Choosing the Best Tools for Your Hair Type

Ceramic vs Ionic vs Tourmaline Flat Irons?? Ceramic vs Infrared Blow Dryers vs Diffusers?  Reading the product labels on natural and curly hair products is confusing enough.  But trying to decide on the best styling tools for your hair is something completely different.  Sometimes, I wish that my hair type came with its own set of instructions. But of course, it can NEVER be that easy.  The reality is, just like you search for hair products that are specific to your hair type and texture, your heat and styling tools should be held to the same standard.  Hair of ALL types and textures can be fragile and subject to damage if not treated properly and with care.  So, if you are like me and need a little guidance on the best products (and heating temperatures) to use for your natural or curly hair…take notes.

Blow Dryers:

It goes without saying that you should ALWAYS read the manufacturer’s safety instructions and directions before using a new product.  There are several types of blow dryers to choose from:

Ionic dryers minimize frizz and lock in moisture and shine.

Ceramic dryers provide a powerful burst of heat with overheating.

Tourmaline Dryers reduce drying time on your hair.

Infrared Dryers boast about cutting drying time in half, which in turns reduces heat damage to the hair.

Diffusers are best used on fine, natural or curly hair textures. They work by diffusing and distributing the heat so that he hair dries slowly at a cooler temperature.

Air flow concentrators work in the opposite manner.  They concentrate the heat to the specific section of hair, speeding up drying time.

Wattage Key

1200 to 150 watts:  For fine and/or damaged hair

1800 to 1875 watts:  For thick, wavy hair

2000 and above:  For thick, coarse hair textures

Flat Irons

Ceramic Irons quickly disperses heat for fast styling.  Promises to lock in moisture for shiny looking hair.

Tourmaline plates reduce static electricity and frizz in the hair.

Ionic plates also balances hair to reduce frizz and static electricity for more manageable hair.

Titanium plates give smooth, sleek and snag-free styling.

Infrared flat irons help to recondition and restructure strands for healthier hair.

Temperature Check

Fine or Thin Hair:  below 360 degrees (F)

Normal or Wavy Hair:  360-380 degrees (F)

Thick or  Coarse Hair:  380-410 degrees (F)

Curling Irons

The Benefits of Ceramic and Tourmaline curling irons basically mirror those of flat irons.  They typically heat quickly, reduce frizz, increase shine and manageability, preserves moisture and causes less damage (if not overused).

Temperature Check

Fine, Fragile or Chemically Treated Hair:  200-250 degrees (F)

Normal, Thick or Curly Hair:  280-300 degrees (F)

Thick, Coarse, or Curly Hair:  300-400 degrees (F)

As always, start low on these temperatures and gradually increase until you get the desired curl,  Oh…and don’t forget to use a good heat protectant!! Happy Styling!!

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