Best Flat Irons for African American Hair Types and Tips You Need

Alyssa François | 20 November 2017

Choose the safest way to straighten your hair at home. 

When it comes to straightening African American hair, there is a plethora of methods one can use to carry out the process. One of the most popular is to simply use a heat-styling tool; however, it’s often quite challenging to find the best flat irons for African American hair that won’t compromise the health of the hair’s natural texture and the ability to revert back to its healthy state after being exposed to heat.

As an African-American woman, I’ve had my share of heat damage from styling tools. What I’ve learned over the years is that not all heat-styling tools are to blame, and there are some steps you need to take other than finding the best heat styling tool for your hair type. Below, we’ll discuss what some of the best flat irons for African American hair are, and the ways in which you should be using a flat iron on your hair for straight styles:

Best Flat Irons for African American Hair Types, Plus Tips for Usage

1. Prepping hair before ironing

First things first: Before using any flat iron on your hair, you need a routine that helps arm your hair against heat styling. This means using a shampoo, conditioner and heat protectant that help strengthen, protect and prevent frizz. My line of defense is Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner. After using this line, which helps keep hair frizz-free, I follow up with Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Heat Defense Leave-In Conditioner to protect hair against heat while blow-drying.

best flat irons for african american hair
Treat your hair to only the best tools on the market. Add one of the best flat irons for African-American hair into your styling kit.

2. Types of flat irons to use

We’ve created a handy guide to help you figure out the best flat iron to use which helps explain the different types of plates out there. From my experience, I prefer using a tourmaline flat iron on my 3C/4A hair and think this is one of the best flat irons to use on African American hair types. I’ve used ceramic in the past; however, my straight hairstyle didn’t last at all. I barely made it a day before having my hair frizz up into a huge poof.

best flat iron for African American Hair
A good flat iron will help you achieve flawless results.

When shopping around for your flat iron, keep in mind that you need to be able to control the heat settings on your styling tool. With most African American hair, especially those who have different textures throughout their hair like me, some sections of your hair would probably require a lower heat setting than others. For instance: If the front of your hair is thin, you’d want to iron with a lower heat setting in that section. Why? The thinner the hair, the quicker it is for the heat to pass through the strands. If the setting is too high, it can lead to immediate heat damage.

3. Tips on heat damage

I’d also like to point out that heat damage happens in stages. Just because your hair was able to snap back into its normal shape and form after washing doesn’t mean you ignore protecting it the next time around. Protect your hair no matter what flat iron you’ve found for your texture.

For more tips on how to flat iron African-American hair types, read our simple tutorial on how you can flat iron natural hair