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!
If you have trouble remembering to unplug your flat iron before heading out, you’ll appreciate the Chi Air’s one-hour automatic shutoff. Since people have preferences regarding auto shutoff this wasn’t a criteria for us, but our testers thought it was helpful. One tester said she often leaves her flat iron on in the morning and invested in a timed switch to make sure it’s off. So if you’re forgetful when it comes to turning off your tools, then auto shutoff might be an important feature for you.
Farouk Systems, Inc. is a Houston based company of hairdressers for hairdressers, known for manufacturing high-quality professional hair care products under the industry-leading brands: SunGlitz®, CHI® and BioSilk®. The company was founded in 1986 by Farouk Shami a hairdresser whose mission is to provide the professional beauty industry with the most advanced American technology based upon “Education, Environment and Ethics”.
“I’ve owned a Conair, Chi, and I-Tech straighter before, but this one is FABULOUS! There really is no tugging at all on your hair — so smooth, and I was shocked that it truly heats up in 15 seconds, as advertised! It also does something magical to my hair: It adds more shine like no flat iron has done before. Mind you, my hair is very difficult to deal with. It has always been coarse, wavy, dry, and thick! This iron worked beautifully on my hair.”
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!”
The plate material you choose can also make a big difference on your style results. Ceramic, titanium, and tourmaline are the most common terms you'll come across. Ceramic plates hold heat well and provide even heat distribution, preventing any hot spots on the plates can cause damage. Ceramic is especially effective for fine hair that can be especially vulnerable to heat damage. While many hair straighteners have ceramic coated plates, plates made entirely from this material are more effective, as this coating can wear off over time. Tourmaline is a gemstone, but when crushed and used to coat the plates of a hair straightener, it has properties and results similar to ceramic plates.
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.
Seemingly small details like cord length can make all the difference in the effectiveness of a beauty tool. A longer cord length is desirable here, giving you more freedom and versatility depending on the power outlet situation in your home or your hotel if you're traveling. A cord with 360 swivel capabilities is also a plus. You'll be moving your hair straightener all around your head as you style, and a rotating cord will keep it from getting tangled.
The type of heat you use to style your hair makes a big difference in how healthy it will be. Our Xtava Pro-Satin Infrared Ceramic Flat Iron for Hair uses infrared heating technology, which heats hair from the inside out. Infrared technology is a game-changer for styling your hair because it allows heat to penetrate directly into the inner part of the hair strand, not just the outside layer. Infrared heating to the middle of the hair strand provides a more effective heat for styling and decreases damage to the outside of your hair. Infrared technology also stimulates negative ions in your hair that draw oils from the hair shaft to the surface; this helps lock in moisture and lock in your look, even in humid weather. Better heat = better hair health. Guess that’s not much of a secret after all, is it?
“Infrared is so beneficial being that the wavelengths are longer and can penetrate deeper into the cuticle heating the hair from the inside out, keeping your hair's own natural moisture, leaving the hair smooth (and) shiny and keeping it extremely healthy, versus other conventional styling tools that actually pull moisture out of the hair, leaving the hair dry, brittle, dull and damaged,” said hair expert and stylist Gina Rivera.
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.
“Being a mom of two, it’s hard to have time to get my hair done, but with this, I do my hair in 30 minutes, rather than over an hour. I haven’t bought a new straightener in probably four years, and I bought this with very little expectations. OMG! First of all, not only did it take half the time to do my hair, but it left my hair as amazing as I always wanted it! Super silky-smooth. I then used it to make some curls on my 8-year-old. In less than 15 minutes, I was done with her hair and she was in love with the curls.”
So far I like this straightener. I haven't figured out the curling part of it but will be watching some videos next for that. Other than that it does a good job of straightening hair. I have super thick hair with natural ringlets. It usually takes multiple passes to get my hair soft and smooth. This one does a good job b/c it closes properly down on the hair and doesn't leave my hair looking crimped. The hair also doesn't get caught under the blades and rip out of my head like my last straightener. I haven't used the $200 one that is comparable with this one but I am super picky and this is a good straightener!!
“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.”
Aside from ionic and infrared technologies the Bio Ionic Onepass Straightening Iron has something that is entirely new to me: silicon covered plates. They get the hair more in order when you’re straightening, save you a lot of time and reduce the amount of heat that you need. This one is great for African American hair, but I already selected the xtava Pro Satin for that because it’s more affordable.
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.