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.
That’s what is so great about hair straighteners: these devices can give you salon-worthy curls or celebrity-inspired straight hair that can change just as easily as your mood if you’d like! So, the next time you find yourself wishing for something you don’t naturally have, try using your hair straightener to bring out the best of your natural beauty. Who knows, you just might love a change!
The solution? Automatic shut off. That way, even if you do forget to turn off your hair straightener, you can be at ease knowing it will turn off on its own automatically. Not all hair straighteners come with this feature, and if you don't have an issue remembering to turn these types of things off it may not be necessary. Still, a little peace of mind and extra precaution never hurt.
Xtava’s two inch-wide plates are massive, making them perfect for people with thick or coarse hair. Aside from the plates, everything else about this flat iron is fairly standard. You can use it at a temperature range in between 265 and 445 degrees Fahrenheit, the plates are made with tourmaline and ceramic, and it takes less than two minutes for the tool to fully heat.

As one of the hottest hair straighteners we have reviewed (temperature-wise…although it is pretty to look at, we have to admit…), the Solano Sleek Heat 450 Professional Flat Iron can reach temperatures of up to 450° F in as little as 60 seconds! This Solano hair straightener also features thin 1 inch plates, making it an ideal choice for anyone with short or medium length hair and the quick heat time ensures that even the most stubborn of curls can be tackled with a little extra heat. If you are looking or something a little larger though, it is also available with 1.54-inch plates too.
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.”
The Chi Air is similar to other Chi tools and has that iconic sleek design with gold plates. However, one feature our testers believe makes the Chi Air stand out against the Chi Elite and others is that it’s so lightweight. True to its name, the tool is lighter than other flat irons which makes it easier to manage when styling. One tester believed the light design even made it snag less when passing over hair.
Farouk Systems, Inc. is a Houston based company of hairdressers for hairdressers, known for manufacturing high-quality professional hair care products under the industry-leading brands: SunGlitz®, CHI® and BioSilk®. The company was founded in 1986 by Farouk Shami a hairdresser whose mission is to provide the professional beauty industry with the most advanced American technology based upon “Education, Environment and Ethics”.
There are 25 heat settings (200 °f-450 °f) that are digitally controlled. It heats up to 450 degrees almost in an instant, making it a perfect solution for maintaining keratin treatments. You can use it without the infrared lights and still get great results, but when you turn them on, you will not believe the change in your hair quality, that will be visible immediately.
In addition to a fast heat-up time and multiple temperature settings, the 9-foot cord and 360 swivel make for easier styling and prevents and tangling. You can also travel with this styling iron thanks to the dual voltage settings. Anti-slip edges and floating plates allow your hair to glide effortlessly between the plates, with no pulling or snagging which can be especially damaging for fine hair.
The BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightening Iron really is the Baskin Robins of hair straighteners, making it the perfect choice for anyone that wants to straighten their hair quickly. Whether you have naturally short hair and opt for extensions on occasion or you just chopped off your do’ into a new pixie cut, you will have a hard time not finding the perfect heat setting for your hair so many choices!
As an added bonus, titanium has also been found to resist rust, so your hair straightener will keep its out-of-the-box look for years to come. This is particularly important when you are making a long-term investment by purchasing a high-end or professional hair straightener. After all, you wouldn’t want your car or bathtub to start rusting after just a couple of uses and the beauty tools you use for your flowing hair should be no different!
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Thankfully, we’ve learned a lot about hair care and preserving your hair’s natural integrity while styling. However, this wasn’t always the case. If you ever had a perm done in the 80’s or teased your hair to holy heaven in the 90’s, chances are pretty good that your hair has endured a bit of damage. The same can be said if you color your hair on a regular basis or recently went from your natural brunette color to a bright platinum blonde. No matter how the damage was caused, there are certain features you will want to shop for when selecting the ideal hair straightener for your course hair type:

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.

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