When looking for the best flat iron for natural hair, we often wonder just which features are best. If you’re anything like me, you see those great hairstyles on Pinterest and wonder how to achieve that look, and then find out that you need a great flat iron. Some of us use loads of chemicals to get the look we want, while others find it much easier to go for a natural look. Either way, we want to be ready to rock the world and rock our hairstyles, too. To do that, we need the best flat iron for natural hair. Here is what to look for.
Features of the Best Flat Iron for Natural Hair
So, what should we look for when selecting a flat iron? The best flat iron for natural hair is the one that will get the maximum results for our particular hair type. Do you have coarse hair, or does it have a fine texture? Perhaps you are dealing with thinning hair, and want to protect it as much as possible. Other people have very thick hair, and need help controlling it. Whatever type of hair you have, the best flat iron for natural hair will be the one that will best style your hair without damaging it.
The best flat iron for coarse hair is one that will reach higher temperatures. Naturally coarse, tight hair can be straightened without being cooked to death, but it takes the right flat iron. When we use a flat iron, our hair is already dry. A flat iron makes it drier by stripping the remaining moisture out of it. You’ll find that using a leave-in conditioner will help your flat iron do a better job, and your hair will be protected from the higher temperatures. Most women find that ceramic plates work better with coarse hair. Your flat iron should be set between 350 and 400 degrees. Titanium can be a little too harsh for coarse hair, since you’re using such high temperatures. The ceramic plates
If you have fine hair, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have thin hair. Your hair strands are thinner but there are usually more strands per square inch. Fine hair is usually more fragile, and it can be hard to find the best flat iron for fine hair. The best iron for you will be one that can maintain a steady temperature of around 240 degrees. Higher temperatures, even from blow dryers, can burn fine hair. Titanium plates on your flat iron will evenly distribute heat, and reheat quickly after a pass-through. Ceramic, which is more suitable for thick, coarse hair, will have too many temperature fluctuations to do a consistent job on fine hair.
The best flat iron for natural hair will have a cord long enough to be practical. Many appliances that we buy for the home have absurdly short cords, with the goal of keeping people safe from electrocution. With hair care appliances, though, this can create a real problem. Those short, 3-foot cords make it impossible to reach both sides of your head, and you can forget standing while you style your hair. Look for at least a 6-foot cord, with a 9 foot actually better, especially if you will be styling your daughter’s or friend’s hair.
A swivel cord is ideal on your flat iron. This allows the device to turn with your hand motions. Don’t underestimate the value of this ergonomic feature. Otherwise, you will have a flat iron that doesn’t operate handily, and a cord that gets progressively more tangled.
The plate size of the best flat iron for natural hair will depend on how you want to use the iron. To straighten your hair, you’ll want wider plates. For curling, or controlling curl, you’ll want narrower plates. One inch plates are great for straightening, while one-half inch or smaller is better for curling.
The BaBylissPRO flat iron has titanium plates. Titanium conducts heat evenly without damaging hair. It is 3.5 inches wide, giving you a wider styling surface. It uses ionic technology to protect the hair and reduce frizzing. The housing, however, is made of rayon. This keeps the device from getting too hot to hold. It weighs 1.4 pounds. It averages $135 in price.
Pros of the BaBylissPRO:
- Holds temperatures of 375 to 410 very well, for the duration of your styling time.
- Plates are strong, and do not snag hair.
- Plates are long, allowing you to press larger sections of hair at a time.
- Works perfectly with long, thick, coarse hair.
- Heats up quickly.
- Larger plates make it easier to style.
- Can straighten large chunks of hair for long periods of time.
Cons of the BaBylissPRO:
- The unit turns off randomly, sometimes won’t turn on.
- Have to turn it to the highest setting to get it hot enough.
- Poor quality, got hot in hand.
- Makes clicking sound the whole time it’s on.
- Plate is too wide to get a variety of styles.
Review #2: MHD Professional Flat Iron Hair Straightener
The MHD flat iron is a professional model that is popular with hair stylists. It comes with 2 salon clips. It is a one-inch wide iron, making it useful for waving or curling hair, as well as straightening. It has three heat settings, allowing it to style different types of hair from coarse to fine. The MHD has a sleep mode so that it doesn’t operate at maximum heat when it is not in use, as well as a 30-minute automatic shut-off. It uses negative ion technology to lock in moisture. This model has a floating plate that follows the direction of your styling. It has a nearly 9-foot cord with a swivel to reduce tangling. It also has a lock to close it for easy storage. This model is available for under $70 dollars.
Pros of the MHD Professional Flat Iron Hair Straightener:
- 9-foot cord makes it ideal for styling while standing.
- Automatic shutoff reduces energy use and risk of shorting.
- One inch plates make for variety of styling choices.
- Floating plate allows for smoother movement.
- Swivel cord reduces tangling and makes the iron easier to use.
- Locking mechanism is better than a sheath, which can’t be used until the iron is cool.
- Maintains temperature well enough to style hair.
- Ionic feature adds shine to hair.
- Gets hot quickly.
- Beveled edge, which helps when you want a curl to the styling.
Cons of the MHD Professional Flat Iron Hair Straightener:
- Automatic turn-off is inconvenient.
- Salon clips were flimsy and break
- Doesn’t seem to be up to salon quality.
- Coating wore off of the plates after just a few uses.
Review #3: Infiniti Pro by Conair Ceramic Flat Iron
The Infiniti Pro is produced by Conair. This is a ceramic flat iron that has been infused with Argon oil to protect and condition hair while it is being used. It has 30 heat settings, allowing the user to style several different types of hair. The highest heat setting is 455 degrees, which makes it ideal for working with thick, coarse hair. This is a one-inch flat iron that is designed to produce shiny, soft hair. It gets hot in fifteen seconds, and comes with a .25 ounce bottle of Argan oil. The plates are a little longer than the average flat iron, which means you can press larger chunks of hair. It has a floating plate that makes it easier to flip your hair. The Infiniti Pro also has an automatic off safety feature. This item is available for an average price of $37.
Pros of the Conair Infinity Pro:
- The Argon oil infusion conditions the hair as it is heated up.
- Retains heat for entire styling time.
- Only takes one pass to straighten hair.
- Low setting works very well on fine hair.
- Heats up quickly.
- Hair stays soft and shiny.
- Plates are smooth and long.
Cons of the Conair Infinity Pro:
- There is a gap between the plates when the device is closed, which makes it hard to style fine hair.
- Short lifespan for the product. It works for about a year.
Review #4: SUPRENT Flat Iron
The SUPRENT flat iron is a ceramic flat iron. It gets hot in under a minute. It gets up to 230 degrees. It has an automatic safety shutoff after one hour. It has a 9-foot cord with a swivel attached to the handle. This keeps the cord from twisting and getting tangled. It weighs 1.2 pounds, so it is lightweight and won’t make your arm tired as you use it. This is also a dual voltage device, so it works for the international traveler. It works on long and short hair. The plates are one inch wide, making it easier to style your hair, making it either straight or adding wave to it. It sells for about $20.
Pros of the SUPRENT flat iron:
- SUPRENT has variable temperatures so that you can set the heat you want.
- One inch plates allow you to either straighten or curl your hair.
- The long cord is very handy, and makes it easy to stand and style your own hair or other’s hair.
- The swivel keeps the cord from getting tangled.
- Quickly heats up.
Cons of the SUPRENT flat iron:
- It doesn’t get hot enough for thick, coarse hair.
- The long cord gets tangled.
- There is no information on what kind of plates the SUPRENT has.
Review #5: Vokai Labs Digital Flat Iron
The Vokai flat iron has ceramic plates that will smooth hair without burning it. It is one inch wide, which makes it suitable for both straightening and curling. With 5 adjustable heat settings, you can use it on a wide range of hair types, from fine and thin to coarse and thick. It uses ion technology to penetrate the strands of hair. Moisture is locked into the hair, adding a healthy shine. The cord has a swivel attachment to the handle, so that it doesn’t get tangled. It also has an optional automatic shutoff, so, if you are using it in the salon, it will stay on. But, if you are using it at home, you can turn on the automatic shutoff. It also has rounded edges to make it easier to curl your hair. It costs about $60.
Pros of the Vokai Labs Flat Iron:
- Works well with both fine and coarse hair.
- A swivel hinge keeps the cord from tangling.
- It has ceramic plates.
- The 9-foot cord gives you plenty of room.
- Very lightweight at 7.5 ounces.
Cons of the Vokai Labs Flat Iron:
- Breaks easily.
- Doesn’t work very well on fine hair.
- It does not have a lock.
- It causes more static than other flat irons.
Selecting the best flat iron for natural hair can be overwhelming. Should you get a flat iron with ceramic plates, or titanium? Will a 5-foot cord be long enough, or will you need a 9-foot cord? Of the five flat irons reviewed here, we have selected one that we think is our favorite. The MHD Professional Flat Iron is our pick. While it is listed for around $70, you can find it for $20, which is a terrific bargain. It has the long cord, which is always a good deal. The rounded edges of this iron make it easier to curl your hair, but it straightens hair very well, too. The automatic shutoff is a great feature, and you’ll find it on several of the irons. But the MHD flat iron, with its ionic technology and ability to heat quickly, is our choice. You will find the best features of flat irons in this model