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The 13 Best Flat Irons That Have Our Go-To Hair Experts’ Stamps of Approval

It's time to upgrade your hair straightener.

ghd flat iron on different hair textures

Though many of us have switched to a low-maintenance hair styling regimen, sometimes a particularly special Zoom call or small gathering calls for breaking out the flat iron. If your go-to hair straightener died on you, or if it's just not doing the job anymore, it's time to start the year off right by grabbing a new hair straightener — and luckily for you, we tapped the experts on everything — seriously, everything — you need to know about flat irons.

Titanium Vs. Ceramic Flat Irons

If you're familiar with hair straighteners, then you know that the most conventional ones use heated "plates" to straighten your strands. These plates are usually made out of titanium or ceramic, and each material has a different effect on your hair.

"While titanium flat irons provide a quick heat-up time and conduct heat evenly throughout the iron for a wonderful smoothening result, if not used properly, they can cause serious damage to the hair," says Cheryl Bergamy, celebrity hairstylist and founder of Contents Haircare. "Be mindful of the temperature you use and how often you use it. When you overuse any iron, you can run the tendency to damage the elasticity of your hair causing your curl pattern to loosen over time."

Another distinction between titanium and ceramic flat irons that Bergamy notes is the method by which the plates heat the hair. “Ceramic flat irons transmit heat through infrared technology, straightening the hair from the inside out which is generally more gentle, especially for finer textures,” she says. “Titanium, however, heats the surface of the hair shaft. That’s why it’s so important to maintain moisture retention while using heat styling tools for your hair, especially textured hair.”

Chances are, many of you have been confused about choosing which flat iron is the best for your hair. Well, Bergamy notes that while she does love both titanium and ceramic plates, if she just had to choose, she'd pick the latter due to its gentler effect on strands.

The Best Flat Irons

Tips for Straightening Your Hair

Don't let that hot tool touch your strands just yet! Before you get to straightening, professional hairstylist Jessica Shakir says to add a few essentials in your pre-styling routine to keep your strands guarded against the heat.

“As unsexy as it sounds, we have to go back to the basics, so let’s start with prep: Use a heat protectant spray before you use a straightening iron. Period,” she says. “It’s the same reason you’d choose to wear sunscreen on your face before you go out in the sun. Since heat damage is permanent, you want to be mindful of all the details, meaning ... don’t skip a step!”

Another tip Shakir has is to keep the heat low in order to avoid further hair damage.

"Just because your iron can go up to 450 Fahrenheit, doesn’t mean you should keep it there," she says. "In fact, if you have fine hair, you should keep the heat under 200 degrees; thicker hair can stand more heat. To ensure your desired style will stay put for hours, opt for setting your strands with creaseless duckbill clips rather than going over a strand more than once with your hot tool. When using heat, less can be more!”

For textured hair, Bergamy suggests focusing on hydrating your hair first with a leave-in conditioning cream (her go-to product is Contents Style & Go Leave-in Conditioner). "Depending on how coarse or tight the curl pattern is, I may have my client sit with a plastic cap for a few minutes just to help infuse the moisture into the hair," she says. This method can make the hair softer and easy to blow out, without the risk of pulling or breakage.

Now that you've got the lowdown on how to prep your strands for straightening, learn more about the best flat irons our go-to celebrity hairstylists can't get enough of.

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Best 1-Inch Flat Iron
T3 Lucea 1-Inch Professional Straightening & Styling Flat Iron
T3 ulta.com

Both Anthony Joseph, Master Stylist at Rob Peetoom Salon Williamsburg, and Carletta O'Neal, hair stylist and owner of Capelli Salon, are obsessed with the T3 Lucea for its nine heat settings, which allow the user to customize it depending on how they want to style their hair. It also has a microchip embedded to make sure the iron stays the same temperature throughout the styling session, so you don’t have to worry about overheating your hair, and the ceramic plates are gentler on strands. too. 

"It keeps temperature even and it's just right for all hair types," she says. "It's quick and easy, which means less damage on hair!" 

More: The Best Hair Towels to Speed Up Dry Time

Best for Dry Hair
NuMe Megastar Hair Straightener
NuMe amazon.com

Celebrity hairstylist Michelle Cleveland says this flat iron is the absolute best for its 1-inch pure tourmaline ceramic floating plates, which use far-infrared heat strips along with an Ion Booster on the base to lock in moisture, making it great for drier strands. Plus, Cleveland also notes that you can create both silky-smooth strands and different types of curls with this slender flat iron.

"It's reasonably priced and can do the work of two or three different style curling irons/wands, and as a freelance hairstylist who needs to pack her bag each day for work, this is a huge plus,” Cleveland says.

The O.G.
ghd Classic 1" Inch Styler
ghd sephora.com

This is one of the most notable hair straighteners under the ghd roster for its ease and simplicity that allows you to create straight tresses, curls, waves, and just about any other hairstyle you could think of. It has a single heat setting that works on all hair types without frying your precious hair, and it heats up in as little as 30 seconds. The plates use ceramic heat technology at 365 degrees Fahrenheit for smooth, glossy, and no-frizz styling.

"It’s a great consumer-friendly flat iron that gives beautiful and silky straight hair, and it can be used for beach waves," says Senada K. Ceka, luxury wedding hairstylist.

Best Budget Flat Iron
Remington 1-Inch Flat Iron
Remington amazon.com

Katie Becker, Beauty & Health Director of our sister publication ELLE, says when it comes to budget-friendly hair tools, you can never go wrong with Remington.

This under-$20 styler, in particular, is our favorite for its anti-static technology that smoothens strands in a single pass to create a smooth and static-free finish, It's floating ceramic 1-inch plates are 30% longer for quicker styling and less damage, and also make curling and creating waves much easier. Plus, the titanium protection coating on the plates allows fast heat up so you can create any style in no time.

Best for Textured Hair
BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Digital Straightening Iron
BaBylissPRO ulta.com

Both Ceka and Molly Leahy, Living Proof Salon Stylist, agree that this titanium flat iron needs to be on your radar. Leahy says this flat iron is thin enough to get your hair smooth even at the root or around smaller areas like your hairline and ears. It also has a wider variety of heat settings than other straighteners so you can customize the heat to what is good for your hair. Plus, it heats up fast

"This is a great heavy-duty flat iron for that extra thick, dense and textured hair that needs a lot of control," says Ceka.

Titanium-Ceramic Hybrid
Hot Tools Black Gold 1'' Micro Shine Salon Flat Iron
Hot Tools ulta.com

Celebrity hairstylist Sally Hershberger has been using this straightener for years and considers it her go-to for styling. 

She notes that it heats up super quickly, and the heat is evenly distributed across the plates, creating a seamlessly glossy finish on every strand that passes through. The plates are also made out of both titanium and ceramic, giving you the best of both worlds.

Wide Plates
Conair Infiniti Pro Rainbow Titanium Flat Iron
Conair ulta.com

Becker notes that she's also a fan of Conair for their high-performance tools at low prices, and the Infiniti Pro is exactly what she's talking about.

These rainbow-hued plates are more than just gorgeous: they're wide 1 3/4-inch titanium plates that claim to give you 89% straighter results with less frizz, and the plates reach up to a high 455 degrees to straighten even the curliest of hair types. 

The Award Winner
Dyson Corrale Hair Straightener
Dyson sephora.com

Jen Atkin, one of the most popular celebrity hairstylists of the moment, says she can't get enough of Dyson's latest hair tool, the Corrale hair straightener. 

This award-winning straightener is completely unique for its wireless styling and a lightweight body that's easy on the wrists. Its manganese copper alloy plates gather hair, delivering a great result with half the damage of fixed-plate straighteners.

"I love using my Dyson Corrale straightener to create an ‘S Wave’ by feeding the hair into the iron and forming the wave pattern while opening and closing the plates," says Atkin.

Best for Precision
Varis Creative Energy Smoother
Varis walmart.com

Jacob Khan, celebrity hairstylist, says this flat iron is perfect because it has great control and  glides perfectly through the hair without snagging, making it great for both straight and curly/wavy looks. 

This straightener reaches up to 450 degrees to straighten just about any hair type with ease, and features floating ceramic plates. Hydroionic Crystal technology is also featured to hydrate and condition the hair while you straighten, minimizing damage and leaving your hair perfectly styled every time.

Tapered Tip
ghd Gold Professional Performance 1-Inch Styler
ghd sephora.com

Paul Labrecque, celebrity hairstylist and Artistic Director of Paul Labrecque Salon and Skincare Spa, says that all of ghd's straighteners are worth every penny, but this one in particular is his favorite for its rounded, tapered tip to get every strand. 

This straightener also has two heat sensors (one across each plate) to control the optimum styling temperature of 365 degrees Fahrenheit constantly and evenly from root to tip. 

Bonus: It only takes 25 seconds to heat up!

Best Titanium Flat Iron
BRAZILIAN BLOWOUT Model 11T22 Titanium Flat Iron
Brazilian Blowout walmart.com

Out of all of her essential flat irons, Seka says this one is her absolute favorite. This 1.25-inch pick has floating titanium plates that'll straighten your strands with ease, a digital temperature read that goes up to 450 degrees, and a heat-resistant cord that won't get tangled up while you're trying to style your hair. 

"It's amazing for the stylist on the go," says Seka.

Infrared Technology
by Gina Excel Infrared Flat Iron
by Gina amazon.com

Gina Rivera, Founder of Phenix Salon Suites, by Gina, and Colours by Gina, decided to take flat irons into her own hands and created her own, and we're seriously impressed. 

This particular flat iron is constructed of tourmaline heating plates that have the ability to instantly heat up to 450 degrees. The exclusive Infrared Smart Technology that the iron is created with infuses each strand with micro-moisture particles to prevent the damaging effects that most high heat tools inflict. 

“Infrared is used for so many therapy-related things these days and this goes for hair care as well,” says Rivera. “It’s like a spa treatment for your hair because it heats the hair from the inside out, locking the moisture in.”

This straightener is also a one-pass styling tool so heat exposure is limited which contributes to having more healthy, beautiful locks. You can use this heated hair tool to create smooth, loose waves or straight styles.

Most Versatile
ghd Platinum+ Professional Performance 1-Inch Styler
ghd sephora.com

Ona Diaz-Santin, hairstylist, Creative Director, and owner of New York City's popular 5 Salon & Spa, says that this straightener from ghd is the absolute best for creating any style you please. 

It features a predictive technology that allows for even heat distribution across the entirety of the ceramic plates for even, silky results in a single pass. The heat is monitored 250 times per second, so it’s constantly at the optimum 365-degree styling temperature for even healthier hair. 

This high-tech tool also recognizes the thickness of your hair and the speed at which you are styling and adjusts accordingly, so you'll get the smoothest locks no matter how wavy, curly, or coily your hair is. 

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