If you have hair that is curly or wavy, chances are there are times you will want to straighten it. The key to getting beautiful, glossy, straight locks is how to choose the best hair straightener. The wrong model can actually damage your hair either by subjecting it to too much heat or by allowing your tresses to get caught in parts of the device. If you choose an ineffective model you may also find that you are wasting time going over the same hair again and again in an attempt to get the look you want.
There are so many models on the market today and it can be difficult to tell which model is the right one for your hair type and length. You want to make sure that the straightener has:
- A range of different temperature settings. Different types of hair need different levels of heat. Look for controls that show temperature and not a level as this can make it harder for you to tell how warm your straightener is getting.
- Plates that will not snag or catch your hair while you are using it.
- Even heat all along the plates. Hot spots and uneven heat can mean your hair may become damaged or will not be straightened evenly.
- Plate widths that work with your hair style and length. Plates on straighteners can range from ½” to 3” wide or more. Short hair or layered styles will do best with narrower plates while long hair can benefit from a device with wider plates.
Some of the top brands that you can buy including:
These models all tend to have features such as high quality ceramic plates, a range of different temperatures, even heating and in many cases are designed so that they can also be used to curl or make waves in a user’s hair.
If you are confused when choosing the right hair straightener for your own, here are five of the best hair straighteners you can consider online on Amazon.com. Some are narrower than others and it is important to take that into account when deciding whether a particular model is right for you.
Top 5 Best Hair Straighteners on the Market
To help you to choose and decide the best hair straightener, let’s us to help you understand more about these types of beauty machines:
Types of Hair Straighteners
The main difference between models tends to be what the plates are made out of. The two main plate materials are ceramic and metal. Here is a quick look at the different materials that straightener plates are made out of:
- Ceramic plates
These are very common and heat up evenly. Devices with these plates will be ready to use very quickly since the plates can reach the desired temperature very quickly.
- Tourmaline plates
These plates heat more quickly than other plate types. The tourmaline coating also produces negative ions which cause the device to work from the inside of the shaft out. The cuticle of the hair will close which adds shine to the hair as well as making it straight. Hair that is delicate or prone to frizz will benefit from the use of a tourmaline hair straightener
- Titanium plates
These plates are very strong and light meaning that you will not get tired arms when using one of these devices. Titanium plates heat quickly and evenly
- Metal plates
The main benefit to these is the lower price tag that comes with them. They do not heat up as quickly and may actually damage your hair. They may not heat up evenly which can cause damage and uneven results
You may also see some models that advertise infrared heat. These are normally found on models that have ceramic plates with a tourmaline coating. This heat method causes the inside of the hair shaft to be heated first and this will mean less surface damage for your hair. The shaft will be smooth and glossy and the hair may actual stay straighter longer.
Criteria for a good hair straightener
There are a few things that you should look for when you are picking out a straightener. Some features will be more important than others based on your lifestyle and your hair type but all of them are good factors to keep in mind.
- You should look at whether there is a wide range of temperatures available on your device. If you have fine, thin hair or hair that has been colored or chemically treated, you need to find a device that does not get too hot. Someone with thick or curly hair will need to ensure that their device gets very warm. Some devices will actually be able to reach temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit which should be more than warm enough to make your curly or wavy locks as straight and smooth as you want. Digital controls rather than heat levels will usually make it easier to style your hair without damaging your locks.
- You should look at the plates as well to make sure that they will not catch or snag your hair. Not only can this make it difficult to style your hair quickly it can also cause your locks to become damaged as well. It also may mean that you need to go over different sections of your hair several times. Repeated exposure to heat may mean that your hair becomes stressed or damaged more than it would if you were able to straighten your hair in a single pass.
- An external case that does not get warm is a good idea. You want to make sure that the heat is being kept on the plates and not escaping out the back of your device. If the outside of your straightener gets warm it may also be uncomfortable to hold while you are styling your hair. This may make it more difficult for you to use your straightener effectively. If you find that a particular device is too warm to the touch you may also want to invest in a glove that will protect your hand against the heat.
- If you travel, making sure that your device is compact enough to travel can be a good thing. Some models also have voltage converters built into them meaning that they can be used even if you travel to another country. Buying an outlet converter is much less expensive than buying a new straightener. You may also want to look for models that include carrying or storage pouches as well.
- Some kits will also include a storage case or traveling pouch. These can be fantastic for keeping your device protected against damage while it is being stored or while you are in transit. Often cords will become damaged while a device is being stored and this can shorten the life span of your straightener.
- Longer cords can be helpful if your home doesn’t have outlets in convenient locations. If you have to use an extension cord this may make it more difficult for your device to reach high temperatures so a longer cord can be very useful. A cord which swivels when you use it is also good for several reasons. The first is that it will be less likely to wrap around your hand. Another is that bent or crimped cords can become damaged over time. A swivel cord may end up extending the life of your device.
- If you find that you are constantly hitting the buttons on an existing device you may want to look for a model that has locking controls. This can mean that you do not accidentally switch your device off or change the heat setting without meaning to.
- If you are forgetful, an automatic shut off may be helpful. These will turn devices off after a set period of time, usually between 30 and 50 minutes. This means that even if you leave your straightener plugged in all the time you will not need to worry about it overheating or causing a fire if you do not switch it off.
- Some women want to be able to use the same device to create curls or waves. Finding a device that has a rounded barrel will make it easier to create these alternative hair styles. A device with a narrower plate width will also make it easier to create curls, waves or flips at the end of your locks. Some devices will specifically mention that they can be used for waves or curls.
- Price is also something that you need to consider when buying your straightener. Some can come with very high price tags which may make them unobtainable for some people. It may be worthwhile however, to save up your money and purchase a higher-quality hair straightener as these may be more effective and have less of a chance of damaging your locks. If you see a professional grade machine on for a very low price you need to be careful. You need to make sure that you are not purchasing a knock off. They may not work as well and some may even damage your hair when you use them.
Where can you buy hair straightener?
Hair Flat Iron Straightener models are often available in hair salons, on websites such as Amazon or on sites that sell beauty supplies. A manufacturer may also have a site that will allow you to buy a flat iron straightener directly from them which can help reduce the chance that you are buying a knockoff or imitation product.
You may also be able to find some models in drug stores or department stores. Often these have lower price tags than the ones that you would find in salons and on beauty supply websites. Keep in mind that these devices are often of lower quality than you would find if you went to a professional beauty supply store. They may not be able to reach the high temperatures that you need to deal with coarse or curly hair and may not provide even heating.
Professional grade devices will often last much longer than the ones that you can buy in department and drug stores. They may also have a warranty that will cover you if your device does not work or if it stops working after you have purchased it.
Once you have decided on a straightener, there are a few things that you need to do to ensure that your hair turns out exactly as you want it to. If you do not do these things you may end up damaging your hair and you may fail to get the look that you are attempting to achieve.
The first is to prepare your locks properly. You should make sure that your hair is dry before you begin to use your device. Some may say that they are able to work on damp hair but this can actually increase the time it will take to style your hair and may end up with your locks becoming damaged as well. Using shampoos and conditioners designed for hair that will be subjected to heat can help prevent damage from occurring.
Using a spray or crème on your hair can also help reduce the chances of damage and may give you a glossier, smoother look than it would if you used nothing at all on your hair. Your stylist should be able to recommend a good one that will work well on your hair type. There are also products that you can use in between straightening session that will help build up the strength of your hair and keep it looking smooth, glossy and healthy.
You should be careful about what temperature you set your device to, especially if you are dealing with hair that has been colored or which is very dry or thin. Even if your hair seems healthy it can be a good idea to use as low a temperature as possible and then gradually increase the temperature if you are not getting the results you want.
Try to work in sections that are appropriate for the width of your device’s plates. If you try and put too much hair in at once you may find that it either catches while you are drawing the device down your hair or you get uneven results. This may mean that you end up going back for a second pass and this can increase the chances that your hair will get damaged.
Being careful about the model you purchase, using the proper heating level for your hair type and taking your time when styling your hair can ensure that you will get the smooth, straight locks that you have been trying to achieve while being less likely to damage your tresses. Just make sure that you give your hair a break from heat styling every so often and use the best hair straightener products that will guard against heat damage.
Images credits: Amazon.com