Get it Straight: The difference between hair straightener plates

October 3, 2008 by  

If you are in the market for a new hair straightener and have spent any time at all looking into the available products out there, you might be completely overwhelmed by the lists of features, product descriptions and construction details for all the different straighteners.

Don’t worry. It doesn’t have to be such an overwhelming experience. For right now lets focus on one very major feature of hair straighteners – the plates. Once you decide what type of plates you want for your hair tool, you can worry about some of the other features a little later on.

There are a few major types of plates that you can find on straighteners depending on the price point you are looking at. The most common plate types are metal, glass, ceramic, titanium and a blend of ceramic and titanium.

Let’s look at metal and glass plates for a minute. If you have ever used a hair straightener that you purchased at your local discount store, it probably had one of these two plate types on it. That is because glass and metal plates are the cheapest to manufacture, so they tend to be found on hair straighteners with the lowest price points making them accessible to everyone. However, the fact that they are inexpensive is probably the best selling feature for these tools.

As far as styling benefits, there aren’t many. Glass and metal plates are often painted which may make them hard to identify. Also, the paint can easily cheap causing snags, pulls and tears of your hair. These straighteners do not heat evenly or maintain a constant temperature which can cause hot spots, burning your hair. They take longer to straighten hair, and may result in a frizzy, dry and even damaged appearance to the hair. The bottom line is, try to stay away from this type of straightener.

Ceramic straighteners are very common on quality straighteners because they provide an evenly heated surface which makes it easier to style the hair and reduces the risk of hot spots. The smooth ceramic prevents static from happening, smoothing the hair cuticle which eliminates the look of frizzy dry damaged hair and creates an overall shine to the hair as it helps each strand lay flat. A ceramic straightener is one of the better choices for a flat iron.

Another very good choice for a straightener is one that utilizes titanium plates. Titanium is a naturally occurring element that is known for its extreme strength and light weight. Titanium plates are as smooth as glass but you don’t need to worry about breaking them if you happen to drop your tool. Titanium also heats evenly which reduces the risk for hot spots on the hair and it maintains high temperatures very well resulting in fewer heat fluctuations. An iron with titanium plates is also a very good choice when choosing a flat iron.

The combination of both ceramic and titanium is becoming a popular choice for hair straighteners. This is because when you combine them, far-infrared is created which is an exceptional way to dry hair because it dries hair so quickly from the inside out there is little damage done to the hair shaft. This makes a combination iron an excellent choice for use on damp hair, or if you want to add extra moisture to your hair resulting in a shinier, softer mane.

The bottom line about choosing a hair straightener is to look at the plate types. Tools that use ceramic, titanium or a combination for the plates are going to be more expensive; however the results that they produce are well worth the extra dollar amount. It doesn’t do you any good to damage your hair with a poor hair straightener. After all, you’re trying to achieve a beautiful style and you need healthy beautiful hair to do that!