We love to have perfect, straight hair, but we can’t afford to spend that kind of money on going to the salon. The hairdryer could be a good option if it weren’t because you need help and it’s not as polished as you would like.
But there is a perfect solution in these cases: hair straighteners. You will have your hair styled professionally without leaving home and save a lot of money without going to a beauty salon often.
Unlike hairdryers, it helps keep frizz at bay, and you can wear your hair completely straight at any time. And you can take it with you wherever you go.
But not everything is perfect. There are many different models to choose from, and some offer lousy results. So, in this buying guide, we’ll look at the best options with the right quality to give you the help you need to choose the one that’s right for your hair.
5 Tips for buying a top hair straightener
After testing the best products rated by users and comparing their features, we consider that the essential points if you want to buy the best hair straightener for your hair, are the following:
- Hair type: The primary key to choosing the right hair straightener is to know what kind of hair it is designed for. You have probably never asked yourself this question, but it is more important than you think because otherwise, getting the results you expect is more challenging. People with fine hair need less heat and gentler power, while thicker and curly hair requires more heat and broader plates.
- Size: Another point to note is what dimensions our hair straightener should have. You can find small plates, recommended for traveling, medium plates, the most common for normal hair, and large plates, suitable for some types of hair that are harder to straighten. If you have coarse or curly hair and find it difficult to untangle, a thick iron is more advisable, saving you time, as you can take more hair in a single pass.
- Material: Don’t forget to look at the manufacturing components of the iron plate. Although the coating can be made of thermoplastics, what matters most is the material that is in direct contact with your hair, which is the plate. Depending on the model, this can be very different, but the most common and best quality are ceramic or titanium. In addition, if it is combined with tourmaline, it will be even better.
- Temperature: An important aspect is to analyze if it has variable temperature settings, adaptable to the type of hair or the time of ironing. You do not always require maximum power, especially when touching up your straightening or having fine or naturally straight hair. For that, it is highly recommended that it has several levels, and you can select the one that best suits each occasion, at least 3, allowing you to keep it more or less hot.
- Speed: The last point to consider is how long it takes to heat up. You’ll want it to be as short as possible, especially when you only have to go over a few strands and you’re in a bit of a hurry. It will depend on how fast the heat is distributed in your chosen model. It can take anywhere from a few seconds to a couple of minutes. You should look for those that can be ready to straighten your hair in just a few seconds.
Top 6 Best Hair Straighteners
How to use a flat iron to straighten your hair
Even for the main ones, using a flat iron is easy, but you must take some precautions to keep your hair healthy and well cared for. Here are some steps to follow to achieve a good straightening technique.
1. Clean and dry your hair well
When hair is wet, it is more fragile, and you can burn it if it is not completely dry when applying heat. You can use a blow dryer or let it dry on its own if it is hot, and use a flat iron when there is no humidity. It is also advisable to use a heat protectant so the high temperatures will not damage your hair before blow-drying and flat ironing.
2. Style your hair properly
Another thing I recommend you do before straightening your hair is to comb it. This is a crucial step, even more so for coarse and curly hair, to make the hair smooth and silky after straightening, as the heat must be distributed throughout the strands. You can use a rough brush to detangle the more complicated parts and finish with a smaller comb to leave the hair looser.
3. Divide the hair into sections and flat iron
Once you have completed the previous two steps, you can start dividing your hair into different sections. I recommend having large or several clamps handy to release the hair gradually. When you start, leave the first strand of hair, starting at the bottom of the head, and grab the rest of the hair with the tweezers as high up as you can, so that it doesn’t get in the way while you work. When you see that the hair is the way you want it, release it upwards until you finish in the fringe area.
4. Use more passes and less rest
The best ironing technique to avoid damaging your hair is to run the iron through the same strand of hair more times, at a steady pace, and without leaving the iron stationary at any time. If you go too slowly or leave the iron in one place for a while, you could burn your hair and damage it more easily; if you go too fast, you won’t notice the results. You should maintain a medium speed to balance both aspects.
Hair Straightener Buying Guide
Those who have had more than one hair straightener will know how difficult it is to choose one. It’s not always possible to get good quality and good results. In this buying guide, we will help you to find the right one.
Ceramic vs. titanium vs. tourmaline hair straighteners
One of the most critical factors in choosing the hair straightener your hair needs is to look at the materials of the plate. Although there are many, the most common and the best you can find are ceramic, tourmaline, or titanium. Each one will be interesting for a type of hair. Below, we tell you everything you need to know to choose the right one.
1. Ceramic hair straightener
This is the most economical option, as its power is lower and it does not heat as much as other models. This can be a real advantage for some people with fine or straight hair who do not want so much heat. Otherwise, they can damage their hair. It is also interesting to know the health of your hair because if it is terrible, you can benefit from these less aggressive irons.
- They heat up very quickly: Unlike other materials, ceramic heats up efficiently and destroys the heat evenly, gliding very well on soft hair and leaving hair well cared for and shiny.
- An ideal model for damaged hair: Because its heat is uniform and reaches low, controlled temperatures, it helps to keep the most damaged hair straight without causing further damage or dryness.
- Its wear and tear do not damage the hair: Other materials such as metal or aluminum can be damaging to hide when they wear out, as they can burn your hair or produce rust on the plates, unlike ceramic.
- Suitable for coarse and thick textures: An even heat distribution on the plates allows thicker hair to use this material, although it is not ideal for curly or afro hair.
2. Tourmaline hair straightener
This type of material is composed of silicate. This element can be made of natural or synthetic materials that help block hair moisture and achieve great results using less heat than other materials. It is usually used in combination with ceramic for professional straightening, but you can find them made of metal or other components.
- They add ions that prevent humidity: This is one of the irons that best prevent frizz, as its technology helps block water vapor that can enter the cuticle, leaving the hair smoother and silkier.
- Protects hair from heat exposure: Its ion technology allows the first layer of hair to be sealed to protect it from high temperatures applied directly and repeatedly over time.
- Wear-resistant when ceramic: Tourmaline is a component used in conjunction with another material. The best choices are ceramic because it combines the best of both, as metal ones can be damaging when worn.
- Uniform heat distribution: This element achieves the best heat distribution of the three. So you’ll get the style you want faster, with fewer passes, and save time.
3. Titanium hair iron
Finally, we find titanium, a metal used for hair straighteners because of its excellent hardness and heat resistance. They do not break easily, and their plates withstand abrasion. Consequently, they are more expensive, but the most convenient for hairdressers or beauty salons, since they will use them much more and this material ensures that it will last a long time without damage.
- It heats up a lot and very fast: Metal is a component that heats up quickly; it must have a thermal coating to prevent the heat from transferring to your hand as they reach high temperatures.
- Distributes heat evenly: Although ceramic does this too, titanium ones are better at destroying heat evenly. So fewer strokes are needed to achieve a good result.
- Suitable for thick and curly hair: They are the best for leaving hair straight because they are mighty, so if you have to challenge to tame hair, this type of iron will be the most suitable.
- Not suitable when your hair is damaged: Although they achieve incredible results, high temperatures can damage your hair if you don’t take care of it as you should. A more robust system can damage damaged hair.
All the functions and uses to get the most out of your hair straightener.
Although we have talked about many important aspects, there are still some details that you can include in your choice to make it more useful. Let’s take a look at some of the most exciting functions you can find on the market:
- Temperature settings: this is the essential function, as it allows you to use it at different times and for different hair types. You won’t always need a high or low temperature, and with this, you can modulate it to your liking.
- Automatic shut-off: You don’t know how dangerous it can be to leave your straightener on for hours. That’s why, if you want to ensure that nothing will ever happen, you should buy a model that turns itself off when you stop using it.
- Portable and cordless: Although most hair straighteners are corded, some models already allow you to use a USB to charge it anywhere. This is the best option when you travel often and want to take it with you.
- Predictive technology: The most advanced brands are building systems that allow you to determine the temperature you require according to your hair type and the speed you apply. It can be a handy option.
Are our flat irons harmful to hair?
How you use them will be the key to answering this question. Like everything else, if misused, you can damage your hair. And, of course, you must consider the product’s quality. Using a very high temperature for many minutes can damage the hair; being more advisable to start by applying a low heat level and go up only if necessary. If your hair is already significantly damaged, it is not advisable to use excessive heat because it can worsen it.
A temperature above 350º starts to be harmful to the hair, and if you are not careful, you can damage the first layer of the hair, leaving it exposed to breakage because the moisture clings worse to the cuticle, and dryness occurs in the hair. It is also not recommended to use it daily, but maybe once or twice a week. It will also depend a lot on the health of your hair; if it is scorched, no more than once a week is recommended.
Size and type of hair straightener plate for natural hair
To get the best results for your hair type, you will need to pay attention to the size of the plate. This can be both in thickness and width. The former does not need to be excessively thick, as it will only affect the comfort of use. The flatter it is, the better you will be able to handle it. However, the width is essential for efficient smoothing. There are wide varieties and styles; you can find them from 2cm to 28cm or more.
The optimum level should not be more than 28cm, as it will be too uncomfortable to handle. The wider ones are a perfect option for thick, curly, and afros hair, as you will get in one pass to straighten more hair; this will save you time when you have to iron a lot of hair. However, you can use a narrower one for people with shorter, straighter, or thinner hair. I also recommend a small one if you need it for traveling.
Accessories for hair straighteners
Although the flat iron is the most important thing, some accessories can make your dull ironing experience much more accessible. Let’s take a look at some of the most common accessories you can find:
- Heat bag: If you’re traveling or in a hurry, you may not have time to let your flat iron cool completely before storing it. To avoid burning the bag, it is advisable to have one that can tolerate heat.
- Heat-resistant gloves: Some irons are powerful, and their heat can penetrate the materials in the handle, causing your hand to burn a little. To feel more comfortable, you can wear gloves to prevent this.
- Iron stand: When you’re straightening your hair, you have to release strands to make the job more efficient, so you’ll need to rest the hot iron somewhere. To avoid burning anything, a unique stand is the best choice.
Maintenance and care of your hair straightener
You must take proper care of your hair straightener to last as long as possible and be in good condition. Here are some tips that may be useful for its maintenance:
- Let it cool down before cleaning and storing: It is essential to let your hair straightener rest for the necessary time to cool down completely. Whether you keep or clean it while it is hot, you can damage the plates.
- Always clean the plate after use: When it is cold, it is advisable to clean it constantly. You can use a piece of absorbent cotton and a little alcohol without pressing too hard and gently rubbing the entire surface.
- Dry it well before storing: Once you have cleaned it well, you can use another piece of cotton to dry it, as any moisture residue can cause it to rust or wear quickly.
- Clean the rest of the iron: The plate is the most critical area, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also clean the handle. You can use the same process or just a cloth to remove any hair or dust that may be left behind.
- Pick up the cable correctly: The leading cause of an electronic device not working is the cable. To avoid damaging it, you should store it without bending it too much; you can twist it around one hand and make a natural circle.
Questions you may have
Can I use a flat iron to curl my hair?
Yes, although there are special irons and curling irons to give this shape to your hair and make it easier, you can do it with the proper technique. Just twist your wrist to create the sling, turning the hair over the iron.
Is a ceramic hair straightener better than a titanium one?
Both materials give good results depending on the type of hair. While ceramic irons are suitable for fine and delicate or damaged hair, titanium irons are best for straightening thick, curly, and afros, which are more challenging to shape.
What is the right temperature for flat ironing my hair?
High temperatures can harm the most delicate and poorly cared for hair. So, it is better in those cases to select a low temperature below 300 degrees and only use the highest settings for short periods.
Should I clean my hair straightener frequently?
Yes, cleaning the plate after each use is advisable, as burnt hair could cause the iron to perform worse. The more often you can clean it, the better it will keep.
Is a hair straightener good for hair?
Straightening makes your hair look sleek and frizz-free. However, it would help if you did not practice straightening frequently. Frequent hair straightening can lead to hair damage and breakage. Similarly, straightening hair every day is a big no as well.
What is the healthiest way to straighten hair permanently?
Keratin treatments have become increasingly popular over the past few years, and with good reason. They are one of the safer hair straightening techniques out there. Keratin is a natural protein already found in our hair; however, as protein content decreases with age and a poor diet, so do keratin levels.
What size hair straightener should I get?
The longer the hair, the bigger the iron you can get away with, but styling is harder. If you want an all-purpose tool, a 1-inch is the way. If you want to straighten super long hair, the bigger the iron, the better. For bobs and other shortcuts, small means precision.
How many types of hair straighteners are there?
We are broadly separated into three categories – chemical, non-chemical and natural – detailing how you can straighten your hair, its benefits, results, side effects, and precautions to take. Check it out!
Is a straightener good for dry hair?
Ionic Flat Irons:
These are excellent for various hair textures. Best For Several hair types, including frizzy, dry, curly, coarse, and wavy hair. If you have fine hair, ensure you don’t turn up the heat too high because that’ll make you look limp and flat.
Can a hair straightener be used on wet hair?
When you use a flat iron on wet hair, your hair is sandwiched between super-hot plates that dry and shape your hair in a matter of seconds. This can damage your hair even more than heat-styling can and isn’t something you can expect a heat protectant to fix.