How to Choose a Flat Iron

Choose a Flat Iron
Choose a Flat Iron

How to Choose a Flat Iron. Think all flat irons are created equal? Unfortunately, that's just not the case. Still, you don't have to break the bank to get a quality hair straightener. Follow these steps to find the best flat iron for you.

First, consider power and heat. If your flat iron lacks either, you're going to regret buying your new hair tool sooner rather than later. Temperature is vital when it comes to using a flat iron to straighten wavy hair. It's even more important when it comes to super curly hair. The curlier your hair the higher the temperature you may need to get smooth results. Therefore, we recommend a flat iron with a variable heat setting between 140 F (for fine hair or touch ups) and upwards of 410 F (for thick hair or quick straightening).

Make sure the flat iron's plates are ceramic. They heat up better and more evenly for smoother, healthier looking hair without hot spots that cause heat damage.

For those with super stubborn hair, try splurging on a flat iron that has both ceramic and tourmaline technology. The added tourmaline will emit negative ions which leave hair super silky and soft.

If you have short hair, be sure to buy a straightening iron with slimmer plates for more precise styling. Plates ranging from ½ to 1 inch will make it easier to capture smaller sections of short hair. Alternately, those with longer hair should purchase a flat iron with plates between 1 3/8 to 2 inches wide so you can straighten larger sections of hair at a time. This will cut down on styling time.

Weight is another factor to consider. For those with short hair, your straightening time will likely be shorter. Therefore, a heavier iron will not be a burden. If you have long hair or especially long and thick hair, however, you'll want to purchase the lightest iron possible to cut down on wrist and arm strain. Look for a model around 1 ½ lbs.

If price is an issue, don't worry. Yes, you can spend upwards of $125 on your flat iron; but we found you can get a comparable model with many of the same features for around $75. The models get cheaper still if you don't need the tourmaline technology. Good flat irons with only ceramic technology and variable heat setting go for as little as $50.

Tips & Warnings

  • To give your hair a protective barrier while you're straightening it, use a styling product with added silicone. The silicone coats the hair with a thin protective layer that helps prevent damage and give hair shine.
  • Excessive use of flat irons can damage your hair. To prevent this, use a flat iron only when neccessary. Use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner to keep your hair healthy.

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