Thankfully, we’ve learned a lot about hair care and preserving your hair’s natural integrity while styling. However, this wasn’t always the case. If you ever had a perm done in the 80’s or teased your hair to holy heaven in the 90’s, chances are pretty good that your hair has endured a bit of damage. The same can be said if you color your hair on a regular basis or recently went from your natural brunette color to a bright platinum blonde. No matter how the damage was caused, there are certain features you will want to shop for when selecting the ideal hair straightener for your course hair type:
Coming in at a close second, the CHI G2 Ceramic and Titanium Flat Iron is our second editor’s choice as the best hair straightener on the market today – featuring fool-proof and color-coded temperatures for easy straightening or who just wants to protect their luscious locks. We also love the digital display that is featured on the CHI G2 model along with its combination ceramic and titanium design for optimal shine!
Before placing your entire head under unnecessary heat conditions, try straightening a small section of your hair with what you believe is your ideal heat setting. Take notice of the way your hair reacts to this temperature, paying close attention to any fraying or singeing that may result. Smoking and that dreaded burnt hair smell are a sign that you may need to tone it down a bit to avoid permanent damage to your precious locks.
If you lived through this particular time in our world history, then you probably remember the super straight hairstyles that we all sported a time or two (bonus points if you took a photo of yourself like this in your bathroom mirror using a digital camera!). For reasons we may never know for certain, sharp and straight hair was the hairstyle of choice back in the early 2000’s giving the good old hair straightener somewhat of a bad reputation.
Cleaning your flat iron is critical to ensuring it works as well as it did the first time you used it. Over time, hair product can build up on the plates. This buildup can lead to inconsistent styling results and major snagging. To clean your flat iron, simply wait for it to cool down and wipe the plates with a cotton swab or soft cloth coated in rubbing alcohol.
When you’re shopping around for a great flat iron that’ll give you flawless waves, you’re essentially looking for three specific qualifications. First, you want something that’s got one inch plates or smaller. Any thicker, and the curls will be so loose, they’ll be virtually non-existent on anyone whose got hair shorter than the butt. Secondly, a rounded body is a must, as you’re wrapping the hair around and through the straightener to create a loose curl. Third, you need something that’s sleek and easy to handle, so your hair won’t snag and break off while you’re curling. Check out these awesome options that make it easy to curl your hair with a straightener.
This is an absolute MUST HAVE for anyone with natural black hair. We talked earlier about how dangerous low-end flat irons can be for anyone with type 3 or type 4 hair, and this is precisely why. If you fit into those hair types, any straightener without an adjustable temperature control is likely to be way too hot for your hair to handle – especially for long-term use.
My daughter is natural with 4b/4c. Her hair is very thick plus she is tender-headed (sensitive to anyone doing her hair). I have purchased numerous of flat irons in the past but none has stood apart from the Furiden stream iron. I was quite surprised at the outcome. It was definitely worth the wait. I love the fact that it less damaging to her natural hair and it does the job well, even my friends were shocked with the results. Oh, the comb like on the flat iron was an awesome ideal. I strongly recommend this flat iron to all my natural sisters. My only regret that I did not take before and after pictures of her hair.
Most mid-grade and high-end hair straighteners come with plates that are 1” or 1.5”. If you are looking at one that is 2”, 2.5”, or even bigger, steer clear immediately. Not only does larger plates make it easier for you to accidentally over-iron (and seriously damage) your hair, but they also make it more difficult to get all of the way down to your roots. For anyone with type 3 or type 4 hair, trying to use a large-sized flat iron would be far more trouble than it’s worth.
The contents of the box included warranty information. There was no user manual which could have provided information on the items above and would answer many of the frustrations voiced by reviewers here. Overall, I feel this flat iron is a great value. I hope Xtava plans to make a 1" infrared flat iron. That is a product I would be very interested in!
3-in-1 Steam Hair Straightener STRAIGHTENS, FLIPS, CURLS: The upgraded 2018 design of PureBlackMagic Flat Iron Styler by TRENDY PRO will not only infuse your hair with Argan Oil or Water Steam for long lasting frizz-free silky hair but will also be there for you whether you are in a mood for straight, curly or flip-up hair style. This baby has enough power to turn the frizziest coarsest hair to silky and soft in a single pass - call it Pure Black Magic, IT WORKS!
“I’ve owned a Conair, Chi, and I-Tech straighter before, but this one is FABULOUS! There really is no tugging at all on your hair — so smooth, and I was shocked that it truly heats up in 15 seconds, as advertised! It also does something magical to my hair: It adds more shine like no flat iron has done before. Mind you, my hair is very difficult to deal with. It has always been coarse, wavy, dry, and thick! This iron worked beautifully on my hair.”
Creative director of GLAMSQUAD Giovanni Vaccaro prefers this flat iron by Sedu. "The ceramic plates are really key to maintain the integrity and healthiness of the hair," he says. To get expertly straight hair, Vaccaro recommends using a boar-bristle brush to help mediate frizz, and that "the follow through is key" when moving the iron and comb completely from roots to tips.
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The last time I used a legitimate curling iron, I was getting ready for my eighth grade Halloween dance. This is not an exaggeration. I’ve been using a flat iron to curl my hair since the very day I learned how. One of my closest beauty-savvy friends showed me the basics, I begged my mom for a great straightener that curls hair, and I perfected the skill by watching flat iron curling tutorials on YouTube. Yeah, there’s a slight learning curve, but once you know how to use a straightener to get curls, you’ll never go back to curling irons again. No clips, no burns, no need for gloves, and one tool covers all your bases.
If you’re looking for an affordable mid-grade hair straightener that offers tremendous value, you can’t go wrong with the HSI Professional Digital Ceramic Flat Iron with Tourmaline. With a quick heat-up, digital LCD temperature control, and solid ceramic plates infused with tourmaline, you can straighten type 3 hair – and some type 4 hair – with ease.
Early hair straightening systems relied on harsh chemicals that tended to damage the hair. In the 1870s, the French hairdresser Marcel Grateau introduced heated metal hair care implements such as hot combs to straighten hair. Madame C.J. Walker used combs with wider teeth and popularized their use together with her system of chemical scalp preparation and straightening lotions. Her mentor Annie Malone is sometimes said to have patented the hot comb. Heated metal implements slide more easily through the hair, reducing damage and dryness. Women in the 1960s sometimes used clothing irons to straighten their hair.
Derek Yuen, the man responsible for Cole Sprouse's grown-up new look, recommends the GHD Platinum Professional Performance iron. The flat iron is consistently and evenly heated at 365 degrees, which is safer and less damaging on the strands. “The beveled edges also allow for infinite styling possibilities, not just just for straightening hair,” says Yeun.
If you travel abroad often, you won't have to worry about ruining your investment, either, because the GHD Gold has universal voltage. It also features a generously long 9-foot cord with 360-degree rotation to prevent tangling. The automatic sleep mode shuts off the straightener if it hasn't been used in 30 minutes, so you'll have peace of mind if you forget to shut it off in your morning rush out the door. If something does go wrong, the GHD Gold comes with a 2-year manufacturer's warranty.
There is a slide at the base which holds the device from opening all the way (easier for storing) but if you slide the piece it allows the flat iron to open all the way. The instructions inside the box don't explain this part, so at first I thought it didn't open very far, but once I figured this out, it became a breeze to use. Speaking of the instructions, they are listed in English, Spanish, French, and German. (I think... I don't speak/read all of those languages, but I believe that's correct.)
“This is a badass flat iron. Here’s the skinny: The moment you turn it on, it has a ‘Fragile, Damaged, Healthy’ setting, and it also auto-locks the buttons to keep what temperature you want while doing your hair. It comes with a professional bag for traveling with it. This flat iron is ‘pinky in the air while drinking your tea’ fancy. It is the Ferrari of flat irons, for a girl on a budget wanting a new flat iron. And for my fellow sistas: It works amazingly on African-American hair.”
Most reviewers on Ulta love the GHD Gold, praising how quickly it heats up, how it makes their hair feel, and how long this tool has lasted them. Some reviewers did feel that it was too expensive and didn't like the lack of control they had over the temperature setting. While those with very fine hair may find the 365-degree setting too hot, the lack of different settings, in this case, is to help prevent hair damage. The price is steeper than some, but it's also a straightener that's built to last, which helps justify the price.
If you have ever visited a luxury spa or wellness company, you have probably run across far infrared heat a time or two. Without going into too much science, infrared heat is the same heat you feel when the sun kisses your cheeks and warms your body from the inside-out. Far infrared heat, in particular, has been used by medical and wellness professionals for years to treat a variety of conditions from muscle pain to even cancer.
Twist And Curl – The awesome folks at Good Housekeeping couldn’t have put it better than this: curling your hair with a flat iron is like curling ribbon with a pair of scissors. To do this, simply clamp your hair straightener around a piece of hair as you normally would when straightening, except flip the entire tool, so your hair is now wrapped around one of the plates. Holding the tip of your hair for support, simply glide the straightener down the entire length of hair and just like magic, you’ve made a curl!
If you have trouble remembering to unplug your flat iron before heading out, you’ll appreciate the Chi Air’s one-hour automatic shutoff. Since people have preferences regarding auto shutoff this wasn’t a criteria for us, but our testers thought it was helpful. One tester said she often leaves her flat iron on in the morning and invested in a timed switch to make sure it’s off. So if you’re forgetful when it comes to turning off your tools, then auto shutoff might be an important feature for you.