“Straightening brushes are a great way to multitask as you style,” says Kendall Dorsey, a celebrity grooming expert and hairstylist who has worked with A-listers like Nicki Minaj. “In one quick pass, you can detangle, straighten, and increase shine.”
These devices work pretty much exactly as you’d expect: Heat them up so you can run the hot bristles through hair, efficiently smoothing strands without tamping down volume. Some even prefer them to straighteners since they can get to areas where your straightener can’t. “You can flip your head upside down and side to side to get the underneath areas [with a straightening brush], and the brushes give more volume and body,” says Carrie Butterworth, a senior stylist at Roy Teeluck Salon in New York City. (Related: The Best Protein Treatments for Longer, Stronger Hair)
Another benefit? Straightening brushes tend to be less damaging to your hair. “You’re not putting direct heat on both sides of your hair, and you’re also avoiding the tugs and snags that sometimes happen with flat irons,” says Dorsey.
Just note that you still need to blow- or air-dry before using a straightening brush (like flat irons, they’ll fry wet hair) and apply a heat-protectant spray first. Butterworth likes Oribe Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray ($69, amazon.com) and Redken Hot Sets 22 Thermal Setting Mist ($19, amazon.com).
Below, the top-rated hair straightening brushes that will give you the sleekest hair of your life—in a lot less time.
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“It heats up to a nice, smooth, hot temperature, and has ionic technology to seal in shine and block out frizz,” says Dorsey. “This particular model also heats up really quickly, which is nice when you’re in a rush.”
Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Styler
You don’t have to sacrifice quality for price with this Revlon straightening brush. Super lightweight (read: a breeze to maneuver) with flexible bristles and ionic conditioning, it will leave strands silky smooth and not dried-out. And although there are only two heat settings, it does come with a cool shot function that lets you set your style (and boost shine). All for under $40.
Amika Polished Perfection Straightening Brush
More than 600 positive Sephora reviews must mean something. Not only does this straightening brush from Amika boast ceramic bristles, nylon tips for added safety, and a handy LED screen so you can easily monitor the temperature, but it also features a negative ion generator. Translation? The brush helps close the hair’s cuticle with each pass, so you’re left with ultra-shiny, crazy-smooth strands.
By Gina Excel Infrared Styling Brush
Bonus: Infrared LED light technology smooths strands, ceramic heaters deliver even heat distribution, and negative ions zap frizz and lock in moisture and shine. What more could you want?
MiroPure Enhanced Hair Straightener Brush
We love that the brush comes with a handy carrying case for travel and a heat-resistant glove, too.