Plate Material

“We are living in a material world, and I am a material girl”

Just like the perfect recipe, getting the material choice of your plates right for your needs makes a difference. But just like recipes have cream, soured cream, fromage frais and natural yogurt going on, straightening iron plates are all about ceramic, tourmaline, titanium and more, so just which should you go for?



GHD Gold Classic Styler - Ceramic Plates are great at retaining consistent heat
GHD Gold Classic Styler – Ceramic Plates are great at retaining consistent heat

Ceramic plates are not always just plain-old ceramic, as ceramic-coated is also an option. Buying the right one for your hair is more important than you may imagine.

So think craving a pineapple ice-lolly made with real fruit, licking the luscious exterior and dribbling at its gorgeous-ness, only to find there is just plain old ice underneath – yes, I mean just frozen water.

Ceramic-coated straightening plates certainly look the part but are prone to uneven heat distribution and flaking, so although they are a good value option for some, they are not for everyone.

When it comes to ceramic through and through, it is a material that conducts and retains heat brilliantly. They may not be the fastest at getting there, but once they are heated that heat is there to stay.

They are also smooth as baby’s bottom (well, almost) and are a great choice for super-smooth and shiny locks. Hair that is prone to frizz will love ceramic, and there’s less tangle too. Hoorah!

Sounds like a Shakespeare character, but Titanium is bang up to date

Let’s be honest, the word titanium sounds amazing. It has a space-age kind of vibe going on, but do the results match?

Titanium is quick! It heats up like lightning and this is great when minutes matter. Think an extra snooze press on a cold morning and you get my point.

It is also a lighter weight metal so is great for styling as you can move those straighteners around with relative ease. And for those with dexterity issues it’s a bonus too.

Unlike other plates, titanium ones love those tricky dry ends as there is less heat transfer so if you are growing out styles or simply just growing your hair, it keeps things tame.

It is also a material that is set to last so if a large outlay is putting you off, it is worth remembering that titanium plates are designed to last…and last…and last…


If you like bling, and don’t mind the cost, then tourmaline is actually made from a gemstone/mineral. Without me even explaining, it already sounds great, but tourmaline can help protect the hair from damage whilst at the same time enhancing condition. Wowzers!

Durable, reliable, smooth, a little bit snazzy, go on….treat yourself…your hair’s so worth it.

Best of the rest

Of course there are also other materials that plates can be made of. Teflon (as in saucepan), glass, metals, and even silicone and rubber covers are all other options but may need a little more research than the major players. Plates that are coated need consideration as they naturally flake through regular usage, so always choose very wisely indeed, a bit like a wise old owl (although owls don’t straighten or style their feathers, although that 360 degree neck turn would make it SO easy).

Ion out hair imperfections

Currently ions are the in-thing – you will see a lot about them and it all sounds very scientific, but a little confusing. The idea is all about the attraction between negative and positive and them counteracting each other in a positive way.  Sounds very err Zen, huh?  So if you suffer from frizzy hair as I do, before you sit cross legged and chant “ohhmmm” to cure it, read further.

No More Frizzy HairYour frizzy hair has static, which means there are positively charged ions buzzing through your hair which makes it big, zappy and poufy.  When you use a straightener with these negative ions as you stream your hair through the tongs they fill your locks with negative ions which cancel out the positive ions and remove the frizz.

So what is the material for me?

With any purchase there’s always a cost consideration, however if you’re new to straightening all the information you need is right here to select the best option for you.  Technology gallops along rapidly and today’s tourmaline is tomorrow’s ceramic, all in all ceramic is a great place to start they have been a solid long-lasting choice for over 20 years so I reckon that speaks for itself.  I would never get a flat iron which is only ceramic coated again, whilst they are a cheaper option they simply don’t have the staying power and once the coating wears they can actually do a fair bit of harm to your hair.  Tourmaline with all those fancy ions if your hair frizzes easily is also a good option.  In summary, my advice is to get the best you can afford but only if you feel it is right for your hair.