Straightening Brush vs Flat Iron

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Can’t decide between straightening brush vs flat iron? Here’s what you need to know in order to make an informed decision about these tools.

What’s the Difference?

If you’ve never heard of either of these devices, here’s a brief overview:

A flat iron, or straightener, consists of two heated plates that you close over your hair. As the name would suggest, you’re essentially ironing your hair flat.

A straightening brush is a heated hairbrush. As opposed to a normal surface and teeth, these devices have heated features instead. That way, it straightens as it brushes.

Device Comparison

As you can see, both devices have the same basic purpose. However, there are some key differences.

Here’s what you need to know about how these devices compare:


The first issue to address is that these devices are meant for two totally different styles.

Straighteners are meant to give you pin straight, salon style hair. Ideally, when you’re finished, your hair should be silky smooth, shiny, and perfectly flat.

A heated hairbrush on the other hand, will give you a more voluminous style. It’s very similar to the look achieved by straightening wet hair with a hair dryer. It’s not going to look as perfect as a proper blowout, but it will be close.

In addition, straighteners can be used to create a number of different styles. You can use them for creating curls, waves, and flips as well.

Heated hairbrushes, on the other hand, are really only good for straightening. You might be able to get a good flip or a gentle wave from some devices. But they won’t give you the same perfect, spiral curls that a straightener will.

Ease of Use

When it comes to how easy each device is to use, there’s a drastic difference.

Heated hairbrushes are very easy to use. After all, you’ve probably been using a non-heated one for years.

Heated options aren’t really that different. With these, you simply section your hair, and then run your hair through the device.

(But you do have to make sure that your hair is coming into contact with the heated surface. If you’re having trouble, it helps to run your device under the strand of hair, rather than over it.)

Straighteners require a lot more technique. The basics are same: section your hair and run it over the device. However, straighteners can be tricky.

You have to make sure your hair is sitting right on the plates. You also have to go at a speed that’s slow enough to style, but not slow enough to cause damage. Of course, there’s also different techniques required for other styles, like curls.

Once you get a hang of it, these devices are simple. However, the initial learning curve can be difficult for some users.

Additionally, they tend to take longer to style than heated hairbrushes. Straighteners require you to take things a bit slow. Heated hairbrushes, on the other hand, are designed for quick, convenient styling.


Another important point is the versatility of each device. In this case, versatility refers to the ability of the device to effectively style different hair types.

Straighteners are good for this, because you can find a device to match any hair type. They come in a variety of materials, and most devices offer a wide range of temperatures.

It’s a simple matter of finding out which materials and temperatures pair best with your hair type.

Unfortunately, heated hairbrushes lack that sort of range. Most are made of the same general materials. These devices also tend to have less temperature selection, with most maxing out under 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

While that will suffice for fine and medium hair It won’t work as well for coarse hair types. It’s not that you can’t use them with this hair type, but that the device won’t be as convenient.

It may take longer to style, and you may have to make multiple passes on each strand. Overall, that’s not ideal, since convenience is a major benefit to heated hairbrushes.

Final Result

Here is a brief overview of the pros and cons for each device:

Flat Iron Pros

  • Offers a wide range of styles
  • Suits every hair type
  • Creates silky, shiny, perfectly straight hair

Flat Iron Cons

  • Requires different techniques
  • Takes longer to style

Straightening Brush Pros

  • Creates the blowout look
  • Easy to use
  • Styles quickly

Straightening Brush Cons

  • Works better for fine and medium hair
  • Limited styling

As to which device is better, that ultimately comes down to your styling needs and hair type.

For styling, you’re essentially choosing between casual styling and salon styling.

If you only do casual styling, a hairbrush straightener is the better choice. You can use these daily, and they style quickly. The look you achieve will be like a blowout, just less neat and even.

If you’re after a perfectly polished look, then you need to go with a straightener. These are the best option for a glossy, pin straight look. Don’t forget that you can also do a wider range of styles with these tools.

In addition to styling, you also need to consider your hair type.

If you have coarse hair, stick to a straightener. These are the best tools, since they reach a good temperature range, and have good materials. In particular, you’d want a titanium device, since these are the best options for this hair type.

For fine to medium hair, either device will work. Although, medium hair may still have issues with a hairbrush, depending on the brand.

When you have your priorities set, it’s easy to choose between straightening brush vs flat iron devices.

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