Hair Straightener and Curling Iron Buying Guide

Curling irons and straighteners are must-have accessories for people who want to have the flexibility to switch up their hairstyle quickly and effortlessly. Whether you want to flatten your hair out or add some extra curls to your current look, this buying guide should give you all the help you need.

1. Width

Depending on your hair type, you may need to consider the width of the plates on your straightener.

Slim plates: Usually between 2.5cm and 3cm, these are most suited to short hair.

Medium plates: Typically between 3cm and 4cm, you can use these for short and medium-length hair.

Wide plates: If you have long, thick hair then plates around 6cm may be the best option for you.

Curling irons: With curling irons, the barrel size is measured. These can range from three-eighths of an inch up to two inches.

For most people, a barrel of between one and 1.5 inches is preferred for mid-length and longer curls.

2. Wattage

The wattage of an appliance often gives you a good idea of how powerful it is, with additional power giving you added flexibility.

However, with hair straightener and curling irons you may first want to consider your hair type.

There is no point in buying products that are extremely powerful if you only use the lower settings.

3. Temperature Settings

Higher temperature settings usually mean you can get your hair straightened or ironed out more quickly and to greater effect.

This does not mean all temperature settings will be suitable for your hair though, particularly if you have very thin or delicate hair.

In these cases, you could risk damaging your hair if you spend too much time on the hottest settings.

The more settings available, the more flexibility you have, with some models even coming with digital displays for accuracy.

4. Other Features

Wet to straight: This feature works on towel-dried hair, so you don’t have to use a hairdryer. The steam hydration can be better for your hair too

Automatic shut-off: Turns your straightener or curling irons off after a given time, just in case you forget and burn a hole in something!

Ionic straightening: Locks in moisture and removes any static to prevent frizz

Worldwide voltage: Great for travellers and are mains powered for optimal performance

Far infrared heat: Heats hair from the inside, which is less likely to cause damage

Swivel cord: Prevents wire tangling while in use

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