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.
This feature is particularly helpful if you have textured hair with waves or curls, which can become damaged so easily by heated styling tools. That said, it is not clear which heat setting is ideal for users with thick or somewhat straight hair. This may make this slightly more difficult if you are using a flat iron for curling purposes or if you need to straighten an especially thick head of hair each day! However, we are confident that a little tinkering is all it takes to find the perfect heat setting for these different hair types and styles, so you can rest assured that this hair straightener can still meet all your hair styling needs!
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.
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.
The last time I used a legitimate curling iron, I was getting ready for my eighth grade Halloween dance. This is not an exaggeration. I’ve been using a flat iron to curl my hair since the very day I learned how. One of my closest beauty-savvy friends showed me the basics, I begged my mom for a great straightener that curls hair, and I perfected the skill by watching flat iron curling tutorials on YouTube. Yeah, there’s a slight learning curve, but once you know how to use a straightener to get curls, you’ll never go back to curling irons again. No clips, no burns, no need for gloves, and one tool covers all your bases.
I've owned a Chi flat iron and I love this one much better! It heats up in 10 seconds and I like the dial that lights up on the side with the LED lights . You can see temperature settings easily because it's lighted. The ceramic plates on this iron definitely makes this a "one" pass straightener. It also is cylindrical so it curls your hair as well. I have very thick hair so I use the full 450 degrees.
The Bio Ionic worked well on all of our testers’ hair, but it’s best on drier hair with a medium thickness. We spritzed testers’ hair with some keratin smoothing treatment, but the Bio Ionic did a lot of the heavy lifting to make our hair feel softer. The tool gets hot, but not too hot to grip, and it excels at creating the silky volume you want without making your hair pin-straight and flat. One tester put it perfectly: “[The Bio Ionic] is the Rumplestiltskin of hair straighteners. It’s turning straw into gold.”
An upgrade from their since discontinued Eclipse Styler, you won't be tempted to heat this flatiron up to 450 degrees, because the temperature dial is always stuck on one number: 365 (the ideal heat to mold hair without frying it, according to the scientists at GHD). Underneath each of those 365-degree plates are three fancy sensors that measure the density of the hair in the iron so that it can maintain consistent heat regardless of the chunk of hair you grab. The result? Silky, shiny hair with zero frizz.