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Best hair straighteners: Our top 8 tried and tested favourites to tame frizzy hair, plus Black Friday bargains

26 Nov 2021

Looking to tame those curls or fight the frizz? This is our pick of the best hair straighteners

When GHD launched its first hair straighteners in 2001, it transformed the way women styled their hair. It wasn't the first brand to release straighteners – does anyone remember the BaByliss steam straighteners of the late 1990s? – but it did change the game.

Today, more than a quarter of women own a set of hair straighteners – now made by a wide variety of brands – and men are increasingly getting in on the act too.

To help you choose the best hair straighteners, and prevent unnecessary heat damage, here’s our guide to the best straighteners for frizz-free, super-sleek locks. Whether you want polished curls, cascading waves or poker-straight looks, these are our favourites.

Save 20% on the GHD Original Hair Straightener for Black Friday

When you think of hair straighteners, you think of GHD. Due to the Black Friday sales, safely combatting frizzy hair was never cheaper with the original GHD hair straightener reduced to just £87. If you're buying a risky Christmas gift, don't fret as John Lewis have also extended their free returns until 28 January making this an easy purchasing decision.
John Lewis
Was £109
Now £87

Best hair straighteners: At a glance

  • Best for shiny and healthy hair: Remington Shine Therapy Straightener | Buy now
  • Best for curly hair: GHD Platinum Plus Styler | Buy now
  • Best for short or fine hair: Toni & Guy Style Fix Straighteners | Buy now
  • Best GHD alternative: Cloud Nine Original Iron Hair Straighteners | Buy now
  • Best under £100: BaByliss 3Q Hair Straighteners | Buy now

How to choose the best hair straighteners for you

Hair straighteners don’t come with lots of buttons to press or multiple attachments to use, and they all aim to do exactly the same thing: create straight, smooth tresses.

Does it matter what size the heating plates are?

Wider plates are always best because they’ll power through your hair more effectively, right? Wrong! If you have long, thick or curly hair, large plates (or anything bigger than an inch thick) are great. But you won’t be able to do as much curling and styling with these. Plates of around one inch are far better for this, as well as for most other types of hair. The exception to this is short hair, which benefits from thin plates of anything under an inch, which provides the precision you’ll need.

Is hotter better when it comes to the best hair straighteners?

Many women seek out straighteners with the highest temperature setting, then turn them up full whack assuming it will straighten their hair more quickly and give a more lasting result. However, higher heats can frazzle and even break finer hair, and thick or curly hair types only need slightly higher temperatures. It’s worth noting your hair’s keratin starts to melt at 233˚C.

The best hair straighteners have technology that identifies your hair’s characteristics and automatically sets it to the perfect temperature.

If you have one that needs adjusting manually, the general rule is that for fine or treated hair, the temperature should be set around 160ºC, otherwise you risk damaging your hair.

If you have healthy, medium-textured hair, you can use it up to around 185ºC.

And for those with thick, coarse hair or tight curls, you may be able to go up to around 210ºC, but only with certain plates (tourmaline plates, for example, get better results with lower temperatures) and always keep it nearer 185ºC if you straighten your hair regularly.

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 it’s nowhere near your mirror. Some cheaper models have cords less than 2m, while top-end models have professional-length cables of 4m. If you can, get a rotatable cord too – some swivel round 360 degrees, which can make all the difference to hard-to-reach parts of the head.

Other factors to consider are safety functions, with some irons automatically switching off after a certain amount of inactivity (usually 30 minutes), providing huge peace of mind for that moment on the way to work when you can’t remember if you turned them off manually.

There’s heat-up time to consider too, especially if you’re always in a hurry or prone to missing bits that you have to go back to. Finally, 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.

READ NEXT: Best curling wand

The best hair straighteners to buy

1. Toni & Guy Style Fix Straighteners: The best hair straighteners for short or fine hair

Price: £22 | Buy now from Amazon

The first thing you’ll notice about these straighteners is the funky blue plates. They’re handbag-sized and hardly weigh anything, so they travel well too. We know what you’re thinking – the compact size and bargain-basement price are bound to mean they’re substandard, but actually they work surprisingly well on short- to medium-length hair.

They heat up really quickly and give hair a nice gloss, but you may need to work with slightly smaller sections of hair due to the smaller plates. They're probably not your best bet if you have very long or thick hair, as this may require going over the same strands a few times (never good for hair health).

Given their diminutive size, we tend to use these for a quick style change on the go or getting rid of the frizz when we get caught out in the rain. There are other hair tools in the range, should you want to complete the set or if these don't quite tick all the boxes.

Key specs – Plates: 2cm tourmaline plates; Maximum temperature: 210°C; Voltage: Universal; Cord length: 1.8m swivel cord; Power: On/off indicator; Warranty: Five years

2. Remington Shine Therapy Straightener: The best hair straighteners for shiny and healthy hair

Price: £31 | Buy now from Amazon

If sleek and shiny tresses are your go-to look, you’ll need straighteners that deliver poker-straight style without damaging the health of your hair. Luckily, these Remington straighteners use ceramic plates that are 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 ensure even pressure on the hair, while the tool’s nine heat settings make it easier to properly care for your hair type and texture. The straightener is ideal for quick styling as it heats up in just 15 seconds, and switching between temperatures is even faster. We never get as high as the maximum 230°C but we do switch between the 180°C for the main bulk of our hair before dropping it right down when styling the thinner, more fragile front pieces.

Our thoughts: with the Remington Shine Therapy straightener you’re one step closer to nailing “glass hair”. Simply combine the tool with a shine-boosting serum for glossy, silky smooth locks. It comes with an hour-long automatic switch-off, which is a tad lengthy when compared to the 30 minutes of the GHD range – but at least it has one!

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

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

Price: £189 | Buy now from Amazon

In the ever-expanding world of hair straighteners, you can always rely on hair giant GHD to provide quality and longevity, and the GHD Platinum Plus straighteners will take good care of your hair too. It's a large step away from the design of the Original GHD range and that's not a bad thing. The yellow plates of old have been switched out for stylish black plates and the snapping hinge is now a much smoother “wishbone” hinge.

This not only adds to the aesthetic but also prevents the hair from getting 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 so there’s no unexpected temperature surges or sudden drops. This means you don’t have to run them through the same strands more than once or risk burning your hair.

Not only did we find that means you can be ready for a night out in around half your usual time (and that goes for curly and frizzy locks too), but it also results in shinier tresses and less breakage. The GHD Platinum Plus Styler also wins brownie points aesthetically as it’s available in an elegant-looking white, as well as the more familiar black.

It's a sleek-looking, guilt-free option, although some devices are prone to showing an error signal every so often.

You can read more in our GHD Platinum Plus styler review

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: Two years

4. T3 SinglePass X3 Straighteners: The best hair straighteners for thick hair

Price: £125 | Buy now from Look Fantastic

Long, thick hair requires (a lot) more time and attention than most hair types when heat styling. To save your poor strands from being straightened too many times, the T3 SinglePass X3 Straighteners have been designed to efficiently smooth out voluminous lengths without compromising on the health of your hair.

The SinglePass X3 straighteners feature 1.5in ceramic plates – which are the widest we've come across – to tame a larger section of hair in one stroke. That means those of us with unruly, thick hair can enjoy poker-straight locks in record time.

And there's no need to worry about frazzling your hair, either. The straighteners come equipped with a clever microchip “brain” that measures and adjusts the optimum temperature to prevent hotspots on the plates and keep your tresses healthy. There are also five temperatures to choose from so the tool can care for your hair type and texture.

Key specs Plates: 3.8cm ceramic plates; Maximum temperature: 210°C; Cord length: 2.7m swivel cord; Automatic shut-off time: 1 hour; Warranty: Two years

Buy now from Look Fantastic

5. BaByliss 3Q Hair Straighteners: The best straighteners under £100

Price: £90 | Buy now from Boots

BaByliss has a history of making 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 straighteners and we love the way they heat up quickly, transform frizz into fabulous smoothness and protect damaged hair with the aptly named Protect button switching 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 right temperature for your hair, maintaining heat and leaving a salon-shine finish.

But they’re not the quietest, sometimes making a rather disconcerting buzzing noise, and if you have more delicate or damaged hair you need to be careful not to roast your hair by using the highest temperature settings.

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: Five years

Buy now from Boots

6. Cloud Nine Original Iron Hair Straighteners: The best GHD hair straighteners alternative

Price: £169 | Buy now from Argos

You know you’re onto a winner when you learn about the history of the company that makes these straighteners. Launched by the same guy who founded GHD, it’s no wonder these beauties glide so easily through the hair, with no pull or drag, leaving silky, shiny and – most importantly – straight tresses in their wake.

And while there are six heat variations, the lower temperatures are usually all you need. Ergonomically, they feel nice in the hand and are lightweight, and we found them outstanding for flicking and curling too. On the downside, many customers complain that their straighteners broke after a year or two if used very frequently, and we found the temperature control can be slightly awkward to access.

Key specsPlates: 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: One year

Buy now from Argos

7. 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 delivers efficient straightening while minimising damage to your locks.

Design wise, it’s not unexpected that the wireless Corrale is heavier in the hand than some other brands, due to the added weight of the rechargeable battery. Naturally, thicker hair will need a higher heat, with the max output of the unit being 210°C, though if your hair is on the thinner side, you can reliably use 165°C.

The portable nature of the Corrale helps it to stand out from its competition. With a 30-minute runtime, this hair straightener has enough juice in the tank for the majority of people to get their hair straight and sleek. The heat control system is also of particular note, taking 100 measurements per second, for accurate readings on your hair type made actively as you use it.

In our testing we found that the Corrale worked well and left hair without a toasted smell that can sometimes happen when using heating products, and with a significantly shorter straightening time than with many other models we have tried. It may be an investment, but if you’re serious about straightened hair, then it’s 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: One year