How to Choose a Flat Iron

Woman who is using a flat iron
Photo: Valua Vitaly/Shutterstock
Professionals use a flat iron to smooth out a hairstyle. A flat iron is basically two heated plates between which hair is placed. The iron is then pulled slowly down the length of the hair. The process heats the hair and seals in moisture, and this results in shiny, sleek hair.
In the past, flat irons were only available with metal plates that would heat unevenly and leave hair that was dried out and would break easily, resulting in split ends. There were products available that a woman would have to use every day in order to repair the damage and deep conditioning treatments would leave the hair limp and dull.
Thanks to developments in technology, the flat irons that are now available are much different than the metal nightmares of the past. Now, we can all enjoy smooth, soft, and sleek hair by using these great tools. A quality flat iron can actually be beneficial to the hair. One example is the flat iron that uses ceramic plates. These plates use infrared heat to seal in moisture and reduce the need for using a greasy conditioning treatment.
Here are some things to consider when buying a flat iron:
There are different plate widths available. A flat iron with a wide plate will smooth more hair at once, while a thinner plate will allow more versatility during styling. The highest quality flat irons will use ceramic or ceramic/tourmaline plates. This type of plate does not burn hair as it heats gently.
A semi-precious stone, tourmaline is ground into a very fine powder and used with ceramic in the plates of high-quality flat irons. The purpose of tourmaline is to create a negative ion that will reduce frizz. Women who use this type of flat iron and professionals alike praise the results of using this type of flat iron.
Flat iron with wide plates and a Marcel handle
Photo: Iaroslav Borysovsskyi/Canva
There are two basic types of handles that are used in flat iron design. Marcel handles are what professionals use. The Marcel handle is squeezed by the hand to create pressure and hold the hair in place. The other type of handle is a spring handle, which creates its own pressure to hold the hair in place. Either type of handle can be used at home.
The heat setting of your flat iron should be adjustable. The best results when using a flat iron will come if the iron has a heat setting of 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius. For those with fine hair, a lower setting should be used.
A product that is discounted may give you undesirable results. You want to find a quality flat iron that is made by a reputable company. If you are buying a flat iron for home, find one that a professional uses. This will give you the best results and last you for several years. While it may seem expensive at the time, it is much more economical to buy a new high-quality flat iron every five or ten years than having to buy a cheaper low-quality one every year.
When buying a flat iron, avoid any that use metal plates. You will want to buy a high-quality flat iron that is made of ceramic. Never buy a flat iron that only has one setting, as even ceramic can burn fine hair. Rounded edges will give you more versatility, as square edges tend to cause a crimp in the hair.
If you spend the money to buy a professional-grade flat iron, you will be happier with the results. Ceramic plates impregnated with tourmaline will give extra lift to your hair.