The first ever hair straightener was invented by Parisian Marcel Grateau in 1872. He used heated rods to straighten or style hair, which used heat but caused minimal damage. Currently, "Marcel" is a word used to describe a hair styling technique.
The current design of hair straighteners, consisting of two heated iron plates connected with a hinge, was invented by Lady Jennifer Bell Schofield in 1912. Present-day straighteners use ceramic plates instead. This new version of the hairstyling tool can lock in moisture, thus causing less damage. Old hair straighteners featured metal or glass plates, which did not heat evenly, causing burns to the hair.