Anyone who styles their hair at home knows that simply drying the hair isn’t always enough to get the desired look they’re going for. When straight or frizzy free hair is the desirable outcome, styling might require using a hair straightener.
What do I need from a hair straightener?
When shopping for a hair straightener there are a few different things to keep in mind. One thing to look for is quality. Hair straighteners are at risk of wearing out more quickly than other hot tools if they aren’t good quality. Since the paddles get so hot it’s actually possible for them to warp a bit over time. If that happens, then the pads will not connect together properly on the hair, and therefore not provide the desired result. Choosing a quality hair straightener will be able to help prevent that issue or at least put it off for a longer amount of time.
Another thing to keep in mind when shopping for a hair straightener is one that won’t burn the hair. Most hair straighteners offer a variety of heat options, but sometimes when you turn the heat down on them they don’t work very well. You want to look for one that functions at high heat without breaking down or disrupting the hair that you want to keep healthy.
Heat styling is always going to compromise the hair to some extent, but the less damage you can do to the hair the better. This applies in all circumstances. If you must use heat styling tools, you’ll want to find the ones that allow the hair to look its best in the short term but also in the long term. Great hair straighteners can make the hair look sleek and shiny without causing split ends or leading to color fading.
How do I find the best option for me?
There are a wide variety of hair straighteners on the market to choose from. We’ve found the top five best choices for home use. Here’s why they’re great.
Best Hair Straighteners in 2020
Paul Mitchell is a highly respected name in the hair care industry and for good reason. They make consistently good products whether that is hair styling products or tools. The Paul Mitchell Neuro Smooth straightening iron is one styling item that has a great reputation for a few different reasons.
One night thing about this hair straightener is that it’s made with premium titanium plates. These plates withstand heat comfortably and also transfer that heat evenly so that the hair received the heat evenly as well. Without even heat the hair is at risk of being burned. With even heat the hair straightens evenly, and the hot tool is more likely to glide their hair evenly as well. The more quickly the hair can be smoothed, the less heat it has to endure. This is the best way to cut down on frizz without disrupting the hair shaft.
This hair straightener comes with multiple heat settings to work on different hair types, and it can heat up to 450F in 30 seconds so there is no wait time. This hair straightener will also shut off automatically after it is not used for a certain amount of time. This ensures safety in the event that you forget to turn it off and leave the house or something. This styling tool also comes with a two-year warranty, so if anything goes wrong within that time period you might be eligible for a replacement.
- Heats up quickly
- Delivers a smooth performance
CHI is another very well respected name in the hair business, particularly when it comes to hair straighteners. This company actually launched some of the first flat irons ever, so they’ve been around for a while and seem to know what they’re doing. This particular model of the hair straighter has been around for 20 years with only minor tweaks here and there. They seem to go by “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mantra.
This hair straightener is always made with ceramic heat plates and plastic housing, which can be purchased in a variety of colors just for fun. Since the CHI straighteners are working with the same model that they have been for years, they don’t actually heat up as quickly as some of the other hair straighteners on the market do. They don’t always get quite as hot as some of those other products do either, but for the average person that is not really a concern.
Some of the hottest settings on newer flat irons are just too hot for the average person’s hair so you wouldn’t want to use them anyway. With the CHI you know that whatever setting you are using it should be safe for your hair. This hair straightener also tries to protect your hand from the heat. It places it’s heat control dial on the outside of the wand as opposed to the inside where many others hit it. Hair straighteners get extremely hot, and while the hair might be able to handle that heat, the skin not so much.
This straightening iron is also a good size to be used for other hair styling, such as curling the hair. Learning how to curl your hair with a hair straightener is actually easier than you might think…as long as you have a straightener with the perfect sixed housing. If it’s too bulky it will hard to use and not offer the desired result. But the classic CHI seems to be a great size for styling of all types.
The CHI irons tend to run around $100, which a bit less than some of the other great ones on the market.
- Trusted by many, good reputation
- It’s listed at a decent price
- Don’t heat up as quickly as some other irons do
- Doesn’t get super hot. (Although this is not necessarily a con, just depends on what you’re looking for.)
When it comes to budget friendly hair straighteners, the Remington UV-Baked Ceramic Straightener comes in as a great find. This straightener is a fraction of the price of some of those other ones, coming it at around $30. It can even be found at a lot of drugstores. Not all cheap hair straighteners work well, but this one heats up quickly and straightens quickly. Both of those are big considerations when it comes to straightening the hair.
This hair straightener has a digital thermometer that is easily visible on the side, so you know exactly what temperature your straightener is at all times. This is important if you are setting a limit that you don’t want to go above to protect the health of your hair.
- Heats up quickly and works powerfully
- You might need to monitor the heat to make sure it doesn’t get too hot.
The Rusk Engineering CTC Technology Professional Str8 Iron is sold for around $100 and gets great reviews. Some fans even say that their hair ends up silkier after they use it. This straight iron is made with ryton housing, a ceramic heater, and titanium-infused ceramic plates with sol-gel technology. This allows for lots of heat where it matters, but not too much heat on the part that you might be handling. Always start with the lower heat settings and work your way up to ensure that you don’t start out with too much heat at the start.
This straight iron is known for having a very long cord, which can make styling that much easier. It’s a real pain to reach for an area of hair to straighten and to run out of slack from the cord.
- Long cord
- Heats up well
- Some reviews say that it’s a bit bulky to hold
The Ghd Platinum Styler is a favorite of celebrity hair stylist Adir Abergel. The iron can be used to seal up the ends of the hair during styling, which is a bit unique. Many flat irons leave the ends of the hair looking frizzy or parched, but not in this case. Sealed ends means sleek looking hair all around.
One reason why this straightener is so good at keeping the hair sealed and healthy is thanks to its intelligent microprocessor. It can keep track of the temperature and moderate it so that it stays even throughout the styling process. This cuts down on the need to adjust the temperature as you style or having to take breaks or redo areas of the hair. It works consistently all the way through the styling process, without creating the excess heat that damages the hair.
When a straightening iron doesn’t damage the hair it will go a lot further towards keeping the hair color looking good as well. The less damage we can impart on the hair, the better. The iron also features a wishbone shaped hinge at its base, which allows for proper alignment of the heat plates as you style. This cuts down on the chances of snagging the hair and further encourages consistency of styling.
- Intelligent microprocessor
- Sleep mode for safety
- Not cheap, averages around $250