Hair straighteners have moved on beyond the traditional two plates that you clamp to your hair and hope to straighten more than you mangle. Dyson is the latest company to enter the market, with the launch of the Corrale.
Dyson’s contribution is flexible plates that mould to fit the lock of hair being straightened. The claim is that this will reduce damage by half as the straightener works more efficiently, meaning that fewer passes over the hair are needed to achieve the same effect.
But you don’t need to spend £400 / $500 to get a product that’ll take care of your hair. In fact, you'll probably find the best straightener for your hair by considering other factors. Here are some things you should look out for when buying.
Straighteners with titanium plates are best for thick, coarse, frizzy hair but will damage fine hair. People with light, flyaway hair of this kind should consider ceramic plates. Damaged hair is best treated with tourmaline or ionic plates, which will help to seal the hair and prevent frizz.
For more control and protection of your hair, look for straighteners that have variable heat settings. Wide plates are also an advantage for all hair types, although if you’re used to narrower plates, they may take you a bit of time to get used to. They’ll also take up a bit more space in your travel bag.
If you're interested in investing in smart straighteners, read the small print. Companies mean different things when they use the term. GHD describes its Platinum+ straighteners as smart because they intelligently adapt the heating element to your technique. On the other hand, the Glamoriser Blue straighteners are smart in the sense that they come with a connected app to let you control them remotely, which GHDs don't.
You can find out about each straightener in detail in our full reviews, which you'll find linked to below, beneath a summary of each product.
You might also want to check out our guide to the best hair dryers if you're upgrading your home salon at the moment.
Best straightener reviews
1. GHD Platinum+ Professional Styler
GHD's gorgeous new Platinum+ offers snag-free styling that adapts to your individual technique and lessens the damage that can be caused to hair by excessive heat styling and straightening.
The Platinum+ straightener's 'ultra-zone' predictive tech intelligently adapts to your styling technique, adjusting the power to ensure an optimum temperature at all times for healthier hair and faster, better results. This is single-stroke styling at its best, suitable for all hair types.
You'll find improved styling in a shorter space of time, and results that last much longer. Expensive, at £175 direct from GHD, but worth every penny.
Read our full GHD Platinum+ Professional Styler review
2. Glamoriser Blue Smart Straightener
The Glamoriser Blue is a Bluetooth-enabled hair straightener, and the world's first. Yet even without the smart features, the Glamoriser is an impressive tool. It has a salon-quality look and the results to go with it. The tongs do not need to pass over the same section of hair too many times and the entire motion is smooth without hair ever getting caught.
The Glamoriser Blue has wide temperature range that goes from 80 degrees Celsius up to 235 degrees Celsius. You can however set the upper and lower limits through the Glamoriser app (free, for iOS and Android) so that the tool never gets hotter than it needs to.
The app also lets you set up a profile for your hair type. After indicating your hair thickness and the types of treatments you've had (e.g. coloured, highlights, relaxed, etc.).
Read our full Glamoriser Blue Smart Straightener review
3. GHD Gold Professional Styler
The GHD Gold Professional Styler (£139/US$199) is a minimalist yet powerful hair straightener that not only styles your hair quickly, but also protects it as well.
It has a sensor in each of its plates, a part of its "dual-zone technology", to ensure the temperature is always at a constant 185 degrees or 365 Fahrenheit – which is why you won't see any dials or displays on this device. Plus it only takes 25 seconds to heat up. The preset temperature takes out the guesswork involved in identifying the ideal heat setting for your hair.
The GHD Gold styles hair quickly and efficiently, making it ideal for the morning routine pre-work (or school) routine, for nights out or while traveling (it offers universal voltage).
The £139 price point for the GHD Gold is rather high, but it’s justifiable given this high-quality straightener produces sleek, shiny and lasting results while actually preventing hair damage. The GHD Gold is an investment in comparison to budget straighteners that may damage your hair in the long run.
Read our full GHD Gold Professional Styler review
4. BaByliss Straight and Curl Brilliance
The BaByliss Straight and Curl Brilliance is designed to produce both straight and curly styles for the user, thanks to its exterior metal casing which you can wrap your hair around for a more defined curl. For the price, it does quite a reasonable job, most notably on the curling side.
Unfortunately, the steel exterior design that's heats up to provide a better curl does make them slightly hazardous to use as it's easy to burn your hands. In addition, the removable rubber grips on the ends of the plates proved to be very irritating - these probably should have been either built permanently onto the product, or just omitted altogether.
The Straight and Curl Brilliance doesn't quite compare to the likes of GHDs in terms of lasting style. However, they won’t break the bank, and with the right products they can create a great style, so they’re still one to consider if you can't afford a pricey pair of straighteners.
Read our full BaByliss Straight and Curl Brilliance review
5. BaByliss Elegance 235
The Elegance 235 from BaByliss is an affordable pair of straighteners that still produce a great sleek finish that should last throughout the day. They come in a striking pink and gold finish, and are compact enough to be a great styling tool for travelling.
The drop in price does come with a few sacrifices. There aren't as many heat settings as more expensive straighteners or any locking mechanisms, and the curling isn't the easiest to master.
However, for the price you're still getting a good pair of straighteners that do what they say on the tin. They should last reasonably well over time, and best of all they don't look or feel cheap, despite heavily undercutting rivals.
Read our full BaByliss Elegance 235 review