A flat iron might seem like a pretty straightforward product: turn it on, wait for it to heat up to your preferred temperature, and straighten your strands to perfection. But with new technology constantly being brought to the table, not all straighteners are alike. Additionally, when it comes to choosing the best flat irons on the market, your hair type plays a big role in the decision. To give you options, TZR consulted with beauty editors to find out what hot tools they swear by.
But no matter which device you land on, before you even plug it in, you'll want to first prep your hair. "With flat-ironing, you have to start with a good foundation," Maya Allen, Beauty Director at InStyle, tells TZR. Prior to straightening, she'll thoroughly wash and hydrate with a nourishing shampoo and conditioner, detangle, and blow-dry her hair. "Did I mention patience is a virtue? Rushing isn’t ideal, so be sure to carve out a few hours for flat-ironing because every step matters," Allen adds.
Ready to discover the perfect straightener for your hair type? Ahead, find five industry-favorite tools, all recommended by beauty editors.
We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
The Best Flat Irons For Fine Hair
Ruby Buddemeyer: Beauty Editor, Cosmopolitan
"[My hair is] fine and color-treated with a little bit of wave. I’ve been using the ghd Platinum + Professional Styler since it launched and I’m still obsessed. It heats up ridiculously fast, like 20 seconds max, and it has the coolest technology — it automatically adjusts its power as you’re styling, more if you’ve got thicker hair, less if you’ve got finer, to prevent damage and breakage. It also never leaves my hair with that dry, straw-like texture you sometimes get with flat irons — my ends always look so soft and shiny."
Kara McGrath: Deputy Editor, Allure.com
"[I have] fine, wavy hair. T3's Lucea ID Straightening & Styling Iron won an Allure Best of Beauty Breakthrough award this year, and I was one of the editors really pushing for it. I've been a T3 loyalist for years, and this smart iron brings a lot of cool tech to the brand's already-great hot tools. You enter information about your hair, like texture, length, color-treated or not, and it picks the perfect setting to straighten your hair with the least amount of heat, which helps minimize damage. Especially now, I'm particularly appreciative of the refresh mode, which is specifically for re-doing your hair on days when you aren't washing it."
The Best Flat Irons For Naturally Textured, Curly Hair
Maya Allen: Beauty Director, InStyle
"[I have] naturally textured, curly hair. My hairstylist of nine years, Aja Smith, has serious skills. Therefore, I trust whatever tool she vouches for and uses on my hair. She put me on to the BaByliss flat-iron years ago and it’s been yielding amazing results ever since. In one pass, my hair is sleek and shiny thanks to the titanium plates. The flat-iron also features a ceramic heating system, so damage control is already at play. A quick and easy glide does the trick — I call it my one-hit wonder. The best part is my hair stays straight for days on end.
"I like to use these No Crease Clips to part my hair while I flat-iron each section. I finish off with a lightweight oil for added shine. At night, I wrap my hair with a silk scarf to lock in the moisture and sustain the style."
The Best Flat Irons For Thick Hair
Blake Newby: Beauty Writer, The Zoe Report
"My hair is extremely thick, and has been my whole life. In fact, my friends always joke and say I have doll hair because it's so incredibly dense and grows out, not down. In addition, I have a 4A curl pattern, so managing my hair has been quite the journey. However, my hair tolerates heat incredibly well, and can hold on to a straightening for days and even weeks, even with it being natural.
"I found out about this iron [BaBylissPRO' Nano Titanium Ionic Straightening Iron] after two different stylists used it on my hair. I was so impressed with how it got my hair bone-straight without having to do multiple passes. Furthermore, when I'd wash my hair when the style had aged, my curls came right back without any damage. It's my go-to and works just as well on my extensions, which I wear all the time. It has easy heat settings, warms quickly, and gets my hair straight in little to no time.
"Don't be overzealous with the heat. I keep mine at 375 degrees and it works perfectly. It can be tempting to put your flatiron on the highest setting, but with this, you don't have to. A little goes a long way, and that's why I love it."
The Best Flat Irons For Thick Hair
Jennifer Hussein: Beauty Editor, BestProducts.com
"I have a lot of hair, so straightening my thick mane definitely feels more like a chore than a moment of self-indulgence. So, on those very few occasions when I'm actually breaking out my straightener, I want to spend as little time as possible styling my strands without sacrificing the final look. Enter: the ghd Gold Professional Performance Styler, which has 2-inch ceramic plates that will get through the thickest of strands with ease. This large-and-in-charge pick leaves my hair feeling glossy, smooth, and frizz-free without causing excess damage, all thanks to its sturdy straightening plates. As a person with obscenely strong strands, trust me: This straightener is essential for anyone with longer, thicker locks."