Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy (like pillows), but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ‘em) products and single out the most convincing. While we’ve written about the best curling irons, hair dryers, and even a certain curling iron used on the Victoria’s Secret Angels, here, we’re going deep on the best flat irons and hair straighteners on Amazon. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)

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.
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.”
You do not have to use a blow dryer. In fact, I recommend not using one at all, as it could save extra damage to your hair and the extra heat isn't needed. After a shower, you could put your damp hair in a braid, let it dry in the braid, and when you want to straighten, your hair won't be as puffy or frizzy. That ultimately leads to straight, sleek hair.
The Bio Ionic worked well on all of our testers’ hair, but it’s best on drier hair with a medium thickness. We spritzed testers’ hair with some keratin smoothing treatment, but the Bio Ionic did a lot of the heavy lifting to make our hair feel softer. The tool gets hot, but not too hot to grip, and it excels at creating the silky volume you want without making your hair pin-straight and flat. One tester put it perfectly: “[The Bio Ionic] is the Rumplestiltskin of hair straighteners. It’s turning straw into gold.”

Most mid-grade and high-end hair straighteners come with plates that are 1” or 1.5”. If you are looking at one that is 2”, 2.5”, or even bigger, steer clear immediately. Not only does larger plates make it easier for you to accidentally over-iron (and seriously damage) your hair, but they also make it more difficult to get all of the way down to your roots. For anyone with type 3 or type 4 hair, trying to use a large-sized flat iron would be far more trouble than it’s worth.
It is packed with the most advanced technology to give you shinier, smoother results that lasts longer. The one-inch wide heating plates are made of high quality, durable ceramic that provides an ultra smooth surface so that you’re hair glides through. The ceramic plates are then coated with tourmaline gemstones that emit negative ions to give you a frizz-free shine.
Both inexpensive and high-end flat irons come with a wide range of features. If you plan to travel out of the country often, then a tool with dual voltage might be a good option. Or you might find that the Bio Ionic’s vibrating plates are something you can’t live without after trying. A long cord that swivels at the end of the handle to ensure ease of use might also be an important feature for you. Some features you might not need include pads to rest your flat iron or gloves to protect your hands — both accessories our testers didn’t think were necessary. When researching flat irons, make a list of your must-haves and make sure the one you choose includes your top features before purchasing.

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.
Eight micro-sensors with HeatBalance technology are used to evenly distribute heat, regulating the temperature so that you spend less time applying heat. As a result, it takes less time to straighten hair, preventing it from damage when styling. Additionally, the 1-inch plate width is wide enough for any hair length, yet narrow enough to style your bangs.

That is just one of the reasons that hair straighteners are such a wonderful tool to keep in your beauty arsenal; not only does this nifty little device give you movie star-quality straight hair when you want it (sorry blow out bars), but it can even create the same curls as those confusing barrel-ended curling irons! So, clean out your cabinet under the sink and make room for that makeup you’ve been eyeing or the perfume your husband forgot to buy you for Valentine’s Day last year, because a professional-grade hair straightener can literally replace all of your existing heated hair care tools!
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.
A lot of hair straighteners will boast that their nano-ceramic like this is a good thing. In reality, this means that they’re made up of a cheap filler material (that will not heat as evenly or remain as durable as true ceramic) which is coated with a thing outer ceramic layer. If you want a flat iron that’s safe for natural hair, make sure you go 100% ceramic, or better yet, solid ceramic infused with tourmaline or titanium.

Sadly, the plates in the LumaBella Keratin Duel Touch Hair Straightener won’t begin to magically levitate on your bathroom sink! BUT they do float in the frame! They are specially engineered to deliver a consistent heat with a smooth glide, and their design enables a flexible grip on the straightener, giving you great results no matter how you hold it. Even better, it won’t tug or pull like so many others on the market. The result is pain-free styling in a fraction of the time!
It is packed with the most advanced technology to give you shinier, smoother results that lasts longer. The one-inch wide heating plates are made of high quality, durable ceramic that provides an ultra smooth surface so that you’re hair glides through. The ceramic plates are then coated with tourmaline gemstones that emit negative ions to give you a frizz-free shine.
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Unlike the Bio Ionic’s handy digital temperature control, the Chi Air uses a small dial on the side of the tool that’s harder to read. The dial’s placement makes it not only more difficult to get an accurate reading, but also more prone to being hit by your hand and switching to a new temperature. That being said, most of our testers didn’t mind this minor inconvenience since they don’t expect to change the tool’s temperature often.

Lifters who are deadly serious about their training, and who prove it by doing the serious exercises - the BIG movements -- exercises like squats, front squats, bench presses, barbell bent-over rowing, deadlifts, Trap Bar deadlifts, standing presses, push presses, power cleans, power snatches, and jerks. Lifters who finish every workout covered in chalk and sweat - and who've been doing it that way for a long time.
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.”
The more temperature control options you have, the more control you'll have over the heat you'll be applying to your hair. Keep in mind, any type of heat styling can be damaging to your strands, so you want to take care not to use too much high heat, especially if you're styling daily. Flat irons that have lower temperature options that start around 250 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for those with thin, damage-prone hair. If you do have thick hair, higher heat settings can help straighten those curls. To help prevent damage, you should start with lower heat first, and then only increase as needed. Keep in mind, anything above 400 degrees has the potential to damage your hair. Even those with coarse, curly hair should stay within the 350-400 degree range to be safe.
“Being a mom of two, it’s hard to have time to get my hair done, but with this, I do my hair in 30 minutes, rather than over an hour. I haven’t bought a new straightener in probably four years, and I bought this with very little expectations. OMG! First of all, not only did it take half the time to do my hair, but it left my hair as amazing as I always wanted it! Super silky-smooth. I then used it to make some curls on my 8-year-old. In less than 15 minutes, I was done with her hair and she was in love with the curls.”
Eight micro-sensors with HeatBalance technology are used to evenly distribute heat, regulating the temperature so that you spend less time applying heat. As a result, it takes less time to straighten hair, preventing it from damage when styling. Additionally, the 1-inch plate width is wide enough for any hair length, yet narrow enough to style your bangs.
Fine or thinning hair can easily become damaged under too much heat, so cooler temperatures (i.e., those under 300° F) are ideal for these hair types. If you have very curly, course, or thick hair, then higher temperatures upwards of 400° F may be more suitable to your needs. With the ISA Professional Titanium Flat Iron, you can cool it down to 265° F if need be and also crank it up to a whopping 450° F for textured styled.
“This is a badass flat iron. Here’s the skinny: The moment you turn it on, it has a ‘Fragile, Damaged, Healthy’ setting, and it also auto-locks the buttons to keep what temperature you want while doing your hair. It comes with a professional bag for traveling with it. This flat iron is ‘pinky in the air while drinking your tea’ fancy. It is the Ferrari of flat irons, for a girl on a budget wanting a new flat iron. And for my fellow sistas: It works amazingly on African-American hair.”
The question is, does it live up to all the hype? There are more than 30,000 reviews on Amazon, 70% of these reviews give a 5-star rating, and 14% give a 4-star rating. According to the numbers, the HSI Professional truly is a high-quality product that is well-deserving of the attention it's been given. Buyers love how quickly the HSI Professional heats up, what it does for their hair, and how easy it is to use— even on short hair.
Can a single book add 10 - 20 -30 or even 40 more years to your lifting career? GRAY HAIR AND BLACK IRON may do exactly that! We won't know for sure for another 30 or 40 years - but anything that helps older lifters preserve and protect their joints, maintain their mobility and athleticism, avoid overtraining and reduce the risk of injuries may very well help you to keep lifting for a very long time - and if you're like me, that means the information in the book is literally priceless. And at $34.95 plus shipping, that makes GRAY HAIR AND BLACK IRON the bargain of the year.
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!
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