Choose the Right Flat Iron for Your Hair
Now we all know that the best flat iron for our hair is no flat iron. However, IMO the flat iron is the best invention since sliced bread and one that I cannot live without (okay, a little dramatic but we all are familiar with the PNW rain and the wonderful frizziness it brings with it).
So… what’s difference between titanium, ceramic, and tourmaline ?
Ceramic plates allow for an even distribution of heat and have lower potential to burn your hair. Ceramic coating on plates can chip off and cause snagging, so it’s best to use full ceramic plates and not ceramic coated plates.
Titanium plates heat up the fastest and tranfer heat faster than ceramic. If you use them properly, there’s less potential for heat damage. But, leaving the plates on your hair too long can actually cause more damage.
Tourmaline is a crystalline mineral that’s crushed up and used to coat the plates of a flat iron. It makes the hair shinier, straighter, and less frizzy than other flat irons.
6 Things to Consider When Selecting The Material of Your Flat Iron
When it comes to which plate material is more efficient, we can look at how many passes it takes to get your hair straight.
Titanium is known to heat up very fast. It is also known to have hot spots or cold spots in some brand types. When they’re working just fine the heat from titanium plate may be too much for some people.
Ceramic, on the other hand, has even heating, meaning you don’t have to pass through your hair countless times to get it all evenly straightened. The less the number of passes the less heat damage and time is taken to iron.
Heat transfer is the time it takes the iron to transfer heat from itself to your hair strands. Ceramic uses a gentle far infrared energy to heat your hair and therefore straighten it. Some brands of ceramic flat irons can heat up to a maximum temperature within 30 seconds. In this category titanium obviously, comes out on top. The metal is known to heat up faster than any other plate material. It also transfers heat the fastest. The heat from titanium might be a little more than that of ceramic, but it all depends on your hair type. Fine-haired girls who do not need as much heat are better off with ceramic plates.
All flat irons make hair straight, but have you ever noticed a spot that just didn’t get as straight as the rest of your hair. Then you had to go over it again. Though at first, all irons straighten evenly with time irons plated with titanium can have cold spots. These cold spots do not transfer as much heat as the rest of the plate thus the section of not so straight hair. Ceramic, on the other hand, has great heat distribution. Every part of the plate releases the same amount of energy. This means less passes and more evenly straightened hair.
Ultimately the budget we have is what will determine whether we buy titanium or ceramic irons. The ceramic irons are slightly more expensive if they are pure ceramic plates. The titanium flat irons can cost more if you’re going for the high-end type. Look out for irons that say pure titanium or pure ceramic to avoid disappointment. The trick around a budget is to find items within your price range and read honest product reviews. Several sites will have a review of the good and the bad of a particular product. You can decide what product works best for your hair and the extra advantages to choose.
If you flat iron your hair often or plan on using it for commercial purposes such as a salon, you want a durable product. Ceramic has all the advantages of gentle energy and even heat distribution but when the deal breaker is durability it just might not cut it. A ceramic plate needs proper care and doesn’t take kindly to being dropped. The continuous dropping off your ceramic iron might lead to cracks in the plate which will ultimately snag your hair causing breakage.
A titanium iron, on the other hand, doesn’t suffer from cracks. The metal is the light but very strong reason why it is used in the building of aircraft. If the engineers can trust it not to let a plane fall apart it will work just as well for your iron. Most pure titanium plates outlive the iron itself working just as well even after the body gets old.
Ease of use
A titanium iron will be easier to handle since it is lightweight. You also do not have to worry about dropping it and breaking the plate as you would with a ceramic iron. Though it takes many drops to crack pure ceramic, you wouldn’t want to risk it. So if you know, you’re a little clumsy be more cautious or opt for titanium.
On the other hand, ceramic is just easier for some people to use because you don’t run the risk of burning your hair off. This is especially useful for beginners who do not know how to maneuver the iron around their heads.
You know your hair better than anyone, but if heat makes it shrivel up and die, you need to go with a lower temperature hair straightener. Fine hair doesn’t mean you have very little of it, it just means each strand is thin. Plenty of people have fine hair but lots of it which can cause its own styling problems. This hair type needs an iron that’s flexible and can heat up to 350 degrees or less (sometimes much less). Too hot an iron can mean it’s time for a haircut when your ends look like you took a match to them. Plus, the smell of burnt hair isn’t exactly pleasant!
Another way to handle it is to get an iron with a digital read out so you can tell exactly what temperature it reaches. Control is everything when you’re trying to avoid frying your hair. Beyond that, you need to make sure you get a straightener that heats consistently, but for different reasons than other hair types. For coarse hair, hot spots mean its way harder to get your hair straight because you are only getting the right heat in very small areas. In the case of thin hair, hot spots mean you could be frying areas of your hair.
Coarse And Natural Hair
If the strands of your hair are thick no matter how much or little you have of it, you will need a good iron that gets hot enough to handle your mane. That doesn’t mean you will have to go over and over to get the pieces straight, but it does mean you need the heat at least one time to get a handle on those strands. Most irons will heat between 410 and 460 degrees at their hottest, which should be enough for just about any hair type. When you’re picking a straightener for coarse hair, you want to go with something that has a consistent material and not something that is coated and will flake over time. In which case, you either want titanium because the surface will always be smooth or something entirely ceramic. The ceramic can be coated with tourmaline, silicon or one of the many other different materials used to cover plates that offer consistent heat.
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