This Beauty Gadget Makes Traveling So Easy

Photographed by Winnie Au.
Raise your hand if your work bathroom has a power outlet. Nobody? Now, close your eyes and think about the plug situation in your childhood bedroom. They're nowhere near a mirror, are they? Even if you happen to be blessed with a Kylie-esque setup everywhere you travel, there are still dozens of reasons it's the perfect time to consider going wireless with your hair tools.

But before you scoff at the idea, let us assure you that a lot has changed since you last tried one. While there's still a time and place for butane-powered curling irons (they're incredibly budget-friendly and great for backpacking or camping), there is an entirely new crop of stylers that you can charge just like a cell phone — in your car or plugged into a wall — or in their own charging docks, similar to how you'd power up a Clarisonic. And they actually work really well.

Will they completely replace your go-to hot tools? Probably not, as they're often more compact and most do need to charge between uses, but they will allow for styling sans outlet. So, are you ready to stop fighting for bathroom time at your parents' house over the holidays? Can you prepare yourself to be able to smooth your frizz or touch up your waves before going straight from work to a holiday party? We hope so — because the future is here, and it's perfectly coiffed.

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This full-size flat iron charges in a docking station, and has a locking mechanism to keep it closed in your bag and while heating (which helps it heat quicker). It features far-infrared heat technology, floating titanium plates, and delivers negative ions, which can help create smoother, shinier results.

You can pick your temperature, up to 400 degrees, so it's perfect for any hair type, texture, or desired style. A single charge will last between 15 and 30 minutes, which is either a few short touch-ups or one serious styling job. But you really shouldn't be flat-ironing for more than 30 minutes at a time anyway.

Amika Movos Wireless Styler, $150, available at Sephora.
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The Barbar ceramic flat iron is also a full-size tool, but you can operate it with or without the cord. Translation: You can treat it as your primary straightener and then ditch the cord for touch-ups on the go. It heats quicker than any of the other models we tried (as little as three minutes) and reaches 392 degrees. However, it can only hold the highest temp without the cord for about five minutes, so if you're not near an outlet it's best suited for pre-party smoothing or re-curling.

Barbar 1800 Ceramic Cordless Flat Iron 1 Inch, 134.99, available at Target.
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Celeb hairstylist Sarah Potempa's hero tool may be the Beachwaver, but her cordless iron shouldn't be overlooked. The adjustable temperature gets up to 450 degrees, and it has silicon plates for smooth results, comes with a heat-resistant carrying case, and can hold a charge for 30 minutes. You plug it directly into the wall, but there's also a car charger available for $19. #RoadTripLifeSaver

Beachwaver Co. Jet Setter Flat Iron, $99, available at Joyus.
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This ceramic curling iron has a mini clamp, making it ideal for both traditional curling or for use as a wand. The removable cord plugs directly into the wall, and it has three heat settings: blue is 340, green is 375, and red is 392. A full charge will get you about 30 minutes of curl time.

But the best part is the size. Most cordless curling irons of yesteryear were on the small side, but this 1-inch tool is well-suited for defining and creating waves or big curls and making lived-in bends and movement in straight hair.

Chi Escape Cordless Hair Styling Iron, $109.99, available at Ulta.
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Conair is the OG of the wireless curling iron, and its updated butane iron is still relevant for a variety of reasons. It's affordable, yes, but it also runs purely on cartridges, which means that it's perfect when charging isn't possible: camping, traveling through a foreign country, creating a full look in your car before a party (we're not judging). Depending on how often you style, a cartridge could last for months, and a two-pack of replacements is only about $7.

It's also great for defining naturally curly hair, as the 5/8-inch barrel suits a variety of ringlets. You can't control the temperature — it's an on-or-off situation — but for the lack of charger, it's a good tool to have in your back pocket.

Infiniti by Conair Mini Pro Cordless Therma Cell Butane Cartridge Curling Iron 5/8 Inch, $19.99, available at Drugstore.com.
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