It’s crazy that we always want what we can’t have! You could be the envy of a multitude of women because of your gorgeous, luscious, curly locks and still want shiny, straight hair.
Though this desire can be fulfilled now, with technology on our side and the semi-permanent hair-do satisfaction, it can finally give us.
Cue the flat irons!
As a fellow frizzy-haired lady, I have always been drawn to the hair straighteners that promised sleekness, smoothness and outright salon-worthy hair. But there’s always been the worry of the damage I’m causing to my own. It’s entered your mind once or twice in your lifetime, right?
However, don’t fear – hair technology has made it possible to nowadays have your straight hair and revel in its health too! I’m sharing some exciting tips with you below on why straighteners cause damage in the first place, how to take care of damaged hair and which straighteners you should go for.
What is a Flat Iron?
A flat iron is a hair straightening tool used to straighten and style hair using the heat press and pull technique. In practice, a flat iron makes hair straight and smooth through the gripping of strands when its plates heat. Ideally, a flat iron is an alternative to blow dryers which are also used to straighten and dry hair. However, the preference of a flat iron over a blow-dyer is primarily because the latter is tedious to use.
In light of keeping your fragile hair healthy, here are more benefits of using a flat iron over a blow dryer:
- A flat iron is lightweight. Unlike a blow-dryer that is often cumbersome, a flat iron can be used continuously for longer periods. Additionally, flat ironing can be used solely to obtain silky straight hair, unlike a blow dryer that will require accompanying accessories like a round brush.
- A flat iron is also more travel-friendly than a blow-dryer. You can easily pack a flat iron in a bag without eating up too much space for other luggage.
- Flat irons evenly distribute heat across all hair strands. This technique helps in obtaining uniform straightening results.
- A flat iron is less likely to cause skin burns. Unlike blow-dryers, flat irons can target hair strands. Of course, this outcome is more likely when you know how to use one, noting even your favorite flat iron can cause burns if not careful. As a result, the flat ironing option is best for kids since it's less skin invasive.
- A flat iron is more versatile. Notably, this tool can also be used to create waves and curls like a curling iron.
- Finally, a flat iron is cheaper.
Eventually, flat irons are straightforward in the application for both professional and domestic hair straightening needs. In this case, we have compiled reviews for the top seven products in this category.
What Is Damaged Hair?
Before we get to our top recommendations, we are currently interested in finding a good flat iron for damaged hair. Accordingly, let's first get a clear understanding of frizzy hair. Primarily, you will know whether your hair is damaged or not by looking at the strand ends. In fact, hair ends are excellent indicators of your hair's health.
Regarding damaged hair, below are the main signs to look out for:
- Split Ends-feel rough and dry
- Unusually dry hair
- Hair Feels Limp and Weak
- Curls Stop Forming
- Lack Of Shine
- Change In Texture
- Low elasticity
- Hair Loss
Why a Hair Straightener Could be Damaging to Your Hair
The obvious reason is, first and foremost, the heat. Flat irons are designed to have the ability to reach a higher temperature than the last model, which isn’t great news for your hair. Your hair can only withstand a certain amount of heat, and once this is surpassed, your hair quickly loses moisture. As a result, heat damage can be attributed to the improper use of flat irons.
Notably, the hair cuticle can withstand a maximum temperature of 356 degrees Fahrenheit. So, it is best to always start with lower temperature settings and increase gradually if necessary. We also recommend against the daily use of hot hair tools such as flat irons to avoid hair damage.
Now you can only imagine the loss of moisture your hair experiences if you’re straightening your hair every day. What’s more, if you try to use a flat iron on your wet hair, it will essentially boil your hair, and you’ll see the steam rise from the iron. This is not a pretty sight, considering that your hair is breaking underneath the drying.
Two things to keep in mind: apply a heat protectant before flat ironing and choose a flat iron with adjustable heat settings. You need to have options depending on your hair type. Some last resort for people with hair loss or even if you only want to make it thicker by adding volume is using a hair growth helmet. Although it is the last resort for many, it has proven to yield great results.
What is the best flat iron for damaged hair?
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Our Professional Tips on Flat Irons for Damaged Hair
As I mentioned, one of the best things to look for in a flat iron is the option of multiple heat settings. Here are the top recommendations for iron straighteners with adjustable heat settings.
1. CHI G2 Professional Hair Straightener
- 1.25" Ceramic & Titanium Infused Plates
- New 'mode' button with preset temperatures
- 40 second heat up
This CHI straightener is a great one to start off with. It has three different options for heat, meaning that you have more control over the intensity.
The combination of its ceramic and titanium technology plates is also worth mentioning, as each component has its advantages. When deciding between ceramic or titanium plates, you can find straighteners that have plates made from either material, or they can be a combination. Both ceramic and titanium plates have their pros and cons, which will be later covered under aspects to consider.
One of the benefits of choosing a ceramic-plated straightener is that the plates are smoother, which results in less hair pulling, and it distributes the heat evenly across your hair. Nonetheless, you will this top-notch CHI straightener is a bit expensive than its counterparts.
2. Hot Tools Professional Ceramic Fast Pass Flat Iron
- Professional Fast-Pass 1"
- The package weight of the product is: 3pounds
- 2-Hour auto shut-off
- Universal Dual Voltage - Great for travel
In addition, this Hot Tools Ceramic Fast Pass flat iron would be a good choice for already frizzy hair due to its various temperature options. The even heat distribution allows you to straighten your hair at a lower temperature while achieving the same results!
This Ceramic Fast Pass Straightener, also comes with a 2-hour auto shut-off function that allows you ample styling without much redundancies. Besides straight hair, you can also choose to go sleek with this Hot Tools model by using it make waves. However, this tool lacks heat protection at its end, thus preventing close grasps while making intense curls.
3. BaBylissPRO BABNTBK3070TN Nano Titanium Straightening Iron
- The BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Ultra-Sleek hair straightener has a slim...
- High heat levels provide excellent straightening results while Nano...
- Use this Nano Titanium flat iron to smooth & straighten hair. Can also...
This BabylissPRO Titanium flat iron is perfect if you want to go the titanium route. Titanium is known to be more powerful than ceramic, so it is better suited to thicker hair. However, this does not mean it’s a complete no for more delicate hair. The BabylissPRO Nano Titanium Straightener has 50 heat settings to choose from. That means no matter how thick or thin your hair is, you will be able to set it to a temperature safely suited to you using the BabylissPRO Nano Titanium Straightener!
However, this ultra-thin straightening iron is expensive compared to other products like it. With any flat ironing tool you choose, make sure to always straighten on dry hair only – not even damp hair – and use a heat protectant. There are many to choose from; between creams, sprays and gels, using a heat protectant is one of the best tips for protecting damaged hair.
4. ghd Platinum+ Styler 1-Inch Flat Iron
- ghd’s 1st smart professional hair straightener predicts your...
- Unique ultra-zoneTM with predictive technology monitors heat over 250...
- Healthier styling: 365ºF optimal styling temperature minimizes hair...
- Advanced floating plates with an ultra gloss coating for effortless...
- More than a hair straightener: its unique design enables versatile and...
Another tip is to try and go over sections of hair as few times as possible, distributing as little heat as possible. To achieve this, I would suggest the queen of all straighteners, the ghd Platinum+Styler. This one is basically a revolutionary creation in hair tools. It automatically determines the amount of heat each separate section of hair needs, meaning you’ll never have to worry about sizzling your hair again!
But, of course, when you’re rushing in the morning, you want every bit of help you can get. Accordingly, some users have complained on less durable heating system due to faulty fuses after a few applications. However, you can take advantage of its warranty to return any faulty straightener.
How to Take Care of Damaged Hair with a Flat Iron
It can be tough when you want healthy hair, but at the same time, you don’t necessarily want to embrace your frizzy hair curls. Luckily there are ways. Firstly, I’d suggest taking small sections to straighten. The less hair you pass your flat iron over, the quicker it will straighten, and you won’t have to linger with a heated tool on your tresses.
Nowadays, some flat irons combine incredible mist technology that works as you use the straightener.
5. iGutech Professional Flat Iron Hair Straightener
One to take note of is the iGutech Professional Hair Straightener. This handy tool includes seven holes for the mist to spray from as you slide the iron down your hair. What this does is help to lock in moisture that would otherwise be lost, keeping your hair glossy and gorgeous. Hair protection AND style? What more could a girl want!?
Using deep conditioners to nourish your hair every week is encouraged too, as it can be a breath of fresh air your hair needs after a week of straightening. Every precaution is a good one to take when you want to maintain your healthy hair. Rather be overly cautious than risk harm to your hair. Nevertheless, this iGutech ironing tool comes with a small filling port, but you can choose to overlook this considering its benefits.
Hair Straightener– Our Best Tip for Damaged African American Hair
African American hair is generally coarser, thicker and curlier than other hair, making it slightly more of a challenge to straighten. However, it still experiences the same damage as other hair – that doesn’t change.
It’s suggested to use a soothing serum on your hair before straightening it simply because of the increased resistance that may be experienced with African American hair. In addition, a relaxing serum will just make it that much easier and more susceptible to straightening.
6. Paul Mitchell Neuro Smooth Flat Iron
- It conditions and protects your curls while creating durable body and...
- The clamp-free design allows hair to get straight
- Express ion complex ensures heaithy, shiny resuts
For African American hair, this Neuro Smooth flat iron is particularly rave-worthy. It contains a SmartSense chip inside that allows it to register if the iron is too hot on a section of hair, resulting in it automatically cooling to a lower heat. Talk about smart! Its highest heat setting is 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
While this is pretty hot, it’s great for tight corkscrew curls, as it can get right to the thicker follicle of the hair. However, you can take note of a complaint like slow heating up, but this might also help in allowing meticulous straightening.
How Much is a Hair Straightener?
As with most things in life, hair straightener prices can vary depending on the make, the benefits, the functions and the overall look. Though when buying something like a hair straightener that will most probably last you a few years, if not more, it’s always wise to be prepared to spend more money on a quality tool.
Your hair is precious, and it needs to be looked after. Just as you wouldn’t compromise on your dental care, you shouldn’t compromise on your hair care. I always suggest spending that little bit extra, since it’s most likely to save you money in the long term. The extra amount you pay for better technology will ensure that your hair is better protected, and your tool doesn’t need replacing every two months.
Especially if you are using a straightener several times a week, it makes sense to invest. Plus, you’ll feel amazing every time you use it! Don't forget to replace your hair straightener as often as every 3 years - as The Sun points out in this article. So if you haven't, we would advise you to do it now!
Which Hair Straightener is Best for Fine Hair?
Fine hair can be trickier to style because it can be weaker and more easily prone to breakage and damage. Nonetheless, it’s wiser to use flat irons that provide multiple heat settings, particularly ones with a lower than usual starting point.
7. HSI Professional | The Glider Titanium Hairstyling Flat Iron
- Digital LCD temperature control with Adjustable temperature from 240f...
- 100% true solid titanium tourmaline plates and advanced infrared heat...
- Note: The power button must be held down for about 3 seconds for it to...
- Includes free heat glove, 5ml argon oil leave in conditioner bottle...
- Flip & curl: round body shape design allows unique flips & curling...
An excellent way to go is with this HSI Professional hair straightener. This tool has the function of microsensors, which are used to maintain the selected temperature, regulate it and disperse the heat evenly. What’s really fantastic about this feature is that you don’t have to go over your hair countless times, effectively limiting the damage to fine hair.
In the end, you can be sure to obtain salon-grade hair styling by yourself through its numerous benefits. Even so, some customer complains indicate its screen reader breaks down over time, leading to wrong temperature readings that might be dangerous for fine hair.
8. KIPOZI Professional Titanium Hair Straightener
- KIPOZI hair straighteners will give you that just-back-from-the-salon...
- Full size Flat Iron(1 inch): Crafted from two titanium plates to...
- Mini hair straightener( ½ Inch):Plate size 0.7 inch, body length 6.7...
- Look Your Best With The Tool That Goes Anywhere- Feel free to take...
- What you get: 1*Professional 1inch Flat Iron with Manual,1* ½ Inch...
The second hair straightener I would suggest for more delicate hair is this Titanium flat iron. The temperature range starts from 265 degrees Fahrenheit and goes up to 450 degrees. The lowest or one of the lower heat settings would be optimal for people with fine hair. A standout element of this flat iron is the mention of floating plates.
This straightener is designed to be able to change angles easily, allowing it to glide through your hair smoothly without pulling. Nonetheless, you should look out for faulty units and take advantage of the warranty while it lasts.
For fine hair, finding a straightener that’s going to be the gentlest on your hair is what you want to aim for. The combination of low heat, gentle gliding, and even some spray functions to lock in moisture are going to be the best options for you.
So, you can see that there is nearly a whole science behind this hair straightening business! The choices of flat irons are truly endless, and you can be picky about finding one that’s absolutely perfect for you and your lifestyle.
With that, it’s essential to consider your lifestyle; seeing as if your mornings are especially rushed, you may want to go for a hair straightener that heats up in the quickest time.
Whatever your choice or preference, enjoy the styling process and take care of your hair! It may grow back, but it’s not indestructible.
For additional information on all things hair and hair products, read our latest hair products guide!
Factors to Consider Before Buying the Best Flat Iron for Damaged Hair
You have come across some aspects to consider in some of the preceding sections. Even more, this section will reiterate some and introduce more considerations to make in this category.
1. Plate Material
Primarily, finding the best flat iron for damaged hair depends on the plate material. This factor matters because plates are the functional parts that heat up during flat ironing. In this sense, different flatirons are made of different materials, including ceramic, tourmaline and titanium. Notably, each of these materials plays a critical role in hairstyling, depending on your hair texture.
Ceramic plates make some of the best hair straighteners in the hair styling market. This preference can be attributed to their moderate temperature settings that ensure even distribution of heat. Although not to say that ceramic plates can't give high heat outputs, this first type of plate doesn't reach high temperatures, such as tourmaline or titanium plates. Additionally, you can find high-quality ceramic plates more affordable than the other plate options.
Furthermore, ceramic plates are known to apply ionic technology to avoid hair damage. Ideally, ionic technology. Ionic technology utilizes negative ions instead of positive ions attributed to hair damage through frizz, static electricity, and dryness. As a result, the ionic technology works by neutralizing polarity through the negative ions. In the end, ceramic plates reduce frizz and enhance hair moisturization through their negative ions.
Moreover, ceramic plates can be found in a ceramic flat iron or ceramic coated plate. However, the best flat irons in this category don't come with ceramic-coated plates. The reason for this is that the coatings on the ceramic-coated plates chip away, leading to hair damage. In the end, here are other reasons why the best straightening irons will probably have ceramic plates:
- A ceramic flat iron heats fairly quickly with even heat distribution, making it easy to achieve straight and shiny hair.
- A ceramic flat iron works best with fine hair that is dry ad damaged. Those with thick, stubborn hair should not go for ceramic flat irons.
Tourmaline plates are other great hair styling options that use negative ions to straighten hair. According to professionals, tourmaline plates have silicates that make high-quality flat iron tools with minimal heat to avoid damage. As a result, you will need fewer passes with tourmaline plates considering they have the best heat distribution of the three plate materials. However, the tourmaline flat iron plates are a bit pricey but efficient, especially with damaged kinky hair.
In this case, you can have the best flat iron for damaged hair, especially if you get one with tourmaline ceramic technology for maximum discharge of negative ions. As such, each hair strand will remain smooth with an adequate cuticle layer due to the moisture-locking ionization. From this, you already can tell it will repair your unhealthy hair by eliminating frizz, leaving your hair silkier. However, you should invest in high-quality coated plates to avoid chipping that may further damage your hair.
The third plate material you can find on flat irons is titanium. Titanium is uniquely lightweight with the ability to reach high heat settings faster than its counterparts. Notably, titanium is common among professionals with a reputation for being strong and durable. Considering that titanium flat irons have higher temperature settings, you will probably need the fewest passes while achieving optimal hair straightening.
However, you should be careful while using titanium plates since they may cause heat damage to your hair. With all considerations, we recommend using titanium flat iron plates on thick and coarse hair since these plates heat adequately for deep-reaching effects.
2. Plate Width
Besides the plate material of your flat iron, plate width also matters in finding the best flat iron for damaged hair. Ideally, plate width corresponds with the thickness and length of your hair. In line with this aspect, plate width will most likely not affect the straightening outcomes like the material but will indeed impact the speed of achieving your results. It, therefore, goes without saying that wider plates are ideal for thick and long hair for faster coverage.
Asides from the speed of straightening hair, plate width also determines different styles that can be achieved on different hair sets. For instance, if you want to achieve curls and waves, you would be best suited by a 1-inch plate, while a wider 1.5-inch works best in handling thick hairstyles on coarse hair. On the other hand, if you want to obtain long sleek hairstyles, we recommend a 2-inch wide plate.
Fortunately, flat irons come with different plate sizes in width, matching either long, short or medium hair. Wider plates are ideal for thick and long hair types, while narrow plates are ideal for pixie-cut thin hair. So, in answering your question about the size appropriateness of flat irons for frizzy hair, here's a brief breakdown:
- 2-inch plates are ideal for very thick and long hair.
- 1 to 1.5-inch plates work best with coarse, curly, thick hair types. Long, in this case, being slightly below your shoulder.
- 1 to 1.25-inch is appropriate for medium-sized hair that is shoulder-long.
- 1-inch flat irons work best with fine and short hair
- Lastly, 0.5-inch plates work with the shortest pixie cut hair.
3. Hair Type
So far, the mention of hair type is critical across all steps of choosing the best flat iron for damaged hair. In light of emphasizing, we recommend knowing your hair type before shopping for a hair dryer or a flat iron. Additionally, you should know the extent of damage to your hair type to know the appropriate ways of making your hair healthy again.
Also, if you have color-treated your hair, the cuticle on the strands is more exposed, meaning your strands will curl easily, thus not requiring high temperatures settings. Accordingly, the more challenging the hair, the tougher a flat iron should be. However, excess heat should be avoided to avoid further heat damage.
4. Temperature Settings
The best hair straighteners come with adjustable temperature controls. This premise means that you can find favorable temperature ranges for your hair type across different flat irons. Specifically, heat or chemically affected hair can be delicate to handle, but still, it's worth styling. Consequently, without temperature controls, you can easily damage your hair.
Therefore, the best flat iron for damaged hair should be easy to adjust for temperature and should have a suitable temperature range for your hair type. In light of unhealthy hair, your flat iron should not surpass a maximum temperature of 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Even so, this doesn't prescribe a flat iron with fixed temperature controls.
Subsequently, the thicker the hair, the higher the temperatures you will require for deep-reaching effects, but with caution against heat damage. You should opt for lower heat settings for brittle hair, as is the case with unhealthy hair. In general, here is a breakdown of different heat ranges that can be used on different normal hair types:
- 300-380 degrees Fahrenheit: healthy and medium-textured hair
- Maximum of 300 degrees Fahrenheit: Chemically-treated or fine hair:
- 350 degrees Fahrenheit to 450 degrees Fahrenheit: Coarse, thick and curly hair
Beyond mere temperature, here are other temperature features to consider.
In addition, having a flat iron with a microsensor adds to the efficiency and reliability of a flat iron. Smart sensors such as in floating plates help balance heat against the hair moisture content. An example of self-adjusting floating plates is the floating titanium plates that automatically adjust the heat for the best straightening results.
Smart temperature sensors help distribute heat evenly across plates. For instance, you can have a flat iron with nine heat settings that are automatically controlled through smart sensors.
Temperature Lock and Digital Controls
These features imply having flat irons that are intuitive to use. In particular, having digital controls and an LCD screen help to easily adjust ad monitor temperature levels. Therefore, all is required is to tap on the plus or minus signs for temperature regulation, with the LCD indicating the specific temperature level in degrees Fahrenheit.
Also, you can consider a straightening tool with a temp-lock mechanism for more consistent outcomes. For example, you can lock your straightening tool at a specific temperature for a few seconds to achieve a given outcome.
Infrared Heat Technology
Infrared flat irons are better than the conventional models since they apply negative ionization during straightening. As a result, this ionization mechanism helps restore natural hair oils for healthier hair.
5. Grip and Weight
Besides the heating function of the hair tool in context, we also recommend checking for ergonomic features that help in making work easier. This aspect covers the fact that despite how good a flat iron straightens, it's not the best if it's not comfortable to handle. As such, it is best to have an ironing tool that is lightweight and comfortable to handle during styling sessions. Subsequently, you can enjoy straightening your hair even with thick hair that might require more extended styling periods for more caution to avoid further damage.
Also, having an anti-skid handle helps with better handling and maneuverability with fewer mistakes and accidents. Moreover, a firm grip ensures that you use one hand without the risk of touching the hot ironing plates.
5. Auto Turn-Off
Further emphasizing the importance of safety, it is best to get a flat iron with an automatic shut-off feature. Even in their small and simple stature, flat irons can be disastrous simply because they heat up. Accordingly, an automatic shut-off feature ensures that your flat iron remains safe despite forgetting to unplug it. More to this safety bargain, this feature doesn't add to the price of products in this category, making it easy to own.
6. Special Features
Different hair straighteners come with different unique features, including different edges and dual-voltage capacity.
Bevel vs. Round Edge Plates
Rounded plate edges are ideal for styling curls from smooth hair since they smoothly maneuver during straightening. Alternatively, you can opt for bevel edges for easier manipulation on bends at the hair tips.
Dual Voltage Capacity
Even more, the best hair straighteners should have a dual voltage capacity, especially if you are looking for a flat iron that is travel-friendly. Dual voltage configuration ensures that your flat ironing tool is versatile to different electrical systems across different world regions. As such, dual voltage refers to 110v to 120v and 220v to 240v options.
This feature might sound insignificant, but you never know when you might need it, especially for quick hair styling needs while traveling. Therefore a universal voltage straightener is the best for handling frizzy hair across different world regions. Just on the side, this feature is essential, especially if you are ordering your styling tool online from stores beyond your location. Fortunately, most flat irons are currently being manufactured with the dual voltage capacity.
Lastly, you can use price as a guide to buying the best flat irons for damaged hair. Indeed, for flat irons, you get what you pay for. Accordingly, a cheaper flat iron offers less consistent straightening results with longer periods for heat recovery.
By and by, pricey flat ironing tools offer the best temperature fluctuations, ensuring you don't make many passes to obtain desired outcomes. Therefore, the best hair ironing tools are more expensive to guarantee the best outcomes.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Flat Irons for Damaged Hair
1. Can I use a flat iron on damaged hair?
Having damaged hair is not the end of having beautiful hair. Fortunately, it's still possible to use flat irons on damaged and frizzy hair. However, here' the thing, you should be careful to choose the most appropriate tools, with ready options in this guide. With consistent use of appropriate hair straighteners, you will most likely restore the glory of your hair together with other products on our portfolio.
2. Are CHI ceramic flat irons better than titanium hair straighteners for damaged hair?
Yes, CHI ceramic options, among other ceramic hair tools, are the best with frizzy hair. Unlike titanium straighteners, ceramic options straighten with less risk of further heat damage. As a result, your hair won't risk excess moisture loss. However, ceramic plated irons are ineffective in stubborn, thick and coarse hair, rendering the titanium options more practical.