Your Flat Iron Hair Straightener Is Burning Your Hair. Here’s Why… (Heat Tolerance)

By Camelia Smith
Published 04 May 2015 / Updated 14 Oct 2021

Your Flat Iron Hair Straightener Is Burning Your Hair. Here’s Why… (Heat Tolerance)

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Here’s the truth about hair straightening.

Most people don’t know what temperature to use on their hair type.

And this is a serious problem which causes heat damage.

What if I told you, your hair burns at the same temperature as paper – 451°F.

Read: At what temperature does hair burn? A guide to follicle-damaging heat »

Sure, you may not see your hair literally on fire …

… but once heat damage takes its toll – you’re toast.

The warning signs for hair damage are obvious:

  • Split ends
  • Frizzy & frazzled hair
  • Dry & rough hair
  • Dull appearance
  • Too much breakage
  • Difficult to style
  • Curls won’t snap back
  • High porosity
  • Moisturizers won’t work

Is Your Flat Iron Good For Your Hair?

What is a good flat iron?
What is a good flat iron for my hair?


You don’t have to buy “the one” that everyone else has.

Why, you ask ?

OK, let me ask you this simple question …

Do you know the heat tolerance of your hair ?

Probably not.

But don’t worry.

Over the last 6 months, we’ve done experiments …

… tested different varieties, asked questions, dug deep into forums and social media.

And the team here has some SURPRISING results, which I am going to share with you.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Heat Tolerance: Hair types & exact temperature settings
  • Size: Pick the exact size you need
  • Materials: Don’t get paralyzed by too many choices
  • Benefits: Smart features to help you style hair faster
  • Convenience: Ease of use – ergonomics
  • Accessories: How to make your hair styling routine easier
  • Caring: How to look after your flat iron and make it last longer

Your flat iron will save you from the proverbial bad hair days.

Don’t just grab and go …

… or make an impulse buy when it comes to your crowning glory.

Table Of Contents

Professional vs Cheap

First rule:

DO NOT SKIMP and buy a cheap flat iron.

It will frustrate you.

Here’s why:

  • Uneven Heat: Cheap flat irons don’t distribute equal heat
  • More Passes: You need more passes on your hair
  • Inch By Inch: It makes you style inch by inch
  • Hot Spots: Uneven heating causes hot spots
  • Low Quality Plates: Low quality metal under the coating overheats
  • Coating Peels Off: The shiny coating peels off & catches your hair

A cheap one will make your hair look like a hot mess.

Half frizzy, half done.

Put your money on a professional flat iron.

Because there’s nothing more precious than a good hair day.

ghd platinum no compromise hair styling iron

Ghd Platinum


Get your GHD Platinum. Recommended By Professional Hair Stylists.

The girls here swear by the GHD Platinum. Yes, We’re slightly obsessed with GHD. Are you?

Keep this in mind:

Even heat distribution on the plates means:

Less passes and faster results.

Imagine that exquisite feeling you get when stepping out of a hair salon.

That’s what I am talking about.

Simple… right ?

Not just yet …

Setting your mind on a professional hair styler means you’re on the right track.

“But Camelia, I use mine daily. Does this burn my hair ?”

Okay: I get it.

If I were you, I’d be concerned about that too.

Follow me …

Let me answer your concerns.

Main Concerns When Using Heat Styling

How often do you use your hair styler ?

If you use yours every other day and still see signs of dry hair and frizz …

… back off and allow 2-3 days between use.

Do Not Flat Iron Your Hair Everyday

Give your hair 24-hour breaks.

Results from 2 online polls reveal that only 27% of women would use a flat iron everyday.

34% would use it a few times a week.

This is how women voted:

How often to use your flat iron for hair
How often to use your flat iron for hair

Flat ironing your hair every day will cause:

  • Broken hair
  • Loss of natural hair moisture

If you do need to:

Use a good heat protectant to shield your hair.

Useful Tip

Use conditioners & oils in your hair the night before heat styling.

This protects your hair against intense heat.

Style your hair every other day & avoid washing in between.

If it gets greasy, use a dry shampoo. That’ll fix it.


Picture perfect hair every day means heat damage.

Heat Distribution (Hot Spots & Snags)

Your hair straightener plates are not in sync. This causes heat damage too.

For example: The lower plate is 300 °F and the upper 380 °F.

These so-called hot spots are common in drugstore variety flat irons.

Uneven heat will snag, pull, & leave your hair in a mess.

How To Avoid Damaging Hot Spots

The problems with hot spots:

  • Hair Melts: Your hair will melt in them
  • Can’t Clean: The plates become difficult to clean
  • Hair Smells: They cause bad smell of burning hair
  • Catches Hair: They will catch your hair

Heat Damage Breaks Your Hair

Would you use a hot flat iron on your eyelashes?

Thought so.

Your eyelashes would burn off right away.

Like this …

… your hair is burning too.

You don’t notice because of it’s density.


Heat styling drains moisture & essential oils from your hair.

This makes your hair brittle and snap.


You can’t save brittle hair from snapping and breaking.

I regularly see women panicking because their hair has apparently started to fall out. But in fact, their hair is just breaking off due to their straightening addiction. Iain Sallis
Consultant Trichologist Hairmedic - DailyMail

My recommendation: Skip the flat iron when your hair feels damaged.

Your Hair Needs Natural Moisture

Use flat irons that protect your hair's natural oils
Use flat irons that protect your hair’s natural oils

Natural moisture keeps your hair elastic.

It gives bounce & volume.

Moisture content is just as important to the health & beauty of your hair as it is to your skin. Cunnane Phillips
Trichologist at Philip Kingsley. - HuffingtonPost

If you’re stuck with dry hair, get a steam flat iron.

Imagine a heat styler that works the opposite way:

One that adds moisture rather than drying your hair.

Make heat styling work for you, NOT against you.

Find The Heat Tolerance Of Your Hair

The thinner your hair is, the more easy it will damage with heat.

On the flip side:

Thick, curly, and coarse hair need more heat to style.


Let’s face it.

We’re all heat abusers, regardless of our hair types.

In fact:

The Cosmopolitan Magazine market research poll found out that 18 – 24 year old women are serious heat abusers.

The poll results show that:

  • 88% use blow dryers
  • 71% use flat irons
  • 64% use curling irons

Wow, with numbers like this, it’s obvious our hair suffer from heat damage.

Know the heat tolerance of your hair & stay in your safe zone.

According to Marie Claire Magazine

… the ideal temperature for all hair types is: 365°F

Independent scientists for GHD claim that at 365°F (185°C),your hair requires fewer heat strokes for best results.

Do you agree ?

Take a look at this flat iron temperature chart for hair:

I’ve consolidated data from:

hair straightener temperature chart
Flat Irons Temperature Chart For You

To summarise:

  • Synthetic Hair: Use a Red Kiss Weave Wig Styler
  • Fine Hair: Stick to Ceramic at 250°F
  • Normal Hair: Ceramic is also ideal at 330°F
  • Coarse Hair: Use Titanium plates at 370°F

With this in mind:

A professional hair styling iron with variable heat settings is a must.

Not just a High/Low or On/Off.

Useful Tip:

Make sure you never use your flat iron at 420°F.

Keratin starts to melt at 420°F, and your hair is Keratin.

Your Hair Length Defines Your Plates Size

This is how you pick your plate size:

which size flat iron to use

Bonus: Download this chart in high resolution [PDF].

Print it and Use it.

flat iron 3 inch wide plates

You can also buy flat irons with 3 inch wide plates!

Yep, these babies are hard to find, but I’ll show where to get them below as you read along …

To recap:

The shorter your hair, the thinner your plates should be.

For long hair, you get faster results with wide plates. Because they cover more surface area in one go.

What To Consider When Buying Yours

This is your ideal flat iron.

Picture it:

  • Glide: It glides through your hair without snagging or pulling
  • Long Lasting Result: Your hair style will last through the day
  • Easy Temperature: LCD display for easy temperature setting
  • Consistent Heat: It does not lose heat during styling
  • Heat Recovery: It recovers heat instantly
  • One Pass: You only need one pass on each section
  • Lightweight: Easy to old. It won’t hurt your wrist
  • No Tangling Cord: Long swivel power cord
  • Dual-Voltage: Use it anywhere in the world
  • Fast Heat-Up: Ready in less than 20 seconds
  • Fast Cool Down: Ready to pack when you’re in a rush
  • Indicator Lights: Lets you know when it’s ready
  • Non Slip: It does not slip in your hands. Non slip grip hold
  • Temperature Memory: Remembers Your Temperature
  • Rounded Edges: No bend or line of demarcation in your hair
  • Automatic Shut Off: Peace of mind. Safety first.
  • Warranty: You’re covered

You want a flat iron that gets straight to the point.

No nonsense, No B.S right ?

So let’s get started…

What’s Your Budget ?

The difference between a stellar flat iron and a cheap budget flat iron is:


It will waste your time and you won’t get the results you want.

Hair styling irons cost from $15 to $300.


Would you go for this price?

A little bit extra makes a huge difference.

I remember when I had to save up for 2 months to buy my GHD.

In the end, it turned out to be an excellent investment for my hair.

I’ll recommend you save up and go for one over $150. Don’t get a drugstore flat iron. Trust me.

I know, $150 is not cheap.

But, you don’t need a movie star budget either.

It’s a reasonable price for a premium product you use to look pretty.

flat iron gorgeous hair
Credit: Quotesgram

Start your day with glorious hair… You can’t put a price on that !

More reasons for premium hair straighteners …

Ions Make A Huge Difference

Here’s a little boring science lesson for you.

Ions are present in the air and they carry positive and negative charges.

In your hair, Ions are positive. (Humidity & Water)

They make your hair frizzy.

To make it worse:

Plastic and Aluminium heating tools contribute nothing but positive Ions.

You need the right tools that cancel positive Ions in your hair.

Ceramic, Tourmaline, and Titanium charge negative Ions to neutralize the positives.

This neutral balance eliminates frizz to give you smooth hair.

Cool huh?

You need a flat iron that produces negative Ions.

It’s all about getting the right plates and materials …

Materials – What Are The Plates Made Of ?

Hair styling irons come in all shapes, plates, & materials.

But this is important:

It’s the plates that touch your hair.

The smoother they are, the better.

I recommend:

  • Ceramic
  • Titanium
  • Tourmaline
  • Platinum

Make sure you get one of them. Avoid Aluminium & coated plates.

Unless the premium material itself is further coated.


  • Ceramic Toumaline (This is good)
  • Ceramic coating on Aluminium (This is NOT good)

Ceramic plates are smooth. With an added Tourmaline layer they get even better.

Smooth Plates – Your Hair Runs Easily Between Them

This is what you get with premium smooth plates:

  • Easy Glide: Your hair runs easily between the plates
  • No Tearing: No tearing or sniping
  • No Friction: Negative Ions reduce frizz & static
  • No Hot Spots: No cracks means even heat distribution
  • Smooth Hair: Smooth plates means smooth results
  • Fast Results: No going over the same section twice

I recently saw this flat iron with * New Floating Flexi-Plates *.

The flexi-plates flat iron claims to reduce gaps and stay in full contact with your hair.

Not bad.

But with all the new flat irons that enter the market, you need to check for one thing:


Avoid counterfeits. They do not pass strict safety tests and they can harm you.

How To Spot Counterfeit Straighteners

8 simple steps to check for authentic flat irons:

  • Branded Box: Poor packaging is a red flag
  • Brand Logo Errors: Check the shape, size, & typo in logos
  • Image Quality: Authentic brands don’t use poor quality images
  • Guarantee Booklet: Your box should have one if it’s genuine
  • Hologram: Your power cable should have one if authentic
  • Hologram Code: Code you can check on the website
  • Ground Fault Circuit: Fake products don’t have an interrupter
  • Sticker Logo: Authentic brands don’t use sticker logos

Use these websites to check for counterfeit hair straighteners:

If you like the Farouk CHI brand, buy from the CHI flat iron official website or

Make sure your CHI flat iron has the GLOBAL BEAUTY NETWORK INC stamp.

That’s how you know it’s genuine.


Counterfeit heat styling appliances are dangerous.

Here are the problems:

  • Faulty wires
  • Less power than originals
  • Non compliance with health & safety standards
  • Non reliable electrical safety tests

Flat Iron Safety Tests & Certificates

No rigorous safety tests mean they can inflict burns or even catch fire.

Genuine professional hair straighteners provide safety manuals with guarantee.

Like this:

The GHD platinum Styler Safety Manual (PDF)

Talking about safety features, here’s another good one:

Auto-Shut off

Auto Shut-Off (Peace Of Mind Guaranteed)

In the morning rush, you may forget to switch off your hair straightener.

For peace of mind: Use an automatic shut off flat iron.

No more worrying at work if you left it on …

… or worse:

If there’s anything flammable next to it.

It also saves on energy bills when the appliance switches off by itself.

If you don’t have a flat iron with auto shut-off

… it’s high time to upgrade.

Avoid Strain On Your Wrist

Wrist pain when using a hair straight iron
Wrist pain when using a hair straightening iron

If it’s not comfortable to hold, it will cause strain on your wrist.

Grip & Weight make a big difference.

Think: Maximum comfort when it’s time to get ready.

The larger the plates of your flat iron, the heavier it is.

Small hands:

Get this small grip flat iron: Croc Classic Nano-Titanium Flat Iron

Large hands:

Don’t buy a tiny flat iron, it will burn your hands. Your hands will wrap around it too easy which makes it uncomfortable.

More added comfort comes from non-slip grip handles.

Non Slip Grip For More Styling Control

Style you hair with high precision.

And that means, you get the job done faster.

How fast ?


That depends on your plates size and how much surface they cover …

… with single passes of course.

1 Inch Is Not The Standard Size !

I agree:

1 Inch plates work well for many.

But, it’s not the standard.

Choose a plate size that suits your hair length.

Use my chart above, you’ll make a smarter decision.

Like I said:

  • Short hair: Slim plates
  • Long hair: Wide plates

Let me explain why …

Long Hair – Wide Plates

You can fit more hair in one go on wide plates.

You don’t over expose your hair to intense heat. And it’s faster.

If you don’t believe me …

Use a 1/2 inch flat iron on your long hair.

And let me know how much your arm hurts ?

You want wide plates ?

Check out my handpicked selection for you:

  • T3 Single Pass X Wide Iron
  • Keratin Complex Stealth II Titanium 1 1/2″
  • BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Ionic 1 3/4″ Wide straightener
  • Remington S9620B Silk Ceramic Flat Iron, 2-Inch

Useful Tip:

Hair past your ears and above your shoulders is not short.

Hair touching your shoulders or runs below, is long enough for wide plates.

Short Hair – Slim Plates

For pixie cuts, bangs, and hair above your ears, you need a slim flat iron. Thinner plates get close to the skin and scalp.

Yes, You can style the shortest layers with slim plates.

Did you know ?

Nowadays, men use small flat irons for spiky & straight hair styles !

Still confused which size is right for you ?

Here are my tips:

  • Try Out: Try your friend , sister, or any family member’s iron
  • In Store: Walk into a store and ask for help and try
  • Hairstylist: Your hairstylist has all of them. Don’t be shy to ask and try out

Narrow And Slim Plates

Easy access to harder-to-get spots.

Fancy Blake Lively’s edgy ringlets ?

Do it with the Conair Ultra Slim Ceramic 3/4″ Straightener

So what’s a slim plate flat iron ?

Less than: 3/4″ (0.75 inch)

Here’s the list of sizes:

  • 3/8 Inch (0.95 CM)
  • 1/2 Inch (1.27 CM)
  • 5/8 Inch (1.58 CM)
  • 3/4 Inch (1.90 CM)

Medium Plates

You get the best of both worlds with medium plates.

In fact:

They are the most popular (1 Inch: 2.5 CM to 4 CM).

1 Inch flat irons work for hair that is past your ears but above your shoulders.

Wide And Large Plates

Flat irons with large plates range from 2.5 CM to 7.5 CM.

Here’s a list of sizes:

  • 1 1/4 Inch (3.175 CM)
  • 1 3/8 Inch (3.49 CM)
  • 1 1/2 Inch (3.81 CM)
  • 1 3/4 Inch (4.45 CM)
  • 2 Inch (5.08 CM)
  • 3 Inch (7.62 CM)

Like I promised, here’s more about the 3 Inch wide straightening irons

3 Inch plates cover big surfaces faster. Great for long hair.

They are good for kinky hair too…

… because they give plenty of heat.

A bit bulky though, you better get used to that.

Want to go big ?

Check these products:

  • HOT TOOLS Professional Ceramic 3 inch
  • WIGO 3 inch European Flat Iron Dual Voltage

Note: Reviews are not great. Only go for them if you need the size.

Size affects how you carry yours around …

… but I won’t worry about it.

I always manage to squeeze mine in my luggage somehow.

What you need to check is: Worldwide Voltage Option.

The Dual Voltage Flat Iron

Do you use voltage converters when travelling?

I have news for you:

The wrong Hz will burn your appliance.

Here’s how:

  • Wrong HZ: Right voltage, wrong Hz !!
  • Overheat: Heating elements overheat with converters
  • Adapter Plug: You still need an adaptor plug for Europe

You won’t know what Hz frequency the electricity runs on in a foreign country.

Recommended Reading:

The Roaming Boomers: The Ultimate Electricity Guide for World Travelers »

Avoid converters.

Get a flat iron that handles voltage from 100-240V (Dual-Voltage).

Let’s take a look at voltage settings.

110 V

Unlike European countries, American voltage is set at 110V.

Travel writers often suggest you use a converter. It cuts down 220V to 110V.

But let me tell you: This is nonsense.

Read this: Electric Europe: Adapters and Converters »

Just make sure your electrical hair devices are ready for use at 220V and 50Hz.

Please Note:

99.99% of warrantees on flat irons are ONLY covered in the country you buy.

If you blow up your hair straightener abroad…

… chances are, you won’t get a replacement.

220V & 240V

220V and 240V are standard European Voltage.

Buy a Dual-Voltage flat iron.

You won’t need conversion and there is no loss of optimal heat.

For optimal heat you need adjustable temperatures …

Adjustable Temperatures – Not Just High Low

Flat irons release concentrated heat in your hair.

If you go too low, it won’t style your hair.

Too high, you risk heat damage.

That’s why:

You need flexible temperatures you can work with.

A hair straightener with temperature control gives you measurable readings.

Not just high/low or on/off.

Yes, I hate them.

Always start low and work upwards with heat.

Precise & easy to read temperature lets you stay in control.

Don’t be lazy and blast up the heat for fast results.

That’s a bad thing to do.


Healthy hair burns at 450°F (Notice I said healthy hair)

If your hair is fragile, and you do colouring treatments …

… it won’t stand a chance at 450 °F !

Don’t want to set temperature every time ?

Use a smart flat iron like Babyliss Pro with Digital Memory.

Adjustable temperature features to look for:

  • Heat control system
  • LCD temperature display
  • Rheostat control
  • Minimum 150 °F, maximum 450 °F
  • Temperature control lock
  • Temperature memory


Your hair is sensitive. Heat quantity and quality matters.

Heat Quality (PTFC)

Did you know ?

The heat quality from your flat iron and blow dryer makes a difference.

Good heat quality offers protection & smoothing.

Slow and even heat penetration is safe for your hair.

That’s why:

I recommend checking for PTFC heaters when buying heat styling tools.

Let me explain:

PTFC stands for Positive Temperature Frequency Control.

It releases slow and even heat that never drops, and it recovers heat well.

A good example: Far-infrared

Top of the line flat iron brands use them for their immense reliability.

You will see 3 types of heaters on the market:

  • PTFC
  • Coil
  • PTC

Use PTFC always.

Recommended PTFC Heater Flat Irons

Fast Heat Up

How would you feel if your flat iron took 5 minutes to heat up ?

I’ll go bonkers …

You want time savers. One that is ready in 5 seconds.

If you live your life on the go, you can style & dash in no time.

And best of all:

Without compromise, looking your absolute best.

Check out the T3 Singlepass. It delivers flash quick heating in 5 secs.

As the name suggests, you only need single passes through your hair.

For example:

Tourmaline flat irons heat up super fast.

Look for:

Fast heat up irons that can go from 140 °F to 410 °F in seconds.

With good recovery time …

Recovery Time Should Be 6-8 Seconds

It’s no good doing your hair with a straightener that doesn’t maintain consistent heat.

Temperature fluctuations between passes mean it’ll take you longer.

If your flat iron takes 90 secs to recover lost heat, it’s a dinosaur.

Bin it.

You flat iron needs heat stability.

A recovery time of 6-8 seconds.

Here’s what you need to know:

Top quality flat irons have ZERO recovery time.

Thanks to their REQD technology (Rapid Engagement & Quick Disengagement)

Use a flat iron that sustains the same level of heat througout.

Take a look at the T3 SinglePass. An absolute must have for girls-on-the-go.

Indicator Lights

A flat iron can tell you when it’s ready for use.

With indicator lights and beeps.

And it gets even smarter with temperature memory too …

Tri-Zone Technology (Sensors Inside Plates)

Tri-Zone Technology makes your flat iron smart. With sensors like the GHD Platinum:

6 sensors inside the plates record your hair styling habits to deliver accurate heat.

Features- You Just Focus On Looking Pretty

Let’s not sugar coat anything here.

Heat styling can get frustrating.

And I have good reasons to explain:

  • Power Cord Tangles: Can’t move around
  • Non Sturdy Tongs: Yes, they can get a bit wobbly
  • Slippery Handles: My hand gets tired when I have to hold it firm
  • Bends & Lines: I hate bends and lines in my hair

Simple annoyances, but they all add up.

Like me:

You want comfort and ease when styling your hair.

This is why I look for:

  • Easy manoeuvre
  • Long swivel power cords
  • Sturdy tongs
  • Easy to grip handles
  • Beveled (rounded) edges plates
  • Useful accessories

Easy Manoeuvre

No one likes fiddling with the straightener early morning.

For ease of use you want:

  • Buttons Inside Handles: Easy reach for adjustments
  • LCD Display: On the outside for easy reading
  • 360° Swivel Cord: Long & flexible cord to move around

Look for at least 3 metres long cords.

Swivel Power Cords – Work The Angles & Own The Space

More space. More angles.

With a long cord, you can use more space to work.

Even better:

You’re less likely to trip over.

Add the convenience of a velcro wrap and a hanging loop…

… makes it easy to wrap and store away too.

Don’t hunch over the electrical socket every time.

You flat iron power cord should have:

  • 360 degrees swivel
  • 8ft – 9ft length
  • Velcro wrap closure
  • A hanging loop
  • Retractable feature (optional)

Retractable Cord

Avoid wrapping the cord around your appliance.

Store it loosely coiled.

Because tight wrapping will damage the power cord.

I know you hate this part.

This may help: Flat irons with retractable features

Easy-To-Grip Handles

Hair stylers can be heavy, or have thick handles.

This is a common problem with hair styling tools.

I prefer handles with embossed patterns. They are easy to hold and provide a solid grip.

For example: The Turboion Croc Infrared hair styler.

How about a handle that rotates?

It’s a good idea. Less work for your wrist.

Look at this:

Grip handles with 180 Degrees rotation.

Grip control matters if you want precision hair styling.

Look for:

  • Spring grip rubber handle
  • Embossed pattern handle
  • Contoured easy grip handle
  • 180 Degrees rotation handle
  • Heat resistant handle

Keep it sturdy & avoid strain on your wrist.

Beveled Edges (Avoid Bends In Your Hair)

I don’t like the awful lines of separation in my hair.

Blunt edges on the plates make lines of demarcation.

But not all of them do.

For example: The GHD Eclipse does a pretty good job without leaving lines.

And here’s why:

It has rounded beveled edges.

Flat irons with smooth rounded edges = NO dents & NO bends.


For a top end flat iron, you need a solid warranty backing.

Make sure your warranty covers manufacturing faults.

Manufacturers do not repair faults. They give you a new one and take your faulty one back.


There are a gazillion types of flat irons on the market. Right ?

Where do you start?

Don’t let the choices paralyze you.

Read my step by step guide below. It will help you pick out yours.

Types Of Flat Irons – Unlimited Hair Styling Options

Hair stylers do 3 things:

  • Straightening
  • Curling
  • Crimping

But you can have unlimited style variations.

For example:

You can have beach waves, tight waves, or loose waves.

With all the different hair types, textures, and lengths…

… the possibilities are endless.

No wonder why, there are so many types of flat irons out there.

It’s not a one type fits all.

You need to find one that fits your range of styling and your hair.

Let me help you with this one …

It took me 3 attempts to buy mine. I’ll share my experience with you.

Let’s start …

Stove Heated Flat Hair Irons – Are They Dead?

Back in the days, people used to heat up thermal irons in coal, gas, and electric stoves.

Crazy right?

It was not easy to adjust heat.

Needless to say, these caused burns on finger tips.

Fast forward today: Marcel and Golden Supreme still sell them.

They are not dead.

But why bring them back?

One reason: Ethnic hair.

Women with natural & ethnic hair love stove flat irons.

And here’s why:

The new generation of flat irons heat from the inside out (Exothermic).

Stove heated flat irons heat from the outside in (Endothermic).

In short: Stove flat irons release direct heat.

Benefits of stove heated flat irons:

  • Heat For Thick Hair: It provides intense heat for thick ethnic hair
  • Use It Forever: There is no lifetime
  • No Power Cords: No restriction on movements. Use at any angles
  • Many Choices: More than 30 sizes
  • Less Electricity: Stove heaters use less electricity
  • Strong Carbon Steel: Made from carbon steel they are durable
  • Consistent: Even heat distribution
  • Heat Resistant Handles: Rotating handles resist heat
  • Clamshell Packaging


Black cosmetologists use stove heated flat irons.

Because Afro virgin hair needs a lot of concentrated heat.

And this is NOT possible to get from electric styling irons.

It’s important to remember that:

Afro hair has many overlapping cuticles. It’s hard to style.

That’s why direct heat from stove flat irons work best.

In case you’re wondering where to find them …

… they are still big sellers on

I’ve handpicked a few for you:

The Milstan Flat Feather Iron

Another one for the naturals.

Invented by Stan “Milstan” Nash, this is the thinnest flat iron.

Use it and you’ll feel like you’ve just received a fresh relaxer.

If you have natural hair, you must avoid intense heat.

But let’s be honest:

You will want to wear your hair straight at times. Like parties and special dos.

That’s where thermal relaxing helps.

The Milstan Feather iron gives your natural hair:

  • Straightness: Straightness of a press
  • Shine: Shine of a flat iron
  • Perm: Look of a perm without chemicals
  • Fresh: Crisp & fresh hair style

Another bonus:

They come in different shapes and sizes to suit you.

Get your chemical free perm in no time with a feather flat iron.

Here’s how you use it:

  1. Clean: Clean your hair
  2. Heat Up: Heat up your Feather flat iron
  3. Blow Dry: Blow dry: but not with too much heat
  4. Section: Section your hair in small parts. No larger than 1.5 inches
  5. Stretch: Stretch the sections out
  6. Rub: Rub the roots with Feather flat iron in downward motion
  7. Place Hair: Place your hair in between the iron plates and begin
  8. Repeat: Repeat each section
  9. Wrap & Tie: Once done, wrap your hair and tie it up.
  10. Overnight: Allow to set overnight
  11. Freestyle It: Tada ! In the morning, style your hair as you like

Useful Tip:

Avoid harsh chemicals on natural hair

Use the simple and effective styling iron from Milstan to get the look.

You can also use vapour to keep frizz away …

Steam Flat Irons (Vaporized Air)

The secret to keep your hair flat & smooth is: Vaporised Air.

If you didn’t know:

Humidity makes your hair grow out instead of down.

To get vaporized air: You need a steam flat iron like the Infiniti by Conair.

Here’s how steam helps your hair:

  • Moisture: Infuses hair with moisture
  • Gentle Detangling: Moisture gently detangles your hair
  • Multi-Level Steam: Straightens while smoothing the cuticle layers
  • Long Lasting Style: Locks in your style for longer

What you get with a steam flat iron:

  • Removable water reservoir
  • Retractable detangling combs
  • Easy to read temperature
  • Heat resistant pouch
  • Heat mat

How do you use a steam flat iron?

It’s easy:

  1. Fill Water: Fill the reservoir and pop it into place
  2. Set Temp: Choose your steam feature (high for thick hair)
  3. 30 Secs: Allow to heat up for 30 secs
  4. Adjust Combs: Set the comb heights from high to low to what suits you
  5. Run It Through: Remove frizz & style

Use conditioning Ionic steam and the adjustable straightening combs.

What this means for you:

A different hair styling experience.

You don’t have to brush your hair beforehand. The built-in combs detangle your hair while you style.

Healing Vapor

Add special healing oils to vapor and your hair stays smooth all day.

But how do you do that ?

Okay, Promise:

I won’t tell you about any messy DIY tricks here.

Use a Healing Vapour flat iron. SIMPLE.

The healing vapour flat iron has an extra compartment for healing oils.

When it produces steam, a few drops go into the steaming process.

And this my friend:

Makes the worst split ends disappear.

It fixes extreme curls and ringlets near the neckline too.

Only thing to remember:

You get 1 bottle of oil. You can re order more later.

It can be odd to handle at first. You’ll have to learn how to use the vaporizing button as you style.

On the plus side:

You’ll love the smell and smooth shiny finish of your hair.


On to our new generation of flat irons …

Aluminium (Cheapest)

I call them the “drugstore variety”.

Aluminium plates damage your hair, because they don’t have ceramic protection.

If you use one of them:

Condition your hair as much as you can.

Aluminium hair straighteners are only good for infrequent users.


GHD Platinum has changed the way I style hair. David Babaii
Celebrity hair stylist & ghd Brand Ambassador - Estetica Magazine

Scientists at ghd’s Research facility in Cambridge UK, tested their new ghd® Platinum against a standard 450 °F flat iron.

The results:

  • GHD Platinum reduced breakage by 50%
  • Maintained 2 X better hair color integrity.

Here’s what you get with the GHD Platinum:

  • Less Breakage @ 365 F: 2 X less breakage
  • Even Heat: Tri-Zone technology with plate sensors
  • Well Aligned Plates: Wishbone hinge plates avoid hair slipping
  • Reduce Snags: Precision floating plates for zero snags
  • Cool To Touch: Aerogel insulation that keeps styler cool to touch
  • Universal Voltage: Use it around the world without a converter
  • Sleep Mode: Switches itself off after 30 minutes of no use
  • 2 Year Warranty

Ionic Flat Irons

Like I said, hair styling is all about cancelling positive Ions.

Let’s look at the best options …


Use titanium plates if you have thick & coarse hair.

They heat up faster than Ceramic and they hold consistent high heat.

The good stuff you need to know about Titanium flat irons:

  • Cheap
  • Ideal for coarse & thick hair
  • Lightweight
  • Good temperature stability
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Highest quality metal
  • Fast heat up
  • Better heat distribution than Ceramic
  • Highest Ionic output
  • Smooth plates
  • Better shine for hair

The bad stuff:

It will scorch fine hair.

Unless you use it at low temperatures or check the nano options.


Titanium hair straighteners yield the greatest amount of far infrared heat.

( Source: Babyliss )

They also beam out more negative Ions than Ceramic.


Titanium flat iron plates are consistent hight heat conducters. They are rich and abundant in negative Ions. Use them for thick and coarse hair.

Nano Titanium

When you see the word “nano”, be on guard.

Nano means “tiny”. Therefore a tiny amount of the good stuff.

You want the full premium materials, not just a nano version.

Why Nano Technology then?

Nanotechnology is 85% babble.

It’s what we used to call:

Intelligent use of powders & thin films.

In relation to flat iron plates:

They are small particles of Ceramic or Tourmaline crushed into the plates.

Sure, they produce sleek and smooth results, but they’re still not the real deal.

If you want Ceramic, go for Ceramic, NOT nano-Ceramic.

Ceramic Plates

Everyone wants 100% pure Ceramic.

But the truth is:

100% Ceramic flat irons don’t exist.

Why ?

Because Ceramic is too soft and it will crack on it’s own.

Your Ceramic flat iron is enforced with Titanium or Aluminium, if you didn’t know.

You only get a bigger percentage of Ceramic.

Why women love Ceramic plates:

  • Heat: They retain heat well
  • No Hot Spots: They eliminate damaging hot spots
  • Even Heat: They carry even heat throughout
  • Far-Infrared: They are good conductors of far-infrared heat
  • Moisture: They retain moisture in hair
  • No Static: No statics from negative Ions
  • Smooth Gloss: Smooth plates give smooth results
  • Professional: Trusted by professionals
  • Diffused Heating: slow and safe heat transfer
  • No Peel Offs: Ceramic doesn’t peel off
  • Expensive: Yes ! They are. But you get what you pay for.
  • Fast Heat Up: Heat up in less than 20 secs
  • Fast Cool Down: Don’t have to wait long to pack it
  • Long Hair: Ceramic plates glide smoothly on long hair
  • No Tugging: They won’t pull or tug. No breakage
  • Less Passes: Less passes to make straight hair

The only downside is:

Many retailers are out there to fool you.

Yes! They all claim to sell pure Ceramic straightening irons.

And this will set you back $500-$600.

You know what to do now … right?

Here’s my handpicked list of Ceramic Re-inforced flat irons

Make sure you read the reviews.

Ceramic Titanium Infused Plates

Ceramic re-inforced with Titanium:

2 X negative Ions in your hair.

Let’s see : The Rusk RSK732 Titanium Ceramic hair styler.

Try it on rough and Kinky hair. You’ll love the results.

What I like about RUSK:

It produces even heat from root to tip.

It may feel heavier than other irons. Temperature control needs some improvements too. (I can live with that)

Ceramic Ion Thermal

Ceramic Ion thermal flat irons are for stubborn curls.

I like the Ceramic coated paddles. They protect hair color and provide good conditioning.

Nano Ceramic Plates

Nano Ceramic plates release frizz reducing natural Ions.

This breaks down water modules and allows moisture to seep into your hair.

Remember: Nano Ceramic is not pure Ceramic.

But it’s heat resistant, and works well on frizzy and dry hair.

With exclusive floating plates, the iron adjust the gaps between the plates when styling.

And this means:

You don’t go over the same section of hair many times.

Digital Ceramic (Temperature Precision)

I’ve stopped using heat dials long time ago.

I need precise temperature to protect my hair.

With a digital display, there is:

  • No guesswork
  • No faffing around
  • No wasting time !

My LCD display allows me to set temperatures in seconds.

If you want a Ceramic flat iron, don’t forget to go with LCD option.

LCD is a must. I cannot live without it.

Ionic Ceramic

Ionic Ceramic plates work best for ethnic hair.

With constant high heat retention, they are safer than old-fashioned stove flat irons.

The Ionic charge will give you the same bone-straight look without going to a salon.

Use negative Ions in your favour to avoid burns.

They work better than direct heat in my opinion.

Check out the results from Ionic Ceramic plates:

Convertable Ceramic [TUV Certified]

Convertable Ceramic flat irons have non porous surfaces.

With 6 layers of Ceramic fused together.

And they have the highest level of certifications.

  • TUV Certified: The best certification a flat iron can have
  • PTFC Heating: The best recommended heat quality

The HAI Ceramic Convertable keeps exceeding customer expectations. I know people who keep re purchasing the same brand.

One thing is missing though: The automatic shut-off.

I hope they add it to their newer version.


If you want zero friction hair styling

… check out Tourmaline infused plates.

Tourmaline Flat Irons (Zero Friction Smooth Glider)

Tourmaline surface is smooth like glass.

It produces 20 X more moisture locking Ions than any other range.

It is top of the line, expensive, and yields higher negative ions than Titanium.

When you add Tourmaline on top of Ceramic and Titanium:

You get an Ionic Output Booster.

You’ll feel extra smoothness in your hair.

Because Tourmaline exhibits Pyroelectricity when it heats.

Let me explain:

When heated, one end charges positive Ions, and the other negative Ions.

The negative charge is what helps your hair keep moisture.

And even better:

The plates are friction-free.


I recommend it for natural hair.

Zero friction means less breakage for you.

Enjoy Cricket’s smooth rounded edges.

You just run it through your sections once …

And it’s straight.


You won’t find Tourmaline only flat irons.

This precious material alone is not enough to build hair iron plates.


You’ll find Ceramic Tourmaline, or Titanium Tourmaline layered plates.

Tourmaline Ceramic – Enjoy Single Glide Straightening

What I like about it:

  • Single Glide Straightening
  • Innovative Audio/Visual Interface
  • Advanced Digital Heating System
  • Consistent Heat
  • Zero Temperature Fluctuations
  • Lots of Negative Ions

The T3 has a microchip brain that measures and adjusts heat on the plates.

It’s clever.

As a result: You get consistent and accurate heat in your hair.

The T3 takes hair styling to the realm of artificial intelligence.

Nano Tourmaline

Nano Tourmaline plates are anti bacterial.

Tourmaline Vs Ceramic

Ceramic is clay. Tourmaline is silicate.

They are different types of inorganic materials.


Finely crushed Tourmaline gemstones only enhance Ceramic and Titanium plates.

Tourmaline can only live on top of existing Ceramic and Titanium.

So, there’s no comparison.

All you need to know:

If you buy Tourmaline enhanced plates …

… you get that glass smooth finish and the extra Ionic boost for your hair.

That’s all.

Hair Curling Irons – Make Waves …

Sandra Bullock, Margot Robbie, and Cate Blanchett …

… all had one thing in common at the Academy Awards.

Wavy hair styles.

Yes, wavy and curly hair are back in fashion.

If you want to wear your hair curly, you need to get a curling iron.

Your regular flat iron won’t do it.

But that’s not all it takes.

You’ll have to learn the techniques too.

Use a hair curler and experiment with new hair styles as follows:

Hollywood Waves

Get these glossy and defined waves.

Use the GHD Curve Classic Wave Wand.

Loose & Beachy Waves

Try a rotating wand.

Sleek & Glamorous Waves

Try a 2 pronged iron.

The S Waver gives you mystifying Waves.

Gently Sloped Waves

Create waves that are looser at the roots & tight at the ends.

Slight Bends

Make lanky waves with tiny bends – like off duty models.

Narrow & Polished Curls

Create bouncy curls (not too big).

Use the Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium 1″ Oval barrel curling iron.

Make old-fashioned looking curls.

Do You Struggle To Curl Your Hair At Home ?

Make sure you have the right barrel size.

Tip:A slim barrel makes tighter & more defined curls.

A large barrel makes soft & loose waves.

Here’s a chart you can use:

Curling Iron Barrel Size Chart –

Damp To Dry Flat Irons

It takes time to look good in the morning.

A lot of time, actually!

Here’s my daily morning struggles:

  • Shower
  • Dry my hair
  • Prepare my outfit for the day
  • Style my hair
  • Makeup

Unlike many, I do style my hair before makeup.

Read: Hair and makeup – which comes first?

If you want to save time in the morning:

You can cut down from 30 mins to 15 mins on the blow dry + styling.

How … you ask ?

Use a Damp to Dry straightener.

The first flat iron to work on damp hair. That’s right!

But… you don’t use hair straighteners on wet hair … Right?

I know:

Just make sure you hair is not dripping wet.

Here’s your answer to fast styling in the morning: Damp Dry Flat Irons

Wet To Dry

wet hair straightener
Wet To Dry Straightener – Start styling right out of the shower

What makes them different & safe ?

Wet to Dry vs Regular Straighteners

Special Venting System: That’s the difference.

The wet to dry hair styling iron has a special venting system.

This allows moisture to escape as steam.

Check out how a Wet and Dry Flat Iron Works:

Wet To Straight & Your Hair Won’t Get Crispy!


So you can dry and iron …

… but can you make your hair straight at the same time?

Surely, that’s too much to ask ?

Read reviews on the Remington’s Wet to Straight 2 inch styler.

Nothing is impossible.

Wet Or Dry

Steam vents won’t make your hair crispy.


If you haven’t tried a wet or dry flat iron yet …

… you need to know 2 things:

  • Steam: Beware of the steam. It may blast out and burn your hands
  • Weak Hair: Avoid it on fragile, delicate, & thin hair

Don’t get a wet or dry flat iron if you hair is weak. It will look puffy with more frizz.

Only recommended for normal to thick hair.

Keratin Flat Irons

Fancy adding Keratin to your hair while styling ?

The Keratin Therapy flat iron releases protein micro conditioners into your hair.

Style and condition your tresses at the same time.

This hair styler makes your hair 2 X stronger.

Also Read: Keratin Hair Treatment – The Complete Guide

I’ve used the Keratin Complex Stealth IV straightening iron in the past. Works well on Keratin home treatments.

Brazilian Blowout – Seal Keratin In Your Hair

For a perfect Brazilian Blowout you need heat of up to 450°F.

Why ?

Because high heat is important to seal Keratin in your hair.

But you also want one that is safe to use at high temperatures.

Go for Titanium styling irons.

Titanium plates complement Keratin treatments. And they do it with less passes.

Top Brazilian Blowout Flat Irons:

  • Brazilian Blowout 1.25 Titanium Prodigital
  • Brazilian Heat BB3202 Titanium Keratin

To help you get the best of your Blowout, use:

  • Brazilian Blowout anti Frizz Conditioner
  • Brazilian Blowout Protective Thermal Straightening

Useful Tip:

Remember to clean your straightener’s plates after a Keratin treatment. Don’t let the serum stick and dry on the plates.

Argan Heat Infused Plates

Argan oil makes your hair soft and healthy without looking oily.

It eliminates frizz, preserves your hair color and integrity.

Imagine the benefits of having Argan oil infused on your flat iron plates.

I leave it to you to check out the reviews:

Let’s see why people love them (Reviews):

Condition your hair with Argan Heat therapy while styling.

Small – Get Closer To The Roots

Use them for high precision styling. They get close to your skin and scalp.

But be careful:

You may feel the heat on your scalp if you hold it close for too long.

Goodhousekeeping tested 10 mini flat irons for their temperatures.

And their advice:

Stick to the CHI Air Slim Hair Styler

Because it keeps it’s cool and you won’t feel it on your scalp.

Travel with style & feel girly all the time.

A mini flat iron does 2 things for me:

  • Compact Travel: It’s small & easy to pack
  • Style On The Go: Straightens bangs, baby hair, and tight coils

Look for a Dual Voltage Mini Flat Iron.

You want to make sure it’s compatible worldwide. 30 Watts is good for 430 °F.

My top picks:

Cordless (Wireless) Straighteners

Escape the twists and tangles from these long power cords.

No trip overs, no time wasting in the morning to wrap them.

Even better:

Freedom lets you experiment with more angles.

You don’t need to be close to a power plug anymore. Use any space as you like.


Keep in mind: Cordless flat irons only last for 1 hour max on battery.

You charge them as you do with your smartphone. Easy.

Why you should get one:

  • No Power Plug: Use it anywhere
  • Easy Charging: Charge it like your phone
  • Travel: Hair styling on the go
  • Touch Ups: No more parties with frizzy hair
  • Affordable: They are cheap

Other things to consider:

  • 1 Hr Max: Works up to 1 hr max on battery (reasonable)
  • Rechargeable: Don’t forget to recharge after use
  • Lacks Ideal Temperature: There is a little compromise here

Travelling ? You Don’t Need Converters And Adaptors Anymore

Don’t give up on precious suitcase space …

… to carry a bulky hair straightener.

And I’m sure you don’t want converters and adaptors either.

But I know one thing:

You do want to rock the hair styles… Right ?

Like getting those beach waves a la Gisele…

Why not try the HSI Professional Iron (Includes Gloves, Pouch & Travel Size Argan Oil) for your next holiday?

Travel straighteners are not expensive. Trust me.

Far Infrared

Far infrared heats from the inside out.

… that’s what the manufacturers say.

Can you heat hair from the inside out ?

I don’t think so.

Far infrared is no different to your traditional ones. They transfer heat from the surface, through to your hair.

And not the other way round.

Even if this was possible, I am yet to see a real contender.

The closest you can get is the KQC X-Heat 1″ (Free Mini Flat Iron + KQC Shine Spray)

What makes me believe it’s heating from the inside out ?

It uses heat that operates at longer wavelengths, which means deeper penetration.

The good thing about KQC:

The bulk of the heat does not hit your fragile hair.

If you have fragile, fine, and damaged hair…

… use KQC for long heat wavelength styling.

Inside out heat is a myth. Think of it as an inverted heating flat iron.

Teeth – Your Hair Root Straightener

The teeth (detangling pins) separate your hair while straightening. From the roots.

Look at the Maxius Miniglide On The Go Hair Styler.

Feel the smooth glide from roots to ends.

African American and Afro hair women love this product.

Use it only if you have straight or relaxed hair.

If you’re going natural or transitioning…

Skip it.

The teeth will pull out your hair.

A Built In Brush Gives Your Hair Lift & Volume

Do you get knots in your hair after washing?

You can’t escape them.

Before using your hair straightener, you will at least comb through to prep your hair.

That’s normal.

Use a hair straightening brush. You can skip combing.

The brush inside the straightener does it for you.

It gives your hair lift & volume, right from the roots.

The InStyler Max 2-Way Rotating Iron prevents your hair from feeling flat.

The bristles gently sort and separate your hair, while the cylinder glides through.

And to add the finishing touch, it has a second set of bristles.

Put it that way:

A brush flat iron adds volume to your hair and saves time detangling knots.

The Comb Chase Method – Why It Helps

Curly hair is a pain to brush.

People with natural hair use a comb in tandem with a straightener.

It’s called the Comb Chase Method.

Running a comb through your hair while straightening helps.

Here are the benefits:

  • Gentle: Prevents direct intense heat to your hair
  • Less Frizz: Prevents your ends from looking rageddy
  • Less Blow Dry: You may skip blow dry and flat iron damp hair
  • Saves Time: Detangles as you iron
  • Faster Heat: The comb isolates the hair strands. Faster heat
  • Lower Temperature: Hair stretches with tension. Less heat
  • Ventilation: Combing allows ventilation. No burnt hair smell
  • Prevents Burns: Don’t need to use fingers on your ends

What you may not like:

  • Newbies Nightmare: If you’re new to it, you need practice
  • Coordination: You may find it hard to coordinate your hands

If you’re not comfortable yet to use the comb chase method:

Use a flat iron with comb attachment.

Crimpy Is Totally Stylish – If You Know How To Do It!

You think you have boring hair ?

Try crimping it.

It’s fast, easy, and totally stylish.

Crimpers give your hair the sawtooth style.

Imagine how your hair looks after taking out small braids.

Crimping plates create texture, volume, & defined patterns.

Don’t worry, you won’t look like you just came from the 80’s.

The key to modern hair crimping is:

Leave a few uncrimped sections and mix it up !

Curved Plates – No Bends, No Lines …

Flat irons with blunt edges leave bends and lines in your hair.

The line of demarcation

Makes you go nuts … doesn’t it ?

You end up going over and over, but in vain.

That’s why you need a flat iron with rounded edges (curved plates).

Here’s the new generation of curved plates flat irons:

  • GHD Eclipse Professional Performance Styler
  • HAI Elite Digital Ceramic Curved Plates 2 Inch
  • Andis 67415 Curved Edge Professional Flat Heat Iron

How does it help you?

Simple: Less Passes.

The truth is: When you try to correct dents, you overheat your hair.

Note: You may feel a gap between the plates, but don’t worry. That’s how they work.


If you’re not into curling and crimping, forget the rest.

The best hair straightening irons are:

  • BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron
  • GHD Classic 1-inch Styler
  • Karmin G3 Salon Professional

You can’t go wrong with them. They only do 1 thing: Straightening.

Rotating Styler – Pump Up Your Hair Volume In 8 Mins

Here’s how it works:

When you run the InStyler through your hair:

  • The first set of bristles gently sort and separate your hair
  • The rotating cylinder glides over your hair to style
  • Finally, the second set of bristles apply the finishing touch

Silky & shiny hair… in easy steps!

The rotating action means your hair won’t feel the intense heat at all.

You also get the fullness and volume. NOT the “flatness” of a flat iron.

Use it for 8 minutes and your hair will bounce and feel full of life.

Here’s a quick video: Instyler rotating iron Youtube Video

Vibrating & Oscillating – It Can Be Fun …

With 7500 vibrations per minute:

A vibrating flat iron shortens your hair styling time by 30%.

Here’s why:

Vibrations allow your hair to slip through the plates easily.

Even if you have zero hair styling skills, you can use it.

Let’s see what customers say:

  • No Tugging: No tugging & pulling. Hair slips in easily
  • Moisture: Seals in moisture, humidity is not a problem
  • No Breakage: The vibrations are gentle
  • Time Saver: The vibrating plates make hair styling faster

This looks like fun.

If traditional flat irons don’t work well for you:

Try this unique combination of heat & vibration.

Silicone Plates – Better Cushion For Your Hair

Silicones provide good tension for your hair.

With less heat and less breakage.

They are good for African American natural hair.

It’s all about the safe cushion layers.

Don’t use it on thick hair though. The silicone strips will snag at your hair if it’s thick and curly.

Say No To Animal Testing – Be A Cruelty-Free Stylist

With today’s awareness on global warming …

… more women are turning to eco-friendly and animal cruelty-free products.

Read: 10 Celebrity Beauties Leading by (Cruelty-Free) Example »

The FDA doesn’t need animal testing for cosmetics.

But …

Corporate legal departments rely on animal testing to avoid lawsuits.

The conflict of interest means:

Hair cosmetics and tools still contribute to environmental waste and animal testing.

Do we have alternatives to animal testing?

Yes, we do.

Look at cruelty-free flat irons like:

  • Rusk eco-friendly professional

Use this website to check for cruelty-free beauty brands: Cruelty-Free »

Does A Flat Iron Damage Your Hair ?

Yes, it does.

Find a suitable one that does the least damage.

Like I said: It’s all about knowing your hair’s heat tolerance.

If your hair is fragile, too dry, and already damaged …

… avoid heat styling tools.


Short moments of luxuries can cause long term damage.

The key is to keep your hair well conditioned before using heat.

Other tips to avoid excessive heat damage:

  • Use heat protectants
  • Avoid every day use
  • Use the comb chase method
  • Don’t use cheap irons
  • Get the right tool for your hair

Your Hair Type And Texture

Here’s the formula I use to pick mine:

  • Length
  • Texture
  • Frequency of use
  • Ease of use
  • Portability
  • Smart features
  • Accessories

You start with length and texture. Everything else follows.

Fine And Straight Hair

The safe zone for fine hair is 250 – 300 °F.

Condition, condition, condition !

Fine hair needs a healthy balance of moisture and protein to withstand heat. It’s delicate nature means, it’s more responsive to heat and prone to heat damage.

You need variable heat to stay in control.

Thin Hair

Your choice here is 2 X as complicated and 3 X as important.

Your hair becomes problematic if you want it straight …

… not because it’s not healthy.

Because it burns as easy as paper.

I recommend you set your flat iron on low temperature to start.

Let’s look at hair straighteners for thin hair (Read the reviews):

  • Solia Professional
  • CHI Original
  • Infiniti Pro by Conair
  • Bio Ionic OnePass

Short Hair

For short hair, you want one that:

  • Holds well
  • Takes less styling effort
  • Protects your scalp and skin from burns

Anything below 1.5 inches works well.

Look at Sedu Revolution Tourmaline.

It’s one of the best among it’s peers.

It has a freestyle guiding system that gives you more precision and control.

Frizzy Hair

For Frizzy hair, I recommend the Karmin G3.

With Tourmaline layers on top of Ceramic, the plates move smoothly through your hair.

Reviewers on many sites rave about this product. So check it out.

Curly Hair

When picking out a styling iron for curly hair…

… Look for:

  • Skinny
  • Rounded edges
  • Hot on the outside of the plates

You’ll have troubles creating curls with traditional irons.

You need to use curlers.

These styling irons have barrels, designed for one purpose.

To create curls.

Get one with a small barrel and experiment.

Small barrels make more creative curls. Large barrels make curls that fall out straight away (loose curls).

How To Curl Your Hair

There’s plenty of tutorials online from the experts.

Like these:

To summarise:

  • Smaller Sections: Create small sections that are easy to work with
  • Twist Underneath: Do NOT lose the tail. Twist iron under & pull
  • Pull Downwards: Always pull downwards
  • Long Time Tight Curls: The longer you take the tighter the curls.
  • Voluminous Waves: Run through the hair quick for volume
  • Repeat: Continue each section until your hair is done

Curly hair has a natural body, volume, and is difficult to style.

Follow these tips when using your curling iron:

  • Barrel Size: Big curls – big barrels. Vice versa
  • Let It Cool: If it’s not going right, move to next section.
  • Practice: You need to get the hang of it. It’s not easy
  • 300-400 °F: Stay in this temperature zone for best results
  • Quick Curling Sessions: Use 350 to 360 °F.
  • Structured Retro Look Curls: Use 275 to 300 °F.

Bouncing Curls – Make Natural Looking Springs

Use the Jose Eber or XTava Curling set to get glam waves with just the flick of your wrist.

These styling tools make it so easy.

You can have soft, bouncy curls without the stiff feel in minutes.

Curling Wands Make Your Curls Flow …

Unlike structured curls from a curling iron, a curling wand makes your curls flow.

And even better:

Your curls will hold for longer.

The curls at the end of your hair will look smaller than those nearer to the roots.


Curling wands work faster than traditional curling irons.

The Curling Wand barrel is conical in shape. Tapering and thinning out at the end.

Unlike tradition tong clamps, a wand’s smart shape won’t get in your way while styling.

Tapered Curling Wands

You don’t twist and wrap the wand around your hair.


  • You hold the tapered wand still
  • Wrap your hair around it holding the end of your hair
  • You end up with the tip of your hair at the end of the wand
  • Hold it for 10 seconds and let go
  • Repeat

This technique is new, so you need to practice.

The benefits:

  • No Crimps: Usually from clamps of curling irons
  • Creative Curls: Tight, loose, fat and beach waves

Use Clipless Curlers For The Tousled Beach Look

Traditional flat irons may give you kinks and lines at time.

This is why:

Some professional stylists avoid using clamps.

What they do instead:

They keep the flat iron closed, wrap your hair around the barrels and style.

It’s called: Clampless flat iron styling

Clampless or clipless, whatever you call it…

… gives you a tousled beach look. With no lines and bends.

This is how you use clipless curlers:

  • Heat Proof Glove: Throw a heat resistant glove on
  • Point Tip Downward: Point the tip downward to start
  • 1 Inch sections: Create 1 inch sections, wrap around the barrel
  • Wind Away From Face: Wind away from your face
  • Allow 10 Seconds: Let it sit for 10 seconds then release
  • Repeat: Do the same on all sections
  • Break The Curls: Flip your head, break curls with fingers

And you’re done.

Curl Enhancing

You take ages to make wonderful curls in the morning.


By midday, it’s all gone …

Sounds familiar?

Have you ever thought of using curl enhancing products ?

Your curling iron can only do it’s part.

The rest depends on your hair quality and condition to hold the style.

You should enhance the look with curl enhancing shampoos and smoothies.

They condition your hair to hold soft natural curls for longer.

African American Hair Is Sensitive To Heat

African American hair doesn’t like heat.

Due to it’s dry texture, you need to keep your hair moist when straightening.

It’s all about upfront preparation.

Use moisturising conditioners before styling.

I don’t recommend using shine-enhancing products. I know they are popular for ethnic hair, but you should avoid.Shine-enhancing & spray laminators will fry on hot surfaces.

Please avoid them.

Titanium & Tourmaline flat irons add natural shine to your hair.

Consider these options.

A good trick for ethnic & coarse hair is to style in small sections.

Watch: How to flat iron black hair from celebrity hairstylist Darico Jackson.

Natural Hair Needs Ions & Gentle Heat

You need plates that are smooth and soothing to your hair.

In short: You need Ionized plates.

They give off Ions through gentle heat.


Natural hair is sensitive to chemicals and harsh methods of straightening.

The more you stretch your hair, the better results you will get from flat ironing.

Make it a habit to detangle and stretch your hair before using heat.

Use a Wide tooth comb for best results.

Another easy way to get kinky hair stretched out is by doing a roller set (Youtube Video).

Here are my tips:

Before you use your straightener, do these:

  • Dry: Make your hair dry. Never use flat iron on wet hair
  • Loosen Up: Blow dry on low to cool settings
  • Heat Protectant: Always use a heat protector
  • Section: No bigger than 1 inch sections

For natural hair, start from the roots and work your way down.

Don’t repeat the same sections.

Styling Braids

You need a texturizing flat iron for styling braids.

Like the Sam Villa Signature Iron

This is what you can do:

  • Add volume to fine hair
  • Updos
  • Wedding hairstyles
  • Thicker braids
  • Boho hairstyles
  • Beach waves

Check Out: Wavy hair braids flat ironing hacks from Brit+Co »

Synthetic Hair Melts – Be Careful

Even on the lowest heat, your styling iron will damage it.

The highest quality of synthetic hair may stand heat of up to 160 °C…

But still: It’s risky.

If you want to straighten synthetic hair:

Here’s a home DIY trick:

  • Fabric Steamer: Use a fabric steamer or teat kettle
  • 5-7 Inches Above: Put synthetic hair 5-7 Inches above steam
  • Brush Along: Brush along while it’s steaming
  • Wash & Sit: Wash & let it sit straight for a while

But be careful and avoid over brushing.

Still want to use a flat iron ?

Here’s A Youtube Video: How to flat iron synthetic hair with care.

You can also use wax paper or baking paper wrapped around your flat iron plates.

Like this: Youtube video

Clever ideas indeed.

Thick Hair

Look for Ionic Titanium or Ceramic iron that reaches 450 °F.

Thick hair is not easy to tame.

You need a lot of heat.

For thick long hair, use wider plates like 2 or 2.5 inches. Get big sections of your hair done faster.

Thick Curly Hair

If you have thick curly hair, then heat is not your enemy.

In Fact:

It is safe to go as high as 410 °F to style your hair.

Anything below that won’t work.

Coarse Hair

Coarse hair does need higher heat. The iron won’t be able to get to pieces that are too thick, and you don’t want to unnecessarily reapply heat. Jeanna Pizzollo
T3 stylist - Teenvogue

Stick to this recommended temperature: 380°F – 410°F. It is high enough for coarse hair and yet safe too.

Dry And Damaged Hair Needs Regular Trims

With regular trims, split ends will fade away …

Use deep conditioning after each trim session and nourish your hair.


Hair damage means:

  • No Heat
  • No Flat Iron
  • No Fancy Hair Styles


I suggest you try the John Frieda Full repair system.

This adds volume and bounce to overworked hair. When your hair gets back in shape, start using your iron at 180°F, then go up.

Oily Hair

What’s the best flat iron for oily hair ?

It’s a tricky one.

A flat iron won’t do anything about the oiliness of your hair.

Flat ironing dries out natural oils, but it won’t do much for excess oil.

Here’s a solution though: Use dry shampoos to get started.

Normal Hair

If you have normal hair, you’re in luck.

Make it wavy or straight with less effort.

Use your styling iron at 330 – 350°F. And that’s all.

You have the easiest choices for flat irons. There are no other influencing factors.

Apart from your personal preferences of course.

Prevent Hair Color Fading From Heat

Protect colored hair with a color extending flat iron.

It locks in moisture and prevents your hair color from fading.


You should take additional care like:

  • Shower Cap: Use a shower cap to avoid over washing
  • Color Safe Shampoos: Use color extending shampoos
  • Avoid Sun: Stay away from too much sun
  • Dry Shampoo: Use dry shampoo to suck out excess oils

How To Use Your Hair Straightener Effectively

You may think that your hair styler isn’t working anymore.

Before you bin it:

I have a few question for you …

  • Do you iron too much hair at once ?
  • Do you straighten sections that are too thick ?
  • Do you clean your flat iron ?

Little things add up and make a big difference.

Let me help you here with some tips:

  • Start Clean: Always flat iron clean hair
  • Don’t Flat Iron Damp Hair: It will scorch your hair
  • Don’t Work On Damaged Hair: Nurse your hair back first
  • Leave In Conditioners: Use them. They are good
  • Prep Your Hair: Preperation is key for best results
  • Heat Protection Spray: Don’t let your hair fry
  • Don’t Blast The Heat: It’s tempting. But don’t do it
  • Measurable: Use my chart and get the heat right
  • Don’t Repeat: Seriously ! Don’t overdo it
  • Comb Chase: Allow ventilation & stretch your hair
  • Small Sections: Easy to manage
  • Slow Decrease Tension: Slow tension as you move along
  • Rounded Curved Plates: Less passes for sure
  • Keep It Moving: Avoid intense heat. Keep it gliding
  • Lightweight Finishing Spray: Add the finishing touch

Start Clean

Never use heat on dirty hair.

Wash out gels, sprays, and other hair products first.

Start with clean and well conditioned hair for fresh, long lasting style.


Use Clarifying Shampoos for squeaky clean hair.

Here’s the top 10 best Clarifying Shampoos For You »

This applies to your flat iron too.

The plates should be clean and free from product buildup. Otherwise the plates will snag and abrade your hair.

Don’t let hair dirt stick to the plates.

Remember: Gels & residues in your hair will bake on your straightener’s plates.

What you get as end results will be dull and lifeless hair.

Wipe down your iron plates with a soft and damp cloth after every use.

It will glide through your hair.

Cleaning your flat iron prevents the plates from corroding and makes it last longer.

This saves you money.

Note: ALWAYS make sure you clean your straightener when it’s turned off and cool.

It only takes 5 minutes tops. Do it.

How To Clean Your Flat Iron

I like Jillee’s DIY trick for cleaning flat irons.

Read: How To Clean Your Flat Iron By Jillee »

Don’t Flat Iron Damp Hair

Unless you have a wet to dry flat iron, don’t do it.

Ordinary flat irons will scorch wet hair and drain out moisture. You’ll end up with more frizz and fried hair.

Your hair should be bone dry when straightening.

Note: Don’t skimp on blow dry time.

If you’re in a hurry, it’s better to forego the flat iron for a day.

Don’t Use On Damaged Hair

Only use heat appliances on healthy hair.

Pack away your blow dryer and straightener if your hair is feeling rough.

Leave In Conditioners

Is it ok to flat iron hair that has leave in conditioners ?

Yes, absolutely.

It helps your hair with a moisture barrier to heat.

You can use the Redken Spray Starch for heat styling. It has different levels of hold too.

Prep Your Hair

You get 2 benefits from doing this:

  • It cuts down hair styling time
  • Results last longer

Heat Protection Spray

Don’t let your hair sizzle.

At 400°F, I guarantee you it will.

If you’re not applying heat protection, damage is inevitable.

You wouldn’t walk into a war zone without protective gear !
Would you ?

A heat protection spray is your gear. Use it.

It protects and adds protein and vitamins to your hair.

This compensates for the loss of natural moisture when heat styling.

Don’t Blast The Heat Up

Heat is your enemy and your friend.

  • Use It Well: You get smooth results
  • Use It Bad: You get fried hair !!

Make it measurable.

Use hair appliances with adjustable temperatures.

Avoid High/Low, On/Off cheap alternatives.

You always start with low and work it higher. Once your hair is straight, leave it alone. You want to use less heat as possible.

If your flat iron isn’t doing it with single passes …

… get the Bio Ionic OnePass straightener.

Stretch & Ventilate With A Comb

Use a comb in tandem with your straightener.

The comb detangles and expose your hair to less intense heat.

This allows good ventilation and stretches your hair.

Use the Comb chase method for best results

Section Your Hair

This always works.

Don’t just grab fistfuls of hair and run your iron through.

Small sections make it easy and manageable.

If your hair is thick, consider using clips.

“Sectioning your hair saves time. The reason everyone complains about straightening taking long is that they’re working off random bits of hair!”
T3 stylist Jeanna Pizzollo

Slowly Decrease Tension As You Move Along, But Keep It Moving

The ends of your hair is more sensitive to heat.

Ease up the tension as you reach the ends.

Don’t allow heat to concentrate or linger on sections. Keep it moving …

Let Moisture Work For You

Your hair is more fragile when it’s wet. That’s true.


Moisture in hair works as buffer against heat. It slows down the rate of heat distribution.

When blow drying, use warm air.

It takes longer but keeps your hair hydrated. And heat stays even on hydrated hair.

Remember: Dry hair heats up faster.

Use A Lightweight Finishing Spray

You’ve nailed the perfect hairstyle in the morning but it won’t hold after 1 hour …

Next time you do your hair:

Let it cool down, then apply a light hold spray.

The results will surprise you !

Maintain Your Flat Iron

Take good care of your flat iron, and it will take good care of your hair.

If you can’t find time to clean it after every use …

… then do it whenever you notice it’s catching your hair.

Sometimes, you may notice a funny smell when it heats up.

This is a warning sign that dirt is baking on the plates.

Signs that your flat iron needs cleaning:

  • Smell: Baking dirt on the plates
  • Not Heating: Not heating as it used to
  • Catching Your Hair: The plates are snagging your hair

Use A Proper Storage

Don’t wrap the cord around and chuck it away.

Use a heat resistant bag.

These bags have separate compartments for the cord, you can store the iron while it’s hot.


Accessories for hair straighteners and curlers offer:

  • Safety
  • Performance
  • Convenience
  • Fast results

Let’s see how:

Thermal Flat Iron Glove

Use many angles without worrying about finger burns.

Use A Holder And Hang It Up

Make your bathroom or vanity look tidy.

A flat iron holder is space-efficient.

Too many appliances clutter your space. Use holders for blow dryer and flat irons.

Why not get the 2 in 1 combos?

Perfect for those with OCD who can’t stand clutter in the bathroom.

Stand Or Wall Mount

Keep the flat iron off the bathroom counter.

You can leave it to heat up on the stand. It’s heat proof and kids can’t reach it.

Or use a wall mount near your plug …

… and you can have your iron always plugged in.

If you use it regularly, it makes sense.

Ideal for those who are super crunched for time.

Heat Resistant Mat – No Accidental Burns

Avoid placing your straightener on countertops or carpets.

Use a flat iron mat. It protects your work stations from accidental burns.

Your flat iron will stay put on slippery surfaces.


Use a comb in tandem with your straightener.

The Herstyer Easy Comb untangles knots while you straighten.

It’s also heat resistant and prevents static.

This is how it helps you:

  • Part Hair: Makes it easy to part your hair
  • Make Sections: Use it to make sections
  • Spread It Out: Spread your hair out
  • Stretch: Stretch your hair to make straightening easy

It’s like having an extra hand.

Ear Protectors

No more ear burns.

Use them to protect your ears from heat styling tools.

You can also use them with hot rollers.

I tried them:

My hairstylist gave me these two slip on ear shields on my last visit.

I have to admit: I felt more at ease during my session.

Do you use ear shields to protect yours ?

Overnighting ? – Get A Flat Iron Bag & Carry It Along

Perfect for gym use, overnighting, and vacations.

I use a flat iron bag to pack my hot flat iron safely.

I don’t even need to roll up the cord.

A flat iron bag or pouch has a separate section where you can store the power cord.

Just drop it right in, seal it with the velcro and I’m good to go.

You can also check:

  • Flat Iron Sleeves
  • Flat Iron Cases

Travel Case

The last thing you pack when traveling… Right ?

Look for a flat iron travel case that is slim and fits well in any bag.

The GHD Rose Gold travel set has a case that opens up flat so you can use it as a mat too.

Top Trusted Brands I will Go For

  • GHD
  • CHI
  • Babyliss
  • Conair
  • Karmin
  • FHI
  • Cloud Nine


Your checklist for buying a flat iron should be like this:

  • Hair Length: Plate Size
  • Hair Texture: For the right heat
  • Frequency Of Use: Durability
  • Portability: Travels & staying overs
  • Features: Ease of use
  • Convenience: Make your life easy
  • Accessories: An extra pair of hands

Look for a flat iron that works for you.

The Best Flat Irons We Trust »