Back in the early days of flat irons, cheap plastic parts and metal plates meant irreversible hair damage. After all, as any hair stylist will tell you,
heat is particularly damaging to hair. That said, certain types of straighteners (and certain types of heat!) can limit the amount of harm done to your hair when you straighten it. So, what are the best flat irons that won't damage hair?
If you'd like to
minimize damage from straightening your hair, the first thing you want to look for is a flat iron with ceramic plates, because the ceramic material evenly distributes heat all the way across the plates, so chunks of your hair won't burn because of hot spots. Titanium plates, in turn, quickly conduct heat, which can make for a faster straightening process, but can also expose your hair to higher temperatures that might cause damage.
Keep your eye out for ceramic flat irons with tourmaline-infused plates, as that
material, when heated, produces negative ions that coat and condition your hair while locking in moisture, limiting frizz in the process. Finally, there's infrared technology — a relatively recent hair care advancement. Infrared straighteners use special wavelengths to heat the hair evenly from the inside, protecting your hair cuticles and reducing damage on the outside of the strands.
If you're a little overwhelmed by all this jargon, don't worry. Gathered up below, these are the six
best flat irons that won't damage hair, so you can get the sleekest style possible without all that excess damage.
INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Tourmaline Ceramic 1-Inch Flat Iron
INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Tourmaline Ceramic 1-Inch Flat Iron, $25, Amazon
For a super affordable price, this best-selling
Conair flat iron is a great buy if you're worried about the health of your hair. Not only is it designed with tourmaline ceramic plates to heat your hair evenly, but it also has five unique heat settings so you can find the best one for you (finding a heat setting that works on your hair without overdoing it is essential for minimizing damage). Shown here in the 1-inch size, this flat iron also comes in 1.5-inch and 2-inch models, if you prefer a wider plate when straightening your hair. Over 1,500 Amazon reviewers rave about this high-quality yet inexpensive straightener. What fans say: "Amazing product!! Works just as well as straighteners that cost a hundred dollars more! Heats up quickly, does minimal damage to hair, and works just wonderfully. I will definitely be recommending this product to others."
HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron
HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron, $37, Amazon
It's not often you cross paths with a flat iron that has nearly glowing 30,000 Amazon reviews. This
ceramic tourmaline flat iron from HSI Professional is highly-rated and has a few standout features that will protect your hair from damage. Firstly, the ceramic tourmaline plates heat evenly to prevent hot spots that could harm your hair. Secondly, the plates use eight "HeatBalance" micro-sensors to regulate the heat coming out and ensure that you don't overheat your hair. This flat iron also has an adjustable temperature dial that makes it easy for you to get a precise level of heat that'll get the job done without risking any damage. Even better, included in the price you'll get an argan oil hair treatment to infuse moisture back into your hair after you've straightened it. What fans say: "This straightener is incredible! It does not damage my hair and leaves it so much smoother than my previous straighteners, and the price is unbeatable."
HTG Professional 1-Inch Infrared Flat Iron
HTG Professional 1-Inch Infrared Flat Iron, $37, Amazon
While not as highly-rated as the similarly-priced flat iron above, this
straightener employs infrared technology and ceramic-coated tourmaline plates to both moisturize and straighten your hair without damaging it. An easy-to-read LED display allows you to see the exact temperature of the plates, and you can easily adjust the heat level anywhere from 190 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit based on your preference. This flat iron is even built with a unique "C-Sensor" that automatically calibrates the temperature of the plates 30 times per second so the iron stays consistently at the temperature you choose. What fans say: "Best flat iron I've ever purchased! It's super light weight and easy to work with. The infrared light doesn't do any damage to my hair. Amazing!!"
Mixcolor Professional Ceramic Tourmaline 2-in-1 Flat Iron
Mixcolor Professional Ceramic Tourmaline 2-in-1 Flat Iron, $46, Amazon
To prevent any damage, micro-sensors within the ceramic tourmaline plates of this
flat iron help regulate its temperature so your hair won't be exposed to aggressive or harmful heat. The heat settings can be adjusted from 265 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and are easily visible from the dial on the side of the flat iron, eliminating any chance that you accidentally use too much heat on your hair. This set also comes with a heat-safe glove to protect your hands when you're using the flat iron, and a bunch of clips and hair separators for styling individual sections at a time. You'll also get a handy traveling case with this straightener so you can take it with you when you're on the go. Best of all, you can wrap your hair around the curved backside of the flat iron to create a curl with this hair tool, as well. What fans say: "Wonderful product! Hair comes out soft and smooth. It achieved beautiful hair while guarding against heat damage. Highly recommended!"
SAMSARA 1-Inch Anti-Static Mini Flat Iron
SAMSARA 1-Inch Anti-Static Mini Flat Iron, $27, Amazon
1-inch flat iron is made with ceramic plates for evening heating, and has a touch-compatible heat dial that you can simply swipe up or down to increase or decrease the heat. The temperature range on this straightener spans from 250 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. And, while this flat iron may lack some of the fancier (and damage-preventing) features of other options on this list, reviewers swear it keeps hair looking healthy, shiny, and straight without damage. What fans say: "I love this straightener! I have naturally wavy, frizzy hair. I am always looking for products or appliances to make it straight without fly-always. I ordered this not know if it work really work. It promises shiny and silky hair and let me tell you that it does just that! My hair looks smooth and natural. It does not make my hair feel damaged and some straighteners do. Soft and silky as advertised!"
MONDAVA PROFESSIONAL Ceramic Tourmaline Flat Iron
MONDAVA PROFESSIONAL Ceramic Tourmaline Flat Iron, $60, Amazon
At this point, you could probably guess that this
splurge-worthy flat iron also has plates that heat evenly thanks to their ceramic construction. Unlike others on this list, this Italian straightener also has a slightly wider plate than most of the hair tools on this list (1.25 inches in width). According to the manufacturer, the ionic tourmaline-infused plates of this flat iron will restore your hair with 3 million negatively-charged ions every minute you use it. That means your hair will retain more moisture while you straighten it and is less likely to frizz or dry out with repeated exposure to heat. But, don't take my word for it. Hundreds of Amazon fans swear by this model. What fans say: "I have fine, delicate hair. This flat iron does not tear my hair at all. It heats up very quickly. The precise temperature adjustment lets me choose a temperature that will do the least damage to my breakage-prone hair." Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.