This lightweight mini straightener is easy to use and great if you love to travel and need to take your tools with you. It's so tiny and portable that it can fit into a carry-on bag, and it heats and is ready to use in only 30 seconds. It packs serious punch, though — its 100% ceramic plates generate six times more negative ions than regular irons for less heat damage and frizz.
Brant Mayfield, who styles everyone from Diane von Furstenberg to Nicole Scherzinger, favors this glossy white flat iron. "It has digital single pass technology, which helps for smoothness and contains an eternal microchip that maintains an even temperature," he says. The angled edges and ceramic plates will keep your hair smooth and without kinks.
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.
Not sure which temperature setting is right for your hair? We recommend starting slow and building up to higher heat settings gradually. Not only will you be able to perfectly identify the optimal heat setting for your hair, but you will also avoid overheating. After all, very few of us actually need upwards of 400° F to see the salon results we’ve always wanted!
If being limited to only a handful of temperature settings isn’t really your cup of tea, look no further than the BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightening Iron! This lightweight flat iron features a whopping 50 heat settings for hair types of all shapes, styles, textures, and colors making it one of the most versatile hair straighteners on our list.
Heat stylers, such as flat irons, get a bad rap for singeing hair beyond repair, but that doesn't have to be the case. The key to preserving your hair's health while using these hot tools is passing a quality straightener over heat-protected strands without letting the heat sit on one spot too long. Speaking of stellar straighteners, here are 11 of our top picks, ya know, if you're looking to upgrade yours.
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.”
Most of the hair straighteners we reviewed heat up in under a minute, but the Cloud Nine Original Flat Iron has to be one of the fastest on the market! In as little as 20 seconds, this hair straightener transforms from cool to hot, hot, hot! With this model, there is no need to wait around for your hair straightener to warm up, which means you spend less time getting ready in the morning and more time getting on with your day.
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.
According to Jarman, you should never have to use both hands to clamp the iron down on your hair. You not only risk burning your fingers on the plate end, but this can pull at your hair and break it. High-quality, modern irons are designed to clamp together from the handle end only, so if you find that your iron requires pressure on both ends, it’s time to upgrade.
If your hair is plagued by tangles and knots on a regular basis (even in between straightening!), try switching your hairbrush out for a wide-toothed comb! The added space in between the teeth gently separately knots and tangles without the painful “Ouch!” with each stroke. If that still isn’t enough to tame your stubborn tresses, try a wet brush! These brushes are specially designed to work through knotted, wet hair without any tugging or pulling.
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.
My daughter is natural with 4b/4c. Her hair is very thick plus she is tender-headed (sensitive to anyone doing her hair). I have purchased numerous of flat irons in the past but none has stood apart from the Furiden stream iron. I was quite surprised at the outcome. It was definitely worth the wait. I love the fact that it less damaging to her natural hair and it does the job well, even my friends were shocked with the results. Oh, the comb like on the flat iron was an awesome ideal. I strongly recommend this flat iron to all my natural sisters. My only regret that I did not take before and after pictures of her hair.
“I wanted a straightener I could use on wet hair, since I’m usually on the go and don’t always have time to dry it. With this Wet 2 Straight Hair straightener, I was able to straighten my hair after it was towel-dried and only had to go over my hair twice for it to be completely dry. Granted, I have semi-thin hair, so it doesn’t take too much to straighten it, but with other straighteners, I would have to go over it about three or four times and couldn’t straighten it when it was wet.”
Flat irons can get pricey, but they’re an investment. The Chi Elite is inexpensive when compared to other high-end tools in the industry, making it a safe bet for those new to hair styling. Though it may be more expensive than some hair straighteners, it offers a high level of quality that the others don’t (not to mention it’s a Chi, which is known for quality). We tested the HSI, which is about $60 less expensive than the Chi Elite, and its cheapness was apparent at first glance. It did nothing for any of our testers’ hair. If you’re a beginner, the Chi Elite is a great first flat iron.
If you’ve ever used a CHI hair straightener before, then you’re probably pretty well acquainted with the turn dial temperature control of models’ past. While this dial design made it easy to switch on your hair straightener each morning (even before you have had your morning coffee!), it also made it all too easy to accidentally change the temperature during use.
If Gisele's mane meets your #hairgoals, consider this iron created by her stylist Harry Josh. The wider-than-usual 1.25 inch plates allow contact with a larger surface area in order to speed up styling time, and the quick-heating ceramic-titanium plates (it takes only 45 seconds to reach 400 degrees) abolish frizz and boost shine for model-worthy strands.
Eight embedded sensors regulate and evenly distribute the heat on this ceramic iron, minimizing damage and increasing shine and smoothness. With adjustable temperature settings that go as low as 140 degrees (the coolest we've ever seen), it's ideal for anyone with super fine hair, or to smooth out the tiny frizzies around your hairline. It also comes with a lifetime warranty, which is never a bad thing.