Flat Iron Bells And Whistles

There is much more to a hair straightener than just hot plates that go on your hair. I mean, that’s the fundamental purpose but your decision can be a lot easier if you look for certain features.

By The Numbers

temperature numbers

LCD readout for exact temperatures

If you have sensitive hair, you should think about choosing a flat iron with a digital read out. The exact temperature can matter when you have easy-to-damage hair, and the difference between 275 and 300 degrees can be a big deal. You want an iron that you can pick an exact temperature on so you don’t risk permanent damage from overheating.

Another thing to consider when you’re buying a hair straightener is where the controls are located. Some people get very irritated by irons that have buttons on the exterior, because they hit them when they’re straightening. If the buttons don’t lock, that means you can change the temperature without realizing it.

Perfect for Scatterbrains

Auto shutoff is a requirement in my house, I’m not allowed to bring an iron home that doesn’t have it. I work hard and have a lot on my “plate”, which makes me more than a little scatter-brained. I have burned more than one counter with my iron, but if you ask my husband he’ll tell you I BURNED ALL THE COUNTERS EVER.

While that part isn’t true, I don’t exactly have a stellar reputation on this front. Most of the flat irons I’ve had have 30 minute auto shutoff features while others have one hour auto shutoffs. Anything longer than that is probably a waste because by that time, you could have already done some serious damage to a surface in your home.

Keep It Shut

Some irons have locks that can be used when you’re done so it keeps the hot sides off of a surface or counter. They also make it easier to wrap up and close your iron when you’re done with it for the day. I don’t think these are a necessity, but anything that helps keep my home safe and the hot plates away from my counters is a pretty big deal to me.

Hand Stands

flat iron stand

Protect your hair straightener and its surfaces

You can get different kinds of stands for irons that will also help keep them off the counter. These are probably more useful than locks, and they can help protect both your iron and surfaces. Some irons come with stands that can be hidden on the body when the iron is being used, and others have independent stands that the iron fits into.

Regardless, it’s probably a good idea to have a place to store your straightener when you’ve unplugged it. Most independent stands come with suction cups that will keep everything in place should it get jostled when it’s not in use.

Flat Mats!

One of the most important accessories I’ve ever had for a hair straightener was the least expensive thing I’ve purchased. I have a silicon hot mat I can set my straightener on. If I forget to shut it off, the mat takes all of the heat and none of it gets transferred to my counter.

I think it cost $5, and it is the very definition of a belt and suspenders. I have never seen an iron come with one, but it’s one of the best investments you can make to keep the heat of your flat iron where it’s supposed to be, on the iron!

So What D’Ya Need?

If you’re trying to decide what kind of iron to get, these are a few things that can help. There are only two things on the list I think everyone needs, and that’s the auto shutoff and hot mat. The rest are negotiable, but they’re certainly not bad ideas. Anything that you can do to keep your house in one piece and your hair from frying is definitely worth it if you ask me!