Straightening irons, straighteners, or flat irons work by breaking down the positive hydrogen bonds found in the hair's cortex, which cause hair to open, bend and become curly. Once the bonds are broken, hair is prevented from holding its original, natural form, though the hydrogen bonds can re-form if exposed to moisture. Straightening irons use mainly ceramic material for their plates. Low-end straighteners use a single layer of ceramic coating on the plates, whereas high-end straighteners use multiple layers or even 100% ceramic material. Some straightening irons are fitted with an automatic shut off feature to prevent fire accidents.
The MHD professional flat iron hair straightener is great for creating loose curls because it’s got smooth plates and negative ions that leave your hair soft and frizz-free. The 3D floating plate allows your hair to glide through without catching or breaking, and reviewers love it because it’s durable, reliable, and works on any type of hair — even the most stubborn and frizzy.
This lesser-known brand made a great impression when it was available on Amazon (you can now buy it at TerresaBeauty.com), where the majority of reviewers gave it five stars. "It allows my hair to glide so smoothly through the plates, never snagging it," says one shopper. "I can straighten or curl with this straightener and it works great," says another.
Derek Yuen, the man responsible for Cole Sprouse's grown-up new look, recommends the GHD Platinum Professional Performance iron. The flat iron is consistently and evenly heated at 365 degrees, which is safer and less damaging on the strands. “The beveled edges also allow for infinite styling possibilities, not just just for straightening hair,” says Yeun.
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.”
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.
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We don’t know too many people that are using their hair straighteners vertically, but there must be a few since ISA has made a point of clarifying that this model is intended only to be used horizontally, i.e., perpendicular to your hair. According to the manufacturer, using the hair straightener horizontally reduces hair pulling for a more comfortable experience. This may be particularly important to you if your hair tends to knot easily or you have unruly curls and texture.
At first, the Bio Ionic 10X Pro Styling Iron’s vibrating plates seemed gimmicky. But we were surprised at how effective they were when styling our hair. Our testers found the vibrating plates made straightening their hair go faster with virtually zero snagging. Engaging the vibration was also simple — click the power button and tap the plates together and you’re ready to go.
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!