Things to Look for in a Flat Iron

The right flat iron can straighten curly hair pretty quickly and leave it looking smooth and silky rather than dry and fried. However, with all the options available, it can be hard to figure out just which one to purchase. Knowing what to look for will make the decision easier.

Variable Temperatures

Don’t choose a flat iron that only has one temperature. It’s best to use the lowest temperature that works to minimize damage to the hair, and flat irons with only one temperature typically have a higher temperature, sometimes as much as 400 degrees. People with fine hair can often use a temperature between 300 and 325 degrees, while even kinky curls usually respond to a temperature between 350 and 375 degrees.

Ceramic

While they cost more than some of the other types of flat irons, getting a ceramic flat iron is best. Also, 100 percent ceramic plates are the best, as in less expensive flat irons the ceramic coating can flake off and leave metal exposed, which will burn the hair. Those with nano-ceramic tend to have very thin coatings, so avoid these when possible.

Narrow Plates

Although it might sound tempting to get a flat iron with wider plates to more quickly straighten hair, it’s better to choose one with plates that are at most 1 1/2 inches wide, as otherwise, it will be hard to straighten hair near the roots and give less-than-perfect results. Take the time to do it right, one small section of hair at a time.

Added Tourmaline or Titanium

When these are added to a ceramic plate, the increase the negative ions and makes it so the straightened hair is still smooth, shiny, and silky.

Other Considerations

Even the best flat iron could give bad results if not used properly. Only flat iron dry hair, don’t go over the same section of hair more than two times, use a heat protector to minimize the amount of damage to the hair, and use the lowest temperature that gets results. Blowdrying on a low setting before using a flat iron can sometimes make it easier to straighten the hair.