our top picks for smooth and sleek hair

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  • Want frizz-free, super sleek hair? Right this way…

    After your hair dryer, a pair of hair straighteners was probably the second hair tool that you ever invested in. They’re a vital part of your hair arsenal to tame frizz and create sleek styles. These days, the best hair straighteners on the market smooth in seconds, whilst also being kind to hair.

    Best hair straighteners for 2021:

    1. ghd Platinum+, £189 | Lookfantastic
    2. L’Oréal Professionel Steampod 3, £235 | Lookfantastic
    3. Dyson Corrale, £399 | Currys
    4. Babyliss 9000 High Performance Cordless Hair Straightener, £199.99 | Amazon
    5. T3 Singlepass X Wide Flat Iron, £165 | SpaceNK
    6. Cloud Nine The Touch Iron , £139 | Selfridges
    7. Remington Copper Radiance Straightener, £34.99 | Boots
    8. ghd Mini Styler, £119 | ghdhair.com

    Gone are the days of ironing your hair with a singular heat setting (and seeing the toll it takes on your strands). As technology has come on, so too have the tools. (2021’s best hair dryers included.) GHD are constantly updating their beloved stylers to meet the demands of hair, there are now new ways of straightening (more on the L’Oréal Professional’s Steampod below) and as ever, Dyson are making huge advances in the name of haircare.

    Shop straightener deals on Amazon Prime Day

    What to look for in the best hair straighteners


    Depending on the length of your hair, the width of the straighteners matter. The wider plates (approximately 5cm) suit longer hair better, the thinner plates (<5cm) will work better on shorter hair. The wider plates also suit thicker hair types.


    What the plates are made from is important. The words to look out for are:

    Ceramic – you typically find that the less expensive straighteners have ceramic plates. They take a bit of time to heat up, but it is evenly distributed.

    Metal – Metal plates are the ones that get hot within seconds and tend to cost a little more money.

    Ceramic-coated – These are metal plates, coated in ceramic. The plates heat up really quickly and the heat is more even distributed. These tend to be the most expensive.

    Heat settings

    If you have really fine or thin hair, the idea of adding high temperatures to it seems mad. Which is why the best hair straighteners now have a variable temperature setting.

    Ionic technology

    So many women use straighteners to tame frizz. Frizz is caused by too much positive charge on the hair, so much like with the best hair dryers, ionic technology aids your tools in taming frizz.

    Cord length

    This is an obvious one. You either prefer a really, really long cord that means you can style standing up, wherever. Or you like a shorter cord that packs away neatly.

    How to straighten your hair like a pro

    In the past, ok in the 90s, when all we wanted was poker straight hair, we used to grab our straighteners, clamp them over our strands, as firmly as possible, and drag them from root to tip, without a care or thought. Thankfully, those days are over, but there are still ways of improving our technique.

    ‘A common mistake with straightening is going over the same piece of hair multiple times,’ warns Larry King – hair stylist extraordinaire, founder of Larry King Haircare and Marie Claire Hair Awards 2021 judge. The trouble with this he says, ‘is one side of the hair straightens better and easier than the other. This causes irreversible heat damage and breakage usually on one side than the other. Invest in good tools that maintain the condition of your hair too.’

    King also explains that to achieve the best results it’s all about identifying your hair type, the look you’re trying to achieve and finding the appropriate tool to suit. Once you know that you’ll know to get the most from the settings on your straighteners. ‘There are multiple different ways to straighten thick vs thin & long vs short hair,’ he says. He recommends a high intensity heat for thicker hair: ‘With thick hair you want to aim to take the density out, but with finer hair you just need to gently take the curl out, so lower the temperature for thinner hair.’

    ‘If you want a straight, sleek look, whilst maintaining some volume, use a lower temperature. This will take out the curl but maintain the volume. If you wanted it sleeker and flatter, taking out the density, then you want a medium temperature, around 165°C – 185°C. If you go to hot on a straightener you find you then can’t change the look. So will struggle to add volume or curls later on.’

    Marie Claire UK Hair Awards 2021 banner

    Best hair straighteners in 2021:

    best hair straighteners – ghd Platinum+

    ghd Platinum+, £189 | Lookfantastic

    The world’s first ‘smart straightener’ is almost too good to be true. Predictive technology assesses every section of your hair for its size, thickness and the speed you’re styling and adjusts the power accordingly. So regardless of whether you have slight waves or corkscrew curls, this powerful tool will adapt to your hair type. It doesn’t get much better than that, folks.

    PLATES Ceramic-coated

    HEAT SETTINGS 1x (185°C)


    CORD LENGTH 2.7m


    best hair straighteners – L'Oréal Professionel Steampod 3

    L’Oréal Professionel Steampod 3, £235 | Lookfantastic

    If your hair is particularly brittle hair from over-styling or regular colouring, L’Oréal Professionel’s revolutionary straighteners that use steam to smooth strands are the best hair straighteners for damaged hair. They cause 78% less damage that your typical heated plate straighteners.

    PLATES Ceramic-coated

    HEAT SETTINGS 3x (180°C to 210°C)




    best hair straighteners – Dyson Corrale Hair Straightener

    Dyson Corrale Hair Straightener, £399 | Currys

    Dyson has done it again. Much like its revolutionary Supersonic hair dryer and curling Airwrap, the forward-thinking technology brand has turned an everyday product and sprinkled fairy dust onto it. The Corrale straighteners have flexible plates that are slightly bendy so when you draw them over your hair, they’e able to gather your hair and heat every strand in one go. Because of this, you’re able to able to straighten faster and with less heat and as a result with less damage. Yes, they’re pricey, but they’re worth it.

    PLATES Metal

    HEAT SETTINGS 3x (160° – 210°)


    CORD LENGTH Cordless


    best hair straighteners – Babyliss 9000 High Performance Cordless Hair Straightener

    Babyliss 9000 High Performance Cordless Hair Straightener, £199.99 | Amazon

    We knew we weren’t going to have to wait too long for cordless straighteners. I mean it’s a no-brainer right? Thanks to Babyliss (and Dyson) we can now cart some of the best straighteners around with us in our handbags without fear of finding a plug. Good hair on the go.

    PLATES Ceramic

    HEAT SETTINGS 3x (160°C, 180°C and 200°C)


    CORD LENGTH Cordless


    best hair straighteners – T3 Singlepass X Wide Flat Iron

    T3 Singlepass X Wide Flat Iron, £165 | SpaceNK

    This is the straightener that every girl with thick, coarse hair dreams of. It’s specifically designed to deal with unruly hair and will flatten even the most stubborn locks with its wide, powerful plates and its advanced digital heating system that maintains heat consistently throughout use, creating gorgeously smooth tresses.
    It boasts a microchip brain (yes, really!) that monitors the heat for accurate styling, and this ensures a beautiful long-lasting finish.
    It features the latest tourmaline ceramic technology, and the wider plates significantly reduce styling time. An investment worth making.

    PLATES Ceramic

    HEAT SETTINGS 5x (127°C to 210°C)




    best hair straighteners – Cloud Nine The Touch Iron Straighteners

    Cloud Nine The Touch Iron Straighteners, £139 | Selfridges

    The beauty of these straighteners is that they heat up in a moment – Instant Heat as they call it. The plates are also infused with Tourmaline and Sericite, which help to heal the hair by sealing the hair’s cuticle and lock in moisture. Making these the best hair straighteners for an everyday straightener user.

    PLATES Ceramic

    HEAT SETTINGS 2x (165°C and 195°C)




    best hair straightener – Remington Copper Radiance Straightener

    Remington Copper Radiance Straightener, £34.99 | Boots

    If you’re not one for straightening that often, then it’s unlikely that you’ll want to spend too much on your styler. However, you still want to be able to rely on it when you do use it. There are nine (yes, nine) temperatures settings to choose from, it shuts off after 60 minutes and it heats up within 15 seconds.

    PLATES Ceramic infused with copper

    HEAT SETTINGS 9x (<230°C)




    best hair straightener – ghd Mini Styler

    ghd Mini Styler, £119 | ghdhair.com

    The thinner plates on this styler make it ideal for shorter crops and fringes. It utilises the same technology as the ghd Original tool, just on teeny floating plates, which are designed so that shorter strands are easier to get to, so that you don’t end up with hair sticking out at an odd angle.

    PLATES Ceramic

    HEAT SETTINGS 1x (185°C)




    If you battle frizz on a daily basis, or just like ironed-out styles, the best hair straighteners are absolutely essential to your beauty arsenal. Along with one of the best hair dryers and hair serum, the perfect pair of irons will make your hair super sleek in a matter of minutes.

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