If you have natural hair, there are countless ways to style it. But if you’re looking to straighten it without causing any permanent damage to your hair, you’ll likely want to get your hands on the right flat iron! Unfortunately, it can often be difficult to find the right flat iron for African American hair, and that’s why we’ve put together this guide.
Knowing what to expect from a flat iron before you even try it out on your hair may seem like an impossible task. Today, we’re going to review eight of the best flat irons for black hair so you can have a better idea of what to expect before you purchase.
Our buying advice section features all of the info you’ll need to know so that you can find a quality flat iron. We’ll discuss the importance of finding the right flat iron for black hair, and we’ll also discuss some of the most crucial features to look for in a quality flat iron.
Let’s get started by taking a look at the Best Flat Iron for Black Hair, the BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Flat Iron.
Best Flat Iron for Black Hair
Our Top Pick: BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium-Plated Ionic Flat Iron
Key Points at a Glance
- Equipped with an ion generator
- Titanium-plated heating plates
- Ceramic elements for high heat conduction
- The Ryton housing won’t warp over time due to the heat
- LED screen for temperature display
- Max temperature of 450 degrees F
Our top flat iron for African American hair is the BaBylissPro Nano Titanium-Plated Ionic Flat Iron. We reviewed it in depth here. While the name may be a bit of a mouthful, this product combines a wide range of features with excellent build quality to create one of the best flat irons on the market. If you’re looking for a reliable flat iron that you can expect to use for thousands of hours, then this is the one.
The nano titanium heating plates are designed to glide over your hair as smoothly as possible, ensuring that you aren’t dealing with endless snags as you run the flat iron through your hair. Like with most high-end flat irons, you also won’t have to wait around for this one to heat up, as it reaches operating temperature nearly instantly.
Unlike more affordable hair irons, this model is also designed to be easy to maneuver, as it features a thin and lightweight design that you can manipulate and switch from hand to hand with ease. This model also features an ion generator that counters frizzing, as that tends to be the natural reaction of hair follicles that are heated up.
This model comes in a choice of either blue or black, allowing you a small degree of personalization or allowing you to distinguish between them if multiple members of your household own one of them. The temperature is displayed on an LED screen on the side of the hair iron, and the controls are relatively simple, consisting of an on/off switch and temperature adjustment controls.
While we looked at the 1-¼-inch model, there is also a 1-¾-inch version of this hair iron designed for users with longer hair. One of the only downsides of this model is its relatively high price, though its reliability and excellent build quality both make up for that since you won’t need to buy another flat iron for a long time to come.
This is the best flat iron for black hair.
- The BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium-Plated Ionic...
- High heat levels provide excellent straightening...
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Our Runner Up: CHI G2 Ceramic and Titanium Flat Iron
Key Points at a Glance
- The “Mode” button allows you to switch between predefined temperatures
- Takes 40 seconds to heat up
- Dual voltage functionality allows you to use it while traveling
- Ceramic heating plates infused with titanium
- Color-coded temperature display
If you’re not a fan of the BaBylissPRO flat iron, then the CHI G2 may be more your cup of tea. Our runner up model is slightly more affordable than the previous one, but it can still be considered a high-end flat iron. Whereas the previous flat iron was designed for maximum quality and reliability, the CHI G2’s design is centered around ease of use.
Instead of manually having to scroll through temperatures to get started using this model, you can power it on and tap the “Mode” button. This allows you to instantly cycle through three predefined settings for a range of different hair types, ensuring that you can get started straightening your hair as soon as possible.
Combined with the quick warmup time, this helps make the CHI G2 one of the fastest flat irons we’ve reviewed so far. If you often struggle to find the time to do your hair and you feel like every second counts, this flat iron can help you get started styling your hair within 40 seconds of plugging it into the outlet.
Much like the BaBylissPRO flat iron, one of the main weaknesses of the CHI G2 is that’s it’s relatively pricey, being about three times more expensive than some of the budget models on our list.
That being said, if you’re looking for a combination of user-friendliness and quality, then this flat iron won’t let you down.
- 1.25" Ceramic & Titanium Infused Plates
- New 'mode' button with preset temperatures
- 40 second heat up
- Limited 2 Year Warranty
Best Budget: INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Rainbow Titanium Flat Iron
Key Points at a Glance
- Floating titanium plates allow for quicker styling
- Ceramic heating elements heat up quickly (30 seconds)
- Auto shutoff feature
- Features six temperature settings
- Equipped with an ion generator
- Rainbow-colored plates
The Conair INFINITIPRO Rainbow Titanium Flat Iron is our best budget pick. It is best choice for anyone looking to spend a more reasonable sum of money on their flat iron. While it may not come with some of the fancy features you’d expect to see in our best overall and runner up models, it gets the job done for an affordable price.
This model uses floating titanium plates to ensure that it glides over your hair as easily as possible without snagging and potentially burning it. Along with sliding over your hair effortlessly, the long plates ensure that you have a large enough contact patch so that you can straighten your hair quickly and efficiently.
To cut down on the frizz that you have to deal with when straightening your hair, this model is equipped with an ionic generator, which isn’t something you may be used to seeing on such an affordable flat iron. Another advantage over other budget models is that this flat iron can reach temperatures of up to 455 degrees F.
Speaking of temperatures, the INFINITIPRO Rainbow Titanium Flat Iron is equipped with six temperature settings, ensuring that it can work with a wide range of different hair. Keep in mind that this flat iron may not be the best choice for beginners due to the high temperatures it can reach, so make sure you already have experience straightening your hair!
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Best Kit: HSI Professional Glider Flat Iron
Key Points at a Glance
- Equipped with ceramic plates
- This flat iron uses eight micro-sensors to ensure that the plate temperature is even
- Tourmaline crystal ion coating
- Temperature range from 140 to 450 degrees F
- The 360-swivel cord makes it easier to maneuver this flat iron
- Features a one-year warranty
If you haven’t used a flat iron before and you’re looking for a good one to start with, you may be interested in the HSI Professional Glider that comes with a few helpful accessories. Combining these accessories with an affordable price, this flat iron is probably the best choice for inexperienced users who need somewhere to start.
The HSI Flat Iron comes included with a carry bag so that you can transport it without having to worry about scratching the housing or otherwise damaging the flat iron. It also comes included with a heat-resistant glove so that you don’t burn yourself while you’re using it for extended periods of time.
However, this flat iron also features excellent performance for the price, as it’s equipped with ceramic and tourmaline crystal-infused plates that are designed to glide through your hair effortlessly. With a wide range of temperature settings from 140 to 450 degrees F, this flat iron can be used with any type of hair.
The one-inch plates make this flat iron as versatile as possible since it can still straighten hair quickly, but it’s narrow enough to easily straighten shorter sections of hair. One weakness to consider is that this flat iron doesn’t have a digital temperature display, so you won’t have an exact measure of temperature you’re using.
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Best for Short Hair: Bed Head Pixie 1/2″ Flat Iron
Key Points at a Glance
- Equipped with 0.5-inch plates designed for shorter hair
- Tourmaline coating over ceramic plates for less frizz
- Max temperature of 430 degrees F
- Heats up in 30 seconds
- Dual voltage power for worldwide use
One of the more specialized flat iron models we’ve reviewed is the Bed Head Pixie, which features a ½-inch set of plates that make it easier to work with short hair. Along with improving performance with short hair, this flat iron lets you get in closer to the roots to ensure that you won’t have any issues with flyaways.
The ceramic plates on the Pixie are infused with tourmaline to cut down on the amount of frizz you’ll have to deal with, and this also helps the flat iron glide through your hair much more smoothly. Heating up in only 30 seconds, the Pixie is great for customers who need to get up in the morning and quickly style their hair before getting on with the day.
The Pixie’s small size also makes it one of the best flat irons for frequent travelers. This model is much narrower than the other flat irons we’ve looked at so far, and the smaller plates also help cut down on the Pixie’s overall weight, making it a respectably lightweight 12 ounces. Also, the dual voltage plug ensures that this flat iron can be used anywhere.
Of course, as you’d expect from a flat iron with such small plates, you’ll spend a much longer time trying to straighten your hair with it if you have even medium-length hair. This specialized flat iron is mainly designed for shorter hairstyles, so you may eventually need a different model if you decide to grow out your natural hair.
- 1/2" Plates ideal for short hair which allows you...
- Tourmaline Ceramic Technology Reduces frizz and...
- High Heat up to 430 DegreeF
- Travel ready Design Lightweight with Worldwide...
- 30 Second Fast Heat Up
Flat Iron for Black Hair: Buyer’s Guide
Picking the right kind of hair care products for African American hair can often be a challenge. Many products are designed for straight hair. This can often make coarser or kinkier hair harder to care for.
Finding something that works well for your hair is typically an uphill battle, especially if you’re not trying to go through five different flat irons before you find one that works for you.
That’s why we decided to create this guide with African American hair in mind. Unfortunately, the term “African American hair” can be somewhat misleading since there are so many different types of natural hair. You’ll have a very different experience working with 3B hair than you will when working with 4C hair.
While flat iron users with straight hair typically use flat irons to give themselves waves or curls, flat iron users with black hair tend to do the opposite: straightening their hair. This is why we’ve put a particular emphasis on using the flat irons we’ve reviewed to straighten your hair.
Important Features to Consider
One of the most important features that many users overlook when shopping for a new flat iron is the cord that the iron uses. Due to the flexibility of the cord, this is the part of your flat iron that will see the most wear and tear throughout its life span, and it’s often the first point of failure.
Along with ensuring that your flat iron’s cord is as durable as possible, you’ll also want it to have a reasonable degree of maneuverability. When you’re manipulating the flat iron to get to each section of your hair, the last thing you’ll want to deal with is a rigid cord that makes your life miserable.
The plates themselves are another key feature, as their size and the materials used to make them will determine how quickly you can straighten your hair and how easy the straightening process is to get through. If your flat iron’s plates aren’t slippery enough, then your hair can get snagged partway through and burn.
This is why flat iron plates are typically extremely glossy, and some of them even feature added materials like pearls or crystals that can help the plates glide through your hair with ease.
As with any other product, you’ll want to get your hands on a flat iron that is as reliable as possible, so you don’t end up having to replace it partway through its intended lifespan. We’ve already discussed the importance of cord durability, but you should also consider the quality of your flat iron’s heating elements.
Heating elements can often be finicky, and even if they don’t fail outright, having a hot spot or a cold spot partway through one of the plates can ruin your flat iron’s performance (not to mention your hair). Be sure that the underlying heating mechanism in your new flat iron is as reliable as possible if you want to use it for years to come.
Controls and Ease of Use
Finally, look for a flat iron that’s easy to use. The last thing you want to deal with is a flat iron with a convoluted set of controls that will always be a hassle to use. The easier your flat iron is to get started, the more likely you’ll be to use it over an extended period of time.
If you loathe the idea of using your flat iron, then it’ll likely spend its operational lifespan sitting in one of your drawers collecting dust. Some of the best flat irons will come equipped with a temperature display that lets you know exactly what temperature works best to straighten your hair.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I prep my hair for straightening?
You should start by making sure that your hair is well-conditioned before even considering straightening it. Next, you’ll want to use smoothing balm to get your hair prepared for straightening. Next, be sure to use a heat protectant like Argan Oil on your hair. This will ensure that it doesn’t get damaged by the straightening process. Be sure the oil still smells good before use.
What is the best temperature for straightening natural hair?
While the exact temperature will depend on what kind of hair you have, most people agree that natural hair should be straightened at around 300 degrees F. Keep in mind that this is a high enough temperature to dry out your hair, so you’ll need to take the time to re-moisturize your hair after you’ve straightened it.
What’s the difference between ceramic and titanium plates?
Ceramic plates are better-suited for hair that’s already frizzy or curly and less coarse, as it will slide through that kind of hair more easily. Titanium, on the other hand, is a better choice for kinky hair that may be a little more difficult to straighten using a flat iron with ceramic plates.
What size of flat iron should I get?
A one-inch flat iron is typically the most versatile option available, as it allows you to straighten your hair relatively quickly without giving up the ability to get close to the root. If you can afford two flat irons, we’d recommend getting one small one (about 0.5 inches) and one large one (over 1.5 inches).
Other Products We Looked At:
The first of our honorable mentions is the Remington S9500PP Pearl Pro. This flat iron is another affordable model that almost made it as our best budget model, but it was beaten out by Conair’s INFINITIPRO. That being said, if you’re looking for another affordable flat iron and you don’t like Conair’s model, this one may work for you.
One of the most impressive features of the S9500PP is that it features ceramic plates infused with pearls. These pearls help ensure that this flat iron can slide through your hair without getting stuck and potentially burning your strands. The Pearl Pro can also reach higher temperatures than many of its more affordable competitors, with a max temperature of 450 degrees F.
Surprisingly for such an affordable flat iron, this model even comes equipped with a small LCD temperature display, allowing you to see the exact temperature you’re using to straighten your hair. We were also impressed by the length of the plates on this flat iron, ensuring you can straighten your hair much faster than comparably-priced flat irons.
Key Points at a Glance
- Heats up in 30 seconds with a max temperature of 450 degrees F
- Pearl-infused ceramic plates for a smoother glide
- Temperature is displayed on an LCD
The Bombshell from Sultra is yet another high-end, high-quality flat iron. We reviewed it here. It’s perhaps not the ideal choice. While we were let down by the inclusion of only three temperature settings ranging from 370 to 395 degrees F, The Bombshell has a few impressive features that make up for this downside.
This flat iron is designed so that you can straighten your hair quickly and efficiently, as it incorporates single-pass technology to save you time when it comes to your hair straightening routine. The plates feature an extremely glossy coating that is designed to slide along your hair follicles as effortlessly as possible.
Unlike many other high-end flat irons, this model also comes included with some accessories, like a heat pad and a heat glove, making it a valid option for beginners who don’t already have a set of accessories. As you’d expect from a flat iron at this price point, the Bombshell is also reliable and well-built.
Key Points at a Glance
- Features three temperature settings (370 degrees F, 380 degrees F, and 395 degrees F)
- Glossy plates slide effortlessly
- Comes included with a heat pad and heat glove
The last flat iron for black hair that we’ll be looking at is the Infrashine Original Medium Flat Iron. This is one of the quickest flat irons on our list, as it heats up within five seconds of starting it up. This flat iron can reach temperatures ranging from 170 to 400 degrees F, making it suitable for a wide range of hair types.
Even more impressively, the Infrashine flat iron uses FAR-infrared anionic technology that seals moisture into your hair, ensuring that it doesn’t dry out as much as it would with competing flat irons. This model uses multi-mesh ceramic heating that’s rated for thousands of hours of use between failures.
The Infrashine flat iron is also equipped with a heavy-duty swiveling cord that improves the overall reliability of this flat iron since the cord is often the first part to fail on most other flat irons. Unfortunately, the Infrashine flat iron is a little too pricey for our taste, so it couldn’t make it into our top five.
Key Points at a Glance
- Heats up in only five seconds
- Uses FAR-infrared anionic tech to keep your hair moisturized
- 9-foot swivel cord to prevent tangling and ensure ease of maneuverability
There are plenty of flat irons that work well with African American hair, but we’re pretty confident that the eight we’ve looked at today are some of the best. Let’s recap some of our top picks.
If you’re looking for the best possible flat iron for black hair, no questions asked, then it’ll be hard to find something that can compete with the BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium-Plated Ionic Flat Iron. With a digital display, extremely smooth titanium plates, and a ceramic heating element, this model combines build quality and high performance into one convenient package.
Our runner up is the CHI G2, which is made to be as user-friendly as possible at the expense of raw performance. This makes the G2 a little more suitable for users who aren’t quite accustomed to using flat irons to straighten their natural hair. The inclusion of presets accessible with the “Mode” button ensures that you can pick up this flat iron and use it with ease.
Finally, Conair’s INFINITIPRO Rainbow Titanium Flat Iron is an excellent choice for those who want something affordable without compromising their flat iron’s performance. This one-inch flat iron is quick to heat up and designed to straighten your hair without the risk of snagging and burning the section that you’re working through.
We hope that we’ve been able to help you find the best flat iron to straighten your natural hair, see you next time!