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Although we know about the damage that heating tools can cause our hair, we spend quite a bit (okay, too much) time applying heat to our hair. In hopes of reducing breakage while still achieving silky smooth locks, we set out on a search to find the best flat irons for minimal hair damage.
The best thing to do for your hair is to use heat styling sparingly, but if you just can't give up your beloved flat iron for days on end, make sure you pick one with temperature settings you can control. Once you find the best flat iron for you, you’ll cut your routine in half and wind up with healthier hair. Here are our recommendations for the best flat irons for each hair type.
Best Overall: HSI Professional Glider Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron
This flat iron is the number one bestseller on Amazon among hair straighteners and there's no surprise why. The benefits of this flat iron are seemingly endless, but users love how easily it can straighten, flip, and curl hair, depending on your mood. The ceramic plates are equipped with special technology to minimize the amount of breakage as a result of heat damage; all you'll see is sleek and shiny strands thanks to the inclusion of tourmaline crystal ion plates. As for temperature ranges, you can adjust between 140-450°F and take it with you when you travel to areas with 220v outlets. As a bonus, each device comes with an included glove (to protect against burns), a handy travel pouch, and a travel-size argan oil hair treatment to tame flyaways in a pinch.
Best Budget: Remington S5500 1" Anti-Static Flat Iron
If you don’t have the budget for a luxury straightener, this ceramic flat iron from Remington will do the trick. With a heat up time of just 30 seconds and six different heat settings, this flat iron can suit every hair type. Its tangle-free fabric cord allows you to get every angle needed without any worries, and it even has digital controls to help you find the right temperature. When you’re done styling your hair, it shuts off automatically after 60 minutes. Because it’s only one-inch wide, you can get up close to your roots without worrying about burning your skin or leaving an unsightly dented shape in your strands.
Best for Thick Hair: Sedu Professional 1½" Flat Iron
With thick hair, it’s important to find a flat iron that can straighten each strand without having to go over it too many times, essentially frying your hair. This Sedu iron promises to do just that. You can choose any temperature between 240 and 410°F, so you’re in control of how hot you want it. Plus, it heats up in less than 25 seconds, cutting your styling time way down. This also promises to eliminate frizz and static, two key concerns of thick hair.
Best for Textured Hair: xtava Infrared Flat Iron Hair Straightener
When you have natural, coarse or kinky-curly hair, ceramic irons are preferred to titanium because the heat typically is distributed more evenly with ceramic materials. This straightener has floating plates, which means they flex with your hair for a better grip and keep your strands in constant contact with heat. The eight-foot-long cord means finding the right place to plug your iron in will be a breeze.
This flat iron can reach 10 different heat settings that range from 265 to 445°F in just 90 seconds and automatically shuts off after an hour of use. The most important part of this straightener is infrared technology because that allows the heat to penetrate the entire strand, not just the outer layer.
Best for Curly Hair: T3 Singlepass X
Getting the super straight and sleek look with curly hair can be tough. It either takes forever or your hair never smooths out exactly right. This flat iron promises to be everything you need and more. It’s specifically designed with coarse, thick and curly hair in mind. It has five heat settings between 260 and 410°F, allowing you to customize it depending on how you want your hair styled. It also has a microchip embedded to make sure the iron stays the same temperature throughout your styling session, so you don’t have to worry about overheating your locks.
Best for Fine Hair: Solano Sleekheat450 Professional Flat Iron
With super fine hair, you want a straightener that has lower settings because it doesn’t take much heat to get your hair to become straight. This Amazon Choice product goes all the way down to 170°F, making it perfect for finer hair. It heats up in just 60 seconds and automatically shuts off. Because of the ceramic plates, it’s able to glide through your hair effortlessly and distribute the right amount of heat evenly throughout. You don’t have to worry about frying your hair, especially if it’s thin and more fragile.
Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best hair styling tools.
Best for Short Hair: BaBylissPRO Titanium-Plated Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron
With short hair, whether a bob or a pixie, the most important quality to look for in a straightener is the size. While it may seem like a thick straightener gets the job done faster, it’s actually harder to use with short hair. You can get closer to the roots using a one-inch straightener without burning your scalp. This iron has 50 different settings that reach up to 450°F, allowing you to pick the heat you prefer for styling. Since you’re getting closer to your roots, the range in heat and the smaller size is a major plus.
Best for Frizzy Hair: Remington S8510 Anti Frizz Therapy Straightener
Remington’s Anti-Frizz flat iron can calm even the frizziest hair. Built-in conditioner transfers onto your hair with every stroke to give you up to 65% less frizz for 15 hours, even in humidity. The ceramic plates allow you to glide the iron right through your hair without any snagging or tugging too. It takes just 30 seconds to properly heat up and automatically shuts off after an hour of use. Plus, it’s an Amazon Choice product and is super affordable.
Best for Waves: Harry Josh Pro Tools Ceramic Styling Iron 1.25"
Leave it to model-favorite hairstylist Harry Josh to create the best straightening flat iron that also makes beautiful waves, thanks to its non-catching curved edges. Made from nano-ceramic and tourmaline-plated materials, this flat iron evenly distributes heat so as not to damage even the finest of strands.