What everyone should know about straightening irons

Kara’s Question:

Hi, I’m in the market for a high-end straightening iron, and I feel completely overwhelmed by all the product choices out there! The major differences I see for most irons are the types of plates used, which include tourmaline/ceramic mix, ceramic, and metal plates. While I’m presuming it’s the high heat (some heat up to 450F) that helps straighten the hair shaft, how do these different plates benefit the hair? Are these newer kinds of straighteners with the tourmaline and ceramic healthier for your hair? I’m looking for an iron that works well, but doesn’t completely wreck and fry my hair shaft. Thanks so much for your time! I just added the RSS feed to my homepage, and I am absolutely loving it! Thanks again!

The Left Brain‘s Answer:

I agree, the number of choices for hair appliances is paralyzing! If it’s any consolation, you don’t have to pay too much attention to all the hype about the different types of ironing plates. While it’s true that more expensive irons can be made from higher quality materials, that really just means that the heating element is more rugged and the plates are built to take wear and tear. Cheaper flat irons may have inferior plates that can’t handle the heat and may snag your hair. This is bad for hair straightening.

But whether it’s tourmaline or ceramic, there’s nothing about the composition of the plate material that makes it intrinsically healthier for your hair. And don’t believe ANY of that crap about ionic straighteners. That’s pure marketing hype without a shred of scientific validation.

The Brains Bottom Line:

You’ll need to pay a bit more for high quality construction but you don’t need to pay extra for bogus scientific claims.