Hair Straighteners: What You Need to Know

A easy rundown on the differences between ceramic straighteners, titanium straighteners and more!

In a sea of material choices, it's tough to determine which straightener is right for your hair type. When you crave stick-straight locks, a little knowledge goes a long way.

Selecting a flat iron can feel a bit like returning to high-school chemistry class. What is titanium, after all, and is ceramic more durable than glass? Are pearl irons really a thing outside of heaven?

Honestly, you don't need a degree in chemistry to choose the right flat iron. A little knowledge about your hair density, type, and texture is all you need to consult our handy guide to flat irons. Here's how to choose the right straightener for your hair.

Ceramic Irons

Ceramic flat irons are a perennial favourite in salons and among beauty devotees. The reason for this is pretty simple: ceramic conducts heat evenly and effectively smooths the hair shaft. Ceramic irons tend to heat up a bit more slowly than other straighteners, so if you're in a hurry, consider another option.

Ceramic irons also tend not to get as hot as titanium straighteners. If you have very coarse or unruly hair, ceramic might not be the right option. Otherwise, ceramic is the perfect blend of price and value.

Be careful when shopping for inexpensive irons. Ceramic-coated plates command a much lower price. But over time, the ceramic tends to wear off, rendering your hair vulnerable to burns from metal plates.

Looking for the perfect ceramic iron? Give the Cloud Nine C9 Wide Iron a whirl.

Titanium Straighteners

Titanium is the best option for coarse, thick, curly hair because of how effectively it conducts heat. Titanium straighteners tend to get hotter than ceramic ones, but unlike cheaper metal plates, titanium conducts heat evenly.

This reduces the damage that very hot straightener plates can cause to your tresses. Because titanium plates tend to get very hot, always use the lowest possible heat setting.

Titanium appliances tend to heat more quickly than other options, making them ideal for quick touch-ups and busy lifestyles.

Tourmaline Irons

Tourmaline is a gemstone that produces negative ions, counteracting the positive ions that cause frizz and waviness. Some tourmaline irons are coated with ceramic. These are an exception to the rule about avoiding ceramic-coated irons, since tourmaline plates are safe to use on your hair when the ceramic wears down.

Tourmaline straighteners are ideal for wavy and fine hair textures. They heat up evenly, quickly straightening and shining even unruly flyaways.

Glass and Metal Flat Irons

Glass might sound like an interesting idea for a straightener, particularly if you're worried about damage from hot straightening plates. But both glass and metal flat irons tend to be lower in quality.

Glass doesn't conduct heat well, resulting in uneven and ineffective straightening. This necessitates repeated swipes with the iron, potentially producing more damage.

Likewise, 'metal' can refer to a wide range of substances and usually denotes a much cheaper iron. It's better to know exactly what you're getting, so avoid straighteners generically described as 'metal'.