I tried to break everything up on the chart by category so it’s easier to narrow things down, but you have to keep in mind there is a ton of overlap in styling tools. You can have large ceramic tourmaline and small titanium steam as well as just about a thousand other options. The point is, although my table is here for those of you who already have an idea of what you want, there is a small chance you might end up looking at something with a few extra bells and whistles because there is so much overlap. If you’re not sure what different kinds of irons there are, head over to my buying guide so you can get that all sorted out before you start reading the reviews.
I have always used cheap drugstore hair dryers. I had very expensive microlink extensions put in before my wedding, and decided I should splurge and get a "good" dryer. I ordered a Rusk SpeedFreak and have regretted it since I ordered it a year ago. It blows so hard my hair ends up in knots (with and without the extensions in). We just bought a fishing camp and I decided this was the perfect excuse to get a new dryer and put the rusk dryer at the camp. I am so glad I ordered this! What a difference! I've used the GHD flat iron for years, and recently purchased the curl wand. My hair dresser recommends GHD, and this dryer is as good as the other things I've used from them. It dries quickly, quietly, and the best part - doesn't blow so hard my hair is in knots. Maybe I'm crazy, but I really think my hair is softer feeling with this dryer compared to my other and my hair doesn't seem to get as frizzy.
Once you have purchased your new hair straightener and mastered the multitude of ways you can put it to good use, the only thing left to do is take care of it, so it lasts for years to come! Just like any luxury beauty tool, you will want to care for your hair straightener to extend its longevity and prevent corrosion (which can actually leak into your flowing locks…yuck!). Our top tips for caring for and cleaning your new hair straightener include:
“I’ve owned a Conair, Chi, and I-Tech straighter before, but this one is FABULOUS! There really is no tugging at all on your hair — so smooth, and I was shocked that it truly heats up in 15 seconds, as advertised! It also does something magical to my hair: It adds more shine like no flat iron has done before. Mind you, my hair is very difficult to deal with. It has always been coarse, wavy, dry, and thick! This iron worked beautifully on my hair.”
* * * Update: After returning the above-described item, I bought a ghd Classic Styler in-person from one of their authorized salon dealers (info at ghd's site). When I went to register the hologram and date codes, the ghd site accepted them on the first try. Also, the second unit I bought HAD country-of-manufacture information on the box and on the date sticker (made in China, which some other comments said isn't legit, that seems to be wrong). My unit labeled made-in-China is the one that registered successfully with ghd. Also my second purchase - from the authorized dealer - had a lot of information printed on the bottom of the box, including a bar code, web info, consumer information phone number, design info and information about the product. The unit I purchased from Amazon had NO printing on the bottom of the otherwise authentic-looking box. Draw your own conclusions. Bottom-line: if you buy a ghd styler here, double and triple-check that your unit is for real.
The floating plates are contoured with smooth edges, so you won't have to worry about your hair snagging as you're styling. If you have thicker hair, you may want to consider the 2-inch plate option, which will cover more surface area and help you style your hair more quickly. However, if you'd rather have the versatility of being able to curl and flip your hair as well as straighten it, we'd recommend the classic 1-inch plate.
If you are unsure what exactly your hair type is (or if it has changed over the years, which happens more often than you’d think!), check out this incredible overview by the hair professionals at Redken! Don’t stress if you have combination hair (i.e., fine and curly or thin and straight) either; we recommend choosing a hair straightener based on your biggest hair complaint and focusing on that problem first. So, if your curls are driving your nuts, you will want to select a hair straightener with higher temperatures, thin hair needs moisture, etc. You’ll find that your entire hair type can usually benefit from the extra TLC!
This ghd IV flat iron styler is UK plug compatible. Purchased when I had a series of trips to the UK scheduled but subsequently canceled. I already owned a platinum ghd flat iron so don't need this one even though I could simply purchase an adapter to use here in the USA. This is a new, never used, nor unboxed ghd Gold flat iron. With an adapter, it would work just as any other flat iron. Shipping is ONLY for within the USA.
If being limited to only a handful of temperature settings isn’t really your cup of tea, look no further than the BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightening Iron! This lightweight flat iron features a whopping 50 heat settings for hair types of all shapes, styles, textures, and colors making it one of the most versatile hair straighteners on our list.
If you are interested in adding the benefits of keratin use into other aspects of your hair care routine, treat yourself to a keratin-rich hair mask once per week! There are dozens of fantastic keratin masks on the market to choose from (and even in your local drugstore!), but we love Naat’s Brazilian Keratin Intensive Hair Mask (which you can buy here from Amazon) for a consistent shine every time!