A very popular straightening tool is the flat iron, which was originally discovered in the late 1800’s. However, in the early 1900’s Isaac K Shero created the first official flat iron,  composed of two metal  irons being Pressed together to straighten the hair. As with every industry things evolve over time; the flat iron as we know it today, was designed by Scottish heiress Lady Jennifer Bell Schofield.

How does the flat iron work?

When thermally texturizing (straightening) your hair with a flat iron, the positive hydrogen bonds, found in the cortex of the hair are broken,  which prevents the hair from keeping its natural form. This is a temporary method that alters the natural texture of your hair. The hydrogen bonds are restored once the hair is exposed to moisture, better known as reverting.

How do I select a good flat iron?

Ceramic or tourmaline irons are best because they produce an ionic, infrared heat, that heats the hair evenly. The negative ions from the ceramic or tourmaline iron helps to neutralize the positive ions that causes the hair to be dry and frizzy. The negative ions also remove excess water from the hair , enhancing the moisture balance, and removing static electricity and frizz, which makes the hair Smooth and shiny. Always be sure to get a flat iron with a good ceramic or tourmaline coating because metal plated flat irons heat the hair unevenly and can damaged your hair.

Will a ceramic iron prevent my hair from becoming damaged?

Although the temperature can be controlled on ceramic irons , they help seal moisture in the hair, and  produce a better shine, it’s still heat. No matter what type of heat you use, it can still singe the hair if its used improperly. The use of Excessive heat will cause your ends to split and break off. I recommend only using the flat iron when you shampoo your hair, if your hairstyle requires more heat between shampoo’s, it should not exceed 3times per week (this is based the integrity of the hair).

Overall ceramic and tourmaline irons can be a better choice of heat when used properly.