Do you like glossy, straightened hair but instead have a head full of gorgeous natural black hair that isn’t necessarily straight?
If you want to give your natural African American hair(or any other hairstyle) straight, beautiful tresses, then you’ve come to the right place.
Namely, in this article, we suggest some of the best hair straighteners available in the market to straighten natural hair. But, we also try to solve the problems that people encounter with such kinds of hairdo when they try to style their hair.
Moreover, we also listed other tools and accessories you would need in order to turn your densely curled hairs into lustrous, silky straightened tresses.
Ideally, at the end of this article, you’ll have everything you need to transform your hair into whatever you need.
- 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 full details, here’s a quick peek at the flat irons that we recommend as the best in the market to straighten your natural hair with extreme care and attention:
Flat Iron Buying Guide for Natural Hair
What is Natural Hair?
Natural hair is defined as hair that is in its purest form. Hair strands with the flattest follicles.
Mainly, hair that has not been altered by substances such as chemical straighteners(1).
Additionally, even though natural hair tends to have small curls that are part of a zig-zag pattern right from the scalp, and looks super dense and thick, in reality, natural hair types have the most fragile hair texture.
Mainly because they have the fewest cuticle layer on each hair strand, which is meant to protect the hair from dryness.
Moreover, by nature, natural hair is wiry and delicate. And thus requires extra care and attention.
For example, people with Afro-American hair may inherit a type of hair (genetically) that is difficult to turn into coils.
Nevertheless, learn to embrace your natural locks in order to maintain their healthy structure without worrying too much.
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 types of hair that simply identify with different names, as both these hair types have curls (albeit different types) in their locks.
But in reality, curly hair and natural hair are quite different from each other. The curly patterns in themselves are not the same.
For starter, Type 3 curly hair can range from a light curl to tight, curly tendrils.
Whereas Type 4 hairs are adorned with tight dense coils which are super delicate yet extremely difficult to straighten, they can be thin, or wiry and coarse(2).
The hair texture, shrinkage rate, and appearance of both hair types are also different.
Therefore, there is no reason to think that curly hair and natural hair are of the same category.
Nevertheless, when it comes to straightening, both types require work in terms of heat and technology to turn them into straight locks.
However, if they require the same technology and heat then why are we calling them by different names?
That’s because you would require more time and application to straighten natural hair compare to curly hair with the same flat iron.
Different Types of Natural Hair
Natural Afro-American in itself is a hair type with a few sub-categories.
To understand your natural hair, you must learn the exact nature, texture, and other factors to properly take care of your delicate hair locks. In addition to finding the right styling tool for your hair.
Let’s take a look at the different sub-categories in order to have a better understanding:
Let’s now see how to choose the best straightening iron for kinky(frizzy) hair in detail.
It is important to note that manufacturers do not produce flat irons according to the many sub-categories of natural hairs;
Instead, while in the production stage, manufacturers make sure that flat irons include features that help with common problems all-natural hair people encounter.
How to Straighten Natural Hair?
Straightening stubborn African American hair locks to perfection can be time-consuming and difficult. However, it is definitely possible.
There are two main methods of straightening your natural hair; permanent and temporary.
This section will only talk about the temporary straightening of black hair. Furthermore, the tools and methods to achieve perfectly straightened locks are also the best tools to use on natural tresses.
First, let’s discuss the tools and methods that can temporarily straighten your natural hair to gorgeous straightened locks:
Even though there are many ways to straighten your natural kinky hair locks, nothing can beat the straightening results produced on your hair by an excellent quality flat or straightening iron.
A flat iron can effectively straighten your tough natural hair to silky straight locks temporarily and is also a crucial tool in any permanent hair straightening process.
Hence, we suggest using a flat iron to turn your stubborn locks to bone straight tresses whenever you want.
Types of Flat Irons to Straighten Natural Hair - Which Type Is Best & Why?
There are mainly two types of flat irons available in the market to straighten your natural hair locks to perfection.
Let’s take a look at both to help you understand which one is better at straightening kinky hairs and why.
Steam Flat Irons
Steam flat irons are designed to replenish moisture during the straightening process, resulting in stick-straight strands that won’t over-dry your hair.
A steam flat iron comes with steam or vapor Infusion Technology that releases an adequate amount of steam to the hair through a stem vent placed in the flat iron.
The steam helps you achieve perfectly straight and sleek hair with plenty of moisturizer and nourishment.
No-steam Flat Irons
Firstly, these Flat Irons don’t feature stem technology; instead, they give you the option of using features like ionic technology and infrared emission.
Both of these methods can straighten kinky hair efficiently without causing any damage.
Ultimately, both steam and no-steam Flat Irons are excellent at producing extraordinary straightening results in natural hair when they include both ionic technology and infrared emission.
Without these must-have technologies, a flat iron might straighten your frizzy hair. However, your hair won’t be as frizz-free, silky and shiny as you could have otherwise achieved.
How to Choose the Best Flat Iron for Natural Hair?
Because of its nature, natural hair is super gentle yet extremely tough to straighten.
Therefore, when choosing a flat iron for natural tresses, you must be very precise with the features and qualities you want.
Namely, this type of hair tends to be problematic when you try to apply heat on it for straightening purposes.
Besides the features, you should seek while shopping for a flat iron for your natural black hair, keep in mind the below problems associated with straightening kinky hair.
And how a supreme quality flat iron can solve them to make your straightening experience more pleasant.
Let’s discuss how to solve the problems of kinky, frizzy hair with a flat iron:
How to Deal With the Frizziness, Split Ends, Tangles and Knots of Natural Hair Using a Flat Iron?
The closely-packed Type 4 hair may seem thick and strong, but in reality, this hair type is quite thin and fragile, in addition to sensitive and frizz-prone.
Frizz in hair is mainly caused by the lack of moisture and nourishment in the tresses. As for kinky hair, the densely packed nature and the zig-zag pattern of these strands act as a barrier preventing 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 hair try to apply heat on already frizzy tresses for straightening purposes, the heat stripes out the little amount of moisture left from the hair, making them even frizzier.
Split ends refer to the splits at the outer end of your hair. A split end occurs when the tip of your hair becomes dry and brittle because of a lack of moisture and nourishment.
By nature, we know that natural hair is drier because the over-curly shape of this type of hair doesn’t let the moisture and oils down the hair strands properly.
Thus, compared to the other types of hair, kinky tresses suffer the most from split ends.
The problem with split ends is that you cannot repair them. Mainly, to get rid of them, you have to trim your hair strands’ ends and start fresh with new tips.
Nevertheless, the good news is that with proper care and attention, you can prevent the splits from coming back to your precious tresses.
Tangles and knots are yet another annoying problem faced by people with natural hair locks.
When you leave your Type 4 hair loose for a long period of time, 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.
Therefore, applying heat for styling purposes only adds to the potential breakage of the tresses.
To fight all frizzes, flyaways, knots, tangles, and split ends successfully while you straighten your natural locks, you must use a flat iron that incorporates ionic technology and comes with a built-in ionic generator.
The ionic generator disperses negative ions to your hair to saturate the balance between positive and negative ions and neutralize static, causing positive ions in your hair to reduce frizz and flyaways.
Furthermore, the negative ions also play a crucial part in sealing hair moisture and nourishment, making them straight, silky, and smooth while eliminating any potential split ends, knots, and tangles.
Even though it’s not related to a flat iron, there is one more thing you can do 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, such as the Living Proof No Frizz Humidity Shield, along with ionic technology, will help you banish frizz and statics more precisely.
Additionally, while buying a flat iron for your natural hair locks, you should also take a look at 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 hair is straightened to perfection in a concise amount of time.
Moreover, because infrared emission reduces styling time, your delicate natural hair is 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 Hair Using a Flat Iron?
We mentioned previously that natural hair is dry by nature, and therefore is super prone to breakage.
Moreover, the high amount of heat applied to this hair type to straighten them can cause further breakage because the heat sucks up the minimal amount of moisture left in the hair strands, making them even drier.
Another problem 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 hair during your straightening session, you should use a flat iron that either comes with Titanium, Nano Titanium, Titanium Ceramic, or Titanium Tourmaline constructed plates.
We emphasize 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 hair is 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 Hair?
The temperature settings to straighten frizzy kinky hair is essential.
Namely, a relatively low-temperature setting won’t straighten your tough natural tresses to 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 hair into straight, flowy tresses with minimum to zero heat damage or burns.
Therefore, when you buy a flat iron to straighten your Afro-American hair, look for a tool with multiple temperature settings.
And, preferably comes with 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 Hair?
Natural hair doesn’t grow too long because of its nature. Therefore, a flat iron with 1 inch or 1 ¼ inch plates is perfect to straighten kinky tresses, as plates wider than these sizes are meant for long hair and won’t do full justice to short or medium kinky hair during any styling session.
Furthermore, with a comparatively narrow plate, you can go super close to the roots of your hair and straighten them for a more consistent look.
A Quick Glance at the Must Have Features of a Flat Iron for Natural Hair
It is important to note that the must-have features of a flat iron that we have listed above might seem similar to the ones required for curly hair.
Nevertheless, while they are quite similar, there is an inherent difference in the time required to straighten natural hair compared to the time needed to straighten curly tresses.
Top Flat Irons for Natural Hair
We have mentioned several times already that frizzy kinky hair may seem tough and strong, but in reality, it’s extremely fragile and damage-prone.
And therefore, require extra care and attention whenever you try to style that hair type.
To turn these delicate tresses into straight locks, you must use a gentle straightening iron. And one that can straighten natural hair without exposing them to any unnecessary heat damage, burns, or breakage.
After researching and reviewing different flat irons from several renowned brands, we selected a few that perform exceptionally well on black hair.
That being said, let’s compare and contrast between all our selected straightening irons and find out why we prefer some flat irons over the others:
A Comparison table with justification: Top 3
|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|
|Technology Used:||Ionic Technology & Infrared Emission||Ionic Technology & Infrared Emission||Ionic Technology & Infrared Emission|
|Plate Materials:||Nano Titanium||Titanium Tourmaline||Nano Titanium|
|Available Sizes||1 Inch, 1 ½ Inch & 2 Inch||1 ¼ Inch||1 Inch|
|Temperature Settings||50 Different Temperature Settings||Multi-level Temperature Settings||Multi-level Temperature Settings|
2 Products We Didn’t Choose and why:
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 straight locks and at a very affordable price tag.
But, despite having titanium plates and other suitable features, we cannot suggest this ironing tool to straighten frizzy kinky hair 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 includes several features that we look for in a good quality hair straightener to produce excellent straightening results.
Still, we didn’t include this flat iron in our Best list because:
Now, lets look at our best picks for flat irons for nature hair.
Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Ultra Thin Flat Iron
Babyliss PRO never fails to amaze its customers with excellent quality styling tools, and with this Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron, they continue to make sure that’s the case.
This flat iron didn’t score first place simply because of its renowned name, but also because of the quality and, most importantly, the services it offers to its users.
Built with amazing quality, this straightener includes all the key features that we look for in a styling tool to straighten stubborn frizzy hair locks.
Firstly, BaByliss constructed the plates of this ultra-thin flat iron with titanium material that heats up quickly and absorbs the highest amount of heat possible.
Thus allowing you to straighten your natural locks to straight tresses effectively.
Additionally, even though the titanium plates themselves can sustain high heat for a long period of time, BaByliss added a ceramic heater for instant heat-up and recovery.
Instant recovery means that the tool can sense even the slightest heat loss from the plate surface and instantly replace the lost heat to provide a uniform heat throughout the straightening process.
The high heat and instant recovery are designed to boost the speed of your straightening.
Additionally, it’s a well-known fact that natural hair requires high amounts of heat to straighten perfectly compared to other hair types.
Thus, keeping in mind this special requirement, BaByliss incorporated 50 different heat settings, ranging from 200° F to 450° F, to this straightening iron.
In addition to a labeled rheostat dial, the users don’t find it difficult to set their preferred high-temperature level.
Moreover, this flat iron includes infrared emission technology that transfers heat energy to each hair strand for more precise straightening.
The point there is to straighten them from inside out quickly yet safely.
Speaking of safety, we would also like to mention that this straightener machine’s built-in ionic generator releases plenty of negative ions to the hair.
These ions not only fight frizz off the natural hair strands but also protect them from heat damage.
The negative ions seal in moisture, form a protective layer on the hair strands, and ensure that your precious tresses don’t get burnt due to the high heat.
Additionally, the plate size is worth mentioning. Namely, the extra-long, 5-inch plates allow you to grab a wider section of your natural hair and straighten them at once, which boosts styling speed and reduces hand fatigue.
*Ryton is a registered trademark of the Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., LLC.
HSI Professional Titanium Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron
If you are hesitant to spend a great deal of money on a single hair styling tool, then a great alternative to the BaByliss PRO Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron is this Titanium Tourmaline Flat Iron from HSI.
Which also includes all the essential features we look for in a good quality straightening iron at a reasonable price tag.
Even though this tool has a comparatively lower price, the quality of the results it provides is up to standard.
HSI incorporated both ionic technology and infrared emission in this flat iron machine.
Which not only straightens your “tough to style” frizzy hair locks from the inside out but also protects them from any heat damage.
The infrared emission transfers a high amount of heat energy to the hair shafts to straighten them quickly and precisely.
While the ionic technology makes sure that the frizz-prone natural hairs become smooth and flowy.
This is done by sealing in your hair’s moisture and locking in essential hair oils in the cuticles.
Additionally, it forms a protective layer over the strands that protects them from heat burns and damage.
Moreover, the floating plates of this professional-grade flat iron(which are 100% true solid titanium tourmaline) include the qualities of both the materials.
And, heats up in seconds so that you don’t have to waste any time.
These plates are also known to distribute heat evenly to each hair strand to ensure that your delicate natural tresses don’t suffer from hair breakage.
Furthermore, because of its design and the titanium tourmaline material, the plates’ surface is quite smooth.
This ensures that your hair glides on effortlessly without any snagging.
Additionally, the curved edges of the floating plates also contribute to the smooth gliding of your tangle-prone hairs by continuously adjusting the plate angles to the direction you pull the hair strands.
Another aspect that helps the plates distribute heat evenly is HeatBalance technology; this mechanism uses eight micro-sensors to regulate the temperature level and distribute heat evenly.
Hence, you’ll need fewer passes to turn your frizzy, rough natural hair into straightened tresses.
Fewer passes also ensure less exposure to heat and thus diminishes the chances of burns to your hair.
Kipozi Pro Titanium Ion Plates 1 Inch Flat Iron
The KIPOZI Pro Titanium Flat Iron is another excellent flat iron at a reasonable price with all the features we seek in a flat iron to straighten natural hair.
This straightening iron deserved a position in our list of best flat irons for frizzy hair because of its looks and performance.
To compete with other high-end flat irons, KIPOZI constructed the floating plates of this Pro Titanium straightening tool with Nano titanium material.
Besides being a good conductor of heat, it is also a very durable material that ensures this straightening tool’s longevity.
Titanium-constructed straightening iron won’t break easily and thus tends to last quite a bit.
Therefore, for your African American hair locks(or any other type of natural hair), it’s always wise to invest in a titanium flat iron because titanium plates will provide durability and straighten your natural hair a matter of minutes.
Additionally, it is important to note that this KIPOZI flat iron’s advanced ceramic heater helps it reach 380° F in 30 seconds, which is uncommon for a styling tool at this price range.
If you require more heat, you can increase the heat level with the conveniently placed temperature controls and monitor the change in the LCD screen added in the handle.
The LCD screen also helps you set the exact heat level according to your preferences.
Moreover, since the plates of this flat iron get very hot in seconds, KIPOZI incorporated a built-in ionic generator that releases an abundance of negative ions to your natural hair locks.
The point of this is to protect them from any heat damage and hot spots.
Heat damage and hot spots can potentially lead to hair breakage and result in uneven, lifeless tresses.
Aside from heat protection, the negative ions are also responsible for eliminating frizz from natural hair and produce silky and smooth tresses by locking in hairs moisture and nourishment.
Croc Classic Nano-titanium Flat Iron
This Classic Flat Iron from Croc comes with most of our preferred features and offers a few more outstanding qualities to make the straightening process of kinky hair smooth and successful.
Because of its excellent results, this Classic flat iron is preferred by professionals for salon use.
Nevertheless, we were a bit disappointed with the 1 ½ inch plates, which are a bit wider than our preferred plate size.
And, might not be the best one to straighten short natural tresses.
Nevertheless, this classic straightening iron is an amazing tool to style your hair effortlessly other than this minor gripe.
Let’s begin with the unique design of this flat iron; this ergonomically designed straightening iron has “jaws” just above its plates that might seem like a gimmick at first glance.
These jaws act as a comb and help to detangle super knotty natural hair so that the tool can glide smoothly through the tresses and deliver excellent straightening results.
The titanium constructed plates also help in the easy gliding process as titanium makes the plate surface smooth and sleek.
Furthermore, it helps the tool to run through hair effortlessly without any snagging or pulling.
Moreover, the titanium coating makes sure that the high heat is distributed evenly throughout each hair strand so that your sensitive hair does not suffer from any hot spots and potential breakage.
The infrared emission and revolutionary ionic technology also play their part in keeping your damage-prone hair safe.
The infrared mechanism helps the heat energy pass through the hair strands’ shafts, straightening them from the inside.
Simultaneously, the ionic generator’s negative ions form a protective layer over the tresses by sealing in moisture and nourishment and ensures that the applied heat doesn’t damage the delicate hairs.
Also, the ions actively reduce frizz and statics to deliver smooth hair locks.
Another unique feature that Croc incorporated in this classic iron is advanced Nano-silver technology.
This type of technology is used to sterilize and deodorize your natural hair locks to free all your hair strands from any bacteria or foul odor.
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 hair.
Other than straightening your rigid natural tresses with the right flat iron, you can also style your hair with voluminous curls and beachy waves.
Another popular hairstyle to try on your natural hair 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 regularly.
A silk press style allows natural hair to be straight, shiny, silky, soft, and, most importantly, allows the hair to have a lot of body and movement.
It is a modern-day “press and curls” hairstyle that gives your natural hair a chemically relaxed look.
But in reality, you don’t need to use any chemical to silk press your kinky locks; you need to deep condition your hairs 2-3 times before 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 a “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 Hair
A straightening iron alone cannot produce the straightening results in your natural hair as perfectly as you want.
There are other tools and accessories you need in order to turn your kinky tresses into straight locks, and they are:
A Hair Brush
Not all the combs and hairbrushes are suitable for use on kinky hair locks as this hair type is different from other hair types.
You need a hairbrush that can detangle the strands from the depth of the curls but is gentle enough to not pull hair 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.
It’s almost forbidden to use a flat iron on wet hair, as the heat from the iron might break and damage the hair strands beyond repair.
Hair experts always advise drying your natural hair with a good quality hair dryer before starting to style with a flat iron machine.
You can use the BaByliss PRO Nano Titanium Dryer to dry your closely-packed natural hair effectively and quickly.
Hair Serum & Heat Protectant
Even though the flat irons we have suggested above come with safety features and innovative technologies to protect your natural hair from any burns and heat damages, it’s always wise to take extra steps to make sure your tresses remain healthy and safe 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 an amazing serum with Argan Oil & Vitamins that can tolerate heat exposure up to 450º F.
Lastly, use a hair spray so that your hair remains straight throughout the day.
You can try the Garnier Fructis Style Extreme Control Anti-Humidity Hairspray, Extreme Hold on your natural straightened hair as it has a non-greasy, light formula that doesn’t weight down the tresses and lasts up to 24 hours.
Frizzy kinky hair is sensitive and damage-prone and therefore requires extra attention when you try to straighten them.
All the flat irons that we have suggested above will help you take care of your natural tresses as long as you use them properly.
Even though most of the straighteners suggested above come with a relatively expensive price tag, they are worth the money;
Taking care of your hair should be done properly and healthily. Once you start to use any one of these tools to straighten your kinky manes, please reach out to us.
Additionally, please take a look at our list of flat iron models that can be used on all hair types.