What’s the Best Type of Hot Tool for Your Hair? Pros Explain Ceramic vs. Titanium

Written by Emilie Branch

We’re here to answer an age-old hair debate: What’s the difference between ceramic vs. titanium hair tools, and which should you opt for? Whether you're shopping for a hair straightener or a curling iron, it's a question you want to know the answer to! Whether you're shopping for a hair straightener or a curling iron, it's a question you want to know the answer to! Though both sound appealing, there are pros and cons to each. The main difference is that titanium hot tools heat up faster, but ceramic hair tools are safer for your hair and more likely to keep it healthy. To find out the full story, we got into it with Sarah Potempa, celebrity hairstylist and founder and CEO of Beachwaver Co., and Monaè Everett, celebrity hairstylist and founder of Texture Style Awards.

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About the Experts:

Sarah Potempa is a celebrity hairstylist and founder and CEO of the 50-time award-winning Beachwaver Co., a beauty tools and hair care company dedicated to innovation, accessibility, and sustainability.

Monaè Everett is a celebrity hairstylist and founder of Texture Style Awards, the first and only competition created to celebrate the beauty of all hair textures and the stylists who create them. TSA is now open for Texture styling classes and entries.

What Is a Ceramic Hot Tool?

Ceramic hot tools are generally preferred by the pros because they heat up uniformly, which helps protect locks from hair damage. “A ceramic hot tool is a hairstyling tool that uses ceramic plates or barrels to help distribute the heat to the hair. This can be anything from flat iron plates to curling iron barrels to crimper plates and more,” explains Potempa. “Ceramic is a smooth material that helps to evenly distribute heat to give curls or straightened hair a beautiful smooth and shiny finish,” she continues. “Ceramic is great for frizzy hair, fine hair, fragile hair, or damaged hair. If you often have your hair colored or use other chemicals, ceramic will probably be your friend,” notes Everett.

This is a popular option for many different hot tools, including curling wands, flat irons, and even hair wavers. “When used for plates on a flat iron, ceramic helps to smooth and add shine to the hair,” says Potempa. If you’re looking for a ceramic flat iron, “The Beachwaver Ceramic Coast Pro Flat Iron has floating ceramic plates to evenly distribute the heat to the hair. The floating aspect of the plates allows for easier manipulation of the hair to help add volume to the root or easy straightener curls. As a curling iron, the ceramic barrel helps to create smooth, shiny, consistent curls. The Beachwaver Rotating Curling Iron has a ceramic barrel in various sizes perfect for creating so many different looks. The ceramic curling iron allows you to curl your hair even if it has natural texture and will help to form beautiful curls,” she explains, recommending some of her go-to ceramic hot tools.

What Is a Titanium Hot Tool?

“A titanium hot tool uses a titanium barrel or plates to help distribute heat to the hair. You can find curlers, flat irons, and more suitable for your hair styling needs,” shares Potempa. “Titanium is great for hot tools because it heats up quickly and can withstand higher temperatures than some other materials,” she continues. The Beachwaver Co. has a titanium flat iron, the Coast Pro Flat Iron, which Potempa says is coming soon, “with floating titanium plates to help rotate the hair to add volume, flips, or straighten curls. This is a great option for coarse and thick hair types because titanium heats up quickly and helps to secure and set the hairstyle. Titanium curlers can also help lock in curls for hair that tends to fall flat and lose its wave throughout the day.”

“Titanium can be misleading because it literally weighs less and heats up faster. But faster is not always better in regard to the health of your hair,” Everett says. However, if you have stubborn hair, it might be your best option.” If you have thick or coarse hair strands that take a bit more persuasion to curl, titanium is going to be your go-to,” she continues.

Ceramic vs. Titanium

The main differences between titanium and ceramic are how they heat the hair—rapid fire fast vs. a more even, less intense application. Your hair type depends on which is best.

Titanium Turns Up the Heat

“Titanium generally heats up faster than ceramic hot tools,” says Potempa. If time is an issue or you’re dealing with a ton of hair, you’re team titanium.

On the Go

“Titanium is a lighter material than ceramic,” she continues. This might be a better option when traveling, for all my jet-setters who want to pack light and look great on the go, of course.

Gentle for All

“Ceramic is gentle on the hair and is suitable for all hair types,” notes Potempa. If your hair is fine, don’t risk it with titanium. Ceramic won’t damage the same way and is safer.

Best for Natural Hair

“Titanium is better for coarse, thick hair and may be a little too intense for fine or brittle hair,” Potempa confirms.

Even Distribution

“Ceramic heats very evenly which allows for quicker, less damaging styling,” adds Potempa. Even distribution also aids with shine as it helps lock in hydration—another must for hair health.

Best of Both

Sometimes the best option is to have each for different occasions or needs. “When working with my celebrity clients, I carry multiple irons. Some are ceramic and some are titanium. My go-to ceramic curling iron is the Bio Ionic Long Barrel Curling Iron.” says Everett.

Potempa shares a similar approach. “I like using both titanium and ceramic irons in different instances. I find that ceramic tools make the hair look amazing and work on most hair types and textures. Titanium can be too harsh on fine, brittle, or damaged hair but for coarse and thick hair it does an amazing job styling,” she adds. If you end up getting both ceramic and titanium hot tools, be sure to check out our storage ideas for organizing hair tools!

CHECK OUT our picks for the best non-damaging hot tools for natural hair.