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Top Tips for Choosing Hair Straighteners and Stylers

Every woman wants to look good on a night out or even just during the day walking around town or the office.

And picking a good hair styling product or pair of hair straighteners is as important as choosing a stylish pair of shoes or a designer outfit.

To help you find the best hair styler or straighteners to meet your needs, here are the main questions to ask yourself when looking for what to buy.

Why do hair straighteners vary so much in price?

A simple pair of straighteners can cost as little as £5 or well over £100 but you do get what you pay for. While they are all essentially just tongs that get hot, often with a little temperature gauge on the side, the quality of the plates, the different heat settings and the ultimate temperature they can reach all have a bearing on the cost.

What should I look for when buying straighteners?

Firstly and most importantly you need to ask yourself what kind of hair do you have. Hair straighteners aren’t suitable for all hair types or those on some medical treatments. The direct heat placed on the hair can damage it. Even different coloured hair, as well as different textures or extensions, should be taken into account.

If you’re unsure, ask your hair stylist what kind of hair you have, and what kind of heat you need to apply to it.

What features should I look for?

The heat up time is a big thing. You don’t want to be waiting around forever for your straighteners to reach the correct temperature.

Also, every time you touch the hair with the straightener, the plate will cool down. So the quicker the reheat time, the quicker you’ll get the style you’re after.

The higher the total temperature a pair of straighteners is capable of is also a key factor. If your hair can withstand it, this will create the straightest and most professional look and result.

If your straighteners have a variable temperature too, this can allow more flexibility in the style you create and minimise any damage.

What kind of plates should my straighteners have?

Traditional ceramic straighteners are smooth and glide through your hair. These will give a finish that has more shine.

Others such as tourmaline can work faster and provide a silkier result while titanium is hard wearing and long lasting and can heat up faster and hotter.

If you want to create curls, look for straighteners with a slightly curved end. However, this won’t give as good a result as using a specific heated curling wand.

The size of the straighteners and length of the plates will also have an impact on how fast you can work and how much hair can be straightened in one movement.

What about travel straighteners?

Some travel straighteners work with a portable gas canister inside but these will not get as hot as those that plug into the mains.

If you have a mains pair you want to travel with, ensure it has a worldwide voltage setting.

Anything else I should consider?

The cable is important. You don’t want to sit down to straighten your hair only to find the plug socket is so far away from the front of your mirror that the lead won’t reach.

Floating plates are designed to exert the least pressure on the hair while Teflon coated ones prevent static build up and your hair sticking. Ionic straighteners do a similar job to cut down on frizz.

And if you’re looking to straighten your hair directly from wet, then some straighteners offer this as an option. Otherwise you are simply frying your hair by using the straightener on wet or damp hair.

Jargon Buster

  • Tourmaline – A precious stone infused into the plates for really smooth silky hair
  • Ion Field technology – Negatively charged particles created by the straighteners to help your hair absorb natural oils and cut down on static that makes it look frizzy
  • Rapid Heating – Technology used to heat the plates up incredibly quickly, sometimes as much as halving the time it takes to style your hair

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