The Straight Story
Ceramic? Tourmaline? Titanium? Choosing the right flat iron is a hot topic
Talk about shopping for flat irons and questions start flying. Does it matter what it's made from? Will it be gentle on my hair? Which one should I choose?
The number of flat irons out there could make your head spin. (Considering your goal is to fight frizz and tame curls, that wouldn't be a good thing!) Still, buying is easy when you understand the three most popular types: ceramic, tourmaline and titanium.
"These are the finishes on the iron and each does something a little different," says Terri Taricco, a stylist and spokesperson for Hot Tools.
This workhorse has a trick up its sleeve for those with dry or chemically treated hair. "Ceramic produces a heat that warms from the inside out that's less drying to hair," says Taricco.
One popular ceramic styler, the Ultra CHI Red, has a fan in Courtney Halverson, 33: "I love my CHI! It's amazing how well it works in my hair, which is naturally wavy and really thick," she says.
A stylist favorite, tourmaline flat irons hold a special attraction; they are similar to ceramic, but also have ion. "This helps seal the cuticle even more as it acts like a magnet pulling out odors, dust and pollutants," says Taricco.
Options include the T3 Single Pass 1" Straightening and Styling Iron, which uses digital technology to maintain a steady heat of 450 degrees; and the Conair Infiniti You Style Curling and Straightening Iron, which creates both soft waves and straight styles.
When you really want to crank up the heat, turn to this durable helper. Because it gets hot so fast, it's best for those with thick or healthy locks. Expect quick results and a handy resistance to damage from hair spray or straightening products. A good choice is the Hot Tools BlueIce Titanium 1" Flat Iron, known for its lightness and knack for finessing smooth, sleek styles.
No matter what flat iron you pick, you'll get the best results by following one golden rule: "Move it through the hair constantly, like you're ironing clothes," says Taricco.
That's giving it to you straight.