Is your hair hard to straighten? Does your hair have the sleekness of a cabbage patch doll’s hair? Traditional flatirons just give you burnt fingers and false hopes? Flat irons with teeth or “built-in combs” can take the most unruly mane and help transform it into glorious locks you never knew you could have. Trust me on this.
Before you even start, ask yourself, “What Kind of hair do I have”?. Is it thin, thick, wavey, curly, or coarse? What does your hair need to achieve those desired strands of perfectly straight silk? Do you already have some issues with your hair, like damage or frizz? What about coloring and bleaching?
These are all things that can cause dead ends. This is why a straightener with teeth or a steam brush comes in so handy.
The little teeth of the styling combs not only help detangle any knots that may still be in your hair but also allows for hair to be heated more evenly. Even heating has so many benefits for your hair. Even heating really helps you get the straight you want in one pass instead of going over and over the same section.
|Brand / Name||How it Looks||Ratings||Plate Size||Price|
|Revlon Salon Straightener Copper + Ceramic Flat Iron||4.5 out of 5 stars|
1,211 Global Reviews
|1-1/2 inches||See it on Amazon|
|BaBylissPRO Porcelain Ceramic||4.3 out of 5 stars|
643 Global Reviews
|1-1/2 inches||See it on Amazon|
|MKBOO Steam Hair Straightener||3.9 out of 5 stars|
57 Global Reviews
|1-1/2 inches||See it on Amazon|
Steam Heat Vs. Plate Heat
Before digging into the top three products, let us chat about the difference between flat irons with plates and what steam straightening is. They both have their pros and cons, just hear me out and then decide which is right for you.
People have been using metal to straighten their hair since the 1890s. We’ve come a long way since then now. Most all straighteners have the same design. Two plates, most popular being ceramic coated.
However, there is a slew of other types of metals ranging from copper to titanium. These plates are polished and, most of the time, have claims of protecting hair from prolong heat exposure but also control frizz and give your hair a chic look that works for any occasion.
The downside to heat styling is hair damage. I will bring it up a lot because it’s something you need to keep in the front of your mind. Too much heat exposure will damage your hair. You could even burn your hair off. I know you know what I am talking about.
None of us are strangers to the idea of steaming something to get wrinkles out. The same concept can work for your hair too. Steam straightening, basically infusing warm moisture into your hair. That’s really awesome, especially if you have already chemically treated hair.
The tool we talk about today is more like a brush. That really helps from not putting too much heat on one spot.
Alas, all things cannot be perfect. The downside to steam straightening is you aren’t getting that pin-straight style you see with a flat iron. There may be a small amount of wave to it. Again this is a hot tool, so you can also wreak potential havoc to your locks by overheating them.
Now that we have that covered, the top three brands we are discussing today have been ranked according to price, star rating, and global reviews. All three companies are household names across the globe. So let’s dive into the top three straighteners with teeth.
#1 – Revlon Salon Straightener Copper + Ceramic Flat Iron
The Revlon company has created the Straightener Copper + Ceramic Flat Iron (Amazon). today, we’re going over the 1-1/2″ XL size. This straightener is so popular that it even garnered a nod in the Ebony’s March 2018 Beauty Awards issue.
For value, quality in their product. It has a copper and ceramic plates that make for a fast heat up. Actually, it only takes a 10-seconds. Take that uber-fast heat-up and pair it with the LED smart heat control, and you can start styling your hair in no time.
With a detachable comb, It is also like having two tools in one. So that’s pretty awesome if you like to sometimes curl your hair with your flat iron.
The removable comb feature makes for one pass ultra-smooth straightening. When starting towards the root, just place your hair through the comb piece and pull through. The ceramic and copper plates glide over hair, leaving a glossy shine.
Ceramic copper plates heat faster, and Revlon claims that they can cause up to 81% less damage due to their even heating ability. 24-hour frizz control is another feature of this technology’s even heat distribution. Frizz-free for 24 hours, the dream is now a reality.
Note: If the flat iron is hot, the comb will most certainly be as well. Do not grab it with your bare hands or touch the comb to your scalp.
With thirty different LED heat settings, it offers a multitude of options for controlling your style. Heat Settings start at 180dF and go all the way to 455dF. It has a 60-minute auto shut-off, which prevents you from having that tiny panic attack where you just internally scream at yourself, “DID I TURN THE FLAT IRON OFF”? Or is it just me that does that?
It also has a plate locking switch, making storing it way more convenient because you can just pop it in a bin, and it is out of the way. It’s very budget-friendly.
The Revlon Salon Straightern Copper + Ceramic flat iron is a fan favorite for the price combined with the assurance of having a quality product.
Pros and Cons
• It is salon-quality, with a budget-friendly price point.
• Ready to go in 10-seconds
• Even heating for one-pass straightening. Up to 81% less hair damage.
• 24-hour frizz control.
• Can be used with or without comb
• Too much use on the highest setting can be harmful to your hair.
• If not attached properly, the comb can fall off in mid pass.
#2- BaBylissPRO Porcelain Ceramic 1-1/2″ Straightening Iron
The BaBylissPRO Porcelain Ceramic 1-1/2″ Straightening Iron (Amazon) distributes even heat across the plates & generates efficient far-infrared heat, which is far gentler on hair. Ceramic flat iron plates are the champions of even heat distribution.
So with that being said, there are no overheated or cold spots in your hair. What that means for you, my friend is less frizz. If you are anything like me, frizz is not my friend, and I try to avoid it at all costs.
Another awesome thing about ceramic plates, they are less likely to snag and pull your hair. The ceramic plates are polished to perfection, which aids in that glossy movie star hair we love.
Note: Many straighteners plates or bristles are coated with ceramic or some other kind of material in claims to be beneficial to your hair. Keep an eye out for wear and tear on these. If you notice the coating is chipping or missing, do not use it. It will damage your hair because, at that point, it’s just hot metal running over your hair. And we are leaving that kind of hair straightening in the past with other things that we did when we didn’t know better.
A removable antistatic comb makes straightening thick unruly hair a dream. The comb slides down into a groove beside the ceramic flat iron plates. So it is saving you the step of comb a section straighten a section. This frees up your hands and is a huge time saver.
The attachable comb rests on a groove outside of the hot plate. Like I have mentioned before, you have more versatility and can curl with your Babyliss as well. Giving you a little more diversity when it comes to this tool. Hey, just remember what I said a few paragraphs up about hot detachable combs.
It has an instant heat-up and recovery mode, along with a temperature dial that goes up to 430 degrees Fahrenheit. Always remember to see what setting works best for your hair.
Not all hair is the same. What works on my hair may blast your hair to smithereens. Do a little prep work and see what setting is right for you. Hair goals never include brittle ends, so it’s essential to do your homework.
Pros and Cons
• Dual voltage for worldwide use.
• Detachable Anti Static comb.
• Inferred heat technology.
• Swivel cord for easy use.
• Non-locking thermostat means you can accidentally change heat settings.
• No locking closure, making it harder to store.
#3 – MKBOO Steam Hair Straightener
Our final product today is the MKBOO Steam Hair straightener (Amazon). Now before we dig deeper into this, we have to touch on this steam heat factor. Heat styling can damage hair, and we will talk about that later.
However, Flat Irons gets a nasty rep because the hot plates often suck moisture out of your hair. We all know not enough moisture leads to damage and frizz. Like we talked about earlier,
Steam straighteners actually infuse water into the hair shaft while the heat smooths out the hair. You are infusing warm moisture into your hair, which can be an excellent thing in small doses.
The MKBOO Steam Hair Straightener comes with 5 adjustable hair settings. Making it compatible with many different hair types. Starting at 300dF and capping out at 450 degrees. The MKBOO can take on any texture of hair and even help damaged hair.
Remember that warm moisture infusion I mentioned?
Frizz is basically your hair’s way of putting out its own divining rods for moisture. The product description quotes this process as “the steam replenishment makes water atoms cover hair and lock in natural nutrients. So this is ideal for those of us who have processed hair or already damaged hair.
This product is different, rather than your standard hot plate flat iron. There’s not any stationary hot metal to glide your hair through. The MKBOO Steam Hair Straightener is like a brush.
Unlike the other models, we have discussed the comb does not leave the straightener. It has tourmaline ceramic-coated bristles with steam coming out of only one side. This helps keep the section taught and straight for heating.
It’s got a classic salon-sleek style that comes in black or white. Regardless of what color straightener you choose, both arrive the same way with light-up LED controls that are easy to read. It’s energy-efficient and powers its self off in an hour if not used—Yay for not catching your hair space on fire. Then to restart it, you just long-press the start button, and it’s back at it.
It heats up, ready to steam in 45 seconds. Your MKBOO Steam Hair Straightener is prepared to work in 70 seconds, which is pretty fast. Keep in mind, you must make sure the water reservoir is filled up to use correctly.
It’s super simple to check. Just look at the back of the comb, and you will see a little cover. Remove that cover, and you will discover the reservoir tank. There is a small water bottle included for you to inject the water into the tank. Then close it up, power it on, and you’re ready to go.
Note: Distilled water works best in the reservoir tank. Do not fill your reservoir tanks with any kind of oil, shampoos, or conditioners. Doing so could damage not only your hair but your flat iron as well.
Pros and Cons
• Anti Scald feature.
• It promotes possible damage reversal with the warm steam infusion.
• Fantastic for hair that has already been chemically processed.
• Brush design catches hair pulling through evenly.
• Tourmaline ceramic-coated bristles for shiny hair.
• Having to hold the extra water makes it a tad on the heavy side
• If you have a lot of hair, you may have to stop and refill the water tank and let it reheat.
How to Straighten Your Hair
Ok, so now that we’ve gone over the top 3 flat irons with teeth, let’s go over some steps, words of wisdom, and must-dos to optimize a long-lasting style that will hold. Weather permitting, of course.
I’m sure you know what I mean, too, perfecting that style you had in your mind, straight as an arrow. Not even paying attention to the weather forecast to walk outside and all your hard work, taken out by a single raindrop. It is a huge bummer. So take a tip from me and check the weather.
You are going to want to grab a pen and paper. I’m about to tell you it has been handed down from generation to generation; it is my ancient family secret. Follow these guidelines and enjoy the fruits of your healthy hair labor.
Step One: Wash and Condition
Washing and conditioning your hair is ultra important. Why do you ask? Because It the phase one in your war against the battle of not having hay for hair. Remember back in the day when you had to specifically get to a salon to get salon-quality products?
Those were dark times. Now there are heaps of products on the market that will help you protect your hair during your heat styling journey. Thanks to only shopping and bigger box stores picking up lines, we have access to whatever we need at our fingertips!
Make sure you choose the best for your hair type. I could go on for days about what kind of hair you have and what kind of shampoo you need. Sometimes it’s something as unique as you are. Paul Mitchell, Redkin, Tigi, and Pureology are some of my favorites for a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner combos.
Make sure you follow directions on the bottles and wash your hair accordingly. Rinse well, rinse your hair like you have never rinsed it before! Rinse twice if you have to. Never leave the conditioner in your hair that’s not designed explicitly for leave-in. It could weigh your hair down. Leaving it dull and lifeless looking. That, my dear reader, defeats the purpose of what we’re trying to do here.
Pro Tip: For an extra frizz reducing tip, rinse hair in cold water after conditioning. This seals the cuticles of your hair, decreasing the chance of flyaways. Apple Cider Vinegar rinses are also a natural way to combat frizz.
Step Two: Invest in a thermal protectant
I cannot say this enough. Use some type of thermal protection product on your hair. Heat styling is an incredible and fast way to get the look you want. It’s not always best for your hair. Do yourself a favor and invest in a thermal protectant. It’s a smart investment, and a little goes a long way. You can find these at drug stores, chain stores, even online.
Just like with shampoos, there are a lot of high-end retailers who are reaching out beyond the salons, so access is effortless. One of my favorites to use is Living proof Restore instant protection. It’s a spray, so you can use it on wet or dry hair, and it makes your hair so shiny, it is almost like a mirror. A few other brands to consider for the job would be Olaplex, Bumble & Bumble, Briogeo, and believe it or not, Pantene. I was shocked when I found out good ole’ Pantene could handle heat up to 450 degrees.
You will want to do this before you blow-dry; after all, you are blasting heat on your hair. So always apply a thermal protectant to DAMP hair.
Apply your protectant, from back to front. Doing this sidesteps having what looks like a gloppy mess on your roots. Work it through ends to root. Your hair ends are more prone to damage; therefore, they need the most protection. Comb it through to make sure each strand is coated and is ready to go.
Step Three: Power on Your Flat Iron and Get Ready
I know this seems like an obvious step. This whole time we’ve spoken about even heating. We preheat a flat iron just like we would anything now. Powering it on before you blow-dry gives it time to heat up and be fully ready to go over your strands. Even with the fast start-up times that they all have, it’s just better to be prepared. Don’t panic though, if someone calls and you get distracted, the auto shut off feature has you covered.
Step Four: Make Sure Your Hair is Dry
If you have the time to spare, always opt for natural drying methods. People with thin or fine hair may find this task a little easier. But if you are in a crunch for time, blow-drying is going to be your only option. Either way, you should always make sure your hair is dry before straightening.
So yes, blow-drying may be using additional heat styling for hair. Which I know, you’re like, “Hey, that’s double heat styling, isn’t it”? Yes, it is. However, If you blow it out in sections on a low setting, you’re not as harsh to your hair. Besides, many great hair dryers out on the market infuse ions in your hair and have a passel of settings. Check out our post on the “5 Best Blow Dryers for Natural Hair” For a little guidance if you’re looking for a new hairdryer.
So don’t crank your hairdryer on “crayon melt” high. Use a low setting and a round brush to guide your hair to straight while blowing it out. This helps you set the stage for that one pass straightening that is another protective way to style hair.
Pro tip: If your hair type has an ultra coarse texture, a paddle brush will be better than a round brush for blow perfecting your blow out.
So how does one pass straightening protect my hair?
It’s just like it sounds; you’re going over your hair one time. This is important because you are not blasting the same section of hair with 455-degree temperatures over and over again. Even heating or not, that’s too much heat on your hair.
Now I will be fair and say that MOST hair can be straightened with the one-pass technique once blown out. That doesn’t mean all hair. Especially fizzy, thick, or coarse hair may need an extra pass, but it is highly doubtful.
So wait, why can’t I flat iron my damp hair?
Think about adding high heat to water, like when you are making tea. Bubbles come up, steam comes out. The same science applies to your hair. You are basically boiling your hair when you straighten damp hair. This is pushing out your nutrients, elasticity, vitamins and causing irreversible damage. It is a one-way ticket to Brittle Hairsville. Population: You.
Believe it or not, the same thing can happen to your hair with steam straitening too. Too much moisture will cause essential minerals to leach out of hair leading to split ends.
Step Five: Brush it Out, Section it Off
Once it’s all dry, brush your hair out. Even though we are using flat irons with teeth, there still may be the random snare or tangle lost in the mix somewhere. Besides, brushing is excellent for your hair as it helps distribute natural oils throughout the hair shaft. This keeps build-up away from your roots, maximizing the life of your style.
Section your hair with clips. Take into consideration the size of your flat iron. The ones we talked about today are around 1 and ½ inches wide, so that’s going to be about the size of the section you want to run through each time. If you have layers, it is always best to start with the bottom layers, then move to your top layers.
Step Six: Do it Right the First Time
Once your hair is clipped and you have mapped out where you’re going to start straightening, consider this: The act of running a flat iron over hair with no rhyme or reason over your hair is an easy way to discover a hidden layer of curls when you don’t want to.
Smaller hair sections are optimal for even heat distribution because the heat is transferring through the hair faster. Think of it like “it is not done in the middle.”
Pro Tip: You might find a heat resistant glove pretty useful. If you don’t already have one, there are plenty of affordable kinds on the market. These gloves are beneficial when you are straightening your head’s back and your vision is limited.
Step Seven: Give ’em the Old Razzle-dazzle
Now is the time to bask in the glory of only having to do one swipe and move on to the next section. It is so quick and easy when you have a straightener with teeth. I like to use a light, flexible volumizing hair spray after I have straightened each section.
Big Sexy Hair is my favorite. Not only does it help when I want to finish my style if I want to put it in a high pony or a professional bun after I have straightened, but it also eliminates those pesky flyaways. Save the firmer hold hairspray to preserve your masterpiece once it is complete.
If you do happen to still notice a few fly-aways after it’s all said and done, a light leave-in conditioner applied from ends to roots will work wonders. If you have a shorter hairstyle, pomades and waxes are there to apply texture and shine.
Pro Tip: For extra volume, pull your hair up when straightening rather than down. The light hair spray will give an excellent lift to the hair making it look bouncy and full.
How to Maximize Your Straight Style
So you have crafted this top-shelf straight hairstyle, and you’d like to extend it a little. I’m sure by now you are well aware of keeping your hair healthy. How to combat frizz and damage and all the other topics we’ve talked about today.
Making your straight hair last between a few washes isn’t as hard of a task as it seems. Not washing your heat-styled hair every day gives it a chance to recover, and your scalp will replenish some of its natural oils as well.
Silk Pillow Cases
Invest in a silk pillowcase. Seriously do it. Silk pillowcases are sent from above. Not only do they make you feel super fancy, but they are ultra good for your skin and hair. Tossing and turning at night on a regular pillowcase can damage a hair follicle, thus why you wake up every morning with hair that sticks up all over.
Not to mention all the sweat and grease and other gross stuff that traditional cotton pillowcases hold. Regular pillowcases are absorbent; they trap all the dirt and oil from your face. Also, if you’ve been having a mystery break out lately, it may be time to wash your pillowcases.
Silk pillowcases, however, are naturally hypoallergenic; they’re not trapping all the gross stuff. There’s no friction; no friction means no damaged follicle. All of these parts sum up to supreme hair, even in the morning. Get one and thank me later.
If you just can’t see a silk pillowcase in your future, silk bonnets work great too. You can grab them anywhere, and they are CHEAP. Some are even infused with vitamins to help heal your hair. The only drawback for bonnets is: if your bonnet slides off in the night, you can bet you’re going to wake up with a cowlick the next morning.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there holes for the detachable combs to go into the plate on the Revlon and BaByliss tools when flat ironing?
The removable comb sits at the flat plate’s very edge for both the Revlon and BaByliss. There is a small groove on the outside of the heated plates that the comb slides on and off. There are no holes on the flat plate itself.
This is great for dual styling techniques as both products can be used with or without. Besides, there’s no fear of getting your hair snagged in a small hole. Ouch!
Can you use the MKBOO without water?
No, you cannot. You have to have water and only water for it to operate correctly. You use water and only water. Never mix oils or products into the water and fill the reservoir. It also is very clearly stated on the instructions to not use any oils or conditioners directly in the brush. The anti-scald feature can not work as it was designed to with anything other than water. You could possibly deep fry your hair or burn your scalp if you use anything other than water.
How do I figure out what heat setting is best for me?
It is pretty straight forward Choose a small section of your hair and start at the lowest heat setting. Increase the temperature until you discover what works best for your hair type. Just like any other time, you do a patch test, do it on a strand that can blend easily in with the rest of your hair. Or you’ll be like me, the girl in high school who burnt off her bangs before picture day. However, that was a long time ago, almost before smartphones.
Can I heat style every day?
The most straightforward answer to this is no, you should not. Prolonged heat exposure is terminal to hair. It drys it out, it makes it look brittle, and breakage is guaranteed. This is not combined with other hair hazards like coloring, bleaching, and whatever else you may do to your hair. So if daily heat styling is a necessary evil for you. Make sure you are using a deep conditioning pack once a week. And if at all possible, let it dry naturally.
Will straighteners with teeth work for short hairstyles?
Of course, they will! Long or short thick or thin, all three of these tools get the trick done. Now I will say you should have at least 4 to 5 inches of hair to flat iron, or you are running a considerable risk of burning your scalp. If your hair is shorter than the recommended length, straighteners with teeth may not be a good option for you right now.
Should I clean my flat irons or steam brush?
Indeed you should. You see, over time, products like serums and hair sprays can build up on the combs and bristles. Detachable comb cleaning is easy; you can just pop them off once it’s cool, of course. Wipe them down with a damp cloth or some kind of wipe. It’s the same with the steam brush. Once cooled down, wipe it down with a wet cloth or wipe and you’re good to go.
Can I make curls with the comb attachment?
10 out of 10 would not recommend it. The comb attachment will tangle if you try to coil your tresses around your flat iron. Now, you can give it a soft flip by all means by gliding it in the direction you want it to go. The combs are designed for straightening only.
Flat ironing is a great way to achieve a sleek glossy look without committing to a chemical straightening product. Excessive exposure to heat can really damage our hairs health. Detachable combs or bristles are an excellent tool for even heat distribution. This is the first step in getting the style you want at home with the least damage.
Adjustable heating, quick start-ups, and auto shut off are all excellent features that offer massive peace of mind. Flat Irons with attachable combs or even brush straighteners are great for catching and managing unruly hair and will work for fine thin hair.
Whether it be short, long, thick, or thin hair. A straightener with teeth is a valuable asset to keep in your hair care arsenal. Take care of your hair tools by cleaning them and inspecting them for any plate or bristle chipping or peeling. Remember, do not use it if you see this time of damage to your straightener.
To wrap it all up, I’ll say this. Heat styling comes with its own set of risks and rewards. You have been imparted with the wisdom and know-how on hair straightening. The rest is up to you!