Hair straighteners have become indispensable gadgets for women the world over. They completely changed the beauty world (and our hair) when they burst onto the scene some 10 years ago. If you’re looking to upgrade your trusty old straightener, read on to learn everything you need to know.
Hair straighteners have stood the test of time. Developed initially to simply tame and smooth thick and frizzy hair, as the years have gone on we’ve learned how to use them to achieve a myriad of of luscious hair styles and looks.
These days, the once scarce hair straightener can be purchased almost anywhere – from online beauty retailers, to salons and everywhere in between. But whilst hair straighteners are easily accessible, they are not all created equal, and buying the perfect one isn’t as simple as grabbing the first one you like the look of.
From understanding what type of heating it produces, to what hair types it works for, the price, and the warranty, there’s a few things to consider if you want to get the most out of it.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about purchasing your next hair straightener.
#1 – But first, what type of straightening iron is best?
The most common types of hair straighteners (or flat irons as they are sometimes known) are metal, glass, ceramic material, titanium iron, and tourmaline and ceramic combination.
Metal and Glass
Metal and glass hair straightening tools are the least expensive types. A hair straightening iron made from these materials will take longer to heat and does not evenly distribute heat. This can mean that your hair is more likely to get damaged, and you may not get an amazing straight look for coarse hair.
Ceramic straighteners are great for thin and fine hair. They offer heat protection and produce smooth hair. They are more expensive than glass or metal straighteners but are still very affordable.
Titanium straighteners are known to distribute heat evenly and also steadily maintain heat. This type of hair straightening tool produces beautiful results and can easily tame unruly hair.
Tourmaline and Ceramic Blend
This type may be the most expensive, but it is also the best hair straightener. They can be used on damp hair, as the technology can dry and straighten the hair at the same time. Whether you have thick or thin hair, tourmaline and ceramic blend flat irons are thought to be the most ideal.
#2 – What type of heating mechanism is used?
The heating mechanism is more than just the on and off switch. Many higher quality flat irons allow you to style your hair at the optimum styling temperature of 185°C as well as an automatic off switch.
Constantly applying heat will eventually damage your hair, and therefore buying a flat iron which consistently stays at the optimum styling temperature – no matter your hair type, helps your hair to stay healthy.
#3 – What is the heat maintenance of hair straighteners?
Heat maintenance is how well a flat iron retains heat when applied to hair. Due to heat exchange, straighteners lose heat during the straightening process when they’re used on cool hair.
Quality straighteners can quickly increase to the desired heat after being used on cold or damp hair. This ability to come up to temperature will depend on the type and quality of the heating plates.
#4 – Consider the plate size
Plate size is important when you’re wondering which straightener to buy. For simply straightening long hair, consider wider plates which let you get through more hair, more easily. However, if you want to use the straightener to style hair, say into waves or curls, then you should go for narrow plates, about 3cms wide.
#5 – Is it for home use or on the go?
If you are frequently on the go or travelling, you might want to consider investing in a cordless hair straightener just for that purpose. These straighteners are as effective and durable as a standard straightener with a cord, but they’ll allow you to straighten your hair anywhere – if there are no power outlets available. Cordless straighteners tend to be a bit smaller, and they can be tossed into your handbag to help you control frizzy hair while you are out and about.
#6 – The warranty
Less expensive straighteners will come without a warranty, while others come with a two or three year warranty, no questions asked. The warranty that’s offered will depend on the brand, quality, and price of the straightener. No matter where you buy from, make sure to check for warranty and return policies. Also note that sometimes the warranty comes from the manufacturer, while other times the warranty comes from the retailer.
Apart from a hair dryer, a hair straightener is the most valuable hair tool available today. If you want sleek, straight and smooth hair, or luscious glossy waves, then a hair straightening tool is the way to go. Available in a wide range of prices and types, be sure to do your research and consider the six tips above before making a purchase.