Working in sections, curl your hair. Using just the wand (and not the clamp at the bottom of the wand that "holds" the hair as it curls), wrap your section of hair around the barrel. Be sure not to overlap your hair, as this will reduce heat and result in limp sections. Use your fingers to hold the edge of the section of hair close to the barrel without burning your hair. Doing this rather than using the clamp will prevent crimps in the curls.
Straightening irons, straighteners, or flat irons work by breaking down the positive hydrogen bonds found in the hair's cortex, which cause hair to open, bend and become curly. Once the bonds are broken, hair is prevented from holding its original, natural form, though the hydrogen bonds can re-form if exposed to moisture.[2] Straightening irons use mainly ceramic material for their plates. Low-end straighteners use a single layer of ceramic coating on the plates, whereas high-end straighteners use multiple layers or even 100% ceramic material. Some straightening irons are fitted with an automatic shut off feature to prevent fire accidents.
The ceramic blue plates aren't just pretty; they push conditioners into the hair, quelling frizz 65 percent more efficiently than a traditional ceramic iron. Even experts were impressed. "[It] leaks heat-protective ingredients onto the hair at the exact point of contact, coating every strand during the straightening process," says cosmetic chemist Ni'Kita Wilson.
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.

Most buyers were happy with their purchase of the Xtava, loving how well it worked on their natural hair, how quickly it straightens and cuts down on style time, and the extra features like the heat resistant bag. Everyone should be able to have straight, sleek hair as a style option no matter their hair type, and it's well-designed styling tools like the Xtava Pro Satin that make it possible.
“I’m in ‘ahhh’ at how awesome of a straightener this is. If you ask me, it’s a lot better than the high-end brands. It leaves my hair silky-smooth and shiny. I absolutely love its features, and you can watch the heat meter rise as it’s heating up. To me, five stars is not enough to rate this product. It’s definitely worth the money. I’m in love with this straightener. Also, the lock on it I found to be a awesome bonus.”
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.
Straightening irons, straighteners, or flat irons work by breaking down the positive hydrogen bonds found in the hair's cortex, which cause hair to open, bend and become curly. Once the bonds are broken, hair is prevented from holding its original, natural form, though the hydrogen bonds can re-form if exposed to moisture.[2] Straightening irons use mainly ceramic material for their plates. Low-end straighteners use a single layer of ceramic coating on the plates, whereas high-end straighteners use multiple layers or even 100% ceramic material. Some straightening irons are fitted with an automatic shut off feature to prevent fire accidents.
Curling irons, also known as curling tongs, create waves or curls in hair using a variety of different methods. There are many different types of modern curling irons, which can vary by diameter, material, and shape of barrel and the type of handle. The barrel's diameter can be anywhere from .5 in (1.3 cm) to 2 in (5.1 cm). Smaller barrels typically create spiral curls or ringlets, and larger barrels are used to give shape and volume to a hairstyle.
While temperature control is typically a good thing to have in a hair straightener, it can also result in hair damage if you're keeping the temperature too high. The GHD Gold eliminates the chance of any user error, operating at an even 365 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the optimal temperature for most hair types, getting you smooth results without damaging your hair. The gold coated ceramic plates heat up quickly and maintain an even temperature, eliminating the chance for any hair damaging hot spots as well.
If you have trouble remembering to unplug your flat iron before heading out, you’ll appreciate the Chi Air’s one-hour automatic shutoff. Since people have preferences regarding auto shutoff this wasn’t a criteria for us, but our testers thought it was helpful. One tester said she often leaves her flat iron on in the morning and invested in a timed switch to make sure it’s off. So if you’re forgetful when it comes to turning off your tools, then auto shutoff might be an important feature for you.
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.

The Chi Elite Flat Iron has all the features Chi flat irons are known for. Like the Chi Air, it comes with a one-hour shut off and temperature dial to ensure you’re getting the correct heat. It also worked across all hair types and was specifically good on kinky, curly and thick hair. One of our testers even said it “work[ed] better than the Babyliss” and that styling her own hair with it was “not as uncomfortable.”
Flat irons come in a variety of materials, but some of the most popular include ceramic and titanium. JCPenney also carries a few flat irons made with tourmaline, a rare metal that is typically found in salon-quality flat irons. Some brands even have very large plates that can straighten quite a lot of hair in one movement. At JCPenney, you can also find options that come in smaller sizes to focus on styling and textured curling, as well as irons with curved plates. In addition, JCPenney shoppers can find flat irons with digital or analog capabilities. Many of JCPenney's products are manufactured with ionic technology, which helps reduce frizz and adds moisture. Whether you're shopping for a heavy-duty flat iron or a travel iron for a trip, be sure to make the most of your budget by shopping at JCPenney.
Celebrity hair stylist Priscilla Valles’s go-to straightner is the classic GHD 1-inch straightener. “I start in the nape and bring down small sections, one row at a time and I use a GHD flat Iron with a comb in the other hand,” says Valles. “I place the comb in front of the iron while ironing at the same time in a slow motion all the way down. Never stopping cause that will cause dents in the hair. At the end a dime size of ouai rose from top to bottom just to add some shine and control any fly aways!”
Cleaning your flat iron is critical to ensuring it works as well as it did the first time you used it. Over time, hair product can build up on the plates. This buildup can lead to inconsistent styling results and major snagging. To clean your flat iron, simply wait for it to cool down and wipe the plates with a cotton swab or soft cloth coated in rubbing alcohol.
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.
With ceramic tourmaline technology, floating plates, and an extremely wide range of temperatures, the Berta Professional tourmaline ceramic flat iron is great for this type of job. It’s also got an elongated body so hair doesn’t slip off the end while you’re styling, and reviewers are saying things like, “I got the hair straightener to curl my hair and it does a great job. My hair never holds a curl but this flat iron did the trick.”

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.

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EDITOR’S CHOICE: CHI has and always will be a powerhouse brand in the hair straightener industry, and the company’s new G2 Ceramic and Titanium Flat Iron is no exception! Packed with ceramic and titanium technology, this hair straightener was designed to give you silky, shiny styles without snags. We also love its easy-to-read, color-coded temperature settings, so you know the temperatures that you are using at any given time!
I tried to break everything up on the chart by category so it’s easier to narrow things down, but you have to keep in mind there is a ton of overlap in styling tools. You can have large ceramic tourmaline and small titanium steam as well as just about a thousand other options. The point is, although my table is here for those of you who already have an idea of what you want, there is a small chance you might end up looking at something with a few extra bells and whistles because there is so much overlap. If you’re not sure what different kinds of irons there are, head over to my buying guide so you can get that all sorted out before you start reading the reviews.
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.
FHI’s rounded edge allows you to easily curl or add waves without much effort. It’s almost as small as a travel flat iron, and I love that it straightens even the poofiest sections with just a single pass. But don’t just take my word for it, listen to Beyoncé (via InStyle): “I’m crazy about it! I can’t live without my flatiron! It takes me about an hour to do my hair, and the only time I don’t is when I’m on vacation.”
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