Most mid-grade and high-end hair straighteners come with plates that are 1” or 1.5”. If you are looking at one that is 2”, 2.5”, or even bigger, steer clear immediately. Not only does larger plates make it easier for you to accidentally over-iron (and seriously damage) your hair, but they also make it more difficult to get all of the way down to your roots. For anyone with type 3 or type 4 hair, trying to use a large-sized flat iron would be far more trouble than it’s worth.
Those with fine hair can keep the straightener at a lower temperature, while those with thick hair can increase the temperature to ensure they'll walk away with the same smooth results. No matter your hair type, the floating plate design and the curved edges of the plates themselves prevent any snagging or damage so your hair will glide through smoothly.
Celebrity hair stylist Priscilla Valles’s go-to straightner is the classic GHD 1-inch straightener. “I start in the nape and bring down small sections, one row at a time and I use a GHD flat Iron with a comb in the other hand,” says Valles. “I place the comb in front of the iron while ironing at the same time in a slow motion all the way down. Never stopping cause that will cause dents in the hair. At the end a dime size of ouai rose from top to bottom just to add some shine and control any fly aways!”
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.
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.
We started with six flat irons but ultimately dropped two because they didn’t work well on any of our testers’ hair. The inexpensive, but highly rated HSI Professional Glider Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron was bulky and awkward. Testers said it felt like two pieces of plastic passing through their hair. We thought the NuMe Megastar Hair Straightener, a popular and more high-end tool, would be a clear contender for our list. However, testers said it snagged hard against their hair to the point of hurting. It was also difficult to hold closed when styling. Because both of these flat irons received such low ratings among our testers, we didn’t include them in our top picks.
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.
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!
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 floating plates are contoured with smooth edges, so you won't have to worry about your hair snagging as you're styling. If you have thicker hair, you may want to consider the 2-inch plate option, which will cover more surface area and help you style your hair more quickly. However, if you'd rather have the versatility of being able to curl and flip your hair as well as straighten it, we'd recommend the classic 1-inch plate.
Sadly, the plates in the LumaBella Keratin Duel Touch Hair Straightener won’t begin to magically levitate on your bathroom sink! BUT they do float in the frame! They are specially engineered to deliver a consistent heat with a smooth glide, and their design enables a flexible grip on the straightener, giving you great results no matter how you hold it. Even better, it won’t tug or pull like so many others on the market. The result is pain-free styling in a fraction of the time!
When you’re shopping around for a great flat iron that’ll give you flawless waves, you’re essentially looking for three specific qualifications. First, you want something that’s got one inch plates or smaller. Any thicker, and the curls will be so loose, they’ll be virtually non-existent on anyone whose got hair shorter than the butt. Secondly, a rounded body is a must, as you’re wrapping the hair around and through the straightener to create a loose curl. Third, you need something that’s sleek and easy to handle, so your hair won’t snag and break off while you’re curling. Check out these awesome options that make it easy to curl your hair with a straightener.
“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.”
Nor does it speak to those of us who work long hours at our job - who support our families and who struggle with issues like how to pay the bills or how to put the kids through college - who have limited time and energy for training - and who are more interested in how to train for lifelong strength and health than in how to gain 30 pounds of muscle in six weeks.
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.