|The IZUTECH Flat Iron is $200 smackers|
Look for ceramic, titanium, or tourmaline plates. Some of the super cheap flat irons might be made of materials that don't conduct heat as well as ceramic, titanium or tourmaline does; or have a thin ceramic, or titanium coating (over aluminum) that wears out fast. Look for solid not coated plates.
One-inch plates are perfect. Smaller than one inch, and the process of straightening takes all day; and over one inch is hard to control. Speaking of control, look for a flat iron that allows you to adjust the heat. Smooth, floating plates -- they extend beyond the surface -- won't pull or break off your hair.
Personally, I own a $19.99 model, called the BioSilk Ergonomic Tourmaline Flat Iron that I got at Bed, Bath and Beyond. It is made by Farouk, the same manufacturer of the popular, high end CHI Flat Irons. It heats in 10 seconds. Purchasing it was pure dumb luck. I give it 5 stars for performance and durability.
While I wouldn't settle for a lemon, I don't like paying $100+ for a flat iron since they all burn out eventually with use. So if you take a chance on a flat iron for less, go with one made by a company well known in the hair industry. They know the terrain, and you can return what doesn't work out. Also examine the flat iron: Like the looks and feel of it.
The Remington Anti-Frizz Therapy Straightener is getting raves. Under $45, it has the important features, plus excellent customer satisfaction. Again, I'd rather replace two of these than one $100+ flat iron. Pay the piper only if you get value. Unfortunately, hair appliances don't last twice as long because they are twice the cost. So perhaps you don't need the top of the line, you just need a straightener that performs as it should. Leave some bucks in your wallet on this buy!
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