Flat Iron : What is it?
Flat irons, also called hair irons, use heat and pressure to straighten curly hair. They consist of a tong-like body with ceramic or metal plates on the inner sides, which are heated and pressed onto the hair. Unlike chemical relaxers and straighteners, their effects are usually temporary and last only a few hours.
Most flat irons can only be used on dry hair, because moisture can reduce the temperature and damage the plates. They usually have temperature controls to prevent overheating and splitting hair strands. Some models have built-in vents that blow hot air onto the hair, functioning as an iron and blow dryer simultaneously.
Kinds of Flat Irons include the following:
- Ceramic irons have smoother heating plates, which reduces friction and prevents damage to the hair strand.
- They also allow more even application and work best with long hair.
- They have faster heating and cooling times than metal plates. Some models can heat up to 210 degrees within one minute.
- Metal irons have steel plates with tiny ridges on the surface, which may cause small snags and thin out the hair with frequent use.
- They are usually cheaper than ceramic irons, but tend to consume more energy when heating up.
- They are ideal for occasional use and for users with healthy and undamaged hair.
|Temperature controls: Choose a flat iron with adjustable temperatures to help you find a safe heat level for your hair type. Look for one with a low, medium, and high heat setting, or a digital display for monitoring exact temperatures. |
Plate width: Choose a flat iron with a wide plate so that you can work more strands in a single press. Two-inch plates usually work well for long hair, while narrower plates are ideal for short hair and finer strands.
Safety features: Choose a flat iron with a safety plug. This will allow you to quickly turn the iron off if it gets too hot. Also look for one with overheat protection and surge protection to protect against power surges.
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