Do you lose a lot of time and get seriously frustrated when you go to style your black hair? Anyone who has ever tried straightening African American hair, whether it be their own or someone else’s, knows how difficult this task can be. That makes having the right flat iron to do the job all that more important.
There is no substitute for having the best flat iron for black hair. Top model flat irons can save you much time and aggravation when you straighten your black hair.
So how do you know what’s the best flat iron for black hair? That is exactly why we decided to write this article. In it, we will help you learn how to choose the perfect flat iron to straighten your black hair without damaging it. We will also do several flat iron for black hair reviews which include flat irons that have been proven to work well at straightening black hair. By the time you are done reading you will have the information needed to select the perfect flat iron to straighten your black hair.
NuMe Megastar Flat Iron
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BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium-Plated Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron
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CROC Classic Flat Iron Hair Straightener
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VIBRAstrait Oscillating Flat Iron
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BaBylissPRO Keratin Straightening Iron
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MHU Professional Flat Iron Hair Straightener
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Best Flat Iron for Black Hair Reviews (Newest Models)
Here is what we feel are some flat irons that work well at getting black hair to straighten out:
1. NuMe Megastar Flat Iron
NuMe has come up with a nice flat iron for straightening black hair with this model. It has a nice floating heat plate design. These floating plates allow as many of your black hair strands as possible to stay in contact with the plates at all times. It also has the high heat necessary (450°F max heat) to break down the strong protein bonds in black hair so you can straighten it.
Among the other good features, it has is its ceramic/tourmaline heat plate infusion. This protects your Afro-American hair during the straightening process and allows it to retain more moisture too. This flat iron also has a large digital temp display and it is ready to use in just a few seconds after turning it on.
2. BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium-Plated Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron
It’s hard to go wrong with hair styling products from BaBylissPRO and this flat iron certainly backs that statement up. Its signature features for straightening black hair are its high heat and innovative Nano titanium plates. Its max heat is 450°F which helps soften the strong protein bonds in Afro-American hair. Nanotechnology helps protect black hair from damage as you straighten it.
There are many other nice features on this flat iron too. This BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Straightening Iron also has 50 different heat settings and a Ryton stay-cool housing. Its heat plates are also extra-long at 5-inches so you can straighten your black hair faster.
3. CROC Classic Flat Iron Hair Straightener
Croc is well-known for having some strange looking hot hair tools which work great. This hair straightening iron from them is no different. It features the high heat necessary to tame and straighten sometimes stubborn black hair (280°F to 450°F). Its titanium/ceramic heater plates will help with the Afro-American hair straightening process too. They will help your black hair retain its moisture and give it extra shine as you straighten it also.
This Croc Classic Straightener also has one of the most ergonomic designs you will find in a hair straightener. Add to that its lightweight 1-pound weight, international dual voltage capability and an automatic shutoff and the result is one well-designed hair straightening tool.
Read more: CROC Classic Flat Iron Hair Straightener
4. VIBRAstrait Oscillating Flat Iron
Here is the most unique flat iron design on our top review list. It features vibrating heat plates that enhance your black hair straightening experience. They do this by helping your Afro-American hair slide very easily across each heat plate’s surface. When this is combined with this flat iron’s high max heat of 450°F it really makes straightening black hair simple.
There are other nice features on this straightening iron too. These include the protection that ceramic/tourmaline coated heat plates offer your hair and its wide range of digital heat settings (190°F-450°F). It’s also nicely backed up by a 3-year warranty and has versatile 1-inch wide heat plates too.
5. BaBylissPRO Keratin Straightening Iron
Here is yet another innovative flat iron design. It’s another straightening iron made by the reputable BaBylissPRO Company. Its signature feature is its Brazilian Keratin infusion which forms a protective layer on the outside of your black hair strands as you straighten them. It’s like getting a salon hair strengthening keratin treatment at home each time you straighten your hair.
Its 1 ½-inch wide heat plates are ceramic/tourmaline infused and this helps a lot when straightening medium to long length black hair. BaBylissPRO’s Sol-gel technology makes the heat plate surfaces extra-smooth too. Among this flat iron’s other great features are its 40 heat setting choices (450°F max temp), 4-year limited warranty and its 9’ power cord with swivel end.
6. MHU Professional Flat Iron Hair Straightener
Any salon professional will tell you it takes very high heat to straighten black hair. That’s exactly why this flat iron is so effective on that type of hair. It features a max heating temperature of 446℉. That high heat when working in combination with this flat iron’s protective Negative Ion generator makes straightening black hair safe and easy.
There are many other nice features on this straightening iron too. It has versatile 1-inch heating plates so it can double as a curling iron too. You can also take this flat iron with you anywhere in the world thanks to its dual voltage capability. Included in its packaging are two handy professional salon clips and MHU backs this product up with a standard 2-year warranty.
Read more: MHU Professional 1-Inch Hair Straightener
Black Hair Types – Discovering African American Hair Characteristics
Black hair is unique, to say the least. It’s also the most common hair type on the planet. It has some qualities that make it frustrating to style and straighten but it also has some natural healthy qualities which are often overlooked. It is by far the most resilient type of hair which is one of the main reasons it’s tough to style and straighten.
So what is it about black hair that makes it unique? One thing about it that’s different is it has a kind of oval shape to it. Most hair types are naturally round in shape. Afro-American hair also tends to be denser than other types of hair too. Black hair has a tendency to grow out parallel to the scalp and twist around itself as it does it (this is where the description “kinky” hair comes from.
One thing about black hair that surprises many people is the fact that it’s the slowest growing of all hair types.
Black hair has several good and bad characteristics to it. Most of the bad qualities relate to styling and straightening it. Its ultra-strong protein bonds make it tough to reshape and even tougher to straighten.
When straightening it patience, the proper technique and the right flat iron are an absolute must.
Buying Guide: Choose the Right Flat Iron for Black Hair
In this article, we have repeatedly mentioned how hard it is to straighten black hair. What we have never used is the word impossible when it comes to straightening it. That is because there are flat iron models out there that do a great job of straightening black hair. You also have to be aware that not every flat iron is built to handle straightening Afro-American hair.
4 Features to Consider Before Purchasing a Straightener for Natural Black Hair
Here are some of the main characteristics that need to be considered when you are purchasing a straightener to use on black hair:
- You need high heat –
When you have a hair type like black hair that has extremely strong protein bonds there are only a few things that can help you reshape it. One of the best ways to go about doing this is to soften up these strong protein bonds with high heat. That makes it imperative to have very high heat settings on your flat iron when you go to straighten your black hair.
What type of temperature range is sufficient to straighten black hair? Most people that straighten African American hair on a regular basis believe this ideal heat range is between 375°F to 450°F. So if you are using a flat iron to style black hair it better has some high heat settings between these ranges.
- Look for a good plate coating or crystal infusion –
Ok, so you know black hair is one of the most resilient hair types. That does not mean it cannot be damaged. This is especially true when you are straightening it on the high-temperature settings we just mentioned. So like any other type of hair, you will need to protect it as you straighten it.
What is one of the best ways to do this? That is by purchasing a flat iron that has damage reducing plate coatings or crystal infused heat plates.
Here are some of the most common plate coatings and plate infusion types and a little bit about how they will protect your black hair as you style it:
This is the most common heat plate coating you will find on flat irons. It is often found in combination with other types of coatings or crystal infusion (ie ceramic /tourmaline, ceramic/titanium).
Ceramic coated heat plates offer you three big advantages when you a purchase a flat iron that has these. For one, they create a very slippery plate surface that does not impede your black hair when it slides across the heat plates. Ceramic coated heat plates also heat evenly so they don’t create damaging hotspots. They also help keep your flat iron from building up residue on it.
- Ionic/Tourmaline Crystal Infusion
Static buildup can cause you to have flyaway hair that looks unsightly and is hard to keep in place as you straighten it. Ionic/Tourmaline crystal infusion helps to create negative ions which counter static electricity buildup. This technology also helps reduce frizz and also help your black hair retain much more of its critical moisture during the hair straightening process.
- Nano Crystal Infusion
This technology takes black hair moisture retention a big step forward as opposed to ionic/tourmaline crystal infusion. Heat plates that have Nanocrystal infusion are said to be 25% – 75% better at helping your hair retain moisture than ionic/tourmaline crystal infusion. It’s also technology that leaves your hair shinier after you straighten it too.
With titanium heat plate coatings it’s all about fast heat buildup and retention. Titanium coated heat plates tend to be ready to use in just a few seconds and retain their heat better as you are straightening your black hair.
Silver and gold crystal infused heat plate’s act much the same as titanium heat plates in that they build up heat fast and evenly. They also add an anti-bacterial element into the mix which will keep your hair cleaner as you straighten it.
- Get the right plate size
Plate size makes a big difference as to how efficiently you can straighten your Afro-American hair type too. That is because you need such things as more surface area to straighten certain lengths of hair in a reasonable amount of time.
Here is a general guideline for proper plate width to use on your black hair:
- Less than 1” width plate sizes
These width flat iron plates are a must if you are trying to straighten short black hair. Many people also use less wide flat iron heat plates to curl hair with too.
- 1” to 1 ¼” width flat iron plates
These are by far the most popular and versatile flat plate widths. That’s because you can use them on just about any hair length. They are also a great default choice if you are unsure what flat iron plate width will work best on your long black hair.
- Greater than 1 ¼” width plates
This is the type of flat iron plate width you want to use if you have medium to longer length Afro-American hair. Surface area is the key to straightening your long hair in an efficient and these plate widths give you a lot of surface area to work with.
- Less than 1” width plate sizes
- Make sure your flat iron is easy to use
There are many features that will make your flat iron easier to use as you straighten your black hair. Look for such flat iron features as digital temperature setting, lighter weight, and long power cords with swivel end to enhance your flat iron user experience.
Tips for Straightening Natural, African-American Hair
Here are some simple do’s and don’ts that will help you get better and longer lasting results when straightening your natural black hair type:
- Don’t blow dry your hair immediately before using a flat iron on it. This is too much heat for your black hair to handle at one time.
- Do make sure your hair is shampooed and dry before you try to straighten it with a flat iron. Wet black hair can be easily damaged if you straighten it when wet (unless you use a special wet/dry flat iron).
- Don’t automatically start on the highest heat setting on your flat iron. Start at a heat setting around 375℉ if you have one and then gradually work your way up if necessary.
- Do treat your black hair with a protective heat serum before using your flat iron to straighten it.
- Don’t use butter on your Afro-American hair before using a flat iron on it. Also only use protective oils before straightening; other oils may encourage over drying of your hair during the straightening process.
- Do section your black hair before attempting to straighten it with a flat iron. This is a trick professional stylists have been successful using for a long time when they straighten hair.
- Don’t use a flat iron on your hair every day. Your hair needs time to recover in-between straightening sessions so it stays healthy and does not become dry and brittle.
- Do get a protein treatment for your Afro-American hair about once a month. This will go a long way to help keep your hair healthy even when exposed to the rigors of flat iron use on it.
- Don’t go over the same section of hair to many times. Two or three passes should be enough to straighten a section of your black hair. Do more than that and you can damage your hair.
Black Hair Straightening FAQ’s
Here are a few questions we often get about straightening black hair:
- Question: How do I know my flat iron is at the right heat setting without trying it on my hair?
Answer: The answer here is you don’t. That’s why it’s best to patch test a heat setting on your flat iron first. Patch testing means you try our using your flat iron on an inconspicuous section of hair. That way if there is a problem it won’t be so obvious.
Over time if you are using a good flat iron that is made for use on black hair you will learn the settings on it that work best at straightening your black hair.
- Question: My friends are trying to help me with the necessary technique to style my black hair but it’s not working. What do you suggest?
Answer: watch some videos online. There are many videos about how to straighten out your black hair at sites like YouTube. Choose ones that are made by professional stylists and these will really help you perfect your own hair straightening routine.
- Question: Is it ok to go out in the rain after I have straightened my black hair?
Answer: The answer here is yes with an asterisk*. Don’t do this if your hair is not covered by an umbrella or rain bonnet, if there is a lot of moisture in the air and avoid steam at all costs unless you want your hair to curl right back up again.
Best Flat Iron for Black Hair Comparison Chart
|BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium-Plated Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron||$$$$||2"||Slim and Sleek design||50 heat settings (max 450°F||Nanotechnology|
|Turboion Rbb Croc Classic Straightener||$$$$||1.5″||Unique ergonomic design||17 digital temperature settings (280°F to 450°F)||Titanium/ceramic heater plates|
|NuMe Megastar Flat Iron||$$$$$||1″||Floating plate design||190°F to 450°F||Far infrared technology|
|VIBRAstrait Oscillating Flat Iron||$$$||1″||Ergonomic design for easy handling||190°F-450°F||Innovative vibrating technology|
|BaBylissPRO Keratin Straightening Iron||$$||1 ½”||Innovative flat iron design||40 heat settings (450°F max temp)||So-Gel technology|
|MHU Professional Flat Iron Hair Straightener||$||1”||Floating plate edge design||248℉/356℉/446℉||Negative ion technology|
Some Final Thoughts on Flat Irons for Black Hair
Without a doubt, black hair is more difficult to straighten than other types of hair. With that being said, using the best flat iron for black hair can really help simplify the straightening process. Be sure not to overlook the features and characteristics we said were important when shopping for a new flat iron for black hair use.
Consider the models we did flat iron for black hair reviews on too. Every one of these flat irons has been proven to be very effective at straightening Afro-American hair.
Either way, you should now have enough information to make a sound flat iron for black hair purchasing decision.