12 of the Best Flat Irons for Natural Hair

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Flat Irons for Natural Hair

Byrdie / Chloe Jeong

Our Top Picks
The tourmaline plates reduce frizz by generating negative ions, and the ceramic is built for durability and lasting results.
At this price, this Remington iron is a fine choice for anyone who doesn't want to shell out a fortune on a flat iron.
This affordable flat iron has tourmaline ceramic plates that straighten hair in minutes without damage.
Paul Mitchell has created a flat iron with an adjustable heat setting and includes a SmartSense chip to decrease damage.
Best for Curly Hair:
ghd Classic Styler at Sephora
The 1" iron glides easily through hair to straighten even the curliest hair.
Best for Curly Hair, Runner-Up:
Kipozi V7 Hair Straightener at Amazon
The nano titanium plate technology straightens hair with ease—even those pesky baby hairs.
From a low of 200 degrees to a high of 450, you can control the temperature 10 degrees at a time.
Best for Damaged Hair, Runner-Up:
BaBylissPRO Graphite Titanium Ionic Flat Iron at Ulta
Ionic technology helps to ward off frizz, knots, and split ends, resulting in healthy-looking hair.
With a five-inch long plate, you can straighten wider (not thicker) areas of hair, thus allowing you to finish the job more quickly.
This extra-long flat iron maximizes the hair that it can straighten in one pass.
In This Article

There are so many ways to style your beautiful natural hair (braids, locs, twists, just to name a few), but if stick-straight strands are what you're after, you'll need the right flat iron for the job. The best flat irons for natural hair reveal smooth, sleek hair without the need for excessive heat exposure and, in turn, damage. For help finding them, we consulted celebrity hairstylists Kim Kimble and Nigella Miller for their top tips. Unsurprisingly, it all boils down to the plates.

"If you want to switch between wearing your hair straight and curly, look for a flat iron with high-quality ceramic plates," she advises. "But if your hair is kinkier or harder to straighten, titanium plates work really well.” If you can afford it, Kimble recommends investing in two flat irons for the best results. “I like to have two sizes of flat irons available," she admits. "A two-inch iron for straightening a lot of hair and a smaller one for getting really close to the roots.”

Flat irons with ionic technology also add shine and strength while minimizing damage. But having adjustable heat settings is essential so you can straighten at a lower temperature and avoid frying your hair. Also, replace your flat iron if it's become difficult to close—it's important to ensure the hair is straightened evenly so you don't have to go over any areas again, opening up your hair to unnecessary damage.

Now without further ado, here are the best flat irons for natural hair.

Best Overall: HSI Professional Glider Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron

HSI GLIDER ORIGINAL CERAMIC FLAT IRON HAIR STRAIGHTENER

Plate Width: 1" | Plate Type: Ceramic tourmaline ionic | Voltage: 110/120V | Max Temp: 450°F

This beloved iron has adjustable temperature settings from 140 to 450 degrees, a perk that Kimble is a fan of. “Always go for a flat iron with an adjustable temperature that reaches 400+ degrees,” she says.

The tourmaline plates reduce frizz by generating negative ions, and the ceramic is built for durability and lasting results on all hair types. Reviewers especially love that the iron heats up really quickly, a great benefit if you're constantly short on time. The one downside is that it doesn't come with an automatic shut-off feature, which for some people is a dealbreaker.

Ceramic produces negative ions and evenly distributes heat. You'll find it in many good irons that aren't super pricey.

Best Budget: Remington 1" Flat Iron with Anti-Static Technology

Remington S5500 1" Anti-Static Flat Iron

Plate Width: 1" | Plate Type: Ceramic | Voltage: 120V | Max Temp: 410°F

Maybe you don't straighten your hair that often. Or maybe you don't want to shell out a ton of money for a flat iron. Or maybe you want to take Kimble's aforementioned advice and invest in two flat irons. Whatever the reason, this budget-friendly pick is the way to go. The one-inch ceramic plates style the hair quickly while still being gentle. All it takes is 30 quick seconds to heat up and you can adjust the temp to up to 410 degrees on a digital display. There's also a 60-minute automatic shut-off feature for some peace of mind.

Best Drugstore: Conair Infiniti Pro Flat Iron

Plate Width: 1" | Plate Type: Ceramic tourmaline | Voltage: 120V | Max Temp: 455°F

This is another flat iron that’s affordable and does the job well without damaging the hair. The tourmaline ceramic plates allow you to straighten the hair in minutes and provides anti-frizz and anti-static results. Its heat setting goes up to 455 degrees, and it boasts 30 different settings to help you achieve various styles. There's also a trusty automatic shut-off feature if you accidentally forget to unplug it.

Best Splurge: Paul Mitchell Neuro Smooth 1.25" Flat Iron

Paul Mitchell Neuro Smooth Flat Iron

Plate Width: 1.25" | Plate Type: Titanium | Voltage: Dual voltage | Max Temp: 450°F

The name Paul Mitchell is synonymous with all things hair, and this flat iron certainly lives up to the name. It features premium titanium plates that glide over the hair with ease, and the SmartSense microchip reduces the number of passes needed to achieve smooth strands. The adjustable temperature control heats up to 450 in 30 seconds and there's also a customizable auto shut-off feature.

Best for Curly Hair: ghd Classic Styler

GHD Classic 1 Inch Styling Iron

Plate Width: 1" | Plate Type: Ceramic | Voltage: Dual voltage | Max Temp: 365°F

This flat iron has one heat setting and one heat setting only—an optimum 365 degrees, so if you prefer to be in control of your iron's temperature, this one is probably not for you. Still, it's a great pick for all types of waves and curls, including dense 4a curls. It has a 30-second heat-up time and floating plates make this styler glide easily through hair to straighten, smooth, and eliminate frizz.

Best for Curly Hair, Runner-Up: Kipozi V7 Hair Straightener

Plate Width: 1" | Plate Type: Titanium | Voltage: Dual voltage | Max Temp: 450°F

This iron’s ultra-smooth nano titanium plate technology reaches a heat setting of 380 in just 30 seconds, a sweet perk for a styling tool in this price range. It targets the frizz and straightens all kinds of curls in minutes. It's even narrow enough to use on bangs and baby hairs.

Best for Damaged Hair: CROC Classic Black Titanium 1.5" Flat Iron

Croc Classic Nano-Titanium Flat Iron

Plate Width: 1.5" | Plate Type: Titanium | Voltage: 120V | Max Temp: 450°F

This flat iron is ergonomically designed so you can have more control over fine or damaged hair. The heat settings go from 200 degrees to a high of 450, allowing you to afford that flexibility of heat on any sensitive or breakage-prone areas.

Best for Damaged Hair, Runner-Up: BaBylissPRO Graphite Titanium 1'' Ionic Flat Iron

BaBylissPRO Graphite Titanium 1'' Ionic Flat Iron

Plate Width: 1" | Plate Type: Titanium | Voltage: Dual voltage | Max Temp: 450°F

To fight frizzes, knots, tangles, and split ends successfully while you straighten your natural strands, opt for a flat iron with ionic technology. This flat iron harnesses the power of four advanced technologies: graphite, titanium, ceramic, and ionic, and therefore works like a charm on damaged hair.

Best Heat Settings: BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Ultra Thin Straightening Iron

BaBylissPRO Nato Titanium Ultra Thin Straightening Iron

Plate Width: 1" | Plate Type: Titanium | Voltage: Dual voltage | Max Temp: 450°F

This flat iron has received several rave reviews for its ultra-thin design and five-inch plate, allowing for wider sections to be straightened quickly and efficiently. It has 50 different heat settings up to 450 degrees, and the smooth titanium plates can create super straight or wavy styles without tiring out your arms.

Best With Titanium Plates: Moroccanoil Perfectly Polished Titanium Flat Iron

Plate Width: 1" | Plate Type: Titanium | Voltage: Dual voltage | Max Temp: 450°F

This iron has extra-long four-inch titanium plates that maximize surface area for fast performance and even heat distribution. The titanium plates glide smoothly and effortlessly for silky, frizz-free styles, adding extra shine. The digital display gives precise temperature control of up to the typical high of 450 degrees. It'll also shut off automatically after 60 minutes.

Best for Quick Styling: CHI Original 1″ Ceramic Flat Iron

Chi Original 1'' Ceramic Hairstyling Iron

Plate Width: 1" | Plate Type: Ceramic | Voltage: Dual voltage | Max Temp: 392°F

CHI flat irons are known for their quality and this one, in particular, targets frizz, reducing any static electricity, and creates silky shiny hair instantly. It has a maximum heat setting of 392 degrees.

Best With Argan Oil: Kim Kimble Vapor Infusion Iron with Silk Argan Oil Shine Beauty Treatment

Kim Kimble Vapor Infusion Iron with Silk Argan Oil Shine Beauty Treatment

Plate Width: 1.25" | Plate Type: Tourmaline | Voltage: 120V | Max Temp: 450°F

This flat iron uses argan oil infusion vapor that works wonders on unmanageable, frizzy, and dry hair. The tourmaline-infused plates with hydrating steam and infrared heat technology allow you to straighten hair quickly in a single sweep. If you have really dry hair, this iron seals the hair cuticles with moisture for smooth results.

Final Verdict

When it comes to flat irons that’ll leave natural textures sleek sans heat damage, we’re giving top honors to the HSI Professional Glider Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron. A great all-around flat iron, its tourmaline plates reduce frizz by generating negative ions, plus it features adjustable temperature settings to ensure you won’t fry your hair. For extra curly textures, the ghd Classic Styler is a great option. While it only heats up to 365 degrees, its floating plates make it easy to straighten, smooth, and eliminate frizz, even on the most dense of curls. For dryer hair types, we’re looking to the Kim Kimble Vapor Infusion Iron with Silk Argan Oil Shine Beauty Treatment. It uses an argan oil infusion vapor that smoothes and softens even the most unmanageable frizz, while tourmaline-infused plates with hydrating steam and infrared heat technology straighten the hair in one single sweep, preventing future damage.

What to Look For in a Flat Iron for Natural Hair

The Right Plate Material

Both Kimble and Miller agree that when it comes to flat ironing natural hair, ceramic plates are a great option for their ability to evenly distribute heat while minimizing damage to the hair. “Compared to titanium, ceramic heats up more slowly but more evenly,” says Miller. “Ceramic also requires less passes to straighten the hair, which reduces heat damage.” However, Kimble points out that titanium plates can be a better option for kinkier, harder to straighten textures since they heat up quickly and transfer heat to the hair much faster than ceramic.

Ion Technology

Miller also recommends looking for a flat iron with ion technology. “Ionic hair straighteners are designed to straighten and smooth the hair while also improving its strength,” she says. This will lead to a finished style that's shiny, frizz-free, and free of damage.

Adjustable Heat Settings

Kimble says to opt for a model with adjustable heat settings so that you can customize the temperature in order to achieve your desired style. Plus, the safest and most effective temperature will depend on your individual hair texture, so having options is key.

Good Closure Between Plates

Finally, Kimble mentions the importance of finding a flat iron that has good, even closure between the plates, which is necessary to straighten the hair evenly. If your current iron is becoming loose or not closing properly, it may be time to replace it.

FAQ
  • What kind of flat iron is best for natural hair?

    According to Kimble, both ceramic and titanium plates will work for natural hair, but which one is best depends on your individual texture. Ceramic is best for swapping between straight and curly styles, she says, while those with kinkier coils or hair that's harder to straighten will benefit from titanium plates. Ion technology is a must to ensure the hair is left smooth, shiny, and frizz-free. It’s also important to find an option with adjustable heat settings so that you can achieve your desired style without singeing your hair.

  • What temperature should a flat iron be for natural hair?

    When it comes to the right flat iron temperature to straighten natural hair, Kimble says that, once again, it varies by hair texture. “If you have thick hair, you can generally go up to 450 degrees—but again, it depends on your hair,” she says. “If you have thin, fine hair, you should stay under 400 degrees.

Meet the Expert

Kim Kimble is a celebrity hairstylist and the founder of haircare and hair tool line Kim Kimble Beauty.

Not only does she work with the likes of Beyoncé and Zendaya, but her work has been featured across top fashion publications, campaigns, and other projects—including Beyoncé's Lemonade.


Nigella Miller is a hair stylist and natural hair and grooming expert whose celebrity clientele includes Jhene Aiko and Chloe and Halle. She’s the founder of Nigella Hair Studio in Brooklyn, New York. You can find her work in numerous fashion editorials and her expert advice across multiple beauty publications.

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