Top-Rated Flat Iron for Natural African American Hair in 2019
Straight hair has been a dominant hair trend in both popular culture and business for an impressive amount of time. This hair trend, however, seems to have never given much thought to how hair straightening may interact with Afro-textured hair. It’s time to give the unique features of Afro-textured hair the special consideration they’ve been missing. And find out how to choose the flat iron that can give Afro-textured hair the best possible treatment.
Straighten with Care: What Makes Afro-Textured Hair Unique
Hair straightening relies on the use of heat to manipulate the structure of hair and intentionally cause its temporary deformation. For a number of reasons, though, Afro-textured hair is less resistant to heat, which makes it prone to heat damage. What is it about Afro-textured hair that makes straightening it such a delicate procedure?
As is most often the case, the strands of Afro-textured hair tend to have a naturally curly form. The way this pattern manifests itself varies from person to person and can range from coils to loops. But in general, such natural curvature of hair strands is present in the predominant majority of people with Afro-textured hair.
The problem with the above feature, however, is that it makes Afro-textured hair susceptible to breakage. The curly sights of hair strands tend to be fragile and vulnerable to mechanical damage and heat exposure. This makes them less capable of withstanding the same amount of bending and heat as straight hair strands can handle.
To make matters worse, Afro-textured hair also contains less of the natural oil compared to other hair textures. Natural hair oil, however, is one of the factors that shields hair structure from heat during heat styling. Due to the lesser amount of natural oil in it, Afro-textured hair is more prone to damage by heat styling.
As the above facts point out, Afro-textured hair is inherently more sensitive to heat styling than hair with straight texture. Does it mean heat styling is not for you if your hair is Afro-textured? Not necessarily. Heat styling Afro-textured hair can be safe and simple as long as the flat iron is up for the job.
What Flat Irons Can Heat Style Afro-Textured Hair the Best?
Using the special chemicals that promise to “loosen” the natural curls inherent in Afro-textured hair may seem tempting. But these chemicals make Black hair even more vulnerable to mechanical and heat damage. A far more reliable way to make heat styling Afro-textured hair a success is to choose the right flat iron. What makes a flat iron suitable for the delicate job of heat styling Black hair, though?
Flat irons that can do this job well share the following features:
- Plates made of high-quality materials Quality flat irons use plates made of ceramic, titanium, or tourmaline. All three materials distribute heat evenly, forming no “hot spots” that damage hair structure. Besides this, ceramic generates negative ions that further ensure heat styling produces smooth hair. Tourmaline intensifies negative ions generation, making hair look extra smooth and shiny. And titanium, thanks to its outstanding heat conduction capacity, heats up fast, straightening even the thickest of hair. Tourmaline and titanium are often used to infuse ceramic for optimal results.
- High number of heat settings Heat styling Afro-textured hair is a delicate process, and finding the right temperature is key for it to go well. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to ideal temperature range for heat styling Black hair. Flat irons with broad range of heat settings allow you to find the temperature that works best for your hair. The more heat settings a flat iron has, the less the risk of damaging your hair by excessive heat is.
- Automatic shut-off Being forgetful may not always sound like a big deal. But when heat styling Afro-textured hair, losing all track of time may lead to dire consequences. Doing so for just a few minutes can make weeks or even months of having to grow new hair inevitable. Flat irons with automatic shut-off save you from the horror of permanently damaging the intricate structure of your Black hair.
With these features in mind, you can quickly pinpoint the flat irons that can heat style Black hair the best. Are there any flat iron models that serve as a good example? Let’s find out below.
Flat Irons for Black Hair: What Quality Models Look Like
The following models nicely embody the above key features of good flat irons for Black hair:
MHD Professional 1-Inch Ceramic Tourmaline Flat Iron
With its ceramic tourmaline plates, this model heats up to 356°F in 30 seconds. They also generate enough negative ions to make your hair extra smooth and shiny. In addition, this model’s digital controls allow setting the temperature anywhere within the range from 284°F to 450°F. This flat iron model also has an automatic shut-off feature that shuts down the device after 30 minutes.
BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Ultra Thin Straightening Iron
This flat iron model by BaBylissPRO can boast of 50 heat settings that generate the temperature of up to 450°F. Its ceramic heater along with titanium plates heat up instantly and deliver enough heat for even the thickest of hair. Being 5 inches long and either 1 or 1 ½ inches wide, these ultra-smooth plates allow for quick hair straightening. As a bonus, thanks to its thin design, this model is also super lightweight, which makes using it very comfortable.
CHI PRO AIR 1” Ceramic Ionic Tourmaline Hair Straightener
Thanks to its ceramic tourmaline plates with even heat distribution, this model heats up in a matter of one minute. It also comes with adjustable heat settings and allows to calibrate the temperature in the range between 180°F and 410°F. Along with its swivel cord and 1-hour automatic shut-off, this model is a gem for any type of hair texture.
HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron
This flat iron model by HSI Professional uses ceramic tourmaline plates, boosting them with advanced infrared heat technology. As such, the model produces the temperature range from 140°F to 450°F heat, catering for all types of hair texture. Besides this, the model has a 360 degree swivel cord, which allows for its flexible usage.
Remington S5500 Digital Anti Static Ceramic Hair Straightener
The ceramic titanium plates that this flat iron model employs can heat up fast and allow for a smooth glide. Besides this, the model offers digital control over temperature through six heat settings within the range from 310°F to 410°F. Finally, the model can also boast of its automatic shut-off and swivel cord, which makes its usage safe and convenient.
Infiniti Pro by Conair Professional 1 ½ Inch Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron
Using its 1 ½ inch ceramic tourmaline plates, this model can heat up in a as little as 15 seconds. At the same time, it can produce heat of up to 446°F and allows to choose between 5 heat settings. As other flat iron models, it also has an automatic shut-off feature, which makes using this device safe.
Onei MK-I Halo Ceramic Flat Iron
This flat iron model’s ceramic plates ensure a decent heating capacity as well as help you enjoy a smooth glide. In addition, the model has digital display that allows you to adjust the temperature all the way up to 450°F. On top of these features, this flat iron model has a 30-minute automatic shut-off and a 360 degree swivel cord.
Croc Classic Nano-Titanium Flat Iron
This professional-grade model can boast of its 1 ½ inch plates that combine titanium with nano-silver technology and far-infrared heat. On top of these features, the device allows you to exercise control over temperature with the help of digital display. As such, it presents you with 25 heat settings, allowing you to select optimal temperature within the 200°F – 450°F range.
Paul Mitchell Neuro Smooth Flat Iron
Its 1 ¼ inch titanium plates allow this flat iron model to heat up to 450°F in just 30 seconds. On top of its fast heat-up and lighting-fast heat recovery, the device also has a digital display for temperature adjustment. With its help, you can calibrate the temperature with precision to the one that your hair is okay with most.
RUSK Engineering CTC Technology Professional Straight Iron
Using its titanium-infused ceramic plates with ceramic heater, this model can make hair of any texture look smooth and shiny. At the same time, this device allows for incremental temperature adjustments all the way up to 450°F through digital screen. On top of that, this model allows to choose between 1 inch, 1 ¼ inch, and 1 ½ inch plates.
As you can see, there are many flat iron models that can heat style Black hair with success. Look for those flat irons that account for the delicate nature of Afro-textured hair. And heat styling Black hair won’t have to feel like playing with fire anymore.