Take it from someone that has dealt with their share of heat damage: Buying a cheap flat iron for natural hair is not the way to go. I can admit that I was being cheap because I wanted to straighten my hair for a one-time event, but I ended up paying for it in the long run. If you’re on the hunt for the best flat iron for natural hair, you’re probably looking for a quality tool that won’t fry your precious curls or dry out your texture. To help you on your quest to finding the right one, here are some things I didn’t know before buying the best flat iron for natural hair that I think are helpful to anyone facing the same dilemma. Read on for some tips to help you prevent making the mistakes many of us have:
Your Tip Sheet for Finding the Best Flat Iron for Natural Hair
1. Not all plates are created equal.
Did you know that some plates are coated? This is something I wish I knew beforehand. When I bought my first cheap flat iron, I had no idea that the plates would eventually begin to chip. Yes, bits and pieces of the plate began to come off while I ironed my hair! What happened next? Snagging. As the pieces came off, it also pulled strands of hair right along with it.
So, what does this mean for you? Read the description on the packaging before making a purchase. If the plates are coated, move on to the next option.
2. Knowing the difference between ceramic, ionic and tourmaline.
If you’re anything like me, it didn’t matter what the plates were made out of. As long as I have a good heat protectant I am covered. Wrong! The type of plates on your flat iron can help with the overall look and feel of your hair. What’s the difference? Here it is broken down into good, better and best:
Ceramic flat irons are good but they don’t do a great job of evenly distributing heat throughout your hair, which may cause heat spots. If heat doesn’t have even distribution whilst flat ironing your hair, you may have to go back and redo the section which in turn can lead to heat damage.
This negative charged material helps flat iron your hair much quicker without having to pass it over the same sections of hair repeatedly.
Although it may be a bit pricey, this is where you want to be. Tourmaline helps with frizz control, retaining moisture in the hair, even distribution of heat and flat ironing is a breeze.
3. Adjustable heat settings is a must-have.
If you come across a flat iron that doesn’t allow you to switch gears on the heat, run. Okay, don’t run, but find one that does. When it comes to flat ironing any hair type, not all sections of hair necessarily need the same heat temperature. A lot of women with natural hair notice that the back of their hair is much thicker than the front. Here is where you want to opt for a higher heat setting. For thinner areas, turn it down a notch.
Editor’s note: Even with the right flat iron it’s always important to use a heat protectant! We love Nexxus Promend Heat Protecting Mist to keep our strands healthy and strong.