According to celebrity hairstylist Justine Marjan (and the smarties in R&D at GHD), the optimal temperature for heat styling is 365 degrees centigrade, which is the temperature just above what glass blowers use to blow and alter glass without it shattering. So, since hair is so fragile, like glass, it makes 365 degrees the ideal temperature for changing the shape of your hair without actually causing damage. Temperatures higher than that cause the inside part of the hair (the cortex) to melt and oxidize, resulting in weak, frizzy, difficult-to-style hair. That said, if you have slightly coarser or thicker hair, talk to your stylist about heat temperatures first; you might not necessarily need to go up in temperature, and instead maybe just take smaller sections so the heat is evenly distributed.
Nocturne Platinum Professional Performance Styler, $249
Singlepass X, $230
This flat iron packs a powerful ion generator for a frizz-free finish, its rainbow titanium plates reduce frizz, its 12 digital heat settings allow you to customize your straightening experience, and its auto-off setting adds for a stress-free night out with your girls (just in case you forget to unplug it).
Conair Infiniti Pro Rainbow 1″ Flat Iron, $50
This futuristic touch screen flat iron has titanium plates that help seal the hair’s cuticle, eliminating frizz for a shiny finish. Plus, it’s super lightweight and has a 2-hour auto shut-off, so if you forget to unplug it you don’t need to freak out and run home (we’ve all been there).
Hot Tools Smart Touch 1″ Titanium Salon Flat Iron, $70
It’s not your conventional-looking flat iron, but this straightening brush does the trick all the same. Simply turn it on, brush your hair with its (heated) ceramic bristles as you normally would, and watch your frizzy strands turn smooth in seconds.
mika Polished Perfection Straightening Brush, $120
Don’t have time to blow your hair dry, yet want a sleek, smooth finish? Pick up this flat iron. The ceramic plates heat up in 30 seconds (they can reach temps of 420 degrees), while its steam vents help dry your hair as you pass over the sections.
Remington Wet 2 Straight 1″ Hair Straightener , $25
Just because this titanium/ceramic 6-inch long hot tool is mini doesn’t mean it can’t straighten strands like a normal-size version. Bonus: It heats to 430 degrees (should you need to go above 365) and comes with a thermal protectant pouch, so you can take it with you if it’s still hot.
BaBylissPro Mini Straightening Iron with Travel Pouch, $30
Here’s what this flat iron has to offer: a 2-year warranty, heat-resistant travel sleeve, 60-minute auto shut-off, floating beveled plates, and evenly heated plates that reach temperatures of 450 degrees — I mean, what more could a girl want?
Sedu ICON 1″ Styling Iron with StyleShield, $165
This flat iron has floating titanium plates that act as a cushion as you sandwich a section of hair between them, and are also beveled so they don’t create a line of demarcation on your hair. Plus, the plates heat up evenly, so you don’t have to keep going over your hair, increasing heat damage.
Nume Style Setter Hair Straightener, $119