For those with thick hair, the idea of "quick styling" often feels like an impossible dream. It's usually easier to use the "throw it up and go" technique to get out the door in time. However, straight, sleek hair doesn't have to be a luxury reserved for those with fine hair, especially when you have a styling tool designed to tackle even the thickest, curliest hair like the Xtava Pro.
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.
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!
Straightening irons, straighteners, or flat irons work by breaking down the positive hydrogen bonds found in the hair's cortex, which cause hair to open, bend and become curly. Once the bonds are broken, hair is prevented from holding its original, natural form, though the hydrogen bonds can re-form if exposed to moisture. Straightening irons use mainly ceramic material for their plates. Low-end straighteners use a single layer of ceramic coating on the plates, whereas high-end straighteners use multiple layers or even 100% ceramic material. Some straightening irons are fitted with an automatic shut off feature to prevent fire accidents.
Sure, the drugstore flat iron you used on its highest setting back in the day was clunky and had a tendency to fry your hair if you glanced away for more than a second, and okay fine, your mom probably told you that you looked a little “emo” from time to time. Luckily, those days are long gone and hair straighteners have truly come a long way since the days of The Jersey Shore.
By-and-large, most people with natural hair have some variation of type 3 or type 4 – which is exactly why low-end hair straighteners can be so dangerous. More curly natural black hair has a tendency to be more porous than other hair types. As a result, it can lose moisture easily and become damaged. With the wrong flat iron, this can lead to split ends and breakage after just a single use.
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.
The solution? Automatic shut off. That way, even if you do forget to turn off your hair straightener, you can be at ease knowing it will turn off on its own automatically. Not all hair straighteners come with this feature, and if you don't have an issue remembering to turn these types of things off it may not be necessary. Still, a little peace of mind and extra precaution never hurt.
Negative ions have been a longtime fan favorite in the hair care industry, and it is no surprise that this same technology would appear in our top picks for the best hair straightener. Negative ions have been found to reduce static and frizz while locking in moisture, and the same goes for your hair when you use the CHI Air Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron!
Brant Mayfield, who styles everyone from Diane von Furstenberg to Nicole Scherzinger, favors this glossy white flat iron. "It has digital single pass technology, which helps for smoothness and contains an eternal microchip that maintains an even temperature," he says. The angled edges and ceramic plates will keep your hair smooth and without kinks.
According to hair pro Christian Wood, if you want to make sure your hair stays in the place, use the GHD gold mini styler. “I prefer a small straightener that I can get really close to the roots to remove stubborn kinks and cow licks,” says Wood. The small straightener trick is probably how he nails the beauty looks of Tessa Thompson, Emily Ratajkowski, Rosie Huntington, and Olivia Munn.