(Plus, why is Paul Mitchell my favorite brand?)
If you are into the clean look of a straight hair, adding a good hair straightener to your hair tool arsenal is a wise investment.
Don’t worry if you have thick and unruly hair, because a good hair straightening iron can work effectively on just about any hair type, be it fine, thick, curly, damaged or naturally straight. However, finding the best hair straightener for your needs can be a daunting task especially considering the many different models that flood the market and shady outsourcing practices of some companies. The risk of wasting your money can be significantly lowered by reading the hair iron reviews of other users.
Personally, I am a fan of Paul Mitchell hair straighteners. They do come up at a price but the results I’ve seen over the years are second to none.
The little extra time you take to do that can make all the difference.
To that effect, there are some key factors to consider when selecting an appropriate hair straightener that will be satisfactory to you:
- Individual Hair Type
Knowing your hair type is essential in determining the type of hair straightening iron to get, otherwise you may end up being completely frustrated with the choice you made.
There are hair straightener that are specialized to work best with a specific hair type and a good number of the irons nowadays work very well on any hair type.
Details about the hair type that a hair straightener is suited for are usually indicated on the packaging of the product, so, you should be keen to keep an eye out for label details. It admittedly becomes much easier to select a hair straightener once you are certain about your hair type. Talking to your hairstylist about this is always a good idea.
- The Type of Plates
The plate type that a hair straightener features also comes into play in determining its effectiveness or efficiency.
The main types of plates are:
- Metal (you don’t see many of these nowadays)
- Combined plates
Metal and glass plates
These types of plates are usually found on more entry-level priced or cheap hair straighteners.
As you may have already guessed the old adage of “cheap but expensive” applies here. Reason being that these plates are not that efficient and may in fact end up doing more harm than good to your hair.
These plates take a considerable amount of time heating up and when they do, they don’t necessarily heat up evenly. This ends up causing hot spots which eventually burns up portions of your hair. In addition the paint that usually covers such plates more often than not peels off during usage causing uncomfortable pulls, snags or even tears on your hair. In short, such hair straighteners leave your hair looking unsightly due to damage they inflict.
The good news is that there are much better options out there in terms of plate types which, though a bit pricier, actually end up delivering much better value for money than their entry level competition.
Ceramic plates and Paul Mitchell hair straighteners
One such option is the ceramic plated hair straightening iron. This is a much more effective option. Ceramic plates heat up more evenly and quickly which effectively prevents hot spots on the plate that might damage your hair.
The plates heating up quickly also ensure that you can start your straightening routine as soon as you are ready as opposed to waiting for the iron to heat and becoming increasingly annoyed (we’ve all been there).
Ceramic plates in a well crafted hair straightener will ensure silky smooth results.
Excellent examples of quality ceramic straighteners include the Paul Mitchell flat iron series with one of the best ones being the Protools Express.
The Protools Express has garnered very favorable responses in reviews by users and hair experts alike. It is without a doubt one of the best ceramic straightener models out there.
Another excellent choice, especially for those with thick frizzy hair, are hair irons with titanium plates.
Titanium is widely known as an immensely strong but conveniently light weight element, as are the plates made from the material.
Furthermore, titanium plates heat up quite fast much like the ceramic ones. The heat distribution within titanium is outstanding, which is one of it’s main strengths. This makes titanium plates heat more evenly and significantly lowers the risk any damage to your hair, no matter how aggressive you have to straighten it.
Tourmaline plated hair straighteners are the most recent innovative entrants. With tourmaline classified as a semi precious mineral, you would of course expect hair straighteners adorned with it to be pricey and you would be right. But, if you ask me, it’s worth every dime.
While some enthusiasts may try to group tourmaline straighteners along with their ceramic kin, they actually do deserve their own individual categorization.
Tourmaline becomes negatively charged when heated. The negative ions (anions) are emitted and in turn work to dry the hair from the inside out. This remarkably heats up the hair faster resulting in the reduction of the amount of overall heat applied.
To simplify, it delivers better results at a lower price.
This also reduces the chances of hair damage. In fact, if you own a tourmaline hair iron from a reputable brand like Paul Mitchell you virtually need to pass the straightener over a section only once and you’ll see the results.
Don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself.
In addition, the iron closes the hair shaft cuticle allowing it lay flat and giving your hair a healthy and shiny look. Needless to say, the tourmaline iron eliminates annoying static which gets rid of frizzes altogether.
- Temperature adjustment
As everyone’s hair is different in terms of type and styling, the temperature settings of the hair straightener have to be adjusted to minimize the damage.
For instance, if you have very fine hair, colored or even damaged hair, a temperature of below 180o C is recommended. On the other hand for coarse, very thick or even tight curly hair, a straightening temperature of between 190o and 210o is recommended.
So, it’s important to check if your straightener of choice features a well calibrated temperature adjustment scale. Again, it’s one of the quality aspects where Paul Mitchell hair irons excel.
- Weight of the Device
A bulky hair straightener is hard to handle and uncomfortable to use which of course leads to sore and aching arms. And clumsy arms lead to poor straightening results and hair damage. Make sure to look for the weight info.
- Size of the Device
Shorter hair is more easily worked on by narrower iron averaging between 1 and 1.5 inches in width. Narrow irons are also ideal for already straightened hair. Very long hair however fittingly requires a broader plate preferably between 2 to 3 inches to get your hair done more effectively. The standard size however is between 1¼ and 2 inches wide.
- Hair Straightener Reviews and why do they matter
Online user and expert reviews can help you assess whether you are onto something good with the particular hair straightener that you are thinking about. Good straighteners will always garner generally positive comments from both sides of the divide.
That’s how I initially became a fan of Paul Mitchell hair straighteners, people had only good things to say about their models.
- Individual Budget and Straightener Price
To us girls, a god head of hair is important in ways men will never understand. That’s why if you want a preserved straight hair, this is no place to save a couple of dozen of dollars.
Using the price of the hair straightener alone as the basis of the purchase is a recipe for a disaster.
As highlighted earlier, cheaper irons tend to have low and compromised quality. They will most probably damage your hair as opposed to straightening it.
Professional/premium hair straighteners are the way to go as they are much more efficient and the fact that they are likely to last many times over the cheaper ones will more than make up for the few extra bucks.
In conclusion, having covered all the important factors to be taken into considerations when looking for a suitable hair straightener, we hope that you’ll make a well-informed and a wise choice.