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.[3] Her mentor Annie Malone is sometimes said to have patented the hot comb.[4] 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.
“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.”
Coming in at a close second, the CHI G2 Ceramic and Titanium Flat Iron is our second editor’s choice as the best hair straightener on the market today – featuring fool-proof and color-coded temperatures for easy straightening or who just wants to protect their luscious locks. We also love the digital display that is featured on the CHI G2 model along with its combination ceramic and titanium design for optimal shine!

PROFESSIONAL SALON QUALITY: 360° swivel 8ft cord prevents tangling and allows flexibility - perfect for professional salon use. The Hair Glider also features automatic safety shut off after 1 hour of inactivity. Dual Voltage make is perfet for travel. Pure Black Magic worry free! Order today and get your hair perfectly straight, shiny and manageable!
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.
Most buyers were happy with their purchase of the Xtava, loving how well it worked on their natural hair, how quickly it straightens and cuts down on style time, and the extra features like the heat resistant bag. Everyone should be able to have straight, sleek hair as a style option no matter their hair type, and it's well-designed styling tools like the Xtava Pro Satin that make it possible.
Our two testers with kinky and thick hair loved the Chi Air Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron. In fact, it was each of their top picks, with the Bio Ionic coming in second. The Chi Air reaches 410 degrees F, which is definitely hot enough for thicker and curlier hair types. The speed at which the tool worked was surprising considering the kinkiness and thickness of both testers’ hair. One tester with long, curly hair had to leave early for an event and needed to finish styling. The Chi Air moved through her hair quickly, giving her time to spare. And, even at 410 degrees, our testers didn’t feel like their hair was being fried or that the heat burned their heads. In fact, they complimented how soft it made their hair feel and how comfortable it was to use, unlike the NuMe Megastar which snagged a lot or the HSI Professional Glider which felt hot against their scalps. As one tester said, “Chi is killing it.”
This feature is particularly helpful if you have textured hair with waves or curls, which can become damaged so easily by heated styling tools. That said, it is not clear which heat setting is ideal for users with thick or somewhat straight hair. This may make this slightly more difficult if you are using a flat iron for curling purposes or if you need to straighten an especially thick head of hair each day! However, we are confident that a little tinkering is all it takes to find the perfect heat setting for these different hair types and styles, so you can rest assured that this hair straightener can still meet all your hair styling needs!

According to Jarman, you should never have to use both hands to clamp the iron down on your hair. You not only risk burning your fingers on the plate end, but this can pull at your hair and break it. High-quality, modern irons are designed to clamp together from the handle end only, so if you find that your iron requires pressure on both ends, it’s time to upgrade.


I've owned a Conair, Chi, and I-Tech straighter before, but this one is FABULOUS! A lot of research was done before I made the decision to purchase this one, and I feel like it paid off; my previous straightener was 4 years old, so it was about time. I received this new one today before I got home for my lunch break, so I had to go ahead and bust it in ;) There really is no tugging at all on your hair - so smooth, and I was shocked that it truly heats up in 15 seconds, as advertised! It also does something magical to my hair, like it adds more shine like no flat iron has done before. Mind you, my hair is very difficult to deal with. I am a Caucasian, but my hair has always been coarse, wavy, dry and thick! This iron worked beautifully on my hair. 10/10 would recommend! If it doesn't work the same after a few months, I'll be sure to update my review. As of today, I'm very happy! :)
This durable KIPOZI flat iron can be set anywhere between 170 and 450 degrees to suit any kind of thickness or texture, and its curved plate design makes it great for giving your hair some texture. The Nano-Titanium plates heat up quickly and lock in moisture, so hair looks hydrated, healthy, and sleek. It’s also got a compatible voltage for anywhere in the world.
Flat irons can get pricey, but they’re an investment. The Chi Elite is inexpensive when compared to other high-end tools in the industry, making it a safe bet for those new to hair styling. Though it may be more expensive than some hair straighteners, it offers a high level of quality that the others don’t (not to mention it’s a Chi, which is known for quality). We tested the HSI, which is about $60 less expensive than the Chi Elite, and its cheapness was apparent at first glance. It did nothing for any of our testers’ hair. If you’re a beginner, the Chi Elite is a great first flat iron.
The Lanxim ceramic tourmaline argan oil flat iron is a great option for this type of style because it’s got one inch plates that have advanced infrared heat technology, an adjustable temperature that lets you personalize the heat levels to your hair, and a swivel cord that won’t get tangled. The floating plates are also infused with argan oil to keep your curls soft and healthy.
Crimping irons[7] or crimpers work by crimping hair in sawtooth style. The look is similar to the crimps left after taking out small braids. Crimping irons come in different sizes with different sized ridges on the paddles. Larger ridges produce larger crimps in the hair and smaller ridges produce smaller crimps. Crimped hair was very popular in the 1980s and 1990s.[citation needed]
With ceramic tourmaline technology, floating plates, and an extremely wide range of temperatures, the Berta Professional tourmaline ceramic flat iron is great for this type of job. It’s also got an elongated body so hair doesn’t slip off the end while you’re styling, and reviewers are saying things like, “I got the hair straightener to curl my hair and it does a great job. My hair never holds a curl but this flat iron did the trick.”
Creative director of GLAMSQUAD Giovanni Vaccaro prefers this flat iron by Sedu. "The ceramic plates are really key to maintain the integrity and healthiness of the hair," he says. To get expertly straight hair, Vaccaro recommends using a boar-bristle brush to help mediate frizz, and that "the follow through is key" when moving the iron and comb completely from roots to tips.
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.”
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