What’s the Best Flat Iron for Curling Hair?

There is nothing better than a 2-in-1, which is why investing in a good flat iron to give you straight and sleek hair one day and curly and flowy the next will save you on any kind of hair day!

Flat irons aren’t just for straightening your hair! You can also curl your hair with them! Using the right size and type of flat iron makes curling hair easy.

Here are 15 of the best flat irons in several categories for all hair types and needs, but especially for curling!

best flat irons for curling hair

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Why Use a Flat Iron vs. a Curling Iron

Deciding whether you want to use a flat iron or a curling iron to curl your hair will depend on the type of curls you’re trying to achieve. If you want small tight curls, a curling iron is best.

You can wrap your hair more tightly around a curling iron, and you do have a few different sizes of barrel (or sometimes interchangeable barrels) to choose from. 

Curling irons are also great for beginners, since they’re made for curling hair, have a clamp to hold hair in place, and shouldn’t cause creases like a flat iron might. You might also prefer a curling iron if you have fine hair and want to avoid heat damage.

Curling irons only heat hair from one side (compared to flat irons, which heat from both sides since they clamp down on your hair) and may have more temperature options.

Flat irons may be best if you want larger curls or beachy waves. If you don’t want to invest in a bunch of different hair tools, you can choose a flat iron that can curl hair, and then you have one tool in the place of two.

Flat irons can heat hair from both sides, which can help curls last longer, too, so if you have hair that won’t hold curl, you may want to try a hair straightener!

long boho dress

How to Choose the Best Flat Iron

If you’re planning to buy a flat iron that will be good for straightening and curling hair, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind.

Size of Plates

While a wide flat iron is great for straightening your hair quickly, it’s not ideal for for curled hairstyles. If you buy a straightening iron with large plates to wrap your hair around, you’ll end up with curls so large, you won’t really be able to see them.

So go for flat iron plates that are 1 inch to 1.25 inches. A smaller styling iron is best for shorter hair for the most impact, but even if you have long hair, you’ll get better curls with a small flat iron.

Curved Plates

The shape of the plate on your flat iron is also important for the best curls. An iron with very sharp square edges can create dents or flat areas in your waves.

A rounded plate will give you the best gentle curls.

Heat Protection

You don’t want to add frizz or damage to your curls, so the best hair straighteners will be made of a material that protects your hair from heat and prevents frizz.

A ceramic flat iron works well to style with minimal damage to hair. A titanium flat iron can smooth coarse hair but is more damaging than ceramic. Tourmaline is supposed to smooth your hair and make it shiny.

Automatic Shutoff

As with any hair tool that uses heat — straightening iron, curling iron, crimper, waver — you want to make sure you’re getting one that is safe, especially because it uses high temperatures. One key feature for the best flat irons is an auto shutoff to keep the fire risk low.

Do You Need Gloves?

It definitely takes some practice to get the hang of curling your hair with a hair straightener. You’ll want to read or watch several tutorials and protect your hands while you learn.

It might be a good idea to buy a flat iron that comes with accessories to protect your hands from heat and burns. Or if you choose one without gloves or other hand protectors, it’s a good idea to purchase gloves separately, especially if you’re a beginner.

Regular gloves won’t protect your hands and could potentially melt onto your flat iron. You definitely won’t get your best hair with a gunky iron or a burnt hand!

Best Flat Irons for Curling Hair

Paisley + Sparrow is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This post may include affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you shop using the links below at no additional cost to you. 

15 Best Flat Irons for Curling Hair

If you’ve decided that a flat iron will be best for curling your hair, I’ve rounded up my top picks for a hair straightener to add to your beauty arsenal.

Best Ceramic Flat Iron

1. GHD Platinum + Flat Iron

ghd Platinum+ Styler - 1" Flat Iron
$279.00

ghd Platinum+ is the world's first SMART HAIR STRAIGHTENER that predicts your hair needs. The HAIR STYLER heat is monitored 250 times per second through its predictive technology for ultimate results and stronger, healthier hair.

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10/04/2022 01:01 am GMT

British-owned, this GHD (stands for “good hair day”) flat iron, comes in a chic black or white color. It is designed with a wishbone hinge, and the reason this is cool is because it creates alignment between the plates so there is more control and evenness while styling.

It presets safely to 365 degrees, and the ultra-zone technology does the coolest thing while you style. The predictive technology maintains a steady heat, so the plates do not overheat while using. This is a safer temperature for all hair types and won’t leave hair too damaged or dry.

Pros:

  • Color protection
  • Universal voltage
  • Maintains even heat temp with predictive technology
  • Automatic shut-off

Cons:

  • Makes funny sounds according to reviews

2. CHI Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron 1”

CHI Tourmaline Ceramic Hair Straightening Flat Iron | 1" Plates
$71.27

-Classic Tourmaline Ceramic Iron

-Even Heat Distribution

-High Amount of Negative Ions

-Reduces Static Electricity

-Use to Straighten, Smooth, Curl, Wave, Spiral or Flip

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10/04/2022 03:35 am GMT

Ceramic flat irons are usually the most affordable irons on the market, and they are also more gentle on the hair, and especially good for thin and fine hair. The ceramic plates heat up more evenly, and this one also comes with rotating plates, which makes curling hair effortless.

Pros:

  • Rotating plates
  • 1 hour automatic shut off
  • Adjustable heat settings
  • Dual voltage

Cons:

  • Slightly overpriced

Best Anti-Static Flat Iron

3. CHI Onyx Euro Shine Styler

CHI Onyx Euroshine 1" Straightening Hairstyling Iron With 4" Extended Plates, Black
$119.99
  • Onyx Ceramic Plates
  • Round extended 4″ inch plate length
  • Immense shine creation with every pass


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10/04/2022 12:58 am GMT

An ionic straightener like this one helps to create shine and smoothness, which is especially helpful for frizzy or staticky hair. The particles from the ionic technology create a balance between the heat and your hair so it will look healthier and smoother. This CHI straightener is one of the most popular and highly rated irons of the CHI brand and is worth the price tag according to most users.

Pros:

  • Perfect for frizzy hair
  • Effective in heat and humidity

Cons:

  • No automatic shut off

4. Remington 1 ¾ Flat Iron with Anti-Static Technology

Remington 1" Flat Iron With Anti-static Technology - Gray - S5500ta : Target

-1" Ceramic, Floating Plates for Smooth Glide

-Anti-Static Technology for 50% Less Static** & Flyaways

-Titanium Protection Coating for Fast Heat Up & Styling

-30% Longer1 Floating Ceramic Plates for Quicker Styling

-450°F High Heat for Fast Styling

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This more affordable flat iron is made with ceramic plates, and as mentioned before, ceramic plates heat up evenly, and this helps manage smoothness when styling hair. The floating plates help with style control while curling or straightening.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Floating plates

Cons:

  • Some reviews have reported iron not heating up properly

Best Professional Flat Iron

5. Dyson Corrale Hair Straightener

Dyson Corrale Hair Straightener Fuchsia, Pink
$464.00

Engineered to create a range of styles.

Automatically regulates temperature 100 times per second.

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10/04/2022 02:40 am GMT

I could not make a blog about flat irons without mentioning the Dyson! It comes with quite the price tag, however, there is a reason no one can stop raving about it.

It regulates heat 100 times per second, so you can be assured your curls will have even heat distribution, which creates more natural looking and long-lasting curls. I

t’s cordless which makes it even easier to use and is perfect to take while on-the-go or traveling. It’s designed for all hair types! These features make it an extremely easy and effective hot tool.

Pros:

  • Cord free
  • Automatic temperature regulation
  • Automatic shut off
  • Perfect for travel

Cons:

  • Very expensive

6. Harry Josh Pro Tools Ceramic Flat Styling Iron 1.25 Inch

Harry Josh Pro Tools - Ion Hair Dryer | Dermstore
  • A professional line of hair styling tools by celebrity hairstylist Harry Josh
  • Adjustable temperature control with settings from 235 – 425 degrees F to accommodate every hair type and condition
  • Extra-large ceramic heaters in each plate ensure even heat distribution across the plates, while producing far infrared heat to add shine while sealing the cuticle
  • Nano-ceramic/tourmaline 1.25" plates emit negative ions to smooth and hydrate the hair
  • Universal voltage (100-240V), perfect for worldwide travel


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This flat iron is a more affordable professional option compared to the Dyson. It has great features, like floating ceramic plates that are extra wide to provide more control and betters curls, and it heats up quickly and shuts off automatically after an hour.

Pros:

  • Extra wide plates
  • Auto shut off
  • Heats up quickly to perfect temperature
  • Universal voltage

Cons:

  • Not the best for thick hair

Best Titanium Flat Iron

7. BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Prima 3000 Styling Iron

BabylissPRO Nano Titanium Prima 3000 Flat Iron Size 1.25"
$189.99


Curl & straighten hair with the dual use BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Prima 3000 featuring IonMultiplier Technology & titanium plates for efficient heat transfer that instantly smoothes, conditions & shines.

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10/04/2022 03:45 am GMT

The titanium plates of this hot iron hold an even distribution of heat to help you create the perfect waves or curls. It works best for thicker hair types.

Pros:

  • Great for thick hair
  • 4-year warranty

Cons:

  • Some reviews report hair getting dried out from use
  • Could damage extra fine hair

8. Kristin Ess 3-In-One Titanium Flat Iron Hair Straightener

Kristin Ess Hair 3-In-One Titanium Flat Iron Hair
$87.69 ($87.69 / Count)

Titanium plates delivers heat faster. Digital display + 4 temperature pre-sets allow you to customize the temperature to your hair type and texture.


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10/03/2022 05:05 pm GMT

This is a solid titanium iron, that comes with all the great features you need to create straight, wavy, or curly styles. It also uses ionic technology which I explain more at the end as to why ionic irons are good for your hair!

Pros:

  • Great for thick hair
  • Mid-price point
  • Auto shut off after 30 minutes or after no use

Cons:

  • Some reviewers have said the iron shuts off sooner than 30 minutes

Best Budget

9. L’ange Le Ceramique 1-Pass Flat Iron

L'ANGE HAIR Le Ceramique Flat Iron | Proprietary Ceramic Coating | Locks in Moisture and Shine | Versatile, Long-Lasting Styles(Blush)

Le Ceramique’s ultra smooth plates with proprietary ceramic coating are designed for 1-pass styling, preserving moisture levels, boosting shine and eliminating frizz. Rounded edges enable you to wear hair smooth and straight one day or perfectly curled the next.

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I’ve chosen a couple different irons for budget-friendly picks. The first one is on the higher end of a budget-friendly flat iron, and it’s this ceramic iron from L’ange. Another fantastic ceramic pick with all the features that come with ceramic plates, as well as rounded edges for smooth curling.

Pros:

  • Ideal for fine hair
  • Heats up quickly to desired temperature
  • Auto shut off after 60 minutes
  • Dual voltage

Cons:

  • Wand is thicker in size so not best for small hands

10. Remington 1” Shine Therapy Hair Straightener

REMINGTON Shine Therapy Argan Oil & Keratin Infused 1 Inch Hair Straightener / Flat Iron
$29.97

Advanced Ceramic Plates: 9X more ceramic** for even, consistent heat and infused with antioxidant- rich Argan oil, protein-rich Keratin, and a micro-conditioner for shine.

1” Slim Straightener: Create a variety of styles from straight to curly so you can achieve your favorite look.

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10/03/2022 02:55 pm GMT

For the second option with budget in mind, this flat iron is $30 with fantastic 5-star reviews. The ceramic plates are infused with antioxidants to support natural shine and smoothness. And the slim wand size allows for versatility so it can be used as a straightener or a curler.

Pros:

  • Antioxidant-infused plates
  • Protects against heat damage

Cons:

  • May give off a chemical smell for the first few uses

Best Cordless/Travel

11. Lunata Cordless Styler Pro

Professional Cordless Flat Iron | The Lunata Styler PRO | Cordless Hair Tools – Lunata Beauty

Meet The Lunata™ Cordless Styler PRO - our most powerful styler yet. Designed with professional stylists in mind, our Cordless Styler PRO offers the longest battery life of 60 minutes on a single charge.  Works While Charging technology allows continued use while plugged if you're a professional working in the salon all day or if you simply forget to charge it.

The 1" titanium plates are longer than our Styler Plus+ flat iron, offering more versatility. With a maximum temperature of 450°F and 25 heat settings between 200°F and 450°F you can set the perfect temperature for your (or your client's) hair type.  

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This is an amazing cordless flat iron that offers up to 60 minutes of battery power in one charge. Made with titanium plates, this iron will give you versatility to create any style. A must-have for travel.

Pros:

  • 60 minutes of power
  • Great for long hair

Cons:

  • It’s heavy

Best for Thin Hair

12. Remington PROLUXE HydraCare 1” Flat Iron

Remington PROLUXE HydraCare 1” Flat Iron
$99.99
  • HydraCare Cool Mist - 4x more hydrating than hot steam^! Cool mist is applied to hair as you straighten and style, protecting hair from heat damage* with one pass results**.
  • Moisture Lock Ceramic Coating - The ceramic coating transfers micro-conditioners onto hair to help preserve moisture balance.
  • 1” Floating Plates - The long, thin plates supply even pressure when styling.
  • 450°F High Heat - High heat works quickly to straighten and style hair.
  • Ultra Fast Heat Up - Ready to use in 15 seconds.


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10/04/2022 01:20 am GMT

This flat iron emits a cool mist as you style, which helps to prevent heat damage and frizz. When you have thin hair, heat damage from hot styling tools is always a concern. This built-in cooling mist technology conditions hair as you style.

Pros:

  • Floating plates
  • Heats up in 15 seconds
  • Cooling mist

Cons:

  • Isn’t as effective on thick hair

Best for Frizz

13. L’Oreal Professional Steampod Flat Iron & Styler

L’Oreal Professionnel Steampod | Steam Powered Flat Iron, Hair Straightener & Professional Styler
$250.00

A professional straightening and curling iron that uses exclusive steam technology and an integrated comb to transform and style all hair types to perfectly straight or natural waves.

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10/04/2022 12:25 am GMT

This iron comes with a steam feature and water tank. This smooths out frizzy and coarse hair, and the built-in comb on one side of the plates offers even more sleekness as you style.

Pros:

  • Steam feature
  • Built in comb
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • No automatic shut off
  • Requires an extra step to fill tank with water

14. ELLE Premiere Twisted 2-in-1 Curling/Flat Iron

Elle Premiere Twisted 2-in-1 Curling/flat Iron : Target

-Double ceramic plates help eliminate frizz

-Fast heat-up with a max temperature of 450 degrees Fahrenheit

-LCD display

-Easy twist base for temperature adjustments

-360 degree swivel cord for ease of use

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The ingenious curved ceramic plates curl and smooth as you style. This iron also has very fine combs on the sides of the plates to help detangle as you curl and prevent frizz.

Pros:

  • Great for thick and thin hair types
  • High quality
  • Swivel cord for easy styling

Cons:

  • Combs can tug on hair too much if you’re not careful
  • Curved plates may take some getting used to

Best Overall

15. T3 Lucea 1-inch Styling Iron

T3 Lucea 1” Professional Straightening & Styling Flat Iron Digital Ceramic Flat Iron with 9 Adjustable Heat Settings for Straight Smooth Hair Waves and Curls
$144.49

A graphite-colored styling iron powered by Rapid HeatIQ Technology to ensure heat precision for frizz-free, one-pass results.

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10/03/2022 03:50 pm GMT

For a flat iron that has it all in almost all categories, this is a top pick with amazing reviews. It’s a mid-price point, with ceramic plates, automatic shut off, dual voltage for travel, and best of all, it works for all hair types and hair styles. This is a solid flat iron that checks off most boxes.

This is the flat iron I own and I love it! It works amazing, heats up quick and keeps my hair healthy and beautiful.

Pros:

  • Perfect size and easy to hold
  • Longer plates for better styling
  • Auto shut off
  • Controlled heat settings

Cons:

  • The customizable buttons may be a learning curve

How to use a flat iron to curl hair

  1. Wash and condition your hair. That way you can start with a clean slate for your curls.
  2. Use a styling product or heat protectant spray for added texture and shine. This is especially helpful if you have fine or thin hair. It will help prevent damage from the high temperature and give you some texture to help hold the curls.
  3. Make sure your hair is completely dry. It’s not recommended to use a hair straightener on wet hair; it will cause more damage and breakage of your hair.
  4. Part hair as desired.
  5. Section back parts of hair.
  6. Take each section at a time and begin curling with your flat iron.
  7. To curl, take part of the sectioned hair and begin nearest to your head. Clamp the flat iron on the hair and turn it back toward you.
  8. Don’t start at your scalp – 2-4 inches below your scalp is a good place to begin curling. You don’t want to burn your scalp.
  9. Twist your flat iron as you bring it down your hair
  10. You can bring it down to the very tips, or stop before you get to the end for a more wavy look
  11. Do this with each section of hair until you’ve done your whole head
  12. Spritz some hairspray or finishing mist on styled hair for extra hold

FAQ

Do you need a special flat iron to curl your hair?

Most flat irons make curling easy, but the one thing you want to avoid in flat irons for curling are wide plates. You want to opt for a wand that is 1”-1.25” for effortless curling.

If the wand and plates are too wide, it makes twisting and curving much harder and won’t give your strands an even curl.

What is the difference between titanium and ceramic flat irons?

The difference between titanium and ceramic is mostly in how they heat up. Titanium heats up within seconds and can get very hot. This is why titanium is most suitable for thick and coarse hair. Titanium will also curl your hair faster.

Ceramic plates are more gentle and have better heat distribution. If you have fine or thin hair, ceramic plates are your safest option for the health of your hair. Ceramic irons also take a bit more time to heat up and may take a little bit longer to style with. However, they are not as damaging to the hair as titanium could be.

Which is better – ceramic, tourmaline, titanium, or ionic?

The kind of metal or stone plates you choose in a flat iron depends mostly on your needs and hair type.

  • Ceramic is best for fine hair types and for hair that could be prone to damage and dryness. Ceramic is a man-made stone material.
  • Tourmaline is a natural stone and is a great everyday pick for normal to coarse hair.
  • Titanium comes from strong and shiny metal. It is most suitable for coarse, thick, hard to manage hair. It makes even the frizziest hair smooth and shiny.

Ionic flat irons are made with negatively charged ions. Our hair is usually consisting of positively charged particles, so when a hot ionic flat iron with negatively charged particles makes contact with your hair, the positive and negative neutralize each other. The theory is that this restores electron balance and promotes hair health. Who knew styling one’s hair could also be a science lesson?

Looking for more tips on hair tools? Check out the best hair crimpers, best hot rollers, and best flat irons for fine hair.

About Jen

Jen is a mom of 3 who loves frozen cookie dough, plants and a generous pour of creamer in her coffee. Her biggest joy is helping others find joy in their life, style and home through tips, tutorials and encouragement. She also runs 2 additional blogs. Feel free to send Jen a message or join the fun on Instagram!

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