While the BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightening Iron is a great option for a beginner or someone on the go, we like to think of the Solano Sleek Heat 450 Professional Flat Iron as the no-nonsense, professional-grade alternative for anyone with short or medium length hair. This Solano professional hair straightener isn’t just for stylists or beauty bloggers though: the fast heat time and maximum heat temperatures make it an ideal choice for any aspiring stylist-to-be or anyone with stubborn shorter styles.
“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.”

Thankfully, we’ve learned a lot about hair care and preserving your hair’s natural integrity while styling. However, this wasn’t always the case. If you ever had a perm done in the 80’s or teased your hair to holy heaven in the 90’s, chances are pretty good that your hair has endured a bit of damage. The same can be said if you color your hair on a regular basis or recently went from your natural brunette color to a bright platinum blonde. No matter how the damage was caused, there are certain features you will want to shop for when selecting the ideal hair straightener for your course hair type:

The digital interface accurately displays the fully adjustable temperature setting from 170 degrees to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, providing optimal performance for any hair type. The floating plates with curved edges continuously adjust the tension and angle of the plates to avoid snagging your hair so that you have full flexibility when creating sleek, wavy or curly styles.
Despite these downsides, the HSI Professional comes with plenty of positives, including extras not often found with other hair straighteners. Along with the straightener, you'll receive a carrying case, a heat-resistant glove for easier hair styling, a style guide, and a travel-size argan oil leave-in hair treatment serum to smooth and protect your hair. This is more than most high-end hair straighteners come with, all for a fraction of the price.
4. The button placement is very similar to the Remington flat iron. When the iron is powered on, quickly press the power button 2 times and a small lock icon will appear on the digital indicator under the Fahrenheit symbol. When the lock icon is visible you cannot change the temp or turn it off by accidentally pressing the buttons. To unlock, quickly press the power button 2 times again and the lock icon will disappear.

The Chi Air is similar to other Chi tools and has that iconic sleek design with gold plates. However, one feature our testers believe makes the Chi Air stand out against the Chi Elite and others is that it’s so lightweight. True to its name, the tool is lighter than other flat irons which makes it easier to manage when styling. One tester believed the light design even made it snag less when passing over hair.

There’s no use cramming a bunch of hair between two hot plates if not all of it will actually get ironed. Making small sections is annoying, sure, but if you try to iron too much at once, it won’t work and you’ll end up going back over the hair multiple times anyway, which can cause damage. This is especially important for those with kinky or tightly coiled hair. If you don’t section your hair, your flat iron won’t work the way you want it to.
The BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightening Iron really is the Baskin Robins of hair straighteners, making it the perfect choice for anyone that wants to straighten their hair quickly. Whether you have naturally short hair and opt for extensions on occasion or you just chopped off your do’ into a new pixie cut, you will have a hard time not finding the perfect heat setting for your hair so many choices!
Our two testers with kinky and thick hair loved the Chi Air Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron. In fact, it was each of their top picks, with the Bio Ionic coming in second. The Chi Air reaches 410 degrees F, which is definitely hot enough for thicker and curlier hair types. The speed at which the tool worked was surprising considering the kinkiness and thickness of both testers’ hair. One tester with long, curly hair had to leave early for an event and needed to finish styling. The Chi Air moved through her hair quickly, giving her time to spare. And, even at 410 degrees, our testers didn’t feel like their hair was being fried or that the heat burned their heads. In fact, they complimented how soft it made their hair feel and how comfortable it was to use, unlike the NuMe Megastar which snagged a lot or the HSI Professional Glider which felt hot against their scalps. As one tester said, “Chi is killing it.”

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.

Nor does it speak to those of us who work long hours at our job - who support our families and who struggle with issues like how to pay the bills or how to put the kids through college - who have limited time and energy for training - and who are more interested in how to train for lifelong strength and health than in how to gain 30 pounds of muscle in six weeks.


If you lived through this particular time in our world history, then you probably remember the super straight hairstyles that we all sported a time or two (bonus points if you took a photo of yourself like this in your bathroom mirror using a digital camera!). For reasons we may never know for certain, sharp and straight hair was the hairstyle of choice back in the early 2000’s giving the good old hair straightener somewhat of a bad reputation.
If you’re a professional or more experienced with a flat iron, then it’s worth considering the Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium-Plated Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron. We were impressed with how well it worked across all hair types. It’s one of two top picks that straightened all of our testers’ hair in one pass (the other one that could do this was the Chi Air). And, like the Bio Ionic, the Babyliss leaves hair feeling smooth and voluminous.
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.
Do you have curly, dry hair? Thick, color-treated hair? Short, straight hair? Fine, kinky hair? Finding the right flat iron for you really depends on your hair type. Heat and plate types are an important factor in this. Your flat iron should reach and maintain the right temperature and be made from the plate material that works best for you. While most will work well on a variety of hair types, pay close attention to reviews from people with hair similar to yours (bonus points if they include before and after pictures).

In addition to a fast heat-up time and multiple temperature settings, the 9-foot cord and 360 swivel make for easier styling and prevents and tangling. You can also travel with this styling iron thanks to the dual voltage settings. Anti-slip edges and floating plates allow your hair to glide effortlessly between the plates, with no pulling or snagging which can be especially damaging for fine hair.

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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