Showcasing your natural hair is both beautiful and inspiring. However, every now and again you want to switch it up by straightening it. The difficulty is in finding a flat iron that won’t damage your natural hair. Try following the tips outlined here to ensure you pick a flat iron that preserves the quality of your natural hair and still gives you a sleek and straight finish.
Quick Take: Best Flat Iron for Natural Hair
- HSI Professional Glider
- BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium-Plated Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron
- KIPOZI Pro Flat Iron
What to Look for in a Flat Iron?
First of all, protection should be your number one priority when straightening natural hair. With this in mind, try to look for straighteners with ceramic blades. Those infused with tourmaline or other minerals will also help to reduce frizz while sealing the cuticle and locking in the moisture. It will help to prevent heat damage and stop your hair from dehydrating.
Secondly, consider your hair type. If you have thinner hair, you will need to ensure your flat iron works well at lower temperatures. Equally, those with more coarse hair will need a flat iron that reaches higher temperatures. Variable temperature settings will enable you to create more versatile styles.
If you are looking to straighten a full head of thick hair, you will probably be looking for a wider blade. Shorter hair will need a thinner blade whereas longer hair will benefit from a wider blade as it cuts down the time it takes to straighten. However, if you also want to use this tool to curl your hair, then you won’t want anything wider than 1-inch.
Try to look for some easy-to-use functions such as a lightweight flat iron with a swivel cord. Equally, make sure the cord is long enough not to be restricting. Some flat irons come with heat resistant gloves, heat-proof mats, and safety stands. These are all great added features.
The Different Types of Flat Irons
Your hair type can dictate the best model of flat iron for you. Some flat irons work better on certain hair types than others.
Ceramic flat irons are the most versatile, and you can use them with most hair types, from thin hair to curly, coarse hair. They heat evenly and can work at low and high temperatures. They tend to be the most protective as the evenly distributed heat prevents direct heat spots from occurring, which can burn the hair.Moreover, most ceramic flat irons tend to come with ionic technology, that helps to neutralize damaging positive ions that cause the hair to break and frizz. No matter your natural hair type, you’ll find good results when using a ceramic flat iron.
Titanium flat irons heat up very quickly and at a very high temperature. While they are extremely effective on natural hair, especially coarse, curly hair, they can be damaging. They do not heat as evenly as ceramic flat irons and can develop hot spots. However, if you straighten your hair daily, it is heat trained. Regarding this, it will be able to withstand much higher heats without getting damaged. If this is you, a titanium flat iron will give you great results.
If you have frizzy hair, choosing a flat iron with tourmaline technology will be a rewarding experience. The tourmaline helps to reduce frizz by sealing moisture into the hair and producing negative ions that neutralize the positive ions that liberated in the heating process. Tourmaline will help you get a sleeker finish.
Quick Comparison Chart of the Best Flat irons for Natural Hair
HSI Professional Glider
BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium-Plated Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron
KIPOZI Pro Flat Iron
BIO IONIC Onepass Straightening Iron
Remington 1” Flat Iron
The Best Flat irons for Natural Hair
Finding the best flat iron for you is a very personal choice. Consider your hair type, the frequency with which you’ll use it, and the kind of finish you desire. Here are some of the best flat irons on the market and how they fare with natural hair.
With tourmaline-infused ceramic plates, this flat iron comes with 8 temperature balancing microsensors. The temperature is fully adjustable from 150F to 450F. It has a swivel cord for curling, and a 1-inch blade, making it suitable for various hair lengths. It comes with a travel size argan treatment and a style guide.
- The microsensors balance the temperature keeping a consistent temperature that helps to prevent damage.
- Tourmaline technology helps to iron out frizz and protect against heat damage.
- The ceramic blades provide better heat distribution preventing hot spots from occurring and burning the hair.
- It is dual voltage so you can use it when traveling abroad.
- The plastic casing gets hot when in use.
- It takes quite a while to heat up and tends to lose heat during straightening.
It is a good model for the price and works effectively on thin to medium hair, but struggles a little with coarser hair. It can be taken abroad and has a frizz-free technology, but does take a while to heat.
"Overall, I love this product!
With 50 heat settings that go up to 450F, this model has 1-inch titanium-coated plates. It has touch-safe casing and ultra-thin design, making it very lightweight.
- It has 50 heat settings enabling versatile styling and can heat up to 450F which is great for coarse or thick hair.
- It is very lightweight and has a thin design, making it far easier to maneuver than other models.
- The titanium blades work well to straighten very thick and coarse hair.
- There is no automatic shut-off which can be a little dangerous.
- The flat iron doesn’t have rounded edges, which can create awkward curves and bends.
This model is appropriate for people with difficult-to-straighten natural hair. The nano titanium blades provide high direct heat, but it is better for straightening, due to its square edges.
"If you care about the state of your hair and spend lot of time styling it with a straightener, then the Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium is a great idea."
This model has titanium blades with a ceramic heater. It has 3 heat settings, from 230F to 450F and floating blades for more precision. It has automatic shut-off after 60 minutes of being inactive and heats up in 15 seconds. It features dual voltage and a swivel cord.
- The floating blades enable better precision without pulling the hair.
- The ceramic heater is very durable and heats up very quickly.
- The safety lock, dual voltage, and drawstring storage bag make this model easy to travel with.
- The curved edges and swivel cord make it easy to use when curling.
- It works well with thick or curly hair.
- The blades are shorter than other models so can take a little longer to straighten a whole head of hair.
- It takes quite a long time to cool down.
"I think it worked pretty well, I like how it came out really shiny, it's soft."
This flat iron heats up to 400F in 5 seconds and features bioceramic blades. It also has nano ionic minerals that help to hydrate the hair and silicone strips for faster use. It has multi-level heating control and cushion plates for better use.
- The bioceramic blades provide even heat and protect the hair from hot spots.
- This flat iron heats up incredibly quickly to high temperatures.
- The nano ionic minerals produce negative ions that break down water molecules enabling the hair to absorb the water, which increases moisture.
- The silicone strips increase the speed at which you can use it.
- This model is very expensive.
- It doesn’t heat as much as other models and needs more than ‘one pass’ over thick hair.
This model is an extremely high end, making it out of some people’s price range. However, it protects the hair well and produces beautiful silky, sleek hair.
"Probably one of the best hair straighteners I've ever had."
With 1-inch ceramic plates, this model has the anti-static technology that prevents flyaways. It heats up to 410F and has a titanium protection coating to decrease heat up time. It has digital heat controls for full versatility in heating. This flat iron has an automatic shut-off and a swivel cord.
- The ceramic blades give better heat distribution while the titanium coat enables the plates to heat quicker.
- This model has total temperature control.
- This flat iron is very affordable.
- Anti-static technology helps to provide a sleek and smooth finish.
- The price doesn’t go lower than 350F which makes it a not so good option for thin or damaged hair.
- The blades don’t meet well, meaning the hair slips easily.
This model is an affordable model that hits high heats. It doesn’t provide the best protection but does well on thick and wavy hair.
"It's got great reviews and I'd like to reflect that as well. I have absolutely no complaints about this product"
Tips and Tricks to Flat Ironing Natural Hair
1. Sectioning - Separate the hair into parts and deal with one at a time. It will make you straighten all the hair evenly without missing parts.
2.Protect - Make sure you use some form of thermal protectant before straightening your hair. Every time you put heat to your hair, it causes damage, so protecting it with a thermal spray or serum will help to lock in moisture and reduce brittleness.
3.Start low - Always start at the lowest temperature and move upwards. You want to straighten it on the lowest temperature as it gets better results and reduces heat damage.
4. Make sure it’s dry - Never straighten your hair wet. This causes the moisture in the hair to burst out of the strands, shattering them. This causes brittleness and breakage. Make sure your hair is bone dry before putting a flat iron to it.
5.To the bottom - Always start at the root and work down to the tip. Try to limit the amount of time the iron is on the tip of the hair as this part gets damaged more easily.
6. Don’t blow dry - Air drying the hair is much better for it in terms of protection. However, braiding it or setting it on rollers will stretch it slightly, making it easier to straighten.
Choosing the right flat iron for your natural hair will help you keep it in good condition and will limit the damage caused. Always consider your own hair type and test the flat iron out at the lowest temperature before cranking up the heat. Make sure to research flat irons before jumping to a choice; understanding other people’s opinions will help you know what works best for your styling needs.