The Best Hair Straightener for Silky-Straight LocksThe Best Hair Straightener for Silky-Straight Locks

The Best Hair Straightener

Or how to get sleek hair without the sizzle.
Elese Dowden
Words by 
Elese Dowden
Updated 
Mar 30, 2021
Category -> 
Body
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At a glance

Thick, frizzy, thin or curly - no matter your hair type, there's a hair straightener to do your mane justice. The best hair straightener heats up quickly, with a long cord and temperature settings to suit your hair type. Like hair dryers, most hair straighteners are made with ceramic to keep your hair healthy with even, gentle heat. We've done the research, and here are our fave picks for Australia's top hair straighteners.

How we picked

We started out by checking CHOICE, Australia's biggest consumer advocacy group, as well as trusted consumer comparison site CanStar Blue. Both offered some guidance around what makes a great hair straightener, but in the immortal words of Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception, we needed to go deeper. 

Next, we took to ProductReview.com.au to see what real Aussies thought. There were hundreds of hair straightener reviews, so we selected the highest-rated from the most-reviewed, and checked our picks against what was readily available in stores. After weighing up price, performance, and ease of use, we ended up with our guide to the best hair straighteners in Australia.

The 7 best hair straighteners in Australia

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How we picked

We started out by checking CHOICE, Australia's biggest consumer advocacy group, as well as trusted consumer comparison site CanStar Blue. Both offered some guidance around what makes a great hair straightener, but in the immortal words of Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception, we needed to go deeper. 

Next, we took to ProductReview.com.au to see what real Aussies thought. There were hundreds of hair straightener reviews, so we selected the highest-rated from the most-reviewed, and checked our picks against what was readily available in stores. After weighing up price, performance, and ease of use, we ended up with our guide to the best hair straighteners in Australia.

Best for most -> ghd Original IV Styler

ghd Original IV Styler

Seasoned beauty gurus won't be surprised to see the ghd Original IV Styler taking out top all-round hair straightener. These easy-to-use straighteners are a staple in professional salons all over the world because they heat to an optimum styling temperature of 185°C within seconds. While those with thicker hair may find they need a little more heat, 185°C is the ideal spot for 'normal' hair. 

I've had a ghd for years, and it blows other straighteners out of the water when it comes to speed and ease of use. There's no fiddling about with temperature settings or dials, and the 2.7m swivel cable gives you ample room to move between the vanity and powerpoint. I love that these straighteners beep once to let you know they're heating, then again to let you know they're ready. 

The ghd Original IV Styler scores just over 4 stars on ProductReview.com.au. Aussies like the floating plates and round barrel for quick 'ghd curls,' and the slight gap between plates prevents catching. Many reviewers say theirs have lasted more than 10 years despite the 2-year warranty. A few with thicker hair find the temperature a little too low, but the ghd Original IV Styler remains the best of the bunch when it comes to normal hair.

Choose this if...

You want a quality, easy-to-use hair straightener from a reputable brand.

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Best straightening brush -> Kmart Straightening Brush

Kmart Straightening Brush

Ever thought, 'there must be an easier way!' while straightening your hair? The Kmart Straightening Brush agrees. For just under $20, this straightening brush packs surprising value with one of the simplest straightening methods yet. This clever tool looks just like a hair brush with a swivel-style straightener cord, and scores nearly 5 stars on ProductReview.com.au. 

The Kmart Straightening Brush has an LED display and heats to 230 degrees celsius in 5 minutes. It works best on pre-brushed hair so you'll have something to keep you occupied while you wait. Those with longer or thicker hair like that it shaves minutes off their routines. Most Aussies say this straightening brush won't give you a super-flat result like traditional straighteners. But at this price, it's a great value hair tool to save you time. 

Choose this if...

You just want the easiest way to straighten your hair.

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Best for thick hair -> Cloud Nine Wide Iron

Cloud Nine Wide Iron

If your hair's thick, the Cloud Nine Wide Iron may be a quicker way to curl and straighten. While most hair straighteners have long, thin 25 - 30mm plates, these 40mm plates are designed specifically for long, thick hair, or hair with a tight natural curl. Thicker plates like these cover more hair in fewer sweeps so you can create diverse looks at cooler temperatures. We also like how seriously Cloud Nine take their quality, with RFID chips to prevent counterfeiting. 

The Cloud Nine Wide Iron has an LED panel indicator to give you more control over temperature. This lets you customize your styling with higher heat for sleeker locks, or lower heat for gentle waves. Aussies score this straightener nearly 5 stars on ProductReview.com.au. They like that it comes with a heat guard, and say it's best for 'long, thick, curly frizzy hair'. They also say it's quick to heat and cool. The only downside is that at around $340, it's not in everyone's price range.

Choose this if...

You need wide plates and temperature control for thick, or curly hair.

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Best for curling -> MUK Style Stick

MUK Style Stick

While curling irons used to be the go-to, seasoned pros look to straighteners like the MUK Style Stick for loose, bouncy curls. Curling can be harsh on hair, and sustained high heat creates frizz. But the MUK Style Stick counteracts these problems with its tourmaline plates. Tourmaline offers better heat protection than ceramic alone, and helps reduce static with negative ions. It's also rounded which helps prevent harsh lines in curls.

The MUK Style Stick focuses on infusing gentle heat with infrared lights inside the plates. It has heat settings between 90 and 230°C. Because curling temperature depends on your hair's texture, this straightener is ideal for a range of hair types. It's designed to heat up quickly, too. Aussies score the MUK straightener around 4.5 stars on ProductReview.com.au, which might have something to do with its excellent 2-year new-for-old replacement warranty.

Choose this if...

You want a versatile yet gentle straightener that curls as well as it smooths.

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Best for budget -> Remington Smooth Finish Ceramic

Remington Smooth Finish Ceramic

While most major straighteners retail at around $150 - $200, the Remington Smooth Finish Ceramic straightener packs great value at around RRP $30. It's a simple, no-fuss straightener with an on / off button and a temperature dial between 150 and 230°C for ample heat range no matter your hair type. 

The Remington Smooth Finish Ceramic has floating ceramic plates and heats in 15 seconds, scoring just over 4 stars on ProductReview.com.au. Aussies are big fans of this low-budget straightener. They say it straightens a lot of hair in only one stroke, and works well for curling too. While it may not outlast its 2-year warranty, we reckon it's a great entry-level straightener for everyday styling.

Choose this if...

You want a wallet-friendly hair straightener that doesn't feel cheap.

Best for frizzy hair -> GlamPalm Hair Straightener Mid

GlamPalm Hair Straightener Mid

Dry-haired folks are easily frustrated when it comes to hair straighteners, but this GlamPalm Mid straightener stays on top of frizz with even heat transfer, one-pass straightening and 'Healing Stone Technology' (nope, we've got no idea what that means either). The GlamPalm straightener is designed to be kinder to your hair, using thermal sensors and a micro-computer to prevent static, frizz, and heat damage. It has 11 heat settings too, so everyone can find their own 'just right'. 

The GlamPalm Mid straightener's plates are slightly wider at 32mm. While not as thick as the Cloud Nine's 40mm plates, we rate this in-between size because fewer strokes stop hair drying out as quickly. This straightener scores just over 4 stars on ProductReview.com.au. Many also like the heat proof bag that comes with this straightener. Aussies reckon the GlamPalm heats quickly, and makes their hair feel healthy and 'silky soft.'

Choose this if...

You want a straightener that protects and prevents frizz.

Best cordless -> Dyson Corrale

Dyson Corrale

The Dyson Corrale brings hair straighteners into the 21st century with its cordless design and clever flexing copper plates (more on that below) for luscious, low-effort locks. Most straighteners have 2-3 metre cords to give you space between powerpoint and mirror, but Dyson's design means you can straighten off-leash, wherever you are. It even has a flight-ready feature to disconnect the battery, as well as universal voltage for global charging. 

What's really impressive about the Dyson Corrale is its flexing copper alloy plates, machined to a hair's width to gently shape each strand. These plates 'grip' without pulling so you can gather larger sections with ease. This straightener also has an integrated sensor system to ensure steady temperature. It takes 70 minutes to recharge, with 30 minutes of styling time on a full charge. And if you do forget to charge it, you can still use this straightener plugged in on hybrid charge mode.

Aussies score the Dyson Corrale 4 stars from limited reviews on ProductReview.com.au, and reviewers are generally stoked with their Dyson straighteners. This straightener comes in 2 colours (black nickel and fuschia or purple and black) with a 2-year parts and labour warranty. At just under $700, the only thing left to be desired is the price.

Choose this if...

You want a cordless straightener that doesn't disappoint on performance.

Important features to consider

Hair straighteners in our guide range between $19 and $699. There's a lot of variation in what makes a good hair straightener, so here are a few things worth thinking about.

Temperature range

You may wonder why hair straighteners offer such wide temperature ranges when they're all designed to do the same job. It turns out that different hair types require different kinds of heat. If your hair is thin or damaged, you'll need less heat, ideally between 150-180°C. 'Normal' hair can also be straightened on a lower heat to prevent damage, but 150-190°C is the sweet spot. 

Generally speaking, coarse or thick hair needs slightly higher heat, so you'll need to set your straightener between 160-200°C. To pinpoint the right temperature for your hair, think about the kind of style you're going for. Softer styles require gentler heat, whereas super-straight styles and more 'set' curls require higher heat. It's a good idea to talk to your hairdresser for the best guidance on using your straightener.

Plate material

The most common material for hair straightener plates is ceramic. Ceramic holds and distributes heat evenly, and is nice and smooth for tug-free straightening. Some plates are also made with tourmaline, which is a semi-precious stone that converts moisture in air into negative ions. This science calms your hair down, as negative ions cut the static that causes unruly hair. 

You may also see 'infrared plates' on hair straighteners. Infrared plates heat hair from the inside-out for gentler heat. These kinds of plates are sometimes controlled by microcomputers that consistently measure hair temperature to prevent burning.

Plate size

The most common plate size is around 1 inch, or 25mm. This size is ideal for normal to thin hair, especially if you prefer to straighten using smaller sections. Standard plates are also the perfect size for curling. 

If your hair is thicker or damaged, wider plates cover more ground faster so your hair is less exposed to high heat. Wide plated-straighteners like the Cloud Nine have plates around 40mm, and GlamPalm's 32mm 'mid' plate offers a sweet spot for frizzy or damaged hair.

Ease of use

A large part of what makes an easy-to-use hair straightener boils down to buttons. Some, like the ghd, only have an on / off button, with one preset temperature for 'normal' hair. Most straighteners now offer a few heat settings, and some even have LCD screens to display the current temperature. You may also see temperature dials like on models like the Remington, or LED light-up options like the Cloud Nine.

Cost

When it comes to hair straighteners, you can spend anywhere from $19 to over $1,000 (18K gold straighteners, anyone?). Realistically speaking, the most affordable hair straighteners are between $19 and $99, with mid-range straighteners coming in at $100 - $250. Higher-end hair straighteners cost upwards of $250.

What you get if you spend more

Accessories

Mid-range and higher-end hair straighteners often have a few extras thrown in to sweeten the deal. The most common we saw were heat mats that double as carry cases, hair brushes, and extra sectioning clips. 

High-tech plates

Many of the higher-end hair straighteners we found have 'infrared plates,' which offer gentler heat. Some straighteners continuously measure the temperature of your hair to prevent burning. The Dyson Corrale even has flexing copper alloy plates, machined to hair's width to shape, gather and straighten hair with ease. Technology like this helps to reduce the number of passes you need for a perfect result, so this can save your hair from heat damage in the long run.

Design

If you're someone who appreciates good design, you'll probably want to shell out for a higher-end hair straightener. More expensive straighteners tend to have clever design features like Cloud Nine's wider irons, or Dyson's cordless and hybrid charging options. Pricier straighteners also tend to come in varying limited editions and colours.

The real deal

Because hair straighteners can cost a few hundred dollars, there are more than a few fakes out there. Cloud Nine even include RFID chips in their straighteners so they can differentiate their own products from counterfeit ones. To avoid buying a fake, always be sure to buy from an authorised reseller, and exercise caution if the price seems too good to be true.

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