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The old saying goes, “You always want what you can’t have.” It’s definitely safe to say hair types are no stranger to this rule. Unruly, curly-headed manes have headed into salons for years yearning for the sleek, straight perfection their stylists are so adept at creating. To achieve such flat, sleek hair, stylists must have a strong and reliable flat iron at their disposal. Equally important is an iron that will not cause further damage to the hair. Here are six safe and effective flat irons adored by today’s working stylists:

1. T-3 The T-3 flat iron series was the winner of Allure’s “Best Of” Beauty awards in 2009. T-3 irons instantly heat up and maintain a constant, even temperature. Michelle Herdt, owner of Salon Adagio at Sola Salons in Midlothian, VA, says, “My heart and devotion for my flat iron and dome lie with my T3s. The company has mastered both technology and longevity in its products. I have had both irons hot and ready, eight to 11 hours a day, five days a week, for over three years now. The tourmaline technology not only protects the integrity of the hair shaft but also enhances your professional color. Your cuts will lay cleaner and you will gain a happy client!” Learn more.

2. Bio-Ionic One Pass The Bio-Ionic One Pass aims for stylists to make only one pass through the client’s hair shaft to achieve the desired sleekness. Silicone speed strips line the plates on this iron to promote quicker straightening and increase the hair’s shine. Salon owner Lacee Glass of Lacee’s Hair Lounge at Sola Salons in Edmond, OK, loves this flat iron because “it has silicone grips for extra smoothness and keeps a constant heat. It also has multiple heat settings for different hair types.” Learn more.

3. GHD Flat Iron Available for consumer purchase at stores such as Sephora, GHD flat irons utilize thermodynamic technology, which aims to improve the hair’s condition while also expertly straightening it. Mary Craig of Parlour 17 at Sola Salons in Cupertino, CA, loves GHD: “Both my business partner and I use them. We love them because they have a microchip inside that determines how dense the client’s hair is and adjusts the temperature accordingly. It also has an automatic sleep mode. So after a half-hour of non-use, it shuts down and beeps to let you know.” Learn more.

4. Paul Mitchell Express Ion Smooth The Express Ion Smooth is Paul Mitchell’s number-one best-selling styling tool. This iron heats up to 400 degrees in only 60 seconds, comes with a two-year warranty and boasts 1.25-inch cushioned ceramic plates. The iron has beveled edges to prevent creases from forming in the hair and also reduces the static in hair. Shae Purvis of Shae-Des Salon at Sola Salons in Edmond, OK, prefers her Ion Smooth because of the tool’s dual ability to curl her client’s hair as well. Katina Eisenbeis of Sola Salons in Cherry Creek, CO, recommends this styling tool to her clients because it is “easy to handle and because it will last the client a long time.” Learn more.

5. The Croc The Croc is an excellent choice for clients with keratin treatments. Made with titanium heat plates, this iron allows for an extremely smooth glide and is completely digital. It boasts 18 custom temperature settings and is available in different plate sizes. Uniquely, the line also offers a wet to dry plate option, which can be used on damp hair to save drying time. Learn more.

6. Paul Mitchell The Neuro Smooth One of the newest additions in Paul Mitchell's Professional Series, The Neuro Smooth is a revolutionary addition to the flat iron industry. The 1.25-inch premium isotherm titanium plates allow complete straightening in one pass and also produce flips and waves. The iron has a SmartSense microchip that records temperature 50 times per second and produces absolutely even heat. With tool registration, this iron is also covered under a two-year warranty.

Kim Bennett Horvath of Kim Bennett Studios at Sola Salons in Centennial, CO, absolutely loves this tool: “The Neuro is everything you look for in a partner: smart, strong, and reliable! In my experience with the new isotherm technology, titanium is lighter, strong as steel, yet gentle on the hair. It's a better choice to use with the new SmartSense microchip reading that high heat. Also, the titanium doesn't corrode with product use...this innovation is why I chose to partner my business with Paul Mitchell.” Learn more.

Whichever flat iron stylists choose to use, there’s one thing everyone can agree on: a hot tool heat protectant should always be used on a client’s hair. As Sola stylist Mary Craig recalls, “I have experienced clients firsthand who have burnt their hair with flat irons and it isn't pretty!”

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