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When choosing the best flat iron for thick curly hair, keep in mind that patience is important. It can be tempting to put your straightener on the highest temperature and deal with the consequences later, but the only thing that will get you is dry, crunchy hair.
With an effective device and the right technique, you’ll be able to get even the most stubborn of curls straight and styled.
Curls can be pretty stubborn, especially if they’re coarser textured, or have a thicker density. What usually ends up happening as you work on them, is that your curls spring back after you brush them. After that, you’re left making pass after pass, trying to get that one particular kink out. Even when you’re trying to curl it, the hair has its own opinions about where it should go, and how it should lay. Of course, even after you style it, there’s the reality of it curling right back up. Even the smallest amount of moisture will leave you looking like a failed at-home stylist.
Curls are gorgeous, but everyone wants to change up their style now and then. If you’re having trouble straightening your hair, here are some basic suggestions for technique, as well as what to look for in a heated styling tool.
Keep each section small
Brush or comb before you start, and divide everything into small sections. This is especially true if you’re using a device with thinner plates, or if you want to focus on making one pass. A section you’re using really shouldn’t be any larger than your finger.
If you put too large of a section in the device, you end up burning the outside strands while all the strands sandwiched in the middle never quite get enough heat. Keeping things small will help make sure the heat actually reaches each strand.
Pull each section tight
It can be a little hard to manage, but keep each section as straight as you can while straightening it. This can be accomplished with a brush or comb, or even by hand. Just pull on the ends as you start the device towards your scalp, and let the ends go when it’s time to straighten them. (Obviously, try to be careful whenever the heated plates come close to your hands or whatever you’re using.)
Doing so can help keep your curls from bunching while you straighten them. This makes it a little easier to get those twists and turns to ease up.
Don’t immediately go for high heat
Yes curls can be stubborn, but they’re also delicate. It’s harder for them to get you hair’s natural oils, so they may not have as much moisture as the area closer to your scalp. All that potential dryness means that they can be prone to damage if you’re not careful. This is especially true if you have fine textured tresses.
Around 410 is the max that anyone with thicker density should really go, although I acknowledge that even that temperature may not be enough sometimes. The key is to use caution. You want to stay with the absolute minimum that’s effective. You shouldn’t be going over one section over and over again, but you also shouldn’t be smelling burnt hair every time you make a pass.
Focus on Hair Health
It can be helpful to use a detangler and additional conditioners when using heated styling on this type of tresses. The detangler can keep you from damaging your hair while working through knots. And the extra moisturizers are necessary to keep your hair from drying out too much and getting frizzy. As I said, it can be difficult for curls to get any of your hair’s natural oils, so conditioning is key.
Of course, not matter what your hair type is, using a heat protectant is also a must.
The Right Device
If you’re looking for a straightener that can keep up, focus on the plates. You want the right material and width to handle even the thickest density. It’s difficult to say what would work for each individual person and hair type, so here are two very different options to get you started on your search.
Best Flat Iron for Curly Hair
DNSLY Professional Titanium Straightener
- 1.75 inch floating titanium plates
- 450 degrees Fahrenheit maximum temperature
- 9ft swivel cord
- Auto shut off
The material of these plates is a good one for this hair type. Titanium has a high heat transfer rate, which means it will do a better job of getting the heat to each strand. This should make it easier to straighten with less passes. Titanium also has negative ions. It’s not as much as some materials, but it is enough that it should help lock in some moisture and provide a bit of shine.
Another aspect of the plates that I like is how wide they are. It should be able to keep up with thicker sections, since there’s plenty of surface area. Overall, all of these features together make this a good option to consider for anyone with a coarse texture and thicker density.
Babyliss Porcelain Ceramic Straightener
- Porcelain ceramic plates
- 1½ inch wide plates
- Page Break
- 450 degrees Fahrenheit maximum temperature
- Porcelain emits negative ions
- Ceramic heaters
I like this option better for anyone with a finer texture. It still has the plate width to accommodate a thicker density, but it has materials that are more suitable than titanium for textures besides coarse.
The plates on this device are porcelain ceramic. Ceramic is better for even heating than titanium, which can help protect tresses from unexpected heat damage. Adding to that are the ceramic heaters, which should help regulate the heat even more. This is better for fine textures since the strands are very delicate. Even when thicker, this type still needs lower, steadier temperatures. The additional porcelain is also good. Like titanium, it emits negative ions. This can keep hair moisturized and leave it shiny.
If you’re careful with your technique as well as the device that you choose, you can find a straightener for any hair type. The key is to know what your type needs, as well as what would be most effective for straightening it. In this case, wider plates, as well as plate material itself is important to consider. You can absolutely find the best flat iron for thick curly hair, just be willing to work with your tresses, and take time to choose an effective device.