African-American women are known to pride themselves on their curly, even coily hair and love to wear it natural. And it goes beyond vanity and love for hair care—being proud of your gorgeous, natural ringlets has become somewhat of an advocacy for the black community.
But every once in a while, black women also love to get creative with their hairstyles. There are so many reasons to love naturally curly hair, but straightening your hair or creating pretty waves can be tempting too.
All you need to switch things up is a flat iron that’s a good fit for thick, coarse African-American hair!
- 1 Why is African-American hair difficult to straighten?
- 2 How can I care for my African-American hair before and after heat-styling?
- 2.1 BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron
- 2.2 CHI Professional 1-Inch Ceramic Tourmaline Hairstyling Flat Iron
- 2.3 INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Rainbow Titanium Flat Iron
- 2.4 KIPOZI Professional Titanium Flat Iron
- 2.5 Andis 67095 High Heat Ceramic Hair Flat Iron
- 2.6 Gold N Hot Professional Ceramic Flat Iron
- 2.7 INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron
- 2.8 HSI Professional Glider
- 2.9 FURIDEN Hair Straightener and Curler
- 2.10 ROSILY Flat Iron
- 2.11 Moroccanoil Professional Series Titanium Ceramic Flat Iron
- 2.12 Kiss Red Ceramic Tourmaline 3/10 Inch Pencil Flat Iron
- 2.13 Remington Wet2Straight Flat Iron with Ceramic + Titanium Plates
- 2.14 VANESSA Flat Iron Hair Straightener and Curler
- 2.15 Deogra Flat Iron
- 2.16 CROC Classic Silver Titanium Flat Iron
- 3 Conclusion
Why is African-American hair difficult to straighten?
African-American hair tends to be naturally thick, coarse, and curly. There are so many ways to style curls, from braids to afros, but you can straighten them as well. However, because of its unique and sometimes stubborn texture, it can be difficult.
Some black women who want sleek hair go for relaxing treatments at the salon. But if you don’t want that kind of commitment to permanently straight hair, investing in a high-quality flat iron is great too.
If it’s challenging to straighten your hair, you can get a leg up by using titanium plates in your flat iron instead of the more popular ceramic plates.
Titanium gets hot faster and heats up the surface of your hair, while ceramic plates use infrared technology to heat up the hair from the inside of the shaft going out. Ceramic plates are more gentle, but they might not be the best for African-American curls that need extra hold after heat styling.
While titanium is fantastic for hair that’s hard to straighten, it’s worth noting that titanium plates can cause more heat damage to your hair than other plates. That can lead to dryness and brittleness, so it’s something to take into consideration.
You can also use tourmaline plates as an alternative if you don’t want to risk titanium wreaking havoc on your hair. It can hold your hairstyle longer than other plates.
Of course, if you want to go as gentle as possible, ceramic plates are always an option. Just make sure they can get up to a little over 400°F to give you extra hold.
How can I care for my African-American hair before and after heat-styling?
Tight curls are more delicate than other hair textures and are consequently more likely to get damaged from hot tools. You could also end up losing your curl pattern when you abuse your flat iron, leaving behind lifeless curls without bounce or a consistent wave pattern.
That’s why proper care before, during, and after ironing your hair is of the utmost importance.
Before you iron your hair, make sure it’s washed and dried completely. Use shampoos and conditioners that strengthen and hydrate your hair. Opt for ones with protein or shea butter—anything that can help prep your hair for heat-styling.
You must use a heat protectant before the iron touches your hair. There are tons of thermal protection sprays designed for African-American hair—specifically the more nourishing ones. Try to go for the lowest temperature possible that can allow your hair to hold its straight style.
On wash days, pamper your hair with a treatment to replenish the moisture your heat styling during the week could have dried out. Do a deep conditioner routine when you feel like your hair is getting a bit dry and brittle to make up for the heat damage.
Here are some of the best flat irons for African-American hair:
BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron
Coarse curls can be difficult to straighten, so you need a flat iron that’s lightweight and easy on the hand. This ultra-thin flat iron is weightless and easy to hold, ensuring you won’t get hand fatigue even when you’re doing multiple passes on your textured hair.
The iron has titanium plates that blaze up to high heat levels, which are perfect for thick, curly hair that can be challenging to heat-style. That said, it’s designed with nano-titanium technology that helps protect hair from too much damage.
CHI Professional 1-Inch Ceramic Tourmaline Hairstyling Flat Iron
This cult-favorite flat iron is made with ceramic and tourmaline to provide even distribution of heat among the plates and on your hair. The plates produce ions and far-infrared that reduce static, minimizing frizziness.
This iron heats up to as high as 392°F in as fast as 30 seconds, so you don’t have to worry about burning your hair at an excessively high temperature above 400°F.
INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Rainbow Titanium Flat Iron
This flat iron is made with extra-long plates to help you style quicker and with bigger sections of hair. The titanium and ceramic plates give you sleek, smooth hair while protecting from excessive heat damage.
It has six different heat settings, so it’s great for all hair types, whether you have fine curls or thick and coarse coils. It goes up to 450°F, so it’s perfect for stubborn hair textures that need extra hold.
KIPOZI Professional Titanium Flat Iron
This matte black iron by KIPOZI provides high heat in as fast as 15 seconds. The titanium plates coupled with an efficient ceramic heater results in effortless straightening with less damage and breakage.
The plates are also made with shine-boosting technology to help retain some moisture in your hair and keep it looking lustrous after styling.
Because of its dual-voltage feature, it’s a great flat iron to bring around with you when you travel.
Andis 67095 High Heat Ceramic Hair Flat Iron
This flat iron is raved about because of its high heat settings that can go up to 450°F in mere seconds—perfect for textured hair that is hard to straighten and heat-style.
There are 20 different heat settings to choose from, so if you don’t want excessive heat on your hair, you can dial it down a notch too.
Its ceramic plates can seal in moisture in your hair cuticle, leaving you with soft, sleek hair that looks and feels healthy.
Gold N Hot Professional Ceramic Flat Iron
This black and gold flat iron uses ceramic technology in its plates for an even distribution of heat. That means no spotty areas on your iron that only straighten the center of your hair sections.
It offers multiple high heat settings, so you have full control of how high you want to go. Because you can go as high as 450°F, it reduces the number of passes you need to do on each section of hair, resulting in less damage.
INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron
Tourmaline is a great alternative to titanium if you don’t want to risk high heat damaging your hair. This flat iron is made with tourmaline and ceramic plates for shiny and healthy-looking hair all day long.
This iron has extra-long floating plates, making it easier on the hand to straighten long and thick sections of hair.
It has a whopping 30 heat setting levels, so it’s perfect for all hair types, from fine and delicate waves to thick, unruly curls.
HSI Professional Glider
Another option for a tourmaline iron is this one by HSI. Tourmaline and ceramic plates help give a silky finish to your hair once you straighten it, making it look shiny and glossy.
This is also a good iron for those who are constantly worried about heat damage to their hair. The plates have built-in HeatBalance micro-sensors that ensure an even distribution of heat, so you don’t have to do too many passes on each lock of hair.
FURIDEN Hair Straightener and Curler
If you love both straight and curly hair, this is the iron for you. The plates of this flat iron are rounded in shape, so you can also use it to flip and curl your hair if you want to spice things up in your hairdo.
The titanium plates heat up quickly and evenly, so you can do your hair without waiting too long for it to get hot. They also help retain moisture in the hair so that it never goes dry and brittle due to heat damage.
ROSILY Flat Iron
This white and rose gold flat iron comes with a wide range of temperature levels from 290-450°F, so you can adjust accordingly depending on how much heat your hair needs to hold the style you want.
The titanium plates are ultra-smooth and glide on your hair effortlessly, so you don’t have to worry about them pulling on your hair. The 360° swivel cord makes it even easier to straighten your hair without tugging.
Moroccanoil Professional Series Titanium Ceramic Flat Iron
In this flat iron by renowned hair brand Moroccanoil, ceramic and titanium work together to achieve beautiful, luscious hairstyles with the utmost protection for your hair against heat damage.
Ceramic technology releases negative ions that keep your hair looking shiny all while distributing heat evenly across the plates. Meanwhile, the titanium coating provides high heat, durability to your iron, and smooth passes in each section of hair.
Kiss Red Ceramic Tourmaline 3/10 Inch Pencil Flat Iron
If you rock a shorter afro or haircut, you’ll love this thin, pencil flat iron to straighten and smoothen out your hair. Its super thin plates were designed to reach hard to reach hair sections so that your hair can look sleek from the root.
The ceramic tourmaline plates heat up to 450°F in as fast as one minute. They also help retain a lot of moisture already in your hair, which in turn gets rid of frizzy flyaways and allows for a glossy finish.
Remington Wet2Straight Flat Iron with Ceramic + Titanium Plates
If you hate waiting until your hair is completely dry before you start styling, you’ll love this flat iron’s unique technology. It’s designed with steam vents, so you can start styling while your hair is damp without worrying about heat damage that may incur.
These ceramic plates heat up in as fast as 30 seconds, so you can get styling as soon as you need to. It’s the ultimate flat iron for ladies who have little to no time getting ready in the morning post-shower.
VANESSA Flat Iron Hair Straightener and Curler
This flat iron by VANESSA is another versatile straightener that can be used as a curler because of its rounded shape.
It’s made with titanium plates that get hot fast and in high heat, so you get quick results with as few passes in your hair as possible even if you have thick, coarse curls. The plates also help seal in moisture in your hair cuticle, preserving the integrity and health of your hair overall.
Deogra Flat Iron
This black and pink flat iron is unique because it’s infused with keratin and argan oil to nourish and smooth down your textured hair strands, which is perfect for curly African-American hair.
It also emits negative ions that keep static at bay so that you don’t have to deal with frizz and flyaways.
Because of its rounded, curved shape, it can be used for wavy and curly hairstyles with one flip.
CROC Classic Silver Titanium Flat Iron
This iron’s titanium plates are 1.5 inches thick, making them wider than your usual flat iron. That means you can get away with straightening out bigger sections of hair without tiring out your hands. It also has a deluxe thumb grip for comfortable hold as you style your hair.
The titanium plates heat up to as high as 450°F to straighten even the curliest hair types that can be quite stubborn. That said, it has a unique ventilation system that releases any excess heat, reducing any damage dealt to your hair.
If you’ve been scared of ironing out your gorgeously curly locks, today is the day you venture out into the world of heat styling. Choose any of these flat irons to experience a world of endless hairstyle possibilities for you and your hair.
With the right flat iron for your African-American hair, you can create sleek and straight looks without damaging your hair or weakening your beloved curl pattern. All it takes is extra love and care for your hair, and you can be free to style and iron however you want!