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. 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
"Unite Pro Tools Flat Iron is an easy-to-use, low maintenance iron," says Chris Dylan. Dylan works with Kylie Jenner so finding an easy-to-use tool is a must when you’re helping someone go from a platinum blonde bob to jet black floor length extensions. in a span of a week. He notes that with a fast-heating iron and beveled edges, it creates soft waves and has a great temperature gauge that keeps you firmly in control of the heat.
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.
The more temperature control options you have, the more control you'll have over the heat you'll be applying to your hair. Keep in mind, any type of heat styling can be damaging to your strands, so you want to take care not to use too much high heat, especially if you're styling daily. Flat irons that have lower temperature options that start around 250 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for those with thin, damage-prone hair. If you do have thick hair, higher heat settings can help straighten those curls. To help prevent damage, you should start with lower heat first, and then only increase as needed. Keep in mind, anything above 400 degrees has the potential to damage your hair. Even those with coarse, curly hair should stay within the 350-400 degree range to be safe.
As you discover the beauty of straight styles, you'll want to find the best hair straightener that won't compromise your hair and caters to your hair type. Achieve optimal results through the reliable performance, quality, and design of NuMe professional styling tools. The gentle heating of far infrared technology and negative ion-producing, 100 percent pure, tourmaline ceramic plates reveal the conscious and authentic design of NuMe hair straighteners.
Bio Ionic 10X Pro Styling Iron 1" - Nano Ionic - with Vibrating Plates The Bio Ionic 10X Pro Styling Iron 1 Inch is part of the Luxe Pro Styling Collection. Natural Volcanic Rock Minerals infused into the Bio Ionic Luxe Pro Styling Collection are uniquely refined to emit negative ions that drive tiny water molecules deep into the hair. Hair becomes hydrated and conditioned on the inside, while the outer cuticle layer lies flat and smooth, trapping moisture, giving it a vibrant shine.
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.
If you are interested in adding the benefits of keratin use into other aspects of your hair care routine, treat yourself to a keratin-rich hair mask once per week! There are dozens of fantastic keratin masks on the market to choose from (and even in your local drugstore!), but we love Naat’s Brazilian Keratin Intensive Hair Mask (which you can buy here from Amazon) for a consistent shine every time!
Not sure which temperature setting is right for your hair? We recommend starting slow and building up to higher heat settings gradually. Not only will you be able to perfectly identify the optimal heat setting for your hair, but you will also avoid overheating. After all, very few of us actually need upwards of 400° F to see the salon results we’ve always wanted!
T3’s white and rose gold flat iron seems too pretty to reliably function, but hey, sometimes miracles happen. There are four temperature settings ranging from 260 to 410 degrees, and the tool heats up in about a minute. Its ceramic plates are infused with tourmaline, a mineral said to make hair extra smooth because it emits negatively-charged ions. There’s no scientific evidence to support this, but my unscientific bathroom study found that this flat iron does indeed make my hair look shinier.