Flat Iron: A Buying Guide
Flat irons are one of the most commonly used styling appliances out there. Hair straighteners and flat irons are so easy to use and effective for styling your hair! With proper usage guidelines and best practices, you can also minimize the damage to your hair and scalp over long-term use.
With that said, even though using a flat iron is easy, choosing one isn’t! Consider stuff like your hair type, your styling goals, features, build quality, and brand reliability. If you have no clue about what distinguishes a high-quality flat iron from a sub-par one, read this buyer’s guide until the end to make sure you spend your money in the right place!
Flat iron structuring consists of built-in plates with a frame. These plates are covered and treated with a specialized coating, which can make all the difference in determining how advanced it is. Depending on the type of coating on a particular model, your flat iron will vary in impact resistance, durability, performance, and several other key areas.
The three common coating types are titanium, ceramic, and tourmaline, so let’s quickly go over all of them.
If you’re looking for the latest and greatest tech in the realm of flat irons, be sure to get a model with titanium coating. It’s the latest market trend and offers excellent smoothness, durability, and impact resistance. It won’t scratch up easily, and won’t pose issues with styling material residue buildup. The styling effects also last longer!
Before titanium coatings became popular, Tourmaline coating used to be the talk of the town in the highest-end flat irons. It’s not as effective as titanium, but still offers a top-notch user experience by allowing your hair to glide through with no excess damage or pulling. The material is also a great heat conductor, which results in consistent hair straightening performance.
This is where it all started! It was the first material to be used as an innovative coating on flat iron plates after the age-old, traditional materials like aluminum. Ceramic offers excellent heat distribution, so the plates heat up evenly, allowing you to glide the flat iron through your hair. Even though high-end models don’t have ceramic any longer, it’s still a budget-friendly material that provides great functionality, which is why it’s still a popular choice to this day!
Some of its downsides are that it’s more prone to scratches and breaking, as well as picking up product residue which needs to be regularly cleaned off.
The “Ionic” Feature in Flat Irons
If you’ve got especially frizzy hair, then the “ionic” feature on some flat irons may come in handy. It works by generating negative ions, which ionize the positive ions on your hair to provide you with benefits like sleek and supple hair, better natural moisture retention, a glossier look, and reduced static charge to eliminate frizz. If you particularly struggle with unruly hair, you wouldn’t want to miss out on this feature!
Being able to control the temperature as needed provides some well-needed liberty in hairstyling. That’s because if you’ve got thick, curly, or coarse hair, you’ll need higher temperatures to get aggressive straightening performance out of your flat iron. Similarly, if you’ve already got fine and weak hair, turn the heat down to avoid damaging your hair any further.
Most modern-day flat irons have temperature control with at least some adjustability. Super cheap budget options may only have an on/off switch, which isn’t ideal.
You should also pay attention to the width of the plates on your new flat iron. The right size depends on how thick or thin your hair is, and how you plan to use it to style your hair.
For instance, a half-inch plate would be narrow, and it’s ideal for styling bangs or ironing out thinner strands of hair. If that sounds like your particular use case, then a flat iron with narrow plates will be much more comfortable to use.
They’re not suitable for long, thick hair, as you’ll only be able to fit a small section of it on each swing. This means not only will you have slightly uneven results, but it’ll also take a long time to style all your hair.
Similarly, if you plan on curling your hair using a flat iron, thin plates are the way to go! It also helps to have rounded edges.
If you’ve got super wide and thick strands of hair, go with a flat iron with a plate width of about 2 inches to perform optimally and make life easier for you.
With electronics, it always helps to have a big brand name to rely on. It provides you a strong sense of trust that your appliance won’t just randomly stop working a few months down the line.
When you’re in the market for a flat iron, pay a little extra for an appliance that comes from a well-established brand name. Those models are equipped and updated with the latest technological advancements with an impressive set of features that have a significant impact on your overall user experience and styling results.
Recognized manufacturers consider and optimize core details like safety, effectiveness, hair damage minimization, and styling efficiency. Plus, you even get longer and more reliable warranties when you go with premium brands.
Key Features To Look For in Flat Irons
Aside from the primary qualities mentioned above, there’s a wide range of additional quirks and features that you must look for in your new flat iron depending on your personal preferences. These may not be essential but can help you choose between two similar models within a competitive price range.
Some flat irons come with an LED display that shows important information like the heat setting you’re on, featuring options like temperature adjustability and the on/off function which can improve your overall user experience.
Some flat iron models are quicker to heat than others, which is an important metric to consider if you often get ready in a hurry!
Option to dry or style wet hair
While it’s not advisable to style your hair while it’s wet, as it’s highly damaging, some advanced flat irons are equipped with specialized features to counteract those harmful effects. So long as you don’t overdo it, this is a highly liberating feature for hairstyling enthusiasts!
If you’re an avid user of hair straightening flat irons, chances are you’ve forgotten to unplug or turn off the appliance after using it at some point. But, did you know that some of the latest flat irons come with an auto shut-off functionality? Whenever you leave it unattended, it’ll turn off automatically, preventing the plates from overheating, saving energy, and neutralizing any potential fire hazard risks.
Comparing the Best Flat Irons To Buy Online in 2023
- Advanced ceramic technology
- Adjustable temperature settings
- Sleek design and durability
- Potential for heat damage
Experience the ultimate in hair styling with the Ella Bella Ceramic Flat Iron Hair Straightener. This hair tool is your key to sleek and salon-quality locks from the comfort of your home. Also, as a product that has been designed with advanced ceramic technology, this flat iron heats up quickly and evenly, ensuring efficient hair straightening while minimizing frizz and heat damage.
This flat iron features adjustable temperature settings. That way, you’ll have the power to customize the heat to match your unique hair type and desired style. No matter if you have fine, curly, or coarse hair, this flat iron is a versatile solution for smooth, straight hair or stylish waves and curls. Its sleek and ergonomic design ensures comfortable handling. Meanwhile, its durable construction guarantees long-lasting performance, making it our top choice.
- Adjusts to five temperatures
- Curl or straighten
- Automatically shuts off and remembers the temperature
- Very expensive
The TYME Flat Iron has all the features you want in a straightener and more. With five adjustable temperature settings, ranging from 300 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, this flat iron will work on many types of hair. While you can simply straighten your hair, this flat iron can also help you curl beautiful beach waves into your hair, or tighter, big curls for a night out. Hopefully, you won’t forget to turn off the flat iron, but just in case, this straightener will automatically shut off after 30 minutes. If you need to refresh your curls after a few hours, the flat iron will even remember your last heat setting!
- Very wide temperature adjustability range
- Has a long, flexible, 360-degree swivel cord
- Includes a heat-resistant glove and silk case
- Lacks an auto shut-off feature
- Competitive Pricing
- Automatically shuts off when left unattended
- Heats up in just 30 seconds
- Lacks a grip to protect your hand
- Premium titanium material plates
- Two-in-one functionality for straightening and curling
- Backed by a three-year warranty
- Slow to straighten thicker hair
- A relatively longer length of plates
- Available in two sizes and colors
- Lots of adjustability with 10 heat settings
- Handle tip may feel hot
- Very convenient to use
- Backed by a two-year warranty
- Comes with a heat protection pad
- Relatively expensive
People Also Ask
Q: How do I clean my flat iron?
A:Start by unplugging your flat iron and wait for it to cool down to room temperature. Then, scrub gently with water-dipped cotton rounds and a soft towel. You can also use rubbing alcohol. But, don’t scrub too hard as it can harm your plates.
Q: Why does my flat iron smell?
A:If you notice a burning smell from your flat iron, it means that you’ve burnt the molecule element and cuticle of your hair shaft, which is where the smell comes from. Try lowering the heat setting on your straightener to prevent any issues.
Q: Should I use a flat iron on wet or dry hair?
A:You should never straighten or style your wet hair with a flat iron. Completely blow dry hair before you straighten it to prevent any additional damage to your hair and scalp.
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