A flat iron is an extremely important beauty tool. It revives a blowout, straightens curls, and makes hair ultra shiny (the straighter your hair, the more it will reflect light. The more light it reflects, the more it will shine).
In very, very basic layman’s terms, a flat iron uses heat to temporarily break hair’s natural chemical bonds. Such allows the flat iron to reshape the hair. Moisture bring back the original shape.
There are various types of flat irons. The best ones work with ionic technology. Hair contains water, which is positively charged. Ionic flat irons produce negative ions that generate shinier, smoother, frizz free hair. The types of ionic flat irons are as follows (the type identifies the material the manufacturers use to make the plate that straightens your hair):
- Ceramic: ceramic is a heat hardened clay. The plates heat evenly and usually don’t overheat, so it’s usually gentler on hair than the other ionic flat irons.
- Tourmaline: tourmaline is a crystal that manufacturers grind into a fine powder and fuse in into the ceramic plates. The combination ceramic and tourmaline prevent damage, frizz, and static.
- Titanium: titanium is an element that heats up extremely fast and transfers heat very quickly. It works best on thick, curly, frizzy hair. It could harm hair that is susceptible to damage
Some flat irons additionally incorporate infrared technology. This incorporates longer wavelengths and allows greater heat penetration into hair cuticles. Hair is heated evenly and more gently relaxed and softened. The hair absorbs surface water molecules and the cuticles lock in moisture to create a protective barrier.
- Quick List of Top Flat Iron
- Best Flat Iron for Fine Hair
- 1. Rusk Engineering Professional Straight Iron
- 2. BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium-Plated Straightening Iron
- 3. Bio Ionic Onepass Straightening Iron
- 4. HSI Professional Ceramic Hair Straightener
- 5. Revlon Straightening and Curling Ceramic Flat Iron
- 6. Solano Sleekheat450 Professional Flat Iron
- 7. Infiniti Pro by Conair Flat Iron
- 8. ghd Gold Professional Performance 1″ Styler
- 9. CHI Original 1″ Flat Hair Straightening Iron
- 10. BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Mini Straightening Iron
- Preparing Your Hair for Flat Ironing
- How to Use the Flat Iron
Quick List of Top Flat Iron
Here are the best products for your hair type, linked to Amazon:
- Rusk Engineering Professional Straight Iron
- BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium-Plated Straightening Iron
- Bio Ionic Onepass Straightening Iron
- HSI Professional Ceramic Hair Straightener
- Revlon Straightening Ceramic Flat Iron
Flat Iron Temperature for Fine Hair
Flat iron temperature for fine hair should be between 200º and 350º, less if it’s damaged or delicate. Never go above 350º. Always, always, always double-check this range with your hairstylist and follow their recommendations.
Your hair’s diameter or thickness determines whether your hair is fine. Some people have lots of fine hair and loads of volume.
Here are two ways to figure out your hair type.
- Take a single strand of your hair between your fingers:
- if you can’t feel the strand, your hair is fine.
- if you can feel the strand, your hair is medium.
- if the strand feels thick, your hair is coarse or thick.
- Stand before a mirror and take a handful of hair from one side of your head:
- if you can easily see your scalp around the clump, your hair is fine.
- if you can somewhat see your scalp around the clump, your hair is medium.
- if you can’t see any scalp, your hair is coarse or thick.
Fine Hair vs. Thin Hair
Fine hair and thin hair are not the same. When someone has thin hair, “thin” comments on their hair concentration or the amount of strands they have on their head. A person can have thin fine hair or thin coarse hair. Once again, “fine” represents your hair’s diameter or thickness.
Advantages of Fine Hair
There’s nothing wrong whatsoever with having fine hair. In fact, there are various advantages to having fine hair. Those advantages include:
- You use less shampoo and conditioner: those with coarse and curly hair need to use a lot of shampoo and even more conditioner to properly care for their hair.
- Detangling your hair is simple: getting out tangles is easy. It’s a struggle for those with coarse and curly hair to get through their snarls.
- You require less styling product: too much product will actually weigh down fine hair, so you only need a small amount to add volume.
- Drying time is minimal: you’re ready in minutes. Coarse and curly hair can take up to an hour to dry, and that’s with a hairdryer.
- You can straighten your hair by yourself: in minutes, with just a brush and hairdryer. Coarse and curly haired people need a professional hairstylist, who charges money, to properly straighten their hair.
Best Flat Iron for Fine Hair
Let’s examine some of the top flat irons:
1. Rusk Engineering Professional Straight Iron
This titanium infused ceramic flat iron reaches temperatures over four hundred degrees. It works with any length hair and gets rid of cowlicks, frizz and kinks. It straightens and smooths straight and thick hair and works well on damaged and coarse hair and leaves it silky and shiny. This flat iron’s lowest setting is 280º. Though it’s a bit high for fine hair, it’s in the range (again, check with your hairstylist). Many compared it to the ones professionals use and said that it was the only flat iron they’ll ever use.
2. BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium-Plated Straightening Iron
This slim, lightweight flat iron has titanium plates and heaters and an LED temperature setting. It offers fifty heat settings and reaches up to 450º. The temperature goes as low as 220º, so it’s suitable for fine hair.
3. Bio Ionic Onepass Straightening Iron
This ceramic, infrared flat iron features silicone strips that offer quicker straightening, smoother hair, and heightened shine. Minerals condition and seal hair cuticle and the BioCeramic heaters maintain constant heat. It has a ten foot swivel cord, and reaches 400° in five seconds. They specifically liked the silicone strips and said that they did provide smoother straightening. Those with coarse hair said that it didn’t work well for them. Because it strives to be effective on “one pass” and is gentle, it is recommended for fine hair. Note, though, its lowest temperature setting is 240°.
4. HSI Professional Ceramic Hair Straightener
In addition to straightening hair, this fast heating ceramic flat iron also flips hair, as well. It has a swivel cord, ergonomic design, and coils that maintain even temperature. Temperature is fully adjustable between 140-450°, so it’s suitable for fine hair.
5. Revlon Straightening and Curling Ceramic Flat Iron
This lightweight, ergonomically designed tourmaline ceramic flat iron goes up to 400°. It has ten variable digital LED heat settings, automatic shut-off, and color coded controls. The rounded plate edges and housing provides straightening, as well as easy flips and hair waves. They said it worked well with their hair, including thick hair. Though temperature is displayed, it is unknown if it can be turned to a low setting.
6. Solano Sleekheat450 Professional Flat Iron
This tourmaline flat iron reaches up to 450° in about a minute. Its beveled plates provide even gliding and reduce hair damage. The infrared heating decreases styling time and encourages healthier hair. The temperature goes down to 170°, so it’s safe for fine hair. It has ceramic plates infused with tourmaline and four-sided beveled plates for a smooth glide and styling versatility.
7. Infiniti Pro by Conair Flat Iron
This flat iron diminishes flyaway hairs and frizz, protects against damage and humidity, straightens and creates flips, and offers twenty-four hour results. It heats uniformly in fifteen seconds and automatically shuts off. It has thirty heat settings, goes up to 455°; and automatically shuts off.
8. ghd Gold Professional Performance 1″ Styler
The contoured plates on this flat iron reduce snags. Besides straightening, it also creates clicks, curls, waves and flicks. The lightweight body is fifty degrees cooler to the touch and you can pack it for travel it after you turn it off without damaging your belongings. It automatically turns off after thirty minutes when not in use. The majority of user were very pleased with this flat iron, even those with curly hair. Many said that it worked quickly and with one pass.
9. CHI Original 1″ Flat Hair Straightening Iron
This ergonomically designed ceramic flat iron incorporates infrared technology to straighten hair and reduce frizz and static. It also created flips, waves, and curls. It flash heats up to 392°.
10. BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Mini Straightening Iron
This flat iron goes up to 430° and works especially well for short to medium length hair. You can get close to the scalp and get smooth results from there on down to the ends. Most buyers were pleased with their purchase. It made a terrific travel flat iron and worked “amazingly.”
Preparing Your Hair for Flat Ironing
Here’s how to prepare your hair for flat ironing:
- Wash and condition your hair with products specifically formulated to produce straight, sleek styles. There are plenty on the market these days, especially for curly hair. If you don’t have anything that specifies “straight hair”, moisturizing products will do.
- Towel dry your hair thoroughly. Pat, but don’t rub. Rubbing can cause frizz.
- Apply a thermal protection treatment or serum while your hair is still damp. Applying the product while your hair is still wet helps prevent clumps. Products with argon nut, Moroccan, or coconut oil; Obliphica Berry; or, silicone help keep hair straight throughout the day.
- Comb your hair with a wide toothed comb and make sure that there are no tangles
- Blow-dry your hair. Set your hairdryer on low and attach a concentrator nozzle. Pull hair taut with a brush and point the hair dryer downward with the flow of your hair while blow-drying. The motivates your hair to dry as straight as possible. You want your hair dry. No dampness at all. If your hair tends to be frizzy, drying it on a low setting for an extended period of time will keep it from frizzing further as you dry it.
How to Use the Flat Iron
Now that your hair is dry, here’s how to effectively use the flat iron:
- Plug in the flat iron and switch in on. There should be a numbered heat setting with which you can set your temperature (make sure it’s less than 350°).
- Use bobby pins or duckbill clips to divide your hair into one or two inch parts. Each part will represent a section you will smooth or straighten.
- Hold onto the section and place the flat iron as close to your scalp you can without burning yourself. This is about one inch from your scalp.
- Clamp the flat iron around the section. The heated sides should touch and the section of hair should lie flat in between the iron. Don’t clamp too tightly as such will form a fold at the top part where you began straightening. In addition, don’t hold the flat iron in the same area for too long. That, too, will cause a fold.
- Move the flat iron down along the length of the section. Your movement should be fluid and steady. Once more, don’t hold the flat iron in one place for too long. It will cause damage and create folds.
- If necessary, repeat the section until it is completely straight. The thickness of your hair will determine how many times you may need to repeat that flat iron application. A lower flat iron temperature may require more applications. It’s okay to see steam rising from the flat iron. Ceramic flat irons create steam when they contact leftover moisture. You shouldn’t, however, smell burning hair. If you do, lower the setting right away.
- Unclip a new hair part and continue straightening. It’s easier to work from one side to the next, rather from random section to section.
- If your hair is prone to frizz, apply serum or hairspray after straightening, but don’t get product on sections you haven’t yet straightened.
- Finish your hair with your hairdryer. Set your hairdryer to the lowest setting and blow dry with a thick brush for about one minute.
- Apply hairspray, setting spray, or a post-straightening product. An anti-frizz serum that contains silicone is particularly effective.
Common Flat Iron Mistakes
To reiterate, a flat iron is one of the most important beauty tools. You really can do so much with it (straighten, curl, flip, smooth). Used incorrectly, however, it can cause a lot of damage. Sometimes you can’t repair the damage and have to wait until the lifeless parts grow out. That can seem like an eternity.
Once more, most sites said that the flat iron temperature for fine hair should be between 200º and 350º, less if it’s damaged or delicate, and to never go above 350º mark (again, always check with your hairstylists)
Here are some other common mistakes flat iron users make that can lead to serious damage:
- You overlook ionic technology: make sure you see ceramic, titanium, and/or tourmaline, otherwise the flat iron doesn’t utilize ionic technology.
- Using the lowest setting first: after all the comments about fine hair, this must sound contradictory. You might think that a lower setting is better. That, however, requires multiple processes and could actually cause more damage. Turning the temperature up lessens the processes.
- You use the flat iron on damp hair: never do this. Let’s repeat that. Never use a flat iron on damp hair. Make sure it’s completely dry first. Did you ever hear a sizzling sound? The sizzle is the sound of your hair frying. It’s just like a shirt burning under a clothing iron. Do you want that happening to your fine, delicate hair?
- You skip product: this is a must for fine hair. Always invest in quality products. They’ll protect your hair from breakage.
- You use too much product: if you see smoke, you’ve used too product.
- Your flat iron has no temperature setting: a temperature setting is must have for fine hair. If you have fine hair, don’t buy a flat iron without a temperature setting.
- Not allowing your hair to cool: cooling down sets your hair. After flat ironing, don’t put it back in a clip or ponytail right away. Let it cool down.
- You neglect to clean your flat iron: dust and burnt product gathers on your flat iron. Clean it every now and then. Use alcohol on a cool flat iron or wipe a warm flat iron with a damp towel (unplug it first).
- Pulling down as you flat iron: this will make your hair flat. Some experts suggest getting as close to the scalp as possible and pulling up as go, rather than down. This will give you a boost of volume at the crown.
- Not brushing your hair: before flat ironing, brush out all the knots. Such will quicken the straightening process and require less repeat processes.
If you’re just starting out with the flat iron, give yourself time to learn how to use it. As with anything, it takes practice to learn how to effectively it. Once you do, though, you’ll love the sleek, smooth looks and will be able to accomplish smooth styles in no time.