What Features Should Your Flat Iron Have?

Sedu Revolution Tourmaline Ionic Styling Iron 1"Flat irons are becoming more sophisticated, with higher quality materials and more options than ever.  With all of the different brands and buzz words used to describe them, it is hard to determine which features are important to have in a flat iron.

To understand the types of flat irons, please see Understanding Flat Irons.  The brand name and cost are less important then what the iron can actually do, so here are the features I believe to be most important:

1.  High quality metal:  Ceramic or titanium are the most popular quality metals, they heat evenly and generate negative ions which creates smoother results.
2. Ionic Output Booster:  Ceramic and titanium alone generate negative ions, titanium at a higher rate.  However tourmaline, when added to the plates of the flat irons yields a much higher output of negative ions.

3. Adjustable Temperature:  Some flat irons have a number dial, the higher the number the hotter the temperature.  This is better than simply having an on/off or high/low switch, but I think being able to actually adjust the temperature is best.  Some irons use a manual dial while others allow you to set the temperature digitally.  I don’t think one is any better than the other and it may not be worth it to some to spend the extra money for a digital display.

4. Beveled Edges:  When the edges of your flat iron are rounded instead of ending with a blunt edge, it gives you the ability to create many different looks instead of just straightening your hair.  You can bend, curl, flip, twist, crimp and spiral with irons that have beveled edges.

5. 360 Swivel Cord:  when the cord is static and does not swivel, the iron can be more difficult to maneuver and may limit the angles in which you flat iron your hair.  However when the cord can swivel completely, you can use the iron in whatever position works best for you and the cord will not be a hindrance.

6. Indicator Light:  Instead of just being lit when the iron is on, the new, more sophisticated indicator lights actually let you know when the iron is heating versus when the selected temperature has actually been reached. Definitely a feature worth having!

7. Automatic shut off:  Not many irons actually have this feature but it is one I like to have in as many of my hot tools as possible.  It is more a safety feature than actually improving the performance of your iron, but is helpful to have nonetheless.

Originally posted 2012-05-22 19:00:12.

About EbonyCPrincess

EbonyCPrincess is a self proclaimed hair care enthusiast who began her quest for long healthy hair in 2009. Her hair is relaxed and type 4b (kinky, very tightly coiled). You can find more information about Ebony and her journey on her personal blog, or her YouTube channel youtube.com/EbonyCPrincess

About EbonyCPrincess

EbonyCPrincess is a self proclaimed hair care enthusiast who began her quest for long healthy hair in 2009. Her hair is relaxed and type 4b (kinky, very tightly coiled). You can find more information about Ebony and her journey on her personal blog, or her YouTube channel youtube.com/EbonyCPrincess


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Candace JAltheria RabbmimiShanice Goodridge-FlemmingShawnnita Larkins Recent comment authors
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Mahogony Love

temp setting, ceramic plates

MyTo R MyLife

Automatic flatiron

Ciarra MG

Ceramic plates, and temperature settings. It wouldn’t hurt if it was a pretty color too :3

Leslie Tayi

1 hour to 30 minute automatic shut off… Safety’s good

ArDaesha Marie Johnson

I love this flat iron

Joy Franklin

Sedus are Awesome!

Semendablessed Howard

Natural all the way no flat iron!

Chelsea Crouch

straightened natural hair is still natural

Gershelle Cunningham

I like the ones with a tight grip…seems to straighten better

Gershelle Cunningham

Argon oil has a great one! Like it better than my CHI’s

Frankye Campbell

Is the perfector styler hard on Black Hair???

Charise Robinson

What’s the best flat iron for natural hair?

Ray Couture

Babyliss nano titanium is the best

Tamera Durett

^^^^^yes the best

Semendablessed Howard

I didnot say flat iron was not natural!

Chelsea Crouch

essentially, yes u did

Alisha-sophisticated Hawthorne

I use babylis nano titanium C styler with titanium plates. Wouldn’t trade this advanced iron with any other. the brand is incomparable.

Roneisha Monae

I use the croc stik. It works great on my hair. It was also inexpensive.

Valerie Johnson

I can’t use them, they were breaking my hair off…

Cris Tucker

They can damage your hair

Felicia Robinson

Have tried it yet. Sucking in knowledge before I go to a Salon.

Jasmine N. Griffin

Titanium flat irons

Debra Hopper

As long as i see “gold n hot” I’m good

Tamar Green


La'Charae Brown

I like that

Shawntrina Howard

I love this flat iron!

Semendablessed Howard

My statement will stay the same I embrace my natural hair and flat irons willnot be part of the process! Who ever chose to use flat irons not my concern.

Barbara Heimlich

I like my iTech Infra red 450. It’s the best iron I’ve ever uses and I’ve used a lot of them!!

Jamia Anewchapter Knox

What’s the difference between titanium irons and ceramic irons?

Deneen Whitaker

Pressing comb works better for me.

Shawnta Coleman

You not using flat irons isn’t our concern

Amanda Bradley


Caramel Kimmie

Instyler Hair Malaysia gives life the best

Nicole Starr

depends on hair tYpe. people that have straw type they don’t need that much heat the people that grow coil type need a lot of heat

Shawnnita Larkins

Digital settings, swivel cord, automatic shut off, 15sec heat up,heat settings varing from 300°f to 450°f

Shanice Goodridge-Flemming

A GHD logo please!


My current flat iron
(That I don’t actually use on my hair but on my wigs, but bought it just in case I decide to use heart on my hair… I don’t even use it on the wigs anymore… I use heatless methods lool)

1. 80°C to 230°C (176°F to446°F)
2. Variable temperature settings (goes up from 80°C by 10°C Each time you adjust the settings)
3. Digital display (I see exactly what heat setting it’s on)
4. Tourmaline coated ceramic plates (curved edges)
5. Ionic conditioning
6. Swivel cord
7. Automatic shut off.

My curling tongs have the exact same features, but guess from 160°C to 220°C…. I’ve also never used it on my hair.

I recently bought hair dryers…. Used it twice and left it.
My hair is always in cornrows under braids or weaves anyway, but at least I’m prepared! The day I decide to straighten my hair I wouldn’t have to resort to any straightener (like the ceramic coated one with 3 heat settings, no display, leaves my hair smelling burnt, made my hair explode into a frizz ball, “flat iron” that I used to own).

Altheria Rabb

Went without heatstyling my hair for almost 8 months. Sally’s was having a sale on flat and curling irons – I stood in the aisle forever trying to figure which product would be best. I ended up walking away without a purchase – I didn’t have enough information on which to purchase. And I reminded myself that my hair had been just fine without heat… thank you for this article!

Candace J
Candace J

This was a really helpful article, not to mention short, sweet and straight to the point. Excellent.