The ability to create bouncy curls or waves with a flat iron (we know, it seems counter-intuitive!) is a biggie in the beauty industry and merits a bit more discussion. If you’re totally lost and there aren’t enough video tutorials on the planet to explain this weird yet awesome process, don’t worry! Just follow along with our step-by-step guide and you will be curling with the best of them in no time!
No two heads of hair are the same, so the straightener that does wonders on your best friend's fine tresses may be useless on your curly mane. Luckily, there are many different types of hair straighteners. Some provide higher heat settings and wide plates to tackle thick curly hair, and others have ceramic plates and options for low heat settings that are better suited to easily damaged fine hair.
Flat irons can get pricey, but they’re an investment. The Chi Elite is inexpensive when compared to other high-end tools in the industry, making it a safe bet for those new to hair styling. Though it may be more expensive than some hair straighteners, it offers a high level of quality that the others don’t (not to mention it’s a Chi, which is known for quality). We tested the HSI, which is about $60 less expensive than the Chi Elite, and its cheapness was apparent at first glance. It did nothing for any of our testers’ hair. If you’re a beginner, the Chi Elite is a great first flat iron.
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The curling iron can also have either a spring-loaded, Marcel, or clipless handle. Spring-loaded handles are the most popular and use a spring to work the barrel's clamp. When using a Marcel handle, one applies his or her own pressure to the clamp. Clipless wands have no clamp, and the user simply wraps hair around a rod. Most clipless curling irons come with a Kevlar glove to avoid burns.
So far I like this straightener. I haven't figured out the curling part of it but will be watching some videos next for that. Other than that it does a good job of straightening hair. I have super thick hair with natural ringlets. It usually takes multiple passes to get my hair soft and smooth. This one does a good job b/c it closes properly down on the hair and doesn't leave my hair looking crimped. The hair also doesn't get caught under the blades and rip out of my head like my last straightener. I haven't used the $200 one that is comparable with this one but I am super picky and this is a good straightener!!
It is important to consider what options are important to you when selecting a hair straightener. You must select a hair iron with a heat setting that fits your needs. If you have fine hair, a lower heat setting may be sufficient. However, thick coarse hair may require a higher heat setting to achieve your desired look. Plate size should also be considered. A flat iron with small plates might be best for shorter hair, while a flat iron with larger plates might be best for longer hair. Some hair straighteners have features such as temperature readouts and rollers that might be important to your needs.
Once you get over the sticker shock, you'll see just how revolutionary this tool is. It's not a traditional flat iron by any means, but one of the attachments called the "firm smoothing brush" can be used to straighten and smooth frizz in coarse, thick hair. Best part? It works on damp hair, so you're cutting down on the time it takes to get ready as well.
Size matters. With plates too big or too small, you’ll have to make multiple passes. This exposes your hair to high heat longer and increases the risk that you’ll do damage. According to Janine Jarman, owner and operator of acclaimed Hollywood salon Hairroin, a 1-inch-wide plate will do for most people, and if you want to use your iron for anything other than straightening, like creating curls or waves, you’ll need a 1-inch plate; anything larger won’t make the waves or curls tight enough. She also pointed out length is important too. “You need plates to be at least 3 inches long, or close to it, so you’re not spending a ton of time with small sections.”
There’s no use cramming a bunch of hair between two hot plates if not all of it will actually get ironed. Making small sections is annoying, sure, but if you try to iron too much at once, it won’t work and you’ll end up going back over the hair multiple times anyway, which can cause damage. This is especially important for those with kinky or tightly coiled hair. If you don’t section your hair, your flat iron won’t work the way you want it to.
This got my hair straight. The teeth on the Iron helped to get my ends straight. So I didn’t have to chase it with a brush/comb. It comes with a comb, 2 clips and a bottle to add the water to the dispenser. No directions on how to add the water. But I looked it up on you tube. I added a couple of drops of Argab oil to the water mixture. This gave me sheen, moisture and protection. The only thing is I couldn’t get my roots. I have really thick hair so I have to get super close to the root but I just used my other Flat Iron to catch the roots. Would still recommend and will be using this method from now on.