You are here : Home > Tutorials & "How-To's" > How to Choose a Flat Iron


How to Choose a Flat Iron



When purchasing a new flat iron, there are many different attributes to consider such as plate type, plate size, temperature, and features. It's important to have a good understanding of each if you want to find the perfect tool for your hair type and styling needs.

Plate Types
  • Ceramic Plates : Solid ceramic plates are always ionic, and produce maximum infrared heat. They reach high temperatures very fast while distributing heat evenly to prevent damaging hot spots. These smooth, chip resistant plates eliminate frizz, seal the hairs cuticle and add shine to achieve smooth results.
  • Tourmaline Plates : Tourmaline is a naturally occurring element that becomes negatively charged. When introduced to heat it produces six times more negative ions than ceramic which heats hair more quickly. Your hair is dried from the inside-out rather than from the outside-in which locks the hairs cuticle. The result is healthy, shinier hair.
  • Titanium Plates : Titanium plates are very strong, lightweight, and emit negative ions. Similar to the ceramic plates, they heat up evenly and maintain temperatures with little fluctuation.
  • Metal Plates : I strongly recommend not using a flat iron with plates made of metal. They provide low-quality, uneven heat distribution which only leaves hair damaged. Metal plates will not create a long lasting straight look.

Plate Size
  • 1/2" to 1" : If you have shorter hair you can get away with a flat iron that has slimmer plates. This allows for more precise styling.
  • 1 3/8" to 2" : If your hair is longer, I recommend larger plates which allow you to straighten bigger sections of hair at time. This cuts down on styling time.

Temperature
  • Variable temperature control is a must in any new flat iron. Ideal temperature is vital to achieve professional results, especially when straightening wavy to super curly hair. The curlier your hair the higher the temperature you may need to get smooth results. Therefore, I recommend a flat iron with a variable heat setting for versatility.
    • 140 F : For fine hair or touch ups
    • 410 F : For thick hair or quick straightening
If you do not have the ability to adjust and set a preferred temperature, you will eventually fry your hair leaving it severely damaged. To learn more about the right temperature for your hair type, read our tutorial on Flat Iron Temperature Settings for Different Hair Types.

Features
  • Ionic Technology : What are the benefits of ions? Your hair carries positive electrical charges caused by dry friction and natural movement. These positive electrical charges cause hair cuticles to open which results in dull, unhealthy hair. The negative ionic technology cancels the positive electrical charges, thus smoothing, relaxing and repairing your hair.
  • Far-Infrared Heat : Far infrared heat is a general description of the properties in heated ceramic. Ceramic flat irons all use far infrared heat. It penetrates further than visible wavelengths to heat only a direct area of your hair rather than the entire space. This process is referred to as direct light conversion into heat. Also, far infrared heat lacks dangerous UV rays and other wavelengths. 
  • Nano Technology : Nano is an advanced smoothing and styling technology infused into flat iron plates. Typically, nano works with another technology such as Nano Silver or Nano Titanium. You will want to avoid Nano Ceramic plates because they contain a small amount ceramic. Always get solid ceramic plates.

Oh yeah, always remember to deep condition your hair once a week and use heat protector when flat ironing. This will keep your hair healthy and prevent damage!