No time? My pick for the best flat iron for thick hair is the BIO IONIC Onepass Straightening Iron.
It’s every girl’s dream to have thick, gorgeous, luscious hair. So if you do, consider yourself lucky!
When you want to tame that thick mane into a sleek, smooth look, though, it can get challenging without the right tools. To that end, let’s look at how to find the best straightener for thick hair.
We’ll be reviewing the following flat irons in this article:
- BIO IONIC Onepass Straightening Iron
- Croc Classic Black Titanium 1 1/2” Flat Iron
- HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Flat Iron
- KIPOZI 1” Titanium Flat Iron
- BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium-Plated Ultra-Thin Straightening Iron
Best Flat Irons for Thick Hair
The BIO IONIC Onepass Flat Iron is my overall favorite straightener for long, thick hair. It has ceramic plates with silicone speed strips along the edges of the top plate that help grip and keep strands in place on the plate without snagging for efficient straightening.
You can save a ton of time since it actually straightens in one pass (assuming you use small enough sections at a time). It might require more than one pass for some hair textures though, particularly if you have coarse or resistant hair.
The BIO IONIC Onepass has 5 marked temperature settings – 240°, 280°, 320°, 360° and 400°F, though you can also set the heat to anything in between using the dial switch. The iron heats up quickly and indicates it’s ready for use when the red light flashes (it’s heating when solid red).
It’s lightweight and comfortable to hold, a definite plus when you have a lot of hair to get through. It also produces far infrared heat that penetrates the hair shaft and heats strands from the inside out, which is both more effective at straightening as well as less damaging.
On the downside, while the silicone strips work well for most, some have experienced them pulling on their hair. You do need to clean them regularly to get rid of any build up, which can cause snagging. A few people have also experienced the silicone strips coming off after a while.
- Nano ionic technology hydrates hair by breaking water molecules into tiny particles for better absorption
- Silicone strips secures and distributes strands evenly between the plates
- Straightens efficiently and protects hair from heat damage
- Contoured ergonomic exterior is comfortable to hold
- Works well for creating curls too
- Silicone strips accumulate build up if not cleaned regularly
- No auto shut-off
Croc flat irons have a distinctive look that’s instantly recognizable for their “crocodile” profile. It’s not just a design gimmick though – the contoured shape and ergonomic thumb grip is very comfortable to hold and use while you straighten.
This is a serious plus when you’ve got a lot of hair to work through. The lightweight design also helps keep your hands away from the hot plates so you’re much less likely to burn yourself the way you can with a standard in-line build.
It’s 1 ½” width gives you more coverage than the standard 1” and allows you to straighten hair quicker. You can also control the temperature with 17 digital heat settings from 280°F to 450°F.
The titanium plates are very smooth and heat quickly. The Croc works particularly well on frizzy, thick hair. It even straightens hair effectively under humid conditions.
In terms of negatives, the temperature display sometimes konks out and displays “ERR” after a while. The lightweight housing also cracks fairly easily if dropped (so if you’re klutzarrific like me, this might not be the best choice).
- Ergonomic design is easy to hold and use, especially for smaller hands
- Titanium plates and ceramic heaters provide smooth even heat throughout
- Great for keratin treatments
- Dual-voltage for international travel
- Auto shut-off after 40 min of non-use
- Housing not too sturdy, cracks easily if dropped
- Not good for curling due to plate width
The HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Flat Iron is one of the most popular salon-quality, user-friendly flat irons on the market according to the number of reviews on Amazon.
It’s hard to believe, but it’s priced way below other professional flat irons while still being a very high quality straightener. It has tourmaline-infused 1” ceramic plates for shine and frizz control, adjustable heat settings from 140°F to 450°F, and is great for travel since it’s dual-voltage and comes with a travel bag.
The power button and temperature dial are located on the inside of the appliance so you don’t accidentally turn it off or change the heat setting while you’re straightening. It also has floating plates – meaning they tilt from side to side – which allows the plates to flex and give while your hair is pressed between the plates for better style control.
With all these great features, what’s not to like? Well, for starters, you won’t know the exact temperature you’re setting the heat to unless it’s the minimum (140°F) or maximum (450°F) because the dial doesn’t have any other temperature markings between the two.
It also doesn’t seem to get or stay hot enough for some even though the max temperature should be plenty for those who need high heat. So it’s not the best for very coarse or super curly hair. It’s a better choice for fine to medium hair types, and even then you may need to use small enough sections to get pin-straight locks.
- One of the most highly-rated and affordable flat irons around
- Dual-voltage for international travel
- Adjustable heat settings with a wide temperature range
- Includes a free travel bag and heat glove
- Mixed reviews about how hot the iron gets
- No temperature indicator
Another affordable option, the KIPOZI Titanium Flat Iron works very well on thick hair. To be honest, I’d never heard of the brand before and was a little skeptical that it would be any good, especially for the price.
It comes in a few different colors (rose pink is my fave) and has adjustable heat settings plus a digital temperature display. It also has some pre-programmed heat settings with an appropriate temperature for different hair types. It’s a nice starting point if you’re not sure what temperature you should use.
The plates are titanium and heat up really fast. They’re very smooth and leave your hair silky and shiny after straightening.
One of my favorite things about the KIPOZI Titanium Flat Iron is the digital display and all the info it gives you. It doesn’t just tell you what temperature you have the heat set to. It also has a timer that tells you how long you’ve been straightening.
There’s also an option to set the straightener to shut off after 90 minutes.
If you cycle through the Program (“P”) button options, you’ll see the temperature setting for fragile, damaged, or healthy hair, and when you turn it off, it even indicates whether the appliance is cool enough to put away (it’s still hot if you see a wave icon).
On the downside, some people have experienced snagging and pulling on their hair with the KIPOZI. The outer housing also gets hot, so you need to be careful or use gloves.
- Has a lock feature to keep the iron shut while not in use
- Leaves hair shiny and smooth all day
- Dual-voltage for international use
- Digital display and adjustable heat settings up to 450°F
- Outer housing gets hot to the touch
- Digital display gets harder to read after a while
- Power and control buttons location are easy to accidentally press while holding
My last flat iron pick for thick hair is a staple for many a gal. BaBylissPro is the go-to brand for salon-grade straighteners that anyone can use, and the Ultra-Thin is very effective on all kinds of hair (even curly hair).
As all good flat irons should, it comes with adjustable heat settings up to 450°F. The extra thin body and titanium plates make it very lightweight, which my arms and hands appreciate.
While the thin housing makes this flat iron great for getting close to your scalp, it’s also really good at straightening long hair efficiently with it’s extra-long 5″ plates.
You can easily iron out bangs, short hair and frizz, and, if you use smaller sections, even straighten long hair in one pass.
The BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Ultra-Thin is a pretty all-around awesome flat iron for all kinds of hair, but I do wish it had a temperature reading or display so you know what temperature you’re actually using. The control dial simply has a range from 1-50 for heat settings.
The outer housing also gets pretty hot, so you’ll need to be careful or wear gloves to protect your fingers.
- Slim, lightweight design is easy to hold and less tiring to use for extended periods
- Nano Titanium plates heat quickly, glide smoothly, and resist corrosion
- Extra-long 5″ plates reduces straightening time
- Thin design is very versatile and works well on all hair lengths
- Adjustable heat settings up to 450°F
- Outer housing gets hot while heated
- On/Off button placement not ideal – can easily turn it off while using
Do I Have Thick or Coarse Hair (Or Both)?
Chances are, you or someone you know has described their hair as thick when referring to their hair texture. However, thick hair actually refers to hair density, or the number of hairs you have.
To clarify, when the width of each individual strand is big or thick, you have coarse hair. When you have a lot of hairs on your head, you have thick hair.
So how do you know if you have thick hair or not? You can tell by parting your hair and examining your scalp to see how much hair you have. If you can see a lot of scalp, you have thin hair, and if you don’t see much, you have thick hair.
Of course, if you happen to have both thick and coarse hair, you probably find it challenging to straighten your hair effectively and efficiently.
Does It Make a Difference?
When it comes to choosing a flat iron, yes, having thick vs. coarse hair can make a difference. If you have a lot of hair but it’s fine or damaged, you’re going to need a different flat iron than someone who has a lot of coarse, hard to style hair.
The common denominator when it comes to having thick hair is that you’ll naturally have to spend more time straightening since you have more of it. The key is to get a good flat iron that reduces the number of passes you’ll need to straighten your locks without damage.
Factors To Consider When Choosing A Good Straightener for Thick Hair
- How Often You Will Be Straightening. If you plan on straightening your hair often (i.e., multiple times a week), select a plate material that is less damaging, like ceramic or tourmaline ceramic.
- How Long Your Hair Is. If you have short hair, you’ll generally need a narrower plate (think 1” or less). If you have long hair, a 1 ½” – 2” iron can help you cover more ground and straighten faster.
- How Curly or Coarse Your Hair Is. Wavy hair will usually take less effort to straighten than super curly hair. If you have coarse locks that are resistant to straightening, consider a titanium-plated flat iron for more heat power.
- Do You Have Damaged or Chemically-Treated Hair? If so, be careful with the amount of heat you use. Solid ceramic plates are your friend, and adjustable temperature settings with lower heat options (below 300°F) is best.
Other Features to Look For
Aside from plate material, size, and heat setting options, you may also want to look for the following:
- Auto shut-off. For safety and peace of mind. You know you won’t burn your home down if you ever rush out the door without unplugging your flat iron.
- Pre-set and/or temperature memory options. Some straighteners come with pre-programmed heat options for different hair types, as well as a memory function that remembers the last temperature you used on your hair.
- Dual-voltage. If you plan to travel with your straightener, look for one you can use worldwide.
- Floating Plates. This just means the plates are able to tilt from side to side. It’s helpful in keeping your hair gripped between the plates as you pass your strands through.
How To Use a Flat Iron on Thick Hair
Before you start, make sure you’ve washed and thoroughly dried your hair (either with a blow-dryer or naturally). Also, remember to evenly apply a heat protectant to your locks before straightening.
If you have long hair, you’ll want to divide it into more sections than someone with shorter tresses. Start off by separating the top portion around your head and clipping it up and out of the way.
With the bottom layer exposed, section off 1” pieces to glide through the straightener. Work with small sections at a time so your flat iron can straighten your strands in one or two passes.
While this might seem like it will take longer, you’ll actually save time because you won’t need as many passes to get your hair straight.
With thick hair, you want a flat iron that will straighten efficiently and effectively so you’re not spending a ton of time doing your hair. Your hair type and condition will determine what the best flat iron is for you, of course.
Having said that, I think the BIO IONIC Onepass is a great straightener for most hair types. The ceramic plates, silicone speed strips, and heating technology are able to create smooth, shiny, healthy-looking hair in half the time.