Women experience a litany of hair-care troubles. Those with straight hair frequently long for curly or wavy hair, while many women with curls or waves wish desperately for a straight mane. Although many women go to the salon to have their locks permanently or chemically straightened, these treatments month after month may prove costly and extremely damaging to the cuticle. Rather than risk such intense damage, many women would do well to find a high-quality, effective straightener to act as a chemical hair straightening alternative.
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BaByLiss PRO Nano Titanium 1”
The beauty of the BaByLiss Pro Titanium iron is its devotion to preserving its users’ hair follicles; because it is constructed of titanium, the straightener is reported to release negative ions, not only failing to damage hair, but also infusing it with a healthier texture and shine.
This particular straightener is excellent for those seeking a small and lightweight appliance; as it is only 1”, it may take a big longer to straighten, but with temperature settings up to 450 degrees, the difference in speed may prove negligible. Though the width of plates does not exceed 1 inch, the length of the plates measures 5 inches, allowing more room for more hair at a single time.
Many customers expressed (delighted) surprise at the product’s salon-quality results, including quick action and shining, soft hair after processing. Like most high-heat products, most users advised using some sort of heat protectant on the hair intended to be straightened. Most were pleased with the duration of the styling tool, as many have used their straightener for 4-5 years without needing to purchase a replacement. Women with frizz-prone hair were particularly pleased with the product, as the majority of them found the straightener’s promise of silky, smooth hair an attainable goal.
While the majority of customers were pleased, there was a common theme running throughout the reviews left by actual customers: many found, upon opening the package, that the straightener had two significant flaws. The first could be avoided if the straightener was used at a low heat setting (some found the straightener’s handle too hot at high temperatures), while the second could not be fixed (the plates failed to touch to adequately straighten hair).
Izunami Flat Iron KTX 450
This particular straightener is aimed toward women with dry, coarse, or chemically-processed locks. Rather than simply acting as a straightener, the flat iron has been developed to infuse hair with a keratin coating, improving the texture in the long term, much like a Brazilian keratin treatment.
Like the BaByLiss, the plates are made with titanium, and are equipped to handle high heat levels. Rather than simply styling, this tool was created to change hair overall and improve the consistency and appearance of hair in the long-term.
While these promises sound incredible, there begs, of course, the question of whether or not these claims are true. The greatest asset, users find, is the flat iron’s ability to completely straighten long, coarse, thick hair in as little as 20 minutes. Users also found that the straightener did function well as an infuser to smooth thick, rough hair, and through continual use, users found improved overall texture and appearance. As a caution, though, most users experiencing these drastic results possessed dry, thick hair prone to frizz. Few customers with fine or already somewhat soft hair praised the results of continual use.
The reviews for Izunami’s flat iron were overwhelmingly positive, save a small handful. Some users found that their hair interacted poorly with the unit, resulting in burned or “melted” hair, necessitating an immediate trip to the salon to have the damage surfaces removed. In order to combat this potential issue, however, users should always exercise caution and only gradually increase heat to the desired temperature rather than immediately using the highest setting.
CHI Air Expert Classic
While the prior two flat irons were comprised of titanium plates, the CHI straightener is made with ceramic plates. Ceramic plates are often lauded for their ability to minimize damage to hair. They differ, however, from titanium plates in that they are not designed to work in conjunction with hair products; rather, ceramic plates are intended to buoy hair into greater health and vibrancy sans product. Ceramic is also used for its ability to style hair. Although titanium is great for straightening, many titanium irons are not useful for curling, flipping, or bending the hair in other ways. Conversely, ceramic is an excellent tool for curling, flipping, and other methods of styling, making ceramic flat irons more versatile than their titanium counterparts.
CHI provides customers with a well-respected brand in personal beauty products, and this particular model is no different. Users expressed satisfaction with the model’s ability to heat and style quickly. On average, the device lasted around 3 years with daily or near-daily use, and is regarded as high-quality in terms of materials and effectiveness. CHI’s model is also praised for its cord. While many cords develop tangled or grow somewhat disfigured, the CHI’s cord maintains its integrity and folds easily around the straightener without losing its shape or developing frustrating kinks. The hand grips are also frequently praised, as they maintain a comfortable, cool temperature even at the flat iron’s highest temperature.
Some users expressed disappointment with CHI’s latest model, as some found that the temperature dial was prone to movement during use. Though this may not present a huge problem for everyone, some found the temperature fluctuations throughout use frustrating, at best. This particular difficulty was not widespread, however, and may have been the result of defective individual devices, rather than a flaw in the model overall. Users who were not pleased with their purchase did express some pleasure regarding the company’s return policy: returns were accepted without delay and without having to fight heavily to get a refund.
Croc Classic Nano-Titanium Flat Iron
Because the Croc Classic is made with titanium, it is also intended to smooth the hair cuticle, resulting in smoother, shinier hair with continual use. It is unique, however, in its controls: rather than using the standard dial with numbers surrounding it, the Croc Classic uses a digital screen to differentiate temperature, offering temp ranges from 200 degrees to 450 degrees, increased in 10-degree intervals. This allows many users a more precise, easy-to-read temperature control, rather than the often-ambiguous dial controls. The brand also claims to heat and straighten 60% faster than its competitors—a claim which, if true, certainly bears taking into consideration when looking for a new flat iron.
One of the greatest praises offered from actual customers is the flat iron’s result time. As anyone with stubbornly curly or wavy hair can attest, having to take the time to straighten hair every morning can be extremely frustrating. Many users found that, using the Croc Classic, every day straightening was no longer a necessity. Instead, users were pleased to discover that styled hair lasted several days, cutting back on usage. Most also expressed satisfaction with the flat iron’s speed in heating and straightening, cutting 10-15 minutes off of many people’s morning hair routines. Users were also careful to caution potential users to use a heat spray; again, the plates are made of titanium rather than ceramic, and are intended to be used in conjunction with a protectant.
Users expressed satisfaction with the device’s performance—while it lasted. Unfortunately, many users discovered that, while the product performed admirably for 8-15 months, the cord inevitably shorted out, rendering the unit unusable. Though this might not be problematic for a lower-cost machine, most customers were displeased; the Croc does come at a decent price point, but most were unwilling to pay $70-$140 each year to replace a defective product.
Solia Tourmaline Ceramic Ion Flat Iron
Solia’s Tourmaline Ceramic Iron is, as the name suggests, a flat iron constructed with ceramic. Like most ceramic irons (and unlike titanium irons), the Solia is capable of use as a straightener and curler both, and should be used without the addition of any hair products or protectants. Designed to forego heat damage at all, the Solia boasts a unique blend of negative ion technology (which works to smooth hair) and an alignment system created to minimize tugging of the hair and ensure even heat distribution across all points of contact. Also created with anti-frizz in mind, this straightener is target toward individuals hoping to either tame frizz or (temporarily) abolish curls and waves.
Users rave about the durability of Solia’s flat iron. Many users have had the same flat iron, without problems, for over 5 years, and continue to enjoy smooth sailing despite having dropped the product, left it in hot vehicles, and generally been unforgiving toward it. By the same token, many expressed pleasure regarding the unit’s large size; while many people seek out compact models, this is by no means compact and many customers suspect this is part of the cause for its incredible durability. Users also experienced no hair pulling or unevenness in heat distribution.
Despite many users experiencing extended use with the Solia, a select few found that their product lasted only a handful of uses, rather than the standard years of use. Given that these models were brand new and were never dropped or abused, it may be likely that these particular models were defective, rather than being indicative of the product’s overall quality.
More Quality Flat Irons To Consider
|Image||Brand/ Name||Rating (out of 5)||Price||Pros/ Cons|
|Studio 105 Professional Ceramic Flat Iron||4.8||$69||Pros: Affordably priced; ceramic plates for smooth operation; great for all hair types; reduces frizz and promotes hydration; variable heat (180F-450F); good for curling; heats up quickly.|
Cons: Some users complained about fake products and ceramic chipping.
|ISA Professional Titanium Flat Iron||4.5||$129||Pros: Digital display; mirror titanium plates (4.5” long); variable temperature (265F-450F); for curling and straightening; full 2-year warranty; swivel cord; automatic shut-off feature for safety; dual voltage; sleek design. |
Cons: Priced higher than competitors; plates are small; not the best choice for coarse hair; must squeeze plates tightly to effectively straighten (takes longer).
|BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightening Iron||4.5||$104.69||Pros: Smooth titanium plates; surround heat for ideal styling; LED temperature display (max temp. 450F); ionic technology boosts shine; heat-resistant ryton housing; great choice for thick hair. |
Cons: Priced higher than competitors; no dual voltage; prone to breaking; poorly made; please beware of fake products when purchasing BaByliss flat irons.
|BaByliss Pro Nano 1 1/4" Titanium-Plated Straightening Iron||4.5||$89.54||Pros: Pure titanium plates with ion technology for perfect styling; reduces frizz; heat-resistant ryton housing; heats quickly (max temperature 450F); features 1-1/4” plates; great for thick/coarse hair. |
Cons: Many customers who ordered online received fake products that damaged hair or stopped working.
|CHI Pro Air 1" Ceramic Flat Iron||4.5||$77.99||Pros: Tourmaline ceramic plates combine with even heat distribution for effective and safe hairstyling; reduces frizz and static; ideal for curling and spiraling as well as straightening; heats quickly; 9’ swivel cord; variable heat (180F-410F).|
Cons: Some users noticed smoking/sparks during use; please beware of fake products when purchasing CHI straighteners.
|CHI Pro G2 Digital Titanium Infused Ceramic Flat Iron||4.3||$110.00||Pros: Sleek design; titanium-infused ceramic plates boost shine; color-coded and adjustable temperature selection (max heat 425F); includes travel pouch; heats quickly. |
Cons: Pricey; heat sometimes adjusts on its own; doesn’t curl hair well; hard to push temperature buttons without hitting mode buttons.
|HAI Classic Convertible Ceramic Flat Iron 1 1/4"||4.3||$75.34||Pros: Ceramic fusion technology; adjustable temperature (170F-400F); can be used to curl hair; effectively turns wavy hair “bone straight.”|
Cons: Does not have an automatic shut-off feature; no warranty if purchased via Amazon; ceramic coating flakes off (questionable quality); prone to breaking.
*Beware fake products
|Salona Professional 1" Titanium Flat Iron Straightener||4.3||$39.99||Pros: Titanium coated plates for smooth gliding; LCD display (255F-400F); auto shut-off safety feature; worldwide dual voltage; includes heat resistant pouch; affordably priced; ionic technology boosts shine; swivel cord. |
Cons: Does not glide smoothly; not the best choice for thick hair; cheaply made.
|HSI Professional Digital Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron||4.3||$69.00||Pros: LCD temperature display (240F-450F); ceramic tourmaline plates; infrared heat technology; includes glove, Argan oil treatment, and heat resistant pouch; round body allows for curling styles; 360 swivel cord for easy use; dual voltage; great price.|
Cons: Clunky design; prone to breaking; takes 8 minutes to heat up.
So Many to Choose From!
All of the straighteners identified above are liked (or loved) by many customers, and reviled by a select few. In order to determine which straightener is best for you, first identify your needs in these areas:
- Length of Use (Every day use or occasional use?)
- Desired Use of Products (Protectant sprays and thickeners or au naturale?)
- Desired Duration of Unit (A unit to be purchased once per decade or once per year?)
Each of these factors will play a significant role in deciding which straightener best fits your needs. If you are in need of a heavy-duty model, the Solia is likely to be the best fit for you. If your needs run more toward straightening only and portability, the BaByLiss will most likely best serve your needs. Each flat iron is intended to function differently, and is geared toward a different audience. Identifying your three needs, as listed above, will assist in identifying the unit you need.