Hair & Beauty Magazine

Best Flat Iron for African American Hair

By Sephoracouturier

With hundreds of different flat iron in the market, it can be pretty tough to identify the best flat iron for African American hair. This is because you probably don’t know what to look out for in them. Buying my first flat iron was pretty tough for me as well. It seemed as though the more I searched the internet, the more confused I became.

Well, I’ve gone through those rigors years ago to bring you this. The best flat irons for African American hairs are those that distribute sufficient heat to tame the frizz and curls without causing any damage to your hair or scalp. I have curated 7 great choices for you to choose from.

1. Xtava Professional Infrared Hair Straightener

If you’re looking for a hair straightener with wide plates, then Xtava Professional Infrared Hair Straightener is a great choice. Its Ceramic Tourmaline plates allow for even distribution of heat across hairs. It tames frizzy hairs easily.

It’s built to accommodate up to 10 different temperature settings ranging from 265°F – 445°F. Did I mention it has an LCD display? The display allows you to see the temperature readings as it changes.

To protect your hair, it comes with an auto shut off feature that keeps surging temperature in check. You don’t need to wait for long to get it working. It heats up rapidly within 90-second.

Pros

  • Wide temperature range of 265°F – 445°F
  • 10 temperature setting with an LCD display
  • Auto shut off feature to regulate temperature
  • A 2-inch wide plate

Con

  • Only 10 temperature settings

2. HSI Professional Tourmaline Hair Straightener

The HSI Professional is not your regular hair straightener. It is the perfect choice for the frizziest and coarsest hair. It has an adjustable temperature range of 140-450F that allows you to straighten just any kind of hair irrespective of the texture

It’s built with 8 microsensors that help regulate the heat and keep your precious hairs protected from excessive heat. Its pair of plates are designed with Ceramic and Tourmaline ion plates to create a silkier and shinier finish in record time.

The HSI Professional has a dual voltage rating of 110 and 220V that makes it relevant in all parts of the world

Pros

  • A high temperature of 450F
  • It varying voltage of 110 and 220V makes is compatible with all geographic locations.
  • It has microsensors that prevent hair damage.
  • It’s good for curling and straightening

Con

  • Its 12-inch length is not pocket-friendly. It can deter you from taking it around

3. CHI Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic Hair Straightening Iron

CHI is a popular brand when it comes to hair straighteners/flat iron. The CHI Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic Hair Straightening Iron is as impressive as it sounds. The Tourmaline affords sheer smoothness in the plate while the Ceramic accounts for even distribution of heat.

Combined, they distribute enough number of negative ions to neutralize the positive ions on dry hair.

It has a variable temperature between 180F to 410F, which makes it suitable for all hair types. This Expert Classic iron is awesome for all your hairstyle needs. You can smooth, straighten, flip wave, bend curl, and spiral your hair with it.

Pros

  • 1-hour auto off for safety
  • Maximum temperature of 410F for the best styling
  • Auto shut off feature for safety
  • It’s lightweight and portable
  • It’s excellent for many hairstyles

Cons

  • Maximum temperature of 410F
  • Not the best option for coarse hair

4. Kipozi Professional Flat Iron

The Kipozi Professional flat iron is another hair straightener that made it to our list. It’s got a couple of features similar to the CHI expert classic straightener. It has an auto-lock feature that is activated at the 90th minute of use.

It’s made of 4 very smooth plates in a blend of advanced PTC Ceramic Heater. It’s known for quick but high heat conduction.

It has an adjustable temperature range of 270 to 450F that is suitable for fragile, damaged, and healthy hairs. The Kapizo professional flat iron also has an LCD display screen for temperature. Its dual voltage more of 110V to 240V qualifies it as suitable for all regions of the world.

Pros

  • It has an adjustable temperature
  • A good LCD Display
  • Auto shut off feature for safety
  • Varying voltage for different geographic locations

Con

  • Auto shut off feature turns up late at the 90th minute

5. BaByliss PRO Nano Titanium-Plated Ionic Straightening Iron

If you’ve been using hair straighteners for years, then BaByliss should be a name on your lips. I fell in love with the BaByliss PRO Nano Titanium Professional Digital Ionic Straightener because of its 1-1/4 inch wide plate.

I don’t know about you, but wide plates give room for more action on my hairs. It gets heated super-fast like a flash, and it retains the heat. It makes use of ionic technology to achieve sleek styles you’d be proud of. It emits natural ions that reduce frizz. And it comes in an amazing Ryton housing that prevents the heat from transferring to the handle.

It has a range of temperature that is ideal for fragile, skinny, thin, curly, coarse and thick hairs. This means you’re totally covered irrespective of your hair type.

Pros

  • Perfect for straightening wavy hairs
  • 50 different heat settings up to 450°F
  • Ryton housing that protects the handle from getting heated up
  • It’s lightweight

Con

  • It’s 15 inches, a little longer than some flat irons.

6. Kipozi Pro Nano Titanium Flat Iron

Alright, I need to ask. Am I the only one who gets emotional when I see flat irons with wide plates? I hope not, because this Kipozi Pro Nano Titanium flat iron has got me tripping. It has a pair of 1.75-inch Titanium plates that evenly distribute heat.

As expected for all Titanium hair straighteners, it takes only about 30 seconds to heat up and get into business. Unlike some other flat irons, this bunny doesn’t just straighten, it’s great for making curly designs on your hair.

To accommodate all hair types, it has a temperature setting ranging from 170º F to 450º F. It has an “auto shut off” feature for safety. And it’s great for travels, having varying voltage adaptability between 100 to 240V.

Pros

  • It’s built with the Nano Titanium technology.
  • It has a 360º swivel cord
  • Ideal for all hair types

Con

  • A little weighty, 1.6 pounds

7. Silky Hair One Pass Flat Iron

The first thing I noticed when I came across the Silky Hair One Pass Flat Iron was its 475°F. I was like “whoa.” I often kick against such temperature for hairs. It’s way too much. As it is with other Titanium flat irons, it can get your hair damaged when misused.

But guess what, the temperature and everything about this flat iron was designed with African American hairs in mind.

If you’ve tried numerous flat irons for your coarse hair to no avail, your search is over. Buy this one. Yea, I’m tipping you to buy it. It has an array of temperature settings that is ideal for any kind of natural black hair.

Its plate is not made entirely of Titanium. It’s fused with Ceramic and Tourmaline to create a top-notch hair straightener. Whether it’s thin, coarse or curly, it’s got you covered. It imbibes the latest One Pass Vibrating Plate technology to straighten hairs in a super-fast manner.

Pros

  • Made of Titanium, Ceramic, and Tourmaline
  • Auto shut off feature for safety
  • It uses the One Pass Vibrating Plate technology
  • Perfect for African American hairs
  • Astonishing maximum temperature 475F

Con

  • It can get your hair damaged when tuned to the wrong temperature.

Things to Consider When Buying A Flat Iron for African American Hairs

Buying a flat iron for African American hairs requires more than walking into a retail store. It requires proper knowledge of specific factors that should be taken into consideration.

Hair Type

The first thing to consider is your hair type. You’ve got to understand that Beyonce and Cardi B don’t have the same hair texture. Yea. So you don’t have to buy a particular flat iron because a friend got it. It’s probably not going to work well for you.

As a matter of necessity, you should consider your hair type before you buy that fancy looking flat iron. Is your hair thin, thick or coarse? Is it frizzy? Is it damaged or healthy? These are the questions you should give answers to first.

The Heating Material Of The Flat Iron

The three major types of heating materials are Ceramic, Titanium, and Tourmaline Ceramic. They have different features and are ideal for different hair textures. In keeping with the hair type, you may consider buying a Ceramic flat iron if you’ve got thin hair.

Both Titanium and Tourmaline Ceramic and great for coarse hair. But Tourmaline Ceramic gets the higher vote because it has fewer chances of damaging your hair. Titanium produces outstanding results when used by a professional.

Budget

I know you don’t want to place an order without checking how much you’ve got in the bank. Let me establish this, there is nothing like a cheap Titanium flat iron. It’s not that buying one will leave you broke. Nope. It’s not that expensive.

Nonetheless, you’ll have to spare more dollars to buy a Titanium flat iron than others. Ceramics are quite different. You can get cheap and expensive ones out there. However, you’ll agree with me that a $5 flat iron can never be the same as that of $50. I mean, it’s obvious.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

I really want to demystify this for you. I’ve curated most of the popular questions I get from African American ladies on this subject.

  1. Is Ceramic or Titanium Better for Black Hair?

It depends in no small extent on the texture of the hair. Titanium flat irons are more active on coarse African American hairs. But it poses more risk of hair damage when things go south. Ceramic, on the other hand, doesn’t heat as fast as Titanium but does an equally great job.

Most black users prefer it to Titanium. Modern Ceramic flat irons come with temperature regulator. All you need to do is to tune it to the right temperature for your hair type. Then allow it to heat up for about a couple of minutes before you begin to use. That way, it’ll be as hot as you need.

  1. How Hot Should A Flat Iron Be for African American Hair?

Also, this depends on the texture of the hair.

  • Use 250-300F degrees for very thin or damaged hair.
  • Use300-350F degrees for hairs with average strength and length.
  • Use 350-400F degrees for long, thick, and healthy hair.

Avoid using flat irons that exceed 450F. This is bound to damage your hair and cause breakage. It’s not worth it.

  1. What Is the Best Flat Iron for Coarse Hair?

Most of the best-selling flat iron for coarse hair are HSI Professional Iron, CHI Classic Iron, BaByliss PRO Nano, and Xtava Infrared Iron among others. Apart from the BaByliss PRO Nano, the rest are made of either Ceramic or Tourmaline Ceramic.

It shows that although Titanium flat irons are the best for coarse hair, most flat irons for coarse hair are made of Ceramic or Tourmaline Ceramic plates.

  1. Can You Permanently Straighten Afro Hair?

Yes. Permanent straightening of afro hair is possible. However, it can’t be achieved with flat irons. Hair straightened by flat irons gets back to its factory setting when it comes in contact with water.

To achieve a permanently straightened hair, you’ll need to apply a relaxer (or perm) on your African American hair. I must say that it’s similar to exposing your hair to chemicals. It will disrupt the normal growth process of your hair and de-curl its strands.

Once de-curled, it remains de-curled. Not even water can change that or make it frizzy again.

  1. What’s the Difference Between Ceramic and Titanium Flat Irons?

Ceramic flat irons distribute heat evenly across the hair and pose a lower chance of burning your hair. Titanium flat iron, on the other hand, transfers heat faster than the former.  But it doesn’t account for even distribution of heat. Titanium can damage the hair if not used properly.

  1. Is Tourmaline Better Than Ceramic?

Tourmaline is a crystalline gemstone that is crushed for flat irons. If you are looking for a shinier, less frizzy and well-straightened hair, Tourmaline is the one stop. However, when it comes to heat distribution, Ceramic is better. Most people will rather stick with Ceramic than Tourmaline. But the chief of the duo is Tourmaline Ceramic.

  1. Is Tourmaline Ceramic Good for Your Hair?

Yes. Tourmaline Ceramic flat irons are right for your hair. As a matter of fact, they are arguably the best flat irons out there. This is because Ceramic gives an even distribution of heat while Tourmaline straightens hair better than the rest. A combination of the two makes a fine flat iron with better capacity and features than a standalone Tourmaline, Ceramic, or Titanium flat iron.

  1. What Type of Flat Iron Is the Least Damaging?

Ceramic flat irons deal the least damage to hair. The reason is not far from the fact that it doesn’t heat up as fast as its other counterparts. And while heating up, the heat across the plate is even. You can afford to leave it a little longer on your hair without any real damage.

Titanium, on the other hand, is known for damaging hairs when not used skillfully. Any Dick, Tom, and Harry can handle a Ceramic flat iron and get away without a burn. I can’t say same of Titanium or Tourmaline Ceramic.

Step by Step Guide on To Straightening African American Hairs

  1. Wash the hair with clarifying shampoo before you flat iron it to remove any buildup such as dandruff.
  2. Deep condition your hairs about a week before flat ironing. It will boost your hairs’ resistance to heat.
  3. Treat your hairs with protein treatment about a week before straightening. It will straighten your hairs and aid the flat ironing process.
  4. Ensure you check the humidity level of the weather before flat ironing. Don’t straighten your hairs when the humidity is high. Else, the straightened hair will lose its shiny and silky luster not long after you step out of the house in style.
  5. Use large rollers after washing your hairs. Use them to divide the hair into sections. If you have thicker hairs, you should consider splitting the hairs into more sections. This will enable all sections to be evenly heated. Large rollers will keep your hair straightened before it goes through the flat iron.
  6. Once your hair is dry, you can go under the hot comb or blow dry it first for a sleeker effect.
  7. Remove the large rollers. Do well to take your time to blow dry each section one after the other. Pass your comb through your hair to ensure no section escapes the blow dryer.
  8. We are getting to the actual straightening. Pull most of your hair up and out of the way. But leave about an inch around the nape of your head. That’s where the flat ironing will commence.
  9. Using your flat iron, straighten the inch at the nape of your head in a slow but swift manner. You’ve got to guide the flat iron properly, so you don’t make mistakes.
  10. Release another inch from the hair you pulled up. Straighten it from the back upwards. Continue the process inch by inch until you’ve straightened the entire hair.
  11. You really need to be careful when you get to your hairlines. The hairs there are quite tender. Try not to burn them up. If possible use a flat iron of low heat for that area.
  12. For any section, you missed, guide the flat iron close to your scalp. Clasp your hair and pull outwardly.

Things You Should Not Do When Straightening Your Hairs

  • Avoid using flat irons that are over 450 degrees. Such temperature might damage your hair.
  • A lot of people use oils and butter on their hair before straightening. It’s not advisable. When you oil before flat ironing, your hair won’t get that lightweight look you seek.
  • For best results, don’t flat iron wet or semi-wet hairs. Yea. It will make your hair frizz up.
  • As tempting as it may be, please don’t flat iron your hair daily. It’s going to damage your hair in a manner that may make you weep.
  • I know this may sound odd too. But it’s not advisable to flat iron a section of your hair twice. The heat may be unbearable for your hair.
  • As long as flat ironing is concerned, don’t use water-based moisturizers. In fact, just avoid water for this process so you’ll have every reason to smile when you’re done.

Things to consider before Straightening African American Hair

The Weather

I once stepped out sometime in February with a straightened hair. I was looking so fabulous, but not for long. Within a couple of hours, the glamour was gone as my hair was drenched.

Hair straightening goes well with certain kinds of weathers. It’s not ideal for winter or other humid weather conditions. This is because the beauty and sleekness of straightened hair are threatened by water.

The next time you think of using a flat iron on your hair, do well to check the weather reports.

The Type of Flat Iron to Use

Flat irons are divided into three major classes based on the heating material used to design them. The heating material can be Ceramic, Titanium, or Tourmaline Ceramic. Each of these kinds of flat iron is suitable for distinct hair textures and purposes.

While Tourmaline Ceramic flat irons are suitable for thin to coarse hair types, Titanium is best for thick to coarse hair types. Ceramic, on the other hand, is best ideal for thin to thick hair types.

You need to identify what kind of hair you have and the corresponding flat iron for it. Else, you won’t get the best hair straightening experience. Worse still, your hair can get damages.

The Neatness of Your Hair

Hair straightening is like passing your hair through an oven. As literally as it sounds, things get baked in a running oven. Likewise, flat irons sort of ‘bakes’ your hair.

If your hair is dirty with loads of dandruff, your guess is as good as mine. You’ll have baked dandruff clinging to your hair after the flat ironing.

I know you want to look pleasant and elegant, but don’t be in a hurry to use your flat iron. Ensure your hair is neat as prescribed further in the step by step guideline for flat ironing an African American hair.

Exposure to Chemicals

You probably didn’t know, but each hair follicle has a natural protein called keratin. Deciding to treat your hair before straightening means willfully exposing your hair to chemicals that offset the natural growth process of your hair.

The more you condition your hair, the more you destroy the keratin and de-curl your natural African American hair. It may make your hair frizzy and cause breakage of hair strands. This is something you should consider before deciding to straighten your hair.

Summary

The African American hair is a wonder of its own. It’s got a natural curly look that other hair types can only dream of having. It can be said to be stubborn, but not too stubborn to pass through a flat iron/hair straightener.

To get the best out of hair straightening, you need to understand your hair type and know which of these seven flat irons will work best for you.


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