The technology behind a straightener can make your life easier when styling, but also have a major impact on the long-term health of your hair. Here's a breakdown of what's really happening inside the most popular straighteners.
What heats up the flat iron?
While some straighteners are battery-operated, most plug into an electrical source. The iron’s heating element converts the electrical current from the source to heat that is transferred to the hair via the flat iron’s plates. The plates can be made of a variety of materials including ceramic, metal, ceramic-coated, tourmaline, or even coated with rubber or silicon, to name a few. The two most popular materials used for salon-quality straighteners are tourmaline and titanium.
What does “far-infrared heat technology” mean?
A term you’ll often see associated with a flat iron’s heat element is far-infrared heat, which is a technology utilized in all NuMe flat irons. Essentially this means that the straightener heats hair from the inside out, sending a gentle heat directly into the hair follicle and out to the cuticle. This technology prevents damage to the hair from recurring use of the tool. The Megastar Hair Straightener goes even further with an integrated far-infrared heat strip.
Is a temperature setting necessary?
High-quality straighteners allow you to set the temperature of the heat, which can range from 140 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the texture and current health of your hair, maximum heat isn’t always necessary. In fact, 365 degrees Fahrenheit is often cited as the ideal temperature. No matter the temperature, it’s essential to use a heat-protectant spray before using a flat iron, or any heat styling tool. It helps to prevent breakage and prevents damaging your natural texture. The NuMe Watch Me Werk Thermal Heat Protectant protects strands and smells divine.
How does the heating element heat tourmaline ceramic plates?
Tourmaline is a precious mineral that can be crushed up and used to coat ceramic flat iron plates. Used in our Megastar Hair Straightener, tourmaline plates emit negative ions (a secret weapon against frizzy hair), close the cuticle and seal in moisture. The Megastar even amplifies the negative ion factor with an Ion Booster. The biggest perk to tourmaline ceramic, or pure stone ceramic plates, is an even heat distribution. Evenly heated plates mean there aren’t any “hot spots” that can damage hair, or “cold spots” that can result in a need to pull the flat iron over one section more than once.
How does the heating element heat titanium plates?
When a straightener, such as our Style Setter Hair Straightener, uses titanium plates, you know it’s not messing around. Titanium, which is a light, smooth metal, is slightly more powerful than tourmaline ceramic. This plate is recommended for thicker, harder-to-straighten manes, but it's still safe for all hair types. Titanium heats up faster than other types of plates and also transfers the heat to the hair more quickly, which is again helpful for especially coarse hair. It also emits negative ions to counteract frizz but is lighter than ceramic which means you'll be dealing with less heavy iron. Due to its powerful heating abilities, ensure your hair is protected by spraying on a heat protectant evenly before styling.
There are a lot of products out there promising amazing results so it’s always helpful to get clear on what’s going to pair best with your hair type and styling needs. For more hair inspo, follow us at @NuMeHair on Instagram. Sign up for our NuMe Rewards & Loyalty Program to earn points so that you'll be on your way to achieving gifts, products, tools, and even tickets to exclusive NuMe events!
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Author: Mary Patterson Broome