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Flat Iron Buying Guide

Everything you need to know to find the best tool.

Buying Guide: Finding The Right Flat Iron

The difference between a poor quality flat iron and one that's Folica-approved will literally make or break your hair. You wear your hair every day; it's worth investing in a good iron!

Professional flat irons like the Sedu Revolution Tourmaline Ionic Styling Iron 1 feature the most sophisticated technologies and provide the best styling. They maintain higher, more consistent temperatures, usually offer temperature controls, have higher-quality plates and deliver salon-like results (that's why they're used in salons!).

When choosing a flat iron, it's important to consider your hair type and length. A flat iron like the BaByliss PRO Nano Titanium 1 1/4" Straightening Iron is great for straightening coarse, thick hair because the titanium provides intense heat for hard to straighten hair. A flat iron with ceramic plates like the Solia Tourmaline Ceramic Ion Flat Iron flat iron provides gentler, infrared heat which is better for fine hair. The following chart will help you determine which plate size, temperature and materials are best suited for you.

  Thick, Coarse, Curly Normal, Medium, Wavy Thin, Fine
  Above shoulders 1 - 1½" Above shoulders 1/2 - 1¼"  
PLATE SIZE Shoulder Length 1 - 2" Shoulder Length 1 - 1½" Any
  Below Shoulders 1½ - 2" Below Shoulders 1¼ - 2"  
TEMPERATURE 380° - 410° 360° - 380° Below 360°
PLATE MATERIAL Ceramic, Titanium,
Tourmaline
Ceramic, Titanium,
Tourmaline
Ceramic, Titanium,
Tourmaline
TOP PICKS

The Right Iron for your Hair Type

Before & After

Coarse or Curly

Your hair is thick, full of texture and can be wiry, unruly or quick to tangle. A professional flat iron is a must for straightening thick or curly hair because you can handle (and need) the high temperatures and advanced technology to flatten without damage. Try these:

Above Shoulders

HAI Convertable Ceramic Flat Iron » Solia Tourmaline Ceramic Ion Flat Iron 1 1/4" »

Shoulder Length

Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Flat Iron » Sedu Revolution Tourmaline Ionic Styling Iron 1" »

Below Shoulders

BaByliss PRO Nano Titanium 1 1/4" Straightening Iron » Croc 2 Infrared Flat Iron 1" »

Normal, Medium Thickness or Wavy

We know there's really no such thing as "normal" hair. By the term, we simply mean hair that's middle-of-the-road: medium-thickness, not overly dry or oily and doesn't break easily. It tends to be straight to wavy with some body, and easily adapts to different styles.
Try these:

Above Shoulders

Croc GreenIon Flat Iron » HAI eLite Nano XT 1" Flat Iron »

Shoulder Length

GHD Classic Styler Ceramic Hair Straightener »

Below Shoulders

T3 Singlepass Styling Iron » Sedu Pro Ionic Ceramic Tourmaline Flat Iron 1 1/2" »

Thin, Fine, or Naturally Straight Hair

Thin, fine and naturally straight hair can be styled with just about any flat iron. Choosing a flat iron with temperature control is important for fine or straight hair in particular. The finer your hair, the cooler your tool temperature should be. Experts suggest starting as low as possible (somewhere around 180°F) and working your way up if necessary. If you notice frizz, dry ends or breakage, the iron may be too hot. (Use the chart above for guidance.)
Try these:

Any Length

H2pro Ceramic Flat Iron » Cricket Centrix Ceramic Flat Iron 1" »

Plate Technology

Flat out confused by the lingo?
Here's a quick reference glossary of plate types and technology terms.

TECHNOLOGY DESCRIPTION RECOMMENDED IRONS
Ceramic Ceramic produces negative ions, diffuses heat and seals the hair cuticle for shiny, frizz-free locks.
Ionic From Chem 101, when positive and negative ions collide, the results are neutral (which, in hair terms, is a good thing). Dry, damaged hair carries a positive ionic charge that prevents it from looking its healthiest. An ionic flat iron creates negative ions to neutralize your charged strands for shiny, smooth results.
Infrared This gentle heating method penetrates the hair shaft without causing damage. It helps balance ions and maintains temperature consistency to deliver smoother, frizz-free results.
Nano An advanced smoothing and styling technology infused into flat iron plates. Typically, Nano works with another technology such as Nano Silver or Nano Titanium.
Silver This technology eliminates bacteria on the iron plates and your hair, creating a germ-free environment with every use.
Titanium An innovative technology that straightens hair quickly, maintaining consistent heat levels to prevent hair damage.
Tourmaline A semi-precious gemstone that produces six times more negative ions than ceramic. It's often infused into ceramic plates to produce even straighter, shinier results.

How To: Styling with your Flat Iron

Flat irons are great for creating hair that's smooth and straight, but they're also versatile styling tools that you can use to make waves, flips and curls. Consider your styling goals when you choose your iron and then follow these handy How-Tos for successful hairdo-ing.


Other

Keratin Treatments

Liquid keratin treatments are applied and maintained with high-temp flat irons up to 450°F to seal the keratin into the hair shaft. When heat is applied, Keratin proteins and peptides penetrate strands creating silky, smooth hair without frizz. Keratin treatments make hair much easier to flat iron.

Read more about keratin treatments in our Keratin Guide.

Shop Keratin Products and Treatments »

On-The-Go

International Travel

Many flat irons are designed to work within a specific country and they can't handle voltage converters... they may actually self-destruct! If you live in North America, stick with a flat iron that features 110/220 V. (If you're a traveler, make sure to buy a flat iron designed to work at your destination.

Shop Mini and Travel Flat Irons » Shop Dual Voltage Tools »

Professional Portability

There are great pocket-size flat irons that deliver the results of a full-sized flat iron but are small enough to carry in your purse or gym bag. (Touchup before you go out!)


Extras

Accessories

Heat Proof Mats & Pouches are handy accessories that protect countertops and other surfaces from heat damage.

Flat Iron Holders are great accessories for protecting your counter top from heat damage or scratches. They're heat resistant and can even be used to keep your flat iron (or curling iron) at hand while you're styling. Most can be mounted on the wall to save space.


Product Warranties

Folica stands behind every product we sell and we honor all manufacturers' warranties. For more information, visit Returns, Exchanges & Warranty Replacements.


Reviews

Sedu Pro Ionic Ceramic Tourmaline Flat Iron

Best Hair Straighter

Tracy

I have tried just about every hair straightener out there. The Sedu is, by far the best. It glides through my hair and straightens or curls in one smoother motion without pulling. I leaves my hair silky and shiny without damage. It has enabled me to wear more hairstyles that I ever could before. I don't know how I went so long without it. I highly recommend it for any hair type. 

 

GHD Classic Styler Ceramic Hair Straightener

An Amazing Investment

Kristin

My friends tease me that I should be a spokesperson for GHD. It is by far the most amazing hair straightener I have ever used. I've had mine for about 3 years and it still straightens as good today as it did when I first bought it. My hair is very thick and wavy and it straightens wonderfully. Not to mention it makes my hair very shiny! I get comments from hair dressers that my hair is healthy, They can't believe I straighten it so often. The GHD straightener is amazing and I would recommend it to anyone. 

 

Solano Sleek Heat 450 Flat Iron 1¼"

The Best Straightener

Mary Helen

I have been using the Solano 450 for 6 months and it is the best straightener I have ever used. I have curly, thick hair and when I want to wear it straight it does the job and holds all day - even in our extreme humidity. It's great not having to check the weather to decide how I want to style my hair! 

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