When used correctly, a flat iron is the ideal tool for temporarily making your hair perfectly straight. Flat irons come with a variety of different coatings, depending on the plating—from chrome to gold (well, metal with a gold color) to ceramic. Originally, all hairstylists used gold-plated irons because it was believed they delivered concentrated heat to the hair evenly and smoothly. Over the past few years, gold-plated flat irons have been replaced in most professional hairstylists' tool drawers with ceramic-plated versions.
Despite the claims that ceramic flat irons can seal moisture in the hair or repair hair, neither is true in the least, in fact heat generated by any styling tool is potentially damaging. What truly makes ceramic the preferred material is that the surface is incredibly smooth. There is no pulling or tugging at the hair, and that prevents breakage and greatly reduces damage. Ceramic flat irons also allow the surface area of the iron to get uniformly hot, and even, high heat makes it possible to make hair remarkably stick-straight. On a personal note, I find ceramic flat irons just amazing. They allow me control over my hair that would take twice as long if I only used a round brush and blow dryer. To get the best straight-looking style, with the most volume, I blow my hair dry first with a round brush and then touch up with the flat iron. It works beautifully every time.
Some flat irons have teeth as a way to help you remove knots or tangles as you smooth the flat iron over the hair. That is an option, but the trick is to be sure the teeth are aiming downward so they comb through the hair ahead of the ceramic-plate part of the flat iron.
Before you touch any flat iron to your hair, it is critical that your hair is completely dry. If hair is wet, the heat from the flat iron will literally steam the water inside the hair shaft, bringing it to a boil, and that can rupture the hair in those areas. It is also imperative to keep the iron moving over the hair at all times. Never allow the iron to rest on any one part or you will fry the area.