There are a lot of different flat irons out there and picking the right one can be really overwhelming. Plus, flat irons & hair straighteners can get expensive in a hurry, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting the right one for your hair type (or your child’s hair).
Look no further. Everything you need to know about selecting the right flat iron is in this Flat Iron Buying Guide, if you have a question about flat irons chances are we answered it here. So grab a cup of coffee or a tea and sit down and enjoy!!
When it comes to Titanium Plated Straighteners you can't go wrong with the BabylissPRO Nano. Babyliss has taken all the modern technologies and packed them into this flat iron.
When you can pickup a Flat Iron like this for under $50 you better grab it while you can. Don't trust me, this straightener has over 26,000 reviews on amazon.
As a Beautician my flat iron is one of my go to tools that I use everyday along with my curling wand. To be totally honest with you, I have tried and used several different flat irons over the years and a site like this would have saved me a ton of money. I’ve used and abused almost every brand under the sun except the some of the brand new ones.
A decent hair straightener should last you several years unless you are a hair dresser, then you will need a new one every six months, lol. If you do your homework you can find a good flat iron that will last a couple years without a doubt. How do I know that, because you are here visiting my site and if you are doing that chances are you are looking for the best flat iron to buy. Even better by looking around and comparing the different models and flat iron reviews on this site I can help you get the right straightener for your hair without spending a ton of money.
Flat Irons range from $20 at the drugstore to $300 in some salons. Let me show the differences between the two and everything in between that way you can sort through the fluff and grab the best flat iron for your needs.
|Brand or Model||Number Reviews||Star Rating||Price||Learn More|
|BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium-Plated Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron||517||4.5/5||$$$$||Learn More|
|HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron||26,902||4.5/5||$||Learn More|
|CHI Original Pro 1” Ceramic Ionic Tourmaline Flat Iron||3,412||3.5/5||$$||Learn More|
|RUSK Engineering CTC Technology Professional Straightening Iron||456||4.5/5||$$$||Learn More|
|ghd Classic 1-inch Styler||567||4/5||$$$||Learn More|
|Karmin G3 Salon Professional Ceramic Flat Iron||427||4/5||$$$$||Learn More|
|Croc Classic Nano-Titanium Flat Iron||588||4.4/5||$$$$||Learn More|
|BIO IONIC Onepass Straightening Iron||547||4/5||$$$$||Learn More|
|Onei MK-I Halo Ceramic Flat Iron||396||4.1/5||$$$$||Learn More|
|IZUTECH KTX450 LT Titanium Digital Flat Iron||173||4.0/5||$$$||Learn More|
Hair comes in many different types and textures, and different kinds of hair react better to flat ironing at different temperatures. The temperature of your flat iron, meaning both how hot it gets and how quickly it will heat up, depends on what material your flat iron is made out of. So, your hair type is going to decide what material your flat iron should be made out of.
Most importantly, you want to avoid burning your hair. Burning your hair can do lasting damage, and plus it stinks. Under no circumstances should you ever let your iron get hotter than 450 degrees because temperatures higher than 450 will burn almost all hair. However, many hair types can burn at much lower temperatures than 450 degrees.
Fine and/or thin hair burns more easily than other hair types, so women with this type of hair will want to purchase a flat iron that doesn’t super hot and heats up slowly. This is even more important if you already have a somewhat straight hair style and just need a flat iron to create beach waves or a more sleek and sexy look rather than to remove your hair’s natural curl. You won’t need as much heat to achieve the look you want because you won’t be fighting against your hair’s natural texture.
If you have fine or thin hair, you want to make sure that the temperature of your flat iron stays between 250 and 300 degrees at all times. If your hair is particularly fragile or damaged, you may even want to keep your plates heated below 250 degrees to protect your hair.
This means it’s important to select a flat iron that isn’t going to get too hot too quickly. Look for an iron that has a lot of temperature control and consistency options, and avoid flat irons that specifically say they heat up instantly to high temperatures like 400 degrees.
Ceramic flat irons are often a good choice for this hair type. Ceramic plates help to combat frizz and also heat up more slowly than other plate materials, and then once they heat up to the desired temperature they stay at that temperature consistently. But be careful not to confuse a ceramic flat iron with a ceramic coated flat iron. Ceramic coated flat irons actually have plates that are made out of metal on the inside, and these plates can heat up very fast, but do not retain heat as well as full ceramic plates.
If your hair isn’t very thin or very thick, and isn’t very straight or very curvy, but falls somewhere between all that, a medium temperature is the right way to go. Look for flat irons that give the ability to keep your plates consistently between 300 and 350 degrees.
However, if your hair is especially long (past your shoulders) you can bump your temperature up to between 360 and 380 degrees. Like people with finer hair types, flat irons that heat up very quickly to high temperatures can burn your hair. Ceramic plates are great choice for normal and/or wavy hair. I would suggest looking at the CHI Original Pro 1” Ceramic Ionic Tourmaline Flat Iron or the Best Value we found the HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron
This is the most stubborn hair type to straighten or flatten, so you will have to go up to a higher temperature to get your hair to cooperate. This means you will want to keep the temperature of your flat iron between 350 and 400 degrees, possibly even a little higher if your hair is especially stubborn or long. This means you’ll want to select a flat iron material that gets very hot very fast.
Consider getting a titanium flat iron, which will heat up very quickly. A great flat iron for this hair type, and particularly for African-American hair types, is the RUSK Engineering CTC Technology Professional Str8 Iron 1 Inch, with a temperature range from 280 to 450 degrees. It is great for people with long hair past their shoulders and features a Sol-Gel that makes it easier to arrange hair over the plates and helps hair smoothness.
You may also want to consider the BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium flat iron, which also heats all the way to 450. It is unique in that its long body enables you to straighten more hair with each grab, allowing for a relatively thin one inch plate that makes it easy to curl with as well as straighten.
One of the main reasons that people opt to flat iron their hair isn’t just to make curls straight but to smooth out frizzy hair so that it becomes sleek and smooth. Many flat irons are made of materials that are specifically designed to combat frizz.
The best material for fighting frizz has traditionally been ceramic. Ceramic plates are very smooth compared to other plate materials and so they leave hair sleek and shiny. Ceramic also helps to lock in your hair’s moisture so if your hair is already dry or coarse ceramic is a great option.
The CHI Air Expert Classic is touted as one of the best ceramic irons because its ceramic plates are extra smooth, avoiding hair damage. It also means that the heat is distributed very evenly throughout the plates. This helps to avoid hot spots that can damage your hair and also makes the flat iron more effective.
The HSI Professional 1 Ceramic Tourmaline Flat Iron is the best value for getting your hair straight, and it comes with goodies too
The CHI Classic Flat Iron has it all! You can do it all with this flat iron, I have used it in my salon for years without any problems
If you are looking for the best, then then Karmin G3 is for you. With great heat, style and design, the Karmin ceramic hair straightener is your best option
Tourmaline Plated Hair Straighteners In recent years, some flat iron manufacturers have begun producing tourmaline coated ceramic plates. Tourmaline is a gemstone that renders the surface of ceramic plates even smoother. The smoother the plate, the less friction and catching there will be when you glide it across your hair, so the less damage it will cause.
Less damage means less frizz. But tourmaline flat irons can be a lot more expensive than other types of flat iron, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise because tourmaline is a gem and gems are rather expensive. Just ask my husband he loves to buy me rare stones.
If you want a Flat Iron that will head immediately then you need to grab a Titanium Plate Flat Iron. Titanium hair straighteners like the Izunami Flat Iron Ktx450 are the way to go. I swear it is like they heat up the instant you turn them on, and even better is they stay that hot the whole time. Because Titanium is one of the strongest and lightest metals it means your new Titanium Flat Iron will feel like it is on a diet when compared to the Ceramic or Tourmaline straighteners.
Titanium hair straighteners work best on the ends of your hair, primarily because there isn’t as much heat transfer with these irons. They can also help you extend your normal trip to the salon to get rid of dead ends, as a Titanium flat iron can help prolong the life of your hair especially the delicate ends. Titanium plates also last much longer because they are not porous like ceramic plates.
Titanium as mentioned above is one of the strongest and most durable metals available, so it is no surprise that a Titanium flat Iron like the Babyliss PRO Nano Titanium 1 should last several years longer than it comparable ceramic irons. The biggest downside to Titanium flat irons is price, they are usually some of the highest priced options available.
The Izunami Flat Iron Ktx450 is a top-of-the-line choice with some of the largest plates available on a flat iron.
The BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium offers plenty of heat to get your hair straight, perfect for any hair that needs some straightening
The Rusk Professional Titanium-Infused Str8 Flat Irons works for just about every hair type - even yours!
I wonder who the marketer / scientist was that introduced science into your flat iron. I mean seriously did you every think we would be talking about positive and negative ions for beauty tools? As a beauty blogger I love all the great tools I get to review and use but rarely, rarely does science creep into our segment.
Well now it has and I just want to take a second and put this in simple to understand terms. Frizzy hair has built up static energy or electricity in it, that is why it is frizzy. The positive ions in your hair is what causes it to be frizzy. The Ionic Flat irons introduce negative ions to your hair, which in a sense neutralizes your hair and makes it less frizzy and more beautiful by eliminating the static energy.
Some flat irons will simply state that they are made out of metal, rather than titanium. Blanket metal flat irons are usually cheaper than titanium or ceramic flat irons. Glass flat irons are also cheaper than flat irons made out of other materials. Both of these materials can cause heat spikes which increase the risk of burning your hair, so people with all types of hair should avoid these materials if possible.
You’ve probably heard of Teflon before as a coating for kitchen pans, but some cheaper flat irons also come with Teflon coated plates. Just like in the kitchen, Teflon coating can flake off, revealing whatever material is underneath it, and it’s also just not very good for you. If, to avoid expense, you want to get a flat iron with coated metal plates instead of full ceramic or titanium plates, consider ceramic coated metal instead of Teflon coating.
You may have noticed that in addition to varying by material, flat irons also vary widely by plate width. The thicker and curlier your hair, and the longer your hair, the thicker you will want your flat iron plates to be. Below is a quick guide to help you decide which plate width is best for you.
Fragile, damaged hair:
Fine, thin, straight hair:
Medium thickness, wavy short hair:
Medium thickness, wavy medium length hair:
Medium thickness, wavy long hair:
Thick, curly and/or coarse short hair:
Thick, curly and/or coarse medium length hair:
Thick, curly and/or coarse long hair:
One great flat iron for long, thick hair is the Bio Ionic Onepass. Not only does it come in different plate widths, it also maintains even heat for an extended period of time, avoiding heating inconsistencies across the plate that can require you to glide the flat iron over the same section or hair multiple times to finish the job.
In addition to smoothing and flattening hair, you can actually use a flat iron to create waves or even curl your hair. If you plan to use your flat iron for curling, you may want to select thinner plates that will make it easier to twirl your hair around the iron. The CHI AIR Expert Classic is particularly recommended for this because of its slimness.
The most obvious practical consideration when it comes to picking out a flat iron is cost. The cost of flat irons can vary widely, and only you know what price point is right for you. But there are a number of other practical considerations you will want to take into account before you go ahead and purchase any flat iron.
If you are straightening your entire head, you could have your arms up in the air for a long time, especially if your hair is stubborn or long. Your arms can get tired, or even start to hurt, if you have to spend a lot of time straightening your hair. So take weight into consideration. Titanium flat irons are usually the lightest. I mean this is a sad but true realism for us ladies. My husband loves my long hair, but geesh I do hate it sometimes. Especially when I am straightening it or using my flat iron to curl my hair. My arms do get tired and I would be lying to you if I didn’t say the Titanium Irons are way better for long hair because they weigh a ton less.
Also consider whether the shape and size will be comfortable in your hand. For instance, the Turboion Croc Classic offers a handle that is thinner than its plates, making it easier to hold. The Croc is one of the few flat irons that put more emphasis on how it feels in your hand than the actual look of the flat iron.
The speed with which your flat iron is able to heat up was discussed earlier in regard to not wanting to burn your hair, especially if it’s fine or thin, but for those with thicker or curlier hair and who want their irons to stay at higher temperatures, an iron that heats up fast is a good thing. If you’re really busy, or usually straighten your hair in the mornings before getting to work, or if your hair is long or stubborn to straighten and is going to take a long time to straighten already, you’ll want an iron that heats up quickly. In addition to being light, titanium flat irons usually heat up the fastest.
Likewise, a flat iron that doesn’t stay hot consistently, or that has plates that have hot and cold spots, will take a longer time to straighten your hair because you will have to pass it over your hair repeatedly to get the results you want. The Bio Ionic Onepass hair Straightener is a great flat iron for someone who prioritizes speed. It’s known to cut as much as fifteen minutes or more off of your straightening time.
The CHI Air Expert Classic has an easily controlled temperature wheel in a housing that prevents you from accidentally changing the temperature while you’re still working on your hair, preventing you from needing to go back over your hair to get the look you want.
The Karmin G3 Salon Professional 1″ Flat Iron has plates featuring a special blend of ceramic and tourmaline that allow it to heat up very quickly and maintain consistent heat throughout each plate. The Karmin G3 is the main choice for many Hair Stylists in their salons because of the great range of temperature control.
If you care about speed and you wash your hair frequently, wet-to-dry capability may be just as important to you as having a flat iron that speeds up quickly and consistently. I mean who wouldn’t love to ditch their hair dryer and skip that step of their morning routine. I for one was quite skeptical at first when the Wet-to-Dry Flat Irons hit the market. I mean it just seemed like something that could take your hair from wet to dry and straighten it at the same time would just damage your hair. But it doesn’t they work really well.
Wet-to-dry flat irons are designed to dry the hair while they straighten it at the same time. Be careful when picking out a wet to dry flat iron, however, because many flat irons within this category have been found to be ineffective. But not to worry I have listed three trusty wet-to-dry flat irons below for you.
Three wet-to-dry flat irons that do have good reputations, are:
Flat irons aren’t cheap, so you don’t want to invest in one only for it to break or wear down right away. Ceramic plates, while though they’re better for many hair types and help get hair smoother, wear down faster than titanium because of their porous surface, so titanium will be more durable.
That said, tourmaline, since it’s a stone, is extremely durable. So if you care about durability but want the benefits of ceramic plates, you may want to invest in a flat iron with tourmaline-coated ceramic plates. It will probably be more expensive, but since it lasts longer it may actually save you more money in the long run, and the tourmaline will only enhance the ceramic’s benefits.
Fact of the matter is that most Tourmaline Flat irons are priced very competitively to Titanium flat irons. But be careful some of the non name brand models that feature “tourmaline” or “titanium” plates are not the real thing, so it is best to stick with the main brands. Babyliss, CHI, and Paul Mitchell Pro Tools are all great choices when looking for hair straighteners
Even more important than temperature control is safety, especially if you have kids or pets in the house. It is even more important if you are the kind of person who sometimes forgets to turn things off before walking away or if you’re a multi-tasker who is likely to go back and forth between straightening her hair and doing something else.
Many flat irons offer a timed auto shutoff feature, so if you’re concerned about anyone in your household possibly getting burned, this is the most important feature to look for. You’ll also want to make sure, however, that the auto shutoff isn’t timed to go off too quickly and before you can finish straightening your hair. This is a concern if you have long or stubborn hair.
Like making sure that you select a flat iron with plates made of durable materials, you may also want to consider whether a flat iron comes with a warranty before buying it, particularly if having your flat iron break on you and needing to go by another one is a big concern for you. Consider seeking out a flat iron that offers at least one year of warranty protection.
Many flat irons come with extra features. Probably the most significant feature when it comes to getting your hair exactly the way you want it is exact temperature control. A really good flat iron should offer both exact temperature control and a wide temperature range.
In addition to auto shutoff, many flat irons have locks that let you keep them shut when you aren’t using them. These add an extra layer of safety on top of the auto shutoff feature and also make it easier to store your flat iron when you aren’t using it.
Many flat irons also come with a separate or attached stand that enable you to set it down without putting the hot part of the iron directly on the surface of your furniture. However, if your flat iron doesn’t have a stand, you can buy something called a flat mat, which is a small silicone mat that you can set your flat iron on to avoid damaging your counter or furniture.
Some flat irons can also be used with silicon or rubber coverings that go on top of the plates. These coverings sort and comb through the hair as it passes between the two plates. The Bio Ionic Onepass comes with silicon covers that organize hair so every strand is straightened.
There are even flat irons that offer argan oil treatment infused directly into the plates.
Finally, if you’re on the go a lot, consider whether a flat iron has any travel-friendly features. Some flat irons come with their own travel pouches and/or can be used in many different countries because of their ability to handle a wide range of electric voltages. A good example is the HSI Professional Digital Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron Hair Straightener, which is specifically designed for travel.
It has a wide temperature range so it works well for many hair types, but is recommended in particular for fine hair because of its ability to grip well. One downside to this particular flat iron is that it doesn’t heat evenly and so it requires a little more effort to work with it, but it is significantly less expensive than other tourmaline flat irons.
Two other travel-friendly flat irons are the Karmin G3 Salon Professional 1″ Flat Iron and the U9 LCD Digital Wet-to-Dry Ionic Dual Voltage Flat Iron, which both also offer dual voltage for use in multiple countries.