A great flat iron is a MUST for any curly hair girl (like me!) but also a great tool for anyone to straighten out any kinks and get a smooth, silky look.
Recently I’ve had a few friends ask me how to pick a new flat iron. There are many, many options out there and it may seem intimidating to find the one that best meets your needs. I recommend buying a quality flat iron that you can keep for several years (I had my last flat iron for about 5 years before I decided to upgrade the technology.)
You want to find a flat iron that actually gets your hair straight (which depends on your hair type) while being the least damaging and keeping your hair smooth and silky. There are a variety of factors to consider that will help you find the right flat iron.
technology: The main technologies on the market today are: ceramic, tourmaline, and titanium. Without getting into the technical details, ceramic makes your hair silky and shiny, tourmaline gets it even silky and shinier, and titanium gets your hair the silkiest and shiniest. Simple right? Titanium is also much lighter and results in much faster styling time.
bottom line: If you have thick, coarse hair OR if you have wavy hair and are using a flat iron everyday, I recommend investing in a titanium to minimize damage. Otherwise, a ceramic or ceramic tourmaline will be sufficient.
plate size: Most flat irons range between 1 – 2 inches. This is mostly related to your styling time. The more hair you have (length and thickness), the thicker plate you will need.
bottom line: For thick, coarse hair OR if you have wavy hair that is shoulder length or longer, go with the 2 inch flat iron to minimize styling time and to ensure straight hair.
temperature: One important thing I’ve learned over the years is that you need to have a flat iron with temperature control (which typically range from 300 F to 450 F). The control allows you to have more freedom depending on the look you’re going for or how straight you need your hair to be.
bottom line: The more resistant your hair is to styling, the higher you want that maximum temperature to be. If you have very damaged hair or coarse/curly hair, you will want it to get to that max 450 F temperature for those super, sleek, smooth hair looks. For fine hair, you probably won’t need the temperature to get much higher than 350 F.
brands: There are many, many good brands out there. CHI and ghd are amongst the most popular in ceramic flat irons. My personal favorite is FHI heat which has given me the closest to “in salon” results.
bottom line: After finding the right flat iron based on the above criteria, read up on reviews online before making a final choice and make sure that it comes with a warranty!
ghd 2 inch ceramic flat iron (also available in 1 inch)
CHI 1 inch ceramic tourmaline flat iron
T3 compact ceramic tourmaline flat iron
Drybar 1 inch ceramic flat iron
FHI Heat 1 inch titanium flat iron