9 best hair straighteners
Keep frizz at bay with a super-sleek pair of irons
Gone are the days when you had to decide whether straightening your hair was worth the damage it did to your locks. With plenty of heat protection sprays on the market and high-tech irons that not only work to protect your hair but add shine, there’s no reason not to put hair straighteners on your list of beauty essentials.
But before you buy, make sure you know what size tongs you want. As well as standard sizes, there are usually slim plates for short hair and wide plates for long hair. Some also double up as curlers – usually the slim plate options are good for this. Once you get them home make sure you don’t apply too much unnecessary heat to your tresses, around 185°C is the perfect temperature.
We tried and tested a whole range of straighteners to find the ones that keep hair super straight all day but not at the expense of its health. Top features to look out for are ‘sleep mode’ which automatically switches off irons after 30 minutes; adjustable temperature settings where you can set the level of heat applied to your hair and extra-long and rotatable cords to make styling easier.
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GHD White Platinum Styler: £165, Look Fantastic
As well as looking great on your dressing table, these white-coloured stylers also do an amazing job of sorting out even the curliest of hair. You know with GHD you’re getting quality and a pair of straighteners that will last for years but these will also look after your hair, especially if it’s dyed. The various heat sensors in the plates deliver the optimum heat for your hair and the result is smooth and shiny-looking locks. There’s also an extra-long cord, so you can walk across the room for the hairbrush as you style, and a trusty sleep mode.
Cloud Nine Original Iron: £139, Look Fantastic
Cloud Nine was established by the same person who founded GHD, so it’s no surprise that this pair impressed us too. These tongs are not only great at straightening, they’re also good at curling, so if you’re after a two-in-one combo then this pair’s ideal. The best bit is the temperature control panel; we found that even with a low heat you could still get long-lasting styles. It also has a hibernation mode, so no mild panics that you’ve not switched them off when you get to the office. They made our hair look really shiny and fresh - it almost looked like we’d had a blow dry.
Braun Satin Hair 7 ST780 SensoCare Straighteners: £63, Amazon
Although Braun isn’t necessarily known for hair care, more shavers and electric toothbrushes, these straighteners are cleverly designed and give you a smooth, frizz-free finish. You can use the ‘intelligent display’ to personalise heat settings to suit your hair’s thickness, length and colour which we found useful, and they’re designed to curl hair too. They’re a slightly cheaper alternative to some on the list but still offer similar polka-straight results.
Hershesons Titanium Ionic: £98, Hershesons
There’s plenty of science behind this pair – the titanium build means it produces more beneficial negative ions when it heats up giving you shiner hair, less frizz and longer-lasting styles. If, like us, you’re unsure what negative ions are, then all you need to know is when we tried this pair out we loved the results. They give you super-sleek locks, you can control the temperature to keep your hair healthy and they have a rotating cord, meaning they’re easy to handle.
Philips MoistureProtect Hair Straightener: £79.97, Amazon
If you feel safer in the hands of a tech manufacturer then this pair from Philips are the perfect fit. Ideal for women who suffer from dry hair, this device is designed with a MoistureProtect sensor that regulates the heat of the straighteners and preserves your hair’s natural hydration. Out tester’s hair was left looking smooth, shiny and frizz-free.
Toni & Guy Illusions Styler 2.0: £39.99, Boots
The perfect device for low-maintenance ladies. These limited edition Toni & Guy beauties not only heated up quick as a whippet, reaching their top temperature of 230 degrees in around 40 seconds (though I was happy to style at a mere 190), but they were so quick and easy to use that styling was a breeze. The touch-control temperature settings, rounded edges and smooth, floating titanium plates meant that transforming my hair from frizzball to sleek mane was done in a matter of minutes. They’re also adept at producing curls and waves; creating a whole head of loose ringlets took less than 10 minutes and they stayed buoyant all evening. And, for style as well as substance, they also come in a shimmering silver carry case with bright splashes of colour, plus a protective quilted pad to rest them on when hot..
T3 Single Pass X Straighteners: £165, Space NK
If you have long, thick or coarse hair look no further, as this wide plate pair from hair electronics expert T3 is the best option for you. It will power through the thickest of hair and comes with two handy sectioning clips to make straightening easier. T3 has won many beauty awards for its products and is a firm favourite among celebs (including Britney Spears and Liv Tyler) so you’re in good company if you purchase a pair.
Remington Air Plates Ceramic Hair Straightener: £80, Tesco
Unlike other models, the ceramic plates are suspended separately from the casing, which Remington says allows more of your hair to come into contact with plates, making the process more efficient. Our tester’s thick hair took slightly fewer strokes than her usual model to get her hair silky and straight and we liked the fact that there are five temperature settings – the top one is 230 degrees – and all the variations we tried gave day-long sleekness.
L’Oreal Professional Steampod Brazil Fantasy: £145, John Lewis
If you fancy trying something a bit different, then these Steampod straighteners are worth considering. To use, you fill the steampod (a small plastic container attached to the cord) with water and plug in the irons, turn on, set the temperature and place the plates on your hair in the direction of the arrows on the plate. As you move the irons down your hair, the integrated comb detangles knots and you’ll notice steam coming out of the jets – it looks like you’re literally ironing your hair. But the result is a super-straight, professional-looking finish. And the steam is meant to reduce the damage to your hair too.
The Verdict: Hair straighteners
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