Best Hair Straighteners Tested for Every Hair Type and Budget


Best Hair Straighteners Tested for Every Hair Type and Budget

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We’ve cranked up the heat on the so-called best hair straighteners on the market.

And do you know what ?

Under the glossy finish and the hi-tech claims …

We found alarming problems.

For example:

  • Plastic handles that burn your hands
  • Plates that don’t sit flush and snag your hair
  • Bootleg versions and counterfeit cheap flat irons
  • Horrid smell when the plates heat up (I will tell you why …)
  • Hair straighteners that were used, returned, and sent to other customers

They will make you cringe !

So before you go and splurge on a new hair straightening iron …

You need to read this.

  • We’ve tested 39 of the most popular hair straighteners
  • We’ve even used an Infrared thermometer to test the heat on their plates
  • We went though distressing reviews on Amazon, Ulta, Sephora, and eBay
  • We’ve listened to customers like you on popular forums

And we know exactly what products you should NOT buy.

Here’s the thing …

Out of 39, we only kept these 2 … (I’ll explain in more details below)

Because they meet our high standards & expectations.

Now listen:

Cheap hair straighteners won’t hurt your wallet.

But I know one thing for sure …

You’ll be buying yourself a lot of frustration and a helmet head.

Let me show you why …

Quick Overview:
  • Problems with cheap hair straighteners: Why they don’t work
  • Hair straightener reviews: How to unmask the fake 5 stars
  • Plastic handles: The cheap ones that overheat
  • Curved plate flat irons: If the plates don’t clamp, they are useless
  • What makes a good quality hair straightener: What to look for
  • The top 2 hair straighteners we chose

You Don’t Want Your Hair To Look Like Candy Floss

I’ll get straight to the point.

Doing your hair in the morning is a deal with the devil.

Because your hair has a frazzled life of its own.

To transform it into glossy moveable straights that last all day …

You need heat. A lot of it !

And this soon sucks you into a long hard struggle with hair damage and frizzies.

You know it when:

  • Your hair starts to look like a frizz ball
  • Your layers flick out and refuse to stay flat
  • Your hair waves unevenly when you blow dry
  • You cannot hold a hair style anymore
  • Your head looks like candy floss
  • And you panick at every breeze

I’m sure you’ve seen it all before. Dealing with hair damage can get très expensive.

Like you:

I hate frizz and I like to control every inch of my hair.

It makes me look:

  • Put together
  • Effortlessly cool
  • And confident

It makes room for more personality to emerge above my clothes.

When I have a good hair day, everything else falls into place nicely.

There’s no denying this. Confidence starts with your hair.

It starts with a good hair styling tool that makes it happen.

You want something that can refashion your hair at the flick of a switch.

You want something that is:

  • Easy to use
  • Sensitive to your hair texture
  • Fast and efficient to save you time
  • Easy to handle and doesn’t hurt your wrist

You don’t want to battle with a clunky old flat iron that has a weird mind of its own !

Trust me, I know how it feels when your straightener:

  • Pulls your hair: Instead of gliding smoothly
  • Doesn’t have a tight clamp: You have to press hard to straighten
  • Is too hot on the outside: You can’t hold the handle for long
  • Takes forever to work: You need at least 5 passes on each section
  • Has the most idiotic temperature control: That makes no sense
  • Sounds like a crying duck: Every time you use it

Or worst …

It has an unreliable auto shut off.

I bet there are days when you sit in the office wondering if you’ve switched yours off.

I am going to be brutally honest with your here …

When you buy a hair straightener on the cheap, you get what you pay for.

Want proof ?

Let me show you the crap we had to deal with and WHY you should AVOID them.

Click on the links below to read the distressing reviews.

Hair straightener reviews

Then filter for the bad ones to see what people say.

Let me start with the worst of the lot.

Smells Of Burning Plastic

Horrid smell that comes from the plates when your straightener heats up.

Some products may have Proposition 65 warning. Watch out for this. They contain Styrene (Wikipedia Link).

According to the Agency For Toxic Substances (ATSDR):

Manufactured Styrene may contain aldehydes, which gives it a sharp and unpleasant odor.

Hair Straightener Temperature Awfully Inaccurate

Watch out for reviews where customers complain about inaccurate temperatures. This can accidentally burn your hair if you’re thinking you’re using 180° heat but the device is actually 240°

The Poor Ceramic Coated Plates Will Rip Your Hair Off

What out for poor ceramic plates.

They will snag your hair and leave crimps at the top.

A Professional Hair Straightener Costs Cheaper Than A Trip To Your Salon

When your frizzy hair takes on a mind of its own …

It’s always your hair styler that saves the day.

Believe it or not …

For me, a professional straightener works out cheaper than a trip to my hair salon.

Even at $200 it pays for itself.

what is the best hair straightener

If you want hair styles that look crisp and fresh, you need a no-nonsense top of the line flat iron that gets straight to the point.

A heat styler that glides down your hair without snagging or pulling.

You want something that speeds through your morning routine in half.

And yet, still makes you look twice as gorgeous.

The good news is, we’ve hand-picked the crème de la crème for you right here.

The Best Hair Straighteners We Trust And Buy

Here are the cool 3 brands we secretly use and we’ll buy them with our eyes closed.

1. The Newest Platinum GHD Flat Iron

For years I’ve scorched my hair with heat.

Sometimes even up to 400° F and beyond just to transform my waves into smooth and straight styles.

I blame it on my ignorance. Didn’t know what I was doing.

Until I read this:

There’s apparently an ideal temperature for your hair. And this is it »

According to Marie Claire Magazine:

Your hair straightener temperature should NOT go above 365° F (185° C).

If it does, then it’s literally frying your hair !

Even the scientists at GHD’s research lab in Cambridge UK back this theory.

Read: Inside the GHD Research Lab: Is GHD the best hair straightener?

I needed a flat iron smart enough to do that for me.

The GHD Platinum professional styler takes the stress out of heat settings.

Here’s how …

There is no temperature dial to fiddle with.

So I have to accept its permanent state of 365° F (safest heat according to experts).

This fixed temperature is GHD’s way of telling you that it’s time to stop cranking the heat north of 400° F.

GHD says lower temperature protects hair from breakage while preserving the color integrity of dyed hair.The Cut: A Foolproof new way on how to straighten your hair with a flat iron »
It knows how to keep the temperature even when you’re styling.

Trizone Sensors Make Sure Your Hair Doesn’t Burn OR Snag

Let the styler do the smart thinking for you.

Unlike the earlier generations of GHD ceramic hair straighteners …

Platinum comes with 6 heat sensors along the plates to distribute equal heat throughout.

All you have to do is switch it on and style your hair.

The sensors make sure temperature never fluctuate between the plates
to avoid hot spots.

I usually get ready with one eye closed in the morning, and this definitely saves me a lot of time.

I’m so much at ease now knowing that my straightener can sense my distressed hair.

It’s simple, efficient, and designed for busy women. Like you.

It heats Up In 8 Seconds And Has Auto Shut Off Too

Now, how’s this for convenience!

Just switch it on and it’s ready in a blink. 8 seconds to be precise.

You can style and dash looking your absolute best.

And you don’t even need this little reminder …

The Wishbone Hinge Aligns The Plates Perfectly At Any Angle

The problem with hair styling is, you always have to twist and turn and get in different angles.

Now this causes your plates to lose their alignment, and catch your hair.

GHD solves this problem with its unique wishbone hinge.

Hairdressers know that even the best stylers can suffer when the plates meet awkwardly and slide vertically against each other, causing slippage. The new wishbone hinge design of the GHD platinum ensures a perfect fit that’s totally stable, allowing for a completely smooth, controlled finish. Zoe Irwin
GHD's UK brand ambassador - HypeMyHair

Flip the platinum around at any angle and see how the plates stay perfectly aligned.

I swear you’ll never want to go back to another straightener after using this.

This, my friend is a life saver !

  • It doesn’t catch your hair
  • It gives you more styling control
  • It keeps the straightener sturdy so it doesn’t slip

And it gets even better …

The Zero Friction Plates Glide Through Your Hair Effortlessly

The styler has floating plates with a high gloss coating.

It is hands down the best flat iron for frizzy hair.

Because every single glide feels smoother than your average ceramic straighteners.

The last thing you want when you’re running a straightener through your hair is friction – this can cause (painful!) snagging and potentially breakage. This friction typically results from the straightener plates being either uneven, poorly aligned or a bit rough on the surface.
To overcome this, the hot plates on GHD platinum have a low-friction coating. Dr Tim Moore
Chief Technical Officer - GHD research lab - Mamamia

And I don’t have to repeat the same sections.

One stroke does the trick.

Less Snagging With One Stroke Styling

GHD Platinum uses One Pass technology.

With precise alignment and a solid even temperature, your hair gets straight in one go. So there’s less risk of burning or heat damage.

You can do pin-straight hair and those model-off-duty waves in half the time.

The Floating Plates Adjust Better To Cushion Your Hair

The plates tilt and angle to continuously adjust tension and friction.

Because they have springs that allow them to cushion your hair.

This gives you full flexibility to create sleek, wavy, or curly hair without a single snag !

Without floating plates:

A 10 minutes job becomes an attempt to straighten your entire head inch by inch until eternity.

Because your straightener is missing parts of your hair at difficult angles.

So if you’ve got long hair that needs a lot of effort:

  • The high gloss friction-free floating plates will cut your styling time in half.

And for those with short hair:

  • It’s super lightweight and easy to manoeuver.

So easy that you can even craft textured curly hairstyles.

Make Unlimited Enviable Hairstyles With GHD

Click here to buy your GHD hair stylers »

Make Instagram-worthy:

  • Pretty prom hairstyles
  • Wedding and bridal hairstyles
  • Glamour waves for the big nights out
  • Festival hairstyles (Bohemian / Boho chic)

The Platinum styler will seduce you with its unlimited possibilities.

Have you ever thought how a different hairstyle can dramatically change your look?

Check this out:

How to create fashionable looks with your GHD Platinum hair straightener »

What I Like And Dislike About The GHD Platinum

  • Safer-for-hair heat: One heat setting of 365° F (the ideal temperature)
  • Color Integrity: Does not fade your hair color *
  • Heat Sensors: Maintains its temperature through the plates
  • Reduces Hair Breakage: By over 50%
  • Increases shine: Gives your hair a healthy glow
  • Wishbone Hinge: Perfectly aligned hair straightener plates
  • No Slipping: Hair stays perfectly positioned throughout styling
  • Control: Greater control to create any style
  • Heat Guard: A beautiful and convenient hair straightener heat mat (Bonus)
  • Auto Shut Off: For complete peace of mind it shuts off after 30 mins
  • Universal: The best dual voltage hair straightener
  • High Spec Glossy Finish: For effortless, smooth styling, and shine
  • Ceramic Plates: Top end ceramic flat iron that won’t snag your hair
  • 2.7m Swivel Cord: For convenient styling
  • Floating Plates: Won’t catch your hair
  • Single Pass: One stroke styling
  • Light And Easy To Hold: Makes hair styling a pleasure
  • Fast Heat Up: Ready in 8 seconds !
  • Outer Body Aerogel: Insulation for the coolest handling yet
  • Do Waves & Bends: The best flat iron to curl your hair too !
  • Warranty: You get the standard 2 years warranty
  • Size: Not available in wider plates
  • Not For Thick Hair: Check out the GHD large straighteners
  • Counterfeits: Watch out for poor quality copycats

* We tested this against GHD hair straighteners at 230° C temperature.
* For untreated hair we saw 2x more colour integrity compared to a normal styler.

GHD remains a true classic that is not defined by time or fashion.

When you buy a GHD hair straightener, you get the perfect combination of …

Beauty, style, and technology at its best.

Because you know your hair deserves it.

And here’s our second favorite.

The queen of hair straighteners. This time with the features you’ve asked for …

2. The Best CHI Flat Iron Gets A Smart Upgrade And You’ll Love It

Your cult classic CHI straightening iron is now sleeker, sexier, and smarter.

Unlike the old original chi flat iron that has no variable temperature control …

The G2 has a smart mode button with presets in a multicolored digital LCD screen.

And it’s so easy to use that even my grandma can do it.

Check this out:

You get a + and – button on the handle and an LED display which lights up in 3 colors.

Here’s what the colors mean:

  • Green: 370° F for fine hair types
  • Blue: 395° F for medium and wavy hair types
  • Red: 425° F for coarse/resistant hair types

You don’t have to remember or semi guesses what’s the right temperature for your hair anymore.

How cool is this ?

And you can even go as low as 180° F.

At Low Temperature It’s The Best Hair Straightener For Fine And Thin Hair

If your hair is on the sensitive side, just switch it to green mode.

You’ll get the safest heat to work on your fine and fragile hair.

This smart multicolored digital temperature display alone makes it worth the money.

Imagine how easy it makes your life when you’re getting ready in a rush !

The design feels more dynamic and the curved edges make it easy to do soft and bouncy curls.

Trust me, you’ll always come back to the smoothest glide of the CHI.

Because the ceramic plates are out of this world.

That’s right !

They are inspired by NASA’s research on nanomaterials.

So What’s Chi’s Ceramic Hairstyling Irons Got To Do With NASA And Space ?

Here’s the ionic twist …

CHI uses space exploration technology to make its plates better than anyone else.

Sounds weird, but let me explain …

All CHI straighteners come with NASA-grade ceramic plates as standard.

It all started In 2001.

Farouk Shami (founder of Farouk systems) brought in NASA scientist Dr. Dennis Morrison.

With his help, CHI made the new Cationic Hydration Interlink hair styling irons.

Inspired by Nanomaterials (Materials that are 10,000 times smaller than hair) …

CHI pioneered their ceramic plates that would produce the smoothest of ions.

In other words …

You get the finest grade of luxurious ceramic to run through your hair.

And it’s self sterilizing too !

The benefits of using a CHI ceramic hair straightener:

  • It reduces static
  • It provides smoother and glossier hair
  • It works well to battle awful 6th grade frizzies
  • You get even heat distributed throughout the plates
  • It glides through your hair without pulling or snagging
  • And the plates last longer without any chemical erosion

The best part ?

The premium ceramic plates preserve your hair’s natural oils for improved moisture retention.

Combine that with tourmaline:

The plates generate even more negative ions for friction-free hair styling.

If your hair always feels frizzy no matter what …

You may want to check out the CHI Air tourmaline ceramic flat iron.

Get frizz free shiny hair in minutes with the unmatched heating intensity
of ceramic and tourmaline.

In just one session, you can feel your soft and silky tresses when you run your fingers through.

The Air version is:

  • Super light
  • Easy to handle
  • And works to create curls, flips, and waves

It comes in 5 summery vibrant colors with a more feminine touch.

  • Fire Red
  • True Teal
  • Pure Pink
  • Onyx Black
  • Midnight Violet

Unlike the original CHI flat iron which:

  • Is bulky
  • Is only available in black
  • Does not have auto shut off
  • Is limited to only one temperature

CHI Air gives you more options with the same quality and durability.

With its 410° F max temperature, this is the best Chi flat iron for African-American hair.

Here are the features you’ll love:

  • Dual voltage
  • Goes up to 410° F
  • LED indicator light
  • Available in 5 colors
  • It turns off automatically
  • 30 seconds fast heat up
  • 9ft long 360° swivel cord
  • 1 Inch curved floating plates
  • Adjustable temperature control
  • 2 years warranty (more than the usual standard)

Click here to get yours »

Work your hair like a pro with the NEW upgraded range of CHI Air hair straighteners.

If you’re more into curls …

Then feast your eyes on this new hair curling iron (and straightener in one)

The Ellipse Teflon 3-in-1 CHI Curling Iron

The Ellipse Teflon from CHI is versatile and multi-purpose.

You can use it to do:

  • Loose curls
  • Grungy bends
  • Undone waves
  • Crimped waves
  • Bouncy blowouts
  • Or even mermaid locks like a Disney princess

Spark your creativity and start making show-stopping Instagram hair styles.

With the latest designs accommodating all types of hair, you also get a hair tool that refuses to die.

Yes, they last for up to 10 years ! No joke.

In fact, I have some numbers to prove this …

How Long Do Chi straighteners Last ?

I did a bit of research on this:

According to a survey on Influenster, this is what customers say:

Chi hair straighteners have been around for almost 2 decades.

And they have a large number of faithful followers.

Hair stylists consider CHI as the gold standard in heat styling for many good reasons:

  • Durability: They last for up to 10 years
  • Smooth: They have the smoothest glide
  • Floating Plates: They don’t catch your hair
  • Fast Heating: Hot and ready to go in seconds
  • Dual Voltage: Use them anywhere in the world
  • Long Power Cord: They are flexible to move around
  • Curved Design: You can also make well-controlled curls
  • Strong Hinge: They never lose stability. They have good alignment
  • Press Sensitive: The plates allow you to control the pressure on your hair

Ever since the first CHI ceramic flat iron was introduced in 2001, it’s been the safest and most reliable hair straightener in the market to date.

So good and versatile that, it’s a trusted sponsor of the Miss Universe contest.

The exclusive range of Miss Universe CHI flat irons in pink.
“In order to achieve so many looks on so many hair types and textures, we rely on CHI® Hair Care and the Miss Universe Style Illuminate Line to provide the results we need. The lines allow us to successfully create consistent, beautiful styles for each contestant from photo shoots to on-site appearances to the actual live airing.”Says Tammy Mixon, Farouk Systems’ Global Artist and lead stylist for the pageants
chi 1 inch flat iron

Kardashian Beauty Hair Products Are Also Made By CHI!

Read it here.

According to Women’s Wear Daily (WWD):

The Kardashian Beauty product line will generate more than $200 million in retail sales in its initial year.

Is it worth the hype ?

Yes, I think so.

Other than the branding, it’s an exact copy of the G2 model.

I bought one as soon as it was out, and it’s definitely something I will be keeping.

For all of you loyal CHI followers, these upgrades are definitely worth every penny.

In Conclusion

Now it’s your turn to make the right decision.

To recap, here are some tips to help you avoid the bad ones.

  • Reviews: Check with Fakespot
  • Handles: Do customers complain about them ?
  • Voltage: You want to make sure it works abroad
  • Smell: You want to avoid them because of toxic chemicals
  • Clamping: Check if customers complain about clamping too hard
  • Temperature: Is your hair too thick for fixed temperatures ?
  • Plates: Don’t buy coated. Get a 100% ceramic plate flat iron
  • Floating: Make sure they are curved and the plates float

Be smart and get yourself a professional hair straightener right from the go.

Because it just makes more sense.

In the long run, it works out better value for your money.

And trust me:

You don’t have to break the bank to buy the best of hair straighteners.

Charlene Latreuille
Charlene Latreuille
Writer and Editor

Charlene has been blogging for over 10 years and has a background in digital marketing. She's also a certified yoga teacher and loves to travel.

When she's not working on her next article, she can be found spending time with her two young daughters or planning her next big travel adventure.