Featuring the same 1.25-inch plates CHI users have loved for years, the new CHI G2 Ceramic and Titanium Flat Iron make it easier to style longer hair! If you’ve ever tried to use a non-professional hair straightener on your hair, then you know just how quickly the process can become a literal pain! From hand strain to sore wrists and arms, most hair straighteners stick to old adage of “beauty is pain.”
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!
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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.
“I’ve owned a Conair, Chi, and I-Tech straighter before, but this one is FABULOUS! There really is no tugging at all on your hair — so smooth, and I was shocked that it truly heats up in 15 seconds, as advertised! It also does something magical to my hair: It adds more shine like no flat iron has done before. Mind you, my hair is very difficult to deal with. It has always been coarse, wavy, dry, and thick! This iron worked beautifully on my 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.
Size matters. With plates too big or too small, you’ll have to make multiple passes. This exposes your hair to high heat longer and increases the risk that you’ll do damage. According to Janine Jarman, owner and operator of acclaimed Hollywood salon Hairroin, a 1-inch-wide plate will do for most people, and if you want to use your iron for anything other than straightening, like creating curls or waves, you’ll need a 1-inch plate; anything larger won’t make the waves or curls tight enough. She also pointed out length is important too. “You need plates to be at least 3 inches long, or close to it, so you’re not spending a ton of time with small sections.”
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.
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 plate material you choose can also make a big difference on your style results. Ceramic, titanium, and tourmaline are the most common terms you'll come across. Ceramic plates hold heat well and provide even heat distribution, preventing any hot spots on the plates can cause damage. Ceramic is especially effective for fine hair that can be especially vulnerable to heat damage. While many hair straighteners have ceramic coated plates, plates made entirely from this material are more effective, as this coating can wear off over time. Tourmaline is a gemstone, but when crushed and used to coat the plates of a hair straightener, it has properties and results similar to ceramic plates.
The Lanxim ceramic tourmaline argan oil flat iron is a great option for this type of style because it’s got one inch plates that have advanced infrared heat technology, an adjustable temperature that lets you personalize the heat levels to your hair, and a swivel cord that won’t get tangled. The floating plates are also infused with argan oil to keep your curls soft and healthy.
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!
The Bio Ionic worked well on all of our testers’ hair, but it’s best on drier hair with a medium thickness. We spritzed testers’ hair with some keratin smoothing treatment, but the Bio Ionic did a lot of the heavy lifting to make our hair feel softer. The tool gets hot, but not too hot to grip, and it excels at creating the silky volume you want without making your hair pin-straight and flat. One tester put it perfectly: “[The Bio Ionic] is the Rumplestiltskin of hair straighteners. It’s turning straw into gold.”
While it isn’t the fastest heating hair straightener we have reviewed, the CHI Air Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron warms up to temperature in just one minute! If one minute seems like too long for you to wait, try adding a bit of multitasking into your morning routine by taking advantage of this found time. If you are at a loss for what you can do in just one minute, check out this list for a little inspiration:
Sadly, the plates in the LumaBella Keratin Duel Touch Hair Straightener won’t begin to magically levitate on your bathroom sink! BUT they do float in the frame! They are specially engineered to deliver a consistent heat with a smooth glide, and their design enables a flexible grip on the straightener, giving you great results no matter how you hold it. Even better, it won’t tug or pull like so many others on the market. The result is pain-free styling in a fraction of the time!
If you want to achieve sleek, pin-straight hair, a high-quality hair straightener should be in your beauty arsenal. A hair straightener, also known as a flat iron, smooths the follicle of your hair between two heated plates. Some hair straighteners can even do double duty, creating loose waves and curls without the frizz. So how to choose the best hair straightener for you, and get those shampoo commercial-worthy locks? There are several things to consider to make sure you'll get the best style result, but the most important is hair type.