Which is best for straightening hair? A flat iron or hot air brush?

It’s a question that many curly haired women have to ponder every morning. Whether to tame their locks with a standard flat iron straightener, or go for the more modern hot air brush. They both deliver amazing results on all kinds of different hair types, but which works best and what are the market options regarding budget and value.

There’s a huge choice when it comes to both flat iron hair straighteners and hot air brushes, luckily we’ve done the research so you don’t have to.

Here is what we have learnt:


Flat irons are considered to be the best hair straighteners when it comes to taming the most curly and frizzy hair.

How they work: Flat irons work by using a very high temperature on the plates of the irons. These work to break donw the hydrogen bonds in hair when the plates are then applied to dry hair.  Flat irons are very efficient and easy to use.

Good points:

  • Flat irons tend to be cheaper than hot air brushes.
  • Great for tackling the most unruly and untamed masses of curls.
  • Quick results and easy to use.

Bad points:

  • The high temperatures used can cause the hair to become brittle and damaged after long periods of use.
  • The plates of a flat iron can have ‘hot spots’, areas which are considerably hotter, and these can burn the hair.
  • Flat irons do not add volume, they make the hair lie extremely flat against the scalp.

The Best Flat Irons

These hair straighteners feature real pearl in the swivel ceramic plates which makes for a much smoother finish to the hair. There are easy to use digital temperature controls and a salon high heat of 450° F.



Great for all types and lengths of hair, the GHD Gold Styler features super smooth gold plates that create sleek straight hair, wondrous waves or cute curls. Users comment on its lightweight feel, fast heating and speed in which it converts curly hair to straight.


Hot air brushes work well on thinner and even damaged hair that needs straightening as it adds shine and protection.

How they work: Hot air brushes use a lower heat setting and apply a mechanical air blowing action. They are used on damp hair and can take a little more time to get used to than flat irons.

Hot air brushes come in three different styles:

  • A flat de-tangling electric brush
  • A rotating round barrel electric brush
  • A double plated rectangle brush

The flat de-tangling brush is good for untangling unruly hair and adding shine,
The rotating brush works well on thin hair as it also adds volume.
The double plated rectangle brush works well on slightly curly hair that is a little damaged as it does not heat up itself.

Good points:

  • If you have thin or damaged hair then a hot air brush will be good for your hair as it removes static electricity and adds negative ions.
  • There are no hot spots in the brush, and many safety measures to ensure no burning or high temperatures.
  • Hot air brushes are a healthier option for your hair. Hair is more manageable when using hot air brushes.

Bad points:

  • Not good on very curly hair.
  • More expensive than flat irons.
  • Takes longer to style and straighten hair using a hot air brush.

The Best Hot Air Brushes

Works at a low temperature so does not damage hair, reaches ideal temperature in seconds and quick and simple to use.

The perfect brush to tame frizzy locks and add shine and body. Simple and easy to operate, just use like a heated hair brush.

So should you use a flat iron or a hot air brush?

Use a flat iron if:

  1. Your hair is very curly, unmanageable, and difficult to style. Or if you have afro hair.
  2. You tend to straighten your hair infrequently, say once every week, as frequent use could damage your hair. Using a flat iron occasionally is fine, but not on a daily basis.
  3. You only want to straighten your hair and not want to add volume.
  4. You are on a budget and want to buy an appliance that is value for money and quick and easy to use.

Use a hot air straightening brush if:

  1. Your hair tends to be on the regular or even thinner side, as a hot air brush adds volume.
  2. You have damaged, dull or coloured hair, as using a hot air brush adds shine and protection to hair shafts.
  3. You want to style your hair every day or frequently. The more times you use a hot air brush the better nourished your hair will become.
  4. You don’t mind paying a little bit extra for the appliance.

Show Comments


  1. meganblanchard October 24, 2015
  2. Caitie January 2, 2016
  3. eroomadnaw February 15, 2016
  4. vivianbyrd March 7, 2016
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