Do you know the differences between the materials of the plates of the hair plates? Do you prefer ceramics, titanium or tourmaline? With or without ionizer? What width should your future hair iron have? And the temperature, what temperature suits you according to your hair type?
As you can see, buying hair irons is no easy task. As technology advances, new features and improved functionality are added to these devices – which we celebrate – but which, inevitably, make the purchase process more difficult.
It should not be like that. Buying the right hair irons, or making the wrong choice, can completely determine the appearance of your hair for years to come. Quality hair irons that, in addition, are the right and optimal for your type of hair will allow you to get the most out of your hair, in addition to maintaining the health of the hair.
So with the objective of not meeting another friend complaining about some plates because I did not know how to choose the right ones … Here it is The Definitive Guide to the hair irons 🙂
How does hair iron work?
Our hairs are made up of a protein known as keratin. Keratin is formed by a series of very rich sulfur amino acids which, among them, form disulfide bonds (or bridges), which are chains linking a sulfur atom with another that is nearby. The number and nature of such bonds which are formed in the keratin fibers are genetically determined.
The good news is that with enough heat we can break those disulfide bonds. By applying heat we deform and/or break the bonds that our hair presents naturally while keeping the hair tense, while we cool it when we stop applying heat, we force the new bonds to form at will.
The main problem we face is that there is no consensus on what temperature is optimal for breaking the disulfide bridges. Some studies indicate that they begin to break from 70ºC, others that depend on environmental factors. The GHD brand, for example, is known for having all its plates maintained at a fixed temperature of 185 ° C.
It is not true that at higher temperatures the hair smoothes faster. The reality is that lower but steady heat works better. Our research shows that the use of above-optimal temperature for hair ironing is detrimental to the same
Later we will return to the subject of temperature and our recommendations in this regard. For now, let’s start with the guide from the beginning!
The materials and technologies of the hair irons
We dare to say that this characteristic is the one that is going to be the most determinant of all. The materials of the plates will be the point of contact between the plates and your hair, they will be in contact with this several times a week. It is important that it is a material capable of offering a stable and homogeneous temperature that behaves smoothly on contact with the hair and does not transmit static electricity. Let’s see the best known and used:
1. The pottery
Pottery is the dominant material in most medium and high-end hair irons. For what is this? As the ceramic has a very low coefficient of friction (which means less damage to the hair), it is a good conductor of heat and has a high durability. In addition, ceramics tend to transmit negative ions, so it balances the static electricity charge of our hair and prevents frizz and hair snorting.
Of course, you must take into account that what is customary to sell as “ceramic plates” is usually an exterior cladding. Ceramics are usually used in conjunction with other materials. For example, the award-winning GHD V Gold Classic plates use a ceramic coating applied to aluminum plates. This material, as the brand itself, leads heat 4 times better than steel. Ultimately, what distinguishes good plates from mediocre ones is that they are able to conduct the heat well and distribute it evenly on the surface of the plates.
2. Ceramics with tourmaline
Tourmaline is a mineral of the silicate class, whose main property is pyroelectricity. More than 2,300 years ago this stone already caught the attention of the ancient philosophers, who realized that when it was heated it was able to attract straw, ash or small wood chips. What happened was that when heating the tourmaline an electric field is induced in the particles of the material, caused by movement of positive and negative charges at the opposite ends of the surface.
If such a pyroelectric property occurs when the material is in contact with our mane, what happens is that the negative charges generated by the tourmaline on heating tend to “jump” to our mane, which is full of positive charges after drying. The negative charges are relocated on the surface of our hair, producing a compensation of its electric charge.
In short, tourmaline charges our mane of negative ions, which results in fewer frizzes and a brighter and healthier appearance.
The most common are to mix with the pottery. When the ceramic coating is prepared, they crush and mix particles of this material which, however small, are already capable of producing the negative ionic charges of which we have spoken.
Some of the most recognized brands that use this technology are Rowenta, in its Liss & Curl Elite or Karmin plates, in its G3 Salon Pro model.