Flat ironing is one of the more damaging things you can do to your hair, since it requires the most intense, sustained heat of any other hot styling tool. Using one of the best professional flat irons — aka, the flat irons recommended by professional stylists, and confirmed to be amazing by non-pro customers alike — can help mitigate that damage wherever possible. For this article, I spoke with Joy Williams, CHI Executive Master Educator; Nunzio Saviano of Nunzio Saviano Salon in NYC; and Naeemah Lafond, amika Global Artistic Director, to learn about their flat irons of choice and gain some expert styling tips.
First and foremost, look for a flat iron with adjustable heat settings. If you have fine, dyed, or damaged hair, a lower heat will help prevent breakage and protect your color from fading, while thicker and curly hair types can typically handle hotter temps. Materials are important, too — a good flat iron heats up quickly and evenly, which prevents overworking your hair. Ceramic, tourmaline, and titanium are the most popular materials thanks to their ability to distribute heat evenly and smooth frizz, but you’ll occasionally find copper and even infrared technology in newer models.
Before ironing, Lafond recommends sectioning off your hair and evenly applying a heat protectant. That “barrier between the hair and the heat” is especially important when straightening naturally curly hair, Lafond says, “because you never want to damage the natural curl pattern and prevent hair from returning to its original state.” Also if you have curly hair, Lafond recommends using the Silk Press technique (though people with any hair type and texture can follow this method, too). Here’s how it’s done: “Take small sections of hair as you go, and slowly glide the flat iron down the shaft. Use a fine tooth comb to keep the strands detangled.” Lafond says this method “results in a much smoother finish with a high gloss and tons of movement,” which sounds like the ideal flat-iron result.
With those tips in mind, scroll on to shop the best professional flat irons you can get on Amazon, as recommended by both pro stylists and enthusiastic shoppers alike.
1. The Best-Seller
Potentially the best-selling straightener that has ever existed, this HSI Professional Glider has earned a nearly perfect rating from a small city's worth of Amazon reviewers (that's about 36,000, to be clear). This salon-grade iron is kitted out with a bunch of features to ensure a hair-safe straightening session, like embedded microsensors that regulate and evenly distribute heat to prevent damage, ceramic and tourmaline crystal ion plates to keep frizz and flyaways at bay, and adjustable temperature settings that reach up to 450 degrees. You’ll get some bonus merch with this order too, including a heat-resistant glove, a silk drawstring case, and a sachet of argan oil to help smooth and rehydrate your newly straightened hair.
2. The Steal
Saviano’s newest obsession is the Dyson Corrale Straightener, which he’s “been using 24/7.” Its unique, flexing plates glide down hair easily, and its three heat settings work for every hair type. He also likes that the plates are made of copper — one of the rarer materials you’ll find in a flat iron — “which provides even heat from top to bottom. There’s less breakage too, which makes it a far better material than titanium or ceramic,” he says.
But assuming you don’t have $500 to spare, try this iron from Revlon instead, which costs about $28 on Amazon. In addition to frizz-fighting ceramic, its plates contain copper, like the Dyson iron, so it’s flexible and conducts heat evenly for effective but safer ironing. It’s not cordless like the Corrale, but its 10-second heat-up time and multiple heat settings rival the more expensive model. Reviewers confirm that it’s powerful enough to straighten even thick, curly hair in one to two passes, too.
3. The Smart One
Three separate celebrity stylists (including Saviano) recommended this GHD Platinum+ Professional Performance Hair Styler to The Cut. Billed as “the world’s first smart hair straightener,” this ceramic iron is equipped with predictive technology that “reads” each section of your hair and adapts its heat setting accordingly for optimal results. It heats up to 365 degrees, which provides enough heat for all hair types and textures without inflicting damage. More to love: It’s surprisingly lightweight, has an extra-long swivel cord, and reaches its peak temp in just a few seconds.
4. The Infrared One
Lafond calls this amika The Confidante Moisture Maintenance Styler her “go-to straightener.” “It’s not only super glam, but it’s reliable and works to get the hair pin straight with one pass,” she says, and adds that “the technology is great for preserving the integrity of all hair types.” That technology is definitely impressive: Infrared light provides intense but less damaging heat of up to 450 degrees, and a stream of negative ions seals the hair cuticle to lock in moisture and prevent flyaways and unwanted frizz.
5. The Classic
This CHI Original Ceramic Hairstyling Iron is Williams’ straightener of choice, and it’s a total classic (“the iron that started it,” as Williams calls it.) “This iron heats up fast and stays at a consistent [temperature of] 392 Fahrenheit,” Williams says, “and it’s great for any hair type and texture, especially fine to medium hair types.” She also likes the floating plates, which provide a sturdy grip without pulling or tugging. This happens to be my favorite flat iron, too. I’ve used it pretty much every day for the past five years, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down or burning out. Considering how much I use it, it’s a marvel that it’s wrought zero damage to my fine, dyed hair. Can also confirm that it heats up in literally seconds, and it leaves my hair feeling silky, smooth, and static-free. (As a bonus, this flat iron comes with an 8-ounce bottle of heat protection spray.)
6. The Mini
A mini flat iron is obviously ideal for travel, but it’s also the best choice if you’re dealing with short hair, bangs, or if you’re ironing small sections and need better dexterity. Celebrity stylist Ryan Randall cited this one from BaBylissPRO as a favorite in Elle. This small-but-mighty iron clocks in at 6 inches total and weighs just over a pound, but it heats up to an impressive 440 degrees. And it has dual voltage, so you can use it internationally, too.
Naeemah Lafond, amika Global Artistic Director
Nunzio Saviano of Nunzio Saviano Salon in NYC
Joy Williams, CHI Executive Master Educator