Anyone who knows how to really wield a blow-dryer can get their hair pretty straight with that alone. But when you want super sleek, shiny strands, a flat iron is your best friend. They’re a lot easier than struggling with a dyer and round brush to get the perfect blowout, saving you loads of time and effort. The best flat irons aren’t just for straightening, though — the surprisingly versatile tool can be used for everything from creating flips to S-waves, beachy waves and even curling. Plus, thanks to ionization, flat irons majorly cut down on frizz, leaving smooth, glossy hair behind.
But as flat irons have come long way over the years, picking one out isn’t so simple. Even professional hair stylists have trouble choosing their favorite, because every hair straightener has its strengths.