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What type of hair do you think is natural hair? It doesn’t sound as intimidating to manage as kinky hair, does it? “Natural” sounds so subdued, like pretty close to normal. If so, then finding the best flat iron for natural hair could be just another walk in the park.
But when you hear about naturally wavy and naturally curly hair, you start getting concerned. And, shush, what about naturally kinky hair? Now, don’t press the panic button just yet. Why don’t we ask the important question: What exactly is natural hair?
What is natural hair?
You must have read about the different hair types and subtypes. Just to make sure you do, here’s a quick rehash.
4 Hair Types (classification based on hair shape and pattern):
- A – straight, fine/thin texture, soft/shiny, can’t hold a curl, oily to the tip
- B – straight, medium texture, has body, oily
- C – straight, coarse texture, pin-straight (like typical straight Asian hair), oily
Type 2 – wavy hair
- A – wavy, fine/thin texture, undefined uppercase S shape, has less sheen than Type 1 especially on the tips
- B – wavy, medium texture, loose uppercase “S” shape, waves start below the crown, frizzy on some days
- C – wavy, coarse texture, defined uppercase “S” shape, waves start below the crown, tends to be frizzy
- A – curly loose, combination texture, defined uppercase “S” shape ringlets, full-bodied, crown is the curliest part, curls are shiny when properly cared for, can be frizzy
- B – curly tight, combination texture, tight lowercase “s” shape ringlets, full-bodied, crown is the curliest part, tends to be frizzy
- C – curly corkscrew, tighter lowercase “s” similar to corkscrews, can approach “Z” shape (angled curves), densely packed, frizzy
- A – kinky soft, soft texture, defined/tight spiral coil when curl is stretched, fine texture, springy, fragile, densely packed, frizzy, dry but not as dry as 4B or 4C
- B – kinky wiry, appears coarse but fine/delicate texture, wiry, less defined coil but bends in “Z” or angled shape, densely packed, frizzy, very dry
- C – kinky wiry/tight, appears coarse but fine/delicate texture, wiry, less defined coil and tighter “z” shape strands than Type 4B, super densely packed, frizzy, very dry
Where does natural hair come in then? Natural hair is any of these hair types mentioned, the texture of which has not been chemically altered. So whether you have wavy coarse hair, curly corkscrew, or kinky wiry hair, it’s called natural hair as long as its texture has not been altered by relaxers, texturizers, or other chemical straighteners.
Heat-straightened hairs are still considered natural hair because they revert back to their natural texture and shape when washed. However, hair that has been damaged by heat, including heat-trained hair, has altered texture. Thus, they cannot be considered as natural hair.
What makes the best flat iron for natural hair then?
Now that you know what natural hair is, it would be easier finding out the best hair straightener that will do the job. “But that’s a lot of hair types to deal with,” you say. Yes, I noticed that, too, but in case you forgot, we’re dealing with YOUR hair here. Your hair has got to belong to ONE of those types, and that you have not relaxed, texturized, or heat-damaged it.
So finding the best flat iron for your natural hair will now be easier because we’re dealing with your particular hair type. We have several resources in this website which will guide you if you have a particularly challenging mane. Our article on the “Best Flat Iron for African American Hair” deals mainly with hair types 3C, 4A, 4B, and 4C. Another article, the “Best Straightener for Curly Hair,” focuses on all three subtypes of type 3 (or curly) hair.
Types 3 and 4 and their subtypes are the most demanding of all hair types. So if those two articles do not answer to your hair type, then your hair would probably be one of the easier types to tame. There’s one flat iron, though, which I have every reason to believe is the best flat iron for natural hair of any type. Read along and I will tell you why.
BaBylissPro Nano has a unique combination of ceramic plates and titanium-plating. Together, these materials contribute to excellent heat transfer, even heat distribution, extra smoothness, and frizz-reducing ions. You can choose from various plate widths, including 1”, 1-1/2”, and 2”.
If you have long hair, the biggest width will smoothen out the entire length effortlessly with minimal passes. On the other hand, the one with 1-inch wide plate will be the easiest to use especially for short curly hair, or for areas on the back or near the ears.
There’s rarely a flat iron that you could call a one size fits all. I honestly believe, though, that if ever there was, BaBylissPro would be it. With its 50 temperature settings, it’s easy to figure out the optimal temp that will work for your natural hair. Look at how easy it is to tailor the heat for your hair.
- If you have naturally fine and fragile hair, set the temp between 240°F and 275°F. There are 10 settings for you to fiddle around within this range.
- If you have thin strands that are easy to tame, choose from the 10 settings between 276°F and 310°F.
- For normal extended hair, there are 10 settings between 311°F and 365°F to choose from.
- For wavy and curly hair types, choose from the 10 settings between 366°F and 400°F.
- And for coarse and thick hair, you can choose from the highest heat range between 401°F and 450°F.
- The technologies used in the heating plate combine the best heating properties of ceramic and titanium. You will rarely find this combination.
- The wide range of heat settings it offers makes BaBylissPro one of the safest flat irons to use.
- The handle is ergonomically designed and remains slim even for the biggest 2-inch size. So you need not worry about losing grip.
- Its slimness and lightness reduce hand fatigue.
- If you pick the 1-inch size, you actually get two functions in one device. It works both as a straightening iron and curling wand.
- It doesn’t come with an auto shut-off feature.
- It heats up in seconds. That’s generally a good thing, but that can be a bit too fast for fine hair. You can go around this minor concern by starting at the lowest temp and working your way up. This advice holds true for all brands and models. And it’s especially true if you’re still figuring out the best temp for your hair.
- It does not have a 360 swivel cord, which you will sorely miss if you were used to a flat iron that rotates at the cord’s base.
- If you want the curling function, don’t get the wide-sized plates. You will not be able to give body or movement to your hair with these sizes.
Why I think it’s perfect for you
Though BabylissPro is on the more expensive end of the spectrum, I think it’s the best flat iron for natural hair there is. It works remarkably for most natural hair types including extremes like the most delicate and the most difficult to tame. In many cases, it holds the straightness for several days even when it’s humid, which can really test the best in hair straighteners. So if this Babyliss flat iron holds out to that, then it must be very good.