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Choosing the Perfect Hair Straightening Iron

Updated on September 17, 2009

Beautiful, Straight Hair.

courtesy of nmv1969 on flickr.
courtesy of nmv1969 on flickr.

Different Types of Flat Irons

There are a few different types of flat irons that you should be aware of. First off, there are the cheaper, drugstore versions. These irons bring to mind the classic "you get what you pay for" line. Usually, they have metal plates and low wattages. They have a tendency to snag your hair, and what's worse, since you have to make so many passes to get your hair straight, you usually end up doing lots of damage to it, caused by heating it so much.

Things You Should Be Looking For

Your hair curls because of hydrogen bonds in its cortex.  These bonds clump together and make your hair twist and kink into random shapes at the molecular level which in turn makes it appear curly at a distance.  The best way to break these bonds is with heat.  The type of heat you're looking for would depend on your hair, generally as low as possible to avoid damage over time, but more importantly, consistent heat is what we're looking for here.  Also, some people will have hair that requires much higher amounts of heat than others.  Another factor to consider is the quality of the iron.  Low quality irons will usually have plates that crumble over a short amount of time.  The major problem with this, aside from uneven heat, is that your hair will get stuck in the cracks and rip out.  That doesn't sound like fun for anybody!  So, overall, you should be looking for an iron that distributes heat evenly, and quality plates, and can get very hot when needed.

A CHI Ceramic Flat Iron

One of the most popular ceramics is made by CHI
One of the most popular ceramics is made by CHI

The Best are Ceramic Flat Irons!

Ceramic flat irons satisfy all of these requirements:

  1. They are able to reach very high heat levels in seconds!
  2. They have high quality plates, that last forever and do not crack!
  3. The surface of the plates is very smooth, and won't catch your hair!
  4. The heat generated is distributed very evenly through the ceramic plates!

They may be a little more expensive, but as said before, "You get what you pay for!"

Straightening your hair with a ceramic iron even takes less time and is more efficient, and less damaging to your hair.  Also, if you think about it, a professional straightening is VERY expensive! Even though ceramics aren't cheap, they are justifiable since they cost about as much as 1 or 2 pro straightenings, and will give you professional results at home.  Ask any hair stylist, and they'll tell you that ceramic is a must!

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