The search for the best flat iron shouldn’t be so hard. This guide reveals to you the top rated and bestselling flat irons available, depending on your needs and budget.
To buy or not to buy – that’s not even the question anymore because, let’s face it, what many women really want to know is what brand and model is the best flat iron today.
But before getting into the deep end of things, however, there are a few things that a woman who is looking for the most excellent brand of hair straightener should be aware of. Yes, you want to know the best flat iron for your money and so you have read tons of the best flat iron reviews in 2014. But did you actually find one that is most suitable for your needs? We didn’t think so. In our quest to help you, we’ve come up with an in-depth guide that will help you find the perfect flat iron for you.
Let’s get started..
- Characteristics of a Good Quality Flat Iron
- Types of Flat Irons
- Best Flat Iron Brands
Characteristics of a Good Quality Flat Iron
Must Be Ceramic
What is the best plate material that can conduct heat better and do less damage to your hair than inferior quality metal plates? The answer is ceramic. If you still don’t know, metal plates have these so-called “hot spots” that are damaging to hair follicles and hair strands. Ceramic plates, on the other hand, release negative ions that help control hair frizz.
Because of its durability, a ceramic flat iron would be a worthwhile investment even if it could set you back for over $50, price-wise for some brands. You can spend more than that if you keep buying poorly-made straightening irons. If you need to splurge on just one personal beauty/grooming tool so you can get the best bang for your buck.
A flat iron with narrow plates gives you access to hard-to-reach spots that you want to straighten or curl. The majority of hair straighteners today have narrower plates. Look for 1 to 1½-inch plates so you are able to get as close as possible to your head’s crown. If you have curly and/or thick hair, however, you need an iron with wider plates from between 2 to 2½ and 3 inches for best results.
Automatic Shut-Off and Temperature Gauge Features
Hair types vary from one individual to another so, naturally, you would want one that lets you set the temperature with which to curl or straighten your hair. A straightener that is sufficiently hot for thick or curly hair will burn straight or fine hair. For it to be considered the best hair straightener, it has to have a temperature gauge, end of conversation.
Although an automatic shut-off feature is not a deal breaker, we all want a hairstyling tool that won’t burn down the house should we leave it on unintentionally. Remember that not all models have this feature, or a temperature gauge for that matter, before you actually purchase one. But don’t let this single feature be your only basis for not buying a particular flat iron.
Types of Flat Irons
The number of flat iron types available to consumers is increasing rapidly and it can be overwhelming for anybody to make a purchase decision. Bear in mind that, in choosing the best quality ceramic flat iron, you need to figure out how the purchase fits not only your hair type but your budget as well.
Straightening irons have varying shapes, lengths, materials, designs, and prices. Alongside the budget, you should know how frequently you’ll be using it. You shouldn’t, for instance, buy a two hundred dollar model if you know you will use it less than twice a month, because it just isn’t practical.
Here is a list of the types of flat irons which you may want to consider:
This type usually has metal plates with limited or no temperature settings. Although a basic hair iron gets the job done just the same, you shouldn’t forget, as mentioned earlier, that metal plates can burn your hair because of the intense amount of heat that they release.
This is probably the most used type that you can find with a price tag that can go from moderate to expensive. The best ceramic flat iron is capable of distributing heat evenly throughout your whole head of hair as well as maintaining a heat temperature that is consistent while in use. Ceramic hair straighteners are also popular because they are less likely to burn hair.
One of the most versatile type is the tourmaline flat iron because of its ability to function excellently and provide numerous hairstyling techniques. This gemstone heats up fast and gives the user not only great style but glossy, healthy-looking, and silky-smooth hair. This is because tourmaline generates more negative ions than its ceramic counterpart.
This, ladies, is the “Rolls Royce of all flat irons”, built and designed to eliminate hair frizz while giving it a sheerness that shines due to its ability to lock in the hair’s moisture, sealing the follicles so they don’t get overexposed to heat and therefore helping hydrate the hair while simultaneously protecting it. The price of an ionic hair straightener is on the heftier side.
At the end of the day, however, it’s really just between the ceramic and tourmaline types that you can choose from when it comes to the best plate material since the basic metal kind is not advisable to use for any type of hair.
As to which is the better material, it depends on the user’s particular needs. Tourmaline’s moisturizing properties can be beneficial to all types of hair. And because tourmaline can help hydrate the hair’s follicles, a user with thick, coarse, wavy or curly hair will benefit from a tourmaline hair iron.
Users with thin, straight or even limp hair will also benefit from the tourmaline type, but since their hair types can easily be damaged by extreme heat that the gemstone tourmaline can potentially cause, it is best that this type of users choose the ceramic alternative.
Features of the Best Flat Irons
Auto shut off
The best flat iron with automatic shut off is the Ion Beauty One Stroke Perpetual Straightening Iron simply because its auto shut off time is two hours. This is feature is especially useful for households or living quarters that have more than one user. The first one can leave it for the next user/s for the next 120 hours sans the worry about starting a fire. Of course the Ion also straightens your hair in merely seconds and keep it sleek even in the high humid conditions with its six settings that have a max out of 450°F.
The best flat iron with comb is the Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Straightener with Straightening Comb in red. It has a wet/dry feature, two-inch straightening plates to not only straighten but dry and detangle your hair simultaneously. Conair technology assures the user of damage-free hairstyling and keeps your hair’s natural luster intact because of its wet-use capability that helps retain your hair’s natural moisture to bring out its silkiness. Conair’s straightening comb helps detangle even the most frizzy of hair to give you that attractive sleek and smooth look throughout the day.
Now there are straightening irons with “teeth,” we kid you not, and the best flat iron with teeth at the moment is the Straight Express™ Flattening Iron designed by European engineering that straightens hair with just a single pass. Using the advanced 3D Straight™ Technology, this particular model has 16 “eating teeth” integrated with one inch titanium, tourmaline ceramic-boosted plates to provide your hair not only the best heat but the precision and speed to deliver excellent hairstyling results. Its ionic generator delivers that all-too important finishing touch to wipe out the frizz from your hair and put in shine.
Ability to create waves, curls & flips
If what you’re looking for is the best flat iron with rounded edges, look no more and get the Andis 67410 Curved Edge Professional Heat Hair Straightener with curved plates for straightening hair without leaving lines, marks, creases or dents. The edges of the Andis create smooth curls, flips, and waves with volume that holds. This is because the compact design of the Andis lets you get close and down to your scalp and other hard-to-reach places. With the Andis, you can style your hair right to the roots which most other models may find difficult to do.
Steam-producing straighteners provide moisture to your hair to keep it from drying out. The best flat iron with steam is the Hot Tools Ion Ceramic Steam Hair Iron with two caps that act as water reservoir to provide continuous steam as well as three settings that work to ion steam and condition your hair at the same time. Hot Tools created this with ions that steam-moisturize hair and far infrared heat for styling it afterwards. This Hot Tools flat iron’s steam has great hold but will not dry out your hair and rob it of its moisturize just to create a new style.
If you have damaged, chemically-treated or very fine hair, you need a one that has temperature adjustments. Straightening irons without adjustment control have the tendency to emit high heat that can result in hair breakage and split ends. Hair can either curl or straighter from lower heat than thick or coarse hair so look for the best flat iron with temperature control. Start at the lowest setting and work the most suitable level for your hair from there. Thin hair can straighten at a 300 degree setting or even lower while normal hair will need between 300 and 380 degrees. Coarse or thick hair will definitely require higher heat to straighten it.
A flat iron’s size refers to its plates. Choosing the best size really depends on your hair type and length. For thick, curly or coarse hair that’s above the shoulders, the plate should measure between an inch and 1½ inches; if hair is shoulder length, between an inch and two inches, and below the shoulders between 1½ and two inches. For hair that’s normal or wavy above the shoulders, the plate should measure between ½ and 1¼ inches, between an inch and 1½ inches for shoulder length hair, and between 1¼ and two inches for hair below the shoulders. Thin or fine hair in any length can go for any plate size.
Short, chin-length hair needs flat irons that have 0.5 inch plates for best results since this feature enables better control for the user. Those with short hair should be very selective when buying one because there is the risk of burning the scalp and/or fingers while doing the hair. The best 0.5 inch flat iron for the job is the BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Hair Straightening Iron that can flatten smaller hair portions that may be hard to reach. This BaByliss model glides through the hair, with advanced heat surround technology that straightens hair that is near to your scalp. It’s purse-sized and excellent to bring when traveling.
Dual / Universal Voltage
And speaking of travel, you need one that’s versatile enough to bring when you make frequent trips out of the country. A dual voltage flat iron is your best bet for that purpose and the Turboion Baby Croc Mini Travel Flat Iron is highly recommended. With its 5/8 inch surface, the dual voltage Turboion Baby Cros is conveniently small-sized for travel yet powerful enough for your hairstyling needs. Some customers who bought this straightener have brought it to France, Peru, Spain, Germany, and Italy and used it in those countries without a glitch.
For the best cordless flat iron, there’s the Andrew Collinge Cordless Salon Shine Straightener that may be chunkier than other cordless brands but it gives additional heat, heats up to 230°C (446°F) in half a minute, and has an automatic shut-off feature. But for those who practically live in airports, the best flat iron for international travel is Revlon’s RVST2020 Perfect Heat Travel-Pro Mini Straightener simply because it has worldwide dual voltage capability. Not to mention a plate locking switch, a 30-second heat up plus instant heat recovery, and a self fastening cord wrap. This Revlon model is great for touch-ups.
Best Flat Iron Brands
The best flat iron brands 2014 edition may be premature to put out since the year isn’t over just yet, but because of the high quality performance of some brands, the list just has to be released so consumers can be made aware of these excellent flat irons.
The best hair straightener brands are being listed here in no particular order:
Singled out as the one of the most affordable in its class, the S8510DS Remington Hair Straightener has a ceramic coating designed with anti-frizz technology for delivery of humidity protection for the hair, its plates have micro-conditioners to lock in the hold for a sleek look.
The Chi hair straightener by Farouk has one inch plates and weighs a lightweight 1.36 pounds. Designed for professional salon use, this flat iron creates the silkiest of hair without the inconvenience of static and does an excellent job of straightening, flipping, and curling hair.
A recipient of multiple hairstyling tool awards, the GHD styling iron is perfect when you want effortless and quick hair straightening with easy waves and curls. Ideal for all hair lengths and hair types, the GHD has ceramic heaters, a sleep mode feature, universal voltage and 2.8m swivel cord.
With a patented tourmaline ceramic technology, the Sedu flat iron with 1.5 inch plates is capable of a smooth motion when straightening that also revitalizes hair with shine and softness. Capable of eliminating frizz quickly to cut straightening time by half, this Sedu model is ultra lightweight with a firm grip.
5. Paul Mitchell
Thinking of getting a Paul Mitchell flat iron? Then get the Express Ion Smooth® model with the classic design that polishes and smoothens hair time in less time. With 1.25 inches of cushioned ceramic plates provide even heat distribution, this model allows you to straighten hair close to the scalp.
The HAI Elite Nano XT Tourmaline model may weigh a mere 8 ounces but its heat power goes up to 390°F in under six seconds! With ultra-sensitive plates designed with silicone ball technology, this HAI model adjusts to both hair thickness and texture for high performance using its temperature gauge.
The Solia Tourmaline Ceramic Ionic Hair Styling Iron has an automatic sensory technology that provides instant heat to cut back on your straightening time. This model has 3/4 –inch ceramic/tourmaline ion plates shinier and silkier looking hair.
With a built-in digital ionic generator and both ionic and nano technologies, this Pro Nano Titanium Babyliss hair straightener provides a 40% faster rate for hair straightening. Its titanium material is a superior heat conductor and chemical corrosion-resistant.
Get professional-style hair straightening with the Infrashine Original Professional Ceramic 1 Inch Styling Tool. Designed to condition chemically-treated hair while straightening it, this iron with an extra long nine foot-swivel cord doesn’t leave hot spots because it distributes heat evenly.
Although Turboion makes other styling irons, the Croc Infrared edition has dual plate nano technology for even heat distribution from dual ceramic heaters. With 25 heat settings, this model has an infra-generator capable of far infrared heat production that’s fast acting, non-toxic and hypoallergenic.
Top 10 Best Hair Straighteners
- Best flat iron for your hair type: As mentioned, it depends on the kind of hair you have; The best flat iron for thick coarse hair, for instance, is that with variable settings for heat control and high temperatures up to 450°F. Still, the single best high quality flat iron will still have to be rated based on its usefulness and performance for individual hair types and requirements.
- Best straightening iron for African-American hair: it has to be the TS-2 Millennium Professional Hair Straightener which allows the user to straighten hair from the roots and close to the scalp for a smooth finish.
- Best flat iron for 4c hair: without a doubt, it’s the Karmin G3 Salon Pro Black Tourmaline Ceramic 1” Hair Straightener with its moisture-locking micro-porous technology.
- Best hair straightener for black hair: according to Clutchmagonline, the top brand is the Andis Professional 1-inch Titanium Straightening Iron with vibrating technology, fast 30-second heat up, and adjustable heat settings.
- Best flat iron for Brazilian keratin treatment: there can be no other than a hair iron with keratin-infused titanium plates. Based on some customer reviews, the best straightener keratin treatment brand is the One ‘n Only Brazilian Tech Flat Iron.
- Best hair straightener for damaged hair: for hair that’s already damaged, there’s the Bio Ionic OnePass 1.5″ Nano Ceramic Straightening Iron that conditions hair during straightening without damage to the cuticle. Thick hair that has been damaged is especially difficult to straighten or curl without doing further injury to the follicles. The best hair straightener for thick hair that is either damaged or on its way there is that made of ceramic.
- Best hair iron for extensions: any brand can straighten hair extensions; the trick is to get one with lowest temperature setting available. The best flat iron for natural hair may not be the best for hair extensions because they don’t have the moisture inherent in natural hair so they can get singed faster than natural hair.
- Best flat iron for guys: this can be the best for gals as well. All hair straighteners are created equal for both genders and the only difference would be that of price. For girls with hair as short as men’s, the best flat iron for short hair is that which can work well in hard-to-reach places.
- Best styling iron for Japanese straightening: any brand that is compatible with the Japanese hair straightening formula. Once the roots grow out the hair will come out curly so an iron is needed. Below shoulder-length hair with natural waves that undergoes this Japanese straightening technique should get the best flat iron for long wavy hair that not only have wider plates but one which releases micro-conditioners.
- Best flat iron for kinky curly hair: the same styling irons used for Africa-American hair will perform well on kinky or curly hair. Basically, the best hair straightener for kinky natural hair could be any brand that has high heat settings to smooth out the frizz.
Remember that all flat irons are designed and manufactured with the purpose of straightening, or curling, hair but the best ones will always have advanced technologies to do the job more effectively. However, the best ones are usually more expensive but you should consider the cost as part of your investment. Choosing and buying a poor quality flat iron or the wrong one for your hair type and needs can lead to disastrous results and will cost you more money in the long run.