Flat Irons - The Truth About Tourmaline


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Hair Straighteners, Styling Irons

No matter what you call it, a professional Tourmaline flat iron has become one of the best-selling heat styling appliances on the beauty market today, and a must-have for salons, stylists, and hair divas everywhere. Originally manufactured for licensed hair professionals, and distributed only to exclusive beauty salons and boutiques, a flat iron was once considered a professional tool coveted by the everyday consumer. Over time this increased consumer interest has led to widespread mass-market distribution and a very competitive marketplace, with an emphasis on innovation and breakthrough technology.

Flat Irons Get Hyped

Almost overnight top professional flat iron brands such as CHI, T3, BaByliss, Tourmaline Tools, Sedu, and Solia cropped up promising to deliver silky smooth, celebrity hairstyles in seconds, because of one semi-precious gemstone, Tourmaline. Supposedly well known in the beauty industry for its ability to generate negative ions, and with so much buzz surrounding Tourmaline technology, I decided to track down an expert to give me the real scoop on this gentle gemstone.

A Flat Iron Expert

“Advanced technology has enabled today’s woman to create every imaginable look from sexy smooth to silky curls with a flat iron, ” explains Richard BenBassett, Vice President of American Beauty Supply. “The enormous popularity of flat irons now leaves professional hairdressers with an ever growing selection of irons from which to choose. The various choices however, seem to bring an increasingly more expensive selection of flat irons. ” Yes, I agree. But why are they so expensive, and more importantly, is it worth spending upwards of $100 on a flat iron?

Silky Smooth, Somewhat Expensive

BenBassett agrees, “Yes, Tourmaline flat irons are definitely set at higher price points, but let’s talk about the choices on the market. ” We go on to discuss the prices that range from the inexpensive gold-tone aluminum plate models, that sell for under $20 to the more expensive Tourmaline models that will set you back at least a $100, and usually more. Anyone considering purchasing a flat iron probably assumes this vast price differential results in a significant difference in both quality and performance of these flat irons. But should they?

Tourmaline Tech Talk

As our discussion goes on I learn that Tourmaline, a mineral prized as a beautiful, semi-precious gemstone, has become the focus of studies at universities and research centers worldwide. “The reason for the interest is that Tourmaline is a natural source of negative ions and the only mineral to show permanent electricity, ” explains BenBassett. Intrigued, and a little bewildered, I allow him to go on; “it is also known to have many beneficial properties such as relieving stress, and improving the body’s immune system functions. ” Great I wonder, but what does this have to do with the cost of my flat iron, and how is any of this helping me straighten my hair?

Tourmaline Flat Irons

“You see, when millions of tiny particles of Tourmaline are added to the plate surface of a flat iron the benefits to the hair are astounding. Tourmaline generates negative ions that enhance the texture of the hair and also produces far-infrared heat that effectively dries the hair from the inside out. This makes the excessive heat generated by the iron far less damaging to the hair, ” says BenBassett. OK, a positive result is that my hair is exposed to less damage with Tourmaline. I can relate.

Aluminum Plates Can Be Damaging

During our discussion I also learn that many flat irons have aluminum plates, but they are technologically less advanced, produce less effective results, and are therefore less expensive. Tourmaline plates are preferred by professionals because the surface is much smoother and eliminates tugging and pulling on hair strands, resulting in a highly polished look in less time. Obviously if a professional stylist won’t use a flat iron with aluminum plates on my hair because they consider it damaging, then neither will I. Point well taken.

Tourmaline Is Quicker

“Another drawback of flat irons with aluminum plates is that a hairdresser must often go over one section several times to smooth the hair strands, increasing the styling time for each client. Irons with Tourmaline plates allow you to get a smooth look much faster, allowing you to move on to your next appointment and generate more revenue in less time, ” says Richard. Better results in less time? A professional stylists dream, and mine, all within reach thanks to Tourmaline.

The Pros Know

“Professional hairdressers know the foundation of every hairstyle is a great haircut, ” says BenBassett, “but after the cut, it’s the tool a client uses at home that prolongs the fresh-from-the-salon look. ” He recommends a Tourmaline flat iron to everyone who wants to maintain his or her salon style at home. “Most clients trust their stylist, and will try to reproduce a salon look at home if they have the right tools. ” Of course any good stylist knows that a happy client will return, and more importantly, will be gladly recommended to others.

Less heat exposure, less styling time, better results, and the pick of the professionals? The choice is clear, a flat iron with Tourmaline plates might cost a little extra, but the minutes saved in styling time, the reduction of heat exposure, and smooth results more than make up for it.

Michelle J. Mooney, Beauty Editor @ Folica.com Sources: sedubeauty.com


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