No two heads of hair are the same, so the straightener that does wonders on your best friend's fine tresses may be useless on your curly mane. Luckily, there are many different types of hair straighteners. Some provide higher heat settings and wide plates to tackle thick curly hair, and others have ceramic plates and options for low heat settings that are better suited to easily damaged fine hair.
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.
If you want to achieve sleek, pin-straight hair, a high-quality hair straightener should be in your beauty arsenal. A hair straightener, also known as a flat iron, smooths the follicle of your hair between two heated plates. Some hair straighteners can even do double duty, creating loose waves and curls without the frizz. So how to choose the best hair straightener for you, and get those shampoo commercial-worthy locks? There are several things to consider to make sure you'll get the best style result, but the most important is hair type.
That is just one of the reasons that hair straighteners are such a wonderful tool to keep in your beauty arsenal; not only does this nifty little device give you movie star-quality straight hair when you want it (sorry blow out bars), but it can even create the same curls as those confusing barrel-ended curling irons! So, clean out your cabinet under the sink and make room for that makeup you’ve been eyeing or the perfume your husband forgot to buy you for Valentine’s Day last year, because a professional-grade hair straightener can literally replace all of your existing heated hair care tools!
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!
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Our two testers with kinky and thick hair loved the Chi Air Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron. In fact, it was each of their top picks, with the Bio Ionic coming in second. The Chi Air reaches 410 degrees F, which is definitely hot enough for thicker and curlier hair types. The speed at which the tool worked was surprising considering the kinkiness and thickness of both testers’ hair. One tester with long, curly hair had to leave early for an event and needed to finish styling. The Chi Air moved through her hair quickly, giving her time to spare. And, even at 410 degrees, our testers didn’t feel like their hair was being fried or that the heat burned their heads. In fact, they complimented how soft it made their hair feel and how comfortable it was to use, unlike the NuMe Megastar which snagged a lot or the HSI Professional Glider which felt hot against their scalps. As one tester said, “Chi is killing it.”
STEAM INFUSED WITH ARGAN OIL OR PURE WATER PREVENTS HAIR DAMAGE: Designed with steam compartment that can be used for Argan Oil Serum or water, PureBlackMagic Steam Infusion Hair Straightener releases steam within 60 seconds of heating. The conditioning steam infuses moisture back into your hair, locking in natural oils and adding more shine to the finish.
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.
The more temperature control options you have, the more control you'll have over the heat you'll be applying to your hair. Keep in mind, any type of heat styling can be damaging to your strands, so you want to take care not to use too much high heat, especially if you're styling daily. Flat irons that have lower temperature options that start around 250 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for those with thin, damage-prone hair. If you do have thick hair, higher heat settings can help straighten those curls. To help prevent damage, you should start with lower heat first, and then only increase as needed. Keep in mind, anything above 400 degrees has the potential to damage your hair. Even those with coarse, curly hair should stay within the 350-400 degree range to be safe.
Automatic shutoff isn’t a feature we included in our criteria since people have varying opinions about it, but we liked that the Chi Elite has this. Especially for new users who might forget to turn off their flat irons. Like the Chi Air, the Chi Elite will shut off after one hour. However, if you’re working with kinky hair, auto shutoff may be a problem. Traditionally this hair type will take longer to straighten due to detangling and the fragility of the hair.
Once you have purchased your new hair straightener and mastered the multitude of ways you can put it to good use, the only thing left to do is take care of it, so it lasts for years to come! Just like any luxury beauty tool, you will want to care for your hair straightener to extend its longevity and prevent corrosion (which can actually leak into your flowing locks…yuck!). Our top tips for caring for and cleaning your new hair straightener include:
The curling iron can also have either a spring-loaded, Marcel, or clipless handle. Spring-loaded handles are the most popular and use a spring to work the barrel's clamp. When using a Marcel handle, one applies his or her own pressure to the clamp. Clipless wands have no clamp, and the user simply wraps hair around a rod. Most clipless curling irons come with a Kevlar glove to avoid burns.
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.
A few swipes from a professional hair straightener can finish off a high ponytail, restore life to split ends, and give your natural curls a relaxed look for a night or two. No matter what your natural hair type may be, there is a hair straightener as unique as the gorgeous locks on your head! Here are just a few of our favorite hairstyles that can be achieved using a professional hair straightener like the ones we’ve reviewed here:
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This styling iron has 1-inch plates, allowing it to do more than just straighten. It can also curl, flip, and be used to add volume if your hair tends to fall flat. It heats up in under 30 seconds so you can start styling almost right away, and there are a wide range of temperature settings from 250 degrees to 460 degrees Fahrenheit. While the high-temperature options make this straightener ideal for other hair types, too, if you do have fine hair you'll want to keep this in the lower temperature range.