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Best Flat Iron for Curly Hair 2020 – The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

Everybody is entitled to a change of look and hairstyle every once in a while. If you want to straighten your curly hair and look for the best flat iron for curly hair, you landed in the right place.

Featured Image of Best Flat Irons for Curly Hair

This article will talk about the best flat irons to turn your curly hair into silky, straight strands. We will also discuss the different problems you can encounter and how a flat iron can solve them with its features.

Therefore, let’s learn more about curly hair and the best flat irons to straighten them successfully:

A Quick Overview

After some research and interviews, we have chosen the best flat irons for curly hair available in the market. But before going into the detailed description of each, let’s take a glance at our recommended products:

RankProductPicturePrice
1
HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Hair Straightener
Check Price
HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Hair Straightener - Small INS006$$
2
Solano Sleekheat450 Professional Hair Straightener
Check Price
Solano Sleekheat450 Professional Hair Straightener - Small INS006$$$
3
CHI Expert Classic Flat Iron
Check Price
CHI Expert Classic Flat Iron - Small INS006$$
4
Infiniti Pro by Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Hair Straightener
Check Price
Infiniti Pro by Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Hair Straightener - Small INS006$$
5
Bio Ionic Onepass Flat Iron
Check Price
Bio Ionic Onepass Flat Iron - Small INS006$$$

Flat Iron Buying Guide for Curly Hair

What is Curly Hair?

Curly Hair

Curly hair can be defined as hair strands with flatter or oval-shaped follicle that makes hair voluminous and bouncy.

The more oval-shaped the follicle, the curlier your hair.

Curly strands also ensure that your hair locks have more character and definition for a fuller look.

People with such curly hair are born with it, namely due to genetics.

About 85 to 95 percent of people with curls in their hair acquired them hereditably(1). Nevertheless, how does hair become curly?

Hair strands become curly because the building blocks of hair, keratin, and proteins, form disulfide bonds in the hair follicle that bends the hair proteins to make the follicles flatter, oval-shaped, and result in curly hair.

Does Curly Hair Always Mean Thick Hair?

It’s not wise to conclude that curly hair always means thick hair. Namely, fineness, thickness, and coarseness are different textures of hair.

Whereas curly, natural, or straight are hair types.

Furthermore, each hair type can have both textures, which means curly hair can have fine or thick texture depending on the hair structure.

Types of Curly Hair

Curly Hair Types

Even though curly hair itself is a hair type, it also has sub-categories. There are a few sub-categories of curly hair which you need to understand in order to determine your own hair type.

Let’s discuss the different types of curly hair so that you don’t have difficulty finding your own:

How to Straighten Curly Hair?

Straightening your curly hair can be time-consuming if you don’t have the right styling tool. There are several tools and methods to temporarily straighten your curly hair, some of which are:

Even though we have stated a few straightening curly hair methods, the most effective way to straighten your curly locks is using a flat or straightening iron.

With a quality flat iron, you can successfully straighten your curly hair locks quickly and, at the same time, make sure that your hair is not burned due to the styling process.

Nevertheless, keep in mind, even though there are different types of curly hair, flat iron manufacturers do not make straighteners according to the subcategories of curly hair.

Instead, they incorporate features that solve common problems faced by all curly hair people.

How to Choose the Best Flat Iron for Curly Hair?

More often than not, curly hair locks can be painful to manage and style.

Therefore you need to be picky and precise about your requirements when shopping for a straightening iron for your curly hair.

There are a few problems that people with curly hair face while styling their hair daily.

Therefore, we have identified the problems and figured out the best solution using a flat iron to get silky, slender straight hair.

How to Control the Frizziness, Hair Tangle, and Knots of Curly Hair With a Flat Iron?

Frizzy Curly Hair

Problem 

Curly hair is probably the frizziest type of hair you’ll see.

This hair is naturally dry and lacks moisture. The spiral “S” shape of the curls acts as a barrier that impedes the even distribution of natural oils and nourishment(of the scalp) throughout your hair, which results in making them frizzy.

Additionally, one of the biggest concerns of people with curly hair is getting rid of the excessive frizz and flyaways from their hair every time they straighten it.

The heat from the iron can further stripe out the remaining amount of moisture in the hair, making them frizzier.

Problem

Another annoying problem that people with curly hair face while straightening their hair is tangle and knots.

This can get messy as the hair strands cling to one another, making it impossible to brush through the hair, let alone straighten them.

Tangle and knots also happen because of a lack of moisture and nourishment in the hair that roughens up the cuticles (the outside layer).

Thus making hair strands attach, making them difficult to style.

Resolution

The best solution to fight all these problems while straightening curly hair is to use a flat iron that includes a built-in ionic generator.

An ionic generator uses revolutionary ionic technology that releases negative ions to curly hair that saturate the balance between the negative and positive ions of hair.

This balance is essential because it neutralizes the static, frizz-causing situation of your curly hair.

Moreover, the negative ions help lock in hair moisture and flatten the cuticles to reduce frizz and tangle further and make curly hair straight, silky, and smooth.

Hence, ionic technology is a must-have feature for a straightener for curly manes.

Another technology that a flat iron for curly hair must have is infrared emission technology. 

The energy from infrared emissions penetrates each curly hair strand to straighten them from the inside in the shortest amount of time possible.

Furthermore, as you require less time to straighten your curly manes, infrared emissions ensure that your curly locks are less exposed to heat.

Ways to Minimize Breakage and Damage Using a Flat Iron

Curly Hairs Breakage

Problem

Since curly hair lack moisture, they are more prone to damage and breakage. A relatively high amount of heat during your straightening session can burn and break your hair strands from the middle.

Moreover, the snagging from a straightening iron plate can cause further breakage of your curly locks.

Resolution

If you want minimum damage and no hair breakage while you straighten your curly hair, you should buy a straightening iron that has plates made from pure ceramic, ceramic tourmaline, porcelain ceramic, or Nano ceramic.

We are especially emphasizing the ceramic infused materials because the ceramic infusion plates ensure even heating.

The straightener plates are evenly heated with a subtle amount of heat that reaches every nook and cranny of your curls for a perfect straightening result.

Ceramic infused plates also offer a smooth styling surface to eliminate the risk of any snagging and tugging of your curly hair.

How to Deal With Too Much Volume Using a Flat Iron?

Problem

Everybody wants volume in their hair, but people with curly hair, not so much.

That’s because, by nature, curly hair has lots of volume in its roots and body, which makes them voluminous and bouncy, and often unmanageable.

Resolution

Even though there is no single feature that could reduce the excess volume of curly hair, the whole straightening process can scale down the hair volume while making them sleek and straight.

Hence, it’s of the utmost importance that you buy a quality flat iron machine that doesn’t cause any harm to your curly manes while you straighten them.

Suitable Temperature Settings

Flat Iron Temperature Details for Curly Hair

The temperature settings are crucial for curly hair because a relatively low heat cannot straighten curly hair locks precisely.

Whereas there is a chance of burning your hair when you set the temperature too high.

Therefore, hair experts consider that a temperature range between 390° F to 450° F is ideal to use.

Using these heat settings, you can straighten your curly locks flat with minimal chance of causing any heat damage.

Therefore, you should look for a flat iron that has multiple temperature settings.

Moreover, you should also check the temperature controls; experts suggest that an LCD screen with “+” “-“ controls is always favorable for ease of use.

Nevertheless, you can also consider buying a flat iron with a dial, knob, or rheostat control with labeled heat settings so that you can choose the exact temperature you need.

Plate Type and Plate Width

By nature, curly hair doesn’t grow to super long lengths, and therefore, a plate size of 1 inch or 1 ¼ inch is perfect for straightening curly hair locks.

A wider plate than these sizes is suitable for long hair and won’t do any justice to shoulder length or over the waist-length hair.

Moreover, with a narrower plate, you can easily target the roots for better straightening results.

In addition to the plate width, the plate type also matters when straightening curly hair locks. 

Floating plates are always preferable to use on curly hair locks since they limit breakage, snagging, or kinks in your hair.

Floating plates do this by always applying the right amount of pressure to delicate hair strands while getting close enough to transfer heat better.

Note: If you are confused about your hair type, then we suggest you check this article.

A Quick Summary of the Must-have Features

let’s have a quick glance at the features to consider when buying a flat iron for curly hair:

PropertiesMust-have Characteristics
TechnologyIonic Technology and Infrared Emission (Must)
Plate MaterialsPure Ceramic, Ceramic Tourmaline, Porcelain Ceramic, Nano Ceramic
Plate TypeFloating
Plate Sizes1 Inch or 1 ¼ Inch
Temperature SettingsBetween 390°F to 450°F

Top Flat Irons for Curly Hair

Curly hair requires special care and attention as this type of hair is quite sensitive and incredibly prone to heat and damage.

At Instraight, To straighten such delicate hair, you need a flat iron that can straighten your hair locks quickly and precisely while protecting your precious hair from any heat burns and damage.

We mentioned earlier that we selected a few that we consider to be the best at styling your curly hair.

Before discussing our top picks in detail, let’s compare our selected flat irons and some of their market competitors.

Comparison Table For Our Top 3

Must-have FeaturesHSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Hair StraightenerSolano Sleekheat450 Professional Hair StraightenerCHI Expert Classic Flat Iron
Technology Used –Ionic Technology & Advanced Infrared EmissionIonic Technology & Infrared EmissionIonic Technology
And Advanced Infrared Emission
Plate Material – 100% Solid Ceramic Tourmaline PlatesCeramic Tourmaline Plates100% Solid Ceramic Tourmaline plates
Plate Type –Floating PlatesFloating Plates With Beveled EdgesFloating Plates
Available Plate Sizes1 Inch1 Inch, 1 ¼ Inch1-inch
The Temperature Settings – Multi-level Temperature Settings Multi-level Temperature SettingsMulti-level Temperature Settings

HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Hair Straightener

Ranking Position: 1
Our Opinion: For Salon Quality Straightening Results

Even though this HSI flat iron provides professional-caliber straightening services at an affordable price, it is not the main reason we this tool as our #1 option.

This straightener scored the top position because it includes all the features we look for in a straightening tool for curly hair and then some.

Firstly, this professional-grade flat iron incorporates both ionic technology and infrared emission.

That not only straightens even the most stubborn curly locks easily by penetrating the heat energy to each of the hair shafts but also makes sure that your hair is well protected from heat damage.

The ionic technology is also responsible for making straightened hair silky, smooth, and free from annoying frizz, flyaways, and tangles.

Additionally, the tourmaline-infused solid ceramic plates of this flat iron have the benefits of both these materials.

Thus, ensuring that your curly hair strands don’t suffer from hot spots during the styling process by distributing heat evenly throughout the plates.

Moreover, the 8 HeatBalance® micro-sensors (4 on each plate) incorporated by HIS in the iron plates further ensure that the heat is evenly distributed by regulating the tool’s temperature.

Hence,  requiring fewer passes to straighten your hair perfectly and minimizing the amount of time exposed to high heat.

In addition to transferring an exceptional amount of heat, this HSI professional straightener’s floating plates also provide superior flexibility to flip, curl, or straighten curly hair.

Lastly, these flat iron manufacturers made the temperature selection setting really easy by adding a dial button with detailed labeling of the temperature levels.

These levels range from 140° F to 450° F.

Additional Features

Solano Sleekheat450 Professional Hair Straightener

Ranking Position: 2
Our Opinion: an Expensive Yet Effective Choice

If you want an excellent quality hair straightening tool, then this Solano Sleekheat450 is the right choice for you.

This hair styler is an alternate choice to our top preference as both these flat irons have similar features and are excellent at straightening curly hair.

Nevertheless, despite the higher price point, Solano made sure that you enjoy the best value for your money by adding some extraordinary features to this Sleekheat450.

Firstly, the ceramic tourmaline constructed floating plates of this Solano flat iron comes with 4 sided beveled edges.

These edges provide styling versatility to the user and make sure that the plates glide through the hair stand smoothly.

Note, beveled edges mean that the straightener plates come with tapered sides that protect your curly hair from breakage while also preventing demarcation lines and wrinkles in your hair.

Moreover, with its curved edged plates, you not only enjoy smoother straightened locks but can also create big curls and voluminous waves.

Another great feature of this flat iron is its temperature settings and control system.

This hair styling tool includes a rheostat dial that has labeling of every heat level, starting from 170° F up to 450° F.

Moreover, Solano added instant heating technology that heats the straightener in just 60 seconds, making sure that you don’t have to wait for a long time to start your styling.

Additionally, this Sleekheat450 Professional Flat Iron includes a bolt-shaped indicator that flashes a red light when the iron plates are heating and ignites a blue light when the iron is cooling down.

The indicator also starts blinking when the straightener is ready to use at the desired temperature setting.

Moreover, the cord also has a light that illuminates red when the straightener is plugged in.

Additional Features

CHI Expert Classic Flat Iron

Ranking Position: 3
Our Opinion: Innovative Technology Supported Flat Iron

CHI is one of the most popular brands globally, manufacturing quality flat irons for its customers. 

Thus, this Classic Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron is no different.

It is sleek, alluring, and compact. We consider it one of the best flat irons for curly hair because of its amazing features and extraordinary performance.

To straighten your delicate curly hair safely, CHI incorporated two tourmaline ceramic constructed plates in this flat iron.

The tourmaline ceramic plates offer the best benefits of both materials and style your curly manes like no other plates.

While the tourmaline heats up, the plates’ ceramic helps distribute the heat evenly throughout the hair strands.

Thus, avoiding burns and making sure that the straightening process is quick and uniform.

Another feature that helps to avert hair damage is ionic technology.

CHI installed an ionic generator in this styling tool that releases millions of negative ions to the hair strands to seal in moisture and prevent burns.

Besides ionic technology, this flat iron incorporates infrared emission technology to make your curly hair straightening process precise and quick.

The infrared emission helps the heat from the tool penetrate the hair shaft easily to straighten the strands from the inside faster.

The plate type and size is also something to talk about.

CHI incorporated two 1 inch floating plates to this flat iron to make sure that it straightens your curly hair without breaking or damaging it.

The floating plates with beveled edges offer better grip and control over the styling, put the right amount of pressure, and adjust the angles continuously towards the direction of hair pull to avoid damage.

In addition to straightening, you can also use this tool to create lustrous waves in your hair because of these floating plates.

Let’s discuss the temperature settings. Keeping in mind the sensitive characteristics of curly tresses, CHI incorporated multiple heat levels in this straightening tool ranging from 180° F to 450° F.

Moreover, this temperature setting is paired with a labeled rheostat dial to make it even easier to pick your preferred heat settings.

Additional Features

Infiniti Pro by Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Hair Straightener

Ranking Position: 4
Our Opinion: an Affordable Flat Iron

Another favorite tool to straighten curly hair locks at an affordable price range is this Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron from INFINITI PRO BY CONAIR.

This straightener comes with all of the features required to straighten curly hair successfully.

The combination of infrared emission, ionic technology, and the ceramic tourmaline plates made this INFINITI PRO flat iron one of the safest and effective tool to straighten your curly hair locks.

The infrared emission straightens each hair strand from the inside out while the negative ions released from the ionic generator protects the hair from heat damage.

This is done by locking in moisture and balancing the ionic condition of your hair.

The ionic technology also helps eliminate frizz from your curly locks and results in silky, smooth, and shiny straightening results.

Moreover, the ceramic tourmaline plates distribute the required amount of heat evenly throughout your curly tresses to further reduce heat damage.

Furthermore, this flat iron’s ceramic tourmaline floating plates are 29% longer than any other regular straightening tool of 85mm of length.

This ensures that more of your hair strands can be straightened at once, reducing your overall styling duration.

Furthermore, the smooth surface of these floating plates glides swiftly along your hair without any snagging so that you can enjoy creaseless, straight hair locks quickly.

With these long plates, you can straighten your curly hair precisely and create wavy curls.

Another feature of this INFINITI PRO flat iron is the True Ceramic Heater that heats the plates in 15 seconds.

Moreover, this Ceramic Heater effectively recovers the heat lost from the plates’ surface uniformly, enabling the tool to remain hot during the whole straightening process.

Additionally, this INFINITI PRO straightening tool includes 30 different temperature settings, ranging from 280° F to 455° F.

Since your curly hair requires a heat setting of 390° F or more to straighten them perfectly, you can turn the rheostat dial to your preferred heat level.

Additional Features

Negative Point

Bio Ionic Onepass Flat Iron

Ranking Position: 5
Our Opinion: a Professional Grade Flat Iron

This BIO IONIC Onepass flat iron did not end up as our third option because of pricing, but because it doesn’t include floating plates.

Nevertheless, the absence of floating plates doesn’t take away the fact that it is an amazing flat iron with extraordinary features to straighten curly hair locks to perfection.

Firstly, as BIO IONIC suggests, this professional-caliber Onepass flat iron can straighten curly hair locks with just one pass of the tool.

It does this by adopting patented Silicone Speed Strips on the iron plates that instantly grips your hair strands and creates natural tension.

This ensures that your hair is straightened perfectly, without running the iron several times through the same portion of hair.

In addition to these silicon strips, the infrared emission technology also contributes to the precise straightening process by transferring heat inside the hair shafts to straighten each hair strand.

Furthermore, this OnePass flat iron’s ceramic plates come with Volcanic Mineral infusion that, with the ionic technology’s negative ions, break down the hair’s water clusters.

The micronized water molecules then penetrate the hair shafts, locking in the moisture for better results.

The negative ions also protect your damage-prone curly hair from heat burns and unnecessary hot spots.

Additionally, the volcanic mineral infusion makes the plates’ surface smooth and enables hair to glide through the iron easily for styling.

Another great feature of this Onepass Straightening Iron worth mentioning is the BioCeramic™ Heater incorporated into the tool.

This BioCeramic heater heats the plates in just 5 seconds, reducing your waiting time and providing instant heat recovery to keep the plates hot as long as the machine is on.

Moreover, this flat iron’s multi-level temperature controller, starting from 240° F to 400° F, has detailed labeling of the heat settings.

This multi-level temperature setting also ensures that you are never out of heat when it comes to straightening your curly hair.

Additional Features

Negative Point

Reasons for Not Choosing the following models:

Hair Straightener by Vland Pro Flat Iron

This VLAND flat iron is a good straightening tool with some good features to make your hair’s straightening process easy.

But we didn’t recommend this ironing tool to straighten curly hair locks because:

Pro Beauty Tools Xl Copper Digital 1 Inch Flat Iron

There is no doubt that this flat iron from Pro Beauty Tools is an amazing tool to straighten hair.

But we didn’t consider it as one of the best flat irons to straighten curly hair because:

How to Straighten Curly Hair and Make It Last?

Curly Hair to Straight Hair

With the right preparation and appropriate tools, you can change your curly hair into straight, flowy locks. 

Preparing Your Curly Hair

Preparing your curly hair for the straightening process is essential since you will apply a great amount of heat, which can burn them completely.

Start preparing by washing off your curly hair with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, like the Kerastase Nutritive Bain Oleo-Curl Curl Definition Shampoo and the TRESemmé Flawless Curls Curl Hydration Conditioner.

Which nourishes and softens your hair locks. Applying shampoo and conditioner will result in fresh and smoother hair for you to glide the flat iron effortlessly.

Remember to use lukewarm water for the washing process as hot water can potentially damage the hair cuticles and make your curly hair dry and frizzier.

Once you are done with the washing and conditioning session, use a good quality hair dryer to blow dry your hair and remove the excess water.

The INFINITI PRO BY CONAIR Advanced Brushless Hair Dryer with Concentrator Attachment is a great hair drying tool as it comes with a concentrator attachment and ionic technology for faster drying.

Straightening Your Curly Hair

After preparing your hair, it’s time to start the straightening process.

Since you will apply a high amount of heat to your curly hair, it’s always advisable to spray a heat protectant so that your hair is protected from the heat.

You can use this Pantene Pro-V Stylers Heat Protection Spray as it shields your hair strands from heat and provides a silky, glossy finish.

Now start using your preferred flat iron to straighten your curly manes.

Section off your hair into smaller parts and try to straighten each part in one pass to expose them to less heat and prevent any potential damage.

Once you are done straightening, don’t forget to apply a setting spray, like the Tigi Bed Head Masterpiece Massive Shine Hairspray.

Final Thoughts

We tried to explain in simple terms the different types of curly hair, the problems associated with these hair types, and how a flat iron can solve them easily.

We also recommended some of the best flat irons available in the market to straighten your curly hair.

All the straighteners that we have suggested promise to style your curly locks safely.

Therefore, no matter which of the above flat iron you buy, you will get the best value for your money and transform your curly hair into whatever you want. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. 

Resources:

  1. https://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-11/fyi-what-maks-hair-curly/
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