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What are the Different Types of Hair Straighteners?

By Sherry Holetzky
Updated May 21, 2024
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People with straight hair usually prefer curly hair and the opposite is also true; people with natural curls often wish their hair was smooth and straight. Now, they can make their wishes come true using an assortment of products and tools designed to straighten hair. With quality hair straighteners, anyone can achieve professional results in the comfort of his or her own home without harmful chemical agents.

Some hair straighteners even claim to make hair silkier and shinier. There are various brands and types of straighteners to choose from, available with many different features. One example are those with a steam function. Much like with a steam iron used for pressing clothing, you can add water to get a puff of steam from time to time as you work on your hair.

The steam option may not be the best choice for people with extremely curly hair or hair that tends to frizz under humid conditions. The steam may cause more frizz and keep the hair from being properly straightened. The steam option works best for people whose hair is already fairly straight.

Ceramic straighteners are favored by most people because they get hot quicker, stay hotter longer and leave hair smooth and shiny. They work well on even the most difficult to manage hair. They stop frizz and flatten even the tightest curls, often in about half the time required by other hair straighteners. While ceramic tools are often thought to be the most expensive, there are plenty of reasonably priced, high quality ceramic models available.

Hair straighteners are also sometimes called "flat irons" and they offer adjustable options. There are styles to treat short hair, long hair, fine hair and thick hair. Most of the popular styles are lightweight yet sturdy, scratch resistant and easy to clean, and many offer an ergonomic design. They are usually made to prevent pulling the hair, tangling and breakage.

The main drawback of using straighteners is that all varieties can damage hair. It is best not to straighten hair on a daily basis. People who use hot tools should also use heat treatment products and condition their hair regularly.

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Discussion Comments
By LauraStylist — On Jun 30, 2012

I use a ceramic and tourmaline flat iron for extra benefits. Ceramic gives better heating and tourmaline gives extra ionic technology for faster heating and straightening. Plus, my flat iron has heat settings up to 460°F so it's really fast.

Before using it I always use a heat protectant. I use argan oil and it's not greasy at all. It's a spray so it's very light and it's so good for hair. Makes it really strong, soft and shiny.

By anon134501 — On Dec 14, 2010

Should i use hair clips or ponytails after straightening my hair?

By anon116584 — On Oct 07, 2010

@Mutsy: Not sure that using oil on your hair when you straighten is such a good idea; it's a bit like cooking your hair with oil! Have you tried leaving oil (e.g. olive or almond) in your hair overnight before washing and then straightening with a protective spray or serum? It's hard to recapture the natural sheen of virgin hair when hair is over-processed.

By comfyshoes — On Jul 22, 2010

Mutsy- I have curly hair too and I was thinking of doing that Brazilian straightening treatment to my hair. The process takes like two hours in a salon and costs about $700.

The good thing about it is that your hair will remain straight for about six or seven months. I have a friend that tried it, and her hair looks great. I am tempted to try it.

By mutsy — On Jul 22, 2010

I just want to say that I use a flat iron straightener and like the writer stated, I have curly hair and sometimes prefer to wear my hair straight.

What I normally do when styling my hair straight is I place conditioning oil in my hair when I blow dry it and then a place a bit more when I begin using the straightener.

I usually never go directly to the straighter because it leaves my hair a little brittle and dry at the ends.

By blowing drying my hair first and applying the conditioning oil before and after I use the straightener, my hair will have that sleek smooth look that I was aiming for.

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