Straighteners work because they have flat plates that get hot and touch together on either side of your hair. By doing that, they put heat through your hair follicles, trap in moisture and take out frizz. The plates on a flat iron can be made of several different materials, and they’re good for different uses. The best iron for you varies depending on the type of hair you have, the type of styling you want to do, and the amount of heat your hair needs.
Aside from ionic and infrared technologies the Bio Ionic Onepass Straightening Iron has something that is entirely new to me: silicon covered plates. They get the hair more in order when you’re straightening, save you a lot of time and reduce the amount of heat that you need. This one is great for African American hair, but I already selected the xtava Pro Satin for that because it’s more affordable.
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If you’re a professional or more experienced with a flat iron, then it’s worth considering the Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium-Plated Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron. We were impressed with how well it worked across all hair types. It’s one of two top picks that straightened all of our testers’ hair in one pass (the other one that could do this was the Chi Air). And, like the Bio Ionic, the Babyliss leaves hair feeling smooth and voluminous.
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.
Hair breakage is an all too common problem, and even the most seasoned of hair stylists can slip up from time to time. That’s why LumaBella’s Keratin Duel Touch Hair Straightener features a unique smart heat sensor. This nifty little gadget can actually tell when there is too much heat for your hair, and will automatically adjust to a safer styling temperature!
There’s no use cramming a bunch of hair between two hot plates if not all of it will actually get ironed. Making small sections is annoying, sure, but if you try to iron too much at once, it won’t work and you’ll end up going back over the hair multiple times anyway, which can cause damage. This is especially important for those with kinky or tightly coiled hair. If you don’t section your hair, your flat iron won’t work the way you want it to.
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.”
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 Lanxim ceramic tourmaline argan oil flat iron is a great option for this type of style because it’s got one inch plates that have advanced infrared heat technology, an adjustable temperature that lets you personalize the heat levels to your hair, and a swivel cord that won’t get tangled. The floating plates are also infused with argan oil to keep your curls soft and healthy.
Anyone with naturally curly knows that the trick to keeping your curls looking their finest is all about moisture. Whether you’re hoping to sport a straightened style for an evening or two, or just to polish your existing curls, a great hair straightener can help you get the look you’ve always wanted without causing permanent damage to your precious curls! When shopping for the perfect hair straightener for your curly hair, you’ll want to keep the following in mind:
Dylan also loves this Karmin iron. "The plates are coated in tourmaline which helps for an easy glide," he says. Fighting frizz with infrared ions, Dylan suggests that it "makes this iron better for super coarse hair." Bonus points: it also has different voltage settings for international use. The jetsetter in you will be thankful as you globetrot glamorously.
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.
EDITOR’S CHOICE: As the only hair straightener we reviewed featuring Keratin-infused ceramic plates, the LumaBella Keratin Duel Touch Hair Straightener is our top choice for the healthy, shiny hair you’ve always dreamed wanted! With a unique, floating plate design and smart heat sensor, this hair straightener is ideal for a variety of hair types and reduces breakage and splitting by up to 50%.