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.
Curling irons, also known as curling tongs, create waves or curls in hair using a variety of different methods. There are many different types of modern curling irons, which can vary by diameter, material, and shape of barrel and the type of handle. The barrel's diameter can be anywhere from .5 in (1.3 cm) to 2 in (5.1 cm). Smaller barrels typically create spiral curls or ringlets, and larger barrels are used to give shape and volume to a hairstyle.
T3’s white and rose gold flat iron seems too pretty to reliably function, but hey, sometimes miracles happen. There are four temperature settings ranging from 260 to 410 degrees, and the tool heats up in about a minute. Its ceramic plates are infused with tourmaline, a mineral said to make hair extra smooth because it emits negatively-charged ions. There’s no scientific evidence to support this, but my unscientific bathroom study found that this flat iron does indeed make my hair look shinier.
There are many alternatives if you are looking for hair straighteners. You can use a tool such as a hair straightening or flat iron, you can try chemical perms and straighteners or you can attempt natural methods. Whether you're looking for permanent hair straightening or just want a treatment such as a serum, there are plenty of options for you to choose from at Walgreens.com.
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.
Odds are, you probably just read right over the fact that this flat iron for hair comes with floating plates, but here’s the thing: floating plates are kind of a big deal. Our plates are not fixed, meaning that they have the ability to flex with your hair to get a better grip. What does that mean for you? The plates work with your hair in any position to help get it straight and smooth in less time.
If your hair is plagued by tangles and knots on a regular basis (even in between straightening!), try switching your hairbrush out for a wide-toothed comb! The added space in between the teeth gently separately knots and tangles without the painful “Ouch!” with each stroke. If that still isn’t enough to tame your stubborn tresses, try a wet brush! These brushes are specially designed to work through knotted, wet hair without any tugging or pulling.
One of the Babyliss’ major drawbacks, and why we only recommend this flat iron for experienced users, is the outside gets hotter than any of our other picks. Hot to the point that it was too hot to hold. One tester said she was “afraid to accidentally touch the top of it.” Others said they could feel the heat against their scalps. At first, another tester said she didn’t mind the heat. This was moments before she burned the top of her hand when it merely grazed the side of the tool.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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 titanium plates in the BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightening Iron were designed to conduct high levels of heat (again, up to 450° F!) in a short amount of time. Coupled with the Nanotechnology that is packed in each plate, this hair straightener is ideal for anyone that experiences unwanted frizz or static on a regular basis! The titanium also acts as a barrier from corrosion keeping your hair straightener and precious strands free of build-up for years to come!
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.
A lot of people don’t know there are tons of ways you can style your hair with a flat iron, and this actually might help you decide what size iron to get. You can curl, wave, straighten, add body, twist and more – just with a flat iron! Your straightener is so versatile you can skip most other styling tools and save money by investing in one that will do all of this for you. I walk you through different options for styling with your flat iron so you get the hairdo you want.
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.