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.
Derek Yuen, the man responsible for Cole Sprouse's grown-up new look, recommends the GHD Platinum Professional Performance iron. The flat iron is consistently and evenly heated at 365 degrees, which is safer and less damaging on the strands. “The beveled edges also allow for infinite styling possibilities, not just just for straightening hair,” says Yeun.
If you travel abroad often, you won't have to worry about ruining your investment, either, because the GHD Gold has universal voltage. It also features a generously long 9-foot cord with 360-degree rotation to prevent tangling. The automatic sleep mode shuts off the straightener if it hasn't been used in 30 minutes, so you'll have peace of mind if you forget to shut it off in your morning rush out the door. If something does go wrong, the GHD Gold comes with a 2-year manufacturer's warranty.
By-and-large, most people with natural hair have some variation of type 3 or type 4 – which is exactly why low-end hair straighteners can be so dangerous. More curly natural black hair has a tendency to be more porous than other hair types. As a result, it can lose moisture easily and become damaged. With the wrong flat iron, this can lead to split ends and breakage after just a single use.
The ½ inch plates allow the BaBylissPro Mini to get close to the scalp, so it will straighten hair from root to tip. It's lightweight and compact at 6 inches long, so it will fit easily in a purse or carry-on bag with no hassle. It comes with a heat resistant travel pouch for storage so you can pack up and go at a moment's notice before or after straightening your hair.
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.”
In addition to its sweet settings and versatility, this hair straightener is also super lightweight and features thin, 1-inch plates to save precious real estate on your bathroom counter or inside your vanity cabinet! The BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightening Iron is ideal for anyone with a tiny bathroom (or multiple roommates!) and who wants the results of larger hair straighteners without the added weight or storage space.
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.
While temperature control is typically a good thing to have in a hair straightener, it can also result in hair damage if you're keeping the temperature too high. The GHD Gold eliminates the chance of any user error, operating at an even 365 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the optimal temperature for most hair types, getting you smooth results without damaging your hair. The gold coated ceramic plates heat up quickly and maintain an even temperature, eliminating the chance for any hair damaging hot spots as well.
The curling iron can also have either a spring-loaded, Marcel, or clipless handle. Spring-loaded handles are the most popular and use a spring to work the barrel's clamp. When using a Marcel handle, one applies his or her own pressure to the clamp. Clipless wands have no clamp, and the user simply wraps hair around a rod. Most clipless curling irons come with a Kevlar glove to avoid burns.
If you have very thick, curly, or coarse hair, you may be wondering if xtava’s Infrared Flat Iron for hair can handle the job of hair straightening your locks - and we have good news for you. Our hair straightening iron has two key characteristics that equip it for the job: high, consistent, and even heat that can lock in your style and extra-wide, 2” floating plates that can handle a lot of volume.
Before placing your entire head under unnecessary heat conditions, try straightening a small section of your hair with what you believe is your ideal heat setting. Take notice of the way your hair reacts to this temperature, paying close attention to any fraying or singeing that may result. Smoking and that dreaded burnt hair smell are a sign that you may need to tone it down a bit to avoid permanent damage to your precious locks.