If you’re searching for the best flat iron for natural hair, we’re guessing you’re either an experienced or novice naturalist. If you’re the former then good for you!
We hope you can share some healthy hair care tips in our comments section. If you’re the latter, don’t worry.
We’ve all been where you are now- including me.
In these next few sections, we’ll be looking at one of the most exciting opportunities that come with having long thick African hair: The flat iron.
My hairdresser says that her favorite thing about natural hair is the shrinkage. 4b and 4c (that’s me) are her favorite hair types. This is because they require a quality blow-out or flat iron to reveal their actual hair length.
Flat irons can add versatility in day-to-day hair styles. Why stick to head wraps or protective styles, when you can flat iron your hair for a lavish, sleek appearance.
Shopping Guide for the Best Flat Irons
Caring for and maintaining natural African American hair takes a lot of work. This is necessary for retaining length while growing strong, healthy locks. However, simple protective styles get old, fast. It’s fun to switch things up by flat ironing your hair every now and then.
People typically turn to these to get that old permed-look without having to give up their beautiful, curly tresses.
It’s important to remember that not every flat iron works on African American natural hair. Some are designed to straighten fine hair, which, despite misconception, is not the same as African American hair.
Natural hair is curly, coarse and kinky, and it relies on ultra-high heat flat irons to straighten. The best flat iron for natural hair will straighten, curl, and crimp your hair without damaging it. It should be easy to use, effective, durable, and provide long, lasting results.
Flat ironed African American hair can last one to two weeks. That’s seven to fourteen days of light and sleek hair whenever you feel like it.
Our team of experts believes that the best flat iron for natural hair should live up to these standards. That’s why we went ahead and made a list of the best flat irons for natural hair.
Best Flat Iron For Natural Hair Comparison Table
Best Flat Iron For Natural Hair
BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium-Plated Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron
CHI Original Ceramic Ionic Tourmaline Flat Iron
HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron
HSI Professional Titanium Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron
BIO IONIC Onepass Straightening Iron
13.2 x 2.2 x 7 inches
10 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches
12.6 x 2.6 x 4.6 inches
13 x 3 x 5 inches
1-5 inch plates
Flat Iron Features
The quality of the materials plays a large part in determining the best flat iron for natural hair. Certain types of flat irons are capable of straightening course and kinky hair in a matter of minutes.
Some products can only straighten type 3 or 4 hair, while others 1 and 2. It really comes down to the materials used in designing the flat iron.
The plate is the most important part of a flat iron. A good quality plate straightens your hair while sealing in moisture and oils for a smooth, silky finish. It’s a simple as that.
Unfortunately, not every flat iron can do this without stressing the roots, or tangling and burning the hair. That’s why it’s important to err on the side of caution when choosing flat irons.
100% ceramic plates are a good, reliable option for flat irons. Ceramic is a classic, popular option for hair straighteners. Affordable and durable, they’re capable of evenly heating hair without tearing or stressing the roots.
Because they’re a cheaper option, they might not flat iron every type of hair. Ceramic flat irons also don’t guarantee a silky, smooth finish, making them an unpopular option among the professional community.
However, ceramic flat irons can reliably straighten hair without causing damage or stress.
If you decide to purchase a ceramic plated flat iron, be sure to avoid nano-ceramic straighteners. Ceramic and nano-ceramic are not the same thing. In fact, nano-ceramic tends to contain a mix of low-quality, unreliable filler materials that will most likely burn your hair.
- Thin to Course hair
- Normal to moderately damaged hair
- Regular use (non-professional)
These plates combine ceramic and the semi-precious mineral, tourmaline, to create a high-quality straightener that’s perfect for any hair type.
To craft, tourmaline is first crushed and grinded into a fine powder. It’s then baked into the plates during manufacturing.
Tourmaline is actually a silicone material that’s capable of generating 20x the amount of moisture-locking ions than any other straightener. This results in smoother and shiner, frizz-free hair.
It also utilizes infrared heat which prevents static and frizz while sealing-in the hairs natural oils for protection against heat.
- Thin to Course hair
- Normal to Damaged hair
- Regular use
- Professional use
Titanium-ceramic flat irons are another effective option. Titanium is actually a lovely metallic element that’s found in igneous rocks. It’s an incredibly durable and lightweight material that’s renowned for its ability to conduct large amounts of heat.
Titanium flat irons also known for their speed and scratch resilience. They’re a salon-favorite as they use infrared heat to hydrate hair while smoothing. Like Tourmaline, it’s capable of locking in moisture and oils to prevent frizz and enhance shine.
Titanium flat irons are great for softening your hair and leaving it lighter and healthier than before.
It’s important to note that titanium flat irons are able to reach extreme temperatures, making them dangerous to use. Always double check that the flat iron is off or unplugged when you’re finished using it.
- Thick to Course Hair
- Normal hair (not damaged)
- Professional use
Best Flat Irons for Natural Hair Reviews
BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium-Plated Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron
The BaBylisPro Nano Straightening Iron is a high-end product that’s perfect for almost any hair type.
The smooth titanium is great for withstanding high temperatures while allowing the iron to glide smoothly through the hair.
Its nano titanium 5-inch plates are capable of reaching up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit which is perfect for curly 4b and 4c types.
The BaBylisPro is also available in 1”, 1-1/2,” and 2” plates for short and long hair.
The ultra-thin design provides easy access to roots, allowing for a smooth, sleek finish.
Overall, this flat iron is a perfect choice for any at-home hair professional.
- 50 heat settings- 450F
- Reyton housing is perfect for ultra-high heat
- Resists corrosion and rust
- Lightweight and sleek design
- The smooth titanium plates are capable of straightening even coarse and curly 4 type hair
- Its ultra-light design and heat resistance make it great for high-paced commercial settings
- The BaByliss doesn’t have an on-off switch. This is dangerous for those who typically forget to turn off their hair appliances. Always make sure to unplug this flat iron after every use.
CHI Original Pro 1” Ceramic Ionic Tourmaline Flat Iron
The CHI Original is a salon-quality flat iron and a Beauty Choice Award Winner. Capable of heating up to 410F in less than 30 seconds, it’s fit for fast-paced commercial use.
Lightweight and durable, this flat iron utilizes classic tourmaline ceramic plates to glide smoothly and effortlessly through hair. It guarantees even heat distribution and features “far infrared technology” to prevent static while flat ironing.
The CHI Original also comes with a two-year limited warranty that protects against defects in material or workmanship. This flat iron is truly one of the best flat irons for natural hair currently available.
- Far Infrared Technology
- Fast-Heat Function
- Two-year warranty
- The far infrared technology reduces friction and is a gentle, effective way to flat iron hair
- With the fast-heat function, there’s no need to wait ten to twenty minutes for your flat iron to heat up. The CHI Original is capable of heating in a matter of seconds to curl, crimp, and straighten your natural hair
- This flat iron is lightweight and easy to use. Paired with the fast-heat function, it’s a perfect option for commercial use
- Due to its high levels of heat, this flat iron would not be a good choice for fine, thin, or brittle hair. If you fall into one of these categories, we recommend you stay away from this flat iron.
- Only one temperature setting, which is great for 4b and 4c hair. However, it limits the flat iron’s versatility and ability to straighten other types of hair. This means that the CHI Original can’t straighten wigs, weaves, or fine hair.
HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Flat Iron
The HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline is an affordable, yet effective product for transforming dull, fuzzy hair into beautiful, sleek styles.
With a 1” plate and 360-degree swivel cord, it reaches deep to grip roots to provide a smooth finish.
Its Quick-Heating function allows this flat iron to warm-up in a matter of seconds. It also utilizes an ergonomic design on solid plates for maintaining even temperatures and better handling.
The HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline features adjustable temperatures that range from 240F to 400F. It’s capable of filtering 100v~220v watts of electricity for smooth hair.
It also comes with a complimentary travel-size Argon Oil leave-in hair treatment, glove, and pouch kit. The HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline is an all-in-one package that will last you years of stylish hair.
- Complimentary Travel Kit: Travel-size Argon Oil leave-in treatment, glove, and pouch
- 360-Degree swivel cord
- Adjustable Temperatures: 240F to 400F
- With its digital control LCD temperature control, you’re able to choose the temperature setting. This provides various options for flat ironing, including fine, coarse, and thin hair. It can also straighten wigs, sew-ins, and glue-ins (synthetic and real)
- The 360 degree swivel cord makes straightening your own hair an easy and comfortable process. There’s no need for fidgeting and turning in your chair to straighten hard-to-reach spots on the back of your head.
- The HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline is only capable of reaching between 240F and 400F. Long or shoulder length natural hair needs at least 410F to straighten properly. Without an ample amount of heat, you may find yourself going over the same sections of hair repeatedly. This can cause breakage and heat damage to your delicate tresses. Overall, I recommend that you forgo this flat iron if you have 4b or 4c type hair.
HSI Professional Titanium Tourmaline Flat Iron
The HSI Professional Titanium Tourmaline is another affordable best flat iron for natural hair.
It features a digital LCD temperature control panel that can reach temperatures from 240F to 450F. This seems a little too hot, but it can reliably straighten 4b and 4c hair.
This flat iron utilizes 100% solid titanium tourmaline plates and infrared heat technology to leave your hair smooth and feather-light. It also features a handy Flip & Curl round shape design to create full and curly styles.
BEST OF THE BEST
The HSI Professional Titanium Tourmaline comes with a complimentary travel kit. This includes a 5ml bottle of Argon Oil leave-in conditioner and a heat pouch for storage.
- Adjustable Digital LCD Temperature Control Panel
- 100% Solid Titanium Tourmaline plates
- 360-degree swivel cord
- Flip & Curl Design
- Complimentary travel kit with 5ml Argon Oil and heat pouch
- The adjustable digital LCD temperature control is both convenient and versatile. It’s capable of reaching up to 450-degrees Fahrenheit which guarantees a reliable straightening for even coarse 4c hair.The adjustable digital LCD temperature control allows for versatility in flat ironing for both fine and coarse hair.The Flip & Curl design allows for easy curls and classy styles with every use and no extra time
- The only disadvantage we found in the HSI Professional product related to user reviews. Many individuals claimed that his flat iron had a strange lasting smell. A few others complained about its design, saying that it was clunky or difficult to handle.
BIO IONIC Onepass Straightening Iron
The BIO IONIC Onepass Straightening Iron is truly a revolutionary marvel. It features advanced natural ionic technology to quickly flat iron hair while hydrating it.
The BIO IONIC uses nanolonicTM minerals to emit negative ions during the straightening process.
These ions bread down water particles that, then hydrate your hair leaving it smooth and silky.
Capable of reaching 400F, it comes with a multi-level heat control for better heat manipulation.
Its Tri-Strip technology guarantees 3x smoother and lighter hair. It also features silicone speed strips that are 1.5 inches in size and provide faster, easier straightening.
- Tri-Strip TechnologyNanolonic
- TM Mineral Conditioner
- Silicone Speed Strip
- Multi-Level Heat Control
- The nanolonicTM mineral conditioner prevents heat damage and dry brittle hair
- The combination of Tri-Strip technology, nanolonicTM mineral conditioner, and silicone speed strip guarantees quick and reliable straightening
- The multi-level heat controls provide diversity for straightening. It allows you the ability to straighten both coarse and fine hair.
- Like the HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline, the BIO IONIC can’t reach heat levels above 400F. This means that it might not work well on natural 4b or 4c hair.
Best Flat Irons Tips
There are multiple factors that come into play when choosing the best flat iron for natural hair.
There are dozens of hair types and various ways to take care of each. To simplify things, here are a few tips for flat ironing natural African American hair.
It’s highly discouraged to straighten your natural hair every day. This leads to breakage, excess shrinkage, and heat damage.
However, if you must use a flat iron on a day-to-day basis, make sure that it’s a high-quality appliance. Also, be sure to pre-condition your hair and use a heat protectant beforehand.
The best time to flat iron natural hair is following a shampoo and deep conditioning. Make sure that your hair is dry and moisturized.
It helps to spritz your hair with some moisturizing products and follow-up the flat ironing with a few oils.
Never put the oil on before flat ironing! Flat ironing oiled hair will cause your locks to dry out and you won’t get that lightweight, bouncy appearance. Also, pick and choose your hair oils with caution. Personally, I prefer argon oil (and castor oil in low dosage).
However, when flat ironing, I love an argon and protein spritz after I’m finished. I suggest that you see how well your hair responds to certain oils and products.
Thinner irons (roughly 1 to 1 ½ inches) work best for flattening natural hair. This is because they can easily grip as close to the roots as possible, allowing for that smooth, sleek appearance.
We recommend that you avoid straitening in large chunks as this won’t straighten correctly and your hair will shrink faster.
Here’s another helpful tip: Slow and steady wins the race. Always set aside at least an hour to straighten your natural hair. You should keep moving, never stop or your hair might suffer heat damage. However, take your time when flat ironing so it comes out sleek and just right.
Many flat irons on our list boast that they’re capable of heating up to 450-degrees. Just because it can, doesn’t mean it should. 350-degrees Fahrenheit is a perfectly fine level of heat.
If your hair refuses to straighten at that level, consider the idea that you’re going over sections too fast. Or perhaps not enough. It’s important to note that every hair type works differently, so maybe you do need to use 450 degree heat.
Just make sure to research and ask questions about what level is best for your type.
Overall, make sure to wrap your hair every night and moisturize it properly. I’m sure that you’ve heard the term “listen to your hair.” This is absolutely true.
However, people lose roughly 50-100 strands of hair a day. If you suddenly decide to wash your hair and you lose multiple strands, this may be due to shedding.
Shedding is normal, natural, and unavoidable. To check for shedding, just look for a small white nub at the end of your hair. If there’s a nub, than that’s shedding. No nub means breakage.
Like shedding, breakage is unavoidable, but there are things you can do to slow it down. That’s when you should probably lay off the flat ironing for a while and favor a protective style.
Best Flat Irons FAQs
Which Flat Iron Should A Girl With Curly, Thick Hair Buy?
Well, that depends. If you have short natural hair (less than shoulder length) a 1 or 1 ½ inch plate flat iron will do fine. This will help you grip the roots of your hair for a thorough straightening.
For course and curly, high-heat is always the best option. So, look towards a tourmaline flat iron or titanium if your hair reaches past your shoulders. Otherwise, if the flat iron doesn’t reach at least 400f, then I’d look for a different option.
How Do You Prep African American Hair For Flat Ironing?
Always shampoo and condition your hair before flat ironing. A good shampoo will clean your hair and roots, leaving it fresh and free of product buildup.
After washing your hair, apply leave-in conditioner and oil to prep your strands for flat ironing. Then, split your hair into sections and comb out the curls, kinks, and knots.
You can also try finger detangling if you want. Just make sure that your hair is stretched and 100% dry before flat ironing.
What If You Have Damaged Hair?
If your hair is damaged from heat or over manipulation, I highly suggest that you forgo flat ironing. Causing further stress to your hair can cause split ends and breakage.
Otherwise, tourmaline straighteners are able to reach low settings that won’t cause further damage.
Stay far away from titanium if you have either fine or damaged hair as its excessive heat will do you no good. Ceramic flat irons are another good option for slightly damaged hair and fine hair.
What If Your Hair Type Varies?
This happens quite a bit. Some people have both type 4b and 4c or 4a and 4b. Everyone is different.
If you have a various hair types, then consider purchasing a titanium plate flat iron with an adjustable temperature control.
Get to know your hair by sectioning it off by type. Then lower or raise the temperature while flat ironing the various sections to avoid damaging your hair.
Best Flat Iron Review Conclusion
So, now we know about the best flat irons for natural hair.
Considering that there are multiple hair types, choosing between best flat irons is a daunting task. It takes patience and research to choose the best flat iron for you. I hope that our review will help you in your search.
Just make sure that the flat iron you choose is safe for your hair type. Make sure that it will straighten your hair without causing breakage or heat damage. Overall, we hope that you find the perfect flat iron for your hair and your hair-styling dreams.
If you enjoyed our review, we suggest you leave a comment. How often do you flat iron your hair? What hair type do you have and how often do you use a flat iron? What do you think is the best flat iron for African American hair?
Read all our reviews on Comparoid !