draw oils from the hair shaft to the surface; this helps lock in moisture and lock in your look, even in humid weather. Better heat = better hair health. Guess that’s not much of a secret after all, is it?


3-in-1 Steam Hair Straightener STRAIGHTENS, FLIPS, CURLS: The upgraded 2018 design of PureBlackMagic Flat Iron Styler by TRENDY PRO will not only infuse your hair with Argan Oil or Water Steam for long lasting frizz-free silky hair but will also be there for you whether you are in a mood for straight, curly or flip-up hair style. This baby has enough power to turn the frizziest coarsest hair to silky and soft in a single pass - call it Pure Black Magic, IT WORKS!

This lightweight mini straightener is easy to use and great if you love to travel and need to take your tools with you. It's so tiny and portable that it can fit into a carry-on bag, and it heats and is ready to use in only 30 seconds. It packs serious punch, though — its 100% ceramic plates generate six times more negative ions than regular irons for less heat damage and frizz.
“I wanted a straightener I could use on wet hair, since I’m usually on the go and don’t always have time to dry it. With this Wet 2 Straight Hair straightener, I was able to straighten my hair after it was towel-dried and only had to go over my hair twice for it to be completely dry. Granted, I have semi-thin hair, so it doesn’t take too much to straighten it, but with other straighteners, I would have to go over it about three or four times and couldn’t straighten it when it was wet.”
If Gisele's mane meets your #hairgoals, consider this iron created by her stylist Harry Josh. The wider-than-usual 1.25 inch plates allow contact with a larger surface area in order to speed up styling time, and the quick-heating ceramic-titanium plates (it takes only 45 seconds to reach 400 degrees) abolish frizz and boost shine for model-worthy strands.
This mini straightener is perfect for my bangs. I also used it to make some longer strands wavy by pulling it down at an angle. I bought it for travel abroad in Denmark since it has the dual voltage, but have only used it in the US so far. It heats up fast and makes my hair super smooth. And the free sample of conditioner smells soooo good and made my hair super soft!
Titanium is a lightweight metal that heats up very quickly and can hold high heat at a consistent temperature. This material is ideal for those who have thick, curly, or natural hair that can be more difficult to straighten. Since it's lighter than ceramic, it also makes for a lighter hair straightener overall, which means less arm strain as you're taming your mane. As someone who has very thick hair, I can attest — Any feature that can make styling easier and faster is a plus.
Xtava’s two inch-wide plates are massive, making them perfect for people with thick or coarse hair. Aside from the plates, everything else about this flat iron is fairly standard. You can use it at a temperature range in between 265 and 445 degrees Fahrenheit, the plates are made with tourmaline and ceramic, and it takes less than two minutes for the tool to fully heat.
By-and-large, most people with natural hair have some variation of type 3 or type 4 – which is exactly why low-end hair straighteners can be so dangerous. More curly natural black hair has a tendency to be more porous than other hair types. As a result, it can lose moisture easily and become damaged. With the wrong flat iron, this can lead to split ends and breakage after just a single use.
This mini straightener is perfect for my bangs. I also used it to make some longer strands wavy by pulling it down at an angle. I bought it for travel abroad in Denmark since it has the dual voltage, but have only used it in the US so far. It heats up fast and makes my hair super smooth. And the free sample of conditioner smells soooo good and made my hair super soft!

The Bio Ionic worked well on all of our testers’ hair, but it’s best on drier hair with a medium thickness. We spritzed testers’ hair with some keratin smoothing treatment, but the Bio Ionic did a lot of the heavy lifting to make our hair feel softer. The tool gets hot, but not too hot to grip, and it excels at creating the silky volume you want without making your hair pin-straight and flat. One tester put it perfectly: “[The Bio Ionic] is the Rumplestiltskin of hair straighteners. It’s turning straw into gold.”
The plates of the HSI Professional are made of solid ceramic that is infused with tourmaline. The combination allows for consistent temperature and gives hair a smooth finish. The wide range of heat settings, starting at 140 degrees Fahrenheit and going up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, gives you more control over styling and makes this an ideal straightener for multiple hair types.
GHD’s “styler” is permanently set to 365 degrees Fahrenheit, which the company says is the highest temperature hair can tolerate before it becomes damaged. As a person who went from a dark brunette to blonde highlights, I can vouch for its straightening power on processed hair. And though I don’t typically think of “comfort” as a flat iron necessity, the springy hinge that connects the two plates really did make it easier to clamp and glide the tool down my hair with minimal effort.
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