In my post “First Flat Iron X Blow Out Look” (third post of my hair growth blog series), I wrote about how I got my natural hair straightened for the first time at the salon. I was very happy with the result, because If I had done it myself I wouldn’t have gotten my hair that straight. Not only do I have very thick and coarse hair, but my old CHI flat iron doesn’t work well on my hair in its natural state. While I was at the salon, I realized that my hair stylist was using a flat iron with titanium plates. This really got me thinking about why my old flat iron didn’t give me the same result. And it’s simply because mine is made of ceramic plates. In that same post I also promised I would write a follow up about the difference between ceramic and titanium plates once I received my new flat iron, which I have now. Obviously I’ve done my research and know a thing or 2 about hair. Hence, this post will cover the difference between the two plates using my old CHI flat iron and my new BaByliss Pro Titanium Pulse as examples.
The plates on flat irons are generally made of either ceramic(coated or 100%) or titanium material. Ceramic plated flat irons are the most commonly used and CHI is an example of a popular brand that’s specialized in high end, ceramic hair tools. Not a lot of people know about titanium plated flat irons, because these are mostly used in hair salons. Not only are they more expensive, but flat irons with titanium plates are actually targeted to women with extreme thick and coarse hair((like myself!). BaByliss is one of the major brands that created a special line of flat irons with titanium plates, dedicated to that specific target group.
Before I will go into more detail and discuss the difference between my two flat irons, let’s talk about “ions” first
When you go shopping for flat or curling irons, you often come across terms like “ionic technology”, right? What is an ion exactly? An ion is an electrically charged atom or group of atoms. Our hair is naturally made of positive ions, which means it has natural moisture balance. These positive ions are responsible for opening our hair cuticles and when that happens, it causes frizzy hair. Obviously we don’t want frizzy hair and that’s where flat irons with“ionic technology” comes in. When you read the description “ionic technology” on the package of a flat iron, it simply means it has negative ions. When these negative ions come in contact with positive ions(our frizzy hair!) it neutralizes the electric charge. This closes the hair cuticles, retains the moisture in our hair, and makes our frizzy hair straight, silky and smooth. Obviously some flat irons have a better ionic output than others.
Now let’s compare my two flat irons. Listed below are the benefits of both ceramic and titanium plates.
Benefits of ceramic plates (CHI Pink Lace Breast Cancer Awareness Limited Edition):
- Even heat distribution
- Good material and last long (I have mine 6 years already)
- Warms up quickly
- Fixed temperature (200 degrees Celsius)
- Leaves hair straight and soft after a few glides (doesn’t work so well anymore on my natural hair, but it used to when I had it chemically straightened)
- Ceramic ionic technology
- Corrosion resistant
Price: I paid somewhere between EUR 115 and EUR 130 for my CHI flat iron and that was 5 years ago.
Benefits of titanium plates (BaByliss Pro Titanium Pulse):
- Ideal for very thick and coarse hair (like mine)
- Even heat distribution
- Titanium is a light and very strong material that lasts for many years
- Heats up in an instant
- Adjustable temperature settings (150,170,190,210 and 230 degrees Celsius)
- Straightens hair in one glide, leaving it silky smooth (long lasting result)
- Titanium ionic technology
- Corrosion resistant
Price: I paid EUR 104.95 for my BaByliss flat iron (December 2015)
So what’s the best flat iron?
Based on my personal experience the BaByliss Pro Titanium Pulse, has enabled me to straighten my thick, coarse natural hair myself and achieve better results. This is mainly because of the fact that titanium plates transfer heat better and have a higher ionic output (than ceramic plates), which makes my hair silkier, shinier and straightened in an instant. The adjustable temperature settings is amazing too, because I can now straighten my thick hair at 230 Celcius. I do have to mention that when my hair was chemically straightened, the CHI ceramic flat iron worked well, because my hair didn’t need that much heat. In conclusion, I believe there is no way to say that titanium plates are better than ceramic plates or vice versa; It all depends on your personal preference, experience and what works best on your hair type. No matter the type of flat iron, using it on a regular maximizes damage to your hair in the long run anyways. Just use it with caution.
Apart from ceramic and titanium plates, there’s even a newer plate innovation in hair straightening technology, which is called tourmaline. Apparently tourmaline plates work the hair from the inside and nourishes at the same time. Well, I am happy with my titanium plates. Who knows, I might try it out in the future.
What type of flat iron plates works best on your hair?