Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy (like pillows), but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ‘em) products and single out the most convincing. While we’ve written about the best curling irons, hair dryers, and even a certain curling iron used on the Victoria’s Secret Angels, here, we’re going deep on the best flat irons and hair straighteners on Amazon. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)
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.
Bio Ionic One Pass Flat Iron, Hair Straightener is the fastest ever! Far Infrared allows for quick styling without damage. Bio Ceramic Heaters maintain constant heat. The OnePass Iron shows a true break-through in flat iron technology. It straightens hair in half the time compared to other irons. This is the professional’s #1 choice in irons! Silicone Speed Strips for straightening and shine Instant heat, up to 400°F Instant recovery Nano-Ionic™ Mineral fused to cushion plates High levels of negative ions Far infrared energy for silky smooth hair Bio Ceramic 5 Second heaters Advanced heat controller 10 feet swivel cord
So, when it comes to hair care, it is no surprise that the healing benefits of infrared technology would make their way into the industry sooner or later! The far infrared technology in the CHI Air Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron leaves your hair looking and feeling smoother and silkier than ever before, while helping to restore your strands to their naturally strong and beautiful thickness.
Anyone with naturally curly knows that the trick to keeping your curls looking their finest is all about moisture. Whether you’re hoping to sport a straightened style for an evening or two, or just to polish your existing curls, a great hair straightener can help you get the look you’ve always wanted without causing permanent damage to your precious curls! When shopping for the perfect hair straightener for your curly hair, you’ll want to keep the following in mind:

“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.
The contents of the box included warranty information. There was no user manual which could have provided information on the items above and would answer many of the frustrations voiced by reviewers here. Overall, I feel this flat iron is a great value. I hope Xtava plans to make a 1" infrared flat iron. That is a product I would be very interested in!
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.”
The solution? Automatic shut off. That way, even if you do forget to turn off your hair straightener, you can be at ease knowing it will turn off on its own automatically. Not all hair straighteners come with this feature, and if you don't have an issue remembering to turn these types of things off it may not be necessary. Still, a little peace of mind and extra precaution never hurt.
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.

One of the Babyliss’ major drawbacks, and why we only recommend this flat iron for experienced users, is the outside gets hotter than any of our other picks. Hot to the point that it was too hot to hold. One tester said she was “afraid to accidentally touch the top of it.” Others said they could feel the heat against their scalps. At first, another tester said she didn’t mind the heat. This was moments before she burned the top of her hand when it merely grazed the side of the tool.
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:
Just because you were blessed with a head of naturally straight hair, doesn’t mean hair straighteners aren’t for you! Hair straighteners are a great way to style the split ends that are all too common with straight hair types and can also give your hair a natural-looking curve for added volume! When shopping for the best hair straightener for your naturally straight hair, you will want to look for the following:
“This flat iron is amazing! It is so small, it almost looks like a flat iron for a doll. Don’t let the size fool you. I have medium-thick, naturally curly hair, and this iron had no problem getting all of my hair straight. If you are used to a flat iron, you should have no problem using this. This is the best flat iron for traveling, the gym, or stashing in your desk at work. I would highly recommend this flat iron.”
By-and-large, most people with natural hair have some variation of type 3 or type 4 – which is exactly why low-end hair straighteners can be so dangerous. More curly natural black hair has a tendency to be more porous than other hair types. As a result, it can lose moisture easily and become damaged. With the wrong flat iron, this can lead to split ends and breakage after just a single use.

Featuring the same 1.25-inch plates CHI users have loved for years, the new CHI G2 Ceramic and Titanium Flat Iron make it easier to style longer hair! If you’ve ever tried to use a non-professional hair straightener on your hair, then you know just how quickly the process can become a literal pain! From hand strain to sore wrists and arms, most hair straighteners stick to old adage of “beauty is pain.”
For those with thick hair, the idea of "quick styling" often feels like an impossible dream. It's usually easier to use the "throw it up and go" technique to get out the door in time. However, straight, sleek hair doesn't have to be a luxury reserved for those with fine hair, especially when you have a styling tool designed to tackle even the thickest, curliest hair like the Xtava Pro.
There are many alternatives if you are looking for hair straighteners. You can use a tool such as a hair straightening or flat iron, you can try chemical perms and straighteners or you can attempt natural methods. Whether you're looking for permanent hair straightening or just want a treatment such as a serum, there are plenty of options for you to choose from at Walgreens.com.
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.
When you’re shopping around for a great flat iron that’ll give you flawless waves, you’re essentially looking for three specific qualifications. First, you want something that’s got one inch plates or smaller. Any thicker, and the curls will be so loose, they’ll be virtually non-existent on anyone whose got hair shorter than the butt. Secondly, a rounded body is a must, as you’re wrapping the hair around and through the straightener to create a loose curl. Third, you need something that’s sleek and easy to handle, so your hair won’t snag and break off while you’re curling. Check out these awesome options that make it easy to curl your hair with a straightener.
A lot of hair straighteners will boast that their nano-ceramic like this is a good thing. In reality, this means that they’re made up of a cheap filler material (that will not heat as evenly or remain as durable as true ceramic) which is coated with a thing outer ceramic layer. If you want a flat iron that’s safe for natural hair, make sure you go 100% ceramic, or better yet, solid ceramic infused with tourmaline or titanium.
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”.
In addition to its sweet settings and versatility, this hair straightener is also super lightweight and features thin, 1-inch plates to save precious real estate on your bathroom counter or inside your vanity cabinet! The BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightening Iron is ideal for anyone with a tiny bathroom (or multiple roommates!) and who wants the results of larger hair straighteners without the added weight or storage space.
With a maximum temperature of 450° F, the BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightening Iron can really pack a punch despite its otherwise small frame. One thing to note though: these heat settings are not pre-set like the CHI G2 hair straightener we also reviewed, and you will need to play around with them to find the right temperature for your hair. This shouldn’t be a problem if you have a Saturday afternoon or two to kill, but may not be ideal for users that are looking for a flat iron with pre-recorded settings.
With well over 25,000 reviews, the HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron is one of the best straightening irons you can get, but because of its thin build and rounded plates, you can also use it to curl your hair. It’s got solid ceramic plates to reduce damage, evenly heat hair, and promote shine, and if you’re a traveler, it’s got a dual voltage that can be used anywhere in the world.
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.
Unlike the plain Jane ceramic plates of most hair straighteners, the tourmaline-infused ceramic plates in the CHI Air Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron are designed to keep your hair healthy during styling. Specifically, the tourmaline helps to more evenly distribute the heat during use which, in turn, creates a higher number of negative ions for shinier and healthier looking hair with each use. This reduces the static electricity created, meaning you get a sleeker, smoother style.
Just because you were blessed with a head of naturally straight hair, doesn’t mean hair straighteners aren’t for you! Hair straighteners are a great way to style the split ends that are all too common with straight hair types and can also give your hair a natural-looking curve for added volume! When shopping for the best hair straightener for your naturally straight hair, you will want to look for the following:
This durable KIPOZI flat iron can be set anywhere between 170 and 450 degrees to suit any kind of thickness or texture, and its curved plate design makes it great for giving your hair some texture. The Nano-Titanium plates heat up quickly and lock in moisture, so hair looks hydrated, healthy, and sleek. It’s also got a compatible voltage for anywhere in the world.

According to Jarman, you should never have to use both hands to clamp the iron down on your hair. You not only risk burning your fingers on the plate end, but this can pull at your hair and break it. High-quality, modern irons are designed to clamp together from the handle end only, so if you find that your iron requires pressure on both ends, it’s time to upgrade.


We’ve all heard the saying that the grass is always greener on the other side, and our hair types tend to follow the same old adage. If you were born with a head full of beautiful curls, you probably spent your childhood longing for straight hair; if you were born with bone straight hair, then you’ve probably spent more hours than you’d care to admit with a throbbing curler-induced headache. No matter how hard we may try to love the hair we’re born with; the truth is that most of us wish there were something else perched on top of our heads from time to time.

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:
This iron is one the coolest tool I’ve ever used. It is a beautiful looking straightener with very high technology. With 50% more power and wider plates (1.5″), the T3 SinglePass X is specifically designed to straighten hard-to-manage hair, such as long, thick or coarse hair. Most importantly, it is designed to do the job fast – it straightens in a single glide!
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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.
As you discover the beauty of straight styles, you'll want to find the best hair straightener that won't compromise your hair and caters to your hair type. Achieve optimal results through the reliable performance, quality, and design of NuMe professional styling tools. The gentle heating of far infrared technology and negative ion-producing, 100 percent pure, tourmaline ceramic plates reveal the conscious and authentic design of NuMe hair straighteners. 

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.
As one of the hottest hair straighteners we have reviewed (temperature-wise…although it is pretty to look at, we have to admit…), the Solano Sleek Heat 450 Professional Flat Iron can reach temperatures of up to 450° F in as little as 60 seconds! This Solano hair straightener also features thin 1 inch plates, making it an ideal choice for anyone with short or medium length hair and the quick heat time ensures that even the most stubborn of curls can be tackled with a little extra heat. If you are looking or something a little larger though, it is also available with 1.54-inch plates too.

Xtava’s two inch-wide plates are massive, making them perfect for people with thick or coarse hair. Aside from the plates, everything else about this flat iron is fairly standard. You can use it at a temperature range in between 265 and 445 degrees Fahrenheit, the plates are made with tourmaline and ceramic, and it takes less than two minutes for the tool to fully heat.
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