Best Straightener Hair Guide

All Things Hair | 31 May 2016
best straightener on dark brown, natural hair

Let’s see if these D.I.Y. kitchen hacks really pass muster.

If you’re in the market for a versatile hair tool to get your hair smooth in a flash, look no further than a hair straightener. No matter the type of your hair or the look you’re going for, the best hair straightener is the gadget that can make your hair straight in a flash. Although any hair type can benefit from some of the best flat irons it’s important to learn about how each type works so that you know if you’re using the right one for your specific hair type. So, keep reading to get in the know about what to look for and what to avoid when it’s time to find the best  straightener out there for you:

The Best Hair Straighteners for Your Hair Type

best straightener long hair
The right straighter can make it easier for you to achieve the results you want.

Easily the most important thing to consider when selecting your new hair tool is the type of material that it is made out of. Hair straighteners are characterized by a clamp like structure with a hot plate on each side. Typically, hair straighteners are created with ceramic, glass, metal, titanium and, most recently, tourmaline.

1. Metal or Glass Plated Hair Straighteners

Point blank: You’ll want to avoid these hair straighteners at all costs. With a pretty price tag that won’t break the bank, these straighteners first look like a wonderful option when in the market for a new flat iron. Unfortunately, these materials might not be the best for your tresses: Not only do they take forever to preheat, but once they claim to be good to go, it turns out that the plates can get unevenly heated which could potentially lead to burning your hair in some spots.

2. Ceramic Plates

We’re fans of these hair straighteners because they’re true to their word: They heat up quickly and evenly, and provide a super sleek, straight finish. If you find that you’re always in a hurry, but still need incredible hair straightening, then one with ceramic plates is definitely for you! Don’t forget to smooth out any frizz or flyaways by using some hair serum like Suave Biotin Infusion Anti-Breakage Serum. 

3. Titanium Plates

Known for being durable yet lightweight, titanium plates offer the style you’re looking for, minus any unnecessary strain associated with having your arm up in the air.

4. Tourmaline Plates

Just think of these plates as the crème de la crème. One of the the newest hot tool innovations to hit the market, tourmaline is a naturally occurring element that produces negative ions when reacting to heat. Long story short, this magical element allows these straighteners to style hair at a faster pace, meaning there’s much less heat exposure on your locks. On top of the heat benefit, tourmaline kicks it up a notch by sealing the hair cuticle, allowing your tresses to look extra straight and shiny.

Apart from plates, the only other thing you need to keep in mind is temperature. The rules are simple: The thicker your hair, the higher temperature range you may need to tame it.

More to Consider When Getting Hair Straighteners

When picking out the best flat iron keep all of this in mind, and remember that while hair straighteners are best known for creating smooth tresses, they’re equally as skilled at creating beach waves, face-framing flips and even bouncy curls. And since we know you’re about to fall in love with the versatility of this tool, just be sure to start off with a heat protectant product like TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Protectant Spray to shield your locks from too much heat damage.

TRESemmé THERMAL CREATIONS HEAT TAMER SPRAY

More of The Best Hair Straightener Options

1. Flat iron.

As the quintessential hair straightening tool, the flat iron is one of the easiest ways to get slick straight hair. When choosing a flat iron, make sure to pick one that has tourmaline-infused ceramic plates and emits infrared heat. These types of flat irons seal in moisture to your hair and give it that silky and shiny look. When straightening your hair, work section-by-section to seal in any frizz or flyaways while also creating straight hair. Due to the amount of heat being used, you may find that you’re hair can feel really dry post-flat iron session. To revive your strands, complete the style by using a hair serum. This formula can work to make your hair shiny and soft as it repairs damage, like split ends.

Approximate time: 30-45 minutes

2. Blow-dryer.

While blowdryers can do everything from making your hair wavy to straight, they can also cause damage when used too often. Before you create your straight strands use a heat protectant on your hair.

Approximate time: 30-45 minutes

3. Hair straightening brush.

A hair straightening brush is one of the most recent hair technologies in the market that works on both dry and wet hair. An easy-to-use tool, they are generally fitted with plastic bristles and a ceramic base whose flexible bristles pass through the hair smoothly without pulling it. This works to detangle hair as it straightens it. A less damaging and time-consuming option, a straightening brush could be a great option for the occasional hair straightener.

Approximate time: 10-15 minutes

4. Chemical straighteners.

The hard-core straight hair seekers might find some refuge in getting a chemical straightener. There are many options out there, including Brazilian straightening, Japanese straightening, and even permanent straightening. While the formulas used can vary, they all involve a chemical process to straighten your hair which can take hours and regular upkeep. Do your homework before you decided which straightening option to go for.

Approximate time: 2-3 hours 

5. The hair product route.

For those on a heatless mission, you’ll be happy to hear that hair products can actually help with making your soft, smooth and straight. Try the TRESemmé 7 Day Keratin Smooth Shampoo and the TRESemmé 7 Day Keratin Smooth Conditioner whose formulas (when used together) work to give you salon-smooth hair that’s designed to last up to a week. Another favorite is the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth 7 Day Heat Activated Treatment that works to make your hair less frizzy a.k.a more manageable.

Approximate time: 10 minutes

 

At-Home Straightening: Natural Hair Straightening Products and Beyond

best straightner natural waves
At-home straightening products, such as hair masks, may smoothen your hair, but not necessarily provide stick-straight results. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

If you’ve ever opened up Pinterest or scoured the web, you’ve probably chanced upon some popular home remedies that have been purported to have gentle relaxing benefits. Some swear by the efficacy of a coconut milk-lemon juice cocktail in smoothening out and relaxing natural curls; some use regular milk instead, and let it sit on strands before washing.

There are still others who swear by creating a mask out of mashing a banana and papaya together and drizzling it with honey (sounds delish!). Placed on strands and left to sit until hair is completely dry, then washed out and subsequently blowdried, the mixture is supposed to leave hair straighter and smoother than before.

Most of these D.I.Y./kitchen-counter hair hacks have yet to be proven, and even so, probably yields highly subjective—and inconsistent—results. None of these ingredients can promise to straighten hair consistently from root to tip. The most they can do is perhaps provide a heavier-than-usual conditioning film to the hair that flattens out curls in the moment, with the help of some heat styling.

Keratin Treatments and Keratin-Infused Products

Keratin, a naturally occurring protein in hair, is a beauty buzzword that’s been having quite the moment in recent years. As a chemical process, a keratin straightening treatment is said to “spackle” lost proteins in the hair shaft, with the keratin effectively bonding onto gaps in the strand with the help of heat (via a styling tool). This helps straighten out the hair, with effects lasting for up to three months. There has been some controversy regarding these processes due to the addition of the straightening chemical formaldehyde into the treatments, and the jury’s still out on whether it definitively has harmful effects.

Keratin-infused products, on the other hand, usually have smoothening and frizz control as their main benefits. TRESemmé 7Day Keratin Smooth Shampoo, Conditioner and Heat Activated Treatment help coat hair with keratin—and in the case of shampoos and conditioners, sometimes even a lower level of sulfates—to result in shinier, sleeker strands that are more frizz-resistant than most, but for a shorter amount of time (commitment-phobes, rejoice!). Other keratin-infused reinforcements, such as shine sprays and heat protectants, can further extend these benefits by offering more long-lasting shine and hold.

Will you get permanent results?

Unless you resort to a complete rebonding of hair via a Japanese straightening treatment, these at-home natural hair straightening products and keratin treatments, though gentler, can only provide a temporary fix. Our natural hair structure can only be altered permanently through chemical means, processes that can make our strands more vulnerable to irreversible damage down the line.

We hope this will help you find good hair straighteners. Check out more about straighteners in our recap of ceramic hair straighteners.

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