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The Flat-Iron Buying Guide

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07 . 01 . 16
Deanna McCormack

Deanna McCormack

Deanna McCormack is a Canadian born communications specialist, athlete, writer and dry-shampoo enthusiast living in Chicago. Loves products too much to be considered low-maintenance but can be out the door in 10 minutes or less because #sleep. Joined the Mane Addicts team in May 2015.
Deanna McCormack

Hair, Flat Iron, Jourdan Dunn

It’s always a little overwhelming when, for whatever reason, you’re in the market for a new hair tool. In every category, there are a lot of options to choose from and a lot to consider, not to mention the confusing terminology in the product descriptions. Oh, and top of the line tools can run for around $300 so, it’s no small decision! No worries, we’re here to help you find the right tool for you budget and most importantly, your hair. Let’s start with flat-irons, shall we?

Flat-Irons are very versatile and very convenient. They’re small, can heat up in 60 seconds and can straighten AND curl even the most coarse, unruly manes out there. Like most tools, the key to purchasing the right flat-iron is a solid understanding of what you need to succeed. It’s sort of a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many people forget that someone with mostly straight, fine hair needs something different than someone with super curly, coarse hair. With the wrong tool, you could end up causing major damage to your hair.


TITANIUM, TOURMALINE, OR  CERAMIC?

They seem like fancy marketing buzz words that give you no additional information about the product, but they aren’t. In fact, the differences can really help you decide on the right tool for you.

Ceramic is very popular for both for salon quality and at-home irons because it heats up quickly and distributes heat evenly. Be aware though, some irons are only ceramic coated, not full ceramic plates and while that may work for you at first, after a while the ceramic coating with wear off.

Tourmaline is a newer material use in heat styling tools. It’s great because since it’s an organic crystalline mineral, it produces wayy more negative ions than ceramic.  Negative ions are a good thing because they balance out the positive ions of dry hair, so your hair can lay flat and frizz free. Science rules.

Titanium plated irons have the fastest heat transfer of the three categories meaning more immediate results, regardless of your hair type. In general, titanium makes for a heavy-duty iron, which is unnecessary for most people but great for anyone with thick, curly hair.

Hair, Flat Iron, Model

DOES (PLATE) SIZE REALLY MATTER?

Most flat-irons come with 1 inch plates, which is cool, but again, you have to think about your hair and your needs. In general, smaller plates are better if you’re planning to use the iron to curl or if you have super short but larger plates score major points for those with long, thick hair because it will let you save styling time and prevent you from running over the same spots twice and causing twice the damage.  

IT’S GETTING HOT IN HERE

A lot of people think high high heat is always better when it comes to flat-irons, but that’s not necessarily true. If you expose certain types of hair to certain temperatures, it causes major damage and breakage and can even ruin your color. If your iron has temperature settings, start with the low settings and work your way up until you find what works for you.

Flat Iron, Hair, Straighten, Model

OUR RECOMMENDATION

  • If you straighten your hair 3 times a week or more, it makes sense to invest in a high quality iron because it’s your best bet against damage. Also, most high-end irons come with long warranties, which can save you from shelling out more money in the long run, so that’s something to consider when buying high-end. Stylist Jen Blanchard says that her Ghd Eclipse Flat Iron is “literally the BEST flat iron I have ever used. The plates are so smooth and glide through hair with such ease and have nice rounded edges that make the best beachy waves.” and we would have to agree.
  • If you have naturally curly, dense, thick hair, you might want to try something like the BabyLiss Pro with 1 and half inch paddles. 
  • If you’re a once in awhile iron user who is wants for something versatile and powerful but at a little bit of a lower price point, opt for something like a CHI. A cult classic, the CHI iron is a great intro-iron and has ceramic plates, so it’ll heat nice and evenly while reducing frizz and static.

Have a flat-iron buying success story? Share it in the comments.

 

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