Mastering Flat Irons: A Guide for Curly Hair Types

Navigating the world of hair care can be daunting, especially when it comes to managing curly hair. The right tool can make all the difference, and that’s where a Flat Iron for Curly Hair comes into play. This guide will help you select the best flat iron and provide tips on how to use it effectively on curly hair.

How to Select and Use Flat Irons for Curly Hair Types

Purchasing a hair straightener demands more attention than impulsively adding a colorful dress to your online shopping cart. Given the delicacy of your hair, neglecting proper research before buying could have long-term consequences. Understanding the intricacies of flat irons and hair straighteners, particularly in relation to your hair’s texture, is crucial. Thin, delicate, or color-treated hair typically requires lower temperatures and adjustable heat settings, while thick and curly hair benefits from wider heating plates and can handle higher temperatures. To guide you in making an informed choice, we’ll share some key tips on selecting the best straightener for thick, curly hair. So, let’s dive right in:

1. Know your hair composition

To identify the most suitable hair straightener for thick, curly hair, it’s crucial to gain a deeper understanding of your hair and its structure. Hair primarily consists of 95% keratin, a fibrous and helical protein also found in the skin and nails. This composition significantly influences the structure of curly hair, forming the foundation for its appearance.

Hair strands comprise a blend of proteins, minerals, pigments, lipids, carbohydrates, and moisture. Proteins, like keratin, contribute to the strength of hair strands, while lipids, including sebum, maintain moisture, forming a protective barrier on the scalp’s surface.

You might be wondering how this information relates to choosing the best hair straightener for thick, curly hair. The connection is straightforward: a straighter hair route facilitates sebum in moisturizing each strand efficiently. Given that thick, curly hair originates from oval-shaped follicles with a twist at the base, creating more diversions for sebum, it becomes challenging for natural scalp oils to coat strands thoroughly. Consequently, curly hair tends to be naturally dry and more susceptible to damage than straight hair.

Hence, selecting a flat iron becomes crucial not just for its effectiveness in quickly and easily straightening curly hair but also for its gentleness, ensuring it doesn’t inflict additional damage.

2. Opt for a hair straightener with tourmaline plates

If you’re in search of the optimal straightener for thick, curly hair, focus on the plate type. Plates come in various materials, so let’s explore the different choices:

2.1. Ceramic plates

While ceramic plates excel in retaining and evenly spreading moderate temperatures, they typically fall short of reaching the high heat levels achieved by tourmaline or titanium. When searching for the optimal hair straightener for thick, curly hair, bear in mind that the temperature may not be sufficient for your thick locks, requiring additional time to achieve the desired results compared to a tourmaline or titanium iron.

2.2. Ceramic-coated plates

Some hair straighteners are not entirely composed of ceramic; instead, they have a ceramic coating. This implies that the underlying structure is made of metal, with a ceramic layer applied. Consequently, this construction leads to uneven heat distribution. Although these straighteners can achieve high temperatures, they struggle to retain them, rendering them ineffective for styling thick, curly hair. Furthermore, the ceramic coating tends to degrade over time, exacerbating the uneven heat distribution or causing the straightener to cease functioning altogether.

2.3. Titanium plates

Titanium plates exhibit durability and resistance, making them well-suited for heavy salon usage. However, they may not be the ideal choice for everyday use at home. These plates boast rapid heating and efficient heat transfer, qualities highly valued by professional stylists catering to their clients.

While titanium plates prove effective for thick and coarse hair, their relatively high cost and reputation for being more challenging to maneuver compared to other iron types should be considered. Additionally, due to their capacity to reach elevated temperatures, they are not recommended for use on damaged, weakened, or chemically treated hair, particularly hair that is fragile.

2.4. Tourmaline plates

When searching for the optimal straightener for thick and curly hair, consider flat irons equipped with tourmaline plates. Tourmaline, a gemstone belonging to the crystalline silicate mineral group, is used as a coating on the flat iron plates.

Compared to titanium and ceramic flat irons, tourmaline flat irons emit more far-infrared heat and can generate approximately six times more negative ions. These negative ions play a crucial role in sealing moisture into the hair cuticle. This feature makes hair straighteners with tourmaline plates especially suitable for dry hair, a common characteristic of curly hair, resulting in smooth, frizz-free, and shiny hair.

It’s essential to note that not all tourmaline flat irons are created equal. Recognized as the “Best Straightener for Thick Curly Hair” by Glamour, the NuMe Megastar Flat Iron stands out. Utilizing proprietary far-infrared heat technology, this award-winning flat iron locks in moisture, ensuring effortless styling without causing damage.

The NuMe Megastar Flat Iron distinguishes itself by incorporating an infrared light strip directly into the plates. This unique feature enables far-infrared heat wavelengths to penetrate deeper into the hair shaft, promoting moisture retention and facilitating smooth, shiny, and damage-free styling, as acknowledged by its Glamour award.

3. Look for adjustable heat settings

If you’ve been using a hair straightener lacking adjustable heat settings to straighten your thick, curly hair, it’s advisable to invest in a high-quality flat iron that can deliver the desired results with minimal heat damage.

As outlined in our previous article, having temperature control is crucial for straightening hair without causing harm. Adjusting the temperature of your hair straightener is necessary based on your hair type:

  • Thin hair: Utilize the lowest heat setting.
  • Average thickness: Opt for medium heat, ideally ranging between 300-350°.
  • Thick hair: Use high heat, typically between 400° and 450°.

Temperature control is a vital consideration when seeking the best straightener for thick, curly hair. Exposure to heat alters the structure of your hair’s keratin strands, and the higher the temperature, the greater the impact on your hair’s elasticity, potentially making it weaker and more susceptible to damage.

Although thick hair generally requires more heat for efficient results, the highest temperature isn’t always the most effective. It’s recommended to start at the lowest setting and gradually increase if necessary.

Hence, when researching the best hair straightener for thick, curly hair, always prioritize models with adjustable heat settings. The ability to control the temperature is crucial for minimizing unnecessary damage while styling your gorgeous, thick hair.

4. Know the purpose of your heat styling tool

When selecting the ideal flat iron for thick, curly hair, a crucial tip is to clearly define your requirements in a heat styling tool. Determine whether you solely need it for straightening or if you’re seeking a versatile tool for experimenting with various curls and hairstyles.

For instance, if you desire a tool that can handle both straightening and curling, opt for a flat iron with slightly rounded plates and outer edges. This design facilitates the transformation of your hair straightener into a curling iron effortlessly. The NuMe Megastar Flat Iron stands out as an excellent choice for those in search of a high-quality straightener for curly hair, and it’s also renowned as the best option for damaged hair.

Conversely, a flat iron with sharper edges is less versatile and presents challenges when used as a curling tool.

5. Look for the best value

If you’re in search of the optimal hair straightener for thick, curly hair, it’s crucial to recognize the potential impact of heat. Using low-quality flat irons at high temperatures can lead to irreversible damage, manifesting as:

  1. Dryness and lackluster appearance
  2. Breakage and split ends
  3. Frizziness
  4. Altered or rough texture

As previously mentioned, elevated temperatures convert ⍺-keratin to β-keratin, altering the hair’s structure, resulting in weakened strands and reduced elasticity. Therefore, especially if you plan to use your hair straightener frequently, it’s imperative to invest in a high-quality product.

The NuMe Flat Iron, honored as the best hair straightener for thick, curly hair by Glamour, stands out as the top choice for obtaining the best value for your money. Featuring proprietary far infrared heat technology, this unique flat iron is crafted to deliver salon-quality results at home without causing hair damage.


  1. What’s the best straightener for thick, curly hair?

Hair straighteners featuring tourmaline plates are ideal for thick, curly hair. These plates emit far infrared heat and negative ions, effectively sealing in moisture, resulting in smoother and shinier hair with minimized damage.

2. Which is preferable for thick, curly hair: ceramic or tourmaline straighteners?

While both plate types have benefits, tourmaline is more suitable for thick, curly hair. The increased emission of negative ions by tourmaline helps combat dryness, reduce frizz, and enhance the shine of curly hair.

3. Is it possible to straighten very thick, curly hair?

Absolutely! You can achieve effective straightening for very thick, curly hair using a quality flat iron like NuMe. Adjust the iron temperature to high, typically between 400° and 450°, for optimal results.

4. How much time does it take to straighten thick, curly hair?

The time required for straightening thick, curly hair varies based on factors like hair length and the chosen straightening method. On average, the process can take 30 minutes to over an hour. Utilizing high-quality flat irons with adjustable settings can expedite the process, but working in small sections, using heat protectant products, and ensuring dry hair are crucial for optimal results and minimal heat damage.

5. What are the consequences of straightening curly hair too often?

Excessive straightening of curly hair can lead to issues such as dryness, breakage, and split ends due to heat damage. Continuous use of high heat without proper protection weakens the hair shaft, potentially altering the natural curl pattern permanently. To prevent damage, it’s essential to use heat protectants, limit straightening frequency, and follow a comprehensive hair care routine to maintain the health and integrity of curly hair.


In conclusion, finding the right flat iron for curly hair can make all the difference in maintaining the health and integrity of your curls while achieving desired styles. Always prioritize quality, adjustable heat settings, and the utility derived from the tool. Remember, a tool like the NuMe Flat Iron, recognized as the best straightener for thick, curly hair, can provide exceptional value, versatility, and a safeguard against heat damage. Treat your curls with care and they will return the favor with vibrancy and resilience.

Wanda Scribner

Wanda Scribner is a co-founder of Divas Hair Care. She is from Houston and has a passion for hairstyling. She knows quite some things about different types of hair and the ways to manage them and make the most suitable hairstyles with them. She has a 19 years old daughter on whom she has implemented the unique hairstyle ideas that come to her mind. She has grown tired with her mom trying new hairstyles on her, but Wanda has not.

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