For such a high-end flat iron, we were disappointed that the Babyliss doesn’t have a precise temperature display like the Bio Ionic. Our testers were confused by the settings, which had numbers going up to 50 vs. actual temperatures. The numbers represent a range, but you have to look through the instruction manual to figure out what that is. One tester summed it up perfectly: “I don’t want to read an instruction manual to use a hair straightener.”
Nor does it speak to those of us who work long hours at our job - who support our families and who struggle with issues like how to pay the bills or how to put the kids through college - who have limited time and energy for training - and who are more interested in how to train for lifelong strength and health than in how to gain 30 pounds of muscle in six weeks.
Ever since the early 2000’s when the planet collectively decided that straightening our hair to death was a good idea, beauty companies have been searching for a way to achieve beautiful and natural-looking straight looks without frying or unnecessary damage. From ceramic plates to protective sprays and everything in between, we have been desperately searching for some way, any way, to show off a straight head of hair that isn’t entirely made of straw.
Unlike the plain Jane ceramic plates of most hair straighteners, the tourmaline-infused ceramic plates in the CHI Air Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron are designed to keep your hair healthy during styling. Specifically, the tourmaline helps to more evenly distribute the heat during use which, in turn, creates a higher number of negative ions for shinier and healthier looking hair with each use. This reduces the static electricity created, meaning you get a sleeker, smoother style.
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One of the biggest problems you will face when using a heated hair styling tool is overheating. We’ve all been there: you’re casually straightening your hair when a particularly funny scene comes up on the show you have playing in the background. After a solid minute or two of laughter, you realize (in utter horror!) that your poor hair has been sandwiched in between a couple of hot plates the entire time.
With a maximum temperature of 450° F, the BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightening Iron can really pack a punch despite its otherwise small frame. One thing to note though: these heat settings are not pre-set like the CHI G2 hair straightener we also reviewed, and you will need to play around with them to find the right temperature for your hair. This shouldn’t be a problem if you have a Saturday afternoon or two to kill, but may not be ideal for users that are looking for a flat iron with pre-recorded settings.
Given its tiny stature, it is no surprise that the BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightening Iron is ideal for users with short or medium hair lengths. Unlike the more industrial models we reviewed that are designed for longer or thicker hair, this BaByliss hair straightener is small and light enough to polish off a short bob or shoulder-length style in no time.
When you apply heat to your hair, which is not a living thing, you’re essentially cooking it. And, just like food, it’s easy to overdo it. Short of actually searing your hair, you still run the risk of drying out each strand, which can lead to breakage and split ends over time. Every head of hair is different, and each type of hair has an optimal flat-iron temperature. Some locks need extremely high temperatures to relax — coarse hair or those with kinky hair need 380 degrees F or above. Others need hardly any heat at all — fine or damaged hair should be good below 300 degrees.
A lot of hair straighteners will boast that their nano-ceramic like this is a good thing. In reality, this means that they’re made up of a cheap filler material (that will not heat as evenly or remain as durable as true ceramic) which is coated with a thing outer ceramic layer. If you want a flat iron that’s safe for natural hair, make sure you go 100% ceramic, or better yet, solid ceramic infused with tourmaline or titanium.
Aside from ionic and infrared technologies the Bio Ionic Onepass Straightening Iron has something that is entirely new to me: silicon covered plates. They get the hair more in order when you’re straightening, save you a lot of time and reduce the amount of heat that you need. This one is great for African American hair, but I already selected the xtava Pro Satin for that because it’s more affordable.
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.
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.
Once you get over the sticker shock, you'll see just how revolutionary this tool is. It's not a traditional flat iron by any means, but one of the attachments called the "firm smoothing brush" can be used to straighten and smooth frizz in coarse, thick hair. Best part? It works on damp hair, so you're cutting down on the time it takes to get ready as well.
When taming coarse, wavy or curly hair, sometimes you need a little to kick it up a notch. That’s why we love that the CHI G2 Ceramic and Titanium Flat Iron can reach a maximum temperature of 475° F and heats up in under a minute! With this hair straightener, say goodbye to wasted time waiting for your tool to heat up, and get styled and out in the door!
“I wanted a straightener I could use on wet hair, since I’m usually on the go and don’t always have time to dry it. With this Wet 2 Straight Hair straightener, I was able to straighten my hair after it was towel-dried and only had to go over my hair twice for it to be completely dry. Granted, I have semi-thin hair, so it doesn’t take too much to straighten it, but with other straighteners, I would have to go over it about three or four times and couldn’t straighten it when it was wet.”
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 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.
This is a long review, but I want to be thorough, especially for the natural girls out there because I feel like reviews aren't specific enough for products for our hair! So far, it's definitely worth the $50. Here is a little info about myself and my hair, and my pros and cons are listed below: I am black, with natural, 4c hair and this straightener is one of the best I've had. I really wanted a steam straightener because I used to use the Chi religiously, but that severely damaged my hair. Now, I rarely use heat on my hair, and I don't plan on using this straightener more than once every 2 or 3 months. I've only used it once; I washed my hair, combed it out in the shower, put in moisturizer and heat protectant, blew it out, and then used the straightener.
The Chi Elite Flat Iron has all the features Chi flat irons are known for. Like the Chi Air, it comes with a one-hour shut off and temperature dial to ensure you’re getting the correct heat. It also worked across all hair types and was specifically good on kinky, curly and thick hair. One of our testers even said it “work[ed] better than the Babyliss” and that styling her own hair with it was “not as uncomfortable.”