With flat iron prices reaching uncomfortably into the three-digit stratosphere, HKI wondered whether your hair would notice the difference between those high-priced offerings and the budget-friendly ones mentioned here. You’ll be surprised at how this comparison shopping measured up. Here’s my list of the three best budget friendly flat irons:
Note: Yours truly tested each of these flat irons on my own human hair curly weave.
Once you get past the digital bells and whistles of the John Frieda Sleek Finish 1″ Flat Iron ($49.99, walgreens.com), you’re left with a ionic conditioning flat ironing tool that delivers big on it’s promise of transforming dull, frizzy, fly-away hair. After two passes, the section of hair that this iron was tested on was silky smooth, straight and really shiny. It takes a minute to understand where your finger should be pushing to adjust the 11 settings because the interface is much more sophisticated than most flats, but once you do, it’s smooth sailing. Heats up to 455°F/235°C and a heat mat is included. The verdict: You get a lot of bang for the $49.99 price tag.
The Andis Lighted 1″ Titanium Flat Iron ($72.99, andis.com) is tricked out with LED lights that flank the base of the plates, just above the controls. If, after the first pass you’re not sure you got your hair straight, flip the light switch on for a little help. *Note that any passes above two could put your hair at risk for breakage because of the intense heat. The plates of this flat iron are so reflective that you can almost see your reflection in them…uh, HKI ia all over that feature. What you’ll appreciate about this iron is how the plates curve over the sides of the tool to make using the tool as a curling iron really easy and leaves no dents as a result. The verdict: my tresses looked phenomenal after just one pass. Buy it!
This stand out feature on Umberto ICU 10 Ionic Ceramic Styler ($79.99, target.com) are the floating plates that move with you as you style your hair so there’s no tugging and pulling. That’s hot. What isn’t promoted as a key selling feature is its heat up time – a nanosecond. Well, maybe not exactly, but really blasted close to that. The only downside is that you can’t really tell what the temperature because you use the flashing LED light as your gauge. When the iron reaches it’s maximum of 400 degrees, it goes solid. The verdict: the floating plates alone make this worth purchasing. This iron also locks in moisture, sheen and natural oils.
Hue Knew It? I did!