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Like many beauty tools, hair straighteners can be a big investment in your hair routine. Much like a hairdryer, a good pair of hair straighteners can become a staple device that you reach for every day to create smooth and sleek styles. With some hair straighteners coming in at £200+. it’s important to research the best hair straighteners to see if they’re suitable for your hair type, your hair’s needs and your budget.
That’s where our editors come in. Having tested several hair straighteners, we put the best ones through their paces to bring you the hair straighteners that are truly deserving of your hard-earned money. Scroll ahead to read our honest reviews and before and afters of hair straighteners from Dyson to GHD.
I was so excited to get my hands on the GHD Max hair straighteners as I have very thick, medium length hair that can take forever to style.
Although I love my original GHDs, I just don’t have the time to be spending half an hour on my hair in the morning but, according to reviews, the GHD Max
straighteners can help speed the process up thanks to 70 per cent larger plates. These plates mean that you can straighten bigger sections of hair at one time, and they also have two new generation heat sensors
which help with consistent heat distribution to get a really smooth finish. It’s safe to say that I couldn’t wait to give them a go.
Like most GHD hair tools, the straighteners featured one heat setting of 185°C, and took around 30 seconds to heat up. It took me a little while to get used to the larger plate size, but they were very lightweight and and once I got the hang of them, they were super quick and easy to use. In fact, they helped cut my styling time in half, and I had smooth, sleek, shiny hair in just under 15 minutes! I couldn’t believe the results, and I don’t think I will be going back to my normal GHDs anytime soon.
The only downside of the larger plates is that they can be a little more difficult to get up into the roots, and they also aren’t the best for curling your hair. However, if you have thick or long hair that you want to straighten quickly and easily, then I couldn’t recommend them enough.
Pros: Wide plates are ideal for straightening thick or long hair, lightweight, optimum temperature of 180°C, quick to heat up and style
Cons: Not easy to curl with, tricky to reach the roots
My hair is long and quite thick and coarse in areas. It also has a natural wave and is prone to flyaways, so when I want a super sleek look I need to call upon hair straighteners for a smooth result. That being said, my hair is usually very quick to straighten.
The Dyson Corrale is among the most expensive hair straighteners on the market, but it does boast many great features. The first being that these hair straighteners are cordless. It’s not something that would’ve been a deal-breaker for me before, but now I’ve experienced the freedom of not being tethered to a plug socket, I’m converted! The only downside is that a full charge (of 70 minutes) will give you 30 minutes of styling time. If you have straight, fine or short hair, this is unlikely to be an issue. But if your hair is thicker or curly in texture, you could be left caught out if you need more time than this.
It took me around 10-15 minutes to style my hair, and the style held up well throughout the day. Another nice feature is that there is an aeroplane feature that allows you to securely “lock” your straighteners to transport them safely in your case of hand luggage—a bonus if you travel.
The Corrale has three heat settings (heating to 165, 185 or 210ºC) so you can tailor it to your hair texture, and the temperature is regulated 100 times per second for accuracy. Another plus? It’s speedy. It took just 25 seconds to heat to 210ºC, so there’s little waiting around here. It only has three buttons (the power button and the two temperature-control buttons) so it’s very intuitive and easy to use. The plates are perhaps the most innovative feature, however—they’re flexible, cushioning and moulding to your hair as you run it through. Dyson says that there is still enough tension to straighten (or even curl) the hair, but the result is less heat damage compared to other straighteners that clamp and drag.
I love that these straighteners have a curved edge, which allows you to use them to curl your hair too. The plates aren’t the largest I’ve seen, so if you have a lot of hair, you might want to try the GHD Max Styler above. And because of the cordless functionality, these straighteners are heavier than most, which might make them harder to hold for some. However, a neat feature is that these will turn off automatically after 10 minutes of inactivity, meaning you can rest assured if you’ve forgotten to switch them off after leaving the house.
Pros: Cordless, easy to use, premium design, cushioned plate technology that is better for hair, plane lock feature for travelling, fast to heat up, can be used to curl the hair, switch off after 10 minutes of activity for peace of mind
Cons: Expensive, limited cordless styling time, some hair textures may need longer to straighten hair, heavier than most hair straighteners
My real hair has suffered a significant amount of heat damage over the years so, to steer clear of further damage, I’ve been opting for this wig to switch up my look when I get tired of having my hair back in a bun. I would describe the texture of the hair as being straight for the most part with a the slightest wave and fine hair strands. Hair straightening for me usually takes a long time, especially on a hair-wash day as I like to be very detailed about it from the blowdrying stage so I can achieve a salon-like finish!
The GHD Duet is a 2-in-1 hair styler that combines the capabilities of a blowdryer and hair straightener in one sleek design for effortless hairstyling. The design is simple in the sense that it only has an on and off switch and a “shine-shot” button. Shine-shot is a feature designed to enhance hair shine while styling– in this mode: It transforms the duet style into a GHD styler at 185°C with no air, which should be used on dry hair only, to give a sleek finish.
It features advanced floating plates enhanced with infinity sensors which respond to your hair’s requirements. Finished with an ultra-gloss coating, these plates deliver consistently smooth and frizz-free results. With advanced ceramic heating technology, it provides consistent heat distribution for silky styling, utilises 45 per cent less energy than other straighteners and ensures no heat damage.
As a first-time user of this tool, it didn’t take long to get the hand of how it operates. I took me about 30 minutes to style my hair from damp to bone dry and straight, which is very impressive. Normally it takes me well over an hour to blowdry and straighten my hair. The style lasted half a day for me, but it is worth noting that I didn’t use any products besides a heat protectant spray.
A big pro is that it cuts my styling time in half. Although the tool gets pretty hot, I do like the temperature is kept at an optimal 185°C to prevent heat damage. A con is that it’s quite a heavy and bulky tool. As the head of the tool is quite big, it was hard to properly catch the hair on the top of my head, too—I would need to go in again with slimmer straighteners to touch up the look. However, this is a very versatile and easy styler to use for when you want to achieve a sleek look in a hurry!
Pros: Dries and straightens at the same, floating plates that adjust to your hair, fast at drying and styling, one optimum temperature setting
Cons: Not as long-lasting as other hair straighteners without styling product, only one temperature setting, heavy, hard to reach the roots
I’ve been straightening my fairly thick, wavy hair almost daily since I was a teenager, so I know a thing or two about straighteners. Back in Year 9, it was all about GHDs. But to be fair, it was for good reason—there just weren’t any other straighteners that matched their performance. Thankfully, the market has now caught up, and in my opinion, BaByliss is now one of the best hot-tools brands out there. Its cordless waving wand is my personal favourite for achieving beachy waves, but I’d never tried BaByliss straighteners until I tested the Super Styler.
It has something called a Micro Heating Matrix, which is supposed to support long-lasting smoothness even when you straighten on a lower temperature (it has five settings up to 200°C at the push of a button). This is a great feature for someone like me who already uses a lot of heat on their hair, and I find I can use the tool effectively on the middle setting, whereas with other straighteners I’ve used in the past, I needed the hottest setting for any real straightening to occur.
The plates are ceramic-coated and floating—which means they flex slightly to move with your hair, again, for reduced damage—and I also like that the edges are slightly curved, meaning I can clamp the hair seamlessly right at the root. The tool has several other features I look for in a good straightener: auto shut-off, a 3m-long swivel cord and an LED indicator so you don’t forget that they’re on.
I also really appreciate that it comes with a heat-protective mat and silicone cover that you can pop on if you need to quickly pack the straightener away. I made sure to only rough-dry my hair before testing the straightener, and it made light work of smoothing down my frizzy, unruly strands, straightening out any kinks with just a couple of passes. It left my hair super sleek and almost slippery-smooth with hardly any effort. It took around 10 minutes to straighten my hair post-wash, and about half the time for touch-ups in the following days. With just a little hair oil, my hair stayed sleek and smooth all day long.
All in all, I’m giving the BaByliss Super Styler an 8 out of 10. It loses a couple of points for the price (at over £100, it may not be affordable for many), but I will say that I think it’s a sensible spend for a very good pair of hair straighteners, especially since it comes with a five-year guarantee.
Pros: Five temperature settings, ceramic flexing plates that are better for hair health, curved edges means they can be used for curling hair, works effectively at lower temperatures, auto-shutoff, five-year guarantee,
Cons: Curly or thicker hair textures might need larger plates to straighten their hair.
This year I’ve been focusing on my hair health, as after years of bleaching and heat styling, it is feeling (and looking) very dry and brittle. Although I would love to say that I have been avoiding heat altogether, I have still been styling my hair from time to time, but I’ve been on the market for more hair-friendly tools to use.
A friend recommended the L’Oréal Steampod 4.0 straightener, as this clever tool is meant to be a lot more gentle on the hair thanks to the steam technology. According to the brand’s website, the combination of steam and heat style the hair more gently, and help keep the style for longer.
My first bit of advice when purchasing these straighteners would be to take some time to read the instructions, as they aren’t like your standard hair straighteners. I decided to just give them a go straight away and was a bit confused by all of the attachments such as the water tank and the comb, but after doing some research, I quickly figured out what everything was for.
I tested them on hair wash day so my roots and ends were looking a little worse for wear, but this was nothing that a bit of dry shampoo and the Steampod 4.0 couldn’t fix. After figuring out how to use them properly, I chose from one of the three heat settings and was immediately impressed by how they glided through the hair. The removable comb helped to optimise the steam and left my ends looking so sleek.
Although the sound of the tool reminded me a bit of an iron, my hair felt super soft after using and held its style all day long. I was so intrigued by the other attachments that came in the box, so I watched a couple of TikTok videos and learnt that these straighteners are also great for creating bouncy waves, so I will definitely be trying that next!
Pros: Steam technology is healthier on hair, inbuilt comb attachment to help style hair
Cons: Take a while to get used to at first, tank needs to be refilled
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