The Best Hair Straightening Brushes, Tried & Tested By R29 Staffers

Jacqueline Kilikita

Since American brand DAFNI brought their original straightening brush to market a few years ago, the hair styling tool has piqued the interest of beauty obsessives worldwide.

Combining the functionality of a hair brush and the smoothing properties of a pair of straightening irons, the clever device is championed by some of the best hairstylists in the business for making hair sleek, glossy and lending a salon-fresh blow-dried look. "If you want smooth hair, a straightening brush is a great shout," says hairstylist and Amika Artistic Ambassador, James Earnshaw. "A year ago, no-one was really using them but now lots of brands are on board. They are so easy to use, and the best part is that you can style big sections of hair in virtually no time at all."

Anything that cuts styling time in half is worth a go, right? Ahead, three R29 staffers tried the most popular straightening brushes out there right now.

Jacqueline Kilikita, Beauty Editor

Brush: ghd Glide, £125, available at ghd (back in stock in June)

The result: I didn’t think anything could come close to my ghd Platinum+ Styler. The straightening iron glides through my frizzy, slightly wavy hair without snagging, smooths in a single pass and thanks to the 180 degree limit, doesn't leave me with frazzled, split ends. But the ghd Glide is just as brilliant, if not better.

I'm always sceptical of new tools like these, but the brush's large surface area allowed me to smooth and straighten much larger sections of hair (without burning my scalp or fingers) in next to no time and with absolutely no flyaways. My hair isn’t thick, per se, but there’s a lot of it, and I was impressed at how my styling time was sliced in half: it took me 15 minutes post-rough dry to get my lengths this sleek and I could get really close to the root.

My only gripe is that sometimes the ends of my hair flicked out, but I figured that if I flipped the brush (and straightened from the inside out) then curled my hair under slightly, I got a much straighter finish.

Annika Kanwal, Campaign Manager

Brush: DAFNI Allure, £155, available at DAFNI

The result: My hair is long, thick and heavy and tends to naturally fall straight but is always messy. I normally use straighteners to get the sleek look and although I’ve cut down on straightening my hair, I still want a more tame look for day to day.

Enter: the DAFNI Allure brush. It’s compact, easy to use, quick and worked great on my hair! After charging DAFNI, it took roughly a minute to be fully heated. It wasn’t as hot as a pair of ghds, so no burns, and worked through my hair very easily. In fact, better than a normal brush. I’m surprised at how quickly it softened my hair and made it look more sleek.

It won’t give you the poker straight look you’d get from a straightener but it does help style your hair, especially if you’re in a rush. I can definitely see myself using this on a regular basis to give my hair a sleeker style. The packaging is great too. I popped the thermal cover back on brush while it was still hot and placed it back in its bag. No more fear of leaving the straighteners on and worrying your house will be set on fire!

Natasha Slee, Creative

Brush: BaByliss Diamond Heated Smoothing and Straightening Brush, £31.99, available at Argos

The result: I have long, thick, curly hair (type 2C-3A). As a teenager I straightened it constantly, until one day I had it all cut off on a whim into a bob. I’ve worn it naturally curly ever since, yo-yoing between boob-warming lengths and ear-length crops.

These days, I straighten it on special occasions, especially when I want to look sleek. I had major doubts that the BaByliss brush could take on my hair but – shocker – it did a better job than my usual straighteners! I thought I would have to go over a section several times, but once from the underneath and once over the top was enough. The paddle shape meant I could tackle wider sections than usual, and it was easy to get into the roots at the back without the dreaded kink. I used the hottest setting, and after accidentally touching my finger on it halfway through, decided it would be wise to wear the heat-proof glove that’s supplied.

Because it’s a brush, it was harder to get poker straight ends, as you can’t clamp the hair against the heat. Also, brushing my hair texture so much still made it quite fluffy – as it would if I brushed it curly. But a good serum to finish would fix that. The supplied heat-proof mat and bag are nice additions, but I would have liked a cleaning tool because I imagine it could get dirty between the bristles after a few uses.

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

Setting Sprays With SPF Are Your New Summer Makeup Must-Have

"Confetti Nails" Are Huge For Spring — & Taylor Swift Is On Board

Kendall Jenner On The One Beauty Product She Always Uses Before A Date