If you want to achieve sleek, pin-straight hair, a high-quality hair straightener should be in your beauty arsenal. A hair straightener, also known as a flat iron, smooths the follicle of your hair between two heated plates. Some hair straighteners can even do double duty, creating loose waves and curls without the frizz. So how to choose the best hair straightener for you, and get those shampoo commercial-worthy locks? There are several things to consider to make sure you'll get the best style result, but the most important is hair type.
For some people, automatic shutoff is a critical feature since forgetting to unplug your flat iron could lead to a fire. However, others aren’t fans of auto shutoff since that means their flat irons could turn off while they’re still styling their hair. If this is the case for you, we recommend investing in a timed switch. That way, you can program the switch to turn off at a specific time and your flat iron will shut off as well.
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.
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!

For some people, automatic shutoff is a critical feature since forgetting to unplug your flat iron could lead to a fire. However, others aren’t fans of auto shutoff since that means their flat irons could turn off while they’re still styling their hair. If this is the case for you, we recommend investing in a timed switch. That way, you can program the switch to turn off at a specific time and your flat iron will shut off as well.
Flat irons come in a variety of materials, but some of the most popular include ceramic and titanium. JCPenney also carries a few flat irons made with tourmaline, a rare metal that is typically found in salon-quality flat irons. Some brands even have very large plates that can straighten quite a lot of hair in one movement. At JCPenney, you can also find options that come in smaller sizes to focus on styling and textured curling, as well as irons with curved plates. In addition, JCPenney shoppers can find flat irons with digital or analog capabilities. Many of JCPenney's products are manufactured with ionic technology, which helps reduce frizz and adds moisture. Whether you're shopping for a heavy-duty flat iron or a travel iron for a trip, be sure to make the most of your budget by shopping at JCPenney.
We started with six flat irons but ultimately dropped two because they didn’t work well on any of our testers’ hair. The inexpensive, but highly rated HSI Professional Glider Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron was bulky and awkward. Testers said it felt like two pieces of plastic passing through their hair. We thought the NuMe Megastar Hair Straightener, a popular and more high-end tool, would be a clear contender for our list. However, testers said it snagged hard against their hair to the point of hurting. It was also difficult to hold closed when styling. Because both of these flat irons received such low ratings among our testers, we didn’t include them in our top picks.
Working in sections, curl your hair. Using just the wand (and not the clamp at the bottom of the wand that "holds" the hair as it curls), wrap your section of hair around the barrel. Be sure not to overlap your hair, as this will reduce heat and result in limp sections. Use your fingers to hold the edge of the section of hair close to the barrel without burning your hair. Doing this rather than using the clamp will prevent crimps in the curls.
I tried to break everything up on the chart by category so it’s easier to narrow things down, but you have to keep in mind there is a ton of overlap in styling tools. You can have large ceramic tourmaline and small titanium steam as well as just about a thousand other options. The point is, although my table is here for those of you who already have an idea of what you want, there is a small chance you might end up looking at something with a few extra bells and whistles because there is so much overlap. If you’re not sure what different kinds of irons there are, head over to my buying guide so you can get that all sorted out before you start reading the reviews.
If you have ever visited a luxury spa or wellness company, you have probably run across far infrared heat a time or two. Without going into too much science, infrared heat is the same heat you feel when the sun kisses your cheeks and warms your body from the inside-out. Far infrared heat, in particular, has been used by medical and wellness professionals for years to treat a variety of conditions from muscle pain to even cancer.
The LumaBella Keratin Dual Touch has been found to give 50% less breakage, splitting, and damage compared to other straighteners without heat sensor technology! While your hair straightener can’t repair years of damage overnight, this model can help restore the natural shine of your hair and allows you to keep styling by reducing additional damage by up to 50%! This means that it is safe for daily styling.
“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 plates in this techy tool house an internal microchip that constantly measures and maintains an even temperature. With no random hot or cold spots, you'll get smoother, straighter, strands in fewer passes. (Spoiler alert: Fewer passes equal less damage). Adjustable temperature settings — from 260 to 410 degrees — make this ideal for any and every hair texture.
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