As a woman’s hair is her crowning glory, it is understandable that many women would invest a considerable amount of money on choosing the best hair straightening iron for their hair. In doing so, it is important to consider all the different features, styles, and types of irons available.
Hair Straighteners for Your Hair Type
The first and most important consideration you should make in choosing your hair straightener is its compatibility with your own hair type. People with coarse or curly hair have vastly different needs from those with fine or wavy hair. Therefore, it is best that you familiarize yourself with the needs of your own hair type to make sure that you will not end up damaging it with an incompatible hair iron.
For coarse, thick, and curly hair
If you have coarse, thick, and curly hair, the best way to make it more manageable is to treat it with high temperatures. Therefore, the plates of your hair straightener should be made of tourmaline, ceramic, or titanium to ensure that it will be able to achieve temperatures ranging from 380°F – 410°F.
(List of Flat Irons for curly hair)
Nevertheless, you should still take care to protect your hair from damage by using a heat protection spray while using your flat iron.
For natural, medium, and wavy hair
If you have natural or normal, then you are one of the many people out there who have this hair type. Often, this hair type does not easily get oily or greasy even between washes. However, it also gets enough protection from natural oils to prevent dryness and frizz. Likewise, its medium thickness makes it durable enough to withstand frequent breakage.(20 Best Flat Irons Reviews)
Therefore, this type of hairstyle can be easily styled to become either evenly wavy or straight. As such, your chosen hair straightener will only need to reach a reasonable temperature range of 360-380F.
For fine and thin hair
If you have fine and thin hair, you are most likely already familiar with the special care that this hair type needs. It is prone to damage, breakage, and frizz. Therefore, it is best if you choose the hair straightening iron that will give you lower heat settings.(5 Best Flat Irons For Thin Hair Reviews)
In fact, it is best if you start with a temperature of 260F and gradually work your way up to 290F at most. Going past that temperature limit will cause your hair to become frizzy.
All about Plate Technology
Often, flat irons are equipped with two plates that heat up to make your hair smoother and more manageable. However, these plates can come in different sizes and compositions. You should consider all these important variables to ensure that your hair straightener will suit your hair needs and type.
Flat iron plates often come in a rectangular shape. However, in the case of straightening irons, the width measurement is more important than the length. Narrow iron plates can be used not only to straighten hair, but to create loose curls as well. Meanwhile, wider plates can grab more hair and reach the roots in order to evenly straighten hair from end to end. Likewise, the wider surface area lessens the chances of burning your scalp.
Similarly,hair lengthis another consideration when it comes to choosing plate sizes. Those with longer hair will benefit from a wider plate size that covers more ground in less time. Conversely, those with short hair only need a narrow plate size to create more body and volume.
Most hair straightening irons are equipped with 1.5 to 2 inch plates. However, depending on your actual hair needs and type, you could even consider purchasing an iron with 3 inch plates.
Thankfully, consumers nowadays have more choices when it comes to the composition and capabilities of their hair straightener. Also, the various technological innovations even provide added benefits such as sealing in moisture and sealing the hair follicles. You should definitely take note of these common plate materials before making your final purchase.
The main benefit of ionized ceramic is its ability to smoothen hair cuticles by releasing negative ions. Likewise, these smooth plates are able to create styles that hold their shape even after a long day. Ceramic plates are often mixed with a stronger material such as titanium to provide more structure and stability. It is unlikely that you will find a flat iron plate made solely of ceramic.
Titanium or Silver Plates
The benefit of a silver flat iron plate is that it is undeniably easy to clean. Its smooth surface enables users to simply wipe it with a clean rag to get rid of dirt and grime from product build-up. Titanium creates a similarly smooth surface for easy clean-up with the added benefit of being extremely lightweight.
Unlike ceramic plates, plates made of pure tourmaline can be found in the market. However, in some cases, a small amount of ceramic can also be mixed together with the tourmaline. Nevertheless, any percentage of tourmaline in a hair straightening plate can carry up to six times the amount carried by a predominantly ceramic plate.
Though not a type of flat iron plate per se, nano technology engineers materials such as titanium or ceramic on a microscopic level. As a result, the material composition becomes finer and can generate more negative ions than normal. Hair straightening plates that have been exposed to nano technology can straighten hair much faster than regular plates as well as conduct heat much more efficiently.
Choosing a Hair straightener for International Travel
Aside from the obvious size requirements for a hair straightener that will be used during international travel, weight should also be an important consideration. After all, not only will a lightweight hair iron be easier to use for longer periods, it will also not result in any unnecessary and excess baggage.
Unfortunately, many flat irons are not designed to be used in different countries. Likewise, most are not well-suited to be used with voltage converters or adapters.[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="150"] Photo credit : Beebit. [/caption]
In order to avoid causing electrical shock or causing your hair straightener to explode, it is best if you purchase a portable,pocket-sized ironthat is specifically configured for your destination. For example, a flat iron that you intend to use in North America should have a voltage of 110/220 V.
Another option is to purchase a specially designed travel flat iron. These types of irons can often be kept in a small bag and are also equipped with a dual voltage feature.
What Is Dual Voltage Flat Irons?
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The Evolution of the Flat Iron
Hair straighteners have come a long way from their more dangerous predecessors that often caused more harm than good. Nowadays, it is even possible to use a specially designed wet-to-dry flat iron to treat and style damp hair into smooth and shiny perfection.
Nevertheless, the convenience that this gadget offers should not be abused as hair should still ideally be styled when it is dry and less prone to damage. This type of flat iron should only be used for special occasions or when time is of the essence.
More Accessories to Choose From
Aside from making hair straightening irons easier and more convenient to use, the available features and accessories also provide consumers with more security due to the added benefits and safety options. For more convenience, some flat irons are already fitted with fixed or adjustable brushes.
Accessories for Your Safety
For your safety and security, you could choose to purchase a separate holder. These accessories will lessen the strain on your wrist as well as prevent the chances of accidentally dropping your flat iron or burning a table’s surface. Likewise, these holders can easily be fixed to either clamp onto a table like a bag holder or simply rest on the table.
Similarly, heat resistant gloves, mats, or bags will prevent you from accidentally burning yourself or your other belongings. They will also enable you to quickly pack up your iron without wasting time by letting it cool first.
Accessories for Your Convenience
A useful thermometer gauge is unfortunately not available in all hair straightener models. Likewise, some of the more expensive models even carry a fixed temperature rather than a variable one.
Nevertheless, you should never be swayed by the iron’s flashier features and prioritize the inclusion of a temperature gauge since too much heat can obviously damage fine or naturally straight hair.
Tips for Buying Your Hair straightener Online
When purchasing your hair straightening iron online, you have the option of browsing at reputable and specialized websites or going through more general sellers on eBay or Amazon.
If you are still unsure or wish to have more options available at your disposal, you can enter a general term such as “flat iron” or “hair straightener” into the search box. Otherwise, you can be more specific in your search and consider the plate composition or size in your keywords. Sellers would offer to sell hair straighteners as package deals or in pre-packaged sets.
The most common items that you could find in such sets are hair clips, a brush, a heat resistant mat or bag, and a travelling case for the mini flat irons. You might be tempted buy all of the added accessories and corresponding discounted prices, but you should still make sure that you keep your most important considerations in mind before clicking that check-out button.
Weight is one such consideration that can be hard to determine in the case of an online purchase. You should make sure that you thoroughly read through the product description to ensure that your hair straightening iron will not be needlessly heavy. Otherwise, if the weight is not explicitly listed, you should make sure that you ask the seller regarding this key information.
Thankfully, many sellers are very accommodating and will make the buying process as painless as possible. Additionally, they might even offer enticing free shipping options for orders that reach a certain amount.
Nevertheless, what is most important with online purchases is the availability of a returns and exchange option. You will after all be at a disadvantage if your purchased product is damaged or defective.
In order to avoid such occurrences, you should carefully read through the seller’s return and exchange policies. Similarly,go through the comments section to read other people’s feedback or otherwise check-out the seller’s ranking to see if he or she is a legitimate seller.
Spotting Fake Hair Straighteners
Not all hair straighteners are created equal. Some features might be very specific to a certain brand or flat iron type. It is best if you conduct thorough research on a particular hair straightener of choice to make sure that you will be able to distinguish the real deal from the fakes.
To help you in your research, here are some of the features that you should consider noting when trying to distinguish a fake flat iron.
- The number of holes on the body of the hair iron can be very specific to a model type.
- The place and date of manufacture can be key when determining a genuine article from a fake. A missing manufacture date usually means that an item is fake.
- Some accessories, such as hooks or temperature gauges, are not normally available for many of the more expensive models.
- Take note of the smallest details, such a trademark patterns or symbols, on the flat iron plate or manual.
- Check whether the boxes are correctly sized and labelled. Fakes often have misspelled words on the boxes or tags.
- The boxes should also be sturdy and should not easily bend with applied pressure. They should also be securely sealed.
Don’t Forget the Warranty!
Unfortunately, there are some flat irons that end up breaking down or malfunctioning after only a few uses. It is vital that you ensure that you purchase a hair straightener with a 1 year warranty at least regardless of whether you purchase it from a salon or from an online seller.
Some of the brands that carry a 1 year warranty are Babyliss, GHD, BedHead, and HAI.
Best and Worst Hair Irons for Your Hair and Lifestyle
If you are one of the people out there who cannot stand to step outside without using a flat iron, then you should ensure that you purchase one that is durable enough to withstand daily use and abuse. If you will be applying heat to your hair and head that often, you should make sure that it is especially suited for your hair type.
For thick and short hair
Thicker and more challenging hair types will benefit from a professional flat iron that can reach temperatures of up to 400F at least. The higher heat will lessen the straightening time and thus lessen the possible hair damage that could result. A flat iron fixed at low temperatures will not likely straighten such thick hair the way as fast or as efficiently as you want.
Additionally, the recommended straighteners for this hair type are those with plates which measure 1-1.5 inches. One of the flat irons that fit the requirements is the HAI Convertable Ceramic Flat Iron 1.25 inch, which uses infrared heat technology for faster styling. Another is the Solia Tourmaline Ceramic IonFlat Iron 1.25 inch which can be adjusted to reach high temperatures as well as supply negative ions to your hair to combat frizz.
HAI Convertable Ceramic 1 1/4 inch Pressing Flat Iron
For thick shoulder length or long hair
Your chosen flat iron should have a slightly wider plate size at 2 inches or 1 inch at the minimum. Some of the recommended hair straighteners are the Sedu Revolution Tourmaline Ionic flat iron, Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightening Iron, and the SalonTech Titanium 450 Flat Iron.The plates of these irons are especially suited to generate heat as quickly as possible.[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2ZpIh92zww[/embedyt]
For short normal hair types
Those with normal hair types can have their pick of the litter thanks to the latest innovations such as the ionic process and nano technology. They will only have to pay careful consideration of the added features and plate composition.
However, to save on costs, you might choose to go with an affordable and simple ceramic flat iron if you do not really need to wrestle with unruly locks on a daily basis.
After all, many of those added bells and whistles could just go unused. Those with this hair type only need to use irons with plates measuring 0.5-1 inch plates. A few choice picks are the Tourmaline Ceramic Ionic Hair Styling Iron of Solia, Onepass Nano Ceramic from Bio Ionic, and the eLite Nano XT Flat Iron from HAI.
For normal shoulder length or long hair
The plate sizes for this hair length and type should range from 1-2 inches. The recommended models for this hair type are the GHD Ceramic Classic Styler from GHD, the Tourmaline Ceramic Ion Flat Iron from Solia, and the Brazilian Heat After Dark Titanium.
For fine and fragile hair
In contrast with the irons for thick hair, those with finer and fragile hair should choose a flat iron with an adjustable temperature control. Thin hair can burn easily and burnt hair is definitely not something that you would want to deal with so early in the morning. Instead of a fixed temperature gauge, you should go for one that can generate temperatures as low as 200F.
You would also benefit from a flat iron which can allow you to set an automatic shutoff time. This will prevent you from damaging your hair, or burning down your house for that matter, from prolonged heat exposure. The ideal shutoff time is between 20-40 minutes at a time.
Oftentimes, a blow dryer or heated curlers are simply not enough to help you achieve those movie star locks or perfectly tousled mane. For such cases, both professionals and individuals would prefer to use the more reliable and efficient hair straightening iron. However, since not all irons are created equal, you should definitely take care to read up and learn as much as you can about the various models available to make sure that you will end up with the best flat iron for you.