We tested hair straighteners and name the ghd Gold Professional Styler as our best in test. This straightener is incredibly fast, gives an attractive and durable result and has a long cable that makes the straightener easy to use.
In our test of straighteners, the products were tested by people with different hair types and hair quality. Both beginners and frequent, expert users of straighteners tested the different tongs. As a straightener, or flat iron as they’re sometimes called, can be used both to make the hair straight and to curl it, the tongs were tested with both processes.
Our testers took into account the following points:
Result: What's the hair like after using the straightener? Do the results last? What does the hair feel like? Is it straightforward to curl the hair with the straightener too?
Heat and care: How quickly does the tong heat up and cool down? How many heat settings does it have, and is it easy to change between them? Does the hair feel healthy after use? What material are the plates made from?
Function and user-friendliness: How easy are the tongs to use? How long is the cable? Is it easy to angle the straightener so you can get to the back of your head too?
The test result and the price of the straightener have been considered when allocating the final score.
Obvious choice straightener that produces attractive, fast results
The ghd Gold Professional Styler is one of the fastest straighteners in our test. The heating time, how long it takes to cool down again – and above all how long it takes to style your hair – are really quick. Together with the durable results and attractive design, it’s almost unfair to compare this model with other straighteners.
According to the packaging, the tong should be hot and ready to use in 25 seconds. But every time we counted, it was quicker than this – often indicating that it was ready after just 15-17 seconds. The fact that the straightener beeps when it's reached the right temperature is practical as you don't have to wait unnecessarily (and the risk that you completely forget to switch the straightener on while you're still half asleep is considerably reduced).
During use, there’s actually nothing negative to say at all. The ghd Gold Professional Styler literally glides through the hair, and the rounded edges on the plates mean you don't end up with ugly lines in your hair. These rounded edges also make it very straightforward to use the tong to curl your hair.
The results are attractive, smooth (or curly) and last amazingly well. If you’ve straightened your hair, you actually only need to do a quick touch-up the day after. The ghd Gold Professional Styler is an absolute treasure for the hair, worth every penny and beats every other straightener there is.
Top quality tong that’s easy to use and gentle
ghd’s tong can best be described as the Rolls Royce of straighteners. The Platinum Styler can easily be used both for smoothing and curling the hair.
The tong has a large, curved back that gives your curls a bigger circumference and more volume. The design is simple but elegant, with just one button to switch the tong on and off. The heat is automatically set at 185 degrees which, according to the manufacturer, is the optimum temperature for styling the hair without damaging it.
To keep a constant and even warmth over the plates, they're equipped with intelligent tri-zone technology. This means you get the same result you’d otherwise only achieve at significantly higher temperatures. The Platinum Styler is very easy to use. Even beginners can easily achieve a great result, and in well-brushed hair you only need one stroke per section to achieve a straight, elegant hairstyle.
Every millimetre of the ghd Platinum Styler feels like it’s been carefully designed by the manufacturer. The straightener automatically shuts off after 30 minutes, which means you never need to worry about forgetting to switch it off when you're in a hurry to get out of the door. And the long cable makes the tong easy to use regardless of where the nearest electrical outlet is.
The Platinum Styler is supplied with a protective plate guard where you can store the straightener immediately after use. This means you don't have to wait for it to cool down before you can pack it in your case. The guard keeps the straightener closed, which also protects the plates against damage.
The price, which is fairly substantial compared to many of the competition, is the main disadvantage of this straightener. But given the luxurious appearance and well-designed functions of the ghd Platinum Styler, you actually get what you pay for.
A very good value straightener with striking results
Price class: Medium
The Remington Advanced Colour Protect Intelligent Straightener comes in a gold case and even the first impression is positive. This is an attractive straightener that also has a sensor to continuously regulate the plate temperature. This means that the tong isn't just a bit kinder on the hair, it also causes less damage to your hair colour.
The straightener is amazingly easy to use. It heats up in the blink of an eye and works really well for both straightening and curling the hair. Straightening is very effective. If you get the section size right, you only need one stroke with the tong to get it smooth. It also makes attractive, soft and natural curls, ideal for curling in a page boy cut or maybe your fringe.
The feeling after you use it is similar to how you feel when you leave the hairdresser’s. The hair feels soft and flexible, not at all rough or worn like it sometimes does after you've used a heated styling tool.
The cable has a swivel function, which makes it much easier to style the back of your head too. An extra plus is the digital display that clearly shows which of the five heat settings you've selected.
The Remington Advanced Colour Protect Intelligent straightener measures up to many of the significantly more expensive tongs and is actually really nice to use. The results look good throughout the day, and even if your hair won’t look freshly styled when you get home after a tough day at work, it’ll still look great.
Small and ergonomic straightener with a long cable and very professional results
This is a really professional product in terms of both results and price. The temperature is controlled entirely digitally, instead of with a thermostat. This means that the heat in the floating plates is completely uniform.
The result is perfect, shiny straight or curly hair on all hair types that lasts all day. It quickly heats up to 190 degrees, the controls are excellent and the automatic shut-off function is an extra advantage. In technical terms this is a product that stands out, but the sky-high price reduces the score a touch.
Easy-to-use straightener that can be locked closed and gives attractive results
The Remington PROluxe is a neat, compact and easy-to-use straightener which works equally well for straightening and curling. With the flexible OptiHeat plates, which are also very gentle on the hair, it's easy to create elegant, soft curls or really straight hair.
One major advantage is that the plates are slightly wider than many other straighteners, which is particularly good for thick, long hair. If you want to use the straightener to curl your hair, the width is an advantage, as the curls it creates are a little bigger. This creates great waves and you avoid the classic corkscrew curls you can otherwise easily achieve when using straighteners.
The cable is 3 m long and thin, giving you a good range even if the electrical outlet isn’t right next to the mirror. The cable also swivels so it won’t get irretrievably tangled over time. The Remington PROluxe is supplied with an attractive, heat resistant pouch where you can store the straightener. The cable can easily be folded into the pouch, reducing the risk of it getting tangled with cables from other styling tools.
The heat can be adjusted in several steps between 150 and 230°C using buttons on the side. Unfortunately, you sometimes find yourself pressing the buttons during use, which means that you can adjust the heat or turn it off completely without intending to.
The straightener has a nice matte finish. However this surface tends to get dirty easily, so the straightener quickly looks grubby. One of the biggest advantages of this straightener, and something that separates it from its competitors, is the locking function that keeps the straightener “closed”. This means that the sensitive heat plates are better protected and the straightener is much easier to handle when not in use.
Overall the Remington PROluxe is a good value for money straightener which easily gives attractive results.
Straightener with both automatic shut-off and variable voltage
Price class: Premium
The Cloud Nine Original Iron comes in packaging so attractive it feels like opening a present. A very expensive present – because this is a straightener with a substantial price tag.
Despite its price, the Original Iron is a relatively classic straightener. The plates are ceramic and quickly get hot. One major advantage is that the Original Iron has an automatic shut-off function. If it hasn’t been used for 30 minutes, it switches off. Half an hour is quite a long time, but it still feels reassuring to know that it won’t be lying there heating up all day if you happen to forget to switch it off in your morning rush.
The straightener smoothes your hair well. But if you don’t select a very thin section of hair, you have to run the straightener over it twice to achieve the desired effect. The results last well, even if you don’t use any styling product. Of course, after a whole day in the run it doesn’t look like you’ve just styled it, but that would be a bit much to expect without the assistance of a fixing product.
The cable rotates and it’s long, so it’s easy to use the strainer over your entire head. But it doesn’t feel ideal for creating curls with. It just feels a bit too clumsy to create curls easily. It’s also a bit too easy to burn your ears when you have it set on the highest temperature.
The Original Iron gets hot in less than 20 seconds, but takes up to 15 minutes to cool completely. However, one major advantage of the straightener is that it has automatic variable voltage, which means you can use it in several different countries without worrying about that.
This is a good straightener, but not quite as good as you’d have liked for this price. The fact that the Cloud Nine Original Iron feels clumsy when you’re curling your hair reduces its score – as does the hefty price tag.
Fantastically easy-to-use straightener for thicker hair
At first glance, it’s easy to think the Remington Volume & Straight Brush is a curling tong. But it’s a straightening brush that, as the name implies, succeeds not only in making your hair smooth and straight but also adding volume.
Unlike a straightener, this brush is so easy to use that after a couple of times you actually don’t even need to stand in front of a mirror while you use it. Because you can easily brush it through your hair, you don’t have to do all that dividing your hair into suitable sections. Nor do you have to worry about the clamp marks you can get with straighteners if you squeeze a bit too hard.
But this brush works its best in thicker hair. If you have thinner hair you can easily scrape your scalp and can even burn it a little, although the end result is fast and attractive. For thick hair that easily goes frizzy, this brush is pretty much a gift from heaven. But if you’re looking for finesse and the option to create the type of beach curls that are so easy with a straightener, this isn’t the right heated tool for you.
Straightener that gives extra shiny hair with argan oil
The Ga.Ma Starlight Argan Styler is intended for use together with argan oil to create an extra shiny result. The styler includes a small bottle of oil, but to be perfectly honest it works just as well without.
The digital display makes it clear what temperature you’ve chosen (150-220 °C), and also when it reaches the desired temperature. The styler glides smoothly through the hair without any hair strands getting stuck, and the result is smooth and attractive. With a drop of argan oil it’s extra shiny (which of course almost always applies when you use a touch of oil when you style your hair).
It’s very easy to curl your hair with this styler. You can easily rotate it to reach everywhere, and you can vary the results from chill beach hair to corkscrew curls worthy of a princess. But you need a light hand – otherwise you can get edge lines in your hair, which aren’t very attractive.
The automatic shut off after 60 minutes feels like it’s a bit too long. 30 minutes would have been better. The cable is nice and long at 3 m, but it’s very stiff which means it’s more difficult to cope with than those on other straighteners.
Wireless premium straightener that's a pain in the wallet
Before we say anything else, let’s come right to the point – this is a really expensive straightener. It costs more than twice as much as the closest priced product in the test. So you’d be forgiven for wondering if you really get good value for money.
Dyson always release products that feel well-designed, high-quality and effective. But the question is whether a straightener can really ever be so effective that this price is justified.
The Dyson Corrale has a few properties that mean it stands out from the crowd. One such function is that the straightener is rechargeable, which means you can use it without a cable. Of course Dyson aren’t alone in having a product that does this, but wireless straighteners are still in the minority. In the true Dyson spirit, the product details offer plenty of refinement and nothing’s left to chance – for example the charging cable is magnetic so it’s easy to connect.
You can attach the cable to a charging station that you then put the straightener in to charge, or you can even attach it directly to the straightener. In other words, you don’t have to charge it to be able to use it.
Without the cable, the battery discharges relatively quickly. You can use it a couple of times, depending on how thick your hair is and how much work it requires. But it’s a good idea to put the straightener on charge between uses, so you don’t risk running out of battery halfway through styling your hair.
What really makes Dyson’s straightner stand out is the flexible plates. You can actually feel the give in them when you press them lightly. The plates are intended to shape themselves to the hair and help to gather it together. According to Dyson, this means you need a lower temperature, which in turn helps to reduce damage to the hair. It’s hard to measure how your hair is affected by these plates. But it’s clear that the straightener is nice to work with and easy to move through the hair.
The straightener heats up to the required temperature in record quick time – in fact, so fast that the first time we used it we thought something was wrong. The straightener beeps when it reaches the right temperature. It’s effective at straightening your hair. Creating curls is a bit more fiddly, which we think is due to the weight. Because this straightener feels rather heavy compared to many others.
The Dyson Corrale comes in an attractive box and is wrapped in a soft case that works very well to transport and store the straightener in.
There’s no doubt that the Dyson Corrale is an excellent straightener that’s gentle on your hair. But as to whether it’s so good that the price tag feels worth it in the long run...? Well, we don’t really think so.
A miniature straightener that you can pop in your suitcase
Price class: Premium
As the name implies, the Cloud Nine Micro Iron is a straightener in mini format. The idea is that it should be small enough to be easy to pack. It’s also recommended as working well on shorter hairstyles, and also for men.
And the first thing that stands out is exactly how small it is. The total length is barely 15 cm. The plates are 6 cm long and only 1.5 cm wide. In other words, this straightener really lives up to its name. The cable is more substantial, at 2.6 m.
Because of its neat size, you need plenty of time to style your hair with this straightener. If you have a lot or thick hair, you need to work on one small section at a time to get it smooth first go, but if you do this you get a really good effect straight away. You simply can’t fit larger sections into this mini straightener.
It’s easy to use, even though it feels impossibly small in your hand. And if you have larger hands, it may actually be more trouble than it’s worth. Curling your hair with it is straightforward, even though the cable doesn’t rotate. Despite the lack of a swivel function, the cable length means that it isn’t difficult to manoeuvre the straightener.
The biggest downside with this mini tool is that the cable and plug feel oversized and clumsy in comparison. The heat resistant protective pouch that comes with the straightener doesn’t offer any convenient way of storing the plug and cable. So they often have to hang outside if you don’t want to struggle to get everything into the small bag.
The Cloud Nine Micro Iron heats up and cools down very quickly, and your hair feels really healthy after use. Hairstyles last well with help of a touch of hairspray, sometimes even to the next day. And of course this is particularly useful if you’re on your travels.
Straightening brush that quickly straightens the hair while maintaining volume in the roots
The CB7400 straightening brush from Remington is an exciting alternative to the traditional straightener. It has two primary functions – brushing the hair and smoothing it, and is intended as a time-saving alternative. The result is fast, natural and attractive.
Volume is retained at the roots while the lengths become smooth, which is exactly the result you often want. With a normal straightener, the volume at the scalp disappears if you smooth the hair from root to ends.
Your hair needs to be quite well brushed before you use the smoothing brush for it to work optimally. In other words, this isn’t a substitute for a traditional hairbrush. The smoothing brush is easy to use but quite large and also rather heavy. It also takes up quite a lot of space when you come to store it. Because it’s primarily used to make your hair straight, it also makes one more product that you have to squeeze in amongst all the other styling tools in the bathroom.
The Remington CB7400 includes a bag where you can store the brush when it isn’t being used. The cable on the smoothing brush is only 1.8 m long, which means you have a relatively limited range. It heats up relatively quickly, but is much slower to cool. This can be a disadvantage as you really need to cool down before you can store it with, or close to, other items.
The Remington smoothing brush is a nice development of the normal straightener and it’s good that it feels more gentle on the hair. But given the limited function and the product size, you have to wonder how essential this gadget is. If you have the space and want to save a few seconds in the morning, the Remington CB7400 will make a nice addition to your collection.
Small and easily packed straightener for the regular traveller
Price class: Budget
The Remington Airplates Compact is a perfect size for popping in your suitcase. It’s much smaller and more compact than many other models. Unfortunately, the size also means that the straightener is more difficult to work with.
It’s easy to use, and gives a good result, particularly in relation to the price. But you simply can’t ignore the fact that the design makes it fiddly to handle. The handle is so short that it’s almost non-existent. At the same time this means that it's easy to pack for your travels, it makes it difficult to manoeuvre. Curling your hair with it is awkward and there’s a constant risk that you’ll burn yourself.
The cable is unnecessarily short. Even with a power socket close to the mirror, the cable isn’t long enough to easily style your hair. It also only has one heat setting, and although it heats up in 30 seconds there’s no indicator that shows you when it’s ready.
The major advantage of the Remington Air Plates Compact is also its biggest disadvantage. Because while the small size is very practical for packing, it also means that it’s really fiddly to use.
Neat with long plates and a wide range of applications
The Remington PRO-Sleek & Curl is a neat straightener with rectangular ceramic plates that glide easily through the hair. The narrow plates make it easy to smooth or shape the hair in elegant curls or waves.
The straightener has a digital display, and you can set the heat between 150 and 230 °C, which means it’s suitable for all hair types. Compared to other similar straighteners, the PRO-Sleek & Curl takes a relatively long time to heat up. Once it has warmed up, the straightener is rather hot even on the outside, which makes it difficult to hold as you curl your hair. The straightener easily curls thin sections of the hair and produces a good result. The result is worse on thicker sections of the hair and it's difficult to get durable curls.
The cable swivels, it makes it significantly easier to use, but it’s relatively short. A longer cable would have been better.
You can lock the temperature by holding in the minus button, which means you avoid changing the temperature during use. The buttons are a bit loose and rattly, which makes the overall impression less good and means the straightener feels rather cheap. There’s also a locking function so you can lock the straightener closed. This makes it easier both to store and transport. The locked position also means there’s less wear on the ceramic plates because nothing can get in between and scratch them.
The straightener includes a protective case. Remington have produced video clips that show you tips and tricks for how to use the product. You can access these by scanning a QR code on the box. This is a clever idea for inspiring customers and showing how you’re meant to use the product.
The Remington PRO-Sleek & Curl will probably best suit someone who doesn’t use a styling tool every day. But given the relatively low price you do get a lot of straightener for your money.
Almost all straighteners in the test have narrow plates, which makes them easier to work with. But it does mean straightening your hair takes longer because the heated surface is smaller than on classic smoothing irons. All of the straighteners in the test are about the same size, but there’s some difference in terms of length and weight.
In recent years, there have been many developments relating to material and function – for example ceramic plates, tourmaline and ionising surfaces. These technologies give the hair increased lustre and counteract frizziness and static electricity. Modern heated tools also cause less damage to the hair as they have more even heat distribution and lower friction. The time it takes for them to heat up is also significantly better, as is the possibility of creating different hair styles, from perfectly straight to corkscrew curls or volume.
Check out our test before you buy a new straightener!
To speed up the process, divide your hair into sections. If you want to make big curls, clamp a piece of the hair and wind the straightener half a turn. Then move the straightener carefully out from the scalp towards the ends in a spiral. The result is attractive Hollywood style corkscrew curls. We love leaving the fringe straight or putting it up backwards and curling the rest of the hair.
Curling your hair with a straightener is fun and the result is really attractive – and you also save money on buying both a straightener and a curling tong. Remember to always use a heat protection styling product to reduce wear on your hair.
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