Best Flat Irons for Natural Hair
In the world of hairstyling products, few are as versatile as the flat iron. Women with straight hair may use a flat iron to remove frizz and add a healthy shine. Women with wavy hair can easily use a flat iron to straighten their hair or to add soft curls. And, women with naturally curly hair rely on hair straighteners to give them pin-straight hair without any frizz or chemicals. No matter what your reason for looking at flat irons, we’re here to help you find the best one for your own lifestyle. We’ve gathered up our top 5 flat iron picks and organized them by why they’re the best. Which one will you buy today?
Top Flat Irons and Hair Straighteners for Natural Curly Hair
- CROC Premium Infrared Plate Titanium Flat Iron, Black, 1.5 Inch
- GVP Hot Pink Ceramic Flat Iron 1
- Berta Professional Hair Straightener Anti-Static Digital Ceramic Tourmaline 1 Inch Hair Flat Irons
- Professional Ceramic Flat Iron – Hair Straightener by Studio 105
- Gold ‘N Hot Professional Titanium Straightening Iron, 1 Inch
Quick NavigationTop Flat Irons and Hair Straighteners for Natural Curly Hair1) Best Premium Flat Iron: CROC Premium Infrared Plate Titanium Flat Iron, Black, 1.5 Inch2) Best Value: GVP Hot Pink Ceramic Flat Iron 1″3) Best Budget Flat Iron: Berta Professional Hair Straightener Anti-Static Digital Ceramic Tourmaline 1 Inch Hair Flat Irons4) Best for Short Hair: Professional Ceramic Flat Iron – Hair Straightener by Studio 1055) Best for African American Hair: Gold ‘N Hot Professional Titanium Straightening Iron, 1 InchConsiderations Before Shopping
1) Best Premium Flat Iron: CROC Premium Infrared Plate Titanium Flat Iron, Black, 1.5 Inch
For those with a larger budget (and greater demands from their hair care products), the CROC Premium Infrared Plate Titanium Flat Iron is an absolute must-have. This flat iron handles straight, frizzy hair as well as tight, kinky hair, leaving behind an incredible sheen and softness. It can even delicately straighten extensions – the possibilities are endless!
Of course, the biggest downfall to the CROC Premium Infrared Flat Iron is the cost – this straightener costs almost ten times as much as the Berta (at the time of this review). However, if you must have the same level of tools that professional salons use, CROC is a brand with an impressive reputation and a stellar customer service record. Those looking for the best of the best will be delighted by this high-end flat iron.
2) Best Value: GVP Hot Pink Ceramic Flat Iron 1″
If you want results that rival the top salon brands without paying salon prices, the GVP Hot Pink Ceramic Flat Iron is a generic alternative to pricier premium brands. This straightener has a bright pink cool-touch body surrounding black 1-inch black ceramic plates. As discussed in the Studio 105 review above, ceramic plates to a great job holding onto heat, giving you up to 420 degrees F of instant heat. While this much heat is not recommended for daily use or use on dry ends, it can be extremely helpful with rough-textured ethnic hair.
Our only complaint with this particular model is that there are no safety features whatsoever. The handle doesn’t have a grip texture, and there’s no locking mechanism or auto shut-off to protect from burns. The handles are heat-resistant, but you will need to exercise caution while using this, if it’s your first time. All in all, if you’re looking for a great value, you can’t beat GVP.
3) Best Budget Flat Iron: Berta Professional Hair Straightener Anti-Static Digital Ceramic Tourmaline 1 Inch Hair Flat Irons
Sometimes, the budget is one of the biggest factors in determining which straightener you’re going to buy. Full-ceramic straighteners can be expensive, while ceramic-coated plates are much cheaper. The Berta Professional Hair Straightener uses a ceramic-coated tourmaline plate that offers the ionic benefits of tourmaline with the quick-heating power of ceramic, making it the best choice in budget straighteners.
The design of the Berta Hair Straightener is much subtler than the previous items on our list, and for those who prefer the simplicity of black on silver, this flat iron is perfect. The digital display gives you a precise temperature reading that you can’t get with manual dials. It is definitely not a lightweight straightener, which may be a drawback for you if you’ll be using it frequently, but at this price point, this is the clear-cut winner.
4) Best for Short Hair: Professional Ceramic Flat Iron – Hair Straightener by Studio 105
The Studio 105 Professional Ceramic Flat Iron was designed to tackle any hair type – from pin straight to afro curls. The narrow barrel is perfect for shorter hair that may slip out of a larger-plated iron. This particular model also has an attractive counter presence, whether stored in the included display box or left out for everyday use. The vibrant color of the durable frame stands out well against the black ceramic plates, which hold heat remarkably well. The handle has an attractive checkered grip that feels sophisticated and sleek.
It’s not all about looks, though – in order to call a straightener “professional quality”, it needs to hold up to the strict standards set by your local salon. This ceramic flat iron from Studio 105 gives salon-quality results at a fair and reasonable price. If you wear your hair in shorter styles, such as a bob, this is our top pick.
5) Best for African American Hair: Gold ‘N Hot Professional Titanium Straightening Iron, 1 Inch
It’s no secret that coarser, more textured hair needs a different approach – and Gold ‘N Hot is dedicated to the diversity of hair types. This US-based company creates products specifically for women of color, and their experience in the industry delivers time and time again. This straightening iron is also reasonably priced, and backed by a full year warranty from the manufacturer.
We love that Gold ‘N Hot gave us some safety controls with this model, which were missing with other, more expensive options on our list. The handles lock shut at the press of a button, and the floating titanium plates deliver superior control with no hot spots. For added volume, try applying coconut oil or thermal protecting spray before straightening.
Considerations Before Shopping
Whenever you buy an item online, it’s essential that you know what you’re getting into. Sometimes, the cheap options will end up costing a lot more when you need to replace them, so price alone is not a good factor for deciding which flat iron is best for you. Keep the following in mind when shopping for your new hair straightener:
While the brand of the hair products you use is probably not the most important factor, the brands that carry an incredible reputation and track record are generally trusted more than the up-and-coming brands that haven’t yet made a name for themselves. While this doesn’t guarantee that the well-known brand is a better product, a brand with a great customer service policy does guarantee that any problems you encounter will be made right by the company.
The material your straightener’s plates are made out of will greatly impact the results you get. Some are meant to heat up quickly, such as ceramic-plated metal, but these don’t retain heat as well, nor do they offer the greatest heat distribution. Full ceramic plates take longer to heat up, but they aren’t prone to hot spots or rapid cooling. Titanium plates are one of the most expensive options, but they heat up quickly and last for years of regular use. Hair Straightener Studio has offered a helpful guide about the different materials used in flat irons, which can be found here.
How Frequently You’ll Straighten:
For most people, it’s not healthy to heat-treat your hair too often. Whenever possible, it’s a good idea to eliminate as much unnecessary heat as you can. If you will be using your flat iron daily or once a week, it’s best to use the lowest heat setting you can for maintenance. If you’ll only straighten your hair once or twice a month, it might be safe to use a flat iron that doesn’t offer as much adjustment.
Your Hair Type:
A straightener that works well for easily-managed hair will not necessarily work for coarse, frizzy hair. You’ll need to understand your hair type before you can make an informed decision. This guide from curls.biz helps to explain the many types of hair, as well as the types of products that work best for your curl pattern.
Since flat irons have a huge potential to cause heat damage to the hair, it’s best if you use a straightener with an adjustable temperature control. Not all hair types require higher heat, and in general, the higher temperature you use, the more damage you’ll cause your hair. While it’s next to impossible to heat-treat your hair without any heat damage, starting at the lowest temperature setting can help prevent breakage and keep your hairstyles looking exceptional.
I know we said the cheaper options are not always the best, and that’s still definitely true. But there’s no reason you need to empty your life savings just to get a great hair style. There are affordable options available for any budget, and it can be helpful to decide this before you start.
While we’ve done our best to compile accurate information for each of these straighteners, it is your responsibility to verify the manufacturer’s claims through reviews from other customers. If possible, look for reviews that show before and after pictures, as well as actual product pictures. As much as we want to trust the information that companies put on the internet, it’s all too common for these companies to misrepresent the strengths and weaknesses of their brand in order to make more sales. Always be sure to do your homework!