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Titanium Or Ceramic Flat Iron – Which Is Better?
One of the most often asked questions when shopping for a flat iron is: what is the difference between titanium and ceramic plates?
If you do not know how these two different materials affect the performance of the hair straighteners, you are about to find out. Bur first, we need to explain one term that is often associated with hair tools – ionic.
An ion is as an atom in which the number of electrons and protons are not the same. When a hair tool has ionic in its name, it means that it can generate negative ions. Hair has high water content, making it positively charged. When negative ions come in contact with hair, the positive charge is neutralized. This leaves your hair straight, sleek, shiny and smooth.
Both ceramic and titanium are ionic materials, however, titanium is a better generator.
Ceramic: There’s no question about it, this is the most often used material in flattening irons. It provides even heat distribution, ensuring that there will be no too hot or cold spots.
This is critical for three reasons:
1) you get consistent results, 2) there is less risk that you will burn or damage your hair cuticle, and 3) decreases the amount of time you need to run the iron over your hair.
Another important characteristic is that these plates heat up extremely fast – some brands reach their highest temps in just ten seconds! Ceramic’s natural infrared heating does not harm hair’s exterior layer but gently warms the hair from the inside. This retains moisture within each strand, creating a superb shine and a healthy look.
Here is one crucial thing to keep in mind – not all flat irons are pure ceramic, many of them are aluminum. They are just coated with ceramic on the top. Such models are less expensive, but you need to be extra careful when using them. This coating can chip or peel, revealing less quality metal below. These peeled areas can snag your hair! So always try to find out if an iron is coated or not.
You can even find costly professional models that are not 100% ceramic. Solid or pure ceramic are words that you are looking for. One big problem is that ceramic plates can crack after some time. These cracks can snag the hair and give you an awful experience.
Titanium: Its properties are better than ceramic! It’s better at conducting heat, providing consistent heat, allowing minimum temperature variations. It also warms up quickly, produces more ions and is corrosion resistant.
Plates made from this material last for years and never crack or scratch. They outlive the iron itself because titanium is naturally very strong but lightweight. Titanium is a professional choice by hairdressers.
It is used by the best hair salons because they are more efficient, save time and clients are satisfied with long lasting results.
Titanium vs. Ceramic Verdict
In this battle, it is obvious that titanium is a winner. But does this mean that you should use only this type of iron? No. Many experts say that consumers should use ceramic for one obvious reason. Since titanium can get very hot and transfers heat better, it’s very easy to damage your hair if you are not careful. Also, this high heat is only advantageous for women with thick, coarse and stubborn hair. If your have thin or fragile hair, there is no need for high temperatures. In the end, it is up to you to find out what will work best for your hair. Now you have all the facts to make the right decision. If you are still indecisive, there is a simple solution! Get a flat iron that combines ceramic and titanium, such as Croc 2 Infrared mentioned above. This way you get ceramic’s safety and protection and titanium’s speed and efficiency.
There is one more thing you need to know about materials used in plates. That is tourmaline. It is crystal that is ground into a fine powder and infused into the plates of the flat iron. When this mineral is heated, it produces enormous amounts of negative ions, much more than ceramic or titanium alone. Negative ions allow for faster straightening process, preventing heat damage and help create extremely sleek, shiny hair. So the next time you read ionic, ceramic, titanium or tourmaline – you will know exactly what each of these terms mean. See the best tourmaline flat irons.
How To Choose a Flat Iron
There is a huge selection of hair straighteners on the market. This is both good and bad thing. In other words, buying this equipment can be both effortless and tricky. It is effortless because you do not need to spend hours or even days looking for this tool. Just go to a beauty store or visit an online shop and you will find dozens or hundreds of options.
But at the same time, it can be tricky because you can get lost as to which type to buy. In order to help you, here are key factors you must take into account when choosing straightening irons.
Of course, this first thing you should consider is material. I already talked a lot about it above. So I suppose you already know what you want when it comes to this matter.
Size is very important feature that you need to pay close attention to before you make a purchase. When choosing a plate size, you must consider your hair texture and length. Study this table:
Flat Iron Sizes
|Plate Size||Hair Length||Hair Texture|
|1'' to 1.5''||All lengths||Fine and thin|
|1'' to 1.25''||Short||Normal|
|1'' to 1.5''||Medium||Normal|
|1.25'' to 2''||Long||Normal|
|1.25''||Short||Coarse, thick or curly|
|1.5'' to 2''||Medium||Coarse, thick or curly|
|1.5'' to 3''||Long||Coarse, thick or curly|
This is another crucial thing to remember. In general, you want a tool that has an adjustable temperature setting. This will let you select the heat temperature that is best for your hair type and texture. A fixed temperature is only recommended for thick hair that is hard to straighten. Different hair types need different heats. For example, if your hair is thin, fine and fragile, use heat below 360 degrees Fahrenheit (182 Celsius). If you hair is normal, it can be subjected to heat from 360 to 380 degrees Fahrenheit (182 – 193 Celsius). Coarse and thick tresses can be heated from 380 to 410 degrees Fahrenheit (193 – 210 Celsius). Another aspect to consider is how the unit heats. Find one that comes with an instant heating option. This is excellent feature for those times when you are in a hurry and need to style your hair quickly. Equally important is an automatic shut off if you forget to turn the unit off. Take a look at this picture of a burned flat iron that started a blaze (the hair straighteners had been left turned on; they did not have auto shut off):
Also pay attention to the heating source. Irons that produce far infrared heat are the best for the reason that they warm the hair from the inside out. This causes way less damage to the hair. You should always use hair heat protectant to prevent heat damages.
If you are going to use your iron every day, you definitely need to think about its weight. Bulky tools are very hard to use and they can place serious strain on your arms. Get a lightweight, ergonomic model that will not make your arm tire quickly. There are hair straighteners that weigh around one or two pounds.
I’m well aware that cost is a huge factor in choosing the perfect hot ironing tool, but please do not make it the most important. The quality and efficiency of the equipment is represented by the price. Cheap models are almost always made of low quality materials and are manufactured poorly. In addition, such flat irons have PTC heaters that do not produce a consistent temperature. This will damage your hair very easily. When using the cheaper models, you get exactly what you pay for – not what your hair deserves! So, choose a reputable brand with price between $80 and $150. Again, do not skimp on quality. The more expensive a flat iron is, the better its quality and longer it will last. Here is how a high quality iron looks inside:
This is another biggie to keep in mind. Look for a brand that offers at least one year warranty or longer. It is not uncommon that a flat iron breaks after only several months. A product that is protected by a warranty means that you will be taken care of if the item breaks, but it also means that the tool is a high quality one. There are even brands that offer lifetime warranty! Imagine how good they are.
WARNING! Pirating hair styling tools is a big concern these days. It is so widespread that people are not even aware that they are buying fake products. Even well known companies unknowingly sell these copied tools. A few of the brands are being copied all the time so it is crucial that you know if you are buying a fake copy or the real thing. To be on the safe side, only buy from real dealers or visit the company website. This company sells only original, real deal, products. It also has great deals every month. So be sure to check them.
How To Take Care Of Your Flat Iron
After many years of use, I learned one thing: it is not about how much you spend on your item, but how well you take care of it. Taking a few extra minutes to take care of your hair straightener will not only help prolong its life but it will keep it in excellent working condition. Styling products used on your hair will cause build up on the iron plates over time. This leads to stickiness on plate’s surface and results in poor styling results. This gummy residue on plates can damage your hair, by pulling and snagging strands, causing split ends and breakage. Your tool should be clean before every use.
Here is how to clean hair straightener:
- Clean after each use. Wait for it to completely cool down before cleaning and storing.
- Use a soft cloth and a professional iron cleaner that is specifically formulated for use with flat irons and other heat styling appliances.
- Do not spray the cleaner onto a hot iron to prevent damaging the plates. You can also use a terrycloth towel with warm water.
- Avoid using very hot or very cold water. It must be lukewarm.
- With one finger, gently rub plates to remove the grime. Do not scrub to avoid scratching ceramic plates.
- Do not forget to clean around the sides or edges.
- Never use any harsh or abrasive cleaners that will damage or scratch the surface of the plates or reduce iron’s ability to glide through hair easily.
- Do not clap the clamps. With regular use, sometimes the handles of the iron may become loose. On some models, you can remove the hinge cover and tighten the screw in the hinge.
- When storing your unit, never wrap the cord around it. This can cause damage to connection points, which can damage both the item and the cord.
- You should also use a heatproof mat where you can place a hot tool to avoid damaging your dressing table or bathroom counter. These mats can also be used as storage bags.
- There are also heat proof styler holders that are used when styling your hair. They are really great at protecting countertops and other surfaces while keeping your tool conveniently at hand.