If you're someone who always has their straight iron by their side, you know the all too common struggle of fighting heat damage. You have to make sure to apply a heat protectant, ensure the temperature isn't too hot (or too cold), and be extra sensitive on areas that are prone to breakage (like your hairline, where your baby hairs reside). But, what if we told you there was a way to minimize damage while straightening your hair? Insert: vibrating flatirons. They're the hair tool that you certainly want to add to your arsenal since they provide the same results as your go-to straight iron while keeping damage at bay and your hair as healthy as can be.
Curious to know more about vibrating flatirons? Keep reading for everything you need to know about the tool, including what it is, its benefits, and how to use it, according to two hairstylists.
Meet the Expert
What Are Vibrating Flatirons?
While vibrating flatirons may look the same as any other flatiron, the way they function is what sets them apart. Vibrating flatirons contain ceramic plates that vibrate to move the hair back and forth whereas regular flatirons use non-moving ceramic plates. "Vibrating flat irons are a straightening tool that has vibrating plates to reinforce heat distribution on the hair, explains Darrius Peace, a hairstylist and natural hair expert. It'll allow you to spend less time straightening your hair, which will help with avoiding heat damage.
"The unique vibrating plates [in a vibrating flatiron] not only prevent heat damage but also restore damaged hair by closing the opened cuticles," explains Ezmy Rizzo, a hairstylist at Rita Hazan in NYC. "They're designed to cause less friction on the hair and are known to help achieve smoother results faster." In other words, they're better than traditional flatirons since the plates in the vibrating iron move, causing less friction and, therefore less heat damage, hair-pulling, and breakage.
Benefits of Using a Vibrating Flatiron
Vibrating flatirons provide a slew of benefits for your hair over traditional flatirons. It reduces breakage by eliminating tugging and pulling and allows heat to be distributed more evenly. Better yet, it also helps to lock in moisture, making it shinier and eliminating frizz.
- Reduces damage: Since the plates vibrate with each glide, the iron won't pull or tug at the hair, which will reduce damage, explains Rizzo. With less heat damage, you'll see less breakage—and hopefully, more hair growth overall.
- Distributes heat evenly: The vibration causes the heat to be distributed easily throughout the hair, says Rizzo. This can help you style your hair as quickly as can be with as minimal heat damage (or hair frying) as possible.
- Decrease straightening time: Only one pass is required to achieve a sleek and straight finish, explains Peace. "This will decrease straightening time and allow you to not waste time going over the same strands repeatedly."
- Locks in moisture: Vibrating plates lock in moisture, leaving hair frizz-free and shiny, advises Rizzo. "This is especially great for those with curly hair or a lot of hair as it'll help get their hair done in an efficient way while ensuring that hair won't need a hefty dose of moisture afterward."
- Can be used to create a whole slew of hairstyles: Similar to other flatirons, vibrating flatirons can be used to achieve different hair styles. It allows one to create both curls and waves as well as sleek and straight styles, explains Peace.
Drawbacks of Using a Vibrating Flatiron
Both Peace and Rizzo mention that there aren't any drawbacks to using vibrating flatirons. However, as with any heat tool, it's important to take precautions before using it on your hair. "Straightening your hair frequently without using a proper heat protectant can damage your cuticles permanently," explains Rizzo. " This may cause breakage and slower hair regrowth," she says. To avoid this, make sure you take the extra steps to apply the proper hair products before using any hot hair tools to protect your tresses.
The Best Vibrating FlatIrons
Below, find three expert-recommended vibrating flatirons so you can try your hand at the newest tool at home.
A personal favorite of Rizzo is this vibrating flatiron from José Eber. "This flatiron is wider than most vibrating irons out there, making it easier for those with thicker hair types to style their hair," she says. "It also has ceramic plates which make it simple to get a super smooth finish without any hassle."
With each swipe, this iron will seal in moisture, creating a long-lasting style—sans any frizziness or dryness. The iron also allows you to adjust the temperature up to 450 degrees and has a one-hour auto shut-off for safety. And, we'd be remiss to mention that it's also a top-pick of Peace.
Thanks to its ergonomic design, this Drybar vibrating flatiron is a breeze to achieve a multitude of hairstyles with. Aside from being easy to maneuver, it also lets you create just the right amount of tension to hold your hair—without causing breakage or unnecessary pulling in the process—and arrives with a universal voltage so you can travel with it anywhere.
Godfrey D. Vibration reduces metal to metal contact and causes an apparent reduction in friction. A S L E Transactions. 1967;10(2):183-192.