Best Hair Straighteners 2020: Smart Straighteners and GHDs Tested


Hair straighteners have moved on beyond the traditional two plates that you clamp to your hair and hope to straighten more than you mangle. Dyson is the latest company to enter the market, with the launch of the Corrale.

Dyson’s contribution is flexible plates that mould to fit the lock of hair being straightened. The claim is that this will reduce damage by half as the straightener works more efficiently, meaning that fewer passes over the hair are needed to achieve the same effect.

But you don’t need to spend £400 / $500 to get a product that’ll take care of your hair. In fact, you’ll probably find the best straightener for your hair by considering other factors. Here are some features you should look out for when buying.

Ceramic plates are the most widely available and are a good fit for most hair types. People with fine hair should ensure they stay away from titanium plates, which can damage hair of this kind. If your hair is very damaged, tourmaline or ionic plates may help to seal the hair and prevent frizz.

For more control and protection of your hair, look for straighteners that have variable heat settings. Wide plates are also an advantage for all hair types, although if you’re used to narrower plates, they may take you a bit of time to get used to. They’ll also take up a bit more space in your travel bag.

If you’re interested in investing in smart straighteners, read the small print. Companies mean different things when they use the term. GHD describes its Platinum+ straighteners as smart because they intelligently adapt the heating element to your technique. On the other hand, the Glamoriser Blue straighteners are smart in the sense that they come with a connected app to let you control them remotely, which GHDs don’t.

You can find out about each straightener in detail in our full reviews, which you’ll find linked to below, beneath a summary of each product.

You might also want to check out our guide to the best hair dryers if you’re upgrading your home salon at the moment.

Best straightener reviews

1. GHD Platinum+ Professional Styler – Best overall

GHD’s gorgeous Platinum+ offers snag-free styling that adapts to your individual technique and lessens the damage that can be caused to hair by excessive heat styling and straightening.

The Platinum+ straightener’s ‘ultra-zone’ predictive tech intelligently adapts to your styling technique, adjusting the power to ensure an optimum temperature at all times for healthier hair and faster, better results. This is single-stroke styling at its best, suitable for all hair types.

You’ll find improved styling in a shorter space of time, and results that last much longer. The Platinum+ is expensive, but worth every penny.

Read our full GHD Platinum+ Professional Styler review

2. Glamoriser Blue Smart Straightener – Bluetooth enabled

The Glamoriser Blue is a Bluetooth-enabled hair straightener, and the world’s first. Yet even without the smart features, the Glamoriser is an impressive tool. It has a salon-quality look and the results to go with it. The tongs don’t need to pass over the same section of hair multiple times to be effective and the entire motion is smooth, and won’t snag your locks.

The Glamoriser Blue has a wide temperature range: from 80 degrees Celsius up to 235 degrees Celsius. You can, however, set the upper and lower limits through the Glamoriser app (free, for iOS and Android) so that the tool never gets hotter than you need it to.

The app also lets you set up a profile for your hair type. You indicate your hair thickness and the types of treatments you’ve had (for example, if your hair is coloured, highlighted or relaxed) and it’ll suggest a straightening temperature. 

Its original RRP was £129.99, although it’s since been reduced quite significantly – which makes it a steal.

Read our full Glamoriser Blue Smart Straightener review

3. GHD Gold Professional Styler – Simplest to use

The GHD Gold Professional Styler is a simple but powerful hair straightener that not only styles your hair quickly, but minimises styling damage.

It has a sensor in each of its plates, part of its “dual-zone technology”, to ensure the temperature is always at a constant 185°C or 365°F – which is why you won’t see any dials or displays on this device. The preset temperature takes out the guesswork involved in identifying the ideal heat setting for your hair.

The GHD Gold only takes 25 seconds to heat up and styles hair quickly and efficiently, making it perfect for the morning routine pre-work or school, for nights out or while travelling (it offers universal voltage).

The price point for the GHD Gold is rather high, but it’s justifiable given that it produces sleek, shiny and lasting results while helping to minimise hair damage. The GHD Gold is an investment in comparison to budget straighteners that may damage your hair in the long run.

Read our full GHD Gold Professional Styler review

4. BaByliss Straight and Curl Brilliance – Two in one device

The BaByliss Straight and Curl Brilliance is designed to produce both straight and curly styles. Between the tongs is a traditional straightener, while the exterior is rounded like a curling wand, so hair can wrapped around it for a more defined curl. For the price, it does quite a reasonable job, most notably on the curling side. 

Unfortunately, the steel exterior, which heats up to provide a better curl, does make the device slightly hazardous to use. In addition, the removable rubber grips on the ends of the plates, which are designed for safety while curling, can come away during use. We would advise users to be careful to avoid burning their fingertips. This device isn’t suitable for novice hair stylists!

The Straight and Curl Brilliance doesn’t quite compare to the likes of GHD in terms of lasting style. However, it won’t break the bank, and with the right products it can create a great style. If you can’t afford a pricey pair of straighteners and are looking for a multifunctional device, this is a good buy. 

Read our full BaByliss Straight and Curl Brilliance review

5. BaByliss Elegance 235 – Best for travel

The Elegance 235 from BaByliss is an affordable straightener that produces a great sleek finish that should last throughout the day. It comes in a striking pink and gold finish, and is compact enough to be a great styling tool for travelling. 

The price saving does come with a few sacrifices. There aren’t as many heat settings as more expensive straighteners or a locking mechanism, and if you want to use the device to curl your hair, it isn’t the easiest thing to master. 

However, for the price you’re still getting a good straightener that does what it claims. It should last reasonably well over time, and best of all it doesn’t look or feel cheap, despite heavily undercutting rivals. 

Read our full BaByliss Elegance 235 review

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