The ability to create bouncy curls or waves with a flat iron (we know, it seems counter-intuitive!) is a biggie in the beauty industry and merits a bit more discussion. If you’re totally lost and there aren’t enough video tutorials on the planet to explain this weird yet awesome process, don’t worry! Just follow along with our step-by-step guide and you will be curling with the best of them in no time!
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.”
Farouk Systems, Inc. is a Houston based company of hairdressers for hairdressers, known for manufacturing high-quality professional hair care products under the industry-leading brands: SunGlitz®, CHI® and BioSilk®. The company was founded in 1986 by Farouk Shami a hairdresser whose mission is to provide the professional beauty industry with the most advanced American technology based upon “Education, Environment and Ethics”.

Creative director of GLAMSQUAD Giovanni Vaccaro prefers this flat iron by Sedu. "The ceramic plates are really key to maintain the integrity and healthiness of the hair," he says. To get expertly straight hair, Vaccaro recommends using a boar-bristle brush to help mediate frizz, and that "the follow through is key" when moving the iron and comb completely from roots to tips.
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.
The digital interface accurately displays the fully adjustable temperature setting from 170 degrees to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, providing optimal performance for any hair type. The floating plates with curved edges continuously adjust the tension and angle of the plates to avoid snagging your hair so that you have full flexibility when creating sleek, wavy or curly styles.

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!
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!
Just because you were blessed with a head of naturally straight hair, doesn’t mean hair straighteners aren’t for you! Hair straighteners are a great way to style the split ends that are all too common with straight hair types and can also give your hair a natural-looking curve for added volume! When shopping for the best hair straightener for your naturally straight hair, you will want to look for the following:
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!”

Before explaining the advantages, let’s discuss the heating process. Flat Iron does the basic purpose of heating so that the hair follicles can flatten. Flattening of follicles is needed to create any hairstyle. Hair follicles contain natural moisture. When we heat the hair, the natural moisture gets eliminated. That’s why hair ends up with the rough texture.
Let’s face it: styling your hair is a 360° job. That’s why the folks at Cloud Nine have designed their Original Flat Iron with a swivelling 360° cord! No more tangled messes or twisted cords, with this hair straightener you can easily reach delicate fly-aways and seemingly invisible back sections without the hassle of a tangled or knotted cord ever again. When it comes to hair straighteners, the Cloud Nine Original Flat Iron really proves that perfection is in the details!
Automatic shutoff isn’t a feature we included in our criteria since people have varying opinions about it, but we liked that the Chi Elite has this. Especially for new users who might forget to turn off their flat irons. Like the Chi Air, the Chi Elite will shut off after one hour. However, if you’re working with kinky hair, auto shutoff may be a problem. Traditionally this hair type will take longer to straighten due to detangling and the fragility of the hair.

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.
This feature is particularly helpful if you have textured hair with waves or curls, which can become damaged so easily by heated styling tools. That said, it is not clear which heat setting is ideal for users with thick or somewhat straight hair. This may make this slightly more difficult if you are using a flat iron for curling purposes or if you need to straighten an especially thick head of hair each day! However, we are confident that a little tinkering is all it takes to find the perfect heat setting for these different hair types and styles, so you can rest assured that this hair straightener can still meet all your hair styling needs!
Heat protectants contain ingredients that coat hair and slow down heat induction. Janine Jarman says, “Blow dry your hair properly; use a heat protectant product; and with the right iron, you should not have to make a bunch of passes to get the results you want.” We used TRESemmé Expert Selection Heat Protection Spray, Keratin Smooth. Most of our testers liked how it worked on their hair and felt a noticeable difference when using it. Our tester with kinky hair didn’t use the product because she knew it wouldn’t work on her hair. Instead, she recommends using an oil (like an Argan oil) or a hair grease to add moisture to the hair, which makes it easier to straighten.
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:

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:


We started with six flat irons but ultimately dropped two because they didn’t work well on any of our testers’ hair. The inexpensive, but highly rated HSI Professional Glider Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron was bulky and awkward. Testers said it felt like two pieces of plastic passing through their hair. We thought the NuMe Megastar Hair Straightener, a popular and more high-end tool, would be a clear contender for our list. However, testers said it snagged hard against their hair to the point of hurting. It was also difficult to hold closed when styling. Because both of these flat irons received such low ratings among our testers, we didn’t include them in our top picks.
Early hair straightening systems relied on harsh chemicals that tended to damage the hair. In the 1870s, the French hairdresser Marcel Grateau introduced heated metal hair care implements such as hot combs to straighten hair. Madame C.J. Walker used combs with wider teeth and popularized their use together with her system of chemical scalp preparation and straightening lotions.[3] Her mentor Annie Malone is sometimes said to have patented the hot comb.[4] Heated metal implements slide more easily through the hair, reducing damage and dryness. Women in the 1960s sometimes used clothing irons to straighten their hair.
An upgrade from their since discontinued Eclipse Styler, you won't be tempted to heat this flatiron up to 450 degrees, because the temperature dial is always stuck on one number: 365 (the ideal heat to mold hair without frying it, according to the scientists at GHD). Underneath each of those 365-degree plates are three fancy sensors that measure the density of the hair in the iron so that it can maintain consistent heat regardless of the chunk of hair you grab. The result? Silky, shiny hair with zero frizz.
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