Best Flat Iron For Natural Hair (Black Hair)

True beauty comes from diversity and with hair, it’s no different. Natural hair care is a controversial topic and I wanted to find out more to help my readers. Here are some tips on how to pick the best flat iron for afro-textured hair.


What Is The Natural Hair Movement?

It’s becoming more common each day to see women rocking their hair on its own coiled or curly state. This trend began in the 2000s and keeps gaining followers ever since. The idea behind the natural hair movement is to wear your hair naturally and forego harsh chemical straightening.


Nappy girls - as they are known - can still wear their hair straight. But instead of strong relaxers that cause scalp issues such as burns and patches, less drastic alternatives like a quality flat iron is preferred.


Different Hair Types

Human hair comes in many textures and thickness. It’s the follicle’s shape and size that determines what your mane looks like.


Categorizing tresses according to its individual characteristics is something that helps when picking out the correct products and tools. Straight hair is classified as type 1, wavy as type 2and curly as type 3.


Natural or coiled strands are known as type 4 but have its own subcategories:


4a typically has an “S” shape, defined curl. The strands are often very fine and quite fragile since the cuticles have fewer layers. This means it is prone to damage from heat tools and chemical formulas. However, due to the shaft’s structure, it holds onto moisture better than types 4b and 4c.



4b hair can be fine to coarse. Yet, this kind has a “Z” shape, less defined swirl. The result is a fluffier look than the 4a. Due to the fibers’ bends, this type struggles to retain moisture. Another characteristic from the group is shrinkage. Hair can look up to 75% shorter when it isn’t straightened.



4c is comparable to 4b but it’s even more coiled. There is no defined curl pattern and it ranges from fine to coarse. This type also shrinks considerably when in its raw state. As strands are tightly looped, sebum can’t travel down the shaft.


The 4c hair variety can get very dry, so it’s important to use products which contain oils and butters. This helps it achieve definition and feel less rough.



What If I Want To Straighten My Natural Black Hair?

Just because you’re ready to sport your hair in its own natural glory, it doesn’t mean you can’t straighten it. It’s possible to achieve silky locks without chemical products or heat damage.


Hair straightening can be a great idea if you want your natural locks to look longer and shiny. If you’re in doubt, ask a friend or hairstylist to analyze if your strands have a defined curl or not. Keep in mind that it isn’t unusual for a person to have more than one hair type.


No matter how kinky your mane is, you can still achieve straight and smooth tresses that mimic type 1 locks. But make sure you pick the best flat iron for your natural hair. (NaturallyCurly)


What Do I Need To Straighten My Hair?

The first step is to make sure your hair is dry. When wet, hair is at its most delicate state. This happens because water breaks down the natural hydrogen bonds in your strands. The bond’s role is to link the keratin chains, so without them, your strands will be much more prone to damage. (HairBoutique)


That’s why you should always be careful when detangling wet hair. The best way to loosen up any knots is with a wide tooth comb or with a special detangling brush. This makes brushing a breeze and pain-free.


Before you move on to styling, always apply a heat protectant. I prefer products with argan oil in the formula as it leaves hair shiny and frizz free. Recently, I tried the HSI Thermal Protector and loved how smooth my hair felt.


If you’re a bit clumsy like I am, it can be worth investing in an anti-burn glove. It might sound silly, but it helps you work with safety and makes straightening much easier. I haven’t suffered a burn since - a total miracle!


The Best Flat Iron For Each Hair Type

There are three options when it comes to flat irons: ceramic, tourmaline and titanium. Each one of these has a different plate material that works better on specific hair types. Here is the breakdown:


Ceramic is popular since it is a quite affordable choice. The coating helps the temperature to be distributed evenly. Make sure you buy it from a reputable brand, otherwise the plate may wear off after the first uses. This type is ideal for people with fine, straight to wavy hair.



Tourmaline flat irons are a newer invention on the market. The material emits more negative ions than its counterparts. The negative ions balance out the positive ions found in dry hair. As a result, your locks will be frizz-free. This one is especially recommended for those with fine but tightly coiled strands.



Titanium is the quickest to straighten hair out of the three. That’s because it has the fastest heat transfer for immediate straightening results. The component will also add sheen to natural hair. Titanium based flat irons are a good choice for those with thick, coarse hair. (Folica)



Top 5 Flat Irons For Natural Hair

It can be tricky to straighten hair without damage. But with technology evolving, there are a lot of great choices out there. Here are the top flat irons for ladies with natural hair.

This flat iron has interesting features such as 100% ceramic and tourmaline plates and adjustable temperatures that can go up to 450F. I also love the fact that it’s dual voltage, perfect to take on trips.


Since this product combines both ceramic as well as tourmaline, one can expect heat that is evenly distributed as well as a reduction in annoying frizz. The folks at HSI also prioritize safety. The box comes with an anti-burn glove and the flat iron has automatic turn-off.


Another great thing about this tool is that its round edges allow for a lot of styling versatility. One day you can use it to straighten your hair and another to create sexy beach waves.


This product could be a good pick for ladies with fine hair, regardless if their strands are wavy or coiled.

What I Like

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    Automatic turn-off function
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    Adjustable temperature and voltage
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    Doesn’t snag hair
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    Heats up fast
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    LCD screen
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    Leaves hair smooth and silky

What I don't Like

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    Works better on fine hair

GHD is one of the best-known brands for styling tools. Their gold professional flat iron comes in a sleek and super light design. This is especially useful if you have long hair that takes a while to be straightened.


The plate’s material is ceramic, so it glides on smooth and makes sure each strand receives heat accordingly. The 2-inch plates also help you save time.

Another bonus addition is the turn-off after 30 minutes of inactivity feature. And as always, dual voltage is perfect for those who are always on the go.


If you are looking for a tool that straightens hair fast and is easy to carry, then it’s worth checking this one out.

What I Like

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    Light design
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    Automatic turn-off function
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    Leaves hair shiny
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    Heats up in seconds
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    Great for travel

What I don't Like

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    No temperature control

This flat iron combines the best of both worlds: ceramic and tourmaline plates. Another interesting characteristic is the cold conditioning steam system as it provides moisture to parched hair. The result is a very pretty sheen added to your hairdo.


I love the fact that I can adjust the temperature according to the user. Sometimes I style my friend’s hair so it’s nice to be able to switch around for best results. The removable water tank makes refilling simple.


This product also has the automatic turn-off after 60 minutes so you don’t have to worry if you run out the door. I would recommend this produc

What I Like

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    Automatic turn-off function
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    Cold conditioning steam system
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    Removable water tank
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    Leaves hair glossy and hydrated
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    Temperature control

What I don't Like

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    Width might be to narrow for some

This flat iron is made of both ceramic as well as tourmaline. The combination works well since it acts on different fronts: straightening and frizz control. An added bonus that I enjoyed is the added argan oil treatment to smooth out dry tresses.


Another great thing is that the plates are only 1 inch wide so it’s ideal for those with bangs or who would like defined curls from time to time. The temperature can be adjusted from 240F to 400F making it the perfect choice for all hair types.


I would recommend this flat iron for anybody who is after a super sleek look.

What I Like

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    Adjustable temperature
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    Dual voltage
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    Argan oil treatment
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    Perfect width for bangs
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    Straightens quickly
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    Leaves hair very sleek

What I don't Like

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    Clamps are slightly loose
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    Width too narrow for some

This flat iron from Kipozi is lightning fast when it comes to warming up. It only takes 30 seconds since the plates are made of nano-titanium. So if you’re a hair straightening addict who likes your morning sleep, it’s an interesting product to consider.


An added advantage from the titanium is that it requires lower temperatures to straighten out hair.


This means you can achieve the smooth hair with less heat damage.I also like the fact that you can preset the temperature according to your hair type: healthy, damaged/colored, and fragile.

What I Like

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    Heats up quickly
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    Adjustable temperature
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    Automatic turn-off function
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    Straightens with less heat
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    LCD display

What I don't Like

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    Single voltage

Conclusion

Natural black hair has its own set of challenges. Still, it’s possible to look just as gorgeous when rocking an afro or when you want sleek strands.


The important thing to take into consideration is your hair’s needs. Try to squeeze in time once a week to deep-condition and always apply a leave-in product after you shower.


Also, when it comes to straightening your hair, it’s vital to spray on a heat protectant and pick the right flat iron for your hair type. I find the Xtava Time to Shine Steam to be one of the best tools out there for natural hair.


The steam function feels like a luxurious salon treatment. Since modern life is crazy, it’s a nice shortcut when it comes to getting ready. You infuse hair with moisture and straighten it and the same time.

Glossy and hydrated locks? Count me in!


References

http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/kinky-hair-type-4a/4-things-you-must-do-before-transitioning/


http://napturallycurly.com/remedies-for-dry-natural-hair/


http://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/beauty/a60990/natural-hair-care-tips/


http://www.hairboutique.com/blogs_p/index.php/2009/07/06/why-hair-is-weakest-when-wet-tips-to-prevent-damage/


http://www.folica.com/hair-101/buying-guides/flat-iron-guide/