Your hair defines your needs. Straight, glossy hair needn’t be obtained through a universal straightener, and many flatirons exist to offer the sleek, shining hair you deserve. Flat irons utilize heated plates to flatten your hair’s individual follicles. Every person’s hair is different, as are flat iron needs. Finding the best flat iron, for some, is a lesson in trial and error. For you, however, it’s a simple matter of education. We’re here to help you find the best hair straightener—offering a few tips along the way.
DETERMINING YOUR NEEDS BY HAIR TYPE
First, you’ll need to determine your hair type. Flat iron variety directly stems from different hair type needs, so you’re not wrong for narrowing down the options.
Wavy, Curly Hair
If you have a head of thick, wavy and curly hair, you’ll need a lot of heat to keep it straight. Your look will require a flat iron with high maximum settings. Silky, smooth locks are possible even if you’re worried about volume. Avoid steam straighteners, however, as they may turn wavy hair into a frizzed-up mess. Here, the ion® Magnesium Straightening Iron in 1” or 1.25” is perfect to either get the extremely straight locks or the beautiful wavy curls that can be achieved far from the beach.
Color-treated hair is delicate, and powerful straighteners can diminish overall sheen. The best hair straighteners here are ones with adjustable temperature controls. If your straightener lacks advanced temperature controls, you’ll face severe color loss, pigmentation problems and even damage. You won’t need 200 degrees of heat here, and your straightener’s temperature control should have small variable temperature settings —so as to ensure your hair’s proper heat is maintained.
Even straight-haired people need to touch up the ends. If your hair is fine, straight and silky, you’ll need a versatile straightener capable of offering multiple heat settings. Like the above color-treated hair, straight hair, too, carries high temperature needs. Too much heat will damage straight ends, fry follicles and ruin a good touch-up. A lot of straight-hair-heads benefit from keratin treatment, too. Because long, silky hair may thin, a healthy dose of keratin helps a lot. Frizzy hair, and hair requiring blow-dry applications, also benefit from products like the ion® Styling Straightening Blow Dry Balm.
Determining Your Needs by Plate Type
Of course, your hair’s needs come first. Straighteners do, however, serve different purposes depending upon their plate types. A straightener’s plate is responsible for creating straight, smooth strands. Different plate types accommodate for different hair styles, fashion needs and hair types.
Magnesium is a natural element with incredible heat conductivity and recovery provides styling in a snap. The heat conductivity and recovery power allows for fewer passes through the hair, less damage and salon-quality results. A great choice for all hair types.
THE TOURMALINE PLATE
Tourmaline-plated hair straighteners deliver a natural shine. Tourmaline flat irons feature a large negative ionic output, heating you hair’s strands quickly. This rapid heating process greatly enhances sheen, and it’s often favored for its stylistic capabilities. Because of a tourmaline plate’s inherently lower settings, ion® Styling Spray Starch is a viable styling addition capable of enhancing shape without ruining the tourmaline plate’s shiny benefits.
THE TITANIUM PLATE
Titanium-based hair straighteners offer style variety and are incredibly lightweight. Often used alongside products like Multi Benefit Styling Cream and Texturizing Spray Wax, titanium-plated flat irons are great for all-out styling sessions. They style hair quickly, efficiently and safely. They are also a great choice if you have curly hair as the temperature is more stable and provides consistent heat to tame your curls.
THE CERAMIC PLATE
Most modern straighteners utilize ceramic plates. Ceramic plates are quite accessible, and they won’t, in general, damage treated hair. Highly favored by those seeking smooth, healthy finishes, ceramic-plated straighteners offer the best of each straightener’s benefits.
Remember, no matter what you decide is the best hair straightener, it is always smart to use a heat protection spray to protect your hair from the high temperatures.