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Best hair straighteners 2022: Tried and tested favourites to tame frizzy hair

Lise Smith
26 Jul 2022
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Looking for smooth, sleek, straight hair? These are our picks of the best hair straighteners available right now

When GHD launched its first hair straighteners more than 20 years ago, it marked a seismic shift in the electrical beauty market. GHD wasn't the first brand to release straighteners – hot plates and straightening irons existed before the 1990s. However, GHD’s revolutionary ceramic plates made fast heat styling with minimal damage an achievable reality, so overnight, poker-straight hair became the default beauty look of the early ‘00s. Now, with so many more options on the market, you no longer have to pay premium prices to find the best hair straightener for you.

Today, more than a quarter of women, and an increasing number of men, own a set of hair straighteners made by an ever-growing number of brands, all of which promise super-sleek, frizz-free straightening (or, with a twist of the straightening tool, fashionably beachy waves). Where earlier models ironed the hair rather brutally, modern hair straighteners boast adjustable heat settings and protective technology that reduces damage to heat-treated hair.

Here’s our guide to the best straighteners for frizz-free, super-sleek and healthy locks – whether you’re looking to achieve poker-straight tresses or cascading waves.


Best hair straighteners: At a glance


How to choose the best hair straighteners for you

How do hair straighteners work?

All hair straighteners work by heating the hair using metal plates. This causes the hydrogen bonds in the hair to break (a process that also takes place when the hair is wet). The straightening tool then passes over the hair, holding it in a new, flat position; the hair retains this new shape as it cools and the hydrogen bonds reform. If the hair is wrapped around the tool when cooling, rather than held straight, then the hair will take on a loose curl shape instead.

Straighteners whose plates are coated in a non-metallic material, such as ceramic or the gemstone tourmaline, typically heat more gently and evenly, producing a noticeably shiny and glossy finish. Plates might also be coated in titanium, which heats up very quickly; as well as reducing the overall time required for styling, it also reduces the amount of time that hair is exposed to heat.

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How do I use my hair straighteners?

For best results, always ensure hair is completely dry before straightening. Section the hair prior to styling and spray with a heat-protective product to keep heat damage to a minimum; this will also help your chosen style to last longer. Start on the bottom layers of hair near the neck, working your way up to the crown in small sections (an inch wide is a good size to aim for). With practice, you should be able to get your straightening routine down to under 30 minutes.

Which temperature setting should I use?

Like an iron for your clothes, hair straighteners often come with adjustable heat settings that allow hotter temperatures that will penetrate thicker-textured, denser hair. However, exercise caution when choosing a heat setting; higher heats can frazzle and even break finer hair, and even thick and curly hair types require only slightly higher temperatures. The keratin protein that makes up your hair starts to melt at 233˚C.

If you have healthy, medium-textured hair, the optimal temperature for heat treatments is 185ºC. Fine, damaged or treated hair will prefer a lower heat setting of around 165ºC; save the highest temperatures of around 210ºC for thick, coarse hair or tight curls. The best hair straighteners come with technology that automatically sets it to the best temperature for your hair type.

Straightening tools that use tourmaline plates are able to achieve optimum results at lower temperatures, so if you straighten your hair often then you may want to consider spending a little more on a tool that can be used effectively on cooler settings, which will result in less heat damage.

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What size heating plates are best for me?

If you have long, thick or curly hair, large plates (anything bigger than an inch thick) are great for making light work of a lot of hair; but you won’t be able to do as much curling and styling with these. Plates of around one inch are far better for curling and shaping the hair, and for most other types of hair. Short hair will get on best with thinner plates, anything under an inch in width, which are great for delivering the precision you’ll need.

What other features should I look out for?

A long cable is a godsend if you don’t want to be stuck next to the plug socket, especially if there isn’t a socket in the near vicinity of your mirror. Some cheaper models have cords of less than 2m, while top-end models have professional-length cables of 4m. If you can, get a rotating cord, too – some swivel round 360 degrees, which can make all the difference when attempting to style hard-to-reach parts of the head.

Look for straighteners with curved edges if you want to create curls, waves and flicks as you can shape your hair around the body of the irons.

Some irons automatically switch off after a certain period of inactivity (usually 30 minutes), which greatly reduces the risk of accidental fire – especially good if you tend to forget to switch the tool off manually. A quicker heat-up time will be welcome for those who are often in a hurry.

How we test hair straighteners

At Expert Reviews, we know that hands-on testing delivers the best and most complete information about a product. We personally test all the hair straighteners we review using the tools as recommended on dry hair. Where applicable, we test the various heat settings and, where straighteners are recommended for a particular hair type or usage, we test on that hair type to ensure we’re making an accurate recommendation.

When testing, we measure the time the tool takes to heat up after being switched on and then the speed of straightening a full head of hair (noting the length and texture of hair on which we’re testing). We also evaluate the overall ease of use of the straightening tool, how it feels in the hand, and the finish and feel of the hair after straightening. We also provide information on how well straightened styles last over the course of a typical day of wear. Finally, we confirm the weight and dimensions of the tool.

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The best hair straighteners to buy 2022

1. GHD Platinum Plus Styler: The best hair straighteners for straightening curly hair

Price: £219 | Buy now from Amazon

You can always rely on leading hair-tool brand GHD to deliver quality and a long-lasting style and the company’s Platinum Plus straighteners will take good care of your hair, too. The Platinum Plus represents a step away from the design of the Original GHD range; the previous yellow plates have been switched out for stylish black, and the snapping hinge is now a much smoother “wishbone”, which looks great and also prevents the hair from becoming caught during curling.

Billed as a “one-stroke wonder”, the plates are designed to deliver the optimum heat for your hair – and maintain that temperature using intelligent heat technology that measures and adjusts it constantly while styling. This means even heat that won’t scorch the hair, and you won’t have to run them through the same strands more than once.

The GHD Platinum Plus Styler also wins brownie points for its looks: it’s available in an elegant-looking white, as well as the more familiar black. We found that the Platinum Plus straightened our curly hair in around half the usual time; and it also results in shinier, healthier tresses with less breakage.

Read our full GHD Platinum Plus Styler review for more details

Key specs – Plates: 2.7cm ceramic plates; Maximum temperature: 185°C; Voltage: Universal; Cord length: 2.7m swivel cord; Automatic shut-off time: 30 minutes; Warranty: 2 years


2. Remington Shine Therapy Straighteners: The best hair straighteners for glossy hair

Price: £40 | Buy now from Boots

If sleek and shiny tresses are your go-to look, you’ll need straighteners that can easily create a poker-straight style without damaging the health of your hair. Luckily, these Remington straighteners use ceramic plates infused with conditioning properties, such as Moroccan argan oil and vitamin E, to keep your hair looking and feeling its very best.

The floating plates (set on springs) ensure an even pressure and grip on the hair, helping it to pass through the tool smoothly. There are nine heat settings that make it easy to select the correct heat for your hair type and texture; it’s also easy to switch between temperatures, so you can use a recommended 180°C for the bulk of the hair and a cooler setting for the thinner, more fragile front sections. The straighteners heat up in just 15 seconds and feature automatic switch-off after one hour.

Remington’s Shine Therapy straighteners are perfect if you’re after a “glass hair” look – simply combine the hot tool with a shine-boosting serum for glossy, silky smooth locks.

Key specs – Plates: Ceramic plates enriched with micro conditioners; Heat settings: 9; Maximum temperature: 230°C; Cord length: Swivel cord; Automatic shut-off time: One hour; Warranty: 180 days

Buy now from Boots


3. Dyson Corrale: The best premium cordless hair straighteners

Price: £400 | Buy now from Boots

Thanks to a clever heat-control system and flexible copper alloy plates that shape around strands of hair, the Dyson Corrale deliver efficient straightening while minimising damage to your locks.

Design-wise, the wireless Corrale straighteners are heavier in the hand than some other brands, due to the added weight of their rechargeable battery. Their portable nature helps them stand out against rival models. Offering a 30-minute battery life, these hair straighteners have enough juice in the tank for the majority of people to get their hair straight and sleek.

They come with adjustable heat control so you can select the right temperature for your hair texture, from 165ºC to 210ºC. The intelligent heat-control system takes 100 measurements per second, to ensure the temperature remains even throughout the process, so there’s no risk of damage from scorching.

In our tests we found that the Corrale straighteners worked well, tackling our test hair in a significantly shorter time than many other models we tried. At £400, they’re definitely an investment, but if you straighten your hair often then the Corrale are worth the price.

Key specs – Plates: Flexing copper alloy plates; Heat settings: Three temperature control options; Maximum temperature: 210°C; Voltage: Universal; Cord length: 4.3m; Automatic shut-off time: 10 minutes; Warranty: 1 year

Buy now from Boots


4. Babyliss 9000 Cordless Straighteners: The best hair straighteners for creating waves and curls

Price: £200 | Buy now from Boots

While poker-straight hair ruled the fashion pages of the early 2000s, more recently the trend has been towards softer, beachy waves created by passing the hair through a straightener for a sleek root, and then wrapping the lengths around the tool to create a soft curl. The slim, curved body of the Babyliss 9000 is perfect for creating “straightener curls” – and, since the tool is cordless, it’s also super-easy to wrap the hair around at any angle around the head, without getting into a tangle.

These straighteners offer three heat settings – 160°C, 180°C and 200°C – and heat up in just seconds. The rechargeable battery charges fully in three hours and lasts for 30 minutes, which will be sufficient to style most types/lengths of hair. The floating ceramic plates heat up evenly and glide over the hair; and the straighteners come with a handy travel bag. If you’re in the market for a versatile straightening tool that can handle straight and curly styles with ease, the Babyliss 9000 is our recommendation.

Key specs – Plates: floating ceramic; Heat settings: Three temperature control options; Maximum temperature: 200°C; Voltage: Universal; Cord length (charging cable): 1m; Automatic shut-off time: 150 minutes; Warranty: 2 years

Buy now from Boots


5. Cloud Nine Original Iron Hair Straighteners: The best hair straighteners for healthy hair

Price: £169 | Buy now from Argos

Launched by one of the founders of GHD, Cloud Nine’s Original hair straighteners glide easily through the hair, without any pull or drag. They leave hair feeling silky, looking shiny and – most importantly – poker straight. Hair health is a key drive of this product’s design: the ceramic plates are mineral-infused to reduce snagging, leaving hair with extra shine; and there are no fewer than six heat settings, from 100ºC to 200ºC. The plates perform well at lower temperatures, which means less risk of damage to hair.

Ergonomically, the Cloud Nine Original are comfortable in the hand, and lightweight at just 247g. We found the slim, curved barrel easy to use for flicking and curling, as well as for straight styles. The unit heats up in just 20 seconds and shuts off automatically after 30 minutes for added safety. The controls on the inside surface of the straighteners can be a little fiddly to access; but, overall, this is an excellent product that gives the GHD Gold a run for its money.

Key specs – Plates: 4cm mineral-infused ceramic plates; Heat settings: Five temperature control options; Maximum temperature: 200°C; Voltage: Universal; Cord length: 2.6m; Automatic shut-off time: 30 minutes; Warranty: 1 year

Buy now from Argos


6. BaByliss 3Q Hair Straighteners: The best mid-price straighteners

Price: £100 | Buy now from John Lewis

BaByliss has a history of producing must-have hair tools that dates back to the 1960s, and many of its inventions – including the Perfect Curl and Big Hair – are cult favourites. The 3Q hair straighteners are the company's latest such tool and we love the way they heat up quickly and transform frizz into fabulous smoothness. In addition, they even protect damaged hair with the aptly named Protect button, which switches temperature accurately in just a few seconds.

In fact, the BaByliss 3Q Hair Straighteners boast many of the features of their high-end contemporaries, using sensors to work out the correct temperature for your hair, maintaining heat and leaving a salon-shine finish. If you have more delicate or damaged hair, then the lower temperatures will certainly help keep your hair healthy. The 3Q straighteners are the quietest in operation, sometimes making a rather disconcerting buzzing noise; but they represent good value for money in the middle of the market.

Key specs – Plates: 2.8cm quartz-ceramic plates; Heat settings: 12 digital options; Maximum temperature: 235°C; Cord length: 3m swivel cable; Automatic shut-off time: 72 minutes; Warranty: 5 years

Buy now from John Lewis


7. Nicky Clarke Hair Therapy Straighteners: The best budget straighteners

Price: £60 | Buy now from Nicky Clarke

Hairdresser Nicky Clarke has a great range of hair styling tools that deliver great results while being very budget-friendly – and these straighteners are no exception. The plates are ceramic- and tourmaline-coated to ensure a smooth glide through the hair, locking in moisture to leave hair soft and shiny. There are eight heat settings from 160ºC to 230ºC and the LED display is easy to read. A simple touch button makes it easy to switch between higher heat settings for thicker sections of hair, to a cooler setting for the finer hair around the front of the head.

The Hair Therapy straighteners heat up in 60 seconds and have a decent-length 3m swivel cord, which makes it super-easy to manoeuvre the tool around the head to reach any tricky parts of the hair. The straighteners work well on all hair types, including long and thick hair, and offer excellent results for the price.

Key specs – Plates: ceramic/tourmaline; Heat settings: 8; Maximum temperature: 230ºC; Cord length: 3m; Automatic shut-off time: 60 minutes; Warranty: 1 year

Buy now from Nicky Clarke


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