A lot of people don’t know there are tons of ways you can style your hair with a flat iron, and this actually might help you decide what size iron to get. You can curl, wave, straighten, add body, twist and more – just with a flat iron! Your straightener is so versatile you can skip most other styling tools and save money by investing in one that will do all of this for you. I walk you through different options for styling with your flat iron so you get the hairdo you want.
While it isn’t the fastest heating hair straightener we have reviewed, the CHI Air Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron warms up to temperature in just one minute! If one minute seems like too long for you to wait, try adding a bit of multitasking into your morning routine by taking advantage of this found time. If you are at a loss for what you can do in just one minute, check out this list for a little inspiration:
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.
Given its tiny stature, it is no surprise that the BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightening Iron is ideal for users with short or medium hair lengths. Unlike the more industrial models we reviewed that are designed for longer or thicker hair, this BaByliss hair straightener is small and light enough to polish off a short bob or shoulder-length style in no time.
We don’t know too many people that are using their hair straighteners vertically, but there must be a few since ISA has made a point of clarifying that this model is intended only to be used horizontally, i.e., perpendicular to your hair. According to the manufacturer, using the hair straightener horizontally reduces hair pulling for a more comfortable experience. This may be particularly important to you if your hair tends to knot easily or you have unruly curls and texture.
This durable KIPOZI flat iron can be set anywhere between 170 and 450 degrees to suit any kind of thickness or texture, and its curved plate design makes it great for giving your hair some texture. The Nano-Titanium plates heat up quickly and lock in moisture, so hair looks hydrated, healthy, and sleek. It’s also got a compatible voltage for anywhere in the world.
Size matters. With plates too big or too small, you’ll have to make multiple passes. This exposes your hair to high heat longer and increases the risk that you’ll do damage. According to Janine Jarman, owner and operator of acclaimed Hollywood salon Hairroin, a 1-inch-wide plate will do for most people, and if you want to use your iron for anything other than straightening, like creating curls or waves, you’ll need a 1-inch plate; anything larger won’t make the waves or curls tight enough. She also pointed out length is important too. “You need plates to be at least 3 inches long, or close to it, so you’re not spending a ton of time with small sections.”

At $230, the Bio Ionic is pricier than any of our top picks. But you get what you pay for. You can truly do with your hair whatever you desire — straight or curled — in one pass. And, if you’re worried about it breaking a few years after purchase, the Bio Ionic comes with a five-year warranty. By investing in a better-quality tool up front, you won’t have to replace your flat iron every couple of years. Plus, the Bio Ionic goes on sale every now and then, so it’s worth keeping your eye out for deals.
The plates in this techy tool house an internal microchip that constantly measures and maintains an even temperature. With no random hot or cold spots, you'll get smoother, straighter, strands in fewer passes. (Spoiler alert: Fewer passes equal less damage). Adjustable temperature settings — from 260 to 410 degrees — make this ideal for any and every hair texture.
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