The best hair straighteners make your mornings a pleasure. Instead of spending forever trying unsuccessfully to make your frizzy hair look decent, a good hair straightener just needs a few minutes to make your hair look amazing.
But how do you know which hair straightener is good and worth your money? There are a few things to look for such as the plate material, heating time and ease of use. Customer reviews can also tell you a lot about a particular brand. I expand on these and more key factors in a handy hair straightener buying guide blow.
But before that, I’d like to recommend some of the best hair straighteners I have found in the market. Taking into account a mix of factors, experts reviews and customer reviews, I picked the 5 best hair straighteners. They hail from well-known brands like ghd, BaByliss and Remington.
If you want to save time looking for a good hair straightener, pick one from the following recommendations. If you want to cast your net a bit further out, arm yourself first with our essential features checklist to help you compare among the dozens of brands and models you will encounter.
Best hair straightener reviews
This premium straightener comes with the top notch design and engineering quality that ghd is known for. I especially love its versatility. It not only straightens hair, it can also be used to create curls, waves and flicks.
Ceramic heating technology ensures even and quick heating. Your hair is styled neatly and with no risk of damage from uneven heat spots.
The straightener itself is lightweight and designed for easy handling (thanks to an extra-long 2.8m swivel cord). It will not leave you with a numb wrist. It includes universal voltage for those who want to travel with it. For safety, it has an auto shut-off 30 minute timer.
Read my full review.
- Easy to use.
- Fast and even heating.
- Can style hair in a variety of ways.
- The plates are not very wide. It will take longer to style if you have very thick hair.
Next to ceramic, titanium is one of the best hair straightener plate materials. It is very strong (good for durability) and heats up quickly to a high temperature. If other straighteners have failed your extra thick and frizzy hair, try this BaByliss Titanium Hair Straightener.
Coupled with iconic conditioning, the titanium plates leave your hair smooth, soft and shiny. Depending on your hair type, you can choose from one of the five heat settings ranging 150 to 230 degree Celsius.
The extra-wide 30mm plates make this straightener ideal for those with thicker hair and reduce the styling time, a bonus for busy mornings. The 2.7m swivel cord ensures you can glide the straightener through your hair effortlessly without the cord tangling around your head.
Read my full review.
- Easy to use.
- Titanium plates to boost performance especially for frizzy hair.
- Heat mat included for safety.
- A bit heavy.
With a plate width of 38.1mm (1.5inches), the Cloud Nine iron hair straightener is wider than the BaByliss Titanium Hair Straightener. The extra real estate on the plates works perfectly for thick and curly hair where narrower plates would take forever to style.
The straightener has 7 temperature settings ranging from 100 to 200 degree Celsius. So you can pick the setting that is perfect for your hair type.
Ceramic-coated plates ensure quick and even heating. You don’t have to keep coming back to redo unstraightened spots. Furthermore, these plates are infused with minerals to give your hair an extra shiny and sleek finish.
If you spend a lot of time on the road, use the included heat resistant luxury case to carry the straightener on your travels.
Read my full review.
- Ceramic coated plates to boost performance.
- Mineral infused plates for beautiful hair.
- Different temperature settings for different hair types.
- The buttons are a bit hard to access.
The TRESemme ceramic hair straightener brings salon-level styling right into your home. With a max temperature of 230 degrees, fast heating ceramic plates and three heat settings, there is no hair too difficult for it to handle.
The ceramic plates also release negative ions as you style your hair. These ions leave your hair looking extra shiny and sleek. For safety, the straightener has a 72-minute auto shutoff timer. So don’t freak out if you forgot to switch it off.
Read my full review.
- Adjustable heat settings.
- High-performance ceramic plates.
- Auto shutoff.
- It can get really hot so be careful with the settings.
Any hair styling method that uses heat carries a damage risk. This Remington straightener minimizes that risk using innovative keratin and macadamia protective technology. Keratin and macadamia oils infused in the plates are activated when temperature goes up. They coat your hair, preventing heat damage. They also leave your hair looking shiny and feeling soft.
That’s not all. For even more protection, a heat sensor senses the level of moisture in your hair and adjusts the plate temperature accordingly. You can also choose a specific heat setting between 160 and 230 degrees depending on your hair type and how frizzy it is.
Read my full review.
- Hair protection features.
- Variable heat settings.
- Easy to use.
- A bit heavy.
Things to consider when buying a hair straightener
As promised, here is the checklist of features you can use to find the best hair straightener for your hair. It includes those features that make the most difference in the styling experience and especially the quality of styling.
a) Plate material
This is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a hair straightener. You will come across different straighteners with varying plate materials. The type of plate makes a big difference in the performance of the flat iron. It determines how quickly and well it straightens your hair.
- Ceramic coated metal. Most low and average cost hair straighteners consist of metal coated with ceramic. While this delivers some benefits of ceramic, it is not as good as solid ceramic straighteners. They spread heat evenly but do not retain heat for long.
- Solid ceramic. Solid ceramic straighteners are a bit more expensive but come with plenty of benefits. They heat up quickly, spread the heat evenly and retain heat for longer. They are also smoother hence easier to glide through curly and frizzy hair. On the downside, ceramic is not very durable and could easily chip if the straightener falls.
- Teflon coated. Some Remington straighteners are coated with Teflon to provide a smoother glide and reduce the buildup of makeup products on the plates.
- Tourmaline. Tourmaline is a type of mineral. When used on hair straighteners, it produces negative ions that reduce static and prevent moisture loss. It results in smooth and shiny hair. In some brands, tourmaline is used together with ceramic.
- Titanium. Some premium hair straightener brands such as ghd are made from solid titanium. Titanium has mostly similar benefits as ceramic. On the downside, it does not distribute heat as evenly and can heat up too much, causing damage to some hair types. But it lasts longer than ceramic plates.
Among these options, I recommend solid ceramic. It has many performance benefits without being overly pricey. Ceramic is also the best option for those with delicate hair. If you have very thick and curly hair, try a titanium straightener.
If you are on a tight budget, there are some pretty good ceramic coated hair straighteners.
b) Temperature settings
The heating function is the next most important factor to pay attention to. After all, the entire straightening process depends on heat.
The first thing to look for is the maximum temperature. This is especially important if you have thick curly hair that needs more heat to straighten out. The best hair straighteners have a max temperature of 230 degrees, adequate even for the wildest of hairs. Don’t buy a straightener with a maximum temperature of less than 200 degrees.
Next, look at the heat settings. Don’t buy a straightener that has only one heat setting. Even if you know what temperature range your hair needs, you may still need different heat levels depending on the amount of frizz in your hair.
A hair straightener should have at least three settings. The best ones have five settings. Others like the Cloud Nine Wide Iron Hair Straightener have seven temperature settings.
The importance of having several temperature levels is that you can adjust the heat based on your type of hair and how curly it is. Otherwise you would have a straightener that is either too hot and causes damage or not hot enough and fails to straighten your hair properly.
When dealing with temperatures exceeding 150 degree Celsius, safety should be a priority. So carefully check what safety features a hair straightener has before buying it.
The most basic safety feature that should always be present is auto shutoff. This turns off the power automatically if the straightener is left unused for a certain period of time. This not only saves energy but also ensures safety should you, in a rush to get to work, forget to turn off the straightener.
The turn off timer varies from brand to brand. For some it’s half an hour and in others it’s an hour or more.
The other safety you should look for is an insulated handle. Make sure that you can handle the straightener without getting burnt.
For more protection, find a straightener with a long swivel cord. This allows you to rotate the straightener around your head without the cord tangling and causing you to mistakenly touch the hot plates.
You may find other brands with additional protective features. For instance, the Remington Keratin Radiance Straightener protects the hair using keratin and macadamia oils. It also has a sensor to prevent heat damage when your hair is moist.
d) Ease of use
How easy is it to use? This is a question you should always ask before buying a hair straightener. A look at customer feedback can tell you how easy or difficult users found the straightener to be.
Also look at the images provided by the seller. The buttons should be placed in an easily accessible place not deep inside the plates. You should be able to change the settings without even looking.
The best straighteners also come with indicator lights showing the current temperature and status of the straightener. It also goes without saying that the labeling should be clear.
Another thing: check the weight. The ideal weight is around half a kg. If the straightener is too heavy, it will tire you hand within no time.
Also check how long the cord is. It should be long enough and with a swivel design such that you can move the straightener around your head with no difficulty.
Finally, check whether the manufacturer provides any kind of storage. I recommend straighteners that come with heat-resistant pouches. This provides a safe place to store the straightener when you are done with it, an especially important feature if you have kids around.
A storage pouch can also come in handy when you want to carry the straightener with you when travelling.
f) Hair length
Depending on your hair length, some hair straighteners may be better than others. For example, we would recommend the following hair straighteners for short hair.
Q: Why are some hair straighteners so expensive?
It’s true that some brands like ghd are known for their high price tags. There are several features that make these straighteners pricier. For instance, the plates may be made out of a premium material such as solid ceramic or titanium. They may also have advanced features such as sensors and smart processors to manage temperature. But simply because a straightener is low cost does not mean that it is low quality. Focus on the features and performance to find the best straightener for you.
Q: Which straightener is best for my thick and frizzy hair?
If you have extra frizzy or thick hair, you need a hair straightener that can handle it. I recommend a straightener with a max temperature of 230 degrees, several heat settings and solid ceramic or titanium plates.
Q: Do straighteners damage hair?
Any styling method that uses heat does some damage. But most straighteners are designed to cause as little damage as possible. Features like different heat settings, infused oils and even heating can help protect your hair.
Q: How to get beach waves hair with a straightener?
Start by washing and thoroughly drying your hair. Next, apply some heat protecting spray to prevent your hair from being damaged by the heat. There are a few different ways to achieve beach waves using a straightener:
- Plait and flat iron. This is a very simple method, because you just need to plait your hair and glide the straightener down it. Start at the top of the plait, and clasp the hair for a few seconds, then move to just below (but not overlapping the area you have just set), and continue down to the bottom of the plait. For larger waves, use fewer plaits, for smaller waves make more plaits.
- Wrap, grip and glide. Separate your hair into sections, then position the straightener at the roots of your hair. Wrap the first section of your hair over the back surface of the straightener, thread it between the two plates and clasp it gently. Next, simply glide the straightener down your hair – you can give the ends a little twist with your fingers at the end to increase the curl.
- Grip and glide. This follows the same principle as curling the ribbons on a Christmas or birthday present. Simply section your hair, place the first section into the straighteners, and twist your wrist away from you so that the hair falls over the top or bottom of the plates, the run the straightener down the hair. Repeat for all the other sections.
Q: How to clean a hair straightener?
To remove a build up of products and hair oil from your straighteners, start by plugging them in and turning them on for a few minutes (the heat will help loosen any build up). Switch them off and unplug them, let them cool for at least five minutes, then wipe the blades with a damp cloth.
You can use a professional straightener cleaning spray for this, which are available from salons, or you can use alcohol, baking soda or cream cleaner. As a general maintenance tip, you should always wipe down your straighteners with a damp cloth after use, when they are cool enough.
Q: What is the best brand of hair straightener?
There are a huge amount of different hair straighteners, made by different companies, and everyone will have their own favourite brand. It is hard to know which is the best! The most popular brands are often a good place to start, as lots of people will be using them and rating them.
- BaByliss are an extremely popular brand, which often top the lists because of their affordability and versatility.
- GHD are another well known, well loved brand which are used by some of the most popular hairdressers.
- Remington is a company that have been in existence since 1816, and are a trusted brand of straightener.
- You might think of L’Oreal as being a maker of cosmetics only, but they also make hair straighteners!