Is it time to buy new hair styling tools? Before you make that final decision, keep in mind that there are many factors to consider. The most important factor to remember is the material that the tool is made from. It’s imperative that you take time to look over the benefits and drawbacks of each material. Since there are many different types of hair, there are many different choices. It’s important to find the right plate material that works best for you, and your hair.
The most popular material for consumers is ceramic, for good reasons. Irons that are ceramic-plated lead their rivals in cost, quality, and performance.
What is Ceramic?
Before even considering ceramic, take a look at what it’s made of and how it is made. Ceramic is a hard, brittle material that is strong in compression but weak in tension. It is a non-metallic and inorganic material. It is made by the process of firing clay at high temperatures. Really, really high temperatures.
Ceramic can withstand extremely high temperatures ranging from 1,000 °C to 1,600 °C (1,800 °F to 3,000 °F) (1) Wow! That’s hot!
Pure vs Coated Tools
Most ceramic hot tools are made with plates of either aluminum or titanium, with many layers of ceramic coatings. Even the top-notch hot tools are made with this technique. This is because pure ceramic is a lot softer than metal-reinforced ceramic. It could break just by clapping the plates together.
Even though the coated tools have high quality corrosion-resistant properties, they’re not anywhere near the same level of heat distribution. Also, the ceramic coating will eventually wear away, leaving you with hot metal plates. Nobody wants hot metal plates anywhere near their hair. It could cause serious heat damage.
Consider looking at a tool with pure ceramic or tourmaline-ceramic plates. When you’re looking for a heat-styling tool that is “pure,” that means you are looking for the same material from top to bottom. Although expensive, it’s definitely worth the investment.
When using a pure ceramic iron, you’ll notice that it heats more evenly and diffuses the heat smoother than metal-reinforced ceramic tools. This will allow you to style your hair quicker with fewer flyaways and, shield you from heat damage in the long run. Who wouldn’t want that?
Since the plates are pure, there is no coating to wear off. Full ceramic irons tend to last longer if you don’t drop or break them.
Pure Tourmaline Ceramic
If you are looking for the most high-quality material in hair styling tools, look at tourmaline-coated ceramic. Tourmaline is a special blend of high-quality minerals and ceramic particles, coated onto the surface of ceramic styling tools.
The strength of the tool is dramatically increased with this material. As I mentioned earlier, pure ceramic tools have great heat distribution and diffuse heat more smoothly. The tourmaline coatings improve that significantly. This leads to even faster styling times!
As a bonus, tourmaline has a property of producing negative ions. It fights against the positive ions which cause frizz. This results in a sleek hairstyle every time, which is what all of us women are looking for.
Benefits & Drawbacks of Ceramic Hot Tools
Ceramic hot tools provide a smooth glide, nearly preventing all tangles and snags. You will find less breakage and damage to your hair, making it a terrific choice for people with delicate locks.
As an added bonus, the smooth surface makes it easier to use, so it takes almost no effort to get through your hair.
Gentle heat transfer
Unlike metals that rely on conduction to transfer heat, ceramic uses infrared technology to heat the hair from the inside out.
Infrared heat is a form of radiant heating, similar to the sun. This is the most efficient and gentlest way to heat hair because it helps prevent the overheating of individual strands, while reducing damage. This ultimately results in healthier hair.
Even Heat Distribution
Since ceramic tools heat slowly from the inside out, the heat is distributed evenly down the plates.
Evenly heated plates eliminate “hot spots”, excessively heated sections of iron, which can scorch the hair.
They also prevent “cold spots”, areas unable to heat up properly, which cause the need of additional passes on a single section and increase the risk of heat damage.
Helps you get frizz-free & smoother hair
Hair naturally has a negative charge. (2)However, damaged hair is positively charged. This causes the hair follicles to stay raised, resulting in a rougher texture.
Ceramic tools use specialized ceramic heaters that produce negative ions when heated.
These ions will neutralize the charge of your hair, which will close up the cuticles. As a result, it will give your hair a smooth and sleek surface, leaving you with the perfect look.
You’re not only getting frizz-free locks, but these styling tools also protect your color from fading, reduce moisture loss and add shine – all of which add up to the perfect hairstyle!
All ceramic tools will do this. Plus, if you look for ones infused with tourmaline or titanium, you’ll get an even bigger boost of negative ions. Look for these for ultimate smoothness!
Although ceramic hot tools are a popular choice, they have some downsides that you should be aware of before you make your purchase.
Slower heating time
Ceramic hot tools do not conduct heat as well as titanium or tourmaline-infused hot tools, so it may take a little longer to reach your desired temperature.
It all depends on your hair type for whether or not it is a good or bad thing. Either way, it can be frustrating waiting for the styling tool to heat up, especially if you’re in a hurry.
Due to their composition, ceramic hot tools can be fragile. This causes them to break easily if dropped. You definitely need to keep this in mind whilst handling your hot tools and always ensure they are properly stored away when they’re not being used.
Longer Temperature Recovery Time
Hot tools cool down when their plates touch hair, due to the immense heat transfer from the iron (350°F) to the hair (65°F) . Ceramic tools tend to take longer to recover the lost heat and cannot provide stable and consistent heat for effective styling. This is because ceramic materials are known to have lower heat conductivity compared to metal.
So, if speed is essential for your hair routine, ceramic irons could take longer and therefore, may not be the best option for those with thick or difficult-to-style hair.
You may also like: The difference between titanium and ceramic flat irons
If you’re just starting to get into the world of hot tools for styling your hair, ceramic hot tools are the perfect start. With their even heating and gentler heat experience, you will be able to create curls or straighten your hair without worry of damage.
Tourmaline-infused ceramic irons are also perfect for novice home stylists or those with normal to fine hair because of the more gentle heat-styling experience they offer. Plus, you’ll get the added benefit of increased luster and reduced frizz. Yes, these tools may cost a bit more than others on the market, but it’s worth it when you consider all that they can do to beautify your locks!
Sources: Tourmaline, Ceramic or Titanium Hot Tools: Which material is the best?
You may also like:
Hair Straightening Brush Buying Guide