The type of heat you use to style your hair makes a big difference in how healthy it will be. Our Xtava Pro-Satin Infrared Ceramic Flat Iron for Hair uses infrared heating technology, which heats hair from the inside out. Infrared technology is a game-changer for styling your hair because it allows heat to penetrate directly into the inner part of the hair strand, not just the outside layer. Infrared heating to the middle of the hair strand provides a more effective heat for styling and decreases damage to the outside of your hair. Infrared technology also stimulates negative ions in your hair that draw oils from the hair shaft to the surface; this helps lock in moisture and lock in your look, even in humid weather. Better heat = better hair health. Guess that’s not much of a secret after all, is it?
Ceramic and electrical straighteners were introduced later, allowing adjustment of heat settings and straightener size. A ceramic hair straightener brush was patented in 2013. Sharon Rabi released the first straightening brush in 2015 under the DAFNI brand name. The ceramic straightening brush has a larger surface area than a traditional flat iron.
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.
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.
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.
Unlike infrared saunas or even other hair straighteners on the market today that emit a blast of infrared heat, this Solano hair straightener was designed to slowly warm your hair similarly to how the sun warms your skin over time when you are exposed to its rays. The result is evenly distributed heat for superior hold without the shock of putting your hair under intense temperatures all at once!
Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy (like pillows), but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ‘em) products and single out the most convincing. While we’ve written about the best curling irons, hair dryers, and even a certain curling iron used on the Victoria’s Secret Angels, here, we’re going deep on the best flat irons and hair straighteners on Amazon. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)
I started this site after I made the decision to get a new hair straightener. I am not a novice with irons by any means, and I’ve had just about every kind imaginable except for some of the newest options. When I realized how far the industry had come in the last couple of years, I decided it was time to try something new. A good flat iron can last for years, as long as you look after it and make sure you buy one that’s robust enough to take what you put it through. By doing your homework up front, you can make sure you not only get the right straightener for your locks, but you don’t end up spending an inordinate amount of money on something that doesn’t work for you. Believe me, I’ve been there!
If you are unsure what exactly your hair type is (or if it has changed over the years, which happens more often than you’d think!), check out this incredible overview by the hair professionals at Redken! Don’t stress if you have combination hair (i.e., fine and curly or thin and straight) either; we recommend choosing a hair straightener based on your biggest hair complaint and focusing on that problem first. So, if your curls are driving your nuts, you will want to select a hair straightener with higher temperatures, thin hair needs moisture, etc. You’ll find that your entire hair type can usually benefit from the extra TLC!
When you’re shopping around for a great flat iron that’ll give you flawless waves, you’re essentially looking for three specific qualifications. First, you want something that’s got one inch plates or smaller. Any thicker, and the curls will be so loose, they’ll be virtually non-existent on anyone whose got hair shorter than the butt. Secondly, a rounded body is a must, as you’re wrapping the hair around and through the straightener to create a loose curl. Third, you need something that’s sleek and easy to handle, so your hair won’t snag and break off while you’re curling. Check out these awesome options that make it easy to curl your hair with a straightener.
The plates in this techy tool house an internal microchip that constantly measures and maintains an even temperature. With no random hot or cold spots, you'll get smoother, straighter, strands in fewer passes. (Spoiler alert: Fewer passes equal less damage). Adjustable temperature settings — from 260 to 410 degrees — make this ideal for any and every hair texture.