The 10 Best Hair Straighteners for Waves, Curls, and Coils
While some curly tops love sporting their natural coils, there come times when you may want a different look – and sometimes that look calls for a hair straightener. Using heat to style your hair isn't the end of your curls nor does it mean automatic damage to it either. But there are things to consider to keep your hair free from damage—like a good heat protectant and the right tool for the job.
Every coil, curl and ringlet has different needs, so finding a hair straightener that works best for your curl type can be its own scavenger hunt. However, knowing your texture, plus your hairstyle needs and wants will help you narrow down exactly what to look for. Thanks to its rapid heat up time, lightweight construction, and auto shutoff, the Vanessa Pro Hair Straightener is our pick for best overall.
To help you on your hair straightening journey, we peeped the best hair straighteners for curly hair types.
- Best Overall: Vanessa Pro Hair Straightener
- Best Value: Remington Pro1″ Flat Iron with SmartPRO Sensor Technology
- Best Durable: GHD Classic Original IV Hair Straightener
- Best for a Silk Press: Deogra Tourmaline Ceramic Ionic Hair Straightener
- Best Splurge: Dyson Corrale™ hair straightener
- Best for Tight Textures: MiroPure 2-in-1 Ionic Straightening Brush
- Best for Frizz: MKBOO Hair Straightener with Steam
- Best Cordless: Conair Unbound Cordless Titanium Flat Iron
- Best for Damaged Hair: L'ange Le Duo 360 Airflow Styler
- Best for Fine Hair: Hairitage Straight To It Flat Iron for Hair Straightening & Frizz Control
Best Overall: Vanessa Pro Hair Straightener
Best Value: Remington Pro1" Flat Iron with SmartPRO Sensor Technology
Best Durable: GHD Classic Original IV Hair Straightener
Best for a Silk Press: Deogra Tourmaline Ceramic Ionic Hair Straightener
Best Splurge: Dyson Corrale Hair Straightener
Best for Tight Textures: MiroPure 2-in-1 Ionic Straightening Brush
Best for Frizz: MKBOO Hair Straightener with Steam
Best Cordless: Conair Unbound Cordless Titanium Flat Iron
Best for Damaged Hair: L'ange Le Duo 360 Airflow Styler
Best for Fine Hair: Hairitage Straight To It Flat Iron for Hair Straightening & Frizz Control
What to Keep in Mind
Product descriptions give a lot of information, but knowing some details upfront will help you navigate your options. There are typically two types of plates on a hair straighter: titanium and ceramic.Celebrity Curl Expert and Founder of Curl Queen, Nai'vasha, explains that, "a titanium iron can usually hold higher temperatures, while ceramic ones offer a smooth working surface for hair to glide on. Ceramic is better for fine hair, while titanium is better for thick hair." She also notes her preference is for titanium irons on medium heat for thicker and curlier textures.
All hair is different, and when you get into naturally curly hair, the differences are more nuanced. When we asked the experts, the answers skewed towards lower temperatures, no matter your texture. "The temperature setting is based on texture and needs," Nai'Vasha adds. "It's important to understand that higher temperatures don't equate to better results. My general recommendation is 400F max." InStyle asked celebrity hairstylist Kendall Dorsey on the best temperature for straightening hair and she said, "for coarse or curly hair – 400. For more dense, coiled and dryer textures – 450."
Matrix Artistic Director, Michelle O'Connor also notes that the right temperature is dependent on one's texture. "Texture is defined as fine, medium, or coarse regardless of if the hair is curly, wavy or straight. Fine hair can set the temperature anywhere from 300-325F, medium chair can be in the range of 325-375F, and coarse hair can be in the range of 350-400F."
With a few different experts sharing their takes, it makes sense for finer hair types to use lower settings between 350-375. However, thicker coily hair can withstand up to 450 degrees. Plus, depending on the look you hope to achieve, you can determine how much heat you actually need to use on your curly tresses.
Your Questions, Answered
How to protect curly hair while straightening?
Your first line of defense against damage should be a heat protectant. If you think for a second that heat protectant is just another step in your hair care routine, using one can be the difference between a sleek shiny set of locks and giving yourself permanent heat damage. Curls founder and licensed hairstylist Mahisha Dellinger explains that prior to straightening, you want your hair to be fully dried as well. Damp hair can get fried from the direct heat of a flat iron.
"The main thing to remember is to always ensure the hair is completely dry before applying heat, consistently protecting your strands with heat protectants, treatment oils, and deep conditioners, while also starting at the lowest setting and steadily increasing as needed," Dellinger notes. "You will want to ensure you're taking breaks between styles that require high heat. This can be easily done through rocking your natural curls and coils or protective styling. I also find that oil-based treatments & deep conditioners help to revive and nourish strands to ensure your tresses remain healthy."
Luckily, heat protectant comes in many different forms. Whether it comes in the form of an oil or an easy spray application, like Gabrielle Union's Flawless Shine Enhancing Heat Protection Hair Spray, it keeps your hair from damage and leaves a mean sheen behind when you do use heat on your head.
What should curly-haired and coily hair users look out for when it comes to searching for a straightener?
Not every product will work for every type of curl and coil. However, finding something with adjustable heat is the best starting point to avoid exposing your strands to too much heat. As well, think about the time it may take you to straighten your hair while also being conscious of the temperature you plan to use. A wider plate can handle larger sections of hair, so may be a better pick for long or thick hair types. Some irons also have curved plates, which are ideal for creating flat-iron curls, as well as straightening. With enough prep time, you can get a sleek finish without heat damage, no matter the type of iron you choose.
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