Any hair-straightening addict will have a pair of the best hair straighteners that they don’t let out of their sight. But whether it’s steam, titanium or ceramic straighteners we opt for, most are likely to leave some damage behind on our locks.
Not only do they inflict severe heat on locks but the clamping action drags the hair shaft, leading to surplus breakage. So, when we heard that hair straightener brushes not only glide through strands, applying heat to one side of the hair only while cutting down styling time, we were all ears...
But who’s making the best hair straightener brushes? Of course, trusty GHD is up there with a model hat will tame even the wildest of hair types in just minutes, while the charming Ikoo E Styler gives a bunch of heat options in an elegant-looking package. And the reasonably priced Babyliss Smooth Dry will even dry your hair while straightening, cutting even more time off your morning routine.
How to choose the best hair straightener brush
Unlike hair straighteners, curling tongs and hair dryers, hair straightener brushes haven’t quite made their way into our everyday remit yet, so it takes a little bit of research when it comes to picking out the right one for you.
Firstly, you have to look at the type of hair straightener brush it is, whether it is one designed to be used on wet hair, which blows hot air out of the brush, emulating a hair dryer, or whether it is one to be used on dry hair, which features hot plates like a straightener. Next, look at what kind of temperature settings it offers and whether the paddle seems big enough to style quickly and easily.
“It's important that a hot brush is lightweight, simple and user-friendly,” says Ricky Walters, director of London’s Salon64. “I always check to see that it does not tangle or matt the hair, as you want something that can glide through the hair with ease. It also shouldn’t be so hot that it burns or overcooks the hair, so a hot brush with a variable heat function or a low optimum temperature is ideal.”
Another factor that is useful to consider is the type of bristle offered by the brush, as you want something that will work well with your hair type.
“I prefer smaller teeth for fine hair and longer or larger teeth for thicker frizzy hair,” says Ricky, “and don’t always feel a hot brush has to replace your usual routine. Wash, dry and even blow dry your hair as usual and you can use a hot brush to tweak and quick fix your style. Use the brush to add a quick little wave or bend at the ends relatively effortlessly for a straight blow-dried look.
“For me, the GHD Rise is the king of the hot brushes for this,” adds Ricky. “It’s taken the benefits of a simple iron and the benefits of a natural bristle brush to create a hybrid that is multifunctional for most hair types.”
The best hair straightener brushes you can buy right now
Will leave anyone’s hair straighter and shinier in just minutes
If there’s one hair-tool brand that is sure to catch our attention every time they drop a new product, it’s GHD. And while we’re well versed in the magic of their many stylers and hair dryers, including their newest GHD Platinum+ and GHD Helios releases, we never imagined they could make a hair straightener brush this good. Of course, any hair tool the brand touches turns to gold, but who knew they could even do it with a simple brush?
Living up to its name, the brand’s first professional hot brush, which has been dubbed “the brush that broke the internet”, glides through locks to leave them straight and sleek, with the paddle’s ceramic coating leaving a glossy shine to hair. In just minutes, you can take your hair from frizzy to straight, but we have to point out that this isn’t one for when you want a poker-straight look. As it only comes into contact with one side of the hair strands, it’s designed to give you a straight look in a healthier manner, leaving you with body and movement – perfect for glamming up second-day hair. Even those with thicker curlier locks will be able to see results with this one and it’ll work a lot quicker than even the best straighteners for curly hair. Just be sure to brush any knots out of your hair first, otherwise you may find yourself in a tangle.
Looks luxe, feels luxe and performs well
With its swanky temperature dial, comfortable grooves and copper-coloured plates, this exudes an air of premium sophistication. The ergonomic design allows for comfortable handling, while the wide paddle makes for quicker styling on even the thickest of hair types.
We loved the shiny finish to hair after use, thanks to the ceramic plates, and the variable temperature settings mean that you can tailor it to your own hair type, with thicker and curlier hair types benefiting from the higher heats, while fine-hair types can avoid surplus heat damage by opting for the lower ones. We do think the side-waves function is quite snazzy, but it doesn’t hold in locks very well. The brush also doesn’t give thick and curly hair types the sleekest finish and there is a potential for flyaways, so we’d invest in a good serum.
Blow dry locks on a budget
This humble offering proves that you can get quality without splashing out. Working more like one of the best hair dryers than a straightener, this will blow dry your hair straight while gliding through locks seamlessly, thanks to its detangling bristles. It is advised that you rough dry your hair beforehand to remove any excess water, but the wide paddle of this will let you speed through straightening with the addition of ionic conditioners that tame frizz and leave a shiny finish.
Those with thicker curlier hair might not get the straightest finish from this, owing to its low wattage, so you might have to go over the top with a pair of straighteners if you want a super-straight finish.
DAFNI Allure Cordless Straightening Brush
Dafni has long been a favourite for hair straightening brushes and this cordless offering just proves why. Just like the Dyson Corrale revolutionised high-end hair straighteners with its cordless function, the Dafni Allure has done the same for hair straightener brushes. Its multi-length bristles are ceramic-coated for a shiny finish and reach different parts of the hair, which makes for faster styling.
Like the GHD Glide, it leaves even thick heads of hair straight in minutes and has a smooth, bouncy finish to it. Again, it won’t leave your tresses dead straight and doesn’t hold all day, but it’s light and compact to catch all of your hair and will fit in your handbag for any midday top-ups.
Leaves you looking like you’ve just stepped out of a high-end salon
After the innovation of the GHD Glide, the brand’s newest drop caused a flurry of excitement among beauty fans when it launched in 2020. Unlike many of our other top picks, it doesn’t fully straighten your hair, but adds a voluminous bounce to drab or flat hair. While we loved the GHD Glide for giving our second-day hair a sleeker look, the Rise will add to that by adding some salon-worthy movement to your ’do.
It does exactly what it says on the tin and can even add in a few curls if you wanted to change up your look a little bit. Our one and only niggle is that it can get caught in your hair slightly, so be sure to properly brush out any knots beforehand.
Dries your hair straight without any hassle
While professionals make achieving a bouncy blow-dry look painless, anyone who’s ever tried it themselves will understand that it’s not as easy as it looks. But the Dyson Airwrap does all the hard work for you with its well-thought-out attachments, with two brush heads that turn the Airwrap into a hair straightener brush plus the bonus of different-sized rounded barrels if you feel like trying your hand at putting some waves in.
Unlike most other hair straightening brushes, it can be used on wet hair, although they do recommend that you rough dry your hair with the hair dryer attachment beforehand to remove any excess water. Using Dyson’s Coanda effect, which is generated by a forceful spinning impeller that creates a pressurised flow of air to pull hair towards the attachment and then blows temperature-controlled air on to the magnetised hair, the tool sets wet hair into the shape of whatever attachment you’re using while it dries – a healthy way to dry your hair straight without exposing it to any surplus heat. While it does come with two different straightening brush heads – one for fine hair and one for coarse hair – this one is probably better suited to fine hair, as curlier hair will most likely be left with a pesky halo of frizz unless you go over it with a straightening iron afterwards.