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HomeBeautyWho Invented the Flat Iron?

Who Invented the Flat Iron?

Flat irons, also known as hair straighteners, are basically two hot metal or ceramic plates that come together to iron the hair flat so that wavy or curly hair appears straight and hangs naturally. This process of straightening the hair is not permanent and washes away the minute the hair strands become wet. Flat irons are similar to curling irons as they make the hair conform to the position that the owner wishes their hair to be styled in. The irons remove hydrogen from the hair forcing it to keep the shape it has been styled in until such time as water is added and the hydrogen is replaced in the hair. They became popular with women back in the early 1960’s and have been in use every since.

The first iron devices were created in 1872 by Erica Feldman who took some heated iron rods and applied them to the head to shape the hair into a style she wanted, and although it was not her that created the actual flat iron for straightening the hair it is important to note her contribution as she is the person who first used hot iron to shape the hair. The actual inventor of the flat iron was Lady Jennifer Bell Schofield who actually created the first straightening iron in 1912. Her device consisted of two metal plates that rested between a hinge assembly, what is similar to what we use today, although the products used in those days were much more durable than today’s models, but much less safe.

Today, many modern technologies have been applied to the product which include the application of electricity to heat the plates, temperature controls have been put in place to protect the device from catching fire or catching anything else on fire, and many other improvements have taken place, which made the flat iron much safer for both the salon stylist and those using them at home. Commercial irons did not come on the marketplace for the average user until the 1990s and were only available in the hair salons up to the point, so anyone wishing their hair straightened paid a handsome price to have it done. Today, flat irons are for sale in most department stores, grocery stores, drugstores, and hair supply stores.

Throughout the history of the flat iron several patents have been taken out that claim to have the best flat iron and the most economical one, but the most notable patent was taken out by a man named Issac Shero in 1809, in which he invented the flat iron that most resembles the one we currently use today. Although there have been many patents taken out, they have not really changed much since early 1809, and look and perform basically the same as they have since that time.

Over history they have been found to damage the hair if the hair is not treated correctly, so if you use a flat iron more than twice a week you should ensure that you deep condition your hair every day and have a hot wax treatment done at least once each week, which will prevent your hair from drying out and becoming brittle after continual use of a iron. This will also decrease the number of split ends that appear in your hair and will keep your hair looking healthier.

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