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Top 12 Flat Irons and Hair Straighteners

My best picks from steep to cheap

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Trying to pick the best flat iron or hair straightener can be daunting. How to know which ones won't break, won't damage hair and will work the fastest? I've done the work for you, researching the best flat irons and hair straighteners on the market. You'll find the pricey flat irons the pros love and the more affordable flat irons that will last years. I start with the expensive irons because they are simply better than the cheap ones. You do want to invest in a quality iron. It's worth the money.

See How to Properly Use a Flat Iron and What to Look for in a Flat Iron.

More tips:

GHD IV Styler, $212 on up

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GHD

The GHD IV Styler is the most popular flat iron reviewed on Makeupalley.com. It's a cult product among beauty aficionados and is beloved for how well it works on super curly, hard to straighten hair. It reportedly heats up very quickly (15 seconds max) and keeps hair from frizzing up the minute you step outside into humidity.

One con: there is no temperature control and the iron runs pretty hot, which is great for thick curly hair that requires heat, but not so great for hair that's fine or easily damaged.

Use a heat protectorant and make sure to deep condition hair weekly to protect it from flat iron damage.

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BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium, $129

A "Best Beauty Buy" in InStyle magazine 2 years in a row and a favorite among buyers on Amazon, this flat iron comes in several sizes (1/2 inch, 1 inch and 1 1/2 inch) and has all the bells and whistles one might expect from a $100 hair straightener: nano titanium plates that gently straighten without damaging hair, ultra-thin and ultra-light design and adjustable temperature settings. Reviewers insist this flat iron straightens even the most wavy, frizzy hair and keeps it straight and sleek for hours, unlike other flat irons. One magic sweep through each section should do you.

Concerned about the price tag? The BaByliss also comes in a porcelain model, which is about a third the price of the titanium-plated flat iron.

Compare prices online for the porcelain and titanium models.

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SalonTech Silicone 450 Professional Hairstyling Iron, $122 on up

SalonTech won the "Best of Beauty" award in the flatiron category in Allure Magazine. It made their list (and mine) because it reaches 450 degrees in under 20 seconds, which means the coarsest of hair is flattened with just one pull-through of this iron. Other technology sets this iron apart from others. It communicates with you via smart sound when ready for use, and can automatically shut off if not used after 30 minutes.

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Sedu Ionic Ceramic Pro Flat Iron, $120 on up

This is one of the most popular flat irons on the market right now. Go to any of the big review Websites and you'll see the women rate this hair straightener very highly. It's also an Allure favorite, which warrants placement on my list alone. The price tag (about $120) makes it a good mid-range choice.

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Chi Ceramic Flat Iron by Farouk, $100

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Farouk

An overall great flat iron that gets great reviews on Makeupalley. Out of 750-plus reviews on Makeupalley at the time of this writing, it received 4.5 out of 5 "lippies" with 81 percent of reviewers claiming they'd "buy again."

This iron, like many high end irons, runs pretty hot, making it great for coarse, curly hair. Some reviewers claimed it's too to hot for fine, naturally straight-ish hair. It's loved for not damaging hair.

Cons: Reviewers report there's only one heating setting and it doesn't automatically turn off if accidentally left on.

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The Instyler, $100

My friend Deirdre has hard-to-straighten hair. It's short and wavy and she likes to wear it sleek and straight. In the past, she had to get professional blowouts for film premieres and such (she's a documentary filmmaker}, but recently she found the secret to straightening her hair: the Instyler. 

Why it's so amazing: The Instyler is a rotating hot iron that has 4 rows of bristles that act like a brush. The first set of bristles separates hair, then the rotating cylinder polishes the hair, smoothing and straightening it. I know it sounds crazy, but Deirdre swears by it and we even tried some of the above straighteners on her hair and this one by far was the best.

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FHI Heat Technique, $90

One of the most popular flat irons on the market, the FHI Heat Technique is a favorite among the pros because it creates sleek, smooth hair with just one or two passes, according to stylist Jonathan Hanousek in InStyle Magazine, which has named it a Best Beauty Buy. With a price tag that's pricey, but an investment (under $100), the FHI Heat Technique (with tourmaline plates, of course) will last a lifetime.

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Hai Ceramic Flat Iron, $80

Hai's ceramic plates are coated to protect hair from heat. This flat iron gets hot enough to straighten hair (and hair stays straight) but not too hot as to damage hair. Plus it's ready to use in under 30 seconds. An InStyle magazine best beauty buy for several years running.

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Hana Mini Traveling Flat Iron, $74

Hana's mini flat irons are perfect for travel or keeping in your purse for touch-ups. Highly rated and perfect for any hair texture, these ceramic and tourmaline flat irons come in blue or pink, making them perfect gifts for teens and adults alike.

Buy it online.

Remington S-9951 Frizz Therapy, $49.99

Created for frizzy hair, this new ceramic flatiron works like a regular flatiron with a catch. The plates of the flatiron have a porous ceramic coating that actually emits a silicon-based conditioner. According to Allure Magazine, tests on the flatiron showed it decreased frizziness 65 percent more effectively than an average flatiron. Hair was kept straight for up to 15 hours. What's more, the fluid in the iron lasts 4 years. At under $60 for this flatiron, that's a pretty good deal.

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HSI The Styler Ceramic Tourmaline Flat Iron, $40

More than 4,700 reviews on Amazon.com and a consistent 4 1/2 stars gets you the most reviewed and best loved flat iron out there. At under $45 (you can get it on sale sometimes, too), this flat iron is popular because it comes with Argan Oil that does wonders on frizzy hair, it has a swiveling cord so you won't get tangled, there are many temperature settings in the control and it's a great bang for your buck. Reviewers report their hair is sleek after use and the results last a long time. You can also curl and flip hair with this iron.

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Ceramic Tools CT2555 1" Ceramic Flat Iron, $30

So you don't want to pay for the extra-special professional flatirons? No problem. A favorite of reviewers on Amazon.com, this iron costs less than $35.

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