Hair straighteners

A good hair straightener will give you smooth, sleek and dead-straight hair at home, without the expense of professional styling.
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  • Updated:27 Nov 2007


The following models scored the best results in our test

What to buy
Brand Price
GHD IV Styler ghd 4.1B $299
Diva Hair Straightener THLC 05 $160
VS Sassoon Premiere Series Total Freedom 230 Cord/Cordless VSP2099A $120
VS Sassoon Pro 230°C Straightener VS2075MPA $80

About the rest

While the Philips Tresemmé and Tiffany Pro Series were also rated well for their immediate straightening effect, the Philips was criticised for its awkwardly positioned on/off switch and the Tiffany for its temperature variation and the time it took to achieve straightening results.

The remaining four models were all rated worse for their effectiveness at straightening.


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Results table

Full results for all models are shown in the table below

Brand / model (in alphabetical order within groups) Type Price ($)
GHD IV Styler ghd 4.1B (A) Tongs 299
Very good
Diva Hair Straightener THLC 05 Tongs 160
VS Sassoon Premiere Series Total Freedom 230 Cord/Cordless VSP2099A (B) Tongs 120
VS Sassoon Pro 230°C Straightener VS2075MPA Tongs 80
Philips TREsemmé SalonShine Elite HP4669/07 (C) Tongs 90
Wahl Cutek Ceramic/ZA105 Tongs 80
Joh Bailey Professional Ceramic Travel Straightener JBS75 (C) Tongs 40
Maxim Professional Straightener HS988C Tongs 15
Tiffany Pro Series Digital Hair Straightener HST70 Tongs 40
Living Essentials by Mistral Ceramic Hair Straightener LEHS10 Scissors 18

Table notes

(A) Currently being replaced by a new model, 4.2B.
(B) Recommended for use on mid-length to long hair, which we took into account in the trial. The rest are suitable for use on all types of hair of various lengths.
(C) Soon to be replaced by a new model.

Rating categories (excellent, very good, etc)

After using each straightener in the morning, trialists evaluated it for:

  • Straightening performance (immediate effect; smoothness through hair; number of applications required to straighten a given section of hair; and whether the plates were hot enough).
  • User friendliness (overall ease of use; heat-up time; handling and manoeuvrability).
  • At the end of each day, they also rated the straightener overall and indicated how long the result lasted.

Price Recommended retail, as of December 2007, rounded to the nearest dollar.

How we tested

Fifteen volunteers, all experienced in using a hair straightener, trialled them over five weeks, each using two straighteners per week.

  • Trialists used the straighteners in the morning (so they could determine how long the effect lasted throughout the day) on clean, dry and tangle-free hair. They were asked to follow the instructions and user guides provided by the manufacturers.
  • We recorded daily relative humidity throughout the trial to check whether it significantly affected trialists’ evaluations of the straighteners. (It didn’t.)
  • The test CHOICE’s lab measured how long each straightener's plates took to heat up from room temperature to 150°C and 200°C, or the hottest they could manage after 15 minutes, if 200°C wasn’t reached.
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