Expensive vs Cheap Straighteners
Getting fixated on the idea that a $20 iron will help you obtain the look you want is fairly easy while you are trying to buy a flat iron while getting your budget into consideration. True, you might get lucky like that and stumble on some inexpensive yet really good hair tool. But in most cases the unfortunate truth will be that a quality of a cheap option is equally subpar, making you regret not opting for the better model.
Staying Power For Your Style
For straight to give off enough consistent heat is of utmost importance. If there’s not enough, your hair may look straighter but during the day the frizz will return, and ultimately it won’t be able to stay straight. This is the common problem with cheap straighteners – they either don’t heat up enough, or they heat inconsistently. And the lack of consistency predictably results in a half-perfect half-frizzy mane of hair that looks like a mess. This is because of uneven heating areas known as “hot spots”.
Importance Of The Plates
While you will stumble into a variety of different claims about the type of material used in the plates, as a rule of thumb, all the inexpensive/cheap irons never have a long-lasting quality about their plates or protective coating. In this case, the plates themselves are usually made out of bad materials regarding heat conduction, such as glass or metal. This “ensures” a lot of non-straight hair for you.
Even if you are able to obtain a ceramic plated yet inexpensive iron (for example Remington S5500 Digital), it’s just the ceramic coating covering the metal plates of this iron. That coating can and will wear off over time, and with it goes the iron’s ability to hold heat.
Quality Of Heating
Before investing your money in an iron that is inexpensive, it maybe be good to know what exactly you’re going to obtain. The flat irons that are professional (and relatively expensive) allow you to obtain a well-distributed heat even with the minimal amount of it used, which works great for your hair. On the other hand, uneven distribution of heat with inexpensive hair straighteners may force you to increase the heat level to the max, which will surely impact your hair in a negative way and damage your locks – but any less heat and your hair will stay uncontrollable.
Floating Plates Are Actually Useful
Some may not realize this, but the hair straighteners that have their platers fully affixed to the housing are not the most effective ones. In fact, it’s the other way around. While these things are very hot, leaving them, unsecured may sound like a bad idea but it’s not like the plates will come off. However, the two sides of plates will get enough freedom to flex and adjust based on their angle. As they get as close as possible to each other, you will be able to clamp the hair with better grip and more correctly. This also enhances heat distribution.
Looking at the opposite case, a pair of fixed plates (or even worse, a single floating plate) is what’s typically found in cheap hair straighteners. With this, certain areas of the platers will never be able to get close enough to each other to actually touch. This means that can’t straighten the hair properly, and the right amount of heat will be impossible to adjust. This also effectively limits the “correctly working” area on hair straightener, and having 1-inch by 1-inch square of heat to straighten your entire hair will take very long time. But should you choose the correct straightener model and the straightening will take only 10-20 minutes.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking you to buy one of these flat irons that cost several hundred bucks. I would fit those not into “higher priced” but rather in “ridiculously priced” category. Still, you may find decent irons even in $40-$70 price range. I am sure that people who have very agreeable hair and don’t need to straighten it everyday will be able to find a fitting model there. Personally, I would recommend the BaBylissPro Porcelain Plate Flat Iron as an appropriate mid-range option.
For people with difficult and less controllable hair, I would advise to look in the price range up to $100. There you will be able to find a suitable hair straightener to deal with coarse and frizz prone locks, for example, the Izunami Ktx450 Flat Iron model.
Spending a little more money on correct hair straightener doesn’t sound like a bad deal because it will last for years. You don’t need to gather a whole collection of these like me if you manage to narrow it down to a single option that works best for your hair.