Types of Flat Irons – Based on Plate Materials and Technology used

It’s essential to have a flat iron if you seek smooth, shiny, flawlessly straight tresses. But what’s more important is to have the correct type of flat iron.

If you’ve ever searched for flat irons, you might have noticed that the market is flooded with a variety of different types of flat irons from several brands. And each of them claims to be selling the best flat iron for your hair.

But is that true?

Despite looking similar, not all flat irons may suit your hair type. For example, some flat irons are perfect for thick, curly hair, while some are for thin, fragile hair.

That’s why it’s crucial to understand the types of flat irons in the market before you purchase one.

Straightening irons significantly differ from one another based on their plate’s material or the technology used to build them. Based on these two factors, we find various hair straighteners like Tourmaline, Titanium, Ceramic, Infrared, Steam, Vibrating, etc.

Each of these straighteners has its purpose. And in this article, we will give you a deeper insight into all of them. 

Types of Flat Iron Based on Plates

Based on the plate material of hair straighteners, they are classified into Titanium, Tourmaline, Ceramic, or Ionic flat irons. You may find straightening irons with only one type of plate material or a mixture of any two of these materials. Here’s what you need to know about each type of plate material.

Titanium Flat Iron

Titanium is a light, durable metal. It is a great conductor of heat which is why it’s widely used in flat irons.

Titanium straighteners heat up very quickly, and the heat distribution across the plates is even. They also generate negative ions to neutralize the positive ions in your hair and eliminate frizz.

Titanium hair straighteners are best for those with thick, coarse hair. They work quickly to get such hair straight instantly! So, you don’t have to wait for long.

Also, due to the temperature control feature in flat irons, you can even use Titanium straighteners for styling thin, damaged hair without any worries!

However, it’s worth noting that Titanium flat irons might cost you a little more money than others in the market. And if you are a beginner, you better be careful while handling such straighteners. They reach high temperatures in no time!

Tourmaline Flat Iron

If you are tired of frizzy hair, tourmaline flat irons are the best option to pick. Like Titanium flat irons, Tourmaline also releases negative ions. These ions get rid of frizz from the hair and lock the moisture in it, making it look healthier and shinier.

Further, these irons straighten the hair using less heat. So the chances of hair damage are significantly reduced.

The heat distribution in tourmaline straighteners is even, and it takes only a few seconds to get your strands straight.

Nevertheless, you cannot find straightening irons with only Tourmaline plates. That’s because Tourmaline is a semi-precious gemstone. Hence, it’s often mixed with Titanium or Ceramic plates. That also means that you get the benefit of both materials in one tool.

Ceramic Flat Iron

Ceramic flat irons are the most commonly found flat irons in the market. They are economical, beginner-friendly, and suit almost every hair type.

With ceramic plates, you don’t have to worry about your hair being pulled or snagged while straightening. That’s because such straighteners have smooth plates that effortlessly glide through the strands. 

The heat is evenly distributed across the plates for perfectly straight hair. Plus, Ceramic generates negative ions to keep the hair frizz-free and shiny.

And best of all! Ceramic straighteners don’t reach up to high temperatures as quickly as Titanium. So, even if you are a newbie, you can handle a ceramic straightener effortlessly.

Also, you get control over the temperature settings. That means you can set the straightener to the temperature that suits your hair best and style confidently.

That said, Ceramic hair straighteners are an excellent choice for girls with thin, fragile hair.

Ionic Flat Iron

Ionic flat irons, as the name suggests, are those that generate negative ions while styling.

But what’s the use of these ions?

Our hair releases positive ions, which makes the hair frizzy and static. These positive ions also make the hair prone to breakage. Take a look at bio ionic flat iron.

When the straightener produces negative ions, the positive ions in our hair are neutralized and the moisture is locked in the hair. And as a result, the hair becomes frizz-free, healthy, and shiny.

Ionic flat irons are a fantastic choice for those who have coarse, curly, frizzy hair. You can even use these flat irons on delicate hair, but only at low temperatures. Otherwise, you’ll end up frying your hair.

Types of Flat Iron Based on Technology

The technology used in manufacturing flat irons also differs. For instance, some flat irons have vibrating technology while others produce steam. Below are the different types of hair straighteners based on technology. 

Wet to Dry Flat Iron

With wet to dry flat irons, you can straighten wet or damp hair. They have a venting system that dries and straightens the hair at the same time.

Such straighteners are best for those who are always in a hurry. Also, if you’ve got long, thick hair that takes a long time to dry, you can use a wet to dry straightener.

However, you should not use such straighteners more often. That’s because, in the long run, they’ll cause a lot of damage to your hair.

In a nutshell, wet to dry hair straighteners are an excellent replacement for hairdryers. You can straighten damp hair with these straighteners quickly. But you should remember that flat ironing damp hair is not recommended.

Infrared Straighteners

Infrared straighteners are incredibly gentle on the hair. They use less heat than regular flat irons and penetrate the hair evenly and deeply. Eventually, your hair gets straighten quickly, and the damage is minimized.

Besides, infrared hair straighteners generate negative ions and lock the moisture in your hair. So, all you get is frizz-free, healthy, straight locks.

If you have dry, damaged, color-treated, or frizzy hair, you should go for an infrared straightener.

Vibrating Straighteners

Vibrating straighteners use innovative vibration technology to straighten the hair. These straighteners are gentler on the hair and glide through the hair strands effortlessly.

Vibrating flat irons, as the name speaks, vibrate while straightening the hair. They shake out the stubborn curls and knots from your hair, giving you a smoother, shinier, pin-straight hair look. In addition, the oscillations tighten the cuticles to make them look smoother and shinier.

On top of that, they work much faster than regular flat irons. In most cases, the styling time is even reduced by half.

That said, vibrating flat irons are most suitable for those who style their hair frequently.

Flat Iron With Teeth or Comb

You should use a flat iron with comb if you have thick, curly, unruly hair. Such flat irons have built-in teeth around one side or both sides of the plates. And though they look weird, they are actually of great help to those with unmanageable hair.

The primary purpose of the attached comb is to keep the hair tangle-free while straightening. Also, it distributes the hair evenly, so you get perfectly straight locks.

Further, you can detach the comb attachment, as most straighteners have a detachable comb.

Nevertheless, apart from the built-in comb, these straighteners work similar to traditional flat irons and offer the same functionalities.

Steam Straighteners

Steam straighteners are hair straighteners that release steam while straightening the hair. They are ideal for those who have damaged or dry hair.

Such straighteners have a built-in hydration system that consists of a water tank and steaming vents.

When you style your hair with a steam straightening iron, it sprays water onto the hair and uses that moisture to straighten your hair. This way, the moisture in your hair is preserved, and as a result, you get shinier, healthier, straight locks.

However, the disadvantage of such straighteners is that you’ll need to fill up the water tank manually before every use (and sometimes even between the styling session.)


What type of flat iron is best?

The type of flat iron best for your hair depends on your hair’s texture and expertise. For instance, if you are a beginner with thin, delicate hair, you’d better want to stick to a normal ceramic hair straightener. Alternatively, for thick, curly hair, you can go for a Titanium flat iron.

What type of flat iron is least damaging?

Ceramic straightening irons are the best for straightening the hair. They suit most hair types and minimize heat damage up to a greater extent. Especially with a Ceramic-Tourmaline straightener, you can get stunning, healthy, straight locks quickly, without burning your hair.

What is the best type of flat iron to use?

The best type of hair straightener to use on your hair is one that suits your hair’s texture. You should carefully pick a straightener that is gentle on your hair and can straighten your hair without frying the hair. For example, if you have dry or damaged hair, you should go for steam straighteners. They’ll keep your hair moisturized and maintain its glossy look.

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