Flat Iron Buying Guide 101

Flat Iron Buying Guide 101

Everyone asks me Which flat iron is the best? and I always answer, Whats your hair type? before I answer with a specific flat iron. If you have not tried it first and foremost, the chance that the iron you are thinking may not be the best for your hair. Lets limit the choices with some important questions.

What flat width?

Determine which width you need - an inch does not fit everyone. Take the time to choose a flat width for your specific hair length. Not all irons are available in all sizes, so this can help you limit your choice.

Fixed or variable temperature settings?

Flat iron comes in fixed or moving temperature settings. The type that works best for you depends on the hair structure and your styling needs.

Is your hair thin, delicate, damaged or good? Choose a flat iron with a variable temperature setting so you can control the heat and keep the iron from becoming too hot.

Is your hair thick and hard to straighten? A fixed temperature would be a good choice for you so you can turn the heat on the annoying pieces that just will not straighten out.

Is your hair somewhere in between? Most likely you will be good with choice. My personal preference is a variable setting - I like control.

Does it create curls?

Most flat iron will create curls today, but (ahem) curls are just as good as the user who creates them, so brush these curling techniques.

What technique?

Okay, this is really the source of the most flat iron confusion. Most plate iron on the market today has similar straighteners, but which one is the best? Again, it depends on your hair types and styling needs.

Ceramic / Ionian

Almost all professional plates are ceramic and ionic these days. This technique is important for generating negative ions to smooth the hair. What you may not realize is NONE of the flat iron plates is 100% ceramic. Its a myth. All plates are infused with ceramics (and / or other material) to straighten and smooth the hair. Im not joking!

Industry research shows that pure ceramic tiles would be too soft to get the job, so all manufacturers (ie CHI, T3, Maxiglide, HAI - all!) Use ceramics along with a much stronger heat-conducting surface such as Aluminum, Titan, etc. for to straighten the hairs nail band. And boy they work.


Some older flat iron of lesser quality are pure aluminum. These irons are commonly called drugstore and do not contain ceramics. Therefore, you notice a big difference when upgrading to a striking iron addition of ceramics.

So you know what Keramik does, but what about all the other materials you hear about? Tourmaline, Nano-Titanium, Nano Silver, Nano Anything? These are additional materials used in the plates to improve the surface of the plate, generate additional negative ions to smooth the hair quickly and create a snap-free slip down the strings. Here is a breakdown:


This is a process where the material, says Tourmaline, is micronized in superfine particles and infused into the flat surface. When you see Nano, think teeny, small pieces of a leveling material are infused into the plates. Nano-Ceramic, Nano-Silver, you get the idea.

Ceramic and Nano-Ceramic

Minor particles of ceramics that contribute to your leveling process. This is good for all hair types. Most ceramic tiles provide silky, straight results, but there are a variety of price points. With regard to most of the irons I have tried, the striking ceramic iron is really better. Plus, the more expensive strings usually come with additional features and benefits, so be sure to look at this if youre thinking of a ceramic iron. (Best buy: ghd. See also: HAI, Paul Brown, CHI.)


Super smoothness, high heat conductivity, straightens hair up to 40% faster. Is it necessary? If the hair is hard to straighten out, this is one of the best materials out there for you, newer technology but comparable to Tourmaline. If you want the latest technology then you will enjoy this. (Best Buy: Babyliss. See also: Hot tools.)


A smooth surface that eliminates bacteria on the device creates a bacteria-free environment every time you use it. Perfect for a stylist, or germ-a-phobe. It straightens your hair, but you have to have it? Probably not. (Best buy: FHI platform. See also: CHI Nano Silver.)

Nano Tourmaline

Tourmaline is a semi-precious gemstone known for its negative youthing and leveling properties, and is infused in the flat iron plates. This is prior art than Nano-Titanium and Nano-Silver. I sometimes think Tourmaline causes static but still a very good material to melt most hair types.

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