Are you afraid to straighten your hair because they are damaged, and you’re worried that applying heat would cause more harm? Well, you are not the only one.
At one point or another, we all have to deal with damaged hair and the dilemma over whether to style them with heat or not.
Hence why we decided to find the best flat irons for damaged hair.
In this article, aside from recommending the best flat iron for your frail, abused hair, we also discuss the signs and causes of hair damage and how you can successfully straighten your hair.
Sneak Peek at our Recommended Best Flat Iron for Damaged Hair
We have spent hours researching and interviewing existing users to safely determine the best flat iron tools to straighten damaged hair locks.
Thus, we believe we chose the best straighteners in the market to straighten your sensitive manes, whether fine or thick.
Nevertheless, let’s have a glance at our top recommended flat irons for such hair types:
Flat Irons Buying Guide for Damaged Hair
What is Damaged Hair?
Namely, we consider unhealthy hair damaged hair.
Hair damage occurs when parts of the hair structure are altered because of external factors and weakens your hair strands to make your hair look and feel unhealthy and dull.
Each of your hair strands comprises three layers of cells: the medulla, the cortex, and the cuticle(1).
When the cuticle layer (the outermost layers) loses its integrity and stability, it makes your hair dry, rough, and not shiny.
Which, of course, lets you know your hair needs immediate attention.
Additionally, it’s important to know that damaged hair develops severe cracks in the cuticle layer, which forces this layer to open and expose itself.
Once the cuticle layer is exposed, your hair is at a high risk of further damage and breakage.
The Signs of Damaged Hair
Besides dryness and roughness, there are a few more indications and symptoms that you must know to detect hair damage at an early stage.
You know your hair is suffering from damage when:
If you experience any of the above symptoms, in addition to taking proper care of your hair, you should also be careful with the tools you use to limit the amount of further damage to your hair.
Causes of Hair Damage
People are not born with damaged, unhealthy hair; there are several reasons that cause your hair deterioration and impairment.
Some of the most common scenarios are the following:
How to Choose the Best Flat Iron for your Damaged Hair?
More often than not, we have to be overly concerned about straightening and styling damaged hair safely. Mainly because of the sensitivity of the hair.
Therefore you need to be very picky and careful when you shop for a straightening iron.
Below we have discussed the features and characteristics you need to keep in mind to get an excellent flat iron to straighten your wounded hair thoroughly.
What Are the Safest Plate Materials for Damaged Hair?
You have to be careful when choosing the plates for your damaged hair.
The construction materials for the plates play a crucial part in straightening your damaged hair safely.
Usually, flat iron plates are made from different types of materials to satisfy every type of hair’s needs.
But, as damaged hair (both fine and thick) is fragile and delicate, not all the plate construction materials are safe to use on them.
Therefore, you must know the materials and their role for a healthy straightening session of your damaged hair.
Let’s take a look at the types of plate materials and their characteristics:
Ceramic plates are a classic. Ceramic is the most commonly used plate construction material in flat irons.
The non-metallic material is quite popular among users.
Let’s Begin With Understanding What Ceramic Is and How It Works?
Ceramic is an inorganic and nonmetallic natural gemstone used in hair styling tools to ensure safe yet outstanding styling results(2).
For instance, when ceramic is used in flat iron plates, it makes the plate surface smooth and promotes the plates’ swift gliding through your damaged hair.
So that there is no tugging, snagging, and no unnecessary hair loss.
Moreover, ceramic in the plates also ensures that the heat is evenly distributed throughout your damaged hair to deliver uniform straightening results.
As well as ensuring your precious hair doesn’t suffer from any hot spots and eventual breakage or hair loss.
Additionally, ceramic constructed plates also produce a finite number of negative ions that keep natural hair oil intact and your locks hydrated and protected from any potential heat burns.
The locked-in natural oils and nourishment also help counterattack the positive ions to remove dullness and restore the natural shine.
Another feature worth mentioning about ceramic plates is its temperature absorption ability.
Ceramic plates are super gentle and have a low heat tolerance. Its maximum attained temperature is 200 to 310 degrees Fahrenheit, making this material suitable and safe for fragile, damaged hair locks.
Our Thoughts on Ceramic Plates
We consider ceramic, and ceramic-infused tourmaline plates the best choice for straightening your delicate damaged hair (regardless of your hair type).
Namely, because ceramic and ceramic tourmaline absorbs gentle heat that doesn’t cause any harm to your unhealthy hair.
Furthermore, even heat distribution also limits your precious hair’s further abuse by not creating hot spots that can cause severe breakage.
Tourmaline is as popular as ceramics; this natural, pure material is used in different hair styling tools (hairdryer, curling iron, flat iron, hot rollers) and other products like jewelry, medicine, and cosmetics.
But Before Discussing Tourmaline in Details, Let’s Understand What Tourmaline Is and How It Works on Hair?
Tourmaline is a semi-precious natural mineralized stone that is crushed into powder form to use in the construction process of different hair styling tools(3).
Regarding flat iron plates, tourmaline is used to construct the actual plates and infuse or coat plates with ceramic, titanium, or an aluminum core.
Namely, this semi-precious material helps to fight the positive ions of your hair by dispersing 6 times more negative ions than pure ceramic plates to ensure that hair can lock in more moisture and nourishment.
More moisturized and nourished hair means that you have a protective layer over them.
This ensures that your already damaged hair doesn’t suffer from further harm.
Besides negative ions, the tourmaline plates also emit infrared energy that reaches deep into the hair core to straighten them from the inside out.
Additionally, this energy revitalizes the scalp to avoid any untimely fallout.
Our Thoughts on Tourmaline Plates
Even though tourmaline material offers several features, we still don’t consider tourmaline plates the best choice for damaged hair.
Namely, these plates can absorb a high amount of heat (up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit).
This is not suitable for damaged hair; relatively high heat has a higher possibility of quickly burning down your hair locks.
Thus as mentioned above, we suggest ceramic tourmaline plates for such type of hair because when ceramic is infused with tourmaline, it helps to bring out the best of tourmaline.
In addition to helping keep the heat absorption rate low and suitable to apply on troubled hair.
Unlike ceramic and tourmaline gemstones, titanium is a metal; it is the strongest metal found in nature.
Because of its strong and sturdy nature, items constructed and coated out of titanium are long-lasting.
Let’s Get a Clear Idea About What Is Titanium and How it Works on Hair.
Titanium is a naturally occurring metal that is super strong yet lightweight.
Manufacturers use titanium metal to construct hair styling tools because it ensures durability and can absorb high amounts of heat for long periods of time.
When titanium is used to construct or infuse flat iron plates, it makes the plate surface smooth and shiny.
In addition to ensuring that the plates are corrosion resistant.
Smooth plate surface ensures that the plates glide through your hair swiftly without any snagging or glitches.
This quality is essential for damaged hair because unnecessary hair tugging causes delicate strands to break and fall off the roots.
Besides its smooth surface and durable characteristic, titanium plates are also known to release negative ions to the hair to lock in moisture and seal in the natural essential oils in the hair cuticles.
In addition to the negative ions, titanium constructed and coated plates are also known to produce infrared energy that can transfer the heat to the core of your hair shafts and style them from the inside out.
Our Thoughts on Titanium Plates
Titanium plates include plenty of outstanding features to straighten hair nicely.
Nevertheless, we absolutely do not recommend titanium plates for damaged hair locks because, as we said earlier, this material can absorb a very high range of heat (up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit) and retain the immensely hot temperature for a long time.
Both of these qualities are a big no for damaged hair because of its sensitivity and delicacy. Also, such high heat can burn your hair beyond repair.
Our Recommended Plate Material for Damaged Hair
We suggest ceramic, and ceramic tourmaline plates to straighten and style damaged hair because of their moderate heat absorption ability and their power to keep damaged hair safe from hot spots and heat damages.
Are Floating Plates the Savior Of Damaged Hair?
Flat irons come with different plates (affixed, beveled, or floating), but not all these plates are suitable for damaged hair.
As this hair type is fragile and delicate.
Hence why we prefer the floating plates to straighten damaged hair safely and quickly.
Let’s Discuss What Floating Plates Actually Are.
Basically, flat iron plates that are not fixed with iron housing are generally known as floating plates.
The floating plates are specially engineered to move flexibly during a straightening session, unlike other plate types.
Such freedom of movement allows the two sides of the plates to adjust based on the angle you pull the tool to get as close to each other as possible.
The closer the plates get, the more correctly you will be able to grab your hair.
Additionally, because of their levitating nature, the floating plates provide a flexible grip on the straightener.
This ensures smooth gliding through the hair strands to limit breakage and damage, regardless of how you hold the straightener tool.
How Do the Floating Plates Work?
We stated earlier that a pair of floating plates helps limit breakage, snagging, and kinks in your damaged hair.
They do this by applying the right amount of pressure on each hair strand while gliding swiftly in the direction you pull your hair locks.
Moreover, as these plates get really close to each other during a straightening session, the plates’ heat is transferred even better to your hair.
Why We Prefer Floating Plates Over Any Other Type of Flat Iron Plates to Straighten Fragile Damaged Hair.
We mentioned previously that floating plates are the guardian angel for damaged hair.
Floating plates are essential for limiting snagging, kinks, and your hair’s breakage during any hair styling session.
When you have damaged hair, the hair strands are already susceptible and fragile, and pulling them with a pair of affixed plates would only cause further damage, breakage, and even hair fall.
Hence why we suggest floating plates over other flat iron plates to straighten troubled hair safely.
What Is a Single Pass/single Stroke Flat Iron? Does It Help Limit Hair Damage?
By now, we all know that damaged hair is fragile and have low heat tolerance.
The less heat applied to this type of hair, the better.
But now and then, you might want to style your damaged hair with luscious straightened hair or curls and waves.
And in this case, to not cause any further damage to your hair, you must adopt a flat iron with Single Pass/Single Stroke plates (in addition to the plates’ floating feature).
What Are Single Pass/single Stroke Plates?
Single Pass/Single Stroke plates are flat iron plates that can straighten your hair strands (fine or thick) in just one pass of the plates.
These plates deliver even, consistent heat to your hair.
Do Single Pass/single Stroke Plates Help to Limit Hair Damage?
Yes! These plates help limit further damage and impairment to your harmed hair by straightening them in one pass with the right amount of heat.
Another advantage of single-pass plates is that these plates make the styling process much quicker, as you don’t have to go through the same section of your hair repeatedly for precise results.
Why Ionic Technology Is Extremely Important for Damaged Hair
Since this type of hair is fragile, you must get a straightening iron with the right technology.
Namely, you should choose a hair straightener that includes ionic technology regardless of your hair type.
Why Only Ionic Technology?
Because the negative ions from an ionic generator lock in hair moisture and nourishment so that your hair remains silky when you apply heat.
The locked-in natural oils and moisture also form a shield over each strand to protect them against heat, avoiding burns, and potential breakages.
Moisture is important for hair as it keeps dryness and roughness at bay.
A Quick Overview of The Must-Have Features
Top Flat Irons for Damaged Hair
Damaged hair requires special care and attention.
To straighten such hair, you need a flat iron that can straighten your sensitive hair precisely while protecting them from any heat burns.
Considering the essential features and their effectiveness in improving damaged hair, we selected a few great flat irons available in the market.
Below we have compared our selected flat irons and some of their market competitors to justify our decisions:
Comparison Table With Justification
|Must-have Features||BIO Ionic Onepass Straightening Iron||HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron||Infiniti Pro by Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron|
|Temperature Settings:||Multi-level Temperature Settings||Multi-level Temperature Settings||30 Temperature Settings|
|Technology Used:||Advanced Ionic Technology & Infrared Emission||Ionic Technology & Advanced Infrared Emission||Ionic Technology & Infrared Emission|
|Plate Type:||Vibrating Floating Plates||Floating Plates||Floating Plates|
|Plate Material||Ceramic||Ceramic Tourmaline||Ceramic Tourmaline|
|Single Stroke/single Pass Plates||Yes||Yes||No|
|Available Plate Sizes||1 Inch||1 Inch||1 Inch, 1 ¼ Inch & 1 ¾ Inch|
Reasons Behind Not Recommending The Following:
Herstyler Titanium Hair Straightener
The sleek, beautiful, ergonomically designed Herstyler Hair Straightener could have ended up being one of our top flat irons for damaged hair thanks to its amazing features. But it didn’t score a place in our list because:
Firstly, this hair straightener’s plates are constructed using titanium metal, which is not suitable for fragile hair because of their high heat adaptivity.
Titanium plates have the potential to burn down your delicate hair instantly.
Furthermore, the Herstyler straightening iron doesn’t feature single pass/ single stroke technology.
Thus, you might have to go through the same part of your hair several times for precise straightening, causing further harm and breakage to your hair.
Revlon Salon Straight Copper + Ceramic Smooth Flat Iron
Revlon is world-famous for its hair care products and tools.
But despite having a popular brand name and some extraordinary features, we still couldn’t consider this Salon Straight Flat Iron as one of the best for styling damaged hair because:
This Revlon flat iron machine comes with ceramic coated copper plates that are not suitable for damaged hair locks.
The copper core can get super-hot in seconds and might expose delicate hair to burns and breakages despite having a ceramic coating.
Additionally, the plates’ outside surface gets as hot as the copper plates inside, making it dangerous to touch the tool with bare hands, let alone put it on your hair.
Furthermore, the Revlon flat iron doesn’t include floating plates, which are crucial for straightening damaged hair.
Without the floating plates, there is a higher possibility of causing severe breakage and harm to your hair.
BIO Ionic Onepass Straightening Iron
BIO IONIC is one of the renowned names in the professional hair styling tools industry.
They manufacture quality professional hair care and styling products for your hair locks.
Nevertheless, we consider this Onepass Straightening Iron our best pick to straighten and style damaged hair because of its features. Thus, scoring the top position on our list.
Therefore, let’s discuss the features of this professional-caliber flat iron in details:
Let’s start with its excellent quality plates; BIO IONIC incorporated natural volcanic mineral-infused pure ceramic constructed plates in this straightening iron that effectively distributes mild heat throughout your sensitive hair.
Additionally, it makes sure that your hair strands gain micro hydration from the minerals during the straightening procedure to keep themselves moisturized.
Moreover, these plates come with patented Silicone Speed Strips, which, aside from differentiating this tool from others, also play a crucial role in straightening your troubled hair strands in just one pass.
The Silicone Strips do this by gripping hair perfectly and providing enough natural tension so that you don’t have to go through the same portion of your hair more than once.
Straightening a section of your hair in just one stroke reduces heat exposure and any further damage to your hair.
Furthermore, this straightener’s infrared emission technology helps style your hair in just one pass with increased shine by efficiently transferring heat into the core of your hair and quickly straightening them from the inside out.
In addition to the infrared emission mechanism, this BIO IONIC straightening tool also incorporates ionic technology thanks to a built-in ionic generator that disperses plenty of negative ions into your hair to help break down the water clusters of your hair.
The micronized water molecules then penetrate each hair strand for hydration and nourishment. Thus making your troubled hair glossy, silky, and smooth.
Another excellent characteristic of this OnePass straightener is the floating feature of the plates.
The floating plates adjust their angles with the direction of your hair pull to glide through the hair smoothly.
Thus limiting breakage and further wounds in your fragile hair.
The floating plates also provide immense flexibility to flip and twist the straightener so that, aside from hair straightening, you can also adorn your damaged hair.
HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron
If you are hesitant to spend a lot of money on a straightening tool and looking for an effective flat iron for your damaged hair, then this Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Flat Iron from HSI is an excellent choice.
Like the BIO IONIC straightening iron, this HSI flat iron includes all the features we look for in a quality straightening iron to treat our troubled hair right but at a reasonable price.
Even though this tool has a comparatively cheap price range, the quality of the results it provides are up to par.
Firstly, HSI constructed the floating plates of this straightening iron with ceramic tourmaline material.
To provide its users with the best benefits of both these materials while ensuring that your damaged hair doesn’t suffer from further heat damage or hot spots.
The tourmaline heats the plates mildly while the ceramic helps distribute the heat evenly throughout your fragile hair.
Producing uniform straightening outcomes without any breakage or impairments.
Moreover, the 8 HeatBalance® micro-sensors (4 on each plate) installed on the flat iron further assist in even heat distribution throughout each of your hair strands.
This is done by regulating the tool’s temperature so that you don’t require more than one pass to straighten your hair.
Fewer passes mean a faster styling process with less hair exposure to high amounts of heat.
Another important feature of this flat iron that protects this type of hair is HSI’s ionic technology.
The ionic generator emits 6x more negative ions than the Ceramic plates in your sensitive hair to create a balance between your hair’s ionic condition.
In addition to locking in your hair’s natural oils and moisture to make sure that your hair is protected from any unnecessary heat.
Infiniti Pro by Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron
This super sleek INFINITI PRO flat iron is another of our favorite hair straightening tools for damaged hair thanks to its extraordinary features.
Nevertheless, since this flat iron doesn’t have single pass/single stroke plates to straighten your hair in just one pass, we couldn’t consider it our favorite for such type of hair.
That being said, the ceramic tourmaline floating plates of this flat iron are 29% longer than any other regular straightening iron plates of 85mm of length.
Which makes sure that you can straighten more of your hair at once.
The longer plates reduce overall styling duration and ensure that your hair is less exposed to heat, limiting any further impairment and abuse.
Besides the length, these plates’ ceramic tourmaline construction material also plays a crucial role in keeping your troubled hair healthy after straightening them.
The tourmaline heats the plates with a subtle amount of heat in just 15 seconds.
While the ceramic in the plates help distribute the heat evenly throughout your hair.
Additionally, the even distribution of heat ensures that your fragile hair doesn’t experience hot spots or breakages, leading to hair loss.
Additionally, the sleek surface of these plates, along with the floating feature, contributes to keeping your harmed hair away from additional damage by gliding down the plates smoothly through your hair.
Another feature of this feminine flat iron is its True Ceramic Heater.
Namely, this heating mechanism heats the plates instantly for immediate use.
Moreover, this Ceramic Heater also recovers the heat lost from the plates’ surface uniformly, enabling the tool to remain hot during the straightening process.
How to Straighten Damaged Hair Precisely?
Since damaged hair is unhealthy and fragile, this hair’s straightening process is different from that of normal, healthy hair.
To straighten and style your troubled hair safely, you must keep in mind the following:
The Preparation Stage
Something we always mention at Instraight, is the fact that you must prepare your hair properly before applying heat to minimize the likelihood of burns and improve the straightening process.
To effectively prepare your hair, start with washing and deep conditioning your hair with a mild shampoo and conditioner that would not hurt them or dry them out.
The Biolage Hydrasource Shampoo for Dry Damaged Hair is an excellent choice for your dehydrated hair as it cleanses your hair, leaving them moisturized and shiny.
Similarly, you can opt for the Living Proof Restore Conditioner to provide additional moisture and make your hair more manageable and soft.
Once you are done washing and conditioning your hair, try to air dry them before styling them.
If you don’t have the time for air drying, use a hairdryer tool that produces mild heat and doesn’t fry your delicate tresses. Use the Remington D3190 Hair Dryer as it dries hair faster with Micro-Conditioners for flawless results.
When your hair is completely dried out, comb your frail hair with a wide-tooth comb as these combs are effective in detangling your knots without causing any hair pull.
Then apply some heat protectant to shield your delicate strands from the heat you are about to apply.
The HSI PROFESSIONAL Heat Hair Protector & Conditioner would not only provide extreme heat protection but also act as a leave-in conditioner for excellent hair care.
Now let’s move on to the actual procedure of straightening them safely:
The Actual Step by Step Straightening Procedure
Step 1 – Clip up the top half of your hair so you can straighten the bottom layer easily.
Then section off your bottom hair in small portions and separate those with clips so that you don’t accidentally apply heat to the same section several times.
Sectioning off your hair also makes your straightening session quicker, saving you time.
Step 2 – Try to straighten each section with just one or a maximum of two passes, as more passes would expose your delicate hair to extra heat.
Step 3 – Once you are done straightening the bottom part, unclip the upper part and repeat the same process you have followed to straighten your hair’s lower part.
Step 4 – At this point, finish the look with a setting spray so that your straightened hair lasts for hours.
While we have discussed some of the best flat irons available in the market to straighten your damaged hair safely, the best solution is to keep your hair free from damage in the first place.
Damaged hair can cause permanent harm, and therefore, you must take care of your precious hair regularly so that dryness, roughness, and other signs of damage remain at the bay.
Additionally, if you still have doubts, make sure to take a look at the top rated hair straighteners.