Need hair straightening away from home? Learn whether or not a battery-powered flat iron will work for your hair and applications.
Battery-powered flat irons are designed for quick hair fixes when you’re on the go, or occasional full styling when you don’t have access to a power source.
They are not made to take the place of your regular flat iron, but they can be incredibly helpful in situations when using a traditional hair straightener would be impossible.
Women with short, fine, or already straight hair can use them for bigger straightening jobs, while women with long, thick, or coarse hair will find them useful to freshen up their already straightened curly hair.
How Does a Battery Powered Straightener Work?
A battery-operated flat iron comes with a removable lithium battery that needs recharging to enable the iron to work. Some models include a wall charger, but most new cordless straighteners can be charged with a USB cable plugged into a wall adapter, laptop, or iPhone.
The battery charging process takes about 2-3 hours, which gives you 30-60 minutes of usage before recharging is needed again, although the actual usage time depends on the battery capacity and the temperature settings you’re using.
The battery should have about 500 discharge/charge cycles before you need to replace it.
Benefits of Battery Powered Flat Irons
- It can be used everywhere. A battery-operated flat iron provides a way to style your hair without a power outlet. The rechargeable battery makes it suitable for travel, camping, music festivals, etc. It’s also great for touch-ups in humid weather, in the car, in a restroom, at the office, or anywhere else.
- Compact and portable. A battery-powered hair straightener is small enough to fit in your purse, your gym bag, or your cosmetic bag. Its compact size will take less space in your suitcase than your bulky regular heat appliances.
- Easy to hold. Battery-powered straighteners are comfortable to hold and easy to use. The absence of a cord allows you to focus on your results instead of dealing with a tangled cord.
- Great for touch-ups. A rechargeable flat iron is perfect for the occasions when you need a quick touch up while traveling, before a meeting, after the gym, or at a party. It’s also perfect for making you photo-ready on special occasions.
- Convenient charging. Newer models of battery-operated hair straighteners come with a USB cable, so you can charge your flat iron with any device that has a USB outlet. Conventional flat irons need to be compatible with different international voltages, but micro-USB is a worldwide charging solution, making battery-operated flat irons easy to recharge, regardless of different international voltages. USB out ports can make your battery-powered straightener an emergency power bank. You can use it to charge your phone or tablet when you are traveling.
- It does not get hot enough. A battery-powered hair straightener does not get as hot as regular flat irons, so this flat iron may not work for you if your hair requires a temperature of over 400 F. If you try, it will take time and effort to get your hair straight, and using it on high temperature continuously will drain the battery rapidly. This is a good reason not to use it for the initial straightening if possible.
- Small plates. Rechargeable flat irons also have fairly small and narrow plates, which is another reason why they are not effective for straightening thick, coarse, or long hair. You must go over the same section several times if you want to get your curly hair straight, so this type of wireless flat iron works best on fine, short, or straight hair.
- It can only be used unplugged. You cannot use a rechargeable straightener during the charging process; you must wait until the charging cable is unplugged.
If you decide to use a portable flat iron for straightening, make sure your hair is completely dry before flat ironing it. Let your hair air dry after washing or thoroughly blow it dry. To obtain the best results, press the plates tightly together while pulling the iron slowly down.
Other Types of Cordless Flat Irons
Butane-powered flat irons. Unlike battery-powered flat irons, this flat iron runs on replaceable butane cartridges that can last 3-6 months, depending on how often you use the flat iron. Butane refills are available online or in the camping section in your local store.
Butane-powered straighteners are very convenient for trips and camping. They are more suitable for touch-ups than for straightening since they don’t get as hot as electric straighteners, and the heat is not consistent enough to straighten curly hair. When used for full styling, butane-powered flat irons can smooth the hair, but will not straighten it pin straight like regular flat irons would.
Some restrictions may apply If you bring this type of flat iron when traveling by plane.
Hair straighteners with a rechargeable base: Some cordless flat irons are heated by inserting them in a stand that is plugged into the wall. You remove the straightener from the stand and use it for about five minutes until it starts to cool down. It takes 1-2 minutes to get it hot and ready for the next pass on your hair.
The main advantage of cordless irons is cord-free straightening. You can take them with you if you stay at a hotel, but generally, this type of flat iron is not as highly portable as battery-powered hair straighteners.