How To Choose A Flat Iron For Your Relaxed Or Natural Black Hair

Flat iron (straightener)What do you need to look for in a straightener?

Buying a good straightener for your hair type can be more complicated than it looks. With all the new kinds of flat irons ranging from the dirt cheap to the ridiculously expensive, which one should you buy? Choosing a flat iron is not a decision that should be taken lightly. A cheap iron may work just as well as an expensive one in straightening the hair but they may do unseen and irreparable damage to your hair.

Flat irons have a variety of features on them and it is just a question of choosing one with the most important features necessary for both getting the smooth results you want as well as keeping your hair healthy.

Here are some good features outlined along with their benefits.

  • Ceramic (not ceramic plated) – Ceramic flat irons glide through the hair without snagging. They also generally heat up in about 30 seconds as they are controlled by a thermostat therefore they maintain a constant even temperature for even results. The heating element also creates negative ions that seal in the moisture into the hair
  • Tourmaline – This is a semi-precious crystal that is nature’s largest provider of negative ions. The tourmaline is ground down into a powder then infused into the ceramic plates of a flat iron hence it produces up to 6 times more negative ions than ceramic plates alone. This gives the hair a shinier, silkier finish with less heat.
  • Steam – These straighteners have steam vents that extract moisture from damp hair while sealing the cuticle at the same time. Depending on technique, smooth results can also be achieved with natural kinky black hair.
  • Temperature control – This is one of the most important things to look out for when purchasing a flat iron. Different hair textures can cope with different amounts of direct heat. Black hair whether natural or relaxed and regardless of how course or tough looking it is, is the most fragile of all. Intense heat will give smooth results but is very likely to cause heat damage hence compromising the curl pattern and health of the hair. If the hair is freshly deep conditioned and straightening balm or a heat protectant are applied to the hair beforehand, you will be surprised at how little heat will give perfect results!
  • Long swivel cord – This is necessary as you will need to move the iron in different directions to straighten different parts of your head. It stops the cord from tangling as you straighten.
  • Size – The truth is with enough practice, a slim flat iron will get your hair as smooth as a large one. It all depends on your patience levels. With a larger iron, you can straighten larger sections of hair than the slim one.
  • Curved edges – This is a great feature for creating curls and flicks hence making the use of a curling tong afterwards unnecessary.

This article will give you more indepth advice on the terms relating to flat irons like tourmaline, ceramic, ionic etc. As with anything else, price will be a fairly good indicator on the quality of the flat iron.Be prepared to invest a reasonable amount of money and the flat iron will last you years and the health of your hair will thrive!

About Alma

Hi! I'm Alma Ruddock, a full time blogger. I stumbled on a hair care forum in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair forever!. I started as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to bring new information about hair on both this website and my personal blog.


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