- Naturally straight, thin, and fine hair. This type of hair can benefit from any type of flat iron. It is, however, important to be careful with overly high temperatures for this hair type since hair that is thinner is less likely able to withstand heat damage. Temperature control is the key to successfully styling this type of hair with a flat iron. Hair experts may recommend that you start with the lowest possible temperature with this type of hair and then work your way up to a higher temperature. Your hair iron may be too hot it you start to notice dry tips and split ends.
- Thick, curly, or shaggy hair. This type of hair is usually prone to tangles and snags since it can be quite unruly, wiry, and more textured than other hair types. For this type of hair, a good professional hair straightening iron is the best option since professional flat irons are usually equipped with high temperature modes and more advanced tech that will be able to flatten and straighten hair with the least amount of damage.
- Normal or medium hair. There is really no such thing as a normal type of hair. When referring to a normal hair type, stylists usually mean that it is somewhere between the two hair types stated above. This type of hair is not too thick and not too thin, not too dry and not too oily, and with moderate resistance to damage. This type of hair is most flexible and can easily adapt to different styles.
Choosing the right plate width
The three different hair types have different needs when it comes to plate width. Naturally, the thicker your hair, the wider the plate width you need, and the thinner your hair, the slimmer the plate you need.
For thick, coarse, and unruly hair that is above shoulder length, a plate width of one to one and a half inches is ideal. For the same hair type with a length beyond the shoulder, a plate of up to two inches may be needed.
For normal hair that is above shoulder length, a plate width of half an inch up to one and a quarter inches may do, while normal hair that goes beyond the shoulder in length can go from there to up to two inches wide.
With thin hair, any plate width may apply.
Choosing the right plate material
The plates of a flat iron for hair straightening these days are usually comprised of any one or a combination of these three materials: ceramic, titanium, or tourmaline.
All three of these materials may be used for normal to thick hair. Fine hair can best benefit from ceramic or tourmaline, as titanium hair irons may register higher temperatures than fine hair can withstand without incurring damage.
Choosing the right temperature
For thick coarse hair, a high temperature between 380 to 410 degrees is optimal to achieve results. Maintaining a consistently high temperature is vital to straightening this hair type as allowing the least amount of passes will lessen the strain and damage that the hair may acquire.
For normal hair, temperatures between 360 to 380 degrees would be ideal to achieve results, while thinner hair types can best benefit from plate temperatures less than 360 degrees since this hair type is more susceptible to heat damage. Try to watch out for dry tips and split ends as this may indicate that you are using the plates at temperatures that are too high. Taper down your plate temperatures once you notice any damage and try to moisturize your hair as much as possible as well as use heat-protectant products.