When shopping for a flat iron, here are some commonly asked questions you should consider before making your purchase. What type of heater does this iron feature? One of the most important parts of your iron is the heating unit. There are several different types of heating units an iron can have such as Coil, PTC and PTFC.
The quality of the heating unit will determine the iron's strength and styling capabilities. The best ceramic heating units on the market today are PTFC heaters. Only PTFC heaters generate far infrared heat that's the secret to straightening hair without damaging it.
PTFC heaters are found in all through ceramic flat irons and give you the best functionality, and conditioning of the hair. Before you purchase a flat iron, make sure it has a PTFC heating unit.
The next important question is; how powerful is this heating unit? Heaters can vary in strength. Try not to confuse how strong the iron is with how hot the iron gets. There you should definitely look for an iron that reaches high temperatures. It's more important to find an iron that can sustain constant heat throughout the usage.
An iron can drop as much as 100 degrees or more due to the heat transfer from the iron to your hair. When the iron is lifted from the hair, the heater is triggered and a quality iron will recover this loss of heat. This is called recovery time. An iron with a good recovery time will give you the most constant heat, and is the better purchase in the long run.
Next, try to find out what kind of plates does the iron have? There are several types of plates on the market, ceramic. Ceramic plates are infused with a ceramic material that distributes the heat evenly without causing uneven heat distribution; commonly known as hot spots. Ceramic plates preserve moisture by penetrating the centre of the hair shaft exposing the outside of the hair to less heat, and helping to eliminate frizz.
Tourmaline, Tourmaline is a semi-precious gemstone finely ground and infused into the plates of the iron. It's rated most effective because when heated, it creates more pressure to flatten the hair than any other substances; therefore creating a longer lasting style. Tourmaline also creates negative ions that leave more moisture in the hair.
Gold Tone, Gold Tone plates are simply metal plates covered in a gold tone material. They are notorious for chipping and rough spots. When Gold Tone plates age and wear from general use, they may snag and damage your hair.
Next you should ask, what temperature is best for my hair type? Hair health, length and texture vary from person-to-person. Through a test, it's been determined that the average temperature needed for optimal results is 370 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course this is just an average. Some people need a higher temperature and some need a lower temperature.
In general, if you have very thick hair, you will probably need an iron that can reach a very high temperature. Alternatively, if you have very thin, fragile hair, you don't need an iron that can reach a very high temperature, and should find an iron with a lower temperature range.
It's best to choose an iron with an adjustable temperature control. This offers the ability to adjust the iron's heat yourself, and find the best heat setting for your own hair.
Another consideration is the size of the plates. You maybe wondering what plate size should I look for when choosing a flat iron? Most irons will come in a standard one inch plate width. But, on the market, you will see smaller sizes like the half inch and larger sizes from one-and-a-half inch up to two inches.
The size of the plates you choose really depends on your personal preference, your styling needs, and the length of your hair. The slimmer sizes are generally easier to control and style with and will create more versatile styling options than the larger ones. The larger plate widths usually work best with longer, thicker hair types. A standard one inch plate is usually good for all hair types, and can accommodate most hair styles.
The last consideration should be, what kind of warranty comes with my iron? This is one area that most people do not take the time to research. The warranty of an iron varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. So you should pay very close attention to what is covered under warranty, and what isn't covered.