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.
The ceramic blue plates aren't just pretty; they push conditioners into the hair, quelling frizz 65 percent more efficiently than a traditional ceramic iron. Even experts were impressed. "[It] leaks heat-protective ingredients onto the hair at the exact point of contact, coating every strand during the straightening process," says cosmetic chemist Ni'Kita Wilson.
This is a long review, but I want to be thorough, especially for the natural girls out there because I feel like reviews aren't specific enough for products for our hair! So far, it's definitely worth the $50. Here is a little info about myself and my hair, and my pros and cons are listed below: I am black, with natural, 4c hair and this straightener is one of the best I've had. I really wanted a steam straightener because I used to use the Chi religiously, but that severely damaged my hair. Now, I rarely use heat on my hair, and I don't plan on using this straightener more than once every 2 or 3 months. I've only used it once; I washed my hair, combed it out in the shower, put in moisturizer and heat protectant, blew it out, and then used the straightener.
This straightener is a miracle worker! African-American women with extremely coarse hair consider this tool a godsend. Thanks to 5-inch extended plates, faster and more efficient straightening is finally possible, especially for those mornings when you’re in a rush. If you want a hair tool that can help you with styling details, this BaByliss PRO is a very good solution.
Though it looks high tech with an LCD screen, this budget-friendly straightener has impressed Amazon reviewers everywhere. "I have very thick curly/wavy hair and in a matter of 45 minutes my hair was the straightest I’ve ever been able to get it by doing my hair on my own," wrote one reviewer from Florida, who said her straight hair managed to endure the state's humid climate.
“I’m a licensed hairdresser and I’ve used many hair straighteners, including Chi and Paul Mitchell. They work, but my hair is so thick that it takes me at least 30 to 40 minutes to properly smooth my hair. This is the absolute best hair straightener I have ever used. It straightened my hair in ten minutes (no joke). I’m extremely pleased and shocked. Looking to purchase a second one to have on hand for the future.”
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 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.”
If you’re looking for an affordable mid-grade hair straightener that offers tremendous value, you can’t go wrong with the HSI Professional Digital Ceramic Flat Iron with Tourmaline. With a quick heat-up, digital LCD temperature control, and solid ceramic plates infused with tourmaline, you can straighten type 3 hair – and some type 4 hair – with ease.
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.

This Amazon reviewer dubbed it the "perfect travel tool" that straightens their hair just as effectively as a normal sized hair straightener and they like that it automatically changes voltage so you don't have to worry about doing so manually. Reviewer Lynn B. writes on Ulta that she loves how quickly it heats up, and how she can easily pack it away right after use thanks to the heat-resistant carrying case it comes with.
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.
The plates of the HSI Professional are made of solid ceramic that is infused with tourmaline. The combination allows for consistent temperature and gives hair a smooth finish. The wide range of heat settings, starting at 140 degrees Fahrenheit and going up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, gives you more control over styling and makes this an ideal straightener for multiple hair types.
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.

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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