The Best Range of Hair Straighteners from Nicky Clarke

Our award-winning stylists reveal their tips on how to get the best out of your hair straighteners. Hair straighteners might be one of the most common and familiar hair styling tools, but do you have the right type for your hair? There are lots of ways to use straighteners (sometimes called flat irons), and plenty of stylist-approved tips and tricks to get the best out of them.

Here, our experts show you how to choose the right straighteners for your hair type and offer a step-by-step guide on how to achieve salon-quality looks at home. Read on to discover the things to look out for, styling tips and how to curl your hair with a straightener…

Choosing the right straighteners for your hair

There are a few factors to think about when you’re searching for the right hair straighteners. These include:

  • Brand quality
  • Plate material
  • Plate width
  • Temperature range
  • Safety features

Brand quality

The first thing to bear in mind when choosing your set of straighteners is that quality is everything. You’ll be using your hair straighteners to apply heat to your hair, so you don’t want to skimp on quality and choose a cheap set that might cause damage.

Choosing an iconic, award-winning brand like Nicky Clarke guarantees the best treatment for your hair, and tools that you can rely on. Achieve looks like those our stylists in London and Birmingham. create, using top-quality tools. Our Nicky Clarke branded straighteners are also packed and shipped in packaging that’s recyclable and free from any plastic.

The Best Quality Hair Straighteners

Plate material

We recommend choosing hair straighteners made with ceramic. Ceramic plates glide smoothly through your hair and won’t pull or risk tangles.

Ceramic straighteners often use the latest tourmaline technology too, to lock in moisture and minimise heat damage. Ceramic is, of course, a popular material for cookware too. This is because it gets to temperature quickly and holds heat evenly, which is also good news for hair! With ceramic plates, you’ll find your straighteners are ready to use almost instantly and apply heat evenly to your hair for no damaging heat spots.

Plate width

Straighteners typically come in regular and extra wide sizes. You’ll want to think about your hair type and typical usage when you decide which one is right for you.

If you have normal or fine hair, chances are you’ll opt for the regular width plates. Wide plate straighteners are best suited for curly haired users, or those with especially long, thick, or coarse hair.

Temperature range

Depending on your hair type, how heat-damaged your hair is, the style you’re after, and plenty of other factors, having a variable temperature is important. Thicker or coarser hair often requires a higher temperature. Conversely, thinner or more delicate hair needs to be straightened with lower heat. Being able to easily change temperature with a dial or electronic display gives you full control over your styling. Plus, it means you can make sure you’re taking care of your hair.

Safety features

Naturally, you should always be careful when using any electronic or heated tool. You should also consider which features your straighteners themselves have to keep you safe. Look for a set that comes with an auto-shut off. This feature means that your straighteners will automatically turn themselves off after a certain amount of time (usually about an hour). This is perfect for those of us who occasionally worry we’ve left our straighteners plugged in after we’ve left the house… we’ve all been there!

How to use hair straighteners?

Straighteners are some of the most commonly used hair styling tools. They’ve been around for a while now and most of us will reach for the straighteners when we’re pressed for time and need a sleek style, fast.

But, despite their name, there’s more to straighteners than simply making hair straight! Our stylists use ceramic straighteners every day in our salons to create countless styles on all hair types. In fact, the straightener is easily one of the most versatile styling tools. So, let us show you just some of the ways you can use your straighteners for styling, including:

  • To straighten
  • To curl
  • To crimp
  • To create beachy waves
  • To create volume
  • To lock in temporary colour

Whichever style you choose, it’s important to keep your hair healthy with a good shampoo and conditioner routine. You should always use heat defence spray when using any heated styling tool.

How to use hair straighteners

Straighten

Naturally, your straightening iron is great for making hair sleek, shiny, and straight. No matter your hair type, straighteners are great tools for taming curls and kinks. Choose the right straightener (we recommend ceramic, and wide plates for thick or naturally curly hair) and you’re ready to go. Many straighteners have multiple heat settings and an adjustable temperature, so you can find the perfect mode for your hair type.

Simply section your hair, apply a heat protector, and get straightening. Clamp the straightener plates around a section of hair near the root, and gently pull your hair through to straighten.

Our stylists recommend clipping up the top half of your hair and parting from ear to ear. Begin with straightening the section of your hair from the bottom up. Move through the sections of hair from the nape of your neck up your scalp, unclipping and sectioning off as you go.

Salon Experts showing you how to use hair straighteners

Curl

Separate your hair into sections – each one should be no wider than the width of your straightener’s plates. We recommend using sections of no more than an inch wide.

Starting towards the bottom of your head, take a section and separate it from the rest. Gently clamp your straighteners towards the top (the end nearest the root). Gently glide the straightener down your hair, just like you would if you were straightening. The difference here is, when you get to the place you’d like the curl to start, twist the straightener on a half turn (180 degrees or so) away from your face. Then, smoothly pull the straightener down to the end of the length.

Once you’ve curled that section, move on to the rest. Depending on how tight you’d like the curl to stay, you might wish to gently comb or brush through with your fingers. We recommend spritzing hair with an argan oil treatment for extra finishing finesse, and using hair spray to set your curls in place for longer.

How to curl your hair with hair straighteners

Crimp

Are you a 90s kid? Whether you’re feeling nostalgic or are simply keen to try a retro look, crimping is easy with your straightener.

Prep your hair as you would for any other style – that means thoroughly blow dry, brush through and spray with heat protection. Then, section it off for easy styling. The more sections you have, the more pronounced and defined your crimp will be.

Take each section and braid it tightly, starting as close to your scalp as you can. This can be a time-consuming process, but you can’t rush style! To really get into the crimping spirit, put on some classic 90s tunes while you work.

Once your hair is braided, give it a quick spritz with hair spray. Take your straightener and start near the root of each braid. Clamp as you would for straightening, and slowly move down the plait until you reach the end.

Repeat for all the braids and let them cool to set in your style.

Beachy waves

There are a few different straightener methods for achieving soft, relaxed and beach-ready waves in your hair.

There’s the ‘S method’ – where you drop a section of hair into your straighteners, curve the section into an ‘s’ shape and clamp the curve. Repeat all the way down the section for wavy hair.

Or, try holding your straighteners at an angle and twisting a section away from your face, and slide down the length a little before twisting away again. Once you’ve gone through all your sections, give your hair a quick brush through with your fingers to make the waves beachy.

For a quick styling hack, simply twist your wrist back and forth as you move your straightener through your hair for a casual style.

You could also braid your hair like with crimping, but make each plait looser. Then run the straightener down the length and gently shake out once cool.

Beachy waves

There are a few different straightener methods for achieving soft, relaxed and beach-ready waves in your hair.

There’s the ‘S method’ – where you drop a section of hair into your straighteners, curve the section into an ‘s’ shape and clamp the curve. Repeat all the way down the section for wavy hair.

Or, try holding your straighteners at an angle and twisting a section away from your face, and slide down the length a little before twisting away again. Once you’ve gone through all your sections, give your hair a quick brush through with your fingers to make the waves beachy.

For a quick styling hack, simply twist your wrist back and forth as you move your straightener through your hair for a casual style.

You could also braid your hair like with crimping, but make each plait looser. Then run the straightener down the length and gently shake out once cool.

How to create beach waves with your hair with hair straighteners

Volume

For a quick hit of volume, your straighteners can come in really handy. Whether you’re prepping for a big hair look or simply want to inject some life into your regular style, grab your straighteners and get ready.

Take a section of hair and, starting from the root, lift upwards towards the ceiling and pull your straightener through. Once you’re about halfway down the section, change direction and start straightening downwards. Give it a little curl at the ends to add even more texture.

Creating hair volume with hair straighteners on a pink background

All your questions about hair straighteners, answered

Which is the right straightener for my hair type?

Our stylists recommend using ceramic straighteners for all hair types. Ceramic heats evenly, retains its temperature and locks in moisture. Straighteners that combine ceramic and tourmaline use negative ions to minimise heat damage. We recommend a wide plated straightener for naturally curly, coarse, thick or very long hair.

If I have naturally straight hair, do I still need a flat iron or straighteners?

If your hair is naturally straight and that’s your preferred style, you might not need to invest in a straightener for regular styling. However, a set of straighteners can come in handy for taming flyaways, adding extra sleekness to locks, and creating plenty of other styles. For example, you can use a straightener to add extra volume, curl, crimp and create waves. Read our guide above to learn our stylists’ tips on how to use your straighteners to do more than just straighten.

Do straighteners damage your hair?

It’s important to only use high-quality straighteners – like those made by salon-approved specialists Nicky Clarke – to minimise damaging your hair. Cheap alternatives won’t have the cutting-edge technology that professional-grade tools do.

Ceramic straighteners hold heat evenly, so you won’t have to go over sections of hair again and again, which can lead to over-heating.

If you make sure to use good quality heat protecting spray and keep your hair strong and healthy with a good shampoo and conditioning routine, using good quality straighteners as outlined in our style guide above shouldn’t cause excessive heat damage.