Utilizes hot air instead of hot plates to both dry and straighten without causing as much damage as a traditional straightener. The included LCD screen allows the user to understand each mode at a glance. Automatically regulates heat to prevent burns.
Our tester noted that the hot air design makes it more difficult to get the roots of your hair as straight as the rest.
Plates are coated in ceramic and measure 2 inches wide. Heats up to 400 degrees with various temperature settings. The cord resists tangles and rotates. Features a power button, LED indicator light, and locking button.
May not work well on thicker hair.
Features raised ceramic plates measuring 1 inch wide. Has a rounded design that straightens or adds curl and flip to hair. Heats up to 392 degrees with different temperature levels. Has an 11-foot cord that rotates.
Maximum temperature is lower than some other options.
Automatically adjusts heat to ensure that hair damage is minimal. We loved how the cordless design made it easy to use despite smaller counter spaces. Heats and cools quickly which makes it ideal for on-the-go touchups. Flex plate design works for a variety of hair styles.
The internal battery makes it a bit heavier than other options.
Temperature can be customized up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. We really love how well it reduced frizz even after using it on hair for an extended amount of time. Works great for both thicker hair thanks to the flat plate design.
Some users found that it is a bit heavy when compared to other options.
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Having some natural wave or curl in your hair can give it more body and volume, but sometimes you prefer a sleek, straight style. With a hair straightener, you can easily smooth out your hair whenever the mood strikes.
A hair straightener is a heated styling tool that helps even out hair’s texture. You can choose from different types, but most have heated plates you move along the hair. Some straighteners are more effective at adding volume, while others are better for fine or damaged hair. You can also find straighteners that are versatile enough to let you create loose curls and waves.
With so many hair straighteners on the market, a good shopping guide and recommendations can help you find the one that best suits your hair type and has the features you prefer.
You can choose from two main types of hair straighteners: flat iron and hot brush.
If you opt for a flat iron, it’s essential to consider the type of plates it has. The three main options are ceramic, titanium, and tourmaline.
Ceramic plates are highly effective heat conductors and generate an even heat that works for most hair textures. These tend to be more affordable than the other types.
Titanium plates heat up quickly and work especially well on thick, coarse, curly hair.
Tourmaline plates, also known as ionic plates, produce negative ions that help cut down on damage, such as frizz. These are usually recommended for fine, thin, or damaged hair. Tourmaline plates don’t last as long as ceramic or titanium plates.
In addition to the material, you should also consider the size of the plates on the hair straighteners you’re considering.
Wider plates can hold larger sections of hair and so work best on long, thick hair because you don’t need to go over the same section of hair multiple times. Look for a hair straightener with plates that measure between 1.5 and 2 inches wide. For medium to long hair, plates between 1 and 2 inches wide work well.
Narrower plates work well on short or fine hair. For short hair and bangs, stick to hair straighteners with plates that measure between 0.5 and 1 inch wide.
For best results, move the straightener slowly over each section of hair. That helps ensure you straighten the hair enough to avoid having to do a second or third pass.
Some hair straighteners only offer a few heat settings, such as low, medium, and high. While these may work for normal hair, they aren’t as effective for extremely fine or coarse hair.
Instead, look for a hair straightener with variable heat settings. These models let you choose a specific temperature across a range in increments, such as 5°F or 10°F, depending on the number of temperature settings a model offers. For the most versatility, opt for a hair straightener with a temperature range of 200°F to 450°F.
Below 300°F: Use these temperatures on fine or chemically treated hair to prevent damage.
300°F to 380°F: These temperatures work best on normal or medium hair.
350°F to 450°F: These temperatures work best on coarse, thick, and curly hair.
Some hair straighteners have floating plates, which move a bit when compressed because they’re not fully connected to the handle and housing. This allows the plates to adjust based on how you hold the straightener so they’re always as close together as possible. As a result, the plates apply even pressure along the entire length of your hair for consistent straightening and less damage to your hair.
Hair straighteners must be plugged into an outlet, so maneuvering one around your head can be challenging. Those with a long cord allow more freedom of movement, but you’ll have the easiest time if you choose a model with a swivel cord that rotates with the straightener as you move it around your head. That way, you won’t have to unplug the cord to reposition the straightener as you style your hair.
Heated styling tools pose a fire hazard if you forget to turn them off. Some hair straighteners have an automatic shutoff feature and turn off if they aren’t used for a certain period of time. This provides important peace of mind when you’re away from home because you won’t have to worry about whether you’ve turned off your straightener.
Your hair must be completely dry before using a straightener, so you’ll want a good-quality hair dryer. Opt for a model with multiple speeds and heat settings so you can choose the best option for your hair type. It’s also a good idea to find a lightweight dryer that’s comfortable to hold for long periods.
For the best results, your hair must be completely free of tangles when you straighten it. With the right hair brush, you can easily detangle your hair to prepare it for straightening. Brushes with synthetic bristles work best for smoothing the hair, but natural bristles work best for distributing your hair’s natural oils for improved shine.
The most affordable hair straighteners cost $20 to $40. These models don’t include the highest-quality materials, and most have limited temperature settings, which could potentially damage your hair.
These hair straighteners generally cost $40 to $100. They’re made of higher-quality materials that protect your hair, and they offer variable settings that allow you to customize the heat based on your hair type. Many also have special features, such as a swivel cord and floating plates.
The most expensive hair straighteners typically cost over $100. These models are made of the highest-quality materials to limit any damage to hair. They also boast the most extensive variable temperature range and have plenty of special features, including a swivel cord, floating plates, and more.
You can prep your hair for straightening by using a smoothing shampoo and conditioner. These products reduce frizz and add hydration to help strengthen your hair.
A. Unfortunately, like any heated styling tool, a hair straightener can damage your hair. Using heat above 350°F can harm the hair by roughing up the cuticle and stripping it of moisture. That can lead to split ends, frizz, breakage, and even hair loss. You can limit the damage by not straightening your hair more than once a week, applying a high-quality heat protectant beforehand, and using moisturizing products to hydrate and smooth the hair.
A. Fine hair is more fragile than medium, thick, or coarse hair, but you can still use a straightener. However, it’s crucial to choose a model with variable heat controls so you can use a setting at or below 300°F. Use a heat protectant before straightening too.
A. It depends on the quality of your straightener and how often you use it, but most models will last two to four years. You can tell you need a new one if your current model has scratched plates, takes a long time to straighten your hair, or doesn’t provide consistent heat.
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