Hair straighteners are a beauty tool many women can’t live without. So how do you decide which one to purchase? Between different materials, your own hair and your budget, there can be a lot of variables. As a beauty and fashion expert, here is my simple guide to hair straighteners.
The material a straightener is made out of makes a huge difference in how it straightens. Ceramic is by far the most common material used in hair straighteners but not all ceramic straighteners are made equally. Some use solid ceramic plates, which are great for your hair but are also expensive. Many lower cost ceramic plates are aluminum plates with thin layers of baked ceramic over the top. This means that over time, they can chip and ultimately cause uneven heating and burn your hair.
Another material is tourmaline, which is a semi-precious metal. Tourmaline straighteners tend to heat up very quickly and can tame fly-away hairs. The only downside to tourmaline is the high price. You can buy straighteners with a blend of tourmaline and ceramic to help keep the cost lower, and also boost the quality of the plates.
Titanium plates are also becoming an increasingly popular option. Titanium is strong, resistant to corroding or scraping, and heats up fast. It also provides super smooth hair in the process. These can also be pricey, so finding a titanium and ceramic or tourmaline blend is your best bet.
Generally, you want a straightener that gives you the most options that is within your budget. The more heat settings, the more types of hair you can straighten. I have extremely thick, wavy hair so I need one that has a high heat setting, but when my friends with thinner hair use it, I want them to be able to dial down into a safe zone for their hair. Look for ones that let you control the degree setting, not just low or high. Digital displays can also be nice to give you precise readings.
Your hair type will also determine what straightener you get. If you have thick or coarse hair like mine, you want to get one that heats quickly and evenly. Durable ceramic or tourmaline plates are best for tough to straighten hair. Thinner hair can get away with ceramic plated plates, but titanium provides super sleek looks at a lower temperature.
Another way to achieve amazing straight hair is to use a heat protecting hair spray, cream or shampoo before you straighten. Unless you have a wet-to-dry straightener, or one that’s safe on wet hair, you should air dry or blow dry your hair on a cool setting. Using a straightener on soaking wet hair will damage it severely. Making sure your hair is free of any tangles also helps speed the process.
My Top Picks
Ceramic- One N’ Only Argan Heat Flat Iron
Tourmaline – Sedu Revolution Professional Nano Styling Iron
Titanium – Hot Tools Digital Salon Flat Iron