Best Flat Iron for Thick Hair In 2018
The constant struggle of taming an unruly mane is only ever made harder the thicker your hair is. The question to ask always remains the same: What is the best flat iron for thick hair? Luckily, we've compiled a list detailing just that. Check out these five products featured below.
What To Look For in a Flat Iron
Many people aren't sure where to start when comparing and contrasting different flat irons. What should you look for? What do professionals use? What do you need to handle thick hair as opposed to other types? As a general rule, a few of the main distinguishing features of flat irons include:
- Plate Size
Choosing a Plate Size
A flat iron's plate is the part that heats up while in use. When choosing which flat iron is right for you, how large or small the plates are is an important choice to make.
Take into account what type of hair you have and how long it is to get the best results. For thicker hair, it's best to have a flat iron with plates at least an inch thick, though it's preferable to have even wider plates depending on the length of your hair.
In short, both longer hair and thicker hair will require wider plates, with some types requiring plates of at least two inches if not more.
At the same time, though, harder to reach hair can be difficult to get to with wider plates. For this reason, those with thick hair may also want to have a smaller flat iron on hand just for straightening those areas if possible. If you don't, though, it's still manageable, it will just take more time and patience to complete your whole head.
Flat Iron Materials
There are many kinds of material flat irons can be made from, but the three most common are titanium, ceramic, and tourmaline. All three have different strengths and weaknesses, such as:
Titanium is one of the most popular materials to be used for flat iron plates, often featured in professional salons. It heats up quickly and retains that heat for long periods of time, making it perfect for thick, course hair. For thinner, more delicate hair, though, it may be too harsh.
Ceramic flat irons take slightly longer to get hot but have good heat retention. Because of the properties of ceramic, it lacks titanium's tendency to heat unevenly.
These "hot spots" can damage hair as well as create frizz, making ceramic flat irons better for thinner, finer hair. A word of caution, however; many flat irons made with ceramic may only be ceramic coated rather than made entirely of ceramic.
Ceramic coated irons are typically lower quality and do not heat as evenly as pure ceramic models.
Tourmaline flat irons are made with a coating of the gemstone tourmaline over ceramic plates.
An amazing heat conductor, tourmaline flat irons can straighten hair at lower heat settings as effectively as normal ceramic or titanium flat irons at higher heat settings.
Because of this feature, it works well with both thick and fine hair types. It also reduces the amount of damage your hair sustains from ironing over time due to the reduced levels of heat needed.
For some additional information on flat irons and some tips and tricks for styling thick hair, check out this video.
Pricing for Different Types of Flat Irons
Different flat irons will, predictably, be sold for different prices. Several factors will influence how much you'll need to pay for your flat iron, including the material it's made from and the manufacturer.
As we covered before, most flat irons are made from either titanium, ceramic, or tourmaline. In general, tourmaline flat irons are the most expensive kind you can buy simply because of how effective they are. C
eramic and titanium models are similar in price, though titanium irons often have a wider price range and more options to explore.
Even so, a large factor in the price you'll pay for a flat iron is down to where you buy from, meaning it's important to shop around and look for the best deals before committing to anything.
In terms of the manufacturer of your flat iron, being willing to spend more is usually a better option than saving a little money.
While there are flat irons you can buy at a drugstore for around $20, they will usually be of lower quality and be less effective than pricier models from a hair salon, online store, or similar venue.
This can be especially important to consider for people with thicker hair, as lower quality flat irons will usually do a worse job of straightening the thicker the hair it works on is, in addition to generally just taking longer to finish.
Temperature Ranges for Flat Irons
Your flat iron's maximum and minimum temperature are important when determining what to buy. Similar to plate size, the thinner or thicker your hair is will determine the maximum amount of heat you'll want to expose it to.
For thicker hair, it's recommended that your flat iron reaches temperatures of at least 400 degrees Fahrenheit, if not higher. Thinner, finer hair will require a minimum below 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
It's important to consider the material of your flat iron, as well, taking into account what we talked about previously relating to the three types of flat irons to get the best results.
The Best Flat Irons for Thick Hair
This list details five of the best flat irons on the market today. We've taken care to include a variety, featuring all three types discussed above and outlining the pros and cons of each selection. To find out which of the five could be best for your hair, keep reading below.
There are many factors to consider when choosing the right flat iron for thick hair. As we covered before, it's important to look at an iron's materials, price, plate size, and temperature range before buying.
A low priced flat iron with a good temperature range but small plate size probably isn't going to get the job done, but a high-priced iron with large plates that only makes it to 300 degrees likely won't be good enough either.
Out of the five flat irons, we previewed here, our pick for the best of the bunch for straightening out thick hair would have to be the Xara 2” InfraRED flat iron.
Its ceramic tourmaline plates provide even heat distribution and come up to a temperature within 90 seconds, saving you time during your morning routine. With a plate width of two inches wide, it should be able to handle even the thickest locks without any issue.
Its use of infrared rays helps keep damage done while ironing to a minimum, and its auto shutoff feature prevents any house fires if accidentally left unattended for too long. Given that many popular retailers sell it for a very fair price, there's no reason not to consider it.
Ultimately, though, research and experimentation are going to be necessary to find the right flat iron for you.
While the Xara InfraRED, as well as every flat iron we looked at in this article, has many good features, personal preferences are going to be the major deciding factor with any purchase.
Find what you like and don't be afraid to look around to ensure you have the best specifics and price for your needs. Whatever you end up choosing, it will hopefully give you the smoothest, silkiest hair imaginable.