I tried to break everything up on the chart by category so it’s easier to narrow things down, but you have to keep in mind there is a ton of overlap in styling tools. You can have large ceramic tourmaline and small titanium steam as well as just about a thousand other options. The point is, although my table is here for those of you who already have an idea of what you want, there is a small chance you might end up looking at something with a few extra bells and whistles because there is so much overlap. If you’re not sure what different kinds of irons there are, head over to my buying guide so you can get that all sorted out before you start reading the reviews.
Size matters. With plates too big or too small, you’ll have to make multiple passes. This exposes your hair to high heat longer and increases the risk that you’ll do damage. According to Janine Jarman, owner and operator of acclaimed Hollywood salon Hairroin, a 1-inch-wide plate will do for most people, and if you want to use your iron for anything other than straightening, like creating curls or waves, you’ll need a 1-inch plate; anything larger won’t make the waves or curls tight enough. She also pointed out length is important too. “You need plates to be at least 3 inches long, or close to it, so you’re not spending a ton of time with small sections.”
Working in sections, curl your hair. Using just the wand (and not the clamp at the bottom of the wand that "holds" the hair as it curls), wrap your section of hair around the barrel. Be sure not to overlap your hair, as this will reduce heat and result in limp sections. Use your fingers to hold the edge of the section of hair close to the barrel without burning your hair. Doing this rather than using the clamp will prevent crimps in the curls.
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.
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Once you get over the sticker shock, you'll see just how revolutionary this tool is. It's not a traditional flat iron by any means, but one of the attachments called the "firm smoothing brush" can be used to straighten and smooth frizz in coarse, thick hair. Best part? It works on damp hair, so you're cutting down on the time it takes to get ready as well.
For such a high-end flat iron, we were disappointed that the Babyliss doesn’t have a precise temperature display like the Bio Ionic. Our testers were confused by the settings, which had numbers going up to 50 vs. actual temperatures. The numbers represent a range, but you have to look through the instruction manual to figure out what that is. One tester summed it up perfectly: “I don’t want to read an instruction manual to use a hair straightener.”
"Unite Pro Tools Flat Iron is an easy-to-use, low maintenance iron," says Chris Dylan. Dylan works with Kylie Jenner so finding an easy-to-use tool is a must when you’re helping someone go from a platinum blonde bob to jet black floor length extensions. in a span of a week. He notes that with a fast-heating iron and beveled edges, it creates soft waves and has a great temperature gauge that keeps you firmly in control of the heat.

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.”


Coming in at a close second, the CHI G2 Ceramic and Titanium Flat Iron is our second editor’s choice as the best hair straightener on the market today – featuring fool-proof and color-coded temperatures for easy straightening or who just wants to protect their luscious locks. We also love the digital display that is featured on the CHI G2 model along with its combination ceramic and titanium design for optimal shine!
All this is so well documented and that's great! I have poker straight hair but I crave for curls and more volume all the time. I also use flat iron to curl my hair but the difference is - I'm NOT able to do this good job. But it is also damaging my hair so I'm trying some more ways to curl my hair without heat which I read here http://thelifesquare.com/how-to-curl-your-hair-85...And I must say one of them worked for me really well.
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 you’re a professional or more experienced with a flat iron, then it’s worth considering the Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium-Plated Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron. We were impressed with how well it worked across all hair types. It’s one of two top picks that straightened all of our testers’ hair in one pass (the other one that could do this was the Chi Air). And, like the Bio Ionic, the Babyliss leaves hair feeling smooth and voluminous.
Due in large part to the damage we inflicted on our poor locks during this time, we’ve learned that heat protection isn’t just a luxury: it’s mandatory when it comes to hair straightening. That’s why so many hair straighteners now feature conditioners built right into the plates. We also learned that excess heat can cause permanent damage to hair, so now many flat irons come with automatic turn-off features or self-adjusting heat settings. Well, as the saying goes, there is no progress without a bit of struggle and our hair certainly struggled during the early 2000’s!
“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.”

We don’t know too many people that are using their hair straighteners vertically, but there must be a few since ISA has made a point of clarifying that this model is intended only to be used horizontally, i.e., perpendicular to your hair. According to the manufacturer, using the hair straightener horizontally reduces hair pulling for a more comfortable experience. This may be particularly important to you if your hair tends to knot easily or you have unruly curls and texture.
While temperature control is typically a good thing to have in a hair straightener, it can also result in hair damage if you're keeping the temperature too high. The GHD Gold eliminates the chance of any user error, operating at an even 365 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the optimal temperature for most hair types, getting you smooth results without damaging your hair. The gold coated ceramic plates heat up quickly and maintain an even temperature, eliminating the chance for any hair damaging hot spots as well.
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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:
Disclaimer: While we work to ensure that product information is correct, on occasion manufacturers may alter their ingredient lists. Actual product packaging and materials may contain more and/or different information than that shown on our Web site. We recommend that you do not solely rely on the information presented and that you always read labels, warnings, and directions before using or consuming a product. For additional information about a product, please contact the manufacturer. Content on this site is for reference purposes and is not intended to substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist, or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information as self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. Contact your health-care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. Amazon.com assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements about products.
Fine or thinning hair can easily become damaged under too much heat, so cooler temperatures (i.e., those under 300° F) are ideal for these hair types. If you have very curly, course, or thick hair, then higher temperatures upwards of 400° F may be more suitable to your needs. With the ISA Professional Titanium Flat Iron, you can cool it down to 265° F if need be and also crank it up to a whopping 450° F for textured styled.
The HSI 1st Gen Professional Ceramic Flat Iron is designed with tourmaline-infused ceramic plates, generating negative ions and allowing smaller water molecules to penetrate into the hair shaft to reduce frizz and static. Built for durability and lasting results, the floating plates give the flexibility to flip, curl or straighten your hair – all with a single iron.
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Derek Yuen, the man responsible for Cole Sprouse's grown-up new look, recommends the GHD Platinum Professional Performance iron. The flat iron is consistently and evenly heated at 365 degrees, which is safer and less damaging on the strands. “The beveled edges also allow for infinite styling possibilities, not just just for straightening hair,” says Yeun.
Many hair straighteners feature a visual interface to alert you when the device is getting a bit too hot for comfort or when it has surpassed the ideal temperature for your hair. With the T3 Micro Single Pass Flat Iron, you can expect the same visual cues with the bonus of sound alerts as well! That’s right; this flat iron will actually tell you when it reaches its ideal temperature or when it is about to shut off automatically after one hour. Now that’s some hot tech!

Most reviewers on Ulta love the GHD Gold, praising how quickly it heats up, how it makes their hair feel, and how long this tool has lasted them. Some reviewers did feel that it was too expensive and didn't like the lack of control they had over the temperature setting. While those with very fine hair may find the 365-degree setting too hot, the lack of different settings, in this case, is to help prevent hair damage. The price is steeper than some, but it's also a straightener that's built to last, which helps justify the price.

While the BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightening Iron is a great option for a beginner or someone on the go, we like to think of the Solano Sleek Heat 450 Professional Flat Iron as the no-nonsense, professional-grade alternative for anyone with short or medium length hair. This Solano professional hair straightener isn’t just for stylists or beauty bloggers though: the fast heat time and maximum heat temperatures make it an ideal choice for any aspiring stylist-to-be or anyone with stubborn shorter styles.


Thankfully, we’ve learned a lot about hair care and preserving your hair’s natural integrity while styling. However, this wasn’t always the case. If you ever had a perm done in the 80’s or teased your hair to holy heaven in the 90’s, chances are pretty good that your hair has endured a bit of damage. The same can be said if you color your hair on a regular basis or recently went from your natural brunette color to a bright platinum blonde. No matter how the damage was caused, there are certain features you will want to shop for when selecting the ideal hair straightener for your course hair type:
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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.
Given its tiny stature, it is no surprise that the BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightening Iron is ideal for users with short or medium hair lengths. Unlike the more industrial models we reviewed that are designed for longer or thicker hair, this BaByliss hair straightener is small and light enough to polish off a short bob or shoulder-length style in no time.
If you lived through this particular time in our world history, then you probably remember the super straight hairstyles that we all sported a time or two (bonus points if you took a photo of yourself like this in your bathroom mirror using a digital camera!). For reasons we may never know for certain, sharp and straight hair was the hairstyle of choice back in the early 2000’s giving the good old hair straightener somewhat of a bad reputation.
While it isn’t the fastest heating hair straightener we have reviewed, the CHI Air Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron warms up to temperature in just one minute! If one minute seems like too long for you to wait, try adding a bit of multitasking into your morning routine by taking advantage of this found time. If you are at a loss for what you can do in just one minute, check out this list for a little inspiration:

So this Steam Straightener worked wonderfully! Now i have Thick, Curly Hair not wavy but so thick and curly that I am unable to run my fingers through my hair. So tried the heat setting at 300 and nope that did not work. Gradually increased the setting and as i suspected 450 did the e job. Now i used with my hair wet as i washed and wanted to try this right away . It took about 6-8 to get the entire length of my hair which is long to center of my back to get hair completely straight with frizz or curls. I was so amazed my hair was soft and had a nice shine. I definitely recommend as this did indeed worked faster than my blowing out my hair and then using a ceramic straightener. Will be testing on the rest of my family as they want to see how their hair will stand up to the test. Trust me ladies this worked great on my hair!!
The glider plus is designed to protect your hair with integrated heat balance micro processors that continuously monitor the exact temperature across the surface of the plates and automatically adjust the temperature for evenly distributed heat. That means fewer passes are needed for silky results, while protecting your precious hair from over heat exposure.
Sure, the drugstore flat iron you used on its highest setting back in the day was clunky and had a tendency to fry your hair if you glanced away for more than a second, and okay fine, your mom probably told you that you looked a little “emo” from time to time. Luckily, those days are long gone and hair straighteners have truly come a long way since the days of The Jersey Shore.
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.
If you’re a professional or more experienced with a flat iron, then it’s worth considering the Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium-Plated Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron. We were impressed with how well it worked across all hair types. It’s one of two top picks that straightened all of our testers’ hair in one pass (the other one that could do this was the Chi Air). And, like the Bio Ionic, the Babyliss leaves hair feeling smooth and voluminous.

The plates in this techy tool house an internal microchip that constantly measures and maintains an even temperature. With no random hot or cold spots, you'll get smoother, straighter, strands in fewer passes. (Spoiler alert: Fewer passes equal less damage). Adjustable temperature settings — from 260 to 410 degrees — make this ideal for any and every hair texture.

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