I like talking about my heat damage story so that ladies with natural hair (and specifically Type 4 hair) can learn from my mistakes. Now, my horrible experience doesn’t mean that I stopped using heat styling appliances on my hair. Finding a way to straighten natural hair without causing any heat damage has to be the biggest relief ever. A few months after having to chop off my hair again due to heat damage, a new hairstylist introduced me to what she swore was the best steam flat iron for 4c hair.
The thing is, every time after I wash my mane, there is major hair shrinkage.
When I don’t feel like wearing a protective style, I like to straighten my hair like twice a year. This also helps with length checks.
I was so used to using a hair dryer by myself since the heat damage incident.
I remember how skeptical I was when the stylist first mentioned steam straighteners.
After giving it a try, I recommended it to all 4c naturals looking to straighten their hair occasionally.
Here are my top three picks for the best steam flat iron for 4c hair:
- Magicfly Steam Flat Iron Hair Straightener
- Furiden Steam Flat Iron Hair Straightener
- Red Cherry Argan Infused Premium Steam Flat Iron
Best steam flat iron for 4c hair – comparison table
|Magicfly Steam Flat Iron Hair Straightener||. Even heat distribution
. Has lockable plates
. Leaves hair looking glossy
|Furiden Steam Flat Iron Hair Straightener||. Easy to use
. Leaves hair moisturized
. Has multiple heat adjustment options
|Red Cherry Argan Infused Premium Steam Flat Iron||. Prevents breakage
. Eliminates frizz
. Can be used on color-treated hair
|Conair Infiniti Pro Ionic Steam Flat Iron||. Takes only 30 seconds to heat up
. Infuses moisture into the hair
. Easy to clean
|Dorisilk Ceramic Tourmaline Vapor Steam Flat Iron||. It has six temperature settings
. Has a 2-in-1 design to straighten and curl hair
. Can be used on all hair types
|Swan Star Steam Flat Iron Hair Straightener||. Heats up in 30 seconds
. It has six temperature settings
. Eliminates frizz
|Dorisilk Professional Infrared Steam Flat Iron||. Has two steam settings
. Dual voltage capability
. Softens hair by sealing in moisture
Best steam flat iron for 4c hair
I have reviewed seven steam straighteners that I’d highly recommend for ladies (or gents) with type 4c hair.
They all work by locking in moisture, all in a bid to avoid heat damage, and leaving your hair looking soft, smooth and silky.
Magicfly Steam Flat Iron Hair Straightener
This flat iron has tourmaline and ceramic plates that heat up fast in a span of one minute.
You can adjust the temperature to suit your type of hair as it has five different settings.
The fact that it heats up fast means you can work on your hair for a short period without exposing it to any kind of damage.
It makes use of steam hydration technology that locks in the moisture on your hair and reduces the chances of drying.
The hair remains moisturized, smooth, soft, and silky.
It has a removable water tank that you refill to keep emitting the much-needed steam every time you work on your hair.
The flat blades glide down your hair removing all traces of clumps and frizz from it.
The water contains negative ions that are released on your hair, closing up the cuticles and reducing the chances of frizz.
The machine comes with dual voltage, meaning you can plug it anywhere in the world.
It has the ability to shut off automatically if it remains unused after 60 minutes. This is a very important safety feature.
The plates are lockable, making the iron easy to store as they remain closed in the storage box.
- It has five different temperature settings
- Easy to store
- It has lockable plates
- Has dual voltage (can be plugged in anywhere in the world)
- Shuts off automatically if unused for 60 minutes
- Makes use of steam hydration technology
- Eliminates frizz
- Doesn’t always work well on thin and fine hair
Furiden Steam Flat Iron Hair Straightener
This flat iron has a dual purpose. You can use it to straighten your hair and also curl it.
This means you don’t have to buy a curling iron for your hair.
This steam flat iron doesn’t leave your hair dry after straightening.
It makes use of hydration technology where it seals in moisture on every strand of your hair.
This works to counter the drying effect experienced by most of the regular flat irons.
The steam straightener doesn’t cause damage to the hair because it protects it from the heat by using steam.
The moisture is retained on the hair and the natural oils are not lost.
This leaves your hair soft, smooth, silky, and moisturized.
You are able to adjust the heat because it has multiple options for this. You can easily figure out what temperature works best for your type of hair.
There are temperature settings for fine, thick, medium, or coarse hair. It only takes it 15 seconds to heat up.
Hair that has been styled using this steam flat iron can last for more than one day, only needing a little touch-up.
The steam produced by it is not visible as it’s only meant to moisturize the hair and not make it wet.
This straightener reduces frizz while adding more shine to your hair.
It has a detachable tank that you refill with water.
It can automatically shut off if not used for some time, which is an essential safety feature.
- Easy to use
- Makes use of hydration technology
- Leaves hair moisturized
- Has multiple heat adjustment options
- Suitable for all hair types
- Automatic turn-off feature
- Reduces frizz
- Heats up fast
- If you have dense hair, you might need to refill the water chamber multiple times
Red Cherry Argan Infused Premium Steam Flat Iron
This flat iron has two steam settings. It straightens hair in a single pass, leaving you with frizz-free and smooth tresses.
Each of its ceramic plates is infused with tourmaline, which naturally produces negative ions.
This ionic technology seals in moisture and reduces heat damage.
Using this flat iron leaves your hair smooth, shiny, and most importantly, healthy.
It comes with argan oil that helps in nourishing your hair.
The straightener has adjustable temperature settings to ensure heat is evenly distributed throughout the plates.
You can use it up to a maximum temperature of 450°F.
No matter the type of hair you have – thick, wavy, or curly – the flat iron requires little effort to straighten it.
You can use it even if you have thin or colored hair that isn’t too strong, without worrying about breakage.
The steam flat iron comes with a 360-degree swivel cord that is unlikely to tangle, and also makes it easy to straighten your hair without having to keep adjusting the cord.
- Prevents breakage
- Easy to use
- Leaves the hair smooth and shiny
- Can be used on all types of hair including colored hair
- Moisturizes and nourishes hair
- Eliminates frizz
- You can only use the argan oil it comes with
Conair Infiniti Pro Ionic Steam Flat Iron
The Conair Infiniti steam flat iron works by infusing moisture on every strand of your hair.
It is best used on clean hair after shampooing for a better look.
The steam flat iron is very effective that your style can hold for about 60 hours after styling.
This means you don’t have to change up styles often and all your hair requires is a little touch up the following day.
The steamed hair holds well even in humid conditions.
This straightener has a ceramic coating that helps your hair remain frizz-free and doesn’t cause heat damage to it.
It has three retractable combs that you can use first to gently detangle your hair before applying steam on it.
Additionally, it has five temperature settings that are in LED form for better heat adjustment depending on the type of hair you have.
It heats up fast, needing only 30 seconds. It contains an ion generator making use of ionic technology to reduce frizz and static on your hair.
This leaves the hair shiny and soft which is what we all aim for.
The steam iron comes with a 9-foot swivel cord that can rotate at a 360-degree angle making the straightening process easy and with no cord tangling.
- Takes only 30 seconds to heat up
- Has five temperature LED settings
- Makes use of ionic technology
- Moisture infusion on the hair
- Reduces frizz
- Easy to clean
- You have to keep refilling the water reservoir for best results
Dorisilk Professional Salon Ceramic Tourmaline Vapor Steam Flat Iron
This steam flat iron is great when it comes to adjusting the temperature.
It has six different temperature settings that help immensely when dealing with all various hair textures.
Moreover, this heat styling appliance has five conditioning steam vents.
The vapor emitted moisturizes every strand of hair, leaving it shiny and thoroughly hydrated.
Not only is this tool a hair straightener, it’s also great at curling hair.
This is thanks to the 3D floating plates that make it possible to enjoy this 2-in-1 feature.
The 2-in-1 design helps you save time since you can straighten then curl your hair in one session.
The ceramic coating plate heats up in 60 seconds and leaves your hair looking glossy and soft after steaming.
This steam infusion helps the hair to be healthier and reduces the chances of heat damage and breakage.
You can use this flat iron as a regular straightener by turning off the steam function.
It also has a 360-degree swivel cord that helps you to straighten and curl your hair without having to keep adjusting the cord.
- It has six temperature settings
- Moisturizes hair leaving it quite healthy
- Leaves hair smooth, soft and shiny
- Heats up fast
- Has a 2-in-1 design to straighten and curl hair
- Can be used on all hair types
- You have the choice to turn off the steam function
- Shuts off automatically if unused for 60 minutes
- The water compartment is small
Swan Star Steam Flat Iron Hair Straightener
This steam straightener has six temperature settings that make it suitable for use on all hair types.
It uses infrared heating technology that protects your tresses from getting extremely dry.
When the ceramic-coated plates are heated, mineral ions are directly penetrated into the hair strands.
This leaves your hair healthier, less susceptible to breakage, and looking glossy.
The plates take only 30 seconds to heat up.
This hot tool is also great at eliminating frizz, especially in humid weather conditions.
It comes with a removable water tank that you can fill to your desired level.
Its 360-degree swivel cord makes it unlikely to tangle and allows you to move around freely when straightening your hair.
It also has double-layer insulation that helps prevent burns.
- Infuses moisture in the hair
- Leaves hair looking smooth, shiny and silky
- It has six temperature settings
- Can be used on all types of hair
- Eliminates frizz
- Heats up in 30 seconds
Dorisilk Professional Infrared Steam Flat Iron
Get to benefit from infrared heat that is not only efficient but safe to use.
You can use it without worrying about toxins or allergic reactions.
Hair cuticles are repaired by the water molecules and negative ions released by the flat iron.
It comes with two steam emission settings – medium and high.
Straighten your hair quickly – running the appliance through only once because of the wide tourmaline ceramic plates. You end up with soft, smooth, and shiny hair.
You can use it anywhere in the world thanks to the dual voltage capabilities of AC100 to 240V.
The appliance’s plates are lockable, making it easy to store and to take it with you when traveling.
The straightener shuts off automatically if not used for 60 minutes.
Its 360-degree anti-winding cable makes it easy to style your hair without having to keep adjusting the cord.
- Softens hair by sealing in moisture
- You can adjust the temperature
- Has two steam settings
- Automatic shut-off if not used after 60 minutes
- Dual voltage capability
- It straightens and smoothens hair
- You can turn off the steam function to use it as an infrared flat iron
- If you have very coarse hair, you might have to run the straightener through the entire length of the hair several times.
Do steam straighteners work on black hair?
This was the first question I asked the stylist when she suggested that I should try out steam straighteners.
I have thick, coarse, and dense hair which can be a challenge to maintain at times.
I didn’t want to introduce a heat styling appliance to my regimen that wouldn’t work, or even worse, damage my hair.
Christina (the stylist) promised me that a steam flat iron that won’t damage my hair, but would, in fact, help to hydrate it and keep it detangled. (You can understand my paranoia and skepticism; I wasn’t about to go through another heat damage ordeal)
To cut the long story short, I went ahead and had her use the steam straightener on my hair, and the rest is history.
I was truly in love with the results and delighted that Christina wasn’t deterred despite my skepticism.
Steam irons do work for natural black hair and there are certain benefits we can get from choosing to use them.
Benefits of using steam straighteners
If you have tried other flat irons before but weren’t happy with the results, you should try steam straighteners.
The following are some of the benefits of using steam flat irons.
Steam flat irons use water to achieve that silky and soft look we all crave for yet still remaining natural hair.
The straightener works by sealing a large percentage of the moisture on the strands of hair, thus, working much better compared to regular flat irons.
Your hair remains moisturized and not bone dry. All the natural oils are retained, meaning this equipment works to keep hair moisturized as it’s straightened.
With moisture infusion technology, you get straightened hair that lasts a little longer.
You don’t have to do the whole process again the following morning. All that the hair requires is a little touch-up during the second-day styling.
Tames Coarse Hair
This is by far the best reason for investing in a steam flat iron, for me that is.
When you have thick and coarse 4c hair, taming it after wash day is a whole other process.
When I don’t feel like stretching my hair using non-heat methods such as twisting, braiding, or African threading, I stretch it using a good blow dryer for natural hair or a steam flat iron.
Otherwise, I would have to deal with tangled or knotted hair.
A good steam iron will help you straighten your hair with minimal heat damage leaving it moisturized, straight, and tamed in the process.
With natural hair, it can be a challenge to maintain a specific style. You have to keep redoing it every now and then, which is quite laborious.
I came to discover that the few times when I use a steam straightener on my hair and style it, the style holds longer than before.
Not only is my hair in a better condition with more moisture in, it but also my style of choice lasts a whole day.
I don’t have to keep worrying about it shrinking back or having to redo the style in the course of the day.
The steam works wonders to keep my hair straight all day and hold my hairstyles for longer.
One of the biggest issues you learn very early on with natural hair is just how annoying frizz can be.
You take good care of your hair but you still can’t seem to get rid of frizz.
Frizz makes hair unmanageable and can turn your style to something undesirable by the end of the day.
This is why I wasn’t sure about trying out another hot tool when Christina suggested I try a steam iron.
But I was pleasantly surprised when the steam straightener reduced frizz on my coarse and thick hair during summer.
Apart from anti-humidity hair products that can help you deal with frizzy hair, using a steam straightener might just be your new-found weapon.
The vapor infusion technology used by this equipment makes my hair more resistant to humidity for its not as dry as it would get before.
Improved Shine and Softness
Apart from my hair being more manageable, which is by far the biggest benefit I have derived from the steam iron, I have shiny hair as well.
We all dislike having dull and lifeless hair.
With steam infusion technology, the retention of moisture and natural oils means the hair remains shiny throughout the day.
Finding a way to make my coarse and dense hair look glossy and soft was a welcome relief.
Get ready faster
It used to take me twice as long before to stretch my hair using other methods.
With my trusted steam straightener, I not only have an easier time working on my hair, but the time duration is also reduced.
This means I can be on time for any plans that I have with my hair nicely styled.
Types of steam flat irons
There are two types of steam flat irons that you’ll come across.
Ceramic Steam Flat Irons
Ceramic flat irons are better suited for less coarse hair.
This is the type of hair that is thin and fine.
This type of flat iron heats up very fast and remains hot throughout the straightening process.
The plates on this type of steam straighteners allow for even heat distribution.
Titanium Steam Flat Irons
This is the best steam flat iron for my thick, coarse and dense hair.
They have bigger plates and heat up faster than ceramic ones.
They retain very high temperature and the titanium plates have an ionic charge that helps smoothen my hair faster.
Both these types of steam straighteners are ideal for natural hair; it all boils down to the type of hair you have.
The titanium one is best for thick, coarse hair that needs more heat to straighten it.
On the other hand, the ceramic steam flat irons are best for thin and fine hair that requires less heat to straighten it.
How does a steam flat iron work?
For the best results, it’s always important to use the steam straightener on clean hair.
1. Wash and condition your hair as you normally do using your preferred products.
2. Towel-dry the hair to remove most of the water but not leave the hair bone dry in the process
3. Apply or spray a heat protectant on your clean hair before you can use a steam flat iron to straighten your hair
4. After applying this product, wait for your hair to dry or speed up the process by using a blow dryer. This is because it’s best to use the flat iron on dry hair.
5. Take your steam flat iron and fill the water tank with clean water as you get ready to use it on your dry hair.
6. Divide your hair into sections that you can hold separate with hair clips for easier management.
7. Take your steam flat iron and set it on the right temperature for your type of hair.
Remember all of the steam straighteners reviewed here have different temperature settings that suit all types of hair.
You have to know which works best for you. The best straightener is the one that heats up fast so that you don’t have to wait long to use it.
8. Hold your hair when ready to use it and start straightening it from the root to the tip. Repeat this process until all your hair is straightened.
9. Style the hair as per your desire and apply or spray a shine product at the end to help the style look even better.
10. Turn off the flat iron after you’re done and safely store it away.
Factors to consider when buying a steam flat iron
There are certain features you have to look out for before purchasing a steam flat iron for straightening your hair.
Size of the Plate
With natural hair, you have to consider the size of the plate on a steam straightener.
This is because there are different sizes that are better suited for certain types of hair.
For my thick coarse hair, I found out that 2-inch heating plates work best to help me manage my mane.
You have to know the type of hair you have before buying a steam flat iron.
As discussed above, there are two types of materials used to make steam flat irons: ceramic and titanium.
The two materials differ in the type of hair they are used for.
The ceramic steam flat iron works best with fine and thin hair that requires less amount of heat to straighten.
For those with thick and coarse hair like mine, the titanium straightener is the best.
It achieves higher temperatures that work best to manage this type of hair.
The best steam straighteners have safety features that protect you from any accidents that may occur.
You need one that shuts off after a period of not being used. The most common amount of time to lapse is 60 minutes without use.
Another safety feature is lockable plates that make it easy to store the steam flat iron.
The best steam straightener is the one with a swivel cord that rotates at a 360-degree angle.
This makes it easy to work on all your hair without having to keep adjusting the cord.
This type of cord is also less likely to tangle up (and wasting time) as you straighten your hair.
If you have hair that is thick and coarse, I’m sure the benefits of ionic technology are not lost on you.
Choose a steam flat iron that employs this technology to better steam and preserve your hairstyle for a longer hold.
Steam flat irons are growing increasingly popular among natural hair enthusiasts like me because they work with our type of hair.
We want all the benefits of straightened hair but without all the downsides like dry, damaged hair.
They are the best for natural hair because they add moisture to the hair and help it retain its natural oils.
These steam straighteners leave your hair soft and shiny with reduced frizz, regardless of the amount of humidity.
If you’ve been looking for the best steam flat iron for 4c hair, this review will be a good starting point.