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!
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.
The CHI brand has long been one of the most popular for hair straighteners and flat irons, and for good reason – their products work well and they work quickly. The CHI Original Pro 1” Ceramic Tourmaline Flat Iron is no different. Thanks to its durable build, quality craftsmanship, and leading tourmaline-infused ceramic plates, this is the last hair straightener that you will need to buy for a long time.
While you might think that a hair iron is only necessary to straighten curly hair, a hair iron is actually a great tool for styling straight hair. A flat ceramic flat iron can help smooth away flyaways and a add sleek shine to your hair. You can also use a flat iron to shape straight hair, and you can use it near your scalp to add volume to limp hair.
“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.”
Before placing your entire head under unnecessary heat conditions, try straightening a small section of your hair with what you believe is your ideal heat setting. Take notice of the way your hair reacts to this temperature, paying close attention to any fraying or singeing that may result. Smoking and that dreaded burnt hair smell are a sign that you may need to tone it down a bit to avoid permanent damage to your precious locks.
Creative director of GLAMSQUAD Giovanni Vaccaro prefers this flat iron by Sedu. "The ceramic plates are really key to maintain the integrity and healthiness of the hair," he says. To get expertly straight hair, Vaccaro recommends using a boar-bristle brush to help mediate frizz, and that "the follow through is key" when moving the iron and comb completely from roots to tips.
At $230, the Bio Ionic is pricier than any of our top picks. But you get what you pay for. You can truly do with your hair whatever you desire — straight or curled — in one pass. And, if you’re worried about it breaking a few years after purchase, the Bio Ionic comes with a five-year warranty. By investing in a better-quality tool up front, you won’t have to replace your flat iron every couple of years. Plus, the Bio Ionic goes on sale every now and then, so it’s worth keeping your eye out for deals.
A lot of people don’t know there are tons of ways you can style your hair with a flat iron, and this actually might help you decide what size iron to get. You can curl, wave, straighten, add body, twist and more – just with a flat iron! Your straightener is so versatile you can skip most other styling tools and save money by investing in one that will do all of this for you. I walk you through different options for styling with your flat iron so you get the hairdo you want.
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.
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.
These ultra-smooth plates are great for straightening stubborn strands like curls and waves and are also ideal for creating natural, finished curls (similar to a curling iron) and even beachy waves. By gliding effortlessly across hairs of all types, without pulling or breakage, the ISA Professional Titanium Flat Iron has the potential to leave your hair looking and feeling healthier after each use.
The two strips of silicone atop Bio Ionic’s flat iron plates seem silly, but they serve an important purpose. By buffering the outer edge of the plates, they reduce your chances of hair snags. They also force you to glide the flat iron more slowly through your hair (they are called speed strips, after all). While the slower technique maximizes shininess and smoothness, the speed strips can become a bit of an obstacle if your hair is thick.