If you are interested in adding the benefits of keratin use into other aspects of your hair care routine, treat yourself to a keratin-rich hair mask once per week! There are dozens of fantastic keratin masks on the market to choose from (and even in your local drugstore!), but we love Naat’s Brazilian Keratin Intensive Hair Mask (which you can buy here from Amazon) for a consistent shine every time!
The Babyliss gets hot quickly and moves through hair fast. This is thanks to its thin, lightweight design and the fact that it stays consistently hot. Our testers were amazed that it passed through their hair so quickly and left it smooth without feeling damaged or fried. Plus, when being styled by someone else, our testers said it didn’t snag their hair.
Despite these downsides, the HSI Professional comes with plenty of positives, including extras not often found with other hair straighteners. Along with the straightener, you'll receive a carrying case, a heat-resistant glove for easier hair styling, a style guide, and a travel-size argan oil leave-in hair treatment serum to smooth and protect your hair. This is more than most high-end hair straighteners come with, all for a fraction of the price.
The last time I used a legitimate curling iron, I was getting ready for my eighth grade Halloween dance. This is not an exaggeration. I’ve been using a flat iron to curl my hair since the very day I learned how. One of my closest beauty-savvy friends showed me the basics, I begged my mom for a great straightener that curls hair, and I perfected the skill by watching flat iron curling tutorials on YouTube. Yeah, there’s a slight learning curve, but once you know how to use a straightener to get curls, you’ll never go back to curling irons again. No clips, no burns, no need for gloves, and one tool covers all your bases.

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.
If you have trouble remembering to unplug your flat iron before heading out, you’ll appreciate the Chi Air’s one-hour automatic shutoff. Since people have preferences regarding auto shutoff this wasn’t a criteria for us, but our testers thought it was helpful. One tester said she often leaves her flat iron on in the morning and invested in a timed switch to make sure it’s off. So if you’re forgetful when it comes to turning off your tools, then auto shutoff might be an important feature for you.

The floating plates are contoured with smooth edges, so you won't have to worry about your hair snagging as you're styling. If you have thicker hair, you may want to consider the 2-inch plate option, which will cover more surface area and help you style your hair more quickly. However, if you'd rather have the versatility of being able to curl and flip your hair as well as straighten it, we'd recommend the classic 1-inch plate.
Many hair straighteners feature a visual interface to alert you when the device is getting a bit too hot for comfort or when it has surpassed the ideal temperature for your hair. With the T3 Micro Single Pass Flat Iron, you can expect the same visual cues with the bonus of sound alerts as well! That’s right; this flat iron will actually tell you when it reaches its ideal temperature or when it is about to shut off automatically after one hour. Now that’s some hot tech!
If you’ve ever used a CHI hair straightener before, then you’re probably pretty well acquainted with the turn dial temperature control of models’ past. While this dial design made it easy to switch on your hair straightener each morning (even before you have had your morning coffee!), it also made it all too easy to accidentally change the temperature during use.
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.
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.
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.”
“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.
If you’ve ever used a CHI hair straightener before, then you’re probably pretty well acquainted with the turn dial temperature control of models’ past. While this dial design made it easy to switch on your hair straightener each morning (even before you have had your morning coffee!), it also made it all too easy to accidentally change the temperature during use.
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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