If you are thinking about straightening your hair, you have probably seen terms like “flat iron” and “hair straightener” used in articles and videos.
These terms may have caused some confusion – are they referring to the same hair tool and method? Or are there key differences you should understand before selecting a product?
Is There Any Difference Between Flat Iron and Hair Straightener?
The terms “flat iron” and “hair straightener” are often used interchangeably, but they can refer to slightly different things in the broader context of hair styling tools.
Any tools or product that straightens hair, is considered as hair straightener.This category includes several types of devices such as such as straightening brushes, hot combs, certain blow dryers, and flat irons.
On the other hand flat iron is a specific type of tools that consists of two flat plates that heat up and pressed together to straighten hair as it is pulled through them.
Since the flat iron is the most common and recognized type of hair straightener, the term ‘hair straightener’ often specifically refers to it.
Types of Hair Straighteners
Each hair straightening product achieves the ultimate goal of straightening hair; however, they all have unique special features, technologies, and hair straightening methods.
Hot combs are hair straighteners that work as electric combs to straighten coarse, thick hair. Hot combs are available in half a flat iron design, a half-heat comb made of ceramic, or a comb made of gold or ceramic plates.
The main advantage of using a hot comb for hair straightening, aside from tackling coarse hair, is its ability to straighten the roots effectively.
Hot Straightening Brushes
Hot brushes, aka hot air brushes, are multifunctional tools that typically combine hair straightening, brushing, and blow-drying. The benefit of using a hot brush is that it saves lots of time styling hair.
A hot brush’s design usually consists of a round or paddle brush attached to a dryer with built-in ceramic plating for hair straightening.
Believe it or not, blow dryers are capable of straightening wavy to straight hair types.
If you properly position the blow dryer above a bend or wave in your hair, it will flatten it out and give it a straightened appearance.
Using a blow dryer for straightening curly hair is not always an ideal straightening method, mainly because it involves more multitasking while using the blow dryer.
A flat iron is a specific hair straightening product and one of the most commonly used hair straighteners. The flat iron design consists of two plates, often made of ceramic, that use hydrogen bonds to straighten hair completely. The flat iron plates also assist with adding a shiny touch to the hair.
A flat iron is simply a type of hair straightener. The best way to remember the difference between the two is that flat irons are always a hair straightener, but not all straighteners are flat irons.
Flat irons also typically apply more direct heat to hair since hair essentially becomes sandwiched between two plates.
Using a flat iron can achieve the best results because of the direct heat, but there’s also the risk of damaging hair from the direct heat.
It’s always best to use a heat protectant in your hair before using a flat iron or product with a direct heat source.
Flat Iron Vs. Other Hair Straighteners: Which Is Best for You?
Flat irons use solid hot plates, usually metal, to apply sustained heat that straightens by pressing sections of hair between the plates. This allows for a very sleek, precise finish.
Heat brushes have plastic bristles that get heated. As you brush the hair, the warmth helps straighten hair while allowing more body and volume.
However, the brushes are not as effective for major curl taming or creating a perfect sleek look.
In general, people with very curly or hard-to-manage hair should use powerful flat irons to best smooth and control their locks.
People with hair that’s moderately wavy or straight wanting just a little smoothing and volume can benefit more from the gentler, less damaging effects of a good heat brush.
Consider your own hair’s texture and how pin-straight or naturally volumized you aim for it to look after styling. This will help you to decide whether a flat iron or heat straightening brush makes the best match for you.
So, while all flat irons are straighteners, not all straighteners are flat irons. There are different hair straightener types, depending on what you’re trying to accomplish with your hair.
Consider heat settings, using a straightener for multiple purposes, and your hair type before purchasing a product.