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?
We started with six flat irons but ultimately dropped two because they didn’t work well on any of our testers’ hair. The inexpensive, but highly rated HSI Professional Glider Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron was bulky and awkward. Testers said it felt like two pieces of plastic passing through their hair. We thought the NuMe Megastar Hair Straightener, a popular and more high-end tool, would be a clear contender for our list. However, testers said it snagged hard against their hair to the point of hurting. It was also difficult to hold closed when styling. Because both of these flat irons received such low ratings among our testers, we didn’t include them in our top picks.
Negative ions have been a longtime fan favorite in the hair care industry, and it is no surprise that this same technology would appear in our top picks for the best hair straightener. Negative ions have been found to reduce static and frizz while locking in moisture, and the same goes for your hair when you use the CHI Air Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron!
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.”
There is a slide at the base which holds the device from opening all the way (easier for storing) but if you slide the piece it allows the flat iron to open all the way. The instructions inside the box don't explain this part, so at first I thought it didn't open very far, but once I figured this out, it became a breeze to use. Speaking of the instructions, they are listed in English, Spanish, French, and German. (I think... I don't speak/read all of those languages, but I believe that's correct.)
Just because you were blessed with a head of naturally straight hair, doesn’t mean hair straighteners aren’t for you! Hair straighteners are a great way to style the split ends that are all too common with straight hair types and can also give your hair a natural-looking curve for added volume! When shopping for the best hair straightener for your naturally straight hair, you will want to look for the following:
“The temperature of the iron can determine the curl pattern on hair that tends to fall easily, as you might need a higher heat to lock in the pattern closer to the root,” she added. “The internal components of the irons also can determine the curl pattern, and that is why it is important to invest in custom, high-end tools that contain internal heaters that go the entire length of the barrel. The higher the heat, the stronger the curl will essentially be. Low heat will produce a softer finish.”

The glider plus is designed to protect your hair with integrated heat balance micro processors that continuously monitor the exact temperature across the surface of the plates and automatically adjust the temperature for evenly distributed heat. That means fewer passes are needed for silky results, while protecting your precious hair from over heat exposure.


The floating plates are contoured with smooth edges, so you won't have to worry about your hair snagging as you're styling. If you have thicker hair, you may want to consider the 2-inch plate option, which will cover more surface area and help you style your hair more quickly. However, if you'd rather have the versatility of being able to curl and flip your hair as well as straighten it, we'd recommend the classic 1-inch plate.
If you're still not convinced, then ask yourself a question. Ask yourself how serious you are about your lifting. Decide for yourself, right here and right now, whether you're the kind of lifter GRAY HAIR AND BLACK IRON was written for. If you're not, that's fine. No hard feelings. I said at the beginning that GRAY HAIR AND BLACK IRON was written for a very small, very elite group of men and women. It's not mass-market stuff, and it's not for everyone. It's for deeply committed, deeply serious Iron Warriors - warriors who've been battling the iron for a very long time - and who intend to keep on fighting the fight for many years to come. So if that's NOT who you are, don't order the book.

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.
STEAM INFUSED WITH ARGAN OIL OR PURE WATER PREVENTS HAIR DAMAGE: Designed with steam compartment that can be used for Argan Oil Serum or water, PureBlackMagic Steam Infusion Hair Straightener releases steam within 60 seconds of heating. The conditioning steam infuses moisture back into your hair, locking in natural oils and adding more shine to the finish.

Reviews.com has an advertising relationship with some of the offers included on this page. However, the rankings and listings of our reviews, tools and all other content are based on objective analysis. For more information, please check out our full Advertiser Disclosure. Reviews.com strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. The information in our reviews could be different from what you find when visiting a financial institution, service provider or a specific product’s website. All products are presented without warranty.
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.
If you have ever visited a luxury spa or wellness company, you have probably run across far infrared heat a time or two. Without going into too much science, infrared heat is the same heat you feel when the sun kisses your cheeks and warms your body from the inside-out. Far infrared heat, in particular, has been used by medical and wellness professionals for years to treat a variety of conditions from muscle pain to even cancer.
According to Jarman, you should never have to use both hands to clamp the iron down on your hair. You not only risk burning your fingers on the plate end, but this can pull at your hair and break it. High-quality, modern irons are designed to clamp together from the handle end only, so if you find that your iron requires pressure on both ends, it’s time to upgrade.
If you’re looking for an affordable mid-grade hair straightener that offers tremendous value, you can’t go wrong with the HSI Professional Digital Ceramic Flat Iron with Tourmaline. With a quick heat-up, digital LCD temperature control, and solid ceramic plates infused with tourmaline, you can straighten type 3 hair – and some type 4 hair – with ease.
We started with six flat irons but ultimately dropped two because they didn’t work well on any of our testers’ hair. The inexpensive, but highly rated HSI Professional Glider Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron was bulky and awkward. Testers said it felt like two pieces of plastic passing through their hair. We thought the NuMe Megastar Hair Straightener, a popular and more high-end tool, would be a clear contender for our list. However, testers said it snagged hard against their hair to the point of hurting. It was also difficult to hold closed when styling. Because both of these flat irons received such low ratings among our testers, we didn’t include them in our top picks.

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.
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've owned a Conair, Chi, and I-Tech straighter before, but this one is FABULOUS! A lot of research was done before I made the decision to purchase this one, and I feel like it paid off; my previous straightener was 4 years old, so it was about time. I received this new one today before I got home for my lunch break, so I had to go ahead and bust it in ;) There really is no tugging at all on your hair - so smooth, and I was shocked that it truly heats up in 15 seconds, as advertised! It also does something magical to my hair, like it adds more shine like no flat iron has done before. Mind you, my hair is very difficult to deal with. I am a Caucasian, but my hair has always been coarse, wavy, dry and thick! This iron worked beautifully on my hair. 10/10 would recommend! If it doesn't work the same after a few months, I'll be sure to update my review. As of today, I'm very happy! :)

This Amazon reviewer dubbed it the "perfect travel tool" that straightens their hair just as effectively as a normal sized hair straightener and they like that it automatically changes voltage so you don't have to worry about doing so manually. Reviewer Lynn B. writes on Ulta that she loves how quickly it heats up, and how she can easily pack it away right after use thanks to the heat-resistant carrying case it comes with.
There are many alternatives if you are looking for hair straighteners. You can use a tool such as a hair straightening or flat iron, you can try chemical perms and straighteners or you can attempt natural methods. Whether you're looking for permanent hair straightening or just want a treatment such as a serum, there are plenty of options for you to choose from at Walgreens.com.

Due in large part to the damage we inflicted on our poor locks during this time, we’ve learned that heat protection isn’t just a luxury: it’s mandatory when it comes to hair straightening. That’s why so many hair straighteners now feature conditioners built right into the plates. We also learned that excess heat can cause permanent damage to hair, so now many flat irons come with automatic turn-off features or self-adjusting heat settings. Well, as the saying goes, there is no progress without a bit of struggle and our hair certainly struggled during the early 2000’s!
“I’m a licensed hairdresser and I’ve used many hair straighteners, including Chi and Paul Mitchell. They work, but my hair is so thick that it takes me at least 30 to 40 minutes to properly smooth my hair. This is the absolute best hair straightener I have ever used. It straightened my hair in ten minutes (no joke). I’m extremely pleased and shocked. Looking to purchase a second one to have on hand for the future.”
One of the biggest problems you will face when using a heated hair styling tool is overheating. We’ve all been there: you’re casually straightening your hair when a particularly funny scene comes up on the show you have playing in the background. After a solid minute or two of laughter, you realize (in utter horror!) that your poor hair has been sandwiched in between a couple of hot plates the entire time.
×