Choosing the correct flat iron plate width for your hair length makes all the difference in your hairstyling time. With such a large variety of flat irons and hair straighteners on the market today, you might be wondering which plate width is best for you? The answer depends on your hair length more than your hairstyling needs. Most flat irons come with a standard 1-inch plate width, and you might be tempted, but if you match your hair length appropriately, you’ll make the smarter decision.
One Inch for Everyone?
Sure, the 1-inch plate width will accommodate most hair styling needs, but it is really recommended for ‘medium’ length hair only. If your hair length is past your ears yet above your shoulders, (hint, it isn’t considered ‘short’) the 1-inch plate width is probably your best bet. If your hair touches your shoulders or is longer, you should take your time to find a flat iron with a larger plate width. Not only will it cut down on your styling time, it will eliminate the need for multiple passes with the iron, thus reducing damage. If your hair is above your ears, find a plate width less than 1-inch, yes they do exist. But if your hair is medium length, the 1-inch is perfect for you. Some 1-inch irons you should check out are: CHI Original 1 Inch Flat Iron (pictured), GHD MK4 Hair Straightening and Styling Iron, FHI Technique 1-inch Flat Iron.
Long Locks, Larger Plates
For hair that sits on and below the shoulders, or is very thick, A) I’m jealous, and B) you should definitely choose a flat iron that’s either 1-1/4-inches or more. I’ve seen them go as wide as 2-1/4 inches and these larger plates are great for creating smooth styles in seconds. Why go over a small section of hair with a 1-inch iron when you can plow through a chunk with a 2-inch bad boy? The styling time you save by using an iron with larger plates will free up a few extra minutes in your day and will reduce the damage you normally cause by going over the same section of hair multiple times. Some of my wide-width wonders are: HAI2 Ceramic 2-1/4 Inch Flat Iron (pictured), GHD Ceramic Salon 2 Inch Hair Straightener, CHI Turbo Ceramic 2 Inch Flat Iron, HAI Convertable 1-1/4 Inch Flat Iron.
Short Styles, Slim Widths
Slimmer plate widths are perfect for shorter hairstyles. If your hair is above your ears or if you have bangs, a slim 3/4 inch plate width (or thinner) is perfect for you. When styling hair so close to your skin and scalp you should make sure you have the control a thinner plate width provides. If you hair is only a few inches away from your head, you wouldn’t want to go any larger than necessary. Too much hair-to-heat contact will only fry those delicate strands. Plus, if you’re a guy with unruly curls, give it a try…(umh, hello SANJAYA), you might be pleasantly surprised! Check out these fab finds: HAI Twig 3/8 Inch Flat Iron, WEE CHI 1/2 Inch Flat Iron, CHI Turbo .7 inch Flat Iron (pictured), Miniglide.
Though the size of the plates you choose really depend on your personal preference, by taking the time to do a little research, you might find there is a better flat iron more suited for you and your hair length.
If you’d like to learn more, our Best Flat Irons section will set (and get) you straight.