With well over 25,000 reviews, the HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron is one of the best straightening irons you can get, but because of its thin build and rounded plates, you can also use it to curl your hair. It’s got solid ceramic plates to reduce damage, evenly heat hair, and promote shine, and if you’re a traveler, it’s got a dual voltage that can be used anywhere in the world.
Unlike infrared saunas or even other hair straighteners on the market today that emit a blast of infrared heat, this Solano hair straightener was designed to slowly warm your hair similarly to how the sun warms your skin over time when you are exposed to its rays. The result is evenly distributed heat for superior hold without the shock of putting your hair under intense temperatures all at once!
Unlike the Bio Ionic’s handy digital temperature control, the Chi Air uses a small dial on the side of the tool that’s harder to read. The dial’s placement makes it not only more difficult to get an accurate reading, but also more prone to being hit by your hand and switching to a new temperature. That being said, most of our testers didn’t mind this minor inconvenience since they don’t expect to change the tool’s temperature often.
One of the Babyliss’ major drawbacks, and why we only recommend this flat iron for experienced users, is the outside gets hotter than any of our other picks. Hot to the point that it was too hot to hold. One tester said she was “afraid to accidentally touch the top of it.” Others said they could feel the heat against their scalps. At first, another tester said she didn’t mind the heat. This was moments before she burned the top of her hand when it merely grazed the side of the tool.
It comes with the most advanced heating element in this industry. Using a digital display, you can adjust temperature from 280F to 450F. This means that you can use it to style fine or very fragile hair as well as very thick and coarse. This is the model that is often recommended for women that have hair that is hard to straighten and difficult to keep straight. So if lower heats do not work for you, use the highest setting, and get pin straight results, like glass.
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“Being a mom of two, it’s hard to have time to get my hair done, but with this, I do my hair in 30 minutes, rather than over an hour. I haven’t bought a new straightener in probably four years, and I bought this with very little expectations. OMG! First of all, not only did it take half the time to do my hair, but it left my hair as amazing as I always wanted it! Super silky-smooth. I then used it to make some curls on my 8-year-old. In less than 15 minutes, I was done with her hair and she was in love with the curls.”
Dylan also loves this Karmin iron. "The plates are coated in tourmaline which helps for an easy glide," he says. Fighting frizz with infrared ions, Dylan suggests that it "makes this iron better for super coarse hair." Bonus points: it also has different voltage settings for international use. The jetsetter in you will be thankful as you globetrot glamorously.
The curling iron can also have either a spring-loaded, Marcel, or clipless handle. Spring-loaded handles are the most popular and use a spring to work the barrel's clamp. When using a Marcel handle, one applies his or her own pressure to the clamp. Clipless wands have no clamp, and the user simply wraps hair around a rod. Most clipless curling irons come with a Kevlar glove to avoid burns.
When shopping for the best hair straightener for your unique hair type, it can be difficult to decipher all of the different styles and specs. That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you and created this all-inclusive guide to finding the best hair straightener for your unique head o’ hair, so you can spend less time scrolling through pages of products and more time rocking your new dream do’!
Both inexpensive and high-end flat irons come with a wide range of features. If you plan to travel out of the country often, then a tool with dual voltage might be a good option. Or you might find that the Bio Ionic’s vibrating plates are something you can’t live without after trying. A long cord that swivels at the end of the handle to ensure ease of use might also be an important feature for you. Some features you might not need include pads to rest your flat iron or gloves to protect your hands — both accessories our testers didn’t think were necessary. When researching flat irons, make a list of your must-haves and make sure the one you choose includes your top features before purchasing.
These ultra-smooth plates are great for straightening stubborn strands like curls and waves and are also ideal for creating natural, finished curls (similar to a curling iron) and even beachy waves. By gliding effortlessly across hairs of all types, without pulling or breakage, the ISA Professional Titanium Flat Iron has the potential to leave your hair looking and feeling healthier after each use.
When we first took the Babyliss out of its box, we were impressed by its super thin design. And when we put it to the test, the tool lived up to our expectations. It felt light, like the Chi Air, and manageable when gliding through hair. Unlike the HSI which felt rickety and bulky, the Babyliss’ design was sleek and professional. It wins as the flat iron we’d expect to see in a high-end hair salon.
Most mid-grade and high-end hair straighteners come with plates that are 1” or 1.5”. If you are looking at one that is 2”, 2.5”, or even bigger, steer clear immediately. Not only does larger plates make it easier for you to accidentally over-iron (and seriously damage) your hair, but they also make it more difficult to get all of the way down to your roots. For anyone with type 3 or type 4 hair, trying to use a large-sized flat iron would be far more trouble than it’s worth.