Buying Guide for Hair Straighteners
Why buy a hair straightener?
Does your celebrity style icon sport a long, super-straight style, a simple high ponytail, blunt-cut bangs, a pin-straight bob, or a straight pixie cut? A great hair straightener is what you need if you want to rock any of those hairstyles with your chic, glossy strands! There are multiple trendy hairstyles you can only achieve with a hair straightener. Straighteners make your hair look sleek and healthy, eliminate frizz, and create looks that last all day.
What should you consider in a hair straightener?
- Plate Material: Note that hair straighteners include flat irons, hot combs, and hot brushes, though the most common type of hair straightener is the flat iron, and these are made with heated plates that sandwich the hair and run over it to straighten it. Ceramic plates are great for fine or thin hair and reduce frizz well. Plates coated with tourmaline will have some of the qualities of ceramic plates. Titanium hair straighteners are usually best for thick or coarse hair because they hold high heat at a consistent temperature.
- Plate Size and Shape: Wide plates cover more area and are great for hair that’s longer and thicker. Smaller plates are needed for short hair, bangs, spikes, or beards. Smaller plates are also better for fine hair. Plates with slightly rounded edges can be used to give your hair some curl or waves as well.
- Heat Settings: As a general rule of thumb, fine hair needs settings between 250 and 350 degrees; average hair settings are between 360 and 400 degrees; thick hair or hair with lots of texture needs settings between 210 and 450 degrees.
- Safety Features: A hair straightener with an auto shut-off function can save you if you forget to turn it off before you leave the house!
How should you prep for straightening your hair with a hair straightener?
- Look for a shampoo and hair conditioner with a smoothing formula. Giving your hair plenty of moisture will help prepare it for straightening. Products with shea are great at this.
- Dry your hair with a microfiber towel. Did you know that drying your hair with a standard cotton towel can make your hair more frizzy and damaged? Instead, opt for a microfiber towel to limit the static from the beginning. You’ll get a sleeker, shinier hairstyle.
- Choose an anti-static hairbrush. The best anti-static hairbrushes have vents to let air pass through and are made with natural and nylon bristles to minimize the static caused by drying and brushing your hair.
- Use your blow dryer and a brush to straighten and smooth your hair as much as possible. Dry your hair thoroughly before straightening unless you use a specially designed “wet to dry” straightener.
- Use a thermal protectant. A thermal protectant will coat your hair with protection and reduce frizz. It’s essential, especially if you use high heat with your straightener.
- Get the straightener temperature right. Your hair should be straightened with one pass of the straightener over your strands—you want to accomplish this with the lowest temperature setting possible to minimize the risk of damage to your hair. Start with a lower temperature and raise it gradually to find the right setting for you. If you have damaged or thin hair, you should start low, around 200 degrees Fahrenheit, to avoid damage.
- Straighten your hair in sections. An excellent way to approach your hair is to divide it into quarters and clip it up. Starting in the back, straighten one section at a time.
- Hold your hair tightly while passing the straightener over it. Create tension in your hair section as you pass the straightener over; it will reduce the number of passes you need to take.
- Add a finishing product. Let your hair cool down, spray it with a light-hold hairspray or anti-frizz product and gently brush it through it.
|A Quick Guide to Hair Care|
|A Few Tips||How to Treat Thinning Hair | Tricks for Growing Hair Longer Faster | How Often You Should Wash Your Hair | Cleaning Your Hairbrush | How to Get Rid of Dandruff | Should You Condition Every Time You Shampoo?|
|The Best Products and Tools||Moisturizing Hair Masks | Hair Spray | Flat Irons | Rollers | Hair Dryers | Straighteners | Hair Treatments | Curling Irons | Mousses | Hair Towels | Heat Protectants | Dry Shampoos | Blow Dryer Brushes | Scrunchies|
Our Picks for the Best Hair Straighteners
HSI Professional Glider Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Hair Straightener
Create dramatic styles with the multiple temperature settings featured on this professional-grade hair straightener.
Pros: You can create many different hairstyles with this thin, pro-style hair straightener: It can straighten, flip, curl, and even create cute beachy waves. Because it has multiple temperature settings from 140 to 450 F, so it works wonders on any hair thickness or texture. And the high-quality plates evenly distribute heat, making it quicker and easier to straighten your hair with fewer passes. You get a protective glove and a sample of argan oil hair cream free with your straightener. Plus, it’s perfect for travel since it works with most plug-ins, comes with a storage bag, and has a swivel cord for easy usage just about anywhere.
Cons: The temperature dials are difficult to read, and the straightener may tug just a little.
Bottom Line: Long extensions, wigs, weaves, and all types of natural hair can be easily styled with this hair straightener. It heats up quickly, and the LCD is easy to read, so there’s little waiting required when you’re ready to style your hair.
TYMO Hair Straightener Comb
Combining the effectiveness of heat with the convenience of a comb, this ionic hair straightener works for most hair types.
Pros: This hair styling tool marries a traditional comb with a modern hair straightener for smooth, frizz-free hairstyles. Sleek and efficient, the combs evenly distribute heat so you won’t need to pass it through your hair several times, creating less damage overall. It has five different temperature settings for different hair types, and it heats up in as little as 20 seconds so that you can turn it on, and you’re good to go. This comb is made with an anti-scald shell to protect your hair from damage, and it also has an auto-off function for added safety. This pack comes with a detangling brush, two clips, a heatproof glove, and a travel bag.
Cons: The temperature button is close to the handle, so it’s easy to bump on accident which may cause frustration.
Bottom Line: This straightening comb is easy for most people to use and works on many hair types. It has a long cord so you can style just about anywhere, and it comes with accessories that can make styling even easier.
This pretty and effective hair straightener comes from a long-time trusted brand in at-home hair care.
Pros: With a beautiful rose gold finish, 30 heat settings, extra long, extra wide plates, and advanced ceramic technology that evenly heats up to 455 without hot spots, this flat iron is perfect for styling all hair types. This flat ceramic iron can straighten hair or create loose, modern waves. It heats up in as little as 15 seconds to get your hair done in a pinch and distributes heat evenly for long-lasting style. It also features a six-foot cord, so you can style your hair anywhere. For safety, the auto-off feature will ease your worries.
Cons: It gets very hot, so you must be careful about choosing the right surface to place your straightener on.
Bottom Line: You can create wonderful styles with this flat ceramic iron, from loose curls to waves to sleek, straight hair. It works with many different hair types and can also straighten synthetic hair.
NITION Pro Hair Straightener
Innovative and sleek, this ceramic-coated hair straightener comes with everything you need to achieve a perfect, frizz-free style.
Pros: Built to be user-friendly, this straightening iron has a turn knob instead of buttons, so you can dial in your heat setting without worrying about bumping the wrong switch. It has many other benefits to keep your hair healthy, too. The ceramic-coated heating plate is infused with silver, argan oil, tourmaline, and titanium to lock in natural moisture and transform frizz. It’s built to avoid pulling or damaging hair while styling, leaving hair more shiny, sleek, and healthy. It has a digital LCD screen that’s easy to read, taking the guesswork out of styling. It offers six precise temperature settings to achieve the perfect style every time.
Cons: The design of this flat iron is great for styling, but it doesn’t have a cool surface for placing it down on a surface without burning the surface. You’ll need to get creative or set it on a ceramic or glass countertop to avoid damaging other surfaces.
Bottom Line: This is an excellent tool for straightening and curling your hair with its sleek and innovative design. It’s easy to keep the temperature exactly where you want it.
CONAIR INFINITIPRO Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron
This tourmaline ceramic flat iron straightens or flips hair, featuring a 15-second heat-up for quick results.
Pros: This flat iron is a favorite of people with thick, kinky, curly hair. It has a wider, thicker surface than many other flat irons so that you can use it on a larger portion of hair for quicker styling. It’s made from tourmaline ceramic which leaves hair with less frizz and more shine. Also, it heats up in less than 15 seconds, so you can begin styling as soon as you’re ready. This flat iron is designed with the health of your hair in mind and doesn’t pull or snag on the hair. Its heat display shows the precise temperature, so you can use the exact setting that’s right for you. Plus, the price for the quality is fantastic.
Cons: It may take some getting used to, especially for people who have not used a straightener before.
Bottom Line: For such an affordable flat iron, this has all the functionality of a professional use product. It works for nearly all hair types, straightening beautifully.
Before you begin straightening your hair, remember to take great care of your locks. Smoothing shampoos, deep conditioners, and heat protectants should be staples in your haircare arsenal. Also, be sure the straightener you choose will work with your hair type. Once you’ve chosen the right straightener, you can enjoy the sleek and shiny styles you achieve.