The beauty of natural hair is how versatile it is. Whether you want to wear it in braids or you want to rock it in an afro, the choice is yours but we can all agree that sometimes we also just want to sleek it down. This is where the hair straightener or flat iron comes in. Choosing the best flat iron is no mean feat. After all, we don’t want to cause our healthy kinks any heat damage so we must look for a tool that will ensure our black hair strands are well taken care off.
There are different factors to consider when choosing the best flat iron and we created a guide that walks you through this. We also curated a list of 5 of the best flat irons that we believe will help you achieve the desired looks and styles you’ve been aiming for.
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Best Flat Irons For Natural Hair
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Best Flat Irons For Natural Hair - Reviews
The BaBylissPro Nano Titanium Ultra - Thin Straightening Iron has received various reviews for its ultra-thin design and five inch plate which allows for wider sections to be straightened quickly and efficiently. With the the BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron you can straighten you hair texture whether kinky hair, curly, thin or wavy hair. You can achieve your desired hair style.
The Nano Titanium Flat Iron has 50 different heat settings up to 450 degrees and the plates are made of pure titanium which ensures that your hair is able to come out looking shinier and sleek. The titanium plates heat up pretty quickly and the hair straightener is quite comfortable to use. You can use it for long periods of time without experiencing fatigue thanks to its lightweight and ultra-thin design.
The heat is adjustable hence allowing you to find what works best for your hair type. It also means you don’t have to worry about damaging your afro hair. The downside is that it is pretty expensive.
The HSI Professional Glider Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron is one of the best flat irons for natural hair. It is affordable and delivers good results. It comes with one inch ceramic plates that are highly durable and flexible. The plates are tourmaline infused and they come with ion technology which repels and seals electricity hence helping to prevent frizz. With this feature, you won’t experience any snagging while gliding the hair straightener through your hair.
The HSI Professional is easy to use and the handle has a rough texture which allows for a secure and comfortable grip. You can adjust the temperature and the temperature range is from 140 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
The flat iron is ideal for any hair type from fine to kinky hair.
The styling tool comes with easily accessible buttons that allow you to adjust the temperature. It also has a digital reading which allows you to keep track of the temperature. Another great feature is the dual voltage system which means that you can use the styling tool anywhere in the world. It comes with a 7 foot long swivel cord. The flat iron is super versatile as it allows you to straighten, flip and curl since it is a 3 in 1.
The KIPOZI Professional Titanium Flat Iron comes with ultra-smooth nano titanium plate technology that delivers excellent results and superior heating levels. It heats up very fast and can get up to 380 degrees Fahrenheit in 30 seconds.
The styling tool targets frizz but can be used to straighten all types of curly hair. It comes with a very narrow design that makes it ideal to be used on bangs and baby hair. It features an advanced PTC ceramic heater that provides you with optimal styling temperature. The flat iron delivers great results with up to 80 percent less breakage which means that you don’t have to worry about heat damage when using this tool.
It transforms dull, frizzy hair into sleek and shiny hair while emitting negative ions that moisten your hair. The temperature settings are easy to understand and they are also adjustable to suit your hair type.
The flat iron comes with 1 inch 3D floating plates that are wide enough for any length and it does not pull you hair while gliding through. The unit is also safe to use as it comes with an auto-shut off feature that shuts it off automatically after 90 minutes of idleness. It comes with an 8 foot, 360 degree swivel cord and also has a dual voltage system.
The Conair INFINITIPRO Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron is affordable and does a good job without damaging your hair. The tourmaline ceramic plates allow you to straighten your hair in minutes and the flat iron provides anti-frizz and anti-static results.
The flat iron heats up pretty fast and comes with 30 different heat settings. It offers a wide range of heat settings and can heat up to 455 degrees Fahrenheit which allows you to achieve various styles. It comes with an automatic shutoff feature which is great for safety purposes.
The flat iron comes with long floating plates that are 1 inch wide. There is even heat distribution hence ensuring that each strand gets the right amount of heat it needs. This leaves you hair looking shiny and silky.
The heat range suits all hair types. It has a quick heat up time and can be ready for use in 15 seconds after you plug it in. It is also available in 1-3/4 inches and 1-1/2 inches.
The ghd Platinum Flat Iron comes with a sensor that monitors the temperature and it can also detect your hair type. The flat iron is programmed to help you find the right temperature that is ideal for your hair type. The aim is for the styling tool to adapt to your ideal styling temperature. It is a great flat iron for those who dye their hair often as it offers 2x color protection, which means it will not cause the color of the hair to fade or dull.
The flat iron also helps with a 70 percent reduction in hair breakage.
The flat iron comes with GHD proprietary Ultra Zone Technology which helps produce consistent heat across the entire plate. The styling tool will ensure to leave your black hair straight and shiny with just a stroke. It can also be used to curl and flip your hair. The downside is that the heat setting is only up till 365 degrees and is not adjustable which might not be ideal for some hair types.
Another downside is that the flat iron is quite pricey.
What To Look For When Choosing The Best Flat Iron For Natural Hair
a) Type of Flat Iron
There are two types of flat irons that are used to straighten natural hair.
i) Steam Flat Irons
Steam flat irons are designed to replenish during the straightening process which results in stick-straight strands that won’t over dry your hair.
A steam flat iron comes with steam or vapor infusion technology that releases the right amount of steam to the hair through a stem vent placed in the flat iron. The steam helps you achieve that perfectly straight and sleek hair with the combination of moisturizer.
ii) No Steam Flat Iron
No steam flat iron use features such as ionic technology and infrared emission. Both of which can straighten natural hair without causing any damage.
b) Type and Length of Your Hair
When shopping for a flat iron, you need to consider the length, texture and condition of your hair. If your hair type is fine or chemically treated, you need a flat iron that doesn’t get too hot . If your hair type is thick and coarse, you can use a flat iron that has a heat range between 350 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it depends on how much heat your hair can withstand. If your hair was already damaged probably due to previous heat damage or was color treated you should consider getting a gentler flat iron. The best flat iron would be one that you can reduce the temperature to between 350 and 380 degrees. Those with healthy or medium textured hair can look for flat irons that range between 300 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have 4c hair, never go above 375 or 380º, as this texture is especially damage-prone.
c) Adjustable Temperature Settings
One common feature you will find with the best flat irons on the market is that they all have adjustable temperature settings. This feature gives you more control over the heat the machine generates.
It is quite useful as it allows you to choose the ideal temperature that suits your straightening and styling needs. There are however some flat irons that do lack this feature hence it is advisable to consider those that do. A static temperature can result in hair damage. Some flat irons also offer wider temperature ranges and this makes it easier for those who have different hair types as everyone’s hair has different needs. Hence its important a hair tool that meets your styling needs.
d) Plate Material
There are different materials used to make flat iron plates. The most popular ones used are titanium and ceramic.
Titanium is stronger and more durable. It heats up quicker than ceramic. Titanium plate coatings are all about fast heat buildup and retention. They tend to be ready to use in a just a few seconds and they retain heat better as you are straightening your natural hair.
Ceramic is the most common heat plate coating found on flat irons. It is often found in combination with other types of coatings or as a crystal infusion such as ceramic/tourmaline or ceramic/titanium
It heats up smoother and evenly and does a better job at distributing the heat evenly. Fortunately, there are some products that combine both materials. This means that you get a tool that heats up quickly and distributes the heat evenly across the plate.
Ceramic plates have various advantages namely: They create a slippery surface that does not block your hair when it slides across the heat plates. They also keep you flat from building up residue.
iii) Ionic/Tourmaline Crystal Infusion
Static buildup can cause you to have flyaway hair that can look quite unsightly and this can make it hard to keep it in place as you straighten it. The Ionic/Tourmaline crystal infusion helps create negative ions which counter static electricity buildup. This technology helps reduce frizz and helps your natural hair retain more of its moisture during the hair straightening process.
iv) Nano Crystal Infusion
This technology helps natural hair retain its moisture more compared to ionic/tourmaline crystal infusion. Heat plates that have Nanocrystal infusion are said to be 25% – 75% better at helping your natural hair retain moisture than ionic/tourmaline crystal infusion. The technology also leaves you hair shinier after you straighten it.
They build up heat fast and evenly. They also add an antibacterial which keeps your hair cleaner as you straighten it.
e) Plate Size
The size of the plate is also important however it is also dependent on the thickness and length of your hair. If you hair is long and thick, you should consider going for a thicker plate, one that is over an inch thick. If you have shorter hair, you should consider going for a thinner flat iron with a plate that is as thin as an inch.
i) Less than 1” width plate sizes
Ideal for those who are straightening short black hair. You can also use these flat irons to curl hair.
ii) 1” to 1 ¼” width flat iron plates
These are the most popular and versatile flat plate widths. They are great because you can use them on just about any hair length. They are also great as a default choice if you are not sure what flat iron plate width will work best on your natural hair.
iii) Greater than 1 ¼” width plates
This is ideal if the length of your black hair is between medium to long.
f) Comfort and Ease of Use
Comfort is key. You should always go for a tool that is very easy to use. When looking for the best flat iron, it should come with an ergonomically designed handle that provides the optimal grip. You should be able to hold it comfortably and it should not be slippery in your hand. The flat iron should also be lightweight and the control buttons should be easily accessible.
g) Safety Features
Safety is key when it comes to any electronic appliance. One vital safety feature that you should consider with this tool is the automatic shut off timer. This comes in handy especially if you are quite forgetful. With this feature, the tool will automatically go off after some minutes or hours of idleness. Some tools come with a timer of 40 minutes or 60 minutes of shutting off by itself when it is idle.