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Best Straightening Brushes

Updated November 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 37 Models Considered
  • 68 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 620 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best straightening brushes

    Last Updated November 2018

    There is a simple solution to your daily battle for smooth, frizz-free, stylish locks. A straightening brush is an easy, efficient, and nearly damage-free way to style your hair that adds shine at the same time.

    However, there are a lot of these styling tools on the market. Matching a straightening brush to your hair type can be confusing. How do you find the best straightening brush for you?

    If you’re ready to get your hair looking its best, check out our top five straightening brushes. If you’d like to learn more about straightening brushes in general, including how to find the right one for your hair, then read on.

    By smoothing your hair’s cuticles, a straightening brush adds shine to your tresses.

    Straightening brushes vs. flat irons

    You might wonder what the difference is between a straightening brush and a flat iron. After all, both are used to smooth and straighten hair. While these two beauty tools do have similar end results, they each have their own strengths and weaknesses.

    Straightening brushes

    Straightening brushes look like regular round or flat brushes. You simply brush a straightening brush through your hair to smooth away frizz and waves.

    • Pros: Straightening brushes don’t get as hot as flat irons, so they are less likely to burn or damage your hair or fingers. They are also easier to use than flat irons and heat up quickly.

    • Cons: Straightening brushes aren’t as effective as flat irons on very thick or curly hair.

    EXPERT TIP

    If you have thick hair, use clips to section it before starting your straightening session. Work from the back of your head to the front and from the lower layers of hair to the upper layers.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Flat irons

    Flat irons are made up of two heated clamps that you slide down sections of your hair, smoothing away frizz, curls, and waves.

    • Pros: Flat irons are ideal for thick, curly hair, and the results last for a few days.

    • Cons: Flat irons are very hot and can easily damage your hair or burn your hand. It takes practice to use a flat iron skillfully.

    While a straightening brush can help smooth out any type of hair, it’s best for frizzy, wavy, or slightly curly hair. If you have tight curls or very thick hair, you’ll probably be happier with a flat iron.

    A closer look at straightening brushes

    Bristles

    Most straightening brushes have ball-tipped bristles, which work well for gently untangling curly or thick hair. If you have fine hair, however, look for a straightening brush with straight-tipped bristles, which are less likely to tug at your locks.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Nylon or boar bristles are the easiest on your scalp and hair.

    Plates

    There are several different materials used for straightening brush plates.

    • Metal: The most inexpensive straightening brushes have metal plates. These tend to heat unevenly and are likeliest to burn your hair.

    • Ceramic: Straightening brushes with ceramic plates are the most common. They are relatively inexpensive, heat evenly, and conduct heat well. A good straightening brush has 100% ceramic plates, instead of metal plates with a ceramic coating.

    • Tourmaline: A semi-precious stone, tourmaline-coated ceramic plates are found on the highest-quality straightening brushes. Tourmaline conducts heat very well, meaning you need less time — and less contact with potentially damaging heat — to style your hair.

    FOR YOUR SAFETY

    Before using any heat-styling device, apply a protective spray or serum to your hair to reduce damage.

    Handle

    Your straightening brush’s handle should fit comfortably in your hand. The handle should be long enough that you don’t burn your fingers while using the brush yet short enough to make styling easy. Weight is also a concern. A heavy straightening brush will wear out your wrist before you finish your styling routine.

    Shape

    • Flat: The majority of straightening brushes are flat, with rectangular or oval paddles. This shape lets you brush with a natural motion, and it’s easy to get the bristles close to your scalp. If your hair is short, look for a smaller paddle, while long hair is best styled with a larger paddle.

    • Round: A round straightening brush combines a straightening brush with a curling iron. These brushes are good for adding a bit of a wave or bend to your hair while you style.

    • Double-clamp: A double-clamp straightening brush combines a straightening brush with a flat iron and will often have a steam function. This allows you to straighten even fine hair without too much damage.
    EXPERT TIP

    Flat, paddle-shaped straightening brushes are best for short to medium-length hair, while round straightening brushes work well on long hair.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Temperature

    A good straightening brush has several temperature settings, allowing you to choose the level of heat that works best with your hair.

    • Below 330°: fine hair

    • 330° to 370°: colored hair

    • 370° to 390°: wavy hair

    • 390° to 410°: thick hair

    • 410° to 450°: thick, curly hair

    Always use the lowest temperature setting that’s effective for your hair type.

    Features to look for when buying a straightening brush

    Once you’ve determined the best straightening brush type for your hair, there are a few other features to consider.

    • Cushioned handle: A cushioned handle makes a straightening brush much more comfortable to hold.

    • Ions: Negative ions, which are charged atomic particles, help reduce frizz and add shine to your hair.

    • Quick heat: While all straightening brushes heat up fairly quickly, some reach full heat within seconds.

    • Anti-scald bristles: Some straightening brushes have protective guards around the bristles to reduce the chance of scorched or damaged hair.

    • Auto-off: This important safety feature automatically shuts off the straightening brush if it’s left on for too long.

    • Swivel cord: A swiveling power cord makes it easy to work with your straightening brush.

    • Temperature lock: This prevents accidental changes in temperature setting.

    • Ready indicator: Most straightening brushes have a light or indicator that turns on once the set temperature is reached, and the brush is ready to be used.

    FOR YOUR SAFETY

    Caution: Always keep pets and children away from your straightening brush while it’s plugged in, and don’t leave it out on the counter where curious kids can get burned.

    How much do straightening brushes cost?

    You can find straightening brushes for less than $20 and more than $100, but for most people a straightening brush in the $30 to $40 range is the best choice. You’ll get desirable features, reliable performance, and comfortable handling at that price.

    Less expensive straightening brushes are likelier to have metal or coated metal plates that won’t heat evenly and might damage your hair.

    EXPERT TIP

    Although you can use a straightening brush on slightly damp hair, you are likelier to scorch or damage your hair. For the best results, use your straightening brush on dry hair.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Step by step: how to use a straightening brush

    It takes a bit of practice to get the hang of using a straightening brush. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you achieve the smoothest, shiniest hair.

    1. Start with clean hair to avoid dullness or dryness.

    2. Towel dry your hair or let it air dry. While some straightening brushes are safe for use on damp hair, never use a hot brush on wet hair. Doing so is a sure way to burn your locks.

    3. Apply a heat-protective spray.

    4. Use a wide-bristle comb to gently remove any large tangles or snarls in your hair.

    5. Heat up your straightening brush, using the lowest setting that is effective for your hair.

    6. Starting with a small section in the back, glide the straightening brush down your hair, moving slowly but steadily. Don’t spend more than a few seconds on each section of hair, or you risk damage.

    7. If your hair is thick, start by straightening the lower layers of your hair, then straighten the top layers. This will reduce frizz.

    8. Work your way toward the front of your head section by section. Don’t run the straightening brush more than twice over any one section of hair.

    9. Once your hair is straight, let it cool for a few minutes to set the style, and then apply a light mist of hairspray to keep everything in place.

    10. After your straightening brush cools down, wipe it with a damp cloth to remove any product residue.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Alice
      Alice
      Web Producer
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Erica
      Erica
      Writer
    • Katherine
      Katherine
      Editor
    • Katie
      Katie
      Editorial Director
    • Michelle
      Michelle
      Writer

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