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.”
“This is a badass flat iron. Here’s the skinny: The moment you turn it on, it has a ‘Fragile, Damaged, Healthy’ setting, and it also auto-locks the buttons to keep what temperature you want while doing your hair. It comes with a professional bag for traveling with it. This flat iron is ‘pinky in the air while drinking your tea’ fancy. It is the Ferrari of flat irons, for a girl on a budget wanting a new flat iron. And for my fellow sistas: It works amazingly on African-American hair.”
No two heads of hair are the same, so the straightener that does wonders on your best friend's fine tresses may be useless on your curly mane. Luckily, there are many different types of hair straighteners. Some provide higher heat settings and wide plates to tackle thick curly hair, and others have ceramic plates and options for low heat settings that are better suited to easily damaged fine hair.
Bio Ionic OnePass 1" Nano-Ceramic Straightening Iron (Black) Bio Ionic One Pass Flat Iron, Hair Straightener is the fastest ever! Far Infrared allows for quick styling without damage. Bio Ceramic Heaters maintain constant heat. The OnePass Iron shows a true break-through in flat iron technology. It straightens hair in half the time compared to other irons. This is the professional’s #1 choice in irons! Silicone Speed Strips for straightening and shine Instant heat, up to 400°F Instant recovery Nano-Ionic™ Mineral fused to cushion plates High levels of negative ions Far infrared energy for silky smooth hair Bio Ceramic 5 Second heaters Advanced heat controller 10 feet swivel cord
Titanium is a lightweight metal that heats up very quickly and can hold high heat at a consistent temperature. This material is ideal for those who have thick, curly, or natural hair that can be more difficult to straighten. Since it's lighter than ceramic, it also makes for a lighter hair straightener overall, which means less arm strain as you're taming your mane. As someone who has very thick hair, I can attest — Any feature that can make styling easier and faster is a plus.
The Babyliss gets hot quickly and moves through hair fast. This is thanks to its thin, lightweight design and the fact that it stays consistently hot. Our testers were amazed that it passed through their hair so quickly and left it smooth without feeling damaged or fried. Plus, when being styled by someone else, our testers said it didn’t snag their hair.
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.
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.
“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.”
If you’ve ever used a CHI hair straightener before, then you’re probably pretty well acquainted with the turn dial temperature control of models’ past. While this dial design made it easy to switch on your hair straightener each morning (even before you have had your morning coffee!), it also made it all too easy to accidentally change the temperature during use.
Once you have purchased your new hair straightener and mastered the multitude of ways you can put it to good use, the only thing left to do is take care of it, so it lasts for years to come! Just like any luxury beauty tool, you will want to care for your hair straightener to extend its longevity and prevent corrosion (which can actually leak into your flowing locks…yuck!). Our top tips for caring for and cleaning your new hair straightener include:
Bio Ionic One Pass Flat Iron, Hair Straightener is the fastest ever! Far Infrared allows for quick styling without damage. Bio Ceramic Heaters maintain constant heat. The OnePass Iron shows a true break-through in flat iron technology. It straightens hair in half the time compared to other irons. This is the professional’s #1 choice in irons! Silicone Speed Strips for straightening and shine Instant heat, up to 400°F Instant recovery Nano-Ionic™ Mineral fused to cushion plates High levels of negative ions Far infrared energy for silky smooth hair Bio Ceramic 5 Second heaters Advanced heat controller 10 feet swivel cord
We loved the Bio Ionic’s user-friendly design. Two of our favorite features are its bright digital temperature control and the instructions stamped directly onto the tool. It also feels natural in the hand, and its matte finish provides a slight grippiness, but doesn’t pull at the hair when styling. Plus, the tool sports a uniquely shaped plate that’s curved at the tip and makes it really easy to get close to the scalp. One tester who is new to using flat irons said the Bio Ionic felt intuitive and even encouraged her to try harder styles, like creating curls and waves.
You're on your way to work with your perfectly styled hair, ready for that big client meeting…and suddenly you're not sure if you remembered to turn off your hair straightener. Cue the mind spiral where you imagine being responsible for your entire apartment building burned to the ground. We admit. it may be a bit dramatic, but it's definitely not a good feeling to start the day with.
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Try first flat ironing your hair from the roots on the lowest temperature on your flat iron, and straighten your hair normally. When you are comfortable with the way that you are straightening your hair, then you can start straightening your hair with the temperature that you would normally straighten your hair, but don't forget to use a heat protection spray so that you don"t damage your hair.
Now that you know what the Xtava Pro is capable of, it's worth running through the features that make those results possible. Along with the solid ceramic plates for even heating, there are 10 temperature settings to choose from for optimal styling control. The temperatures are shown on an easy to read digital display and range from 265 degrees to 445 degrees Fahrenheit.
Flat irons can get pricey, but they’re an investment. The Chi Elite is inexpensive when compared to other high-end tools in the industry, making it a safe bet for those new to hair styling. Though it may be more expensive than some hair straighteners, it offers a high level of quality that the others don’t (not to mention it’s a Chi, which is known for quality). We tested the HSI, which is about $60 less expensive than the Chi Elite, and its cheapness was apparent at first glance. It did nothing for any of our testers’ hair. If you’re a beginner, the Chi Elite is a great first flat iron.
This iron is one the coolest tool I’ve ever used. It is a beautiful looking straightener with very high technology. With 50% more power and wider plates (1.5″), the T3 SinglePass X is specifically designed to straighten hard-to-manage hair, such as long, thick or coarse hair. Most importantly, it is designed to do the job fast – it straightens in a single glide!
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.”