For centuries, women have changed their hair to achieve all types of looks. The flat iron stems from an invention born in 1872 when Erica Feldman used heated rods to straighten her hair. In 1909, Isaac K Shero patented the first hair straightener which was built with two flat irons that were heated and pressed together.
While there have been many variations over the years, today’s flat irons are far more advanced than these early predecessors.
If you are looking for the best hair straightener reviews to help you make a wiser decision, you have come to the right place. Time is precious. Why waste time going through hundreds of flat iron models where in the end, only a handful of them matters to you?
This site exists for the primary purpose of helping beauty afficionados like yourself, find the ultimate hair straighteners. In addition to the individual hair straightener review, here are few of the most important considerations that anyone should keep in mind when they are thinking and hunting for a good hair straightening tool.
Types of Flat Irons
There are so many ways to straighten hair, but the quality of the straightener makes all the difference.
In some hair straightener reviews, it is common to find some users claiming about how certain flat irons work so effectively. One pass maybe all it takes for certain hair straighteners to produce perfectly shiny, pin straight lock of hair. This is while other models may require several passes which can be as many as 5 passes.
Does such claim hold any truth? Yes and No. Yes because the effectiveness of a flat iron is determined by the type of hair that it is put to work on. Do not be surprised that after you decide to purchase the model in review only to find that it does not work as effectively.
Your hair thickness, dryness and curls may be different from the hair of the reviewers. Similarly, it is common for certain hair straighteners that have been given poor rating only to exceed the buyers’ expectation.
Generally, flat irons or hair straighteners can be broken down into categories by type of plate and size. The most common types of material used to make flat iron plates include Ceramic, Titanium and Tourmaline.
The plate size is often defined by its width. Generally, they can be categorized into small (0.5- to 1-inch), medium (1- to 1.5-inch) and large (1.5- to 3-inch). Which size is ideal for you? Let’s get down right to it shortly.
Flat irons also vary by temperature. Some of the best hair straighteners like HSI Professional can heat up to as high as 450° Farenheit. However, what differentiates the best from average models is not the peak temperature itself but the flexibility to let you control the temperature to your desired range.
For example, Onei MK-I Halo lets you adjust the plate temperature between 140° to 450° Farenheit. But when it comes to technology, ghd hair straighteners belong to a class of their own as they feature automatic temperature control. The company claims that their flat irons have the built-in intelligence to determine the optimal temperature fot the hair it is working on and adjust the plate temperature accordingly.
Ceramic vs Titanium vs Tourmaline: What is the Best Hair Straightener Material?
Ceramic Flat Irons
Ceramic flat irons are the standard now if you want a decent type of hair straightener. These irons heat hair from the inside whereas older metal plated straighteners heat hair from the outside.
The difference is that metal plated irons cause more damage. Ceramic irons use infrared heat to quickly heat up hair.
Many ceramic irons are also called ionic ceramic straighters, this means that any electrical charge is neutralized by the straightener, which may allow for a shinier, smoother finish.
A good number of ceramic hair straighteners have also been combined with tourmaline and titanium to give the best results.
Titanium Flat Irons
Titanium flat irons can reach higher heat levels, which means they can straighten hair faster and even have a smoother finish.
Some ceramic flat irons even combine with titanium plates, but one issue is still a problem for household users. Since titanium flat irons heat up rapidly, they may damage hair more from frequent use.
Tourmaline Flat Irons
Tourmaline is a precious gem that is crushed into a fine powder and typically added to ceramic plated flat irons.
The tourmaline charges up when heated and attracts impurities like smoke, pollutants and perfumes. It also produces more negative ions than a regular ceramic plate flat iron. This results in smoother hair with less damage.
What Good Hair Straightener Reviews should Tell You
There are some basic principles to understand that will help you pick out the best hair straightener for your hair type and straightening goals.
Size of Plate
If you have shorter hair of this type, you can buy a smaller flat iron with about a 1-inch plate, but if you have long hair, you should go closer to 2 inches.
Thick, Curly and Coarse Hair
These hair types are the most difficult to straighten and require over 380 degrees of heat in most cases to get hair completely smooth and straight. Titanium and tourmaline hair straighteners work the best for these hair types.
Normal, Medium and Wavy Hair
While this hair is less difficult to straighten, you still need to apply a good amount of heat between 340 and 380 degrees. Ceramic, titanium and tourmaline straighters will work for your hair.
Thin and Fine Hair
You want to keep your temperature below 360 degrees and should only use ceramic hair straighteners.
What You Should Know About Hair Straightening
While hair straightening is very popular, there are some warnings to adhere to. In fact, providing such guidance is something that good hair straightener reviews should strive for.
Many studies on hair health conclude that hair straightening actually leads to frizzier hair.
In other cases, hair straightening led to an increase in hair falling out. One doctor explains that this is because older straighteners took at least 20 minutes to heat up to a desired temperature, but now straighteners go from 0 to 400 degrees in a matter of minutes.
Studies show that any heat over 356 degrees Fahrenheit will cause damage to the hair cuticle or the protective coating on each strand of hair.
These are no doubt issues that you should be concerned about. That is why as far as your budget permits, skimping on you flat iron is the last thing you want to do. While cheap flat irons tend to come with higher risk of doing damage to your hair, the best hair straighteners have been designed to minimize such risk.
I always believe that there is no free lunch in the world. Personal grooming might just be the most essential part that many ladies professionals tend to overlook. But when it comes to doing your hair, it is good to understand the basic trade-off and risks associated with it.
If you need a major makeover, the best option is still to trust the professional. But if you simply want to straighten or curl your hair just to make sure you look fresh, consider getting the best hair straighteners.
If you have the means, do not skimp on your flat iron. After all, good flat irons are supposed to last for many years and they will prove their worth over time. But if you are really tight on budget, basic entry-level models are good alternatives but make sure you are extra cautious about it.