If you've got frizzy or wavy hair, chances are you've tried to straighten it with a flat iron. But have you tried a straightening brush? These hot tools aren't as ubiquitous as flat irons, but they can effectively smooth and defrizz unruly hair. They have bristles like regular hair brushes but also contain plates that heat up. All you have to do is run the brush through your hair like a normal hairbrush and watch frizz vanish.
To learn more about these styling tools, read our shopping guide. We've also included our top recommendations at the end of this article, including our top choice, MiroPure Enhanced Hair Straightener Brush, which uses ionic technology for silky styling.
Considerations when using straightening brushes
Straightening brushes typically feature one of three plate materials: metal, ceramic, or tourmaline. Here's how they differ:
Metal plates are inexpensive but heat up unevenly and can burn your hair.
Ceramic plates are popular because they are inexpensive and distribute heat evenly. Some metal plates are coated with ceramic, but we'd opt for 100% ceramic ones.
Tourmaline is a high quality, semiprecious stone material that conducts heat the best of all plate materials, which means it cuts down on styling time and potential damage to your hair.
There are two styles of bristles available; each works differently depending on your hair type:
Ball-tipped bristles are great if you have thick or curly hair. This bristle type gently helps detangle hair.
Straight-tipped bristles, on the other hand, are better for fine hair because they tug less.
Select a straightening brush with a handle that's comfortable and lightweight to hold and long enough to keep your fingers a safe distance from the hot plates. Cushioned handles are a nice feature offered on some straightening brushes.
Straightening brushes with a flat head (which can be oval or rectangular in shape) allow the bristles to get close to the scalp. A smaller paddle head is better for shorter hair, where a larger paddle is better for styling longer hair.
Round brushes combine a curling iron for adding wave or bend to your style.
Double-clamp brushes have double-sided brushes in a flat-iron arrangement. These work well on fine hair.
Straightening brushes come with temperature settings ranging from 330ºF to 450ºF. Choose a lower temperature if you have fine hair and a higher temperature if you have curly hair.
Ions: A brush that offers ions -- negatively charged particles -- adds shine to your hair and helps reduce frizz.
Quick heat: If you tend to be in a hurry in the morning, select a brush that heats up in mere seconds.
Anti-scald bristles: To prevent hair from getting scorched, some bristles come with protective guards.
Swivel cord: All straightening brushes have a power cord which can get caught in your way when you style. This feature allows the cord to swivel 360° and stay out of your way.
Auto-shutoff: This safety features shuts your brush off automatically when you leave it on too long (or forget to turn it off). It usually shuts the brush off after an hour.
Temperature lock: This feature keeps your temperature setting from accidentally changing while you're using the brush.
Ready indicator: An indicator light is a helpful feature that turns on to let you know the brush is heated up and ready for use.
Straightening brush prices
Depending on its features, a straightening brush typically costs between $20 and $100. Some brushes may cost less or more than that, but you can find a brush that gets the job done well between $30 and $40.
Q. What are the differences between a flat iron and a straightening brush?
A. A flat iron uses higher heat and works better to straighten coarse or super curly hair. However, its high heat can damage your hair. A straightening brush is much safer for your hair but not as effective on curly or thick hair.
Q. Can I use a straightening brush on wet or damp hair?
A. Never use a hot straightening brush on very wet hair. Read the manufacturer's instructions to see if you can use it on damp hair, which some models allow.
Straightening brushes we recommend
Best of the best: MiroPure 2-in-1 Ionic Hair Straightening Brush
Our take: A popular straightening brush that comes with safety and bonus features.
What we like: Anti-scald features and auto shut-off. Nano comb feature massages scalp. Ion generator to defrizz and add shine. Offers a whopping 16 heat settings.
What we dislike: Takes a full minute to heat up.
Best bang for your buck: GLAMFIELDS Ionic Hair Straightening Brush
Our take: An affordable straightening brush loaded with great features for quick styling.
What we like: Ionic technology for ultimate smoothing and shine. Heats up in under a minute. 12 heat settings. Ceramic plates. Universal voltage for traveling.
What we dislike: May not completely straighten extra curly hair.
Our take: A time-saving straightening brush for all hair types.
What we like: Flexible round-tipped bristles detangle. Heats up rapidly in under 30 seconds. Can be used to both smooth and volumize hair.
What we dislike: Handle is bulky and can be awkward.
Ana Sanchez is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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