How to choose the best hair straightener

Lynn Wright / 23 May 2016

With so many hair straighteners on offer it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Our guide will help you buy the best hair straightener for you.



When it comes to choosing the right hair straightener there are several factors to consider. Pick the right hair straightener for your hair type and you’ll enjoy a styling tool that lasts for years.

Plate type – One of the most important considerations when choosing hair straighteners is the type of heating plate that it uses. Most use smooth ceramic plates that glide easily through the hair to give a high-shine finish. They heat up quickly and evenly, preventing hot spots that can damage your hair.

More expensive hair straighteners use tourmaline plates. Not only do these heat up quickly, they produce negative ions that trap moisture in the hair and eliminate static so you’re left with healthier hair that’s frizz free. Most women need only one pass of the straightener on each section of hair, as tourmaline’s ability to hold higher heat ensures that the hair is perfectly straight, smooth and shiny the first time.

Some have titanium plates that heat up faster than ceramic plates and maintain a high heat so you can style your hair efficiently. Being a lightweight metal, titanium plates means so your arms won’t tire so quickly when styling your hair.

Plate size – Hair straighteners come in different plate sizes. Those with narrow plates are suitable for short to medium length hair or if you want to add shine to already straight hair. For long or thick hair, a wide plate size (2-inch or 3-inch) will save time when straightening.

Temperature – Straighteners that offer high temperatures produce more professional results but look for ones that let you adjust the temperature of the plates to suit your hair type. High temperatures may burn very fine or colour-treated hair but thick, coarse or very curly hair generally needs a higher temperature to achieve straight shiny locks.

Curved housing – If you want to create curls and waves, look for a straightener that has plates with a curved housing. This allows you to bend or curl the hair as it passes around the body of the straightener.

Weight and ease of use – Hair straighteners come in a variety of weights. Some hair straighteners may be too heavy to use comfortably for long, so if you’ve coarse, long or very curly hair opt for a lightweight model. Also, look for a long, swivel power cord as this makes styling your hair easier.

Travel – Cordless hair straighteners that work on disposable gas energy cells are a good choice if you want to take them on holiday or on camping trips. Alternative, look for straighteners with worldwide voltage that can be used anywhere in the world.

Ready to choose a hair straightener for you, read our guide to the Five best hair straighteners. 

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.