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Updated October 2022
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Buying guide for Best tourmaline flat irons

A flat iron is arguably the most versatile hair tool out there. It straightens, adds body, and can even be used to curl your hair in a pinch. However, all of that comes at the price of heat damage that can leave your hair dry and frizzy. If this problem sounds all too familiar to you, consider investing in a tourmaline flat iron.

Tourmaline is a gemstone that’s become a popular coating for hair tools because it produces negative ions, which helps your hair lay flatter and smoother. Tourmaline alone can only do so much, so if you want the best results, you have to choose a flat iron that has the right features for your needs.

Here’s a brief guide to help walk you through the important considerations.

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Some flat irons have digital displays that enable you to choose the precise degree of heat that you want.

Key Considerations

The two most important factors when choosing a tourmaline flat iron are the plate size and temperature.

Plate Size

Flat iron plate sizes range from about ½ to 2 inches wide, with 1-inch plates being the most common. The advantage of going with larger plates is that you can cover more ground at one time. They work best on thicker hair and for creating sleek, straight looks.

On the other hand, a narrower plate is better if you intend to use the flat iron to curl your hair as well. Smaller plates also enable you to get closer to your scalp without the risk of burns, so they’re popular for straightening bangs and short hair.

Depending on your hair type and how you plan to style it, it may make sense for you to have a larger and a smaller flat iron so that you aren’t limited by the size of a single model’s plates.

Temperature

The majority of tourmaline flat irons have adjustable temperature controls so you can choose the heat setting that’s best for you. This will largely be determined by your hair type. Fine and dry hair should use lower heat settings, preferably no more than 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Medium-thickness hair can tolerate a little more heat. Settings between 300 and 380 degrees Fahrenheit will work best for this group. Finally, those with thick, hard-to-tame hair should go with a flat iron that offers heat settings between 350 degrees and 450 degrees.

Features

Once you’ve narrowed down your results based on plate size and temperature settings, you can focus on these additional features:

Safety Features

Flat irons can become very hot, so it’s important to choose a model that has safety features like auto shut-off. This automatically turns the flat iron off if it begins to overheat to prevent burns and fires. If you plan to use your flat iron to curl your hair, it’s also a wise idea to invest in a model that has cool-touch tips so that you can grasp the end of the flat iron without burning your fingers.

Flat Iron Shape

Flat irons may be rectangular with sharp edges or they may be a little more rounded. Some think this is just a stylistic choice, but that’s not the case. Rounded flat irons are easier to use for curling your hair than flat irons with sharper edges. If you think there’s a possibility that you may want to use your flat iron to curl your hair occasionally, you’re better off investing in a model with rounded edges.

Dual Voltage

Dual voltage is a must for travelers because traditional flat irons will not work in the outlets that exist in other parts of the world. You will still need an adapter, even if you have a dual-voltage flat iron, but you won’t need to go out and purchase an entirely new flat iron to take on your trip. This isn’t an essential feature, though, if you don’t plan to travel out of the country.

Swivel Cord

You don’t need a tourmaline flat iron with a swivel cord, but it does make styling your hair much more convenient. A swivel cord will pivot around the base so it stays out of your way. Traditional fixed cords cannot do this, so it’s possible that you may need to keep moving it out of the way while you’re straightening your hair and this could become annoying.

Built-In Brush

Some tourmaline flat irons have a built-in brush to help keep your hair from tangling while you straighten it. This isn’t a make-or-break feature because most people will have a brush on hand anyway, but if you don’t or you don’t want to keep switching back and forth between the brush and the flat iron, a flat iron with a built-in brush can be a bonus.

Design

These days, flat irons are available in all sorts of fun colors and patterns. But not all models offer a selection of color choices. Design is something worth thinking about if you’re having trouble deciding between two comparable models, but the features mentioned above should take precedence over this.

Price

Tourmaline flat irons range in price from $15 on the low end to over $500 for professional straighteners.

Inexpensive

While you can find a tourmaline flat iron that works for under $20, these models don’t tend to last very long. They are also prone to heating unevenly, which can dry your hair out too much because you may need to pass over the same spot several times in order to straighten it.

Mid-range

If you want a quality tourmaline flat iron that will last, we recommend that you spend between $50 and $150. These flat irons tend to hold up better over time and they heat more evenly, so you can straighten your hair in fewer passes.

Expensive

If you want a high-quality, professional tourmaline flat iron, expect to pay at least $150, though you could spend more than $500 for a top-of-the-line model.

Tips

  • You should periodically clean your flat iron plates because hair products can build up over time and damage the plates.

  • Always use a heat protection spray in your hair before you begin using a flat iron.

  • Narrower plates are better for fine hair. Wider plates may apply too much heat to a thin section of hair.

  • Some flat irons include a regular sized flat iron and a mini flat iron, which is great for using on bangs and other hard-to-reach areas.

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Most tourmaline flat irons use a tourmaline coating over ceramic plates. Ceramic is known for producing a gentler, infrared heat that is less damaging to hair.

FAQ

Q: How often should I clean my tourmaline flat iron plates?

A: Ideally, you should clean them after every two to three uses to be sure that dead skin cells and hair products are not building up on the plates. You can use a baking soda mixture or a special product designed for the task.

Q: How do I know exactly what temperature to set my flat iron to?

A: Those with fine hair should start on the lowest setting that the flat iron offers. Those with medium hair should start around 300 degrees Fahrenheit and users with thick hair should start around 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If you find this isn’t enough, you can turn the heat up from here.

Q: Can I use my tourmaline flat iron on wet hair?

A: This generally isn’t recommended, even if the flat iron claims to be wet-to-dry. It could damage your hair even further. Instead, wait for your hair to air dry or blow dry it first before you use a flat iron.

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