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For the Love of Flat Irons…Choose Wisely!

BlogBeauty Tips | May 12, 2014

It’s changing the artistry of hairstyling-the flat iron, the smoothest of the styling industry’s heated tools, is enjoying a recent surge in popularity. Once only a novelty item for taming tightly-wound tresses, this tool is now in demand for polishing all hair lengths and textures. Salons nationwide have maximized on the trend, and cosmetology schools include them in each student kit so that future stylists will value the versatility of this trendy tool.

Fans of the flat iron will be happy to know that the selection has widened considerably since its first appearance on the beauty scene. Manufacturers have created something for everyone, and continue to improve their creation to meet customer demand. The only problem that comes from such good news is the confusion that ensues. After all, picking only one is not always easy.

Knowing your hair and the flat iron’s most viable features are key factors to making a cost-effective, beauty-producing final choice. Here’s some food for thought when making your selection:

Flat Iron - choose wisely

Know your materials.

The plates of the iron are made from different materials that will achieve various results.

  • Aluminum: the most basic and least expensive, It’s very simple to use. It can leave hair with a static charge from the friction caused when sliding hair strands through the plates. The result can sometimes lead to frizz, so apply conditioner often and try not to use daily if you decide on this flat iron. Cleaning may require extra effort since aluminum tends to build residue.
  • Ceramic: a better quality plate material that some consider the best value overall. Hair actually will appear shiner after use, and leaves the natural structure more intact. They heat quickly and can be cleaned easily with one swipe from a damp cloth.

  • Tourmaline: considered advanced technology and often expensive, these irons are preferred by many stylists because they give healthy, shiny results quite quickly compared to others. The smooth material offers damage control and adds a bouncy, smooth finish to all hairstyles.
  • Ionic: this iron has the heftiest price tag but offers the most elaborate results. The ionic feature seals moisture in and keeps frizzy ends at bay. Hair glistens from the soft smoothness of the strands that glide easily through the plates. The investment may be worth it for straightening dense, unruly hair in a short time.

Understand the size.

The size of the flat iron plates can make a difference, depending on your individual hair type.

  • Those with short, medium hair should use 3/4″, 1″ or 1 1/4″ sized plates to secure strands.
  • Longer, thicker tresses can benefit from a flat iron sized 1 1/2″, 1 3/4″, 2″ and higher.

Special features are fun and functional.

After grasping the basics, opt for some extra razzle-dazzle with advanced features for multitasking or for having fun with style.

  • Adjust if you must. Digital ceramic irons are available so you can choose the temperature according to your hair type. This choice is often between 140-400 degrees and minimizes the damage factor.
  • Go for dual styling with wet-to-dry flat irons. These irons cut styling time in half, with no need for blow drying. By incorporating special vents on the plates to infuse steam, these tools are a treat for those with hectic schedules.

  • Walk on the wild side by choosing zebra prints, tiger stripes and even some bling. Enjoy your iron even more by selecting a stylish, sleek design with eye-catching add-ons.
  • Lose the wire with a battery-charged, cordless flat iron. Who needs cords in the way while twirling and flipping all that hair? You’ll be in control of style with the freedom of movement offered by this model.

Hopefully, these flat iron facts will help you make an educated choice to your hairstyling designs. Beauty tools work best when chosen wisely!

Readers, are there more types out there? Which flat iron do you prefer any why? We’d love to hear what you suggest!

Click here for a flat iron styling tutorial.

Lorraine Letcavage

Written by Lorraine Letcavage

Lorraine has been involved with the beauty school industry for over 5 years, having been employed as a copywriter, editor and blog writer for Empire Education Group. Most of her career has been in Education, as she has a passion to learn and share knowledge to benefit others. She has a BA in English and enjoys writing newsletters, marketing material, and informative pieces for various companies and websites. A self-professed beauty product junkie, Lorraine reads about all the latest trends and uses her connections in the salon industry to stay current in cosmetology.

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