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16 Best Flat Irons and Hair Straighteners for Sleek Hair 2022


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Gilbert Carrasquillo

Straightening irons got a bad rep in the 2000s when chunky highlights and fried-flat hair reigned. Thankfully, we’ve moved past that look and into a more elevated era of “liquid hair,” think: Naomi Campbell’s extra-long strands moving like a shiny, silk curtain as she walks. But with tons of straighteners on the market, we could use some guidance on which ones are best. So we asked the experts. Stylists who’ve worked with celebs like Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Olivia Rodrigo, and all The Kardashians (a.k.a. our hair goal icons) weigh in on the best tools on the market.

Ahead, our celebrity hairstylists tell us about their favorite straighteners, which include options that heat quickly, multi-taskers that double as tools for making waves, and more. They’re also here to provide some tips and tricks for achieving the sleekest, smoothest strands. Read on to find a new straightener you can add to cart right away.

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For Quick Results

Edge Heated Brush

“I have been using this straightening brush for about a month now and am absolutely obsessed because it takes me less than 10 minutes to style my whole head,” says ELLE’s Assistant Beauty Editor Emily Burns. “All you have to do is brush through your strands, adding a bit of tension to achieve smooth, frizz-free hair. Plus, with T3 technology, heat is evenly applied to each strand so you don’t have to go over sections 50 times. Pro-tip, use the back of the brush to tame frizz and flyaways.”

Best Root Tamer

Gold Mini Styler

According to hair pro Christian Wood, if you want to make sure your hair stays in place, use the GHD gold mini styler. “I prefer a small straightener that I can get really close to the roots to remove stubborn kinks and cow licks,” says Wood. The small straightener trick is probably how he nails the beauty looks of Sophie Turner, Emily Ratajkowski, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

Best For Soft Waves

Lucea 1” Straightening & Styling Flat Iron

Laura Polko, stylist to Gigi Hadid, Shailene Woodley, and Hailee Steinfeld, is a big fan of this option from T3. “I can straighten and smooth in one pass,” she says. “The blades let me do a flatiron wave for dream texture.”

Most Affordable

Mini Straightening Iron with Travel Pouch

Celebrity hair stylist Ryan Randall never travels without this mini iron. “It is great for travel, great for hairlines, and great for short men’s or women’s hair,” he says.

Best For Silky Hair

Platinum+ Professional Performance Hair Styler

  • Heat readjusts based on your hair

“My absolute favorite flat iron is the ghd Platinum+,” says celebrity hairstylist Justine Marjan, who is best known for working with the Kardashian sisters, Ashley Graham, and Olivia Culpo. “It has rounded edges that make it easy to create waves and curls in addition to smooth and sleek looks. The iron has ultra-zone technology so that the temperature is constantly readjusting along the plates of the iron for even and consistent heat distribution. I’ll use with the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Heat Protect Spray to protect the hair and help achieve a shiny, healthy-looking result.”

Best For Adding Shine

Pro Artist Black Gold Dual Plate Flat Iron

  • Thicker plates make straightening quick and easy

“I’m obsessed with my Hot Tools Black Gold Dual Plate Flat iron,” says celebrity stylist and Tangle Teezer Brand Ambassador Clayton Hawkins, who’s worked with legends like Olivia Rodrigo and Ashley Park. “It heats up so fast and the ionic plates create a super shiny finish. Just make sure to never use your flat iron at its hottest setting. There’s literally no need if you use the right-sized sections to straighten.”

Best For On The Go

Corrale Hair Straightener

“My favorite flat iron right now is the Dyson straightener,” says stylist Guy Tang, who’s worked with some of Hollywood’s greatest A-Listers. “I love to use it on my own hair to create lived-in looking textured waves. The shape of this iron works really well to get the bend of the wave just right. Make sure to move the iron slow and in a fluid motion down your hair while bending the hair back and forth to get the perfect textured wave!” This style is a favorite of Hailey Bieber, who has posted her wavy hair routine using the Dyson.

Best For Fighting Frizz

Perfectly Polished Titanium Flat Iron

“I love the Moroccanoil Perfectly Polished Titanium Flat Iron,” says Bryce Scarlett, who styles the hair of actresses Natalie Portman, Margot Robbie, and Brie Larson. “It’s curved edges and smooth glide make it amazing for creating natural shapes that don’t look too perfect.” Reviewers note this tool heats up super fast and provides straight, glossy hair in minutes.

Best For Healthy Hair

Gold Professional Styler

“[I] particularly love this GHD Gold Styler,” says hair stylist extraordinaire Ruslan Nureev, who’s clientele includes Kylie Jenner, Sophia Richie, and Romee Strijd. “Heating elements in the blades allow even distribution of the heat, which makes it very easy to straighten the hair in just one pass. Also, [it] gives you a natural and healthy shine finish.”

Best Lightweight Option

Nano Titanium Ionic Straightening Iron

“I love using it on my celebrity clients to get the ultimate sleek & straight look for all hair types,” says Alexander Armand, a go-to hair stylist for Naomi Campbell, Winnie Harlow, and Tiffany Haddish. “I also like the versatility that this flat iron has with its ability to curl hair! The titanium component adds great shine, offering even distribution of heat.” This straightener comes in 1 inch and 1.25 inches depending on your hair type and styling goals. Reviewers note it’s super lightweight, making it perfect for travel.

Best For Curls And Waves

Le Duo 360 Airflow Styler

“This is my go-to straightener for creating soft curls or beachy waves,” says Burns. “The handle clamp makes it super easy to control and wrap around your strands. Air blows out to cool your hair, to lock in your style so it lasts all day.”

Best For Shiny Hair

Ceramic Flat Styling Iron

If you’re looking for super shiny hair, this straightener rec is for you. Celebrity stylist Aviva Perea, who styles the likes of Mandy Moore, Zoe Saldana, and Bella Thorne, suggests the Harry Josh straightener. “The irons are super wide so they reach a lot of hair effortlessly and they make the hair super shiny,” says Perea.

Best For Thick Hair

Nano Titanium 1″ Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron

  • Must split hair into small sections

Lacy Redway is also a fan of Babyliss, especially for full hair. “It is great for thicker textures because it distributes heat evenly, allowing for less passes through the hair,” she explains. The plates “make it easier to straighten or curl longer hair lengths.” Since the plates are extra thin, reviewers recommend splitting hair into smaller sections for optimal smoothness.

The Cult Classic Flat Iron

Original Styler – 1″ Flat Iron

Priscilla Valles, who works with Chrissy Teigen, Hailey Baldwin, and Kylie Jenner, says her go-to straightener is the classic GHD 1-inch. “I start in the nape and bring down small sections, one row at a time and I use a GHD flat iron with a comb in the other hand,” says Valles. “I place the comb in front of the iron while ironing at the same time in a slow motion all the way down. Never stopping cause that will cause dents in the hair. At the end, a dime size of Ouai Rose Hair & Body Oil from top to bottom just to add some shine and control any fly aways!” Reviewers note this straightener glides through your hair, never tugging on strands.

Best For All Styles

SinglePass Styling Iron

  • Heat adjusts to hair type

Brant Mayfield, who has worked with Halle Berry, Ruby Rose, and Nicole Scherzinger, favors this glossy flat iron. “It has digital single pass technology, which helps for smoothness and contains an eternal microchip that maintains an even temperature,” he says. The angled edges and ceramic plates will keep your hair smooth and without kinks. This straightener is the perfect size for achieving soft curls, beach waves, or a super sleek look.

Best For Coarse Hair

G3 Salon Pro Hair Straightener Iron

Chris Dylan, who works with Karrueche, Sofia Richie, and Dorit Kemsley, loves this Karmin iron. “The plates are coated in tourmaline which helps for an easy glide,” he says. Fighting frizz with infrared ions, Dylan suggests that it “makes this iron better for super coarse hair.” Bonus points: it also has different voltage settings for international use. The jet-setter in you will be thankful as you globetrot glamorously.

What do I need to do before straightening my hair?

There’s one thing nearly every hair stylist will agree on: the importance of a heat protectant. Before diving into straightening your hair (or using any heat for that matter), make sure to apply a heat protectant like the Ceremonia Guava Rescue Spray, which provides protection from 450° Farenheit and UV rays.

How can I prolong my sleek style?

To prolong your style, make sure to add a lightweight hairspray at the end. For additional smoothing at the roots, stylist Lacy Redway recommends spritzing the top of your head with a hairspray like the Nexxus Weightless Hold Ultra Fine Hair Spray, and then smoothing down the flyaways with the edge of the can.

At night, tie your hair into a loose bun or ponytail with a silk scrunchie like Crown Affair’s The Scrunchie No. 003. Sleeping on a silk pillow case, like the Slip cases, can also help protect your strands and prolong your style.

Can I curl my hair with a straightener?

Yes, of course! Straighteners that have a rounded outside edge are great for creating soft curls or beachy weaves. Opt for a 1″ flat iron to easy wrap the hair around.

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