Do you like glossy, straightened hairs but has yourself a head full of gorgeous natural black hairs? If you want to transform your kinky, African American hairs into bone straight, silky tresses, then you have come to the right place. Because in this article we not only suggested some of the best hairs straighteners available in the market to straighten natural hairs but also tried to solve the problems that people with such kind of manes faces while they try to style their hairs.
Moreover, we also listed the other tools and accessories you would need in order to turn your otherwise extremely densely curled hairs into lustrous, silky straightened tresses.
This article would act like a total guide for your natural black hairs locks. So without further delay let’s dig into the details to know more:
- Flat Iron Buying Guide for Natural Hair
- Top Flat Irons for Natural Hair
- Hairstyles You Can Achieve With a Flat Iron on Natural Hair
- Other Things You Need to Straighten Natural Hairs
A Quick Summary of the Recommended Flat Irons for Natural Hairs
Before going into elaborate details, take a sneak peek of the flat irons that we recommend as the best in the market to straighten your natural hairs precisely with extreme care and attention:
|Flat Iron Names||Price Range|
|Rank: 1||Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Ultra Thin Flat Iron|
|More Than $100 Dollars|
|Rank: 2||HSI Professional Titanium Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron|
|Less Than $100 Dollars|
|Rank: 3||Kipozi Pro Titanium Ion Plates 1 Inch Flat Iron|
|Less Than $50 Dollars|
|Rank: 4||Croc Classic Nano-titanium Flat Iron |
|More Than $50 Dollars|
Flat Iron Buying Guide for Natural Hair
What is Natural Hair?
Natural hair or popularly referred to as kinky hair, black hair, African American hair or Afro-American hair is defined as the hair strands with the most flatter follicles that make the hairs extremely tightly curled (tight, densely packed coils) and “over the top” voluminous. Even though these hairs have small curls of a zig-zag pattern right from the scalp and looks super dense and thick, in reality, natural hairs are fine and have the most fragile hair texture as they have the fewest cuticle layer on each hair strand which is meant to protect them from dryness. By nature, natural hairs are wiry and delicate and thus require extra care and attention.
People with Afro-American or black hair inherits this hair type genetically from their family; there is no way that your straight hair strands could turn into coily locks over time. Therefore, without worrying much, learn to embrace your natural locks to main their healthy structure.
What Is the Difference Between Natural Hair & Curly Hair?
People often think curly hair (Type 3) and natural hair (natural Type 4)) are the same type of hairs with different names as both these hair type have curls (even though different type) in their locks.
But in reality, curly hair and natural hair are far apart from each other, even the curl patterns are also different in both these hair types. For starter, Type 3 hairs have loose to corkscrew curls whereas Type 4 hairs are adorned with tight to Z-angled coils which are super delicate yet extremely difficult to straighten. The hair texture, shrinkage rate as well as the appearance of both the hair types are also different, so there is no scope of thinking that curly hair and natural hair are of the same category.
Then again, when it comes to straightening, both these curly hairs and natural hairs require the same amount of heat and same technology to turn them into bone straight locks. If they require same technology and heat then why are we calling them different? That’s because you would require more time and number of passes to straighten natural hairs compare to curly hair with the same flat iron.
Different Types of Natural Hair
Natural (Afro-American) itself is a hair type with few sub-categories. To understand your natural kinky hairs, it’s really important that you understand the exact nature, texture and other factors really well so that you know how to take the best care of your delicate hair locks and don’t have to face any problem while choosing the right styling tool for you.
Below we have discussed in detail the different sub-categories of kinky hairs for your better understanding:
We will now talk about how to choose the best straightening iron for kinky hairs in detail, but before going further on this topic, we would like you to know that manufacturers do not produce flat irons according to the many sub-categories of natural hairs; while manufacturing a flat iron, the makers make sure that the flat iron includes features that can solve the common problems faced by all natural hair people.
How to Straighten Natural Hairs?
Straightening stubborn African American hair locks to perfection can be super time consuming and tough but not at all impossible. There are two main methods of straightening your natural hairs; permanent and temporary.
In this section, we will only talk about the temporary straightening of black hairs, the tools and methods to achieve the perfectly straightened locks and which is the best tool or method to use on natural tresses.
First, let’s discuss the tools and methods that can temporarily straighten your annoying natural hairs to gorgeous flowy straightened locks:
Even though there are more than a few ways to straighten your natural kinky hair locks, nothing can beat the straightening results produced on your Black hairs by an excellent quality suitable flat or straightening iron.
A flat iron can not only effectively straighten your tough natural hairs to silky straight locks temporarily but is also a crucial tool for permanent hair straightening process, which will discuss in some other article. But for now, we would suggest you to use a flat iron to turn your stubborn kinky locks to bone straight tresses whenever and wherever you want.
Types of Flat Irons to Straighten Natural Hairs - Which Type Is Best & Why?
There are mainly two types of flat irons that are available in the market to straighten your natural hair locks to the perfection. We have discussed both and them in details below, and also tried to understand which is better at straightening kinky hairs and why.
Steam Flat Irons
The steam flat irons are designed to replenish moisture during the straightening process, resulting in stick-straight strands without over drying your hair.
A steam flat iron comes with a Steam or Vapor Infusion Technology that releases an adequate amount of steam to the hairs through stem vent placed in the flat iron. The steam helps you to achieve perfectly straight and sleek hair with lots of moisturizer and nourishment.
No-steam Flat Irons
These flat irons don’t feature a stem technology, instead they come with other technologies, like ionic technology and infrared emission. Both these technologies can straighten kinky hairs precisely and quickly without causing any damage to them.
Both Steam and No-steam Flat Irons are excellent at producing extraordinary straightening results in natural hairs only when they come with both the ionic technology and infrared emission; without these must-have technologies, a flat iron might straighten your kinky hairs but the hairs won’t be as frizz-free, silky and shiny as you would have wanted.
How to Choose the Best Flat Iron for Natural Hairs?
Natural hairs are super gentle yet extremely tough to straighten because of their nature and therefore, when you try to choose a flat iron for the natural tresses, you have to be very precise about the features and qualities you want as these hairs suffers from more than a few problems when you try to apply heat on them for the straightening purpose.
In this part, aside from the features, you should seek while shopping for a flat iron for your natural black hairs, we will also talk about few of the problems associated with straightening kinky hairs and how a supreme quality flat iron can solve them to make your straightening experience more pleasant.
Therefore, without further ado, let’s discuss how to solve the problems of kinky hairs with a flat iron:
How to Deal With the Frizziness, Split Ends, Tangles and Knots of Natural Hairs Using a Flat Iron?
The closely-packed Type 4 hair may seem thick and strong, but in reality, this hair type is quite fine and fragile as well as sensitive and frizz-prone. Frizz in hairs is mainly caused by the lack of moisture and nourishment in the tresses and as for kinky hairs, the densely packed nature and the zig-zag pattern of these strands act as a barrier for the moisture, natural oils, and nutrients of the roots from being evenly distributed throughout and down the length of the hair strands which results in frizz, dryness, and lack of moisture.
Moreover, when people with natural hairs try to apply heat on the already frizzy tresses for straightening purpose, the heat stripes out the little amount of moisture left from the hairs making them even frizzier.
Split ends refer to the splits at the outer end of the hair. A split end occurs when the tip of your hair becomes dry and brittle because of lack of moisture and nourishment. We know, by nature natural hairs are dry because the over-curly shape of these hairs doesn’t let the moisture and oils to get down the hair strands properly and that’s why, compared to the other type of hairs, kinky tresses suffer the most from split ends.
The problem with split ends is that you cannot repair it; to get rid of them, you have to trim the ends of your hair strands and start fresh with new tips. But the good news is with proper care and attention, you can prevent the splits from coming back to your precious tresses.
Tangles and knots are yet another annoying problems faced by people with natural hair locks; when you leave your Type 4 hairs loose for a long time period, the springy strands can loop around themselves (single strand knot) or intertwine with each other to form tangles, knots and might eventually result in severe breakage. Applying heat for styling purposes only adds to the potential breakage of the tresses.
To fight all frizzes, flyaways, knot, tangles and split ends successfully while you straighten your natural locks, you must use a flat iron that has the revolutionary ionic technology and comes with a built-in ionic generator.
The ionic generator disperses a lot of negative ions to your hairs to saturate the balance between positive and negative ions and also to neutralize static causing positive ions in your hair to reduce frizz and flyaways.
Furthermore, the negative ions also play a crucial part in sealing in all-over hairs moisture and nourishment making them straight, silky and smooth while eliminating the possibility of any potential split ends, knots, and tangles.
Even though it’s not related to flat iron, there is another piece of advice for you to control the frizz and flyaways of your natural hair locks like a pro; use an adequate amount of anti-frizz product/serum on your dry kinky tresses right before you use the flat iron to straighten them. Anti-frizz serum, like the Living Proof No Frizz Humidity Shield, along with the ionic technology would help you to banish frizz and statics even better.
Another technology that you must look for while buying a flat iron for your natural hair locks is the infrared emission technology; the infrared emission transfers the heat energy deep into the hair shafts to straighten them from inside out so that even the most “tough to straighten” natural hairs are straightened to perfection in a very short amount of time.
Moreover, because infrared emission reduces styling time, you delicate natural hairs are less exposed to heat and hence there is minimal chance of them getting burned or damaged
How to Eliminate Breakage and Heat Damage of Your Natural Hairs Using a Flat Iron?
We have mentioned previously that natural hairs are dry by nature and therefore they are super prone to breakage. Moreover, the high amount of heat applied on this hair type, with the intention of straightening them, can also cause further breakage because the heat sucks up the very little amount of moisture left in the hair strands making them even drier.
Another problem that can be caused by high heat is heat damage and hot spots; interestingly, even though high heat can burn and fry hair strands, they also eventually lead to hair breakage.
If you want to minimize the damage and breakage of your sensitive kinky hairs during your straightening session, it is advisable that you use a flat iron that either comes with Titanium, Nano titanium, Titanium Ceramic or Titanium Tourmaline constructed plates.
We are especially emphasizing on titanium because titanium plates can absorb the highest amount of heat in the shortest possible time and can also retain the heat in the plates for a longer period. As we know kinky hairs are super tough to style, they can’t be straightened to perfection without high heat.
Moreover, titanium infused plates make sure that the heat is evenly distributed to each hair strand so that there are no hot spots and hence no breakage.
What Should Be the Temperature Settings to Straighten Natural Hairs?
The temperature settings to straighten kinky hairs is extremely important as a relatively low-temperature setting won’t straighten your tough natural tresses to the perfection and high settings would expose them to severe burns and damage.
To straighten natural hair locks, hair experts suggest a temperature range of 390° F to 450° F that would turn your stubborn natural hairs into bone straight, flowy tresses with a minimum to zero heat damage and burns.
Therefore, when you buy a flat iron with the intention to straighten your Afro-American hairs, look for a tool that has multiple temperature settings and comes with preferably an LCD screen or a detailed heat control dial because, with these controls, you can set your preferred heat level accurately without being blindfolded.
What Size and Type of Plate Are Suitable to Straighten Natural Hairs?
Kinky or natural hairs don’t grow too long because of their nature and therefore a flat iron with plates of 1 inch or 1 ¼ inch is perfect to straighten kinky tresses as plates wider than these sizes are meant for super long hairs and won’t do full justice to short or medium kinky hairs during the styling session.
Furthermore, with a comparatively narrow plate, you can go super close to the roots of your kinky hairs and straighten them for a more consistent look.
A Quick Glance at the Must Have Features of a Flat Iron for Natural Hairs
The must-have features of a flat iron that we have listed above might seem similar to the ones required for curly hair. Yes, they are quite similar, but the difference is in the time; you would require more time to straighten natural hairs compared to the time needed to straighten curly tresses to the perfection.
Top Flat Irons for Natural Hair
We have mentioned several times before that kinky hair may seem tough and strong, but in reality, they are extremely fragile and damage prone, and therefore, require extra care and attention whenever you try to style them. To turn these delicate tresses into bone straight locks, you must use a straightening iron that is super gentle yet can straighten natural hairs with perfection without exposing them to any unnecessary heat damage and burns and breakage.
By spending several hours in researching and reviewing different flat irons from several different renowned brands, we were able to select a few that performs exceptionally well on black hairs compared to other ironing tools available in the market.
Before discussing in details about our top picks, let’s compare and contrast between all our selected straightening irons and find out why we prefer some flat irons more over the others:
A Table of Comparison With Justification
|The Must-have Features||Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Ultra Thin Flat Iron||HSI Professional Titanium Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron||Kipozi Pro Titanium Ion Plates 1 Inch Flat Iron||Croc Classic Nano-titanium Flat Iron||Remington S7310 Wet 2 Straight Hair Straightener||Hair Straightener by Vland Pro Flat Iron|
|The Technology Used: Ionic Technology, Infrared Emission (Must), Steam Technology (Optional)||Ionic Technology & Infrared Emission||Ionic Technology & Infrared Emission||Ionic Technology & Infrared Emission||Ionic Technology & Infrared Emission||Steam Technology||PTC Heating Technology and Infrared Emission|
|The Plate Materials: Titanium, Nano Titanium, Titanium Ceramic, Titanium Tourmaline||Nano Titanium||Titanium Tourmaline||Nano Titanium||Silver Titanium||Titanium Ceramic||Titanium|
|The Available Sizes: Preferable Plate Sizes 1 Inch, 1 ¼ Inch||1 Inch, 1 ½ Inch & 2 Inch||1 ¼ Inch||1 Inch||1 ½ Inch||1 Inch & 1 ¾ Inch||1 Inch|
|The Required Temperature: 390°F to 450°F (Preferably LCD Screen or Detailed Control Dial)||50 Different Temperature Settings (Heat Ranges From 200°F to 450°F)||Multi-level Temperature Settings (Heat Ranges From 240°F to 450°F)||Multi-level Temperature Settings (Heat Ranges From 170°F to 450°F)||25 Different Temperature Settings (Heat Ranges From 200°F to 450°F)||30 Different Temperature Settings (Heat Ranges From 180°F to 420°F)||Multi-level Temperature Settings (Heat Ranges From 270°F to 450°F)|
|Detailed Rheostat Dial Control||Digital Temperature Control With LCD Screen||Digital Temperature Control With LCD Screen||Digital Temperature Control With LCD Screen||Detailed Rheostat Dial Control||Digital Temperature Control With LCD Screen|
|Price Range||More Than $100 Dollars||Less Than $100 Dollars||Less Than $50 Dollars||More Than $50 Dollars||Less Than $50 Dollars||More Than $50 Dollars|
The Reasons We Didn’t Choose
Remington S7310 Wet 2 Straight Hair Straightener
For years, Remington has been known for manufacturing Top quality hair styling tools, and this Wet 2 Straight S7310 is no different; this flat iron can straighten even wet hair to bone straight locks and that too at a very affordable price tag. But even after having titanium plates and other suitable features we couldn’t suggest this ironing tool to straighten kinky hairs because of the following reasons:
Hair Straightener by Vland Pro Flat Iron
This cute, compact flat iron from VLAND is lightweight, vibrant and very feminine; it also comes with several features that we look for in a good quality hair straightener to produce extraordinary straightening results. Still, we didn’t include this flat iron in our Bests list as:
Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Ultra Thin Flat Iron
*Ryton is a registered trademark of the Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., LLC.
HSI Professional Titanium Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron
Kipozi Pro Titanium Ion Plates 1 Inch Flat Iron
Croc Classic Nano-titanium Flat Iron
Hairstyles You Can Achieve With a Flat Iron on Natural Hair
It’s a misconception that a flat iron can only be used to straighten hairs; with a supreme quality flat iron, other than straightening your rigid natural tresses, you can also style your hairs with big voluminous curls and lustrous beachy waves.
Another popular hairstyle that you can achieve on your natural hairs with a flat iron is the silk press style. Even though silk press is also a straightening technique, the result it produces is far from the result you achieve on a regular basis.
A silk press style allows the natural hair to be very straight, shiny, silky, soft, and most importantly the hair has a lot of body and movement. It is a modern day “press and curls” hairstyle that gives your natural hairs the look like it has been chemically relaxed.
But in reality, you don’t need to use any sort of chemical to silk press your kinky locks; you just need to deep condition your hairs 2-3 times prior the process and use a good quality flat iron with high heat settings like the BaByliss PRO Nano Titanium-Plated Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron.
With proper maintenance and “no-wash” routine, a silk press can last for at least 4-5 days on your otherwise natural tresses.
Other Things You Need to Straighten Natural Hairs
A straightening iron alone cannot produce the straightening results in your natural hairs as perfectly as you would have wanted. There are some other tools and accessories you need in order to turn your kinky tresses into bone straight locks, and they are:
A Hair Brush
Not all the combs and hair brushes are suitable to us on kinky hair locks as this hair type is quite different from other hairs and requires extra attention.
You need a hairbrush that can detangle the kinky strands from the depth of the curls yet is super gentle so that it doesn’t pull hairs out. The Wet Brush Pro Detangle Hair Brush might be the perfect one for you at a very reasonable price tag to detangle and brush through your kinky hairs.
Hair Serum & Heat Protectant
Even though the flat irons that we have suggested above come with several safety features and innovative technologies to protect your natural hairs from any burns and heat damages, it’s always wise to take extra steps to make sure your tresses remain healthy and safe even after applying a high amount of heat.
The best way to ensure extra protection of your precious tresses is to apply a heat protectant or serum just before you use the straightener. This HSI PROFESSIONAL Heat Hair Protector & Conditioner is one amazing serum with Argan Oil & Vitamins that can tolerate heat exposure up to 450º F.
Last but not least, use a hair spray to set the straightened hairs so that your hairs remain bone straight throughout the day. You can try the Garnier Fructis Style Extreme Control Anti-Humidity Hairspray, Extreme Hold on you natural straightened hairs as it provides 24-hour hold and has a non-greasy, light formula that doesn’t weight down the tresses.
Kinky hairs are sensitive and damage-prone and therefore require extra attention when you try to straighten them. All the flat irons that we have suggested above, promise to take care of your natural tresses with utmost sincerity and attention. Even though most of the straighteners suggested above come with a relatively expensive price tag, we promise that they are worth the money; you won’t be disappointed once you start to use any one of these tools to straighten your kinky manes.