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Every girl needs a flat iron in her beauty kit! But which is best for your hair type and texture? After all, there are many different types of flat irons in the market.

The difference between flat irons chiefly depends on the material of the plates. 

Some of the different types of flat irons include ones with ceramic plates, titanium plates, etc. 

Flat irons are also distinguished based on their function. For example, there is a wet-to-dry flat iron that is useful for straightening wet hair.  

And the ionic flat irons are those that are specially equipped with negative ion technology that helps control frizz.

If you want to learn more about the different types of flat irons in the market today, I’ve elaborated it further in the article below:

Related: Flat Irons For Short Hair

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Related: Flat Irons For Damaged Hair

Types of Flat Iron 2021

If you want to divide the flat irons on basis of plate material, the top types of flat irons are as follows:

Titanium Flat Iron

types of flat irons for curly hair

The most popular types of flat irons for curly hair or African American hair are Titanium flat irons. 

Titanium is a form of metal that has excellent heat conductivity. So if you get a hair straightener with titanium plates, it’ll curl your hair in a very short amount of time.

This metal is also one of the strongest material on this planet, so you’re flat iron is guaranteed to last a long while.

As it supplies your tresses with more heat, a titanium flat iron is the best choice for very curly hair that doesn’t won’t get straightened out at lower temperatures.

Unfortunately, this very thing makes a titanium flat iron bad for your tresses if you have fine, straight hair that can easily change textures.

It’s also not recommended for damaged hair as the excess heat can cause break down keratin bonds and leave strands weaker.

As they are often considered a long-term investment due to their resilience, titanium flat irons are very expensive.  

Tourmaline Flat Iron

tourmaline types of flat irons

Tourmaline flat irons are the best types of flat irons if you have frizzy, dry hair.

When heat is applied to your hair, it can remove the moisture from your tresses as well. Also, the change in hair structure makes it vulnerable to frizz.

Tourmaline releases a lot of negative ions that make your hair lie down smoothly and also helps prevent moisture loss.

As the negative ions prevent the development of static electricity on your hair, they help reduce frizz.

However, tourmaline cannot be used as a single material for flat iron plates. So it’s usually used in combination with ceramic. 

Another advantage of tourmaline flat irons is that they have a very smooth surface. So there’s no chance of your tresses getting caught in the plates of the iron. 

Ceramic Flat Iron

ceramic flat iron

If you look at the general range of flat irons in the market today, you’ll see that ceramic flat irons are the predominant type of flat iron available.

And there is a good reason for this too! 

Ceramic is a non-metallic substance that doesn’t conduct heat easily. Which means it doesn’t transfer a large amount of heat to your strands.

This prevents your hair from enduring any form of damage from the sudden rise in temperature.

If you have thin, fine hair, straight hair that doesn’t need a flat iron much, or previously damaged strands, you should choose a ceramic flat iron.

A ceramic flat iron that has multiple temperature control settings is the best for damaged hair as your hair doesn’t get heated up a lot and you can control the temperature at every stage.

There is only one downside of a ceramic flat iron.  

As it doesn’t get heated up quickly or to a high temperature, you might need to style your curly hair for a long time for it to reach that super, smooth texture. 

Also, it can be time-consuming to wait for the ceramic flat iron to heat up.

Based on the function of the flat iron, it is divided into the following categories.  

Related: Learn more about the difference between ionic and ceramic hair dryers here!

Ionic Flat Iron

types of flat irons for frizzy hair

No, don’t worry you don’t need a chemistry degree to understand how the ionic flat ion works!

It’s simple. There are positive ions in water that make your hair frizzy and prone to breakage.

That’s why your hair becomes more frizzy as the humidity in the atmosphere increases.

An ionic flat iron is one that creates negative ions to neutralize the positive ions. This helps reduce frizz and makes hair lie smooth for a longer period of time.

Ionic flat irons usually have ceramic-tourmaline plates or titanium plates.

As these hair straighteners lock in moisture, they are also great for dry hair.

Wet to Dry Flat Iron

wet to dry types of flat iron

Hair experts usually ask us to avoid straightening hair when it is wet. 

When your strands are wet they are more prone to breakage and damage as their elasticity drops.

But sometimes you can’t spend a lot of time first using a hair dryer to dry your tresses and then straightening them.

Also, if you’re using hot air to dry your hair and then applying heat again, it causes double the damage. 

To avoid these problems you can invest in a wet-to-dry flat iron that dries your while it is straightening it.

These irons usually have a inbuilt air dispenser that helps remove water droplets from the strands while using high temperatures to straighten the texture. 

Wet to dry types of flat irons are usually more expensive than the regular ceramic tourmaline or ionic variety. 

Related: Check out the best wet to dry hair straighteners to cut down styling time!

Professional Flat Iron

professional flat irons

As the name suggests, professional flat irons are those used by hair stylists and experts at a salon.

These hair straightening devices are of the highest quality and are very durable.

They come with a variety of features including built-in temperature settings for a specific look, cool shot buttons for setting hair, infrared technology, and so much more.

But as these flat irons do so much, they are obviously very pricey. 

Some of the examples of the top professional flat irons are GHD hair straightener, Karmin G3 Salon Professional Ceramic Flat Iron, Dyson Hair Straightening Iron, among others.

FAQs – Types Of Flat Iron

ceramic vs titanium flat iron

Is a ceramic or titanium flat iron better?

The truth is neither ceramic or titanium flat irons are inherently better than the other. It all depends on your hair texture and needs.
Ceramic flat irons retain a large amount of heat so your hair doesn’t get heated up that much.
This is a good choice if you’re hair is thin, easily straightened, or prone to damage. 
Titanium flat irons transfer a lot of heat to your tresses. So you should opt for them if you have thick hair or very curly hair which would need a lot of heat to get straightened.  

What is the least damaging flat iron?

The least damaging flat irons are the ones with ceramic tourmaline plates and infrared technology.
Ceramic absorbs heat and prevents hot pockets from forming. It helps conduct heat to your hair evenly. Tourmaline helps produce negative ions that reduce frizzy hair. 
Infrared technology is a fairly recent technology. It helps heat hair evenly preventing heat damage to thin or brittle strands. 

What is the best type of flat iron for natural, black hair?

The best type of flat iron for natural black hair is one with titanium plates. These conduct heat faster and bring your type 4c hair the temperatures required to change its texture.  
However, natural black hair can be coarse and brittle as well. So you should select a flat iron with ionic technology that smoothens frizz by reducing static electricity on strands.
It’s also best if the flat iron has multiple heat settings so you can gently bring your curls to high temperatures instead of subjecting them to high heat instantaneously. 

What is the best flat iron for thick hair?

Just like naturally curly hair, thick hair also needs larger amounts of heat to change textures. So the best flat iron for thick hair is one with titanium plates that can reach high temperatures.
A lot of women have the misconception that wider flat irons are good for thick hair but this isn’t necessarily true.
Thick hair can manage just fine with thin hair straighteners with smaller plate sizes.
However,  if your hair is thin and fine, you should go for wider plate sizes as this covers more area at one go.
So you don’t have to go over sections of hair multiple times. This prevents thin hair from getting damaged.  

What is the safest heat setting for a flat iron?

If you’re straightening straight, fine hair the safest heat setting to use is between 300-350 degrees F. 
But if you’re using a flat iron on coarse, curly, or Afro hair the optimal temperature is between 350-400F. 

If you know what are the different types of flat irons you can select the one best for your hair type.

I always recommended checking the material of the plate before buying a hair straightening iron. 

You can choose ceramic flat irons for damaged or fine hair or titanium ones for thicker, curly hair.

Similarly, if you want to reduce your styling time you can choose wet-to-dry flat irons or choose ionic irons for reducing frizz.

By learning about the different categories of flat irons, you can make an intelligent and informed choice and protect your hair from damage. 

Also Read:

How to choose hair straightener

Best oil for hair straightening

How to curl hair with flat iron



Mira is committed to bringing you the latest popular hairstyles, hair care tips, and hair-related products. You can check more of her work on besthairlooks to find fashion inspiration, product reviews, tutorials and more!

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