Choosing a hair straightener It has its science and its technological development, beyond the classic images of the 50s and 60s of the last century, of women applying the clothes iron to their hair.
The hair straighteners They have evolved a lot since those times and today both the offer and the technology is very wide, both destined to achieve the maximum result without damaging the hair, since when we iron it we apply heat to it.
It should not be forgotten that the scientific basis for ironing, which it has, is the manipulation of the spatial structure of the proteins that make up the hair, so that it goes from a curly structure to a smooth and straight one.
To do this, we apply heat on the one hand, physical pressure on the other and, finally, we promote a change in the surface ionic charge of the hair, so that it goes from having charges of different electrical signs that attract each other to having all of the same sign. , in this case negative, that repel each other. This prevents curls and matted hairs, as well as tangles.
Types of hair straighteners
Therefore, in essence, the hair straightener does not differ from the clothes iron, although it does differ in size, shape, temperature, materials, etc. It is a resistance that heats a metal that is applied to the hair.
Now, you have to be careful, because the direct heat on the hair can be excessive and denature the hair protein, so that it is damaged. Therefore, we need an intermediate material between the hot metal and the hair, a material that also heats up, but that protects it. Based on this material, the different types of plates can be classified.
1. Ceramic plates
They are the most common that we can find. In ceramic, heat is distributed evenly over the surface. In addition, it is an inexpensive material. However, it is necessary to differentiate between 100% ceramic plates and those covered with ceramics, which are somewhat cheaper.
The problem with ceramics is that it is a delicate material, with a tendency to wear out or break. Thus, the durability of these plates will depend on whether they are entirely ceramic or just a coating.
In the second case, over time it may be that they wear out and you end up seeing the metal they cover and that can damage the hair. For their part, 100% ceramic plates are more fragile. On the positive side, this material has a large charge of negative ions, which facilitate ironing.
The recommended plate is Remington S8590 Keratin Therapy Pro, featuring keratin-coated ceramic plates. The plates are also floating and extra-long 110 mm, ideal for long and abundant hair.
They also include a heat protection sensor, which provides up to three times more protection against deterioration. It also features five temperature settings between 160 ° C and 230 ° C and automatic safety shutdown, in case we forget about it.
On the other hand, the manufacturer guarantees that the iron will be ready to use in fifteen seconds with a warning signal and provides a 1.8 m swivel cord, a heat resistant bag and universal voltage. Its price is 86 euros, although we can find offers for 40 euros.
2. Ceramic and tourmaline plates
Tourmaline is a mineral that generates a large amount of negative ions, so it prevents hair frizz and keeps it soft and silky. Plates with both materials are the most expensive and are only made by a few brands.
The recommended plate is Rowenta Optiliss Keratin and Tourmaline SF3122 which, according to the manufacturer, achieves an adequate and shiny straightening thanks to its keratin coating and tourmaline. Keratin protects hair by giving it shine and elasticity, while tourmaline removes frizz.
The maximum temperature it achieves is 230 ° C, while the constant temperature function allows you to iron without problems. The plates are 2.5 cm floating and adjust according to the thickness of the hair strand.
On the other hand, the ionic function that tourmaline provides reduces the appearance of static electricity and frizz. The rapid heat-up, in 60 seconds, has a plate locking system for added security. The power is 38 watts and includes a 180 cm long cable. Its price is around 50 euros, although it can be found for just over 30 euros.
3. Titanium plates
This element is more resistant than ceramic, so its durability is much greater. It is also lightweight, which is why these plates tend to weigh considerably less than ceramic ones.
Being a metal, it conducts heat better, so its ignition is faster. It also has a higher negative ion load, which makes it possible to straighten hair very easily, even in a single pass.
The recommended plate is Philips Pro HPS930 / 40, with titanium coated plates for optimal heat conduction and 85% more durability compared to ceramic, as well as more care thanks to the titanium ionizer, which gives shiny hair without frizz.
It also features digital temperature control up to 230ºC and, thanks to its ThermoGuard system, it avoids exposure to unintentional heat above 200ºC. As for the plates, these measure 110 mm, to achieve a quick and easy straightening. The blades also take 10 seconds to be ready. Its price is 77 euros, although there are offers for just over 50 euros.
4. Ceramic and titanium plates
Since both materials provide very good results when shaping hair, some brands have chosen to combine them, although they are usually irons that exceed 150 euros. The advantage is that in a single pass they straighten the hair, thereby better respecting its structure, which is why they are recommended for daily use.
The recommended option is ghd max, a professional hair straightener that has plates 70% wider than normal, in order to achieve a shiny and polished hairstyle without the need to use high temperatures, all thanks to the combination of ceramic and titanium, in the called “dual-zone heat technology”.
This straightener incorporates two sensors (one per plate) that guarantee a uniform optimum styling temperature of 185ºC from roots to ends. It is recommended for women with long, thick or curly hair and also to create long-lasting hairstyles. Its price: between 220 and 160 euros.
Size (of hair) does matter
Without saying that there is an iron for each type of hair, it is true that not all hairs respond the same to the same iron, so when choosing one we must look at different aspects:
- Hair thickness: thin and fine hair is not the same as thick hair with a tendency to frizz. For the first one, an iron that reaches temperatures of 180º or 190ºC will suffice, or it can even work with lower ones. The second requires higher temperatures and materials with a high ionic charge, such as titanium or tourmaline.
- Hair length: short and fine hair can be straightened with a narrow blade straightener, but if it is long, thick or frizzy, you will need a medium to wide blade straightener.
- Curls: in the same way, in hair with abundant curls, we will need an iron that reaches a good temperature and has a good load of negative ions.
- Other tips: other interesting aspects are that the iron has a sufficiently long cord and 360º rotation to make ironing more comfortable, especially if we have very long hair.
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