Steam straighteners, like the less common vapor flat irons, are typically considered better for your hair because they provide more moisture, making the straightening process less drying on your strands. While a steam straightener sounds super fancy, Conair makes a reasonably-priced Ionic Steam Flat Iron that heats in 30 seconds and boasts five temperature settings up to 455-degrees Fahrenheit. The steam straightener, with tourmaline-coated ceramic plates, also features three retractable combs, giving you options for the most effective length to detangle your particular hair.
Reviewers pick this straightener when they want to be able to straighten damp, or even wet, hair, and according to nearly 1,500 five-star reviewers, it works. One impressed user describe this flat iron’s ability to steam wet hair into dry as “basically black magic.” Another says, “When they say you can dry wet/very damp hair with the flat iron instead of blow drying first, they mean it! I wrap my my hair in a towel for maybe 20 minutes, add leave-in conditioner (gotta take care of the permed and highlighted hair, you know) comb it, section it and start flat ironing. In 15 minutes I have completely dry and straight hair. And when it poured rain the next day, my hair did not frizz or get wavy, it stayed straight!” However, several reviewers warn that you should turn the steam vents away from your head during use: “You always have to hold it with the steam vents facing away from your head, otherwise the steam vents into your hair and could potentially burn you.”
Nearly 33,000 people gave this flat iron a five-star review on Amazon. If they factored price into that rating, then I agree. For less than $60 it’s pretty spectacular, but it doesn’t beat the fancier ones in terms of performance. The temperature automatically drops after 15 minutes of use. And while it’s easy to adjust that, it is also slightly inconvenient.
For frequent travellers universal voltage is a real boon. There's nothing worse than being away from home, wanting to look your best, and then discovering your hairdryer is about as useful as someone blow drying your hair through a straw, or that your straighteners just can't get up to the temperature you need to achieve the look you want. Performance from the Platinum+ is going to be the same wherever in the world you are.