There’s this awesome feeling you get when you know your hair is in perfect shape. Hair straighteners or flat irons have helped a lot of women experience that wonderful, perfect hair feeling. Flat irons don’t only straighten your hair, but also act as curling irons for giving you luscious, lush locks. So, it is obvious finding the best hair straightener is a necessity for good hair days at all times.
From the best hair straighteners to tips for using a flat iron to straighten or curl your hair, here you have our ultimate guide to this heat styling tool that works wonders!
Your Guide to Hair Straighteners & Flat Irons: Contents
• 9 Best Hair Straighteners & Flat Irons to Get
• Types of Flat Irons and Differences Between Them
• How to Choose the Best Hair Straightener for Your Hair Type
• How to Use a Hair Straightener to Get Sleek Hair
• How to Curl Your Hair with a Flat Iron
• Other Hair Straightener Tips to Know
If you have never used a hair straightener and worry that it might damage your hair, worry no more. We have taken out time to pick out the best flat irons that would help you achieve the best results. Some of them actually come with negative ions that add moisture to your hair.
1. GHD Classic 1” Inch Styler
This one-inch hair straightener uses ceramic heat technology to effortlessly straighten your hair. It can also be used to deliver curls and waves for any hair type. The easy-to-use flat iron delivers frizz-free, long-lasting results that translate to glossy, flawless hair throughout the day. Pick it up online at Sephora!
2. Balmain Paris Hair Couture Cordless Straightener
This high-fashion hair straightener is lightweight and cordless, which makes it possible for you to carry it along whenever you are traveling or sleeping over at a friend’s house. It is designed with a titanium plate that lets it glide easily through hair. In addition, it doubles as a curling iron. Find it for sale online at Net-a-Porter!
3. Drybar The Tress Press Digital Styling Iron
This bright and cheerful hair straightener by Drybar promises to add shine and smoothness to hair. Thanks to its floating titanium plates and digital temperature control, this styling iron works wonders for curls, waves, and straight hairstyles and puts you in total control of how good your hair feels and looks. Pick it up online at Sephora!
4. T3 SinglePass Luxe 1-inch Ionic Straightening & Styling Flat Iron
This flat iron works perfectly on all hair types. It is equipped with two professional sectioning clips that section even the most difficult hair types. The five adjustable heat settings it is designed with provide optimum heat level for all kinds of hair. In addition, it has a modern, sleek design you don’t want to miss. Get it online at Nordstrom!
5. BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron
Heat-resistant and with 5-inch extended plates for faster and better hair straightening, this straightening iron provides perfect recovery and allows you to get sleek-smooth hair in an instant. It’s one of the best hair straighteners with ceramic heater and titanium plates, so get it no at Ulta for yourself!
6. Bio Ionic 10X Pro Styling Iron 1”
The product name says it all, but if you’re in for more assurance, this styling iron hydrates, conditions, and moisturizes the hair for a neater look in 10 minutes or less. With this one-inch Bio Ionic hair straightener, you can trap tiny water molecules in your hair thanks to the volcanic rock materials derived from nature that are infused into this flat iron. Grab one for yourself at Sephora!
7. CHI Ceramic 1″ Hairstyling Iron
This flat iron straightens, and curls with an all-in-one ergonomic design that creates silky, shiny hair. It comes with negative ions that add moisture and reduce frizz for that gorgeous salon hairstyle you can achieve at home. Find it for sale at Ulta!
8. Sutra Ceramic Hair Straightener
This professional ceramic hair straightener is designed to seal your hair natural moisture leaving it shiny and frizz-free after straightening. It’s lightweight to make the whole hair styling process easier. Moreover, it has an adjustable temperature setting that heats up to 450°F. Get it in any of the four color options available on Amazon!
9. Corioliss C1 Nano Hair Straightener
This particular flat iron always speaks for itself. It is lightweight, ergonomic and creates a long-lasting smooth effect. It features 1-inch silk-coated plates that glide through the hair to create sleek straight hair or bouncy curls. This hair straightener is available for purchase at LookFantastic.
Hair straightener, flat iron or hair iron is a hair styling tool used to change the shape of hair through heating. Its origin goes way back to the 19th century, when in 1872, a Parisian, Marcel Grateau got the idea of straightening the hair using heated rods. Later in 1909, Isaac K. Shero patented a hair styling tool made of two heated irons used for straightening the hair.
As time went on, Sharrel started to make heated metal tools like hot combs that were easy to use for hair styling and caused less damage than the previous versions of hair straighteners.
Later on, through modification and innovation, ceramic and electrical hair straighteners became a thing because of the adjustable heat settings and their small sizes.
With different brands of flat irons available now, it has become really tough to choose a particular type to use. Even at that, it is important to know the various types of flat irons that exist.
• Ceramic Flat Iron
For a start, this particular type of hair straightener is good for wavy and moderately curly hair. The ceramic plates this flat iron comes with give room for even heat distribution. The only downside is that the ceramic coating peels off over time, making the hair straightening process not that effective any longer.
• Ionic Flat Iron
Designed with a unique technology that traps hair moisture, this feature makes it possible for you to have shinier hair right after the first use. This type of flat iron works excellently on frizzy, coarse, wavy, dry and curly hair types.
• Tourmaline Flat Iron
Working really well on all hair types, this hair straightener has finely ground tourmaline dust applied to its plates. The tourmaline flat iron requires less heat to straighten hair than all the other types, thus doing less damage to your hair. It’s especially recommended for those with damaged hair, and it also works to reduce frizz and seal the hair shaft.
• Titanium Flat Iron
This type of flat iron has so much similarity with the tourmaline flat iron, like producing negative ions, not requiring much heat, and on its own, taking a few seconds to heat up. It also works well on almost all hair types. The only downside is that they might be more expensive compared to the other types.
• Wet to Dry Flat Iron
This type works exceptionally well on wavy hair and contains venting systems that allow using it on damp and wet hair.
There are so many factors that should be put into consideration before getting a hair straightener as the right type will not only save you more money but also will give you the best results without damage or breakage.
Consider the Plate Width and Shape
The wider the plate, the more quickly it gets the job done. Thicker plates are great for thick, curly, coarse and long hair. Even though flat irons with wider width can be very difficult to carry around, it’s necessary you put this factor into consideration. On the other hand, narrow plates are perfect for those with shorter hair, as you can easily get to spots you’ll target with difficulty while working with wider plates.
In addition, some flat irons feature sharp edges that will give you pin-straight hair, while others come with slightly rounded outer edges thus also doubling as curling irons. So, if you are looking for versatility, definitely consider the latter option.
The temperature range should also be taken into consideration. While some flat irons heat up really quickly, they are not suitable for certain hair types. Always buy a flat iron with adjustable heat settings, then make use of the temperature that suits your hair type.
Your Hair Texture
For fine or thin hair, it is best to use a ceramic flat iron, as it evenly smoothens hair and reduces frizz. For thick and coarse hair, titanium flat iron is highly recommended. At times it comes with an ionic charge, which leaves hair looking smooth at once without having to straighten it over and over again. It also heats up fast.
Hair straighteners work on all hair types and length – long or short. But, knowing how to use it to achieve the best result can be a problem at times.
You don’t just pick it up and start to flatten out your hair especially if it’s short – there are steps you need to follow to achieve that glossy look.
• Make sure to start on clean hair. When washing your hair, use shampoo and conditioner meant for straight hair. Note that using hair products for straight hair will not give you sleek hair, but it is a perfect prepping step for hair straightening.
• Use a heat protectant spray. A heat protectant provides your hair with instant protection against high temperature, so you don’t damage or dry out your hair.
• It is not advisable to use a flat iron when your hair is damp or wet, as your hair is at its most vulnerable state at that point. So, gently towel-dry it and use a blow dryer to get dry hair before straightening it with the flat iron.
• Separate your hair into sections to make the whole straightening process easier. For long hair, clip all the sections that you are not working on, and then unclip small sections you want to straighten. For short hair, you can skip this process.
• Keep the flat iron away from your scalp and start to straighten your hair. If you have straight hair, the flat iron should be an inch away from your scalp, but if you have curly or textured hair, it should be closer than an inch.
• Make sure the sides of the flat iron touch with the section of hair you are working on in-between them, but do not clamp too firmly. Also, try not to hold the flat iron in the same spot for too long. For better results, run the flat iron over each section up to 3 times.
• If you have short hair, hold the ends up towards the ceiling and straighten to give your hair volume when you are done.
• Repeat the steps with the other sections as well. As you finish, set your blow dryer to the cold temperature and use it all over your hair for about a minute. Finally apply a hair spray, hair serum or any other post-straightening product.
Hair straightener isn’t just meant for straightening your hair. You can also use a flat iron to curl your hair or get soft beachy waves perfect for summertime. Here’s how you do it!
• Make sure your hair is clean and dry. Curling does not really go down well with dirty and wet hair. So, to curl your hair with the flat iron, wash it for at least 24 hours before starting curling it.
• Apply a heat protectant all over your hair, as it helps to create a barrier between the flat iron and your hair.
• Section your hair into several parts using a comb and clip them. It doesn’t have to be equal parts. Then, curl small sections starting at the bottom. Depending on the type of curls you want, you can either direct the flat iron away from your face or towards your face.
• There are two methods of getting curls using a flat iron. For the flicks method, you start curling half-way down the hair length. Turn the flat iron back on itself in a half way turn, creating a U-shape it and your hair. While maintaining that position, slowly move the flat iron down the hair shaft to the end. The faster you move it down, the less curly your hair will get in the end.
• For the curls method, you have to start close to the scalp but not too close to get burnt. Clamp the iron closed and turn it back on itself in a half turn. Run the flat iron slowly down the hair shaft to the tips.
• With both methods, you can try to get more pronounced curls by rotating the flat iron in a full turn, instead of a half turn.
• To get effortless beachy waves, don’t curl your hair tips, but rather release the flat iron before reaching the ends. Also note that working on smaller sections will give you tighter curls, while working on bigger sections you’ll get bouncy, beachy waves. You can also combine different sizes of curls for an interesting look.
• Once done, you can either leave it that way or get looser curls by gently running your fingers through the hair. Apply a generous amount of hair spray for a flexible hold.
In addition to finding the best hair straightener and knowing how to use a flat iron to straighten or curl your hair, there are still a few useful tips you should know.
• Do not set the heat higher than 365°F or else you’ll damage your hair. If you have fine hair, then the temperature should not exceed 325°F.
• Use a straightening comb and a flat iron at the same time. The comb detangles the hair while the flat iron does what it’s known for, either straightening or curling.
• Use a thermal brush right at the roots of your hair to give extra volume at the crown and also get rid of cowlicks.
• You can use your flat iron on a braid to get that cool crimped look.
• Always add finishing products like hair spray to reduce frizz and add shine.
• Do not oil your hair before straightening.
• Clean the flat iron after each use with a washcloth and alcohol or warm water. To clean smaller places in the flat iron, use a cotton swab.
Photos via @hairbymandielynn, @romeufelipe