The Famous Five...
◊ KQC X-Heat Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron
◊ Corioliss C3 Gold Leopard Straightening Iron
◊ ghd RICH RUBY GIFT SET
◊ CHI Ceramic Flat Iron
◊ Sedu Revolution Tourmaline Ionic Styling Iron
Hair straighteners, also known as flat irons, are used to straighten, curl, and give a wavy look to the hair. It consists of two plates that are heated to a specific temperature to smoothen the hair. When the appropriate amount of heat is generated, and the required pressure is exerted, the straightener flattens kinky hair.
The Different Plates...
The main heating element of a hair straightener is the plate. The plates are generally made of glass, metal, ceramic, titanium, etc. The latest addition to this lot is the use of silver technology.
⇒ Glass/Metal Plates: The earlier versions of straighteners used glass or metal plates. These are painted to get a uniform finish. However, the biggest disadvantage of these plates is that they heat very slowly and unevenly. This creates hot spots on the surface of the plate, which causes serious damage to hair. The paint also tends to chip or peel off when heated, thus tearing the hair and leaving it damaged. However, these are the cheapest variety in the market.
⇒ Ceramic Plates: These are the most commonly used hair straighteners. The ceramic ones heat faster than the glass or metal ones. The heating is uniform all over the plate, thus, there are no hot spots created. These plates not only smoothen the hair but also retain its shine. Nowadays, there are straighteners that combine infrared technology with ceramic plates. Such type of plates emit negative ions when heated, which lock the natural oil and moisture in the hair, leaving it shinier and healthier!
⇒ Tourmaline Plates: Tourmaline is a semi-precious stone that mainly contains aluminum, iron, and magnesium. The stone is smooth in nature, and when used in straighteners, the plates are uniformly heated. This adds extra shine to the hair and also leaves it healthier. Due to the smoothness of the plate, and no hot spot creation, there is lesser hair breakage and frizz. Tourmaline seals the natural oil and moisture in the hair by locking the cuticles of the hair shafts.
⇒ Titanium Plates: Being a lightweight, strong, and corrosion-resistant chemical element, titanium plates are a good choice for hair straighteners. Like ceramic plates, titanium plates also heat evenly and rather quickly. Thus, there are no damaged spots developed that can harm the hair, leaving the hair shinier and frizz-free. The advantage of these types of plates is the durability factor. These last longer than the others. The natural properties of the hair are not lost, thanks to the generation of infrared.
⇒ Silver Technology: Also known as nano-silver technology, the straighteners which use this technology are a good buy. Silver has an antibacterial property that has the ability to kill germs on contact. Thus, when silver plates are used, the health of the scalp is improved, and the hair also becomes germ-free. Also, these straighteners heat evenly, leaving no hot spots, and thus giving healthier, shinier, germ-free hair. Due to the emission of negative ions, the hair is frizz-free, and thus, more manageable.
A Few Tips...
Hair straightening can be a nightmare if the proper method is not followed. Here are a few tips that can help make your straightening experience a pleasant one.
☛ Use a straightener only on dry hair. This will help retain the moisture in your hair, and make it easier for styling. Using straighteners on wet hair is not advisable.
☛ Never go till the tips. The tips are the most fragile part of the hair and tend to break with the slightest damage. Thus, take utmost care and don't straighten the tips.
☛ Use a hair protector before styling your hair. It won't eliminate the damage caused due to the usage of a straightener, but it will surely reduce it.
☛ Don't be in a hurry while styling. The slower you use the straightener, the faster will the hair straighten.
☛ Don't use the styler twice at the same spot. Using the straightener at the same place many times will only add extra heat to the hair, making it vulnerable to breaking.
☛ Maintain a steady temperature and avoid heating over 180° C.
☛ The size of the straightener also matters. If you have short hair, then using a straightener which has a plate width about 1.5" is advisable. In case you have long hair, then the 2" - 3" wide plates would be better off.
☛ Don't try to exert more force with styling. This will only leave you with a sore arm. Go slow and exert bearable pressure while straightening.
☛ Lastly, the cost does matter. Choose a suitable straightener that fits well in your budget.
The most common features found in advanced hair straighteners are temperature control, timer setting, quick heat-up, besides many others. With so many products available at your disposal, you are surely going to be spoiled for choice.