What To Look For In The Perfect Flat Iron Sep 19, 2016 by Sarah (Day Styles)
Many people consider the flat iron an essential tool when they’re getting ready in the morning, but the quality of the flat iron is something many people don’t consider. It can be overwhelming trying to decide between different models with different functions and features. Do you need to use ceramic or titanium? Do you need steam or no steam? Do you need a large iron or a small iron? There are definitely things that you need to consider before investing in a nice flat iron - and here are some that are at the top of our list.
Like anything, flat irons can come in a huge range of prices: you can purchase ones for $20 at your local pharmacy, or you can splurge and spend $250 on one at an upscale salon. Remember that if you're going too low on price, you’re sacrificing quality. If you have thin hair or thick hair, sacrificing quality may not be in your best interests. Fine hair will break easily if the flat iron gets too hot or pulls on your hair, and for those with thick hair, it may not be able to tame your tresses if it can’t get hot enough (or it may take five hours just to get through your whole mane). Either way, it’s definitely something you need to consider before purchasing.
The texture of your hair will determine how hot you need your flat iron to be. Ideally, you can find a flat iron with an adjustable temperature nob on it so you can reduce the heat as needed. It’s always best to use the flat iron on as low heat as possible so that there’s minimal damage to your hair. If you have thin hair, you should try to find a flat iron that has a minimum temperature below 180 degrees Fahrenheit, and if you have really thick textured hair, find a flat iron that’s range goes up above 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ceramic has become a popular choice because of it heats evenly and lack “cool spots” that other metal flat irons can develop. They are especially great at keeping frizzy hair tamed and smooth, especially if your hair is fine and tends to run wild. Often, ceramic irons are coated in a substance called tourmaline (although you can find them without), and you might want to consider this expensive addition.
Tourmaline is the substance that makes it possible for ceramic irons to straighten your hair with less heat because of its high negative ion count. Tourmaline irons differ from both ceramic and titanium irons because instead of only producing those negative ions when the iron is turned on, tourmaline continuously produces them while you’re using the iron. This helps give you greater control of your hair and better results as well, but with way less heat, which is ideal if you’re concerned about the health of your hair. It’s a pretty great solution for most types of hair (thick, thin, curly, frizzy) and is the latest and greatest substance in heat styling. Unfortunately, these irons can be a bit pricier than others.
Titanium is best known for being able to heat up very quickly and staying hot. Titanium irons produces 60% more negative ions than ceramic irons, and that ionic change in the titanium helps to smooth hair and prevent frizz from forming during the straightening process. A titanium iron is best for people with thick and unmanageable hair because of how hot it can get. Titanium irons are the ones most frequently used in salons as well.
The thickness of your hair is the best indication of the size of the plate you should look for in a flat iron. If your hair is short, you’ll want a narrower plate. For thick, curly, or long hair, a bigger plate is probably your best bet. Smaller plates are about half an inch thick, whereas the larger plates are about 1 to 1.5 inches thick. In the end, don’t just pick up the cheapest iron at the drugstore! A more expensive version that is better suited to your hair can make your morning ritual that much easier and healthier.