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Straighteners work because they have flat plates that get hot and touch together on either side of your hair. By doing that, they put heat through your hair follicles, trap in moisture and take out frizz. The plates on a flat iron can be made of several different materials, and they’re good for different uses. The best iron for you varies depending on the type of hair you have, the type of styling you want to do, and the amount of heat your hair needs.
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.
This is an absolute MUST HAVE for anyone with natural black hair. We talked earlier about how dangerous low-end flat irons can be for anyone with type 3 or type 4 hair, and this is precisely why. If you fit into those hair types, any straightener without an adjustable temperature control is likely to be way too hot for your hair to handle – especially for long-term 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.
You do not have to use a blow dryer. In fact, I recommend not using one at all, as it could save extra damage to your hair and the extra heat isn't needed. After a shower, you could put your damp hair in a braid, let it dry in the braid, and when you want to straighten, your hair won't be as puffy or frizzy. That ultimately leads to straight, sleek hair.
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.
Seemingly small details like cord length can make all the difference in the effectiveness of a beauty tool. A longer cord length is desirable here, giving you more freedom and versatility depending on the power outlet situation in your home or your hotel if you're traveling. A cord with 360 swivel capabilities is also a plus. You'll be moving your hair straightener all around your head as you style, and a rotating cord will keep it from getting tangled.
While there are a lot of great options to choose from, our all-around top pick is the LumaBella Keratin Duel Touch Hair Straightener. Featuring unique, keratin-infused plates for optimal shine and less damage, the LumaBella Keratin Duel Touch Hair Straightener proves that technology really can make a difference when it comes to hair care! We also love this model’s innovative smart heat sensors that protect hair from heat damage and lock in moisture.
The HSI 1st Gen Professional Ceramic Flat Iron is designed with tourmaline-infused ceramic plates, generating negative ions and allowing smaller water molecules to penetrate into the hair shaft to reduce frizz and static. Built for durability and lasting results, the floating plates give the flexibility to flip, curl or straighten your hair – all with a single iron.

If you are unsure what exactly your hair type is (or if it has changed over the years, which happens more often than you’d think!), check out this incredible overview by the hair professionals at Redken! Don’t stress if you have combination hair (i.e., fine and curly or thin and straight) either; we recommend choosing a hair straightener based on your biggest hair complaint and focusing on that problem first. So, if your curls are driving your nuts, you will want to select a hair straightener with higher temperatures, thin hair needs moisture, etc. You’ll find that your entire hair type can usually benefit from the extra TLC!
With so many models and styles to choose from, it can be hard to find the right hair straightener for your medium or long hair. That’s why we love the Cloud Nine Original Flat Iron! This straightener is ideal for users with medium to long hair; this hair straightener can tame even the most stubborn tresses. Featuring 1-inch plates and low, medium, and high heat settings, this flat iron is ideal for anyone with thick or lengthy hair.
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.
Whether you have particularly curly hair or thick locks, this T3 hair straightener is designed to leave you with a shiny finish in a fraction of the time of other hair straighteners on the market today. Specifically, the T3’s smart SinglePass technology maintains consistent heat throughout the entire plate to straighten all hair types with one glide.

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.

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