Marie Claire March 26, 2024

Marie Claire


The Best Hair Straighteners Add Instant Shine to Your Style


These picks are coming in hot.

It took over a decade, but I finally discovered the secret to perfectly sleek, frizz-free hair. Hair serums, the shine-boosting shampoos and conditioners, and blowout balms are helpful, but having one of the best hair straighteners in my arsenal is the true key. Thankfully, flat iron tech has come a long way since the early 2000s, when fried and fringed hair was (somehow) in vogue. Now, hot tools are developed to boost shine and preserve hair health. "Early flat irons had metal plates and required direct, often uneven heat, increasing the risk of damage," explains Syrenthia Quiñones, a Licensed Salon Professional and Senior Manager of Sales & Education at Mane. "Modern flat irons feature ceramic, tourmaline, or titanium plates for even heat distribution and less damage."

Often, hair straighteners come with adjustable temperature controls and digital displays to reduce overheating and provide smoother, shinier hair with less frizz. Ahead, hair professionals and editors share their picks for the best hair straighteners, including cordless and travel options.

What to Look For in a Hair Straightener


The damage-inducing metal plates from the early aughts are still on the market, so do your research and know what material you're applying to your precious locks. "Make sure to invest in a high-quality hair straightener with ceramic or tourmaline plates (I prefer ceramic), as they distribute heat more evenly and cause less damage compared to metal plates," advises Ashanti Lation, a celebrity hairstylist who's clients include Lizzo and Normani.


If you can't handle the probably shouldn't have your hair straightener turned up that high. "Most hair straighteners come with adjustable heat settings for a reason," adds Lation. "You should be using a temperature that is conducive to the thickness and health of your hair. Using a heat setting that your hair can’t handle can damage your hair tremendously."


are cordless, making it easy These days, parking in front of a mirror with an accessible outlet isn't a necessity. Some tools come cordless, making it easy for you to straighten your hair on the go.

The Best Hair Straighteners

GHD Chronos Styler 1 Inch Flat Iron

GHD has long been the gold standard for hair straighteners. Their new Chronos is the best of the best, boasting three times faster styling and motion-responsive technology, so it always stays at the perfect temperature. Samantha Holender, Marie Claire's beauty editor, is as much of a fan as I am: "I love a multi-purpose tool, so the fact that this GHD iron comes with curved edges makes it an automatic winner," she says. "It leaves a silky straight finish, but with just a little twist of the wrist, I can achieve a natural-looking, beachy wave."

Pros: Exceptionally fast; Innovative; Editor-approved; Compact

Cons: More expensive than other options

Customer Review: "I absolutely love this product. I was so shocked with the results. Never before have I seen a straightener heat up SO FAST. I have thick, curly hair and this worked through it in ONE pass! My hair was also soooo glossy after using this. I couldn’t have been more satisfied with trying this product." — Sephora


Dyson Corrale™ Hair Straightener

Oh, Dyson. You can do no wrong, can you? While my trusty Airwrap has had my back through many a sleek blowout, adding a Corrale to the lineup is never a bad idea for slick, shiny hair at lightning speed. Cordless for a whopping 30 minutes after a full charge, the Corrale's manganese copper alloy plates are regulated to your chosen temperature 100 times per second, which means each piece of hair gets the same amount of love from the tool.

Pros: Cordless; Innovative; Exceptionally fast; Editor-approved

Cons: Expensive; Slightly heavy

Customer Review: "I’ve had this for several months now and really like it. I have thin, fine, curly hair that is about mid-back length. My hair dries fast anyway, but this is super easy and extremely fast. It took almost no time to figure out how to use it. It’s stupid expensive, but if you can afford it, or can find a sale, I absolutely recommend it." — Sephora


Mane The Three Way Multi-Use Flat Iron

Mane's versatile Three-Way Multi-Use Flat Iron was created to straighten, curl, or add waves to your hair depending on your mood. "With adjustable temperature settings, it caters to different hair types and styling needs, making it a user-friendly choice for diverse hairstyles," shares Quinones. It's also worth mentioning that this pick is less than $100.

Pros: Works to minimize heat damage; Multi-use; Under $100

Cons: None found

Customer Review: "I don't like to use a lot of heat on my hair so that I can keep it as damage-free as possible. I have to turn up most irons all the way to get my hair straightened, so I rarely use them. My first time using this iron I set it to the lowest setting and it straightened my long, thick hair on the first pass over! My hair barely felt hot to the touch. I am so excited to keep using this iron!!!" — Sephora


T3 SinglePass StyleMax

Another quick-heating hero, T3's SinglePass StyleMax automatically picks a heat level for you based on your hair texture and styling goals. After plugging this sleek white device in, you input your hair texture (fine, medium, or coarse) and select what kind of look you're in the mood for. The ceramic tool will match you with one of nine (!) settings, so you can get the style you want with minimal exposure to heat.

Pros: Customizable; Special setting for curls

Cons: Some reviewers report snagging

Customer Review: "So much better than my old straightener from 15 years ago. I primarily use it to wave my hair and this is perfect for that. Heats up VERY quickly. I love the adjustable heat." — Ulta


Sam Villa SLEEKR Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron

Like many hair stylists, Lation's hair straightener of choice is Sam Villa's SLEEKR, which features snag-free ceramic floating plates coated in tourmaline to help seal in the hair's natural oils and reduce frizz. It also includes a special setting for color-treated hair and will automatically shut off after an hour.

Pros: Stylist approved; Color-treated setting

Cons: None found

Customer Review: "I have purchased many flat irons only to see pieces of my hair fall to the ground. The Sam Villa flat iron has a low setting and color-treated setting. After 3 weeks of use my hair is already looking healthier! Love this product!" — Amazon


Trademark Beauty Sunny Styler

Behold: The coolest hair straightener there ever was. "Trademark Beauty's Sunny Styler is great because not only does it straighten your hair, it also features air vents to cool the style and reduce damage," shares Raven Hurtado, a stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. The ceramic tourmaline plates provide gentle and even heat distribution, and the curved edges are perfect for achieving a flat iron curl. Important note: it also comes in pink.

Pros: Venting system; Under $100

Cons: None found

Customer Review: "This is a hidden gem in the hairstyling tool world! I wasn't expecting much other than a simple flat iron that will do its usual flattening of hair. ...Boy, was I wrong! The cool air shot is the game changer. Just like a hairdryer, the cool air blowing while flat ironing allows the curl to be set better and the curl lasts all day long." — Trademark Beauty


Amika The Confidante Moisture Maintenance Titanium Flat Iron

Amika's The Confidante straightener does straight hair as well as the brand's hair styling products do volume. This particular hot tool has 25 percent longer plates to speed up styling for the long and thick-haired among us. (P.S.—The brand's Double Agent blow dryer and straightener tool is also a great pick if a brush is more your style.)

Pros: Swiveling cord; Glides easily; Temperature control

Cons: None found

Customer Review: "This straightener is amazing. I had an older Amika (9 years old) that was finally starting to wear out, and I knew I wanted another. This is so quick to straighten my very thick hair, and leaves it smooth, shiny, straight, and less frizzy. I love it." — Amazon


Balmain Hair Universal Cordless Straightener

Balmain Hair Universal Cordless Straightener is that it's the perfect hot tool to take on a trip. It's compact, cordless, and comes with a very chic travel bag. It's specially designed for traveling (it comes with European outlet adapters) and backstage work. You'll be met with silky, shiny, runway-ready hair no matter where you choose to take it.

Pros: Light; Travel-ready; Cordless

Cons: Expensive

Customer Review: "Perfect flatiron for travel!" — Neiman Marcus


CHI Lava 4D Hairstyling Iron

The first hair straightener I ever picked out (and researched) was a CHI. Those with thick hair love the Lava 4D's ability to style hair quickly at a lower temperature than other options. I also love the "cool-tip finger grips" and one-hour shut-off timer, so I can get the right angles without burning my fingers or my house down.

Pros: Does the job at a lower temperature; Extra-long cord

Cons: Some reviewers aren't pleased with its curling ability

Customer Review: "Chi has done it with this one, not only is it fast but your style lasts all day. I have very thick hair, and even under the roughest weather, my hair stays shiny and straight. I highly recommend this to anyone." — Ulta


Kristin Ess Hair Travel Mini Hair Straightener

Stylist Kristin Ess's namesake hair straightener is great, but may I introduce you to the mini version? Used to style both America Ferrara and Selena Gomez for the 2024 SAG Awards, this is the perfect compact tool for a bustling get-ready-with-me setup. Keep it around for fixing up your bangs and smoothing frizz on the go, or use it as your main tool if you have short hair.

Pros: Great for travel; Affordable; Automatic shut off after just 30 minutes

Cons: Takes a while to use if you have a lot of hair; Only one heat setting

Customer Review: "I have short hair and it's difficult finding a flat iron that's not too big or too small. The Kristin Ess Hair Titanium Mini Travel Flat Iron with 3/4" plates is the perfect size for me. It is sleek, stylish, lightweight, and fits comfortably in my hand. It has an on/off button and heats up quickly, but only has one heat setting." — Amazon


Sutra Magno Turbo Flat Iron

The Magno Turbo quickly heats up to 450 degrees (it only takes five seconds). It was designed with floating titanium plates for major smoothing and a frizz-free finish. It's also worth mentioning that Sutra tools are known to last a long time.

Pros: Smoothing; Heats up quickly; Multiple color options

Cons: None found

Customer Review: "I bought my first Sutra 15 years ago and it finally broke from me dropping it a million times. Any straightener I have tried grabs and pulls my hair. The Sutra never does that. It is so worth the money." — Amazon

How to Keep Hair Healthy With a Straightening Iron

As an expert in and benefactor of healthy hair, Lation constantly emphasizes the importance of protecting your hair, especially if you regularly use flat irons or any heat. "Remember, maintaining healthy, straightened hair is about finding a balance between styling and caring for your hair," he shares. Below, a few of her tips to keep your hair happy while enjoying a hair straightener.


A heat protectant spray or serum is a must-have before using any heat styling tool. Products like VIP Luxury Hair Care's Silk Shot Serum & Spray Set (Lation's favorite) or Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat & UV Protective Primer (Marie Claire's overall best heat protectant of 2024) will help reduce damage by creating a barrier between your hair and the heat.


Get clued in on what setting your hair likes to be straightened at—and don't go any higher. "On fine hair, keep the temperature low. Thick hair you can increase the temperature," shares Hurtado.

To get specific, Amika recommends below 360 degrees Fahrenheit for fine or thin hair, 360 to 380 degrees for normal, medium, or wavy hair, and 380 to 450 degrees for thick, coarse, or curly hair.


Taking a break between hair straightening sessions will allow your hair to recover from the heat trauma, thereby maintaining its natural moisture and elasticity.


Remember, the damage occurs during the straightening process, so be careful. "Section your hair and use smooth, even strokes when straightening," shares Lation. "Avoid going over the same section of hair repeatedly, as this can cause unnecessary damage."

If you need straight hair inspiration, look no further than Demi Moore's long, sleek style.

How to Use a Hair Straightener

You must apply a heat protectant before straightening your hair. Once that's done, you can divide your hair into smaller sections for more manageable styling. "For each section, clamp the flat iron close to the roots, gently tap the iron two to three times to achieve added smoothness and control at the root, and then slowly slide it down towards the ends," explains Quiñones. "Repeat this process for each section until you achieve the desired style."

The stylist also suggests using smaller sections if you want better control. For a smooth finish, pair your flat iron with a fine-toothed comb, running the comb through each section as you work.

Should I Use a Straightening Iron?

Everyone can use a straightening iron, but some people should proceed with extra caution. Individuals with scalp conditions are strongly encouraged to consult their dermatologist before picking up a hair straightener. "Pregnant women should also speak with their healthcare provider due to potential changes in hair texture and susceptibility to heat damage during pregnancy," adds Quiñones.


Raven Hurtado
Stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago

Stylist Raven Hurtado began her career at Maxine Salon in 2009. After working as an Assistant for three years, Raven was inspired by the talent and passion of the stylists and colorists and enrolled in cosmetology school. Now celebrating ten years as part of the Maxine team, Raven pulls creative inspiration from magazines and social media. She specializes in working with her clients to create a long-term plan for achieving healthy hair. Raven enjoys working with long hair to create tousled, beachy styles.

Syrenthia Quiñones
Licensed Salon Professional and Senior Manager of Sales & Education at Mane

With over 20 years of immersion in the dynamic beauty industry, I’ve honed a passion for cultivating authentic growth through transformative education and strategic leadership. Throughout my journey, I’ve led cross-functional teams, leveraging innovative training methodologies to elevate performance, drive sales, and forge enduring client relationships. My track record of crafting impactful learning experiences, coupled with a deep understanding of brand marketing, has fueled my commitment to empower teams and individuals to excel in this captivating realm of beauty and cosmetics.

Ashanti Lation
Celebrity Hairstylist and Beauty Entrepreneur

Ashanti Lation is a celebrity hair stylist, healthy hair care advocate, and social media influencer. Her platform focuses on healthy hair growth for both natural and relaxed hair while also sharing her techniques and opinions on hair products and tools. Her followers love her for authenticity, as well as her insights on business, travel, and life.