What's the Best Flat Iron or Straightener for Curly, Frizzy Hair?

I still have a memory seared into my brain from when my friend tried to straighten my curly hair. We were getting ready for a night out, and she offered to straighten my curls with a flat iron.

I thought it was all going well until I looked into the mirror 10 minutes before our Uber was slated to arrive. My hair looked like I’d been electrocuted!

Don’t make the same mistake I did … If you have frizz-prone hair, read on to learn what to look for in an effective straightener.

When it comes to straightening, you should always consider your hair type when picking out hot tools.

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Straightener plate materials

So, does it matter what material the straightener plates are made of? Yes, it can!

Ceramic plates are the most popular, as they're designed to glide smoothly over hair with even heating. No cold or hot spots! Ceramic straighteners are also great at locking in moisture, adding shine to the hair, and straightening hair without frizzy ends.

Titanium plates are smooth metal plates that transfer heat more quickly than ceramic plates do. However, titanium straighteners can be slightly more difficult to use, as their super efficiency may cause overheating and hair damage.

Tourmaline plates are found on the most expensive straighteners, as they're the most technically sophisticated. Tourmaline emits a huge number of negative ions, which help reduce frizz and leave your hair looking even smoother after straightening.

Which plate should I go for if I have curly, frizzy hair?

Tourmaline straighteners are particularly good for curly, frizzy hair, as they're highly effective even at a lower temperature.

We also recommend ceramic plates, as they don't dehydrate your hair as much during straightening.

Not only does this Silver Bullet Titanium 230 Supernova Rose Gold look cute enough to leave on your dresser. It also features a ceramic plate with a tourmaline surface, so you get the benefits of tourmaline without the steep price. With a clever touchscreen on/off feature and specialised Accelerator Microchip to give it incredible heat acceleration to your ideal temperature.

Wide plates or regular?

When shopping for a new flat iron, you may notice that many irons come with a wide-plate option at no extra cost. Wide plates are great for coarse, thick, or long hair, as they provide more grip and let you straighten more hair at one time. With wider plates, you can easily cut down the time it takes to straighten your hair (a lifesaver for gals with thick curly hair!).

One of our staff favourites for curly hair is the Hot Tools Gold Titanium Flat Iron, which combines 24-carat gold with titanium for smoother hair. Plus, the wide (25 mm) plates let you get the job done quicker. Highly versatile, this flat iron features rounded plates and edges— ideal for creating curls and waves in the hair.

Wondering how to perfectly straighten curly hair? Just divide hair into sections slightly narrower than the length of the plates. Gently press the plates together over each section. Repeat over the entire head. To stop curly hair from frizzing when straightened, finish the look with a hairspray that protects against humidity, such as ELEVEN Give Me Hold Flexible Hairspray.

If your hair is really curly (like Julia Garner curly), our tip is to invest in a higher quality flat iron, or one with tourmaline technology.

We totally get that you may be hesitant to spend the cash. But it’ll help you in the long run, as you’ll cause far less damage when using high heats on your hair.

If you’re looking for a hair straightener for thin frizzy hair, you want to choose one with adjustable temperatures. This way, you can change the heat as you straighten, depending on the texture and density of your hair.

The first of its kind, the Dyson Corrale is the only straightener with flexing plates. This unique design lets you style with fewer passes and lower heat. You can pick the right temperature from 3 heat settings—165°C, 185°C, and 210°C—to suit your hair type and texture. Super-handy for when you’re not near a power outlet, it can be used cord-free for up to 30 minutes and comes with its own charging dock. The flexing tool works to straighten curly frizzy hair fast, as the flexing plates move to contact more hairs in each section.

Dying to know how to straighten frizzy hair fast? The Silver Bullet Hybrid Ceramic & Ionic Straightening Brush is an electric hairstyling brush with ceramic plates and an ionic generator to reduce frizz and static. The best hair straightening brush for curly hair, this tool has heated bristles that are adjustable from 160°C to 210°C, styling hair to a smooth yet voluminous finish. This hot brush is perfect for styling thin hair or when you need to touch up or fix curly hair after straightening.

Let's talk heat!

If you have frizz-prone hair, you’ll want to use the lowest straightening temperature possible, as heat damage can cause frizz. However, the curlier your hair, the more heat you need to actually straighten your strands. So, if you have curly, frizzy hair, you may feel like you're in a bit of a catch-22!

The best thing to do is to use products to help straighten curly hair AND protect your hair from heat prior to straightening. Heat protectors are sorta like sunscreen for your hair. They can reduce the impact of high heat and the damage it can cause, like breakage, split ends, and the very thing we’re trying to stop: frizz!

This leave-in heat protection spray helps smooth, detangle, and prepare locks for heated styling. Just spray evo icon welder heat protection mist on dry sections of hair and brush or comb through to add softness and shine.

We also recommend O&M Frizzy Logic Shine Serum, which works with hot tools to straighten hair without it getting frizzy or damaged. Designed to add super lustre to any hair, the serum uses a lightweight blend of silicones to control those pesky flyaways. Squeeze a few drops into your palm and finger-comb through the hair. This serum can be applied to damp hair before blow-drying and straightening, or to dry hair to finish a look. O&M is 100% animal cruelty-free and has never tested on animals.

The final thing to remember

If you do suffer from frizz, your hair is probably dehydrated and could be damaged. It’s probably best to put the straightener down and opt for a bit of loving self-care for your strands. Focus on rehydrating your hair before turning to a flat iron. Browse our products for dry and damaged hair to get your mane back into shape.

Brand and product inclusions are at the sole discretion of Adore Beauty. We do not seek or accept payment from brands or individuals listed in our guides.

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