We know, we know, most hair experts say to avoid heat styling like the plague. That’s because it can do some serious damage to your hair. But for many of us, avoiding the heat is not an option. So if you’re going to use a flat iron, here are some tips to help you find the best one for your hair.
“When you use a flat iron on a daily basis, the most important thing to look for when buying a flat iron is make sure it has the right temperature option for your hair type,” says Los Angeles celebrity hairstylist Mika Fowler. If you have fine, thin hair, the ideal temperature is around 350 to 370 degrees. For medium hair, the temperature should be 370 to 390 degrees, and thick, curly hair should be styled with a temperature ranging from 380 to 400 degrees.
And don’t forget to protect your hair with a heat protectant spray. “A heat protectant adds moisture to your hair, preventing the natural moisture to evaporate,” says New York hairstylist Michael Duenas. “It also forms a protective barrier over the cuticle on the hair strand, preventing heat damage and enabling your hair to keep its high shine.” A great one to try is Joico’s Smooth Cure Thermal Styling Protectant ($15) because it keeps your hair smooth and soft, while also protecting it from temperatures up to 450 degrees!
With the basics out of the way, here are a couple of flat irons that we’re crushing on at the moment:
The Solano SleekHeat 450 Flat Iron ($159) uses ionic, tourmaline and far infrared heat technologies to help you get sleek hair, while also keeping it healthy, silky and shiny. It glides easily through your hair without snagging. And you can turn down the temperature as low as 170 degrees (up to 450 degrees), so it’s a great option if you want to style your hair at lower temperatures.
The Sedu Revolution Styling Iron ($160) is perfect if you have long and/or thick hair. It uses tourmaline ionic ceramic plates to straighten and smooth your hair, and has a temperature range of 240 to 450 degrees. This iron easily glides through your hair and seals the hair follicle so it will look even shinier.
A salon favorite, the BaByliss PRO Professional Porcelain Ceramic Straightening Iron ($100) works by generating a negative ionic field that cancels static electricity and smooths out your hair. If you’re looking for a wide iron, this one’s a good pick because it comes in sizes ranging from one inch to two and a half inches. What’s especially useful about this iron is that it’s really flat, so that allows you to get really close to the roots.