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. Her mentor Annie Malone is sometimes said to have patented the hot comb. 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.
If you are unsure what exactly your hair type is (or if it has changed over the years, which happens more often than you’d think!), check out this incredible overview by the hair professionals at Redken! Don’t stress if you have combination hair (i.e., fine and curly or thin and straight) either; we recommend choosing a hair straightener based on your biggest hair complaint and focusing on that problem first. So, if your curls are driving your nuts, you will want to select a hair straightener with higher temperatures, thin hair needs moisture, etc. You’ll find that your entire hair type can usually benefit from the extra TLC!
When you apply heat to your hair, which is not a living thing, you’re essentially cooking it. And, just like food, it’s easy to overdo it. Short of actually searing your hair, you still run the risk of drying out each strand, which can lead to breakage and split ends over time. Every head of hair is different, and each type of hair has an optimal flat-iron temperature. Some locks need extremely high temperatures to relax — coarse hair or those with kinky hair need 380 degrees F or above. Others need hardly any heat at all — fine or damaged hair should be good below 300 degrees.
With a maximum temperature of 450° F, the BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightening Iron can really pack a punch despite its otherwise small frame. One thing to note though: these heat settings are not pre-set like the CHI G2 hair straightener we also reviewed, and you will need to play around with them to find the right temperature for your hair. This shouldn’t be a problem if you have a Saturday afternoon or two to kill, but may not be ideal for users that are looking for a flat iron with pre-recorded settings.
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.
Bio Ionic OnePass 1" Nano-Ceramic Straightening Iron (Black) Bio Ionic One Pass Flat Iron, Hair Straightener is the fastest ever! Far Infrared allows for quick styling without damage. Bio Ceramic Heaters maintain constant heat. The OnePass Iron shows a true break-through in flat iron technology. It straightens hair in half the time compared to other irons. This is the professional’s #1 choice in irons! Silicone Speed Strips for straightening and shine Instant heat, up to 400°F Instant recovery Nano-Ionic™ Mineral fused to cushion plates High levels of negative ions Far infrared energy for silky smooth hair Bio Ceramic 5 Second heaters Advanced heat controller 10 feet swivel cord
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!
According to hair pro Christian Wood, if you want to make sure your hair stays in the place, use the GHD gold mini styler. “I prefer a small straightener that I can get really close to the roots to remove stubborn kinks and cow licks,” says Wood. The small straightener trick is probably how he nails the beauty looks of Tessa Thompson, Emily Ratajkowski, Rosie Huntington, and Olivia Munn.
PROFESSIONAL SALON QUALITY: 360° swivel 8ft cord prevents tangling and allows flexibility - perfect for professional salon use. The Hair Glider also features automatic safety shut off after 1 hour of inactivity. Dual Voltage make is perfet for travel. Pure Black Magic worry free! Order today and get your hair perfectly straight, shiny and manageable!
By-and-large, most people with natural hair have some variation of type 3 or type 4 – which is exactly why low-end hair straighteners can be so dangerous. More curly natural black hair has a tendency to be more porous than other hair types. As a result, it can lose moisture easily and become damaged. With the wrong flat iron, this can lead to split ends and breakage after just a single use.
Hair straighteners come in a lot of different sizes, and that can make it more difficult to decide which one is right for you. By learning about the type of hair you have, the kind of style you want, and the amount of heat you need, you can also figure out what the best size iron for your hair is. It does make a difference for the sake of speed as well as precision. It sounds like a lot of work, but you can figure out what’s right for you by clicking here.
Whether you have particularly curly hair or thick locks, this T3 hair straightener is designed to leave you with a shiny finish in a fraction of the time of other hair straighteners on the market today. Specifically, the T3’s smart SinglePass technology maintains consistent heat throughout the entire plate to straighten all hair types with one glide.
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.”
This BaBylissPRO porcelain ceramic straightening iron is made with porcelain ceramic, which distributes far-infrared heat evenly across the strands. Not only is it gentler and more healthy for your hair, but it can handle wide sections of hair at once because of its long barrel. The shape is rounded and sleek, so it’s ideal for curling, and it won’t catch or knot while you’re curling.
Weighing just over 1 pound, the BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightening Iron is the lightest hair straightener on our list of the best flat irons! This lightweight design makes it a great choice for users that are constantly on the go, and even when traveling. In fact, this model might make a wonderful “second straightener” for someone that wants to keep their locks looking fine on the road without toting around their heavier at-home hair straightener!
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.