I tried to break everything up on the chart by category so it’s easier to narrow things down, but you have to keep in mind there is a ton of overlap in styling tools. You can have large ceramic tourmaline and small titanium steam as well as just about a thousand other options. The point is, although my table is here for those of you who already have an idea of what you want, there is a small chance you might end up looking at something with a few extra bells and whistles because there is so much overlap. If you’re not sure what different kinds of irons there are, head over to my buying guide so you can get that all sorted out before you start reading the reviews.
Despite these downsides, the HSI Professional comes with plenty of positives, including extras not often found with other hair straighteners. Along with the straightener, you'll receive a carrying case, a heat-resistant glove for easier hair styling, a style guide, and a travel-size argan oil leave-in hair treatment serum to smooth and protect your hair. This is more than most high-end hair straighteners come with, all for a fraction of the price.
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. Her mentor Annie Malone is sometimes said to have patented the hot comb. 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.
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.
We don’t know too many people that are using their hair straighteners vertically, but there must be a few since ISA has made a point of clarifying that this model is intended only to be used horizontally, i.e., perpendicular to your hair. According to the manufacturer, using the hair straightener horizontally reduces hair pulling for a more comfortable experience. This may be particularly important to you if your hair tends to knot easily or you have unruly curls and texture.
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.
For better or worse, we are B-U-S-Y nowadays. Running from meeting to meeting and trying to pick up our kids from carpool before soccer practice, it’s no wonder that we often place ourselves at the bottom of our daily priority list. This mindset typically carries over into our appearances and explains why more women than ever are rocking messy top knots and buns than ever before.
“This flat iron is amazing! It is so small, it almost looks like a flat iron for a doll. Don’t let the size fool you. I have medium-thick, naturally curly hair, and this iron had no problem getting all of my hair straight. If you are used to a flat iron, you should have no problem using this. This is the best flat iron for traveling, the gym, or stashing in your desk at work. I would highly recommend this flat iron.”
Due in large part to the damage we inflicted on our poor locks during this time, we’ve learned that heat protection isn’t just a luxury: it’s mandatory when it comes to hair straightening. That’s why so many hair straighteners now feature conditioners built right into the plates. We also learned that excess heat can cause permanent damage to hair, so now many flat irons come with automatic turn-off features or self-adjusting heat settings. Well, as the saying goes, there is no progress without a bit of struggle and our hair certainly struggled during the early 2000’s!
This BaBylissPRO porcelain ceramic straightening iron is made with porcelain ceramic, which distributes far-infrared heat evenly across the strands. Not only is it gentler and more healthy for your hair, but it can handle wide sections of hair at once because of its long barrel. The shape is rounded and sleek, so it’s ideal for curling, and it won’t catch or knot while you’re curling.
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.
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.
While there are a lot of great options to choose from, our all-around top pick is the LumaBella Keratin Duel Touch Hair Straightener. Featuring unique, keratin-infused plates for optimal shine and less damage, the LumaBella Keratin Duel Touch Hair Straightener proves that technology really can make a difference when it comes to hair care! We also love this model’s innovative smart heat sensors that protect hair from heat damage and lock in moisture.
GHD’s “styler” is permanently set to 365 degrees Fahrenheit, which the company says is the highest temperature hair can tolerate before it becomes damaged. As a person who went from a dark brunette to blonde highlights, I can vouch for its straightening power on processed hair. And though I don’t typically think of “comfort” as a flat iron necessity, the springy hinge that connects the two plates really did make it easier to clamp and glide the tool down my hair with minimal effort.