What Temperature Should Your Flat Iron Be Set To?

We all know that applying heat to your hair is a big no-no for your hair health. According to Dyson, applying heat to your hair can damage your hair's keratin. Damaging your hair's keratin strands produces weaker hair that's more inclined to break. While heat damage is well understood, it can be challenging to avoid it sometimes. With so many hairstyles to play with, sometimes we just need a little extra help getting straight hair.

If you plan to use your flat iron, there are several things to keep in mind to minimize the damage to your hair. One of them includes using the proper heat-protecting products on your hair to help add a layer of protection, per Skinkraft. Another way you can help limit any damage is by playing around with your flat iron's settings. Nowadays, many flat irons come with various settings and temperatures that you can adjust to your desired amount. Depending on your hair type, you'll want to keep these temperatures in mind so that you don't overheat your hair.

Like your skin, it's not a one-size fits all type of situation. Each hair type has its tolerance and reaction to heat. Keeping this in mind will help keep your hair healthy, even when you use a flat iron.

What temperature to use for your hair type

When it comes to picking the right temperature on your flat iron, the answer will depend on the density and type of hair you have.

According to Mane Addicts, those with fine hair need to take extra precautions when it comes to adding heat. The ideal range for fine hair is between 250 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, while thick hair requires a range of around 400 degrees. When it comes to hair type, straight hair should stick to an average of 300 degrees. Normal hair can handle a slightly higher range of around 300 to 350 degrees, and wavy hair can use between 350 and 375 degrees of heat. Curly hair can generally handle between 325 and 410 degrees. 

While all of these temperatures will certainly fluctuate depending on other factors, such as whether or not the hair has been chemically treated, these general ranges should be followed. Eufora style director Mirza Batanovic tells Makeup.com, "If you overheat the hair it can fall limp, and thus the style won't last." Batanovic explains how this could be one of the most visual signs that you are indeed using the wrong temperature for your hair.

What to keep in mind before using a flat iron

Typically, when finding your ideal temperature for your flat iron, all you need to know is your hair type. However, there are other factors you should consider before you apply that heat.

CHI Hair recommends using a range of 330 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit on chemically treated hair. Since chemically treated hair is more damaged than natural hair, you want to be extra careful with how much heat you apply. Likewise, synthetic hair needs to be treated carefully. CHI recommends using no more than 270 degrees on synthetic hair since it is extremely fragile. When using heat on synthetic hair, it is best to start at the lowest amount possible.

L'Oreal suggests also taking into consideration the length of your hair when picking out your flat iron. If you have shorter hair, you can use a smaller flat iron with smaller paddles. Those with longer hair can use a bigger flat iron. Even the size of the flat iron can end up being the difference in how much heat the flat iron ends up applying to your hair.

While there are always risks when using a hot tool on your hair, taking precautions allows you to still use your tools without the concern of damaging your hair.