African American hair is typically coarse and quite curl-heavy. Although this makes for some awesome styles and looks, when it comes to straightening, the tools on the market can often fall short. Many may overlook the fact that black hair may need a more heavy-duty tool to get the desired straightening effect. At the same time, African American hair can still get damaged like any other hair type, so tools also need to protect the hair. Just turning up the heat can burn, singe or damage hair, so you need to be careful!
Therefore if you have African American hair, you may struggle when looking for the best hair straightener. What qualities should you look for? To get the best results should you get a titanium-plated or a ceramic one? And what about tourmaline? Is there an optimum size plate? What kind of price range do you need to consider?
Well, although there is no one-size-fits-all answer, here are the basics: Metal-plated hair straighteners conduct heat quickly and are known to heat up more speedily than ceramic ones. Therefore many people with particularly coarse hair, prefer this option as it can be very effective. Ceramic plates are still effective however, and actually maintain a more even heat than metal-plated flat irons. This means you run less risk of damaging your locks. If you have particularly frizzy or static hair you might also consider tourmaline plates which produce negative ions. Positive ions are what charges your hair and makes it frizz or go static, so the negative ions help to neutralise this. It can also protect your hair for healthier straightening.
So, with the basics covered let’s move on to finding the best hair straighteners for you. As it can be overwhelming, we have scoured the market and have chosen our 10 favourite flat irons that are suitable for black hair. Take a look below to find out!
- Best Flat Iron For Black Hair (2021 Update)
- KIPOZI Professional Frizz Free Flat Iron, 1 Inch, Matte Black
- xtava Professional Infrared Hair Straightener – 2 Inch Ceramic
- HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron
- Magicfly Ceramic Tourmaline Steam Flat Iron, For Dry & Wet Hair, Black
- NITION Professional Salon Argan Oil Tourmaline Ceramic Titanium-infused Flat Iron
- Remington S9520 Pro 2 inch Pearl Ceramic Flat Iron, Black/Pink
- KIPOZI 1 Inch Pro Flat Iron, Gold
- BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Plated Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron
- HSI Professional Glider, Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron Hair
- 10 KIPOZI Professional Flat Iron Hair Straightener, 1.75 Inch Wide Black.
- What kind of flat iron is best for African American hair?
- Do steam straighteners work on black hair?
- How to straighten black hair with a flat iron?
- Can you straighten an afro?
- Related Articles
Best Flat Iron For Black Hair (2021 Update)
KIPOZI Professional Frizz Free Flat Iron, 1 Inch, Matte Black
Feel like you always have unwanted frizz or static in your hair? This KIPOZI professional hair straightener is one of the best flat irons to combat frizz! The flat iron is metal-plated with an advanced PTC ceramic heater. This regulates the temperature of the iron to the optimum heat while you are styling. This means you will get salon-smooth hair, but your hair will be more protected, and you will see up to 80% less breakage. It will also protect coloured hair. The technology behind this flat iron also emits negative ions into the hair which draws out moisture from the hair and preserves shine. So say goodbye to dry ends from heating tools.
This flat iron reaches a high heat of 450F from as low as 170F. There are 3 preset heats; 270F, 350F, and 410F, which are good for different hair types. But the great thing is, you also have the option to manually change the temperature freely to your specific needs. It takes just 15 seconds to heat up so you won’t be waiting around to get ready. It is suitable for all hair types as you can adjust the temperature accordingly. That means if you need a high heat to get good results, you have the option. Also the flat irons boasts great results from each pass, so ideally you will not need to go over the same sections multiple times. This can help protect your hair also. The 1 inch design means that you also have flexibility to use the straightener to style your hair, and add texture or curls should you wish.
This product is really easy to use, there is just one button on the side to run through the heat presets, and + and – buttons to manually change the heat. It has an LCD display, 8 foot swivel cord, safety lock and pouch for on the go. It also has an attractive black and gold aesthetic.
- 1 inch, titanium-plated
- Temperature range from 170F to 350F with 3 presets or free heat adjustment
- LCD display and easy touch buttons
- 8 foot cord
- Technology to reduce frizz and static
- Floating plates allow smooth straightening and no pulling or snagging
- Great value product
- No heat indicating light
- Some people found the plates uneven
xtava Professional Infrared Hair Straightener – 2 Inch Ceramic
This wide-plated flat iron is perfect for African American hair as it can handle larger volumes of hair and gives quicker, more efficient results! It has 2 inch ceramic plates which work to tame frizz and leave hair looking smooth and silky without the damage. It uses infrared technology to draw out natural moisture from the inside of each hair to leave hair looking and feeling healthy. Rather than dried out and frazzled.
The heat capacity of this flat iron ranges from a low of 265F and a high of 445F. There are 10 different temperature settings that fall into the following suggested temperature brackets for different hair types; 265F to 300F for very delicate hair, 300F to 380F for normal hair and 380F to 445F for coarser hair. Therefore if you have particularly coarse hair, this flat iron should still be effective for your type of hair!
This hair straightener is simple to operate with an easy interface. It has an LCD display and simple buttons to alter the temperature. There is also a 60 minute automatic shut off function should you forget to switch the flat iron off.
- 2 inch ceramic plates
- 10 temperature settings for all hair types
- LCD display
- 8 foot cord that swivels
- Wide plates can handle larger volumes at a time meaning quicker results
- Infrared technology helps to leave hair looking sleek and moisturised
- Budget friendly
- 2 year warranty
- Larger plates make curling and styling more difficult
- Some people found the buttons ill-placed and said they kept accidentally hitting them
HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron
The 100% ceramic tourmaline plates along with advanced infrared technology, set the HSI Professional flat iron apart from the crowd. Tourmaline is a type of crystal that is ground up and infused into the plates. It generates negative ions which reduce frizz and leave your hair looking smooth and sleek for longer. Another great thing about this flat iron is that the heat is totally evenly distributed across the device which will help keep your hair protected. It uses special micro-sensors with HeatBalance technology to do this. The flat iron also has floating plates, meaning they are not fixed. This allows them to shift with your hair to get the most effective contact with the other plate and achieve the best results. It also creates a smooth experience and reduces the chance of catching or snagging your hairs during use.
The HSI Professional flat iron has a variety of different heat options. These range from 240F to 410F. There is a simple-to-use dial to adjust the temperature accordingly. This gives you the freedom to test out different temperatures and find the best one for your hair. The narrow plates and curved edges, mean that this flat iron can also be used to curl or style hair. The ergonomic design of the HSI Professional also gives you more control and comfort.
The HSI Professional comes with a 360 degree swivel cord and has worldwide dual voltage, making it a great travelling companion. It also comes with a heat resistant glove, mini Argan Oil hair treatment and pouch that is great when travelling.
- 1 inch solid ceramic plates coated in tourmaline
- Temperatures from 240F to 410F
- 360 degree swivelling cord
- Ionic and infrared technology reduces frizz and leaves hair sleek and hydrated
- Mid-price, good value for money
- Versatile. Narrow plates and design make it best for straightening, curling and styling
- The on/ off switch is right by the hot plates
- There is no LCD display to let you know the temperature which is adjusted with a dial
Magicfly Ceramic Tourmaline Steam Flat Iron, For Dry & Wet Hair, Black
The exciting steam technology of the Magicfly ceramic tourmaline ionic flat iron, uses vapour to smooth your hair for optimum straightening. This is an interesting option for a flat iron for black, African American hair. It adds shine and moisture to your hair so frizz beware! To use the steam function you must add water to the tank and turn on the steam button. It will then start to steam once you begin clamping the plates together. Make sure to check the manual for full instructions.
The plates used on the Magicfly flat iron are ceramic tourmaline plates which will help neutralise hair and reduce static and frizz. The plates heat up in just 60 seconds with a PTC heater. There are 5 different temperature settings that range from 300F to 450F which are suited to different hair types; 300F for damaged hair, 340F for delicate hair, 370F for normal hair, 410F for coarse hair and 430F for hair that’s very coarse. This straightener can also be used on wet hair but again make sure to read all instructions to choose the safest method. The narrow plate is also great for curling and styling.
Should you forget and leave this flat iron running, it will shut off automatically after 1 hour. It has a long 360 degree swivel cord and is lockable which is great for on the move. The product comes with a heat resistant glove, comb, clips, carry pouch and bottle to fill the water tank. All this comes at a decent price for a flat iron.
- Ceramic tourmaline plates
- Adjustable temperatures from 300F to 450F
- Removable and refillable water tank for steam
- Steam technology helps to straighten and add shine
- Wet and dry use
- Some people experienced hot water dripping from the reservoir
- Some people found the water needed to be refilled often
NITION Professional Salon Argan Oil Tourmaline Ceramic Titanium-infused Flat Iron
The unique thing about the NITION Professional flat iron is that the plates are infused with 4 different materials that penetrate and benefit the hair during use. The ceramic plates are infused with Nano Silver, Argan Oil, Tourmaline, and are also titanium-infused (see the top titanium straighteners). These lock in the hair’s natural moisture, making it smooth and shiny instead of frizzy. Argan Oil in particular helps to hydrate, and avoid split ends, and Nano Silver helps to repair hair. Tourmaline emits negative ions reducing static and frizz.
The 1 inch plates are ceramic coated and take only 10 seconds to heat up. Temperatures range from 265F to 450F with 6 different heat settings. They retain heat very evenly, using a special auto temperature calibrating technology, which allows for more efficient straightening. The plates are flexible and non-stick, so are designed to glide through the hair smoothly and not pull or tug at all. The narrow plates mean that this flat iron is not only best to straighten your hair, but also to curl and style it. It even comes with a heat proof glove so you can do this more easily.
This flat iron model is super easy to use. It doesn’t have buttons but the temperature is controlled by twisting the rotating end of the device. There is also an LCD screen to keep check of the temperature. Don’t worry too much if you forget to turn it off, after 1 hour of non-use the device will automatically switch off. The flat iron comes with a 9 foot cord, heat glove, carry pouch, clips and comb.
- 1 inch ceramic-coated plates
- Temperatures from 265F to 450F
- Comes with heat glove, pouch and comb
- Plates are Nano Silver, Argan Oil, Tourmaline, and to lock in moisture and shine
- Extra long plate (4.1 inches) for quicker straightening
- 2 in 1 use for straightening, curling and styling
- Some people found the rotating heat controller was temperamental and sensitive
- Pricier than some other models on the market
Remington S9520 Pro 2 inch Pearl Ceramic Flat Iron, Black/Pink
For an affordable straightening iron that is suitable for African American natural hair, check out the Remington S9520. The 2 inch wide plates provide more volume and make for quicker styling with a product that can handle more volumes of thicker hair (see our top flat irons for thick hair). This model uses specialized pearl ceramic technology to reduce the potential of heat damage. This works with real crushed pearl being infused into the plates, it helps create one pass straightening, meaning you can get great results in just one pass of the straightening iron over hair. That way you don’t have to go over the same area multiple times and reduce the impact on your hair.
This flat iron has a maximum heat of 450F and has 9 different heat settings. It heats up in just 15 seconds. It uses non-fixed floating plate technology to allow for a smooth experience also. The device has an auto shut off, an LCD display and a temperature lock.
- 2 inch ceramic plates
- 9 heat settings up to 450F
- LCD display and easy-to-operate buttons
- Pearl infused plates help to reduce heat damage risk
- Extra-wide plates for faster results
- Good value for money
- Some people said the buttons were badly placed and sensitive so it was easy to press them accidentally.
- Some people experienced an odd smell from the mechanism during use
KIPOZI 1 Inch Pro Flat Iron, Gold
A striking gold flat iron with 1 inch plates, narrow enough for dual usage as both a hair straightener, and a curler and styler. This model is metal-plated. It uses an advanced PTC ceramic heater to heat the flat iron to high temperatures, and straighten hair for a silky-soft look. Temperatures reach up to 450F and there are 3 easy-to-select temperatures that are suited to different hair types. 270F is for delicate or dyed hair, 350F is for normal or natural hair, 410F is for coarser hair. It heats up quickly in just 30 seconds.
This flat iron is easy to use, with buttons to turn the iron on and off, select the preset heats, or manually change the heat with the + and – buttons. Any temperature experimenting can be tracked easily on the LCD display. The straightening iron has floating plates so they should not snag or pull at hairs. The long, 360 degree cord allows for easy movement around whichever room you are in and means you won’t need to strain to see in the mirror. This is convenient for travelling as it had worldwide dual voltage as well as a safety lock.
I like the look of this flat iron. The gold stands out and in general the design is quite sleek and streamlined. It also comes at a reasonable price.
- 1 inch titanium-plated
- 270F to 450F
- LCD display
- 360 degree cord that swivels
- This metal-plated device releases negative ions and reduces frizz
- Suitable for all hair types
- 2 in 1 usage as hair curler and straightening iron
BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Plated Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron
The ultra thin plates of this BaBylissPRO flat iron make it one of the easiest to work with, and perhaps the best flat iron for being lightweight. It also means it is super comfortable to handle, and the cool thumb and finger rests give you an extra high level of control when styling. Although super thin and flat, the high-tech technology behind the plates means they conduct super high heats and offer quick and awesome results, even for the coarsest hair. They are also 2 inches wide, and 5 inches long, meaning they can cover more surface area at one time.
The plates have instant heat-up and there is a range of 50 different heat settings to choose from so you can definitely find the one for you. This is an especially great flat iron for black, African American hair as you don’t need to go over the same area multiple times. Although very powerful, they straighten your hair without the damage. They are professional standard and make your hair silky and frizz free.
This flat iron is easy to use with a simple on / off button and temperature dial.
- 2 inch ultra-thin Nano flat iron
- Maximum temperature is 450F
- 50 heat settings
- Ultra-thin plates mean it is super lightweight and easy to handle
- Fast heat-up and high temperatures make it best flat iron for straightening coarse, natural hair
- 50 different heat settings
- Some people found the two plates did not fully meet making it more difficult to straighten small sections
- This is at one of the more expensive price points for a flat iron
HSI Professional Glider, Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron Hair
Specially designed for best results on coarse, natural hair that’s prone to frizz, this HSI flat iron can be well suited to African American hair. It straightens quickly, as well as styling, flipping and curling with little effort. Awesome!
This flat iron has 1 inch ceramic tourmaline ionic plates which are narrow enough for styling, even bangs. The tourmaline technology works to keep the hair healthy, neutralising positive ions which reduces static and frizz. This hair straightener has a heat range from 140F to 450F. This allows you to choose the right setting for your hair type and reduce the risk of heat damage. The plates also have special HeatBalance micro-sensors which regulate the plates’ temperature for consistent results.
This flat iron is easy to use, and has an attractive look. It has a 360 degree cable that can swivel for more comfort during use and the temperature is adjusted with a dial. Unfortunately this model does not have an LCD display for the temperature.
- Ceramic flat iron with 1 inch plates
- Heat range from 140F to 450F
- Comes with heat resistant glove, Argan Oil hair treatment and carry case
- Tourmaline ceramic helps to reduce frizz, great for coarse, natural hair
- 8 micro-sensors to regulate the temperature of the plates mean effective straightening of hair without damage
- 1 year warranty
- No LCD display for the temperature
- No automatic shut off
10 KIPOZI Professional Flat Iron Hair Straightener, 1.75 Inch Wide Black.
If your natural hair is hard to straighten you might be looking for a flat iron with a wider plate. But if 2 inches is just a bit too clunky, the 1.75 inch plate from KIPOZI may be the perfect alternative. It still can handle more hair at once than a 1 inch, but allows you a little more flexibility and versatility in terms of styling than a 2 inch.
This is a titanium-plated device, each plate having undergone precision melding to pass smoothly over hair and avoid snagging. The temperatures on this flat iron range from 170F to 450F. There are 3 default temperature options; 270F for fragile hair, 350F for damaged or coloured hair and 410F for healthy hair.
This flat iron has an easy-to-use interface, with a P button for the temperature presets, as well as manual adjustment. The temperature can be monitored on the LCD display screen. For peace of mind, the hair straightener has an automatic shut off time of 60 minutes. There is an 8 foot cord that swivels to avoid tangles and allow you plenty of movement.
- 1 inch plates
- Heat range from 170F to 450F
- LCD display and easy-to-operate interface
- Floating plates for ideal angle and contact
- Narrow 1 inch plate allows for versatile use; straightening, curling or styling
- Affordable price
- Some people found the shell heated up and was quite hot to touch
- Buttons are close to the hot plates
What kind of flat iron is best for African American hair?
There are a variety of different options when searching for the best flat irons for African American hair. They can depend on your preferences. However if your hair is particularly coarse, frizzy or unruly, a titanium-plated product can be better as they heat up more quickly, and reach higher heats. Ceramic plates are great if you want consistent heat, and consistent results as this helps avoid over exposure and damage. Tourmaline ceramic is a good choice to reduce frizz. Wider plates, such as 1.75 or 2 inches may be well-suited to black hair as they can handle larger volumes and work quicker. If you want more versatility in terms of curling and styling consider a 1 inch plate.
Related: Flat irons for curly hair reviewed
Do steam straighteners work on black hair?
Yes, a steam flat iron can be a great choice to use on black hair as well as other hair types. Steam technology brings moisture to the hair making them some of the best flat irons to reduce frizz and can cause less damage. If you have very processed or damaged hair, a steam flat iron can be more gentle and cause less breakage.
How to straighten black hair with a flat iron?
As black hair can be thicker and curlier than other hair types, often you need a higher heat to achieve great results. Too high a heat can be damaging so make sure to experiment to find the best flat iron for you, and to find the lowest heat that is still effective. Make sure to use a heat protectant spray, and use your flat iron on freshly washed, conditioned and dry hair so that you don’t have too many oils in the hair. As oil, combined with high heats, can end up frying and frazzling hair. It is recommended not to use a flat iron on black hair more that around once per week. Finally, if you have large volumes of hair, you may want to section it out with clips to straighten, as this can achieve best results. The smaller the section, the more easily it will straighten!
Can you straighten an afro?
Yes, you can straighten an afro although it can be quite a long, frustrating process. Choose a small section of hair, and use a comb to detangle it, add some heat protector or curl relaxer and then comb again with a finer tooth comb. Then simply use the straightener on this section and repeat until you are done!
So, get ready to go from curled or textured black hair to straight and sleek with your new best flat iron. Hopefully you have a better idea about the best flat irons for your hair type from the list and buying guide above. Make sure to increase the temperature choice slowly to find the perfect temperature for your hair without causing heat damage to it. But whether you have natural hair, treated hair or damaged hair you should be able to find something in the best flat irons list above. Get ready for sleek and confident locks in no time.
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