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 own chic, glossy strands! There are multiple trendy hairstyles you can only achieve with a hair straightener. Straighteners make your hair look sleek and healthy, get rid of the look of 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/or thicker. Smaller plates are what you need 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 actually 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 completely before straightening unless you are using 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 an essential step, especially if you use very high heat with your straightener.
- Get the straightener temperature right. Your hair should be straightened by 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. A good way to approach your hair is to divide your hair 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, then spray your hair with a light-hold hairspray or anti-frizz product and gently brush it through your hair.
TYMO Hair Straightener Comb Matte Black
Combining the effectiveness of heat with the convenience of a comb, this ionic hair straightener works for most hair types.
Pros: There’s a lot to say about this cool comb straightener. It helps to keep hair tamed from humidity and frizz. And it gives your locks a nice, shiny finish. It’s super easy to use since you just have to brush it through your hair to get that straight look you want. It comes with a protective glove, a cover, and clips for your convenience and safety. It also has a convenient auto shut-off function.
Cons: The power button is in an inconvenient place. You might accidentally push it while moving it through your hair.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a straightening comb that can tame curly or wavy hair, this might be just what you need. It has multiple heat settings and a convenient guide to match your hair type. Plus, it’s super easy to use to get that sleek straight style.
HSI Professional Glider
Create dramatic results with minimal damage on hair.
Pros: This straightener glides through hair oh-so smoothly. It doesn’t pull or break your hair or burn your scalp. It has an extended-length cord, making it easy to use in most homes. It heats up quickly for fast styling. The added safety features keep you safe from burns.
Cons: The temperature dial is difficult to read.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a straightener that makes your hair smooth and silky, this may be a great option for you. You can get a salon-quality style in the privacy of your home.
Conair Double Ceramic Flat Iron
From a trusted brand with over 60 years of haircare experience, this ceramic-coated straightener creates dramatic styles with frizz-free smoothness.
Pros: This affordable flat iron has a nifty locking feature which is great for travel. Its easy-to-read temperature settings work for most hair types, and it heats up quickly for beautiful styles in minutes. It comes at an affordable price but provides loads of value. You can achieve some impressive hairstyles with this quality straightener.
Cons: The cord is short compared to other brands.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a straightener that works beautifully on normal to wavy hair, check this one out. While it’s not necessarily professional-grade, it gets the job done in a snap without kinking or frying your hair. And it’s an excellent selection for a handy travel straightener.
Bekind Apex 2-in-1 Hair Straightener
Achieve a salon look in half the time with this convenient, portable, and multifunctional hair straightener.
Pros: First of all, this straightener is beautifully packaged, so it would make a wonderful gift. It comes with a bunch of accessories, from hair clips to ponytail holders, a comb, and bobby pins. It also does the job more than adequately, making hair smooth and straight on the first pass. But it can also curl your locks like a pro.
Cons: It’s not the best choice for super thick and curly hair.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a dual-function straightener with all the bells and whistles, try this one. It locks and packs away for travel. Plus, it has bonus safety features to keep you from burning your hands or scalp.
INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR 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 folks who have thick, kinky, curly hair. It heats up quickly 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. It also has multiple features like thumb grips and a cover. Plus, you can travel with it without worrying about replacing a very expensive product if it gets lost.
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 for you, you can enjoy the sleek and shiny styles you achieve.