Due in large part to the damage we inflicted on our poor locks during this time, we’ve learned that heat protection isn’t just a luxury: it’s mandatory when it comes to hair straightening. That’s why so many hair straighteners now feature conditioners built right into the plates. We also learned that excess heat can cause permanent damage to hair, so now many flat irons come with automatic turn-off features or self-adjusting heat settings. Well, as the saying goes, there is no progress without a bit of struggle and our hair certainly struggled during the early 2000’s!
We started with six flat irons but ultimately dropped two because they didn’t work well on any of our testers’ hair. The inexpensive, but highly rated HSI Professional Glider Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron was bulky and awkward. Testers said it felt like two pieces of plastic passing through their hair. We thought the NuMe Megastar Hair Straightener, a popular and more high-end tool, would be a clear contender for our list. However, testers said it snagged hard against their hair to the point of hurting. It was also difficult to hold closed when styling. Because both of these flat irons received such low ratings among our testers, we didn’t include them in our top picks.
Hair breakage is an all too common problem, and even the most seasoned of hair stylists can slip up from time to time. That’s why LumaBella’s Keratin Duel Touch Hair Straightener features a unique smart heat sensor. This nifty little gadget can actually tell when there is too much heat for your hair, and will automatically adjust to a safer styling temperature!
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.
That’s what is so great about hair straighteners: these devices can give you salon-worthy curls or celebrity-inspired straight hair that can change just as easily as your mood if you’d like! So, the next time you find yourself wishing for something you don’t naturally have, try using your hair straightener to bring out the best of your natural beauty. Who knows, you just might love a change!
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.
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.
We’ve all heard the saying that the grass is always greener on the other side, and our hair types tend to follow the same old adage. If you were born with a head full of beautiful curls, you probably spent your childhood longing for straight hair; if you were born with bone straight hair, then you’ve probably spent more hours than you’d care to admit with a throbbing curler-induced headache. No matter how hard we may try to love the hair we’re born with; the truth is that most of us wish there were something else perched on top of our heads from time to time.
Nor does it speak to those of us who work long hours at our job - who support our families and who struggle with issues like how to pay the bills or how to put the kids through college - who have limited time and energy for training - and who are more interested in how to train for lifelong strength and health than in how to gain 30 pounds of muscle in six weeks.
The type of heat you use to style your hair makes a big difference in how healthy it will be. Our Xtava Pro-Satin Infrared Ceramic Flat Iron for Hair uses infrared heating technology, which heats hair from the inside out. Infrared technology is a game-changer for styling your hair because it allows heat to penetrate directly into the inner part of the hair strand, not just the outside layer. Infrared heating to the middle of the hair strand provides a more effective heat for styling and decreases damage to the outside of your hair. Infrared technology also stimulates negative ions in your hair that draw oils from the hair shaft to the surface; this helps lock in moisture and lock in your look, even in humid weather. Better heat = better hair health. Guess that’s not much of a secret after all, is it?