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Achieve Salon-Worthy Styles at Home with a Hair Straightener

Do you dream of lush, glossy locks? Is frizz your foe? Well, we all have bad hair days, but achieving that silky-smooth style doesn’t mean you need to rush to the salon. With a hair straightener, you can transform your tresses from drab to fab with the glide of an iron. Not only can a flat iron create a pin-straight style, it can also curl your locks and add volume.

Types of Hair Straighteners

The type of hair straightener you should get depends on your hair type, budget, and how you want to use the flat iron. Here are some popular types of hair straighteners.

Ceramic Flat Iron

An economical and popular option, a ceramic hair straightener effectively smooths out and straightens hair. Its smooth plates make it easy to glide hair through without kinking or tangling. For optimal heat retention, look for a flat iron with full ceramic plates rather than ceramic-coated plates.

Tourmaline Flat Iron

Tourmaline is a semi-precious gemstone that’s incorporated into some flat iron plates. This mineral emits negative ions to make hair even silkier and shinier. It also makes the flat iron plates extra-smooth, resulting in fewer snags and an easier hair-straightening process.

Titanium Flat Iron

Titanium is a lightweight material that heats up quickly and maintains high temperatures. It transfers heat more quickly than ceramic, making it great for curly and thick locks. The durability of titanium makes these flat irons ideal for salon use.

Straightening Brush

A straightening brush combines the materials and technologies of a flat iron with the design of a hairbrush. Like a glorified hairbrush, it heats up and smooths locks as you comb them. Straightening brushes generally run at lower temperatures than flat irons and can’t be used to curl hair.

How to Choose the Best Hair Straightener

Consider the following features when shopping for a hair straightener.

Plate Width

Hair straighteners are available with various plate widths ranging from 0.5 inch to 2.5 inches or more. A flat iron with wider plates will make it quicker and easier to straighten longer, thicker hair, but may be more damaging to finer, shorter hair. A hair straightener with narrower plates is suitable for all hair types and can double as a curling iron.

Heat Settings

Variable heat settings are essential for any hair straightener. Coarser, thicker hair will benefit from a higher temperature for straightening, while fine hair may fare better at lower temperatures.

Wet to Dry

Blow-drying hair before straightening it may seem counterintuitive. But with a wet-to-dry hair straightener, you can quickly and easily dry and straighten your locks at the same time – no blow-drying required.

Tips on Using a Hair Straightener

Not sure how to use a flat iron? Not to worry. Always start with clean, dry hair (unless you’re using a wet-to-dry straightener), and apply a heat-protecting spray to shield your locks. Depending on your hair’s thickness, clip it into two or four sections and comb each section out before straightening. Set the flat iron to your desired temperature and wait for it to heat up completely before using it. Once the iron’s hot, pull a one-inch section of hair taut, clamp it with the flat iron near the roots, and glide it through the hair. Continue with the rest of your mane until you’ve achieved the sleek, smooth look you’ve been seeking. Finally, polish off your style with a smoothing serum or finishing spray.