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If you want a gentle, princess-like look, nothing beats curly hair. You’re undoubtedly gifted with locks that others could only dream of. But what about those days when you’d want to be businesslike, fashionably sleek, and mature with matching tresses? For those days, you can turn to your trusted flat iron to give you the look. In this article, I’ll discuss about what makes the best straightener for curly hair.
But first things first, do you really have curly hair? Or is it one of the other types of hair? We don’t want you messing around with other hair types, such as wavy hair or kinky hair.
See My Top 3 Picks for Best Straighteners for Curly Hair
Titanium Plated Ultra-Thin
Many Plate Width Options
50 Heat Settings
Extended Plate Length 5 Inches Long
3 Year Warranty
Remington Pro 2"
Ceramic Technology & Digital Controls
Digital Tempurature Display
Pearl Ceramic Technology
High Temp Settings
2" Inch Floating Plates
2 Year Warranty
T3 SInglePass X
Dual Voltages - Great for Travel
Ceramic and Tourmaline Plates
5 Heat Settings
Auto Safety Shut Off
2 Year Warranty
How do you describe curly hair?
There are 4 hair types with different subtypes and, yes, facts about them can be quite tangled. So let me straighten a few things about curly hair for you. Curly hair is the category between wavy hair (Type 2, subtypes A, B, and C) and kinky hair (Type 4, subtypes A, B, and C).
Type 3 hair and subtypes
Curly hair is called Type 3 hair, which is characterized by its distinctive S-shaped strand. There are three subtypes of Type 3 hair, which are 3A, 3B, and 3C. Type 3A will be more like a loose uppercase “S”. Type 3B will be tighter like a lowercase “s”. Type 3C, on the other hand, will be the tightest curl and is often referred as corkscrew. It is definitely lowercase “s” but slightly angled bordering on uppercase “Z”.
I will not go into the chemistry of your curls, but suffice it to say that volume is not a problem with your hair. It will have body, in fact, too much body to it. Under humid conditions, it will be frizzy and tight. It is naturally dry and dull, and worse, it will look the part. Curly hair is very unpredictable – some days it’s tame, most days you just have to give up. If you think I’ve just read the death sentence for your hair, listen to this: Curly hair is prone to breakage and damage.
That sure sounds like the bomb. Your scalp’s natural oil will need to work hard to travel to your hair’s tips, so don’t depend on that. You’d have to pitch in and do something for your locks – cleanse, condition, and moisturize. In time, you will have healthy, shiny, and bouncy hair.
If you plan to do straightening and styling, you will need a flat iron that’s not only effective, but one that will not damage your hair.
What makes the best straightener for curly hair?
As mentioned above, curly hair has many needs, including a straightening iron. When choosing a flat iron, you must look for features and functions that are suitable for your hair’s characteristics.
Heating plates – curly hair responds best to ceramic and titanium plates. Both materials will smoothen out frizzy hair and result to shiny straight hair.
- Ceramic plates will heat evenly at so much lower temperature. Therefore it will be gentle to damage-prone hair. It is often infused with negative ion and tourmaline crystals to help seal in moisture and protect the hair shaft.
- Titanium is a metal used in high-end flat irons. It is an excellent heat conductor, so it will heat up instantly and maintain that high temperature. This means that you will need fewer passes per hair section. Titanium plates will be lighter than solid ceramic plates, and will not cause so much hand fatigue to the user.
Heat settings – curly hair generally responds from 350°F to 400°F, so make sure that your flat iron has those heat settings. Like we said, curly hair is damage-prone. To offset this weakness, you have to start at the lowest possible temp especially if you have thin hair.
Increase temps slowly until you get the optimal temp. It means that, beyond that mark, your hair has no need of the extra heat applied to it. A flat iron that offers a wide range of heat settings will definitely have the edge over those with only basic temp settings.
Plate widths and lengths – people with curly hair usually keep their tresses long. Short curly hair tends to plump up into a ball, so growing it long is a practical way to bring it down. Besides, long, curly hair is beautiful.
- For long curly hair, plate widths shouldn’t be less than 1-1/2 inches. We suggest that you go with 1-1/2 to 2 inches of plate width. The bigger plate width will help you save on time. Also choose plates with lengths of at least 4 inches. Longer plates means wider sections straightened with each pass.
- For short curly hair, plates that are 1-inch wide will work better, especially for going through hair on your back. Definitely get 1 inch if you have shoulder-length hair or shorter.
- For creating waves after straightening hair, 1-inch wide flat irons will be easier to use.
What are the top hair straighteners for the curly type?
We’ve picked out 3 of the best hair straighteners out there, and you can see below why we recommend them for your curly hair.
BabylissPro Nano flat iron is titanium-plated, which means that crushed titanium metal was infused into the heating plate as coating. Though more expensive, this titanium hair straightener will be your curly hair’s best friend especially if you have thick curly strands. You can choose from widths of 1”, 1-1/2”, and 2”. It has 50 heat settings and a maximum of 450°F. Start finding the optimal heat that your hair responds to, and it should be somewhere between the 31-40 settings (365°F – 400°F).
What do I find special about BaBylissPro Nano?
Aside from its titanium plate, which is its top feature and the reason why it’s more expensive than others, I’m so drawn at its many temp settings. Fifty settings, can you imagine that? We have yet to find another product with such wide range of heat options. The increment per setting is less than 5°F, which to me spells concern for the wellbeing of my hair.
Why would I subject my hair to undue damage simply because a flat iron does not have the in-between temp that my curls need? While titanium plates are known for their intense heating ability, BaBylissPro has 10 settings starting at 240°F for very fine and fragile hair and another 10 settings starting at 276°F for thin and easy-to-straighten hair. For this, BabylissPro wins it hands down.
If your curly hair is fine-textured, you can opt for Remington Pro, a smooth-gliding flat iron with 2-inch wide ceramic plates. The plates are coated using pearl-ceramic technology, which offers 8 times more ceramics than the standard Remington model. As a result, the plates are smoother and the heat is more evenly distributed. The highest temp is 450°F and heating time is 15 seconds. It features a temperature display and a swivel cord, which both add to your convenience.
If you’re the forgetful type of person, you will find the shut-off feature really priceless. The quick heating time is a also plus, especially that ceramic plates generally take time to heat up. You can choose the temperature from 300°F to 450°F using the temperature button and lock, which you can view from an LCD display. The best part, I guess, is that you’ll get all these sophisticated features at an incredibly cheap price point.
T3 SinglePass X uses a technology that combines ceramic and tourmaline to produce this flat iron which promises to straighten demanding hair without damage. This T3 hair straightener has 1-1/2-inch plates. Its internal microchip uses T3’s exclusive SinglePass technology, which regulates temperature to ensure uniform and fast results.
T3 SinglePass has 5 heat levels, which range from 260°F to 410°F. Like other flat irons with wide plate, you can’t expect T3 to double as a curling rod. It comes with two hair sectioning clips and a heat-resistant mat. If you’re a traveler, then you’d appreciate that it operates at dual voltages. Its convenient 9-foot 360° swivel cord is probably one of the longest I’ve seen, which makes moving easy. This T3 model is quite expensive, but you can see that you’re paying for the leading-edge technology that goes with it.
You’ll see that from the moment you adjust its temp by simply clicking on the button. The audio/video interface (beeps, light, and light-up readout) makes this very easy for you to understand and use. What’s more, you need not fret about adjusting heat in the midst of a grooming session. You need not worry either about doing many passes to a section. T3’s SinglePass technology will take care of consistently measuring and regulating heat and ensuring that your hair straightens up in a single pass.
Straightening curly hair can be both difficult and time-consuming. At the same time, you need to make sure that your hair is protected from any damage. The best straightener for curly hair would have either titanium or ceramic heating plates. These materials will not only help you attain your hair straightening goals, but also provide protection.
BaBylissPro has titanium plates which have incredible smoothness. It provides high temps that make straightening even the most difficult hairs possible in a short time. At the same time, it also provides you with so much lower temps for hairs with delicate texture.
On the other hand, both Remington Pro and T3 SinglePass X use ceramic and special infusions, which is one of the gentlest technologies used for straightening hair. Between the two, the choice would be between which one is more affordable and which one is more high-end in terms of technology.