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The 7 Best Hair Straighteners for Thick Hair


If you’ve got a head full of thick hair and want a hair straightener or iron that makes it a breeze, we’ve got you covered. We tested seven popular brands of hair straighteners to find the best-designed flat iron that makes styling thick hair an easy and fast experience.

We like the BaBylissPro – Nano Titanium because the extra-long titanium plates heat up very quickly and produce smooth, frizz-free strands. The ghd – Max is also a great choice to get silky strands of hair in under 13 minutes with its extra wide, 2-inch ceramic plates. For those who want an option under $100, we recommend the Kristin Ess – 3-in-1 straightener for its easy digital screen, auto-shutoff, and under 15-minute straightening time.

Our Top Choices

Best overall


Nano Titanium

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Luxury pick



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Best under $100

Kristin Ess


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The 7 hair straighteners we tested

ProductBaBylissPRO - Nano Titaniumghd - MaxKristin Ess Hair - 3-In-OneConair - InfinitiproHot Tools - Signature SeriesDyson - CorraleHSI PRO - E038
Overall rating8.5/108.75/108.75/108.25/107.75/107.25/107/10
List price$159.99

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See price at TargetSee price at Best Buy
Plate materialtitanium platedceramic coatedtitanium platedceramic coatedceramic coatedmanganese copper alloyceramic tourmaline coated
Plate size
(W x L inches)
1 x 4.752 x 3.51.25 x 41 x 4.741.5 x 3.51 x 3.51 x 3.5
Highest plate temperatures (advertised / measured ℉)450 / 439365 / 375440 / 439455 / 470450 / 430410 / 398450 / 404
Avg. temperature (℉)431375436465428387397
Avg. straightening time (min:s)13:4112:2414:3013:5017:0014:1217:04
Dual voltageYesYesYesNoYesYesYes
Weight (lb)0.560.680.810.680.761.250.61
Build quality8/107/108/108/107/109/109/10
Ease of use9/1010/109/108/109/105/108/10
Hair results10/1010/1010/109/106/106/106/10

Why trust us?

Our tester has been styling their hair since kindergarten – blame it on mom for not being too handy in styling, but we learned how to do various hairstyles with and without heating tools for almost 30 years (which means we’re well-versed in testing clips for thick hair and curling irons for thick hair). Our tester has particularly thick, coarse, 2A wavy hair that often needs taming in the mornings. We’ve used multiple brands and types of hair straighteners and understand the features required for styling thicker and coarser hair types.

Important features to consider

Design & features

Straightening iron design can vary in many ways, even though they look similar. Most straighteners will have a V-shape with a hinge on one end and plates on the ends. Different straighteners have varied plate widths (if you have more hair, you may think about wider or longer plates to accommodate more hair).

Try to find straighteners with floating plates to help reduce excess pressure on your strands of hair with each pass-through. Floating plates have springs behind them to make more even contact with hair–allowing for less pulling and better straightening. Also, keep in mind the handles. Some handles are flatter, and others are rounded to help with ergonomics. While we prefer rounded handles for an easier grip, it may also be more challenging for the straightener to stand on its own on the counter.

Heat plate materials

hair straightener heating plates

There are so many buzzwords for straightening plate materials today. From ceramic to tourmaline to titanium, there are many different types available. Ceramic is often an affordable option compared to tourmaline ceramic or titanium and still offers benefits like even heating and smooth passes.

Titanium heats up in seconds and helps smooth out the thickest and coarsest hair, but be wary about using a hot tool of this material too much because it can damage your hair if you use it too often. Tourmaline works with many hair types and also heats up fast. It’s often ADDED to other materials like ceramic or titanium and helps to smooth out frizz and keep hair healthy.

Heat settings

hair straightener buttons and controls

While most straighteners have multiple heat settings, some are changing the game. For example, ghd only has one heat setting at 365 ℉, which might be a deal breaker for people with thicker or coarse hair. Most brands recommend using heat settings at 400 ℉ or above for thicker hair because it takes a higher heat setting to smooth out.


Straightening irons come in so many price points. You can find flat irons from $40 to $500. The great thing about straightening irons is that the price point doesn’t dictate quality. I’ve used inexpensive irons for years, but it may cost you if you want more features or tech-focused devices.

Additional features

Other features to consider can also impact your user experience. While not necessary, we enjoyed using a digital screen to know the temperature and when the device was correctly heated. If you worry about turning off your straightener (anxiety we’ve all had at one point), then an auto-shutoff feature will be your best friend.

If you travel often, try finding a straightener with universal or dual voltage so you can bring this styling tool on your next trip without a converter. A minor feature we also liked was a velcro strap to help wrap and organize the cord–this was a small but helpful feature.

How we selected

We selected nine straightening irons of varying materials and designs from $40 to $500. We’ve previously tested some of these straightening irons on other hair types but wanted to see if they held up for thicker and coarser hair. In addition, many of these straightening irons are popular in the beauty industry, and we wanted to see if they were worth their price.

How we tested

For several weeks, we tested each straightening iron and reviewed several tests.


ProductQuick Heat upAuto-Shut OffHeat SettingsIonizationAvg. Score
Hot Tools6.008.0010.0010.008.50
Kristin Ess Hair6.008.007.0010.007.75
HSI PROFESSIONAL0.000.0010.0010.005.00

During testing, we took notes on how long each straightener took to heat up properly, ranging from 20 seconds to over two minutes. The shorter the heat-up time, the higher it ranked out of 10. We also tested auto-shutoff features, and while most had this feature, the straighteners that turned off automatically within 30 minutes scored a 10/10. For some irons that took an hour to turn off, we ranked them at a five because we found that too long.

We noted each of the straighteners’ heat settings and ranked those with more custom or higher heat settings higher out of 10 points because the better heat optimization for thick hair, the better. Lastly, all our straighteners feature ionization to promote better hair health.

Build quality

ProductPlate MaterialFloating PlatesAvg. Score
Kristin Ess Hair6.0010.008.00
Hot Tools6.007.006.50

We tested the build quality by researching and reviewing the materials used on the plates each straightener. Many used common materials like ceramic and titanium; both have their own ways of smoothing out and heating the plates quickly to straighten hair. We rated the durability of these materials based on if they were plated (less durable because they can eventually chip), coated with tourmaline on top (to add extra shine), or pure materials (the most durable at 10). We also analyzed the plates and rated them out of 10 if they touched easily without applying too much pressure.


measuring hair straightener temperature with probe

ProductAdvertised Max. Heat ℉Tested Max. Heat ℉Avg. Heat Over 15s ℉
Kristin Ess Hair440439436
Hot Tools450430428

Many of the straighteners we used, boasted high temperatures and we wanted to see how accurate each of these temperatures was during styling. Using a thermocouple probe thermometer, we measured the highest heat of each straightener by placing a thermometer in the center of each plate and pressing the plates together for 15 seconds. We found most brands came close to reaching (or even surpassing) their advertised heat.

Ease of use

ProductSwivel CordErgonomicsWeightHair-PullingAvg. Score
Kristin Ess Hair10.007.008.0010.008.75
Hot Tools10.007.008.0010.008.75
HSI PROFESSIONAL10.005.008.0010.008.25

While using each straightener, we ranked four categories out of 10: how easy it was to use in terms of ergonomics (how comfortable it is to hold with one hand), if there was a cord swivel, how much it weighed, and if the plates pulled or tugged on our hair with each pass (smoother passes were better).

Hair results

hair straightening results

ProductDamage-FreeFrizz-FreeAvg. Score
Kristin Ess Hair10.0010.0010.00
Hot Tools6.005.005.50

Lastly, we analyzed the hair results with two categories based on hair damage and whether the strands were straight and frizz-free. The less damage, silkier, and smoother the outcome, the higher the score out of 10.


BaBylissPro - Nano Titanium

BaBylissPro - Nano Titanium hair straightener

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We’ve previously tested a digital version of the BaBylissPro for our best flat irons review that gave us frizz-free results, and this thinner model did not disappoint. The BaBylissPro – Nano Titanium is our favorite straightener for thick hair because it heats up very quickly and offers a fast straightening experience at 13 minutes and 41 seconds; this is the second fastest straightening time overall.

Don’t be fooled by the thinner-sized plates of the BaBylissPro – Nano Titanium, their extra long length (4.75 inches) helps to straighten bigger sections of thick hair quicker than some of the wider plated brands we tested, like Hot Tools Pro – Signature Ceramic straightener. The thinner and longer plates allow you to curl hair or create beachy waves. The average length of the plates was 3.5 inches.Read more…

Titanium plates not only helped heat up the straightener quickly, which reduced styling time, but they also promoted ionization, reduced the amount of frizz, and produced sleek and smooth hair. While this tool heats up very fast because of the titanium material, it’s essential to be careful not to burn your fingers when styling.

This styling tool gets extremely hot with a max temperature of 450 ℉, and towards the end of styling, the area on the tops of the plates would get too hot to touch. Luckily there are so many heat settings, so you always have the choice to lower the setting for a more comfortable experience.

The only feature that is missing with the BaBylissPro is an auto-shutoff. Since the tool gets super hot, having auto-shutoff would give me more peace of mind that it won’t burn the house or our cat when we leave for the day, and we can’t remember if we turned off the device.

This straightener retails for $159.99 and is by no means low priced, but if you have thick hair and want a powerful straightener that will give you smooth and frizz-free hair quickly, it’s worth the price. Its 4-year warranty also gives you peace of mind if the durable titanium plates eventually chip or the machine breaks.


ghd - Max

ghd - Max hair iron

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The ghd – Max hair straightener is an upgrade pick for people with thick hair. With two-inch ceramic plates, this styling tool is quick to heat up and easily smooths thick pieces of hair quickly. The ghd – Max only took 12 minutes and 24 seconds to straighten all of our thick and coarse, wavy hair; this is over a minute faster than the BaByLissPro – Nano Titanium that took 13 minutes and 41 seconds.

Using the ghd – Max was easy, and we didn’t experience hair-pulling. The handles were comfortable to hold. The floating plates are well designed, and we didn’t need to apply too much pressure to smooth out our hair with each pass–this is something we experienced with other brands because the plates had gaps in between and didn’t properly smooth out the hair. Also, since the ceramic plates are wider than other brands, we were able to use bigger sections of hair at one time to speed up the straightening process.Read more…

We like the sound settings of this styling tool because you know when it’s on, when it’s ready to use, and when it’s about to turn off. However, compared to the other brands we tested, they had little to no indication if the tool was correctly heated – even when we abided by the instructions on heating times, this wasn’t always truthful.

The one drawback of the ghd – Max is the singular heat setting. At 365 ℉, this worked well for our thick and wavy hair; however, if you have extra curly and thick hair, you may need to do multiple swipes or pass through slower to get smoother hair. After running temperature tests, we found that this straightener actually heats up to 375 ℉ and was very consistent at this heat. While some might like this no-fuss and simpler setting, some might want more customization based on their hair type.

Despite this drawback, this tool is still helpful for thick hair because of its wide and well-designed plates, ergonomic handles, helpful sound notifications, and auto-shutoff. This straightener retails for $219, so it’s our luxury pick for those with a little more budget to splurge.


Kristin Ess - 3-in-1

Kristin Ess 3-in-1 iron

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The Kristin Ess – 3-in-1 straightening iron is another great styling tool for taming thick hair because its titanium plates heat up quickly and give you a frizz-free mane in under 15 minutes. It has specific heat settings, a digital screen, and an auto-shutoff feature. You also don’t need to worry about taking this straightener traveling because it has universal dual voltage.

Similar to the ghd and Dyson irons, there are a limited number of heat settings. This device has four heat settings (280 ℉, 365 ℉, 400 ℉, 440 ℉), and the instructions recommend styling up to 400 ℉ for thick hair (and only go up to 440 ℉ if you are a professional to prevent user error and damaging your hair).Read more…

We tested the machine at 400 ℉ and found the temperature perfectly fine for our thick and wavy hair. Immediately after using the product, we noticed our hair was smooth and silky. Since the Kristin Ess also uses titanium plates like the BaByliss Pro, the tops of the plates also get extremely hot after a while, and it may be difficult to apply pressure while straightening.

However, the longer-tipped design of the Kristin Ess iron allows you to apply extra pressure on the unheated edges without burning your hands. And while we only tested the straightening power of this iron, Kristin Ess also named this product 3-in-1 because it can straighten, wave, and curl your hair due to the thinner and well-heated titanium plates.

Other features that make using the Kristin Ess straightener are the digital interface, auto-shutoff, and even a velcro organizer. In addition, the digital screen makes using the device so easy; you don’t have to second guess when it’s on, what temperature setting it’s currently heating up, or when it’s ready to use.

The auto-shutoff feature turns the device off around 25 minutes of no usage and gives you more peace of mind after using the device. When you’re ready to put the straightener away, the velcro strap to wrap the cord up and the plastic plate cover are small design features that amplify the overall user experience–even for messy people like ourselves. Reviewers mentioned that the white coating on this straightener might stain over time if that’s important to you.


Conair - InfinitiPro

Conair - Infiniti Pro hair iron

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The Conair – InfinitiPro straightening iron is the most affordable at $30 and is one of the most long-standing beauty brands in the industry. This straightener has 1-inch wide, coated tourmaline ceramic plates and 30 heat settings with the highest heat of 455℉.

After testing the Conair straightener, we noticed slight pulling on the hair while styling, but it wasn’t as painful as using the Dyson – Corrale. We abided by Conair’s instructions for heat settings and used level 23 for thick hair. The heat suggestions were a bit confusing because they didn’t tell you what each number’s temperature meant. Within five passes of the straightener, we raised the number to 30 because our hair wasn’t straightening correctly. During temperature tests, we noted that the Conair heats up to 470 ℉. This is actually almost 15 ℉ above the advertised temperature and you should probably style your hair carefully to prevent potential heat damage.Read more…

While our hair felt silky at the end of styling, we noticed a lot of frizzy ends and wavy hair toward our scalp. In the future, we would need to go through more than one pass per section to get straighter and smoother hair. Also, the auto-shutoff would turn off the tool for one hour, which is too long to wait in case of accidents.

The Conair – InfinitiPro is one of the lowest-priced straighteners we tested, and it also came with some basic features like multiple heat settings and tourmaline ceramic plates. It’s a no-fuss, single-voltage styling tool that is also lightweight. If you’re on a budget and have more time to do multiple passes for smooth hair, the Conair – InfinitiPro is a great choice.


Hot Tools - Pro Signature Ceramic

Hot Tools hair straightener

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The Hot Tools – Pro Signature Ceramic straightener has floating 1.25-inch ceramic coated plates with a rubberized body and an easy-to-read digital display. The digital display is a great feature because you know when the device is on, can easily change the heat settings, and know when it’s ready to use. Unfortunately, we didn’t like the position of the buttons on the edge because you can easily change settings when you pick the straightener up from the counter.

The wider plates are supposed to allow you to use thicker sections of hair with every pass. However, we experienced some issues. Strands of hair would often slip through the sides of the plates, and we would need to pass through them again–lengthening the time spent straightening our hair. The Hot Tools straightener took the longest time to straighten our hair at 17 minutes.Read more…

When we used thinner hair sections, we still had frizzy ends and a poofy texture. The handles also became increasingly hot as we used the straightener, making it harder to maneuver without burning our fingers.

One feature we’re worried about is the rubberized grip. I’ve owned Hot Tools devices with the same coating and ended up with the rubber melting off and becoming sticky over time. We haven’t owned the Hot Tools straightener too long, but this is something we’ll keep track of for future post updates.

At just over $40, this is a reasonably affordable hair straightener and may do better with someone with finer or medium-sized hair. However, it didn’t thoroughly smooth out and straighten our 2A thick and wavy hair.


Dyson - Corrale

Dyson - Coralle cordless hair straightener

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Dyson hair tools are on many people’s lists, and we were excited to test their hair straighteners after loving the Dyson SuperSonic and Dyson AirWrap Styler. The Dyson – Corrale was introduced in 2020 and features wireless capabilities and flex plates made from manganese copper alloy.

However, when we first opened the box, we were surprised by how heavy the straightener was–even without a cord attached. It weighs 1.25 lb, and you really feel it once you start styling. The other straighteners averaged around .68 lb and the second heaviest straightener (Kristin Ess – 3-in-1) weighed .81 lb. Dyson states they’ve made a well-balanced device, but we experienced a bulkier straightener that made our hands tired after a while.Read more…

The Dyson – Corrale also boasts a new design that allows the plates to flex and mold to your hair as the hair passes through the tool. Flex plates allow more hair strands to touch the plates in one swoop. While we could use bigger sections of hair per pass, we also experienced a lot of hair pulling with each pass and flyaways that didn’t smooth out. We also noticed some of our ends didn’t flatten and poofed up. Our hair felt smooth, but there was slight damage – as is accustomed to any heating tool. We wish it allowed for more than three heat settings.

It takes about 70 minutes to charge the Dyson – Corrale fully, giving you about 30 minutes of run time. You will need to bring the charging cord if you want to travel for the weekend and use it multiple times. In the end, it took about the same amount of time to straighten our entire head of hair as other brands that were half the price of the Dyson. So we don’t think it’s worth $500 for anyone with thick or coarse hair to use this product.


HSI - Professional Glider

HSI hair straightener

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The HSI – Profession Glider comes with a lot of extra like a heat-proof glove, argan oil, a velcro strap to wrap the cord, and even a velvet-lined bag for travel (it makes sense for its dual voltage capabilities, making it easy to bring on trips across the world). However, we don’t think this was a robust enough device to tame our thick and wavy hair.

The ceramic and tourmaline-coated plates had difficulty smoothing out our hair, even with smaller sections. As a result, we often found ourselves going through multiple passes of the straightener to get semi-straight sections; This made straightening take longer at over 17 minutes, and at the end of styling, we still had wavy and frizzy sections of hair.Read more…

When first using the device, we didn’t notice the light indicator was upside down and waited over two minutes for an adequate heating time. After every pass of hair, we also saw the tool needed to be reheated via indicator color (red for reheating and green when it’s ready). Even at the highest heat setting of 450 ℉, our hair was still frizzy after each pass. After running temperature tests with a digital thermometer, we found that the HSI straightener only reached around 404 ℉ — almost 50 ℉ less than advertised.  The shape of the device was bulky to maneuver and made it harder to straighten the hair too.

While the HSI – Professional Glider is more affordable at $40, we wouldn’t recommend this for someone with thick hair because you’ll spend excessive time straightening your hair only to get frizzy ends.