The plate material you choose can also make a big difference on your style results. Ceramic, titanium, and tourmaline are the most common terms you'll come across. Ceramic plates hold heat well and provide even heat distribution, preventing any hot spots on the plates can cause damage. Ceramic is especially effective for fine hair that can be especially vulnerable to heat damage. While many hair straighteners have ceramic coated plates, plates made entirely from this material are more effective, as this coating can wear off over time. Tourmaline is a gemstone, but when crushed and used to coat the plates of a hair straightener, it has properties and results similar to ceramic plates.

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.


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.
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?

If you’re a hair straightening novice, you may be a little intimidated during the first few times you use your new flat iron. These feelings are totally normal (after all, you are putting 300+ degrees of heat right near your scalp!), but there is no need to worry. All you have to do is follow these simple steps and you will have the gorgeous, flowing hair you’ve always dreamt of in no time!
“Infrared is so beneficial being that the wavelengths are longer and can penetrate deeper into the cuticle heating the hair from the inside out, keeping your hair's own natural moisture, leaving the hair smooth (and) shiny and keeping it extremely healthy, versus other conventional styling tools that actually pull moisture out of the hair, leaving the hair dry, brittle, dull and damaged,” said hair expert and stylist Gina Rivera.
This feature is particularly beneficial for users with naturally wavy or curly hair, which can have a tendency to easily snag in hair styling tools. This floating design, combined with the heat sensor, also ensures that your gorgeous curls won’t become permanently damaged just because you decide to straighten things out a bit for an evening or two. After all, those curls are coveted by beauty pros the world over, and you never want to damage them just because of a styling trend!
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!
“The temperature of the iron can determine the curl pattern on hair that tends to fall easily, as you might need a higher heat to lock in the pattern closer to the root,” she added. “The internal components of the irons also can determine the curl pattern, and that is why it is important to invest in custom, high-end tools that contain internal heaters that go the entire length of the barrel. The higher the heat, the stronger the curl will essentially be. Low heat will produce a softer finish.”
While it isn’t the fastest heating hair straightener we have reviewed, the CHI Air Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron warms up to temperature in just one minute! If one minute seems like too long for you to wait, try adding a bit of multitasking into your morning routine by taking advantage of this found time. If you are at a loss for what you can do in just one minute, check out this list for a little inspiration:
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]
When shopping for the best hair straightener for your unique hair type, it can be difficult to decipher all of the different styles and specs. That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you and created this all-inclusive guide to finding the best hair straightener for your unique head o’ hair, so you can spend less time scrolling through pages of products and more time rocking your new dream do’!
The ½ inch plates allow the BaBylissPro Mini to get close to the scalp, so it will straighten hair from root to tip. It's lightweight and compact at 6 inches long, so it will fit easily in a purse or carry-on bag with no hassle. It comes with a heat resistant travel pouch for storage so you can pack up and go at a moment's notice before or after straightening your hair.
3-in-1 Steam Hair Straightener STRAIGHTENS, FLIPS, CURLS: The upgraded 2018 design of PureBlackMagic Flat Iron Styler by TRENDY PRO will not only infuse your hair with Argan Oil or Water Steam for long lasting frizz-free silky hair but will also be there for you whether you are in a mood for straight, curly or flip-up hair style. This baby has enough power to turn the frizziest coarsest hair to silky and soft in a single pass - call it Pure Black Magic, IT WORKS!
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at [email protected]
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 nano ceramic plates in this straightener deliver far-infrared heat, a gentler alternative in and of itself. As if that weren't enough, there's also a reservoir where you can pour in some of the (included) argan treatment and thermal protectant, creating a conditioning steam that will strengthen and safeguard strands while you straighten. Admittedly an extra step, sure, but one that's well worth it.
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