How to Choose the Right Flat Iron

Professional flat irons like the Sedu Revolution Tourmaline Ionic Styling Iron 1 feature the most sophisticated technologies and provide the best styling. They maintain higher, more consistent temperatures, usually offer temperature controls, have higher-quality plates and deliver salon-like results (that’s why they’re used in salons!).

When choosing a flat iron, it’s important to consider your hair type and length. A flat iron like the BaByliss PRO Nano Titanium 1 1/4″ Straightening Iron is great for straightening coarse, thick hair because the titanium provides intense heat for hard to straighten hair. A flat iron with ceramic plates like the Solia Tourmaline Ceramic Ion Flat Iron flat iron provides gentler, infrared heat which is better for fine hair. The following chart will help you determine which plate size, temperature and materials are best suited for you.


Thick, Coarse, Curly Normal, Medium, Wavy Thin, Fine
Above shoulders 1 – 1½” Above shoulders 1/2 – 1¼”
PLATE SIZE Shoulder Length 1 – 2″ Shoulder Length 1 – 1½” Any
Below Shoulders 1½ – 2″ Below Shoulders 1¼ – 2″
TEMPERATURE 380° – 410° 360° – 380° Below 360°
PLATE MATERIAL Ceramic, Titanium,
Ceramic, Titanium,
Ceramic, Titanium,

Above Shoulders




Below Shoulders


The Right Iron for your Hair Type

Your hair is thick, full of texture and can be wiry, unruly or quick to tangle. A professional flat iron is a must for straightening thick or curly hair because you can handle (and need) the high temperatures and advanced technology to flatten without damage. Try these:

We know there’s really no such thing as “normal” hair. By the term, we simply mean hair that’s middle-of-the-road: medium-thickness, not overly dry or oily and doesn’t break easily. It tends to be straight to wavy with some body, and easily adapts to different styles.

Try these:

Thin, fine and naturally straight hair can be styled with just about any flat iron. Choosing a flat iron with temperature control is important for fine or straight hair in particular. The finer your hair, the cooler your tool temperature should be. Experts suggest starting as low as possible (somewhere around 180°F) and working your way up if necessary. If you notice frizz, dry ends or breakage, the iron may be too hot. (Use the chart above for guidance.)
Try these:

Plate Technology

Flat out confused by the lingo?
Here’s a quick reference glossary of plate types and technology terms.

Ceramic Ceramic produces negative ions, diffuses heat and seals the hair cuticle for shiny, frizz-free locks.
Ionic From Chem 101, when positive and negative ions collide, the results are neutral (which, in hair terms, is a good thing). Dry, damaged hair carries a positive ionic charge that prevents it from looking its healthiest. An ionic flat iron creates negative ions to neutralize your charged strands for shiny, smooth results.
Infrared This gentle heating method penetrates the hair shaft without causing damage. It helps balance ions and maintains temperature consistency to deliver smoother, frizz-free results.
Nano An advanced smoothing and styling technology infused into flat iron plates. Typically, Nano works with another technology such as Nano Silver or Nano Titanium.
Titanium An innovative technology that straightens hair quickly, maintaining consistent heat levels to prevent hair damage.
Tourmaline A semi-precious gemstone that produces six times more negative ions than ceramic. It’s often infused into ceramic plates to produce even straighter, shinier results.

How To: Styling with your Flat Iron

Flat irons are great for creating hair that’s smooth and straight, but they’re also versatile styling tools that you can use to make waves, flips and curls. Consider your styling goals when you choose your iron and then follow these handy How-Tos for successful hairdo-ing.


Keratin Treatments

Liquid keratin treatments are applied and maintained with high-temp flat irons up to 450°F to seal the keratin into the hair shaft. When heat is applied, Keratin proteins and peptides penetrate strands creating silky, smooth hair without frizz. Keratin treatments make hair much easier to flat iron.

Read more about keratin treatments in our Keratin Guide.

Shop Keratin Products and Treatments »


International Travel

Many flat irons are designed to work within a specific country and they can’t handle voltage converters… they may actually self-destruct! If you live in North America, stick with a flat iron that features 110/220 V. (If you’re a traveler, make sure to buy a flat iron designed to work at your destination.

Shop Mini and Travel Flat Irons »

Shop Dual Voltage Tools »




  1. Rosh says

    I have thin and damaged hair. I just want to know what the best straightener would be for that – the one that would cause the LEAST amount of damage.

  2. Kristin says

    I have thick and long African American unprocessed (non-relaxed) hair. Which flat iron would you recommend I use?

  3. Christina says

    What heat protectant frizz control products are best for limp, fine, oily, super easily weighed down hair-no matter how much/little or type is used (liquid, cream, spray, mousse, foam) not concentrated on roots, etc.?

  4. Nazia says

    Hey, I want to know what is the best flat iron for thin, damaged, wavy to curly hair. My hair falls out a lot and I don’t really like putting heat on my hair but there are days when I do feel like straightening my hair, so I want to invest in a good flat iron that won’t damage my hair that much.

  5. Danielle says

    I’m actually looking for a flat iron for getting ready for school quickly in the mornings that leaves a shine and less frizz also getting it as straight as possible. I’m considering the Farouk CHI G2, but i’m really uncertain whether it will straighten massively thick/ coarse curly hair? I’ve tried so many straighteners, but to no avail they ALWAYS leave my hair broken and super frizzy. I’ve also tried so many anti-frizz products, its ridiculous. If someone could help me I would be so grateful because at this point I’m so hopeless with this.

  6. Barb says

    I too have thin, dry hair. I was looking for a new straightener and was given a great gift of a Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium in 1inch!!! Is it safe to use for thin hair if used in the very lower temperature settings? What temperature would be recommended and what heat protectant? Just want to be sure I can actually use such a great tool on my hair or if I should try to exchange

  7. Shannon says

    Hello, I have curly frizzy hair and am looking for a new straightener. I was so set on a GHD straightener but after reading some reveiws in the sephora site… I was a little discouraged. Like I said my hair is curly, somewhat frizzy and of medium thickness. What straigtener do you recommend to leave my hair feeling silky, shiny, and most of all straight.

  8. Jennifer says

    As Shannon posted a while back, I also have curly, frizzy hair. It is medium length and medium thickness as well. But I need something with an automatic shut off. Does the Sedu Revolution or the Croc 1 Titanium Flat Iron or the Croc 2 Infrared Flat Iron have an auto shut off? Which one is better for my hair type? Thanks!

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