Flat Irons: Picking The Perfect Straightening Plates

There are so many flat irons out there these days that it's hard to figure out what to choose. But regardless of how much you're willing to spend, your straightening experience will largely be shaped by the plates.

Here's a break-down of today's plate technologies.

CERAMIC
Ceramic plates contain a crystal coating that produces a negative charge to seal the cuticle and ensure even heat distribution for maximum shine. Ceramic keeps the iron from sticking to your hair, but pure ceramic itself wouldn't do anything to the hair, which is why many irons are infused with another metal.

TOURMALINE
Like ceramic plates, tourmaline, a precious mineral, generates negative ions that seal the cuticle to lock in moisture and eliminate frizz.

TITANIUM
Titanium is an incredibly durable metal that offers an exceptional level of heat conductivity so you can style your hair more quickly.

NANO
This refers to the tiny particles-mainly ceramic, tourmaline and titanium-that are infused into the plates, which kill bacteria that linger on hair.

In addition to the technology, it's also important to consider plate size. If your hair is shoulder length or longer, choose an iron with plates wider than the standard one inch. This is also true for fine hair of any length or if your hair is chemically straightened.