Unlike the Bio Ionic’s handy digital temperature control, the Chi Air uses a small dial on the side of the tool that’s harder to read. The dial’s placement makes it not only more difficult to get an accurate reading, but also more prone to being hit by your hand and switching to a new temperature. That being said, most of our testers didn’t mind this minor inconvenience since they don’t expect to change the tool’s temperature often.
Nearly 21,000 people gave this flat iron a five-star review on Amazon. If they factored price into that rating, then I agree. For less than $60 it’s pretty spectacular, but it doesn’t beat the fancier ones in terms of performance. The temperature automatically drops after 15 minutes of use. And while it’s easy to adjust that, it is also slightly inconvenient.
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.
It is important to consider what options are important to you when selecting a hair straightener. You must select a hair iron with a heat setting that fits your needs. If you have fine hair, a lower heat setting may be sufficient. However, thick coarse hair may require a higher heat setting to achieve your desired look. Plate size should also be considered. A flat iron with small plates might be best for shorter hair, while a flat iron with larger plates might be best for longer hair. Some hair straighteners have features such as temperature readouts and rollers that might be important to your needs.
The GHD brand is a favorite among celebrity hair stylists because of its reliability and shiny, frizz-free results. Just because you aren't setting foot on the red carpet anytime soon doesn't mean that you can't have celebrity quality hair. The GHD Gold professional makes it possible for you to achieve shiny and frizz free results at home, so you can feel red carpet ready even if you're just grabbing coffee with friends.
Do you have curly, dry hair? Thick, color-treated hair? Short, straight hair? Fine, kinky hair? Finding the right flat iron for you really depends on your hair type. Heat and plate types are an important factor in this. Your flat iron should reach and maintain the right temperature and be made from the plate material that works best for you. While most will work well on a variety of hair types, pay close attention to reviews from people with hair similar to yours (bonus points if they include before and after pictures).
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Be sure to protect your hair against heat damage with Xtava’s Heat Protectant Spray every time you style. Not only does our heat protectant coat your hair with a lightweight layer of protection, but it also repairs hair from the inside-out with broccoli seed and Brazilian pequi oils to replenish moisture, restore shine, and infuse essential nutrients.
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.
“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.”
Cleaning your flat iron is critical to ensuring it works as well as it did the first time you used it. Over time, hair product can build up on the plates. This buildup can lead to inconsistent styling results and major snagging. To clean your flat iron, simply wait for it to cool down and wipe the plates with a cotton swab or soft cloth coated in rubbing alcohol.
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.
Crimping irons or crimpers work by crimping hair in sawtooth style. The look is similar to the crimps left after taking out small braids. Crimping irons come in different sizes with different sized ridges on the paddles. Larger ridges produce larger crimps in the hair and smaller ridges produce smaller crimps. Crimped hair was very popular in the 1980s and 1990s.
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.