When it comes to shopping for the best flat irons for thick hair, you'll want to choose a tool with big, smooth plates (at least 1.25 inches wide) that get hot enough to straighten thick chunks of hair in one or two passes. There also needs to be even heat distribution across the plates to avoid hot spots and problems with uneven drying. For fastest results, seek out flat irons that warm up at least 380 degrees Fahrenheit, although you may have to play around to find the best temperature for your hair, keeping in mind that the lower the temp = the less damage. Ceramic plates are great for providing even heat distribution, while those made from titanium tend to heat up faster and reach higher temps.
Some other tips for styling and maintaining your thick hair: Whether you want super straight hair or barely-there waves, before using your flat iron, always apply a heat protectant to minimize heat-induced damage. After straightening your hair, apply a few drops of serum or oil, mostly focusing on the ends, to give it a smooth, shiny finish. Last, to keep your hair in tip-top shape, make sure you're using one of the best shampoos for thick hair in the shower.
With that in mind, scroll on to shop five of the best flat irons that can handle thick hair.
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1. The Classic
CHI recommends their G2 ceramic and titanium straightening iron for people with thick hair. The titanium-infused ceramic plates heat up in one minute and reach up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. The tool has a color-coded digital display that indicates what temp is best for your hair type, and shuts off automatically after one hour. It has wide, 1.25-inch plates that make quick work of coarse, thick hair, as well as a ceramic heater to reduce frizz and enhance shine. Plus, when buying a CHI, you know you're getting a quality tool that'll last you years to come.
2. The Splurge
Pro-favorite brand T3 makes some of the highest quality hair tools on the market. So if you're looking to make an investment on a top-of-the-line flat iron, go with the T3 SinglePass X. Designed for thick, coarse hair, it's a bigger, more powerful version of their original SinglePass flat iron. It has ultra smooth, 1.5-inch plates with beveled edges so you can create a whole range of hair styles without snagging, and reaches up to 410 degrees Fahrenheit. The brand's SingePass technology does just what it says — ensures you only need to go over each section of your hair once — while an internal microchip helps keep the shine-enhancing ceramic plates at an even temperature throughout your styling session.
3. The Budget Buy
Not only does this KIPOZI titanium flat iron come at a great price, but it also has the biggest plates out of all the irons on this list, at 1.75 inches. Other features: It has three heat settings, with a maximum temperature of 410 degrees, and shuts off automatically after one hour. Over 5,000 Amazon reviewers have given it a perfect five-star rating!
4. Best Steam Iron
Another option people with thick, coarse, or curly hair may want to consider is a steam iron. And this one, from Magicfly, comes at a great price. You simply add water to the tank, choose your temp (it goes up to 450 degrees), and then straighten your hair, which results in a smooth, glossy finish. Designed with floating, tourmaline-ceramic plates to prevent snagging, it shuts off after one hour and comes with a bunch of extras, like a comb, hair clips, and a heat-resistant glove. "One pass & my thick natural hair is straight & sleek," marveled one Amazon reviewer.
5. Best Straightening Brush
One last option for your consideration: this genius ghd Glide Hot Brush, which makes straightening your hair more effortless than you'd believe possible. Unlike the other tools on the list, this has just one heat setting: 365 degrees. But never fear, because reviewers on Amazon with thick, curly, and coarse hair can't say enough good things about it. Also, the set temperature will help prevent damage, since it prevents you from going overboard with the heat.
Other highlights include a 60-minute auto-off feature, a long, 9-foot cable, ceramic-ionic technology to cut down on frizz, and a two-year warranty.