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Best Flat Iron Hair Straightener [Definitive Guide 101]

best flat iron hair straightener guide 101The Definitive Guide: Best Flat Iron Hair Straightener...

I feel that you'll agree with me when I say:

It's REALLY hard to decide which is the best flat iron hair straightener to get you the cutest results ever.

Or is it?

Well, it turns out, you can dramatically increase your knowledge by viewing this ONE complete guide...

...a detail-filled flat iron guide that literally covers EVERY best-selling hair straightener brand on Earth! Just so you can have a Good Hair Day, everyday...

And in today's post (and videos) I'm going to show you exactly what you need to know about how to pick the best hair tools for the best results. And you will..

...quickly learn WHY the best Pro-level hair irons give you better & longer-lasting straightening results, how to use them aaaaaand where to get them for less.

What is a Flat Iron Hair Straightener and How Is It Used?

Let's hit the basics before we get down to the nitty-gritty about finding the best flat iron hair straightener...

Don't roll your eyes at me! Some folks really have this question Ms.know-it-all! (smile)

Sooo... What is a flat iron and how is it used?

Answer is, a flat iron, also called a straightening iron, is a popular hair styling tool that has opposing heated plates made from either precious metals or ceramic and these straightening tools are designed to, stretch, smooth and straighten hair.

To properly use a flat iron, place 1" to 2" sections of parted-off hair between the straightening iron's heated plates and press firmly to close the tongs over the hair to be straightened, then run the iron down the hair to the ends.

Some irons have multiple temperature settings. Use lower heat settings for fine, thin or damaged hair; use higher settings for thick, kinky or coarse hair.

It should be noted that flat iron hair straighteners with ionic-technology are often less damaging to hair and allows your flat iron to heat up more quickly, evenly and to reach temperatures of over 400°F, although temperature needs for straightening vary by hair-type.

For a more-detailed tutorial on how to best use a flat iron for straightening click here to jump to that section in this guide ...

Our Best Flat Iron Hair Straightener Tutorials

Here's a list of our tutorials explaining the pros & cons of various brands and types of flat irons. You'll get in-depth information so you can make SMARTER buying decisions...

Learn About These Flat Iron Types:

How You Best Straighten Your Hair With a Flat Iron

If you're wondering how do you straighten your hair with a flat iron properly and to get the best professional results, I have your detail answer right here.

Let's get into it:

Here are the 7 steps to follow so that you know how to get the best straightening press on your hair with a high-quality flat iron.

1. Deep condition your hair before flat ironing

To get the best results from straightening your hair with a flat iron, it's critically important to deep condition with a good moisturizing deep conditioner. Even using the best flat iron hair straightener won't eliminate this step...

You See:

A good deep conditioning session before using your flat iron hair straightener will improve the moisture retention and elasticity capacity of your hair.

Deep conditioning before a flat iron straightening session is also important for shine and overall hair health.


Be sure to thoroughly rinse your deep conditioner out, don't leave any in because heavy deep conditioners can quickly cause product buildup which also creates a smoky-burning smell when flat iron straightening your hair.

2. Rough Blow Dry Your Hair to 50-80% Completion

Rough-drying means lightly giving your hair an all-over drying with your blow dryer before you get down to heat styling it in sections, and WITHOUT running a brush or comb through it.

Finer strands should be rough-dried at least 80 percent, and coarse coily hair about 50 percent. Rough drying will maximize the final results and reduce hair breakage. 

Simply because...

...bad blow drying technique is what often does the most damaging to the finished look of your straightened hair. 

And you can bet your bottom dollar that your drying technique makes all the difference when you're trying to get a sleek finish.

If you use a blow dryer after your preparatory wash and deep conditioning session, it's best to rough dry your hair until it's 50-80% dry (depending on your hair type and texture).

PRO TIP: It's important to keep the nozzle of your blow dryer facing downward the entire time, otherwise your hair will frizz up. After the inital rough dry...

The next 20%-50% is up to you: You can apply your product then let it air dry, or, blow it out smooth for the best result, blowing it out gives your hair more smoothness, direction and "POP".

3. Gently FINISH Drying Using Your Dryer w/ Comb Attachment & Paddle Brush

This dry finishing step needs to be done GENTLY and properly for the health of your hair and to ensure successful FUTURE flat iron sessions. This...is...super-important.

And here is the key:

While blow drying you need to use high heat and low speed (important tip). If your blow dryer doesn't give these options you need to get a better, higher-quality blow dryer.

best-flat-iron-hair-straightener Mason-Pearson-Detangler-Hair-Brush-flat-iron-hair-straightening-brushA Mason Pearson Brush isn't necessary, it's a treat though...

It's important to use a good round paddle brush while blow drying because that will cut down your drying time by up to 50%.

Just be sure to NEVER use a plastic paddle brush because plastic creates static. The elite salons use expensive salon-quality Mason Pearson brushes for superior results, If you aren't getting paid to give the best results, I'll show you some cheaper paddle brushes that can get the job done pretty well.

If you don't want to go super-cheap, yet stay under $100, your blow dryer brush would be The Beachwaver Co. Blow Out Pro Brush.

4. Apply a Quality Heat Protectant EVERY TIME

This step must not be skipped..

Always apply a high-quality heat protectant after you finish blow drying and right before you straighten with your flat iron or pressing comb, and pay special attention to the ends of your hair.

Using even the best flat iron hair straightener doesn't eliminate the need for a hair-saving heat protectant.

One highly-rated and lightweight heat protectant spray that delivers touchable, soft smoothness that lasts up to 48 hours and benefits dry, damaged hair that needs to look and feel healthier is Living Proof's Perfect Hair Day Heat Styling Spray.

You can use this universal heat protectant on damp hair, which is great, and it protects up to 450 degrees while fighting against hair-poofing humidity, so it dramatically reduces the frizz factor.

This unique flat iron heat protectant is powered by their patented Healthy Hair Molecule (OFPMA), this is a new solution for smoothness that protects hair from heat without weighing it down, or making it stiff or sticky.

Plus, it's made without harmul silicones, which could ultimately weigh your hair down.

If you have thicker or coarser hair, as an option though, you can still use argan oil to help moisturize your hair and add more shine after using the best flat iron hair straightener.

5. Flat Iron Your Hair With a Pro-Quality Hair Straightener

You reap what you sow... As they say.

Another wise saying is "You get what you pay for"...

Simply put:

If you want to look the best and get compliments until you get tired of compliments. Don't expect to do it with cheap flat irons.

Getting the best hairstyle results calls for you to use the best flat iron hair straightener.

There's no 2-ways around it. Use the right brand and use it correctly. that's your keys to the most gorgeous straightened look that lasts.

And that's why we don't recommend many CHI flat irons and instead look towards top-tier flat iron brands like BabylissPRO straighteners and flat irons in the GHD Gold Pro family of salon-superior hair heat tools.

6. Flatten by Ironing Small Sections, Using Clips & Doing Slow Passes

The professional way to flat iron straighten your hair is by sectioning it off in small sections. It has to be in small hair sections, or your hair will not straighten out completely.

Split the hair in the middle at the back and then bring it forward. This will give you 2 seperate sections to work on, but if your hair is very thick, you'll get better results by clipping it into 4 parts. Careful sectioning while flat ironing is one of the most key hair straightening tips.

It is also essential to keep the size of sections the same, section-by-section equally, because if you flat iron some parts of your hair using different section sizes, your hair will not be uniformly straightened.

You shouldn't be randomly grabbing fistfuls of hair, if you do make this big mistake, the flat iron won't get to pieces that are too thick, and you don't want to unnecessarily reapply heat. Creating seperate small sections also helps you easily track your progress.

7. Always Hold Your Hair Tight & Taut -  Best Flat Iron Hair Straightener Tips

If you keep your hair sections pulled taut while ironing, you'll need fewer pass-throughs with even the best flat iron hair straighteners (and less passes mean less damage, of course).

Multiple flat iron passes won't kill your hair, but you shouldn't need to do it as much if you're pulling your hair and creating tension.

Tension is essential to the best press even with the best flat iron hair straightener, and you can create it by pulling the iron downward starting from the root.

If your hair is very kinky-textured it will probably be necessary to pull, straighten, and repeat a few times, but pulling the hair taut while you straighten will help immensely.

8. Follow Up With Oil or Finishing Products to Reduce Frizz and Add Shine

If you have the kind of hair that frizzes or curls up, finishing products are your friends.

You've already learned to avoid silicones, which is found in most shine agent products, so what's left?

A light hold hairspray is a good idea, just be sure to wait for your hair to cool down first.

Think about spraying a hot pan — it'll sizzle and steam.

Your hair will do the same thing!

We suggest spraying a boar-nylon brush with your finishing product, then combing it through for even application.

This is the best way to make sure your hair gets hold that isn't sticky or stiff,.

Try MIZANI 25 Miracle Nourishing Hair Oil for fine hair or...

...for thicker or coarse hair, you could benefit from a quality Moroccan Argan Oil Treatmentor from using  Living Proof No Frizz Leave-In Conditioner, a silicone-free formula that reduces frizz and adds shine. It's always important to use Moroccan argan oil for hair benefits after flat ironing.

9. Wrap Protect Your Hair at Night

Now that your flat iron straighening job is complete, don't ruin all your hard work by avoiding the use of a proper nighttime hair care regimen!

Wrap your hair at night, and cover it with silk or satin before bed. This way, your morning routine won't require much more than simply taking your hair down and combing it. You already straightened hair and volume—no more heat is required.

Join NHP-HIVE and get sent our info-packed, down-to-earth & sometimes funny NHP hair tutorials by email. SIGN UP HERE...

When Should You Replace Your Flat Iron?

If you've ever wondered, "when should I replace my flat iron?", here's the answer to help identify the key signs that its time to invest in a new flat iron straightener.

When you inspect your flat iron and see definite signs of wear and tear, it may be time to replace your hair tool. For example...

If you look closely at a flat iron, you might notice scratches, scuffs, and signs that the plates have 'lifted' - all indications that the flat iron plates have been well-worn. 

best flat iron hair straightener how-to-fix-flat-iron-hair-straightener-loose-lifting-flat-iron-platesFigure out if it's time to buy the new best flat iron hair straightener...

PRO TIP: If you turn your hair flat iron to the side you can see if the straightener's plate is lifting or not. If they've lifted, your hair is likely to get caught in it.

Next tip... keeping an eye out for a blinking light on your flat iron can help you know when it's time to buy a good replacement..

While your heat indicator light should blink when it's warming up, it should not keep flashing once you should have reached the ideal temperature and started styling.

If the indicator light continues to blink while in use, that's a surefire sign that your flat iron straightener is on the downhill and on its way out, which could also be damaging your hair. You see...

You can't depend on an old. worn-out flat iron to be true-to-temperature, and mistaking the temperature can easily lead to you burning the hair.

There's probably no better proof that you need to start shopping for a new flat iron than needing to constantly pass your flat iron over the same section of "seemingly"stubborn hair. 

If you find yourself going over the same patch of hair multiple times, pass after pass after pass, its probably time to trade in for a new model.

And thankfully we're showing you the best flat iron hair straighteners that exist because your common flat iron normally needs to be replaced every 2-3 years

Which Is Better A Flat Iron Hair Straightener or Straightening Brush?

It depends on your hair type and end goal. Flat iron straighteners generally work best on very thick, kinky-textured African-American natural hair.

Your high-grade flat iron for a Black natural hair silk press will always operate at a significantly higher temperature than hair brush straighteners, and because a flat iron hair straightener clamps down on your hair tightly between the two opposing plates, the heat is transferred more effectively to your hair.

Titanium Flat Iron Benefits
- Best Flat Iron Hair Straightener?

Without a doubt, according to many professional hairstylists (I didn't say ALL, so don't email me talkin' bulljive), some of the absolute best flat iron hair straighteners are those made of titanium.

On top of that:

Seeing TONS of happy customer reviews speaks volumes.

Critics will argue that one of the best flat iron brands on the planet, GHD, makes a superstar ceramic. And that's true.


The GHD Platinum has faaaaar fewer reviews than competitors like the various titanium flat irons from BaBylissPro... (I'm not hating, it's the truth. I like GHD alot).

Fact is, because of the many extra benefits that we see get mentioned in titanium flat iron reviews at Amazon...

...the debate about titanium hair straightener benefits usually comes to the same conclusion after the proof is seen in review after review, and salon after salon.

And what you get is:

A superior lighter-weight hair styling tool that gives you superior results, and straighter hair that last longer (when properly cared for) and less frizz.

It's no secret that many pro hair dressers will vouch that high-quality (important caveat) titanium straightening irons give you a better press and straighter hair.

GETTING IT STRAIGHT: Ending The Ceramic vs Titanium Flat Irons Debate

I already know all of the GHD fangirls are gonna come riding in on their dang high-horse and claim it to be the best flat iron hair straightener...

...they're gonna argue me down, saying that their GHD ceramic straighteners are the end-all-be-all and that GHD platinum flat iron reviews are still highly rated.

OK fine. I won't fight you, STILL THOUGH...

This Ceramic vs Titanium flat iron debate is coming from an "IN GENERAL" point of view.


And I fully recognize that questions about ceramic vs titanium flats irons for coarse African-American hair will always being asked.

Same goes for ceramic or titanium flat irons for fine hair and caucasion hair...

Still, as of today:

Titanium flat irons, in general, are arguably the best flat iron hair straighteners to have (at least until they come out with something better, which could happen).

At the end of the day though:

Being the best type of flat iron hair straighteners "In General", doesn't mean it's the best for YOU.

Because, you aren't any ol' person, "in general", you are not like everybody else.

Fact is, you are different and special (in my eyes you are hun), so you will have to decide for yourself which is the best flat iron hair straightener for your special needs.

If you feel like titanium makes the best flat iron hair straighteners for you, here's are a couple of the best titanium flat irons to choose from in the box you see to the right...

The Babyliss Pro nano titanium flat iron reviews speak for themselves, and...

Here's the kicker:

One of the main titanium flat iron benefits is that titanium heats up very quickly, but also more evenly, so there will be no cold spots on the iron to worry about.

And I have another cool durability reason to explain to you why titanium makes some of the best flat iron hair straighteners, you see...

...pure titanium doesn’t corrode at all, LIKE EVAAAAAAR, lol!

So while something like tourmaline flat iron plates will wear out faster. You'll benefit from titanium's long-lasting durability against wear and tear.


I'm not telling you that your titanium flat iron will never wear out. Because...

You have to mkeep in mind that thae plates won't be made of PURELY titanium.

The materials are ground down and infused onto the straightener's plates, which is why you’ll see them marketed with names like ‘nano-titanium’ or for tourmaline, it's often termed ‘nano-tourmaline’.

With even the best flat iron hair straighteners, the plates themselves are simply coated rather than made of a single piece of pure precious metal.

You'd have to pay THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS for a flat iron like that. (If you find one, buy one for me too, best friend! LOL!)

And here's another benefit to titanium flat irons that you'll love if you aren't a chick with guns like The Rock, lol, titanium flat irons are usually extremely lightweight in comparison to other materials.

Titanium is a precious metal that is excellent for even heat conduction, helping it deliver consistent heat across the plates for more effective passes, and allowing for minimum temperature variation, therefore minimizing heat damage. 

Titanium also makes some of the best flat iron hair straighteners because they heat very quickly, gives you a high ionic output, and transfers heat faster than ceramic could ever dream of.

What this means for you:

Much faster and superior results, no matter the condition of your hair. And titanium flat irons hair straighteners are not just about speed of use.

They are also some of the most durable straighteners on the market. They are very scratch resistant and exceptionally durable especially under high heat.

Titanium also offers very even heat distribution, meaning more overall straightening surface and fewer passes over your hair. Fewer passes is tell-tale sign of all the best flat iron hair straighteners.

[Related Article: FHI Flat Iron reviews]

Professional Steam Hair Straightener Reviews

Often when looking for the best flat iron hair straightener we begin searching for real reviews, right?

Well, professional steam flat irons are becoming more popular (although they aren't my favorite) and so I want to give you professional steam hair straightener reviews that you can depend on.

And hey, we also have review articles that will show you the best steam flat iron for Black hair & 4C texture reviews, although they actually work more effectively on fine, curly and wavy hair instead of coarse hair.

Follow The Author of this Best Flat Iron Straightener Article...


Melissa Lee is a Contributing Editor to NHP and a former owner of the BlackhairOMG website. She formed 4C Trichology Growth Services, LLC., a US based hair care consultation service. She has also contributed as a writer and consultant for various hair and beauty websites. Melissa can be followed on Twitter here.

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