Best Cheap Hair Straighteners
The article below aims to give lots of advice of what to look for when buying the best cheap hair straighteners so they don't pull or tug at your hair, will get hot quickly and make your hair look as good as the top hair straighteners on the market.
*Please note as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. This means we may get a small commission for purchases made through amazon links in this article.*
What to look for when buying hair straighteners
Ceramic is a heat-resistant material that is used as a coating to allow for safe handling. Straighteners which have ceramic plates help stop static and leave smooth shiny hair. Almost all flat irons regardless of the price are made of metal such as alumunium and then coated in ceramic. The difference between the more expensive and cheaper ones is there are normally more layers of ceramic on the expensive ones so they are less likely to chip and expose the metal beneath.
When buying cheap hair straighteners check that the plates are not likely to chip and have several layers of ceramic as this will effect the performance of the straightener. It may not always state the ceramic content in the desciption for the flat iron but you can read reviews to get a good idea if the coating will chip. There are some flat irons that are made out of 100% ceramic but they are very expensive (over $200).
Porcelain plates are a type of ceramic plates. According to manufacturers porcelain will help create a shiny smooth finish by allowing the hair to glide through the irons easily and by emitting negaitve ions. Read more about porcelain vs ceramic hair straighteners.
Some ceramic plates are infused with tourmaline crystals. The advantage of tourmaline is that it increases negative ions. All ceramic plates produce negative ions but tourmaline is known to boost the negative ions from the ceramic plates.Damaged hair is positively charged from static electricity, chemicals in hair products and heated appliances. The positive charge keeps hair follicles open, dry & weak. Negative ions neutralize the charge, closing hair follicles and smoothing the hair shaft. So tourmaline will help your hair be smoother, sleeker and last longer. Read more about titanium vs ceramic flat irons.
An alternative to ceramic plates are titanium plates. These tend to be more expensive but like ceramic plates produce great results. There is a debate as to which are best ceramic or titanium - there is no clear winner. Perhaps the advantage of titanium plates is that they are durable, lightweight and scratch resistant. They tend to heat up faster and transfer heat better but some hairdressers would recommend ceramic plates on a daily basis as they are less damaging for daily use. Is the heat instant or do you have to wait a long time for the hair straighteners to get hot?
Does the hair straightener have multiple temperature settings? This is useful to accommodate different hair types. Typically thinner hair doesn't need hair straighteners to get as hot as thicker hair. Also a lower temperature may be beneficial to weaker or damaged hair.
If you have thick hair, will the hair straightener heat up enough to straighten your hair? Thick hair will need a higher temperature.
Look at reviews and what they say about the hair straightener. Do they have reports of pulling/tugging on the hair? Do they get too hot? Do they get hot enough? Sometimes cheaper hair straighteners can get too hot to hold which is obviously not good - so check reviews for evidence of this.
What Temperature Should My Flat Irons Be?
If possible try not to exceed 300 degrees but thicker hair may need a higher temperature than this (about 380 degrees to 400 degrees). You can look for hair straighteners that have digital temperature selection so you can choose the exact right temperature for your hair.
For damaged hair use the lowest temperature that you possibly can.
What Size Plates?
If you have short hair, 1 inch plates should be perfect. Many people will be fine with 1 inch plates but if you have thick, coarse or curly hair, you may find choosing some wider plates (1 1/2 inches and up) will give quicker and better results.
I have had wide plates in the past when I had long hair. My hair is quite thick as well. The advantage with wide plates is that it's a lot quicker to straighten especially if there's a lot of it to do. I have shorter hair now (about chin length) and I find the 1 inch plates are the right size to do my hair in its current style.
If you want to curl your hair with your straightners and do more versatile styles go for 1 inch plates as these are easier to style with.
Other Considerations When Buying a Hair Straightener
Auto shut off - Obviously you need to be very careful not to leave your straighteners on after you've finished using them. However, for peace of mind an auto shut off which will turn your irons off if they've not been used for a certain amount of time which is an excellent safety feature.
Cord length - If you plug socket is far away from your mirror you may appreciate a longer cord length.
Swivel Cord - A swivel cord will allow you to do things like curl your hair with your straightener but it will be more difficult to tangle up the cord.
Heat up time - Some irons heat up in as little as 15 seconds. This may be important to you if you are always in a rush to get your hair done before work etc.
Don't forget to protect your hair when you straighten it.
It will help prevent your hair from drying out and it will look better and smoother when straightened to.