Cheap Hair Straighteners – Are They Worth the Money Saved?

Are you in the market for an inexpensive hair straightener? Before you pick one up at your local pharmacy or discount store, remember that cheap hair straighteners can be extremely harmful to your hair. Here’s why:


Cheap hair straighteners often have heating plates that are made of metal, or sometimes glass. Unlike more expensive straighteners, these inexpensive versions have no built-in “ion technology” to protect your hair. Your hair is normally “positively charged”; this means that your hair is made up of mostly “positive” ions. These ions cause the hair follicle to remain wide open absorbing excess moisture and anything else floating around in the air. This makes your hair frizzy and unmanageable.

Higher-end straighteners have plates made of ceramic or the natural precious stone, tourmaline. Both of these materials emit “negative” ions when they are heated. Despite the name, these negative ions make your hair look and feel fantastic. This is because they actually work against the positive ions and as a result close and seal the hair follicle. This process smooths your strands, giving it unbeatable shine, and improving hair health. It seals in moisture but locks out extra humidity.

Remember, many cheap hair straighteners do not have this technology and can truly damage your hair. When you are shopping, make careful note of the plate materials. Make sure it says “ceramic”, “tourmaline”, or something about “ions.”


Another common complaint about low-end straighteners is that they do a lot of pulling of your hair. As you are running the straightener over your locks, it actually hurts. In addition, you can even hear your hair tearing. Your hair is essentially getting stuck on the sides of the straightener (where the plates meet the edges). Obviously, this is very bad for your hair. Pricier products will have smooth, seamless sides with which you will feel no pain or pulling.

Other Features

There are a few more features to think about with regards to cheap hair straighteners:

  • Short-lasting results
  • Poor quality materials and craftsmanship
  • Too few temperature settings
  • Short cord
  • No auto shut-off feature
  • No travel case
  • Bulky and heavy in size
  • Awkward to use
  • No warranty

Short Term Use

It is best to avoid the use of cheap straighteners all together but very infrequent use will not cause significant irreversible damage. If you will only be straightening your hair a few times a year for special occasions, perhaps you don’t care to spend much on the tool. If you do go this route, make sure to condition your hair well before straightening. Even better, use a pre-treatment especially made for protecting hair that will be heated.

If you plan to make straightening your hair part of your routine, the extra money you pay for a higher-end straightener will be well worth it. There is no question that hair straighteners fall into the “you get what you pay for” category.