Deciding on a flat iron can be more complicated than ever, due to cost and the different features offered by different companies, so you may want to do some research before your final purchase. One of the most important features to consider before deciding which model and brand is to know the quality of the heater or heating element.
Looking a little closer at flat iron heaters, one of the most advanced is the Integrated Advanced Heating System or IAHS. This technologically advanced system is based on a tungsten element embedded within 6-layer beveled ceramic plates. Positioned between the second and third plates, the heating element is most effective in providing faster heat recovery for slightly damp to dry hair. These highly advanced heaters work efficiently, with no heat loss to deliver quality styling results.
The strength of the heater depends on the proper response of the iron’s initial heat-up time. No matter what type of heater is built in, the average heat transfer from the iron to the hair is lost by almost 80 degrees between each application. Every iron with a quality, technologically sound heating element will consistently provide good recovery time for optimized heating. The Farouk CHI has a 20-25 watt heating element, but most other mid-range to higher-end flat iron models have a 40-60 watt heating element. Lower wattage affects set temperature maintenance and reheating takes longer.
One of the best heating elements are PTFC heaters, found in many high-quality ceramic irons like FHI Heat. PTFC elements rely on far-infrared heat, essential in ceramic plates that radiate slow, even heating and have an instant reheat function. The best brands of flat irons incorporate this innovative technology to give users the best advantage of the technology.
The definition of far infrared heat is the safe, deep penetration of heat into the core of the hair’s cortex to seal the cuticle and shape it into any desired style, from straight to curls. This is vital to protect the hair strands, helps to seal in the hair’s moisture and reduces hair damage.
Ceramic and tourmaline heaters have slight differences, while some irons are made with ceramic and tourmaline heaters. Ceramic and tourmaline heaters work to prevent hair from damage from regular flat iron use, but tourmaline-enhanced ceramic elements produce 20 times more negative ions than pure ceramic heaters. Tourmaline is crushed into a fine powder that is embedded in ceramic heating elements. Negative ions are essential to counteract the positive ions in the hair, creating healthy, soft, shiny and silky hair.
When it comes to a heater setting that works efficiently for hair, the best heat temperature setting for your hair depends on the thickness and texture of your individual hair type. But with extensive research, an optimal setting of 370 degrees was found to work well on most hair types. If you have very thick, difficult hair or very thin, brittle hair, the best desired temperature should be set higher or lower than the average 370 degrees, setting for the most optimal styling results.