Christian Wood uses a trick of mini flatirons to save a hair day for celebrities like Tessa Thompson, Emily Ratajkowski, Rosie Huntington, and Olivia Munn. He says, “I prefer a small straightener that I can get really close to the roots to remove stubborn kinks and cowlicks”. One advantage of mini flatirons is that they cuddle up in your travel case without occupying too much space. But they also out iron the hidden frizzy kinks, creating ultra straight and shiny hair.
In this article, we’ll explore the best mini flatiron options. We’ll also help you master how to shop for a mini flatiron and some features to look out for.
Quick Take: Best Mini Flat Irons
- BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Mini Straightening Iron
- MHU Professional Travel Size 0.5 inch Mini Flat Iron
- Travel Smart by Conair 1/2-in. Ceramic Straightener
Why A Mini Flat Iron
Two strong reasons why mini flat irons got popular is because they are very comfortable for travel as well as for straightening small sections of hair.
Typically travel-friendly flatirons are compact. Apart from the size, one feature that can make one convenient to carry around is if it’s cordless, relieving from the hassle of packing a cord and the trouble of finding an outlet where you want to work on your hair. Dual-voltage capabilities for international travel are also great.
Straightening Small Sections of Hair
Irrespective of the length of hair, there is always short, frizzy hair that’s a challenge for fine hair or achieving that salon look. Bangs, baby hair on the forehead and tight coils are a few other problem areas that can be easily managed with mini flatirons. They iron out the stubborn frizz, giving you a perfect, shiny look.
However, there are also other reasons to choose mini flat irons.
While mini flatirons can be used for all hair types, they are most popular among people with short hair. It is easier to maneuver the tiny plates across short hair to achieve bouncy curls and perfect tresses. Most of these tiny irons come with fewer heat settings and sometimes with just one temperature.
Things to Look For
When picking a mini flat iron, there are few features that need to be assessed in particular. Though most of these features are applicable to any regular flat iron, these need a tad extra attention from the perspective of a mini flatiron.
Heat Generated & Temperature Settings
Mini flatirons may have several or just a single temperature setting. The good part about this is that they are very fast in heating the plates. The high heat does a much better job of ironing hair with less effort, giving a perfect straightened-hair look.
Even when you choose to curl, you will not have to go through the hassle of running the plates over and over again on your hair. The maximum temperature you see is usually around 450 degrees Fahrenheit, similar to most full-size flatirons.
Width of Plates
Mini flat irons mostly come with ½ or 1 inch wide plates. This helps in not missing the hair bristles, frizz and fuzz. Everything gets ironed out to match the rest of the hair. Another aspect that you need to watch out for is whether the edges of these plates are rounded off. Such plates avoid your hair to get tangled while using the iron. Some mini flat irons also have a plate width of 1 ½ to 1 ¾ inches. These are great friends of long and/or thick hair.
Material of Plates
The material used always synchronizes with the technology the flat iron has to offer for you. Mini flatirons with ceramic plates combined with negative ion heating are the best for delicate and thin hair. Some also have infrared heating technology.
Another variation of ceramic is tourmaline ceramic, which is powdered tourmaline, a crystal that reduces static while ironing and helps avoid frizz. Pure tourmaline and titanium plates work better than ceramic or aluminum plates to keep hair straight for a longer period. The other most preferred material is titanium. This material allows even heating all through the plates.
Size & Weight
Apart from the width of plates, you also need to consider the length of these plates. Longer plates can be difficult to manage, sometimes resulting in burnt hair. However, they are great for long hair and keep the hair straight for a longer time. Some travel and mini flatirons with smaller widths also come in longer sizes. Also, look for a mini flatiron that weighs less and is easy to travel with. The ones with metallic and aluminum plates weigh heavy.
Mini flatirons that are best if you like international travel have a dual-voltage option. This allows you to use them no matter the country you are in. Some mini flatirons are also cordless, reducing the hassle of managing long cords. Some let you charge the iron using a USB port.
An anti-slip grip, a swivel cords, insulated pouches and heat-resistant gloves are some of the add-ons to look for while purchasing a mini flat iron.
Drawbacks and Cautions
Mini flatirons turn out to be best hair buddies for travelers and busy professionals, but they come with their own set of drawbacks.
Single heat settings with a constant stream of a high temperature will harm thin and fragile hair, as excess heat leads to easy breakage and loss of hair. Commonly, these heat settings are non-adjustable with mini flat irons. Using a heat-protectant hairspray is a must! The excessive heat may also burn your hair and at times your hands too if you are not used to using it. A heat-resistant glove would be helpful.
While you may read ‘tuck it in your purse’ as a common feature that is highlighted on travel or mini flatirons, that may not be of great use in reality, always. You would not always keep an iron in your purse as you go about your daily routine. It sounds nice on the box but don’t let yourself be carried away by this feature.
Lightweight irons are preferred for travel, but you need to take some extra care to avoid breakage. The lighter irons are easy to break compared to bulkier ones. Use the case or pouch provided by the manufacturer to avoid breakage.
Unfortunately, the width and short length of mini flat irons don’t work well for long hair, as it takes long for these small irons to straighten every strand.
Quick Comparison Chart of the Best Mini Flat Irons
BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Mini Straightening Iron
MHU Professional Travel Size 0.5 inch Mini Flat Iron
Travel Smart by Conair 1/2-in. Ceramic Straightener
CROC Baby Professional Mini Travel Iron
Conair MiniPRO 1/2-inch Ceramic Flat Iron
Reviews of the Best Mini Flat Irons
There are many good mini flatirons out there on the market, but only a few make it to the top of the list. These have satisfied many flatiron users and continue to do so.
BaBylissPRO Nano has ½ inch titanium plates, the first criteria for a great mini flatiron. These titanium-ceramic plates help in creating a smooth, straight look for short to medium length hair. It has a dual-voltage feature and is about six inches in length, allowing you to carry it with you around the globe. The maximum temperature it can reach is up to 440 F degrees.
- It is lightweight and travel-friendly.
- It irons out all uneven hair.
- People with long hair may not choose this, as the small plates would take really long to run through the hair and give the desired look.
- It is not recommended for curling as it lacks beveled edges.
- It has no temperature adjustments.
"It's a good flat iron. It does everything that a big one does"
MHU Professional Travel is a tourmaline-ceramic hair straightener with 0.5 inch wide plates. It heats up to 356 F degrees. It has a non-slip design, adding good grip during use. It is about 6 inches (15 cm) long with a 6-foot-long (1.8-meter) cord. The negative ionic technology gives you a frizz-free look.
- Its tiny size and light body make it suitable for kids, travel, short hair, bangs and the long hair tail.
- No dual-voltage; works only on 110 volts.
Conair’s Travel Smart hair straightener distributes heat evenly with ceramic technology. The plates heat-up in 30 seconds. It has a travel pouch to help keep it compact on the go.
- Works great for both short and medium length hair.
- Great value for money.
- Not a dual-voltage iron. Be sure to bring your adapter if going abroad!
The CROC Mini Travel Iron measures 7.5 inches long and 0.625 inches wide. The iron has salon-grade technology, allowing you to have silky and soft hair after straightening. The plates are made of ceramic that emits negative-ions. It has a swivel cord for easy movement. The flat iron heats to 430 F degrees. It comes in two colors: black and white. It is a dual-voltage flat iron.
- A heat-proof case and a mat are add-ons in the package.
- It works well for fine hair.
- It takes time for the plates to get hot, so you would need some patience.
"It's worth the money!"
The half-inch wide blades on the Conair MiniPRO are made of ceramic and come in four different colors: black, green, pink and purple. The maximum temperature it can reach is about 365 F degrees. To keep it travel-friendly, the Conair MiniPRO comes with a case which can be used to store the flatiron. It weighs just about a pound and is 9.5 inches long.
- The MiniPro has a 5-feet cord, making it easy to maneuver.
- It works well with curly hair too.
- It does not have dual-voltage or auto-shut off features.
"This is an awesome product!"
‘Should I or should I not?’ — is this still a question that lingers in your mind with regard to buying a mini flatiron? Hopefully this article has helped you become more aware of some of the features you need to look for before making your purchase. There are some aspects such as the thickness of plates, the material used and the heat settings that cannot be ignored.
Being an avid traveler or hopping from site to site and meeting to meeting need not keep you away from styling your hair. A mini flatiron can save your style statement!