Thursday, January 12, 2012

Flat Iron Adventure Day 4

Today is Day 4 of my Flat Iron Adventure and journey to finding the best flat iron for me. Another important feature to keep in mind when buying a flat iron is the temperature setting. No one likes fried, burnt hair. So there's a few things I had to learn and will teach you today!

Flat irons can vary in a wide range of temperature settings. The majority of flat irons range somewhere from 100-400° F. Flat irons either come in a fix or varied temperature setting. A fix temperature setting automatically heats up to high temperatures. Those with thick or hard to straighten hair my benefit from a fixed temperature setting to avoid the frustration of finding the right temperature and prevent cranking up the heat too much. A varied temperature setting allows the user to select the appropriate temperature setting. This feature may be more beneficial for those with thin, delicate hair or individuals who prefer control. Click here to identify your hair type and what temperature setting you may want.

It's important to know that at roughly 451.4° F hair burns. Therefore, it's good to have a flat iron that operates in degrees. My old, cheap flat iron was numerically coded ranging in 5's, going all the way up to 25, although, I never knew if 25 was 300° F or 500° F. So try to avoid this! It may also be interesting to know that not all the hair on your head is the same texture. Especially African American hair can have different textures. Women with natural hair, finding out that they have two or three different textures on one head may be a shock, but it's not uncommon. The crown area may be the curliest section, requiring high heat, but the hair on the sides of your head may be straighter, so turn the heat down when pressing that section. For normal, medium textured hair a temperature setting should be around 300-380° F. Those with thinner, fine hair require a low setting somewhere below 300° F and those with thicker, coarse hair require a higher temperature setting above 380° F. Remember to start lower and go higher as needed. Once hair is burnt and damaged nothing can be done to fix this, so prevent with a heat protectant. If you are a forgetful person, you may also want to look for a flat iron with an automatic turn off. Nothing is worse than worrying the whole day if you burnt down the house. 

What the flat iron plate is made of is important to understand. Click here to revisit Day 3 of my Flat Iron Adventure to review the different types of flat iron plate material. Flat irons made of high amounts of Ceramic or Tourmaline help administer heat more evenly, without hot spots like cheaper flat irons. More expensive flat irons also have larger heaters that cover more of the plate compared to cheaper flat irons. Again, this helps with even heat distribution. 

Another feature that may be easily overlooked is the cord. Professional, salon flat irons tend to come with swivel cords. This is great for styling. I realize now that my cheap flat iron with a fixed cord may have been the reason for some of my broken flat irons. You may also want to look at the length of the cord. Nothing is worse than a cord that doesn't reach far enough. Remember to never, ever wrap the cord around the flat iron when done using. I admit I've been guilty of this, but it can also be the reason for my flat iron not working. Instead, loosely bundle the cord for storage. 

Hope you all learned a little something new today. I'm nearing the end of my journey to find a flat iron. Keep checking in!

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