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The Best Hair Straighteners

Jade Vincent
10 Mar 2022
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Get polished curls, cascading waves or poker-straight tresses with the best hair straighteners for a shiny, frizz-free style.

When GHD launched its first hair straighteners in 2001, it transformed the way women styled their hair. It wasn't the first brand to release straighteners – does anyone remember the BaByliss steam straighteners of the late 1990s? – but it did change the game.

Today, more than a quarter of women own a set of hair straighteners – now made by a wide variety of brands – and men are increasingly getting in on the act too.

To help you choose the best hair straighteners, and prevent unnecessary heat damage, here’s our guide to the best straighteners for frizz-free, super-sleek locks. Whether you want polished curls, cascading waves or poker-straight looks, these are our favourites.

The best hair straighteners to buy

1. GHD Platinum Plus Styler

In the ever-expanding world of hair straighteners, you can always rely on hair giant GHD to provide quality and longevity, and the GHD Platinum Plus straighteners will take good care of your hair, too. It's a huge step away from the design of the Original GHD range and that's not a bad thing. The yellow plates of old have been switched out for stylish black plates and the snapping hinge is now a much smoother “wishbone” hinge.

This not only adds to the aesthetic, it prevents the hair from getting caught during curling. Billed as a “one-stroke-wonder”, the plates are designed to deliver the optimum heat for your hair – and maintain that temperature so there are no unexpected surges or sudden drops. This means you don’t have to run them through the same strands more than once or risk burning your hair.

Not only did we find that means you can be ready for a night out in around half your usual time (and that goes for curly and frizzy locks too), but it also results in shinier tresses and less breakage. The GHD Platinum Plus styler also wins brownie points aesthetically as it’s available in an elegant-looking white, as well as the more familiar black. A sleek-looking, guilt-free option, although some devices are prone to showing an error signal every so often.

Key specsPlates: 2.7cm ceramic plates; Maximum temperature: 185°C; Voltage: Universal; Cord Length: 2.7m swivel cord; Automatic shut-off time: 30 minutes

2. Remington Shine Therapy Straightener

Sleek and shiny tresses your go-to look? You’ll want straighteners that will deliver poker-straight style without damaging the health of your hair. Luckily, these Remington straighteners use ceramic plates that are infused with conditioning properties, like Moroccan Argan oil and vitamin E, to keep your hair looking and feeling its very best.

And that’s not all - the floating plates ensure even pressure on the hair, while the tool’s nine heat settings make it easier to properly care for your hair type and texture. The straightener is ideal for quick styling as it heats up in just 15 seconds but we think the automatic switch-off after one hour is a tad lengthy.

Our thoughts: with the Remington Shine Therapy straightener you’re one step closer to nailing “glass hair”. Simply combine the tool with a shine-boosting serum for glossy, silky smooth locks.

Key specs – Plates: Ceramic plates enriched with micro conditioners; Heat settings: 9; Maximum temperature: 230°C; Cord length: Swivel cord; Automatic shut-off time: One hour

3. BaByliss 3Q Hair Straighteners

BaByliss has a history of making must-have hair tools that dates back to the 1960s, and many of its inventions – including the Perfect Curl and Big Hair – have made headlines and arguably changed lives. These are the company's latest straighteners and we love the way they heat up quickly, transform frizz into fabulous smoothness and protect damaged hair with the aptly named Protect button – switching temperature accurately in just a few seconds.

In fact, the BaByliss 3Q Hair Straighteners boast many of the features of their high-end contemporaries, using sensors to work out the right temperature for your hair, maintaining heat and leaving a salon-shine finish. But they’re not the quietest, sometimes making a rather disconcerting buzzing noise, and if you have more delicate or damaged hair you need to be careful not to roast your hair by using the highest temperature settings.

Key specs – Plates: 2.8cm quartz-ceramic plates; Heat settings: 12 digital options; Maximum temperature: 235°C; Cord length: 3m swivel cable; Automatic shut-off time: 72 minutes

4. Dyson Corrale

Thanks to a clever heat-control system and flexible copper alloy plates that shape around strands of hair, the Dyson Corrale delivers efficient straightening while minimising damage to your locks.

Design-wise, it’s not unexpected that the wireless Corrale is heavier in the hand than some other brands, due to the added weight of the rechargeable battery. Naturally, thicker hair will need a higher heat, with the max output of the unit being 210°C, although if your hair is on the thinner side, you can reliably use 165°C.

The portable nature of the Corrale helps it to stand out from its competition. With a 30-minute runtime, this hair straightener has enough juice in the tank for the majority of people to get their hair straight and sleek. The heat-control system is also of particular note, taking 100 measurements per second, for accurate readings on your hair type made actively as you use it.

In our testing, we found that the Corrale worked well and left hair without a toasted smell that can sometimes happen when using heating products, and with a significantly shorter straightening time than with many other models we have tried. It may be an investment, but if you’re serious about straightened hair, then it’s worth the price.

Key specs – Plates: Flexing copper alloy plates; Heat settings: Three temperature control options; Maximum temperature: 210°C; Voltage: Universal; Cord length: 4.3m; Automatic shut-off time: 10 minutes

How to buy the best hair straighteners for you

Hair straighteners don’t come with lots of buttons to press or multiple attachments to use, and they all aim to do exactly the same thing: create straight, smooth tresses.

Does it matter what size the heating plates are?

Wider plates are always best because they’ll power through your hair more effectively, right? Wrong! If you have long, thick or curly hair, large plates (or anything bigger than an inch thick) are great. But you won’t be able to do as much curling and styling with these. Plates of around one inch are far better for this, as well as for most other types of hair. The exception to this is short hair, which benefits from thin plates of anything under an inch, which provides the precision you’ll need.

Is hotter better when it comes to the best hair straighteners?

Many women seek out straighteners with the highest temperature setting, then turn them up full whack assuming it will straighten their hair more quickly and give a more lasting result. However, higher heats can frazzle and even break finer hair, and thick or curly hair types only need slightly higher temperatures. It’s worth noting your hair’s keratin starts to melt at 233˚C.

The best hair straighteners have technology that identifies your hair’s characteristics and automatically sets it to the perfect temperature. If you have one that needs adjusting manually, the general rule is that for fine or treated hair, the temperature should be set around 160ºC, otherwise you risk damaging your hair. If you have healthy, medium-textured hair, you can use it up to around 185ºC. And for those with thick, coarse hair or tight curls, you may be able to go up to around 210ºC, but only with certain plates (tourmaline plates, for example, get better results with lower temperatures) and always keep it nearer 185ºC if you straighten your hair regularly.

What other features should I look out for?

A long cable is a godsend if you don’t want to be stuck next to the plug socket, especially if it’s nowhere near your mirror. Some cheaper models have cords less than 2m, while top-end models have professional-length cables of 4m. If you can, get a rotatable cord too – some swivel round 360 degrees, which can make all the difference to hard-to-reach parts of the head.

Other factors to consider are safety functions, with some irons automatically switching off after a certain amount of inactivity (usually 30 minutes), providing huge peace of mind for that moment on the way to work when you can’t remember if you turned them off manually. There’s heat-up time to consider too, especially if you’re always in a hurry or prone to missing bits that you have to go back to. Finally, look for straighteners with curved edges if you want to create curls, waves and flicks as you can shape your hair around the body of the irons.

How we test hair straighteners

At Expert Reviews, we know that hands-on testing gives us the best and most complete information about a product. We personally test all the hair straighteners we review using the tools as recommended on dry hair. Where applicable, we test the different heat settings and, where straighteners are recommended for a particular hair type or usage, we test on that hair type to be sure of making an accurate recommendation.

When testing, we measure the time the tool takes to heat up after being switched on and then the speed of straightening a full head of hair (noting the hair length and texture we test on). We also evaluate the overall ease of use of the straightening tool, how it feels in the hand, and the finish and feel of the hair after straightening. We also note how well straightened styles last in a typical day of wear. Finally, we confirm the weight and dimensions of the tool.

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