The history of flat iron

Who Invented The Hair Straightener? The History Of Flat Iron

Flat irons have been a huge part of our lives since the very beginning. We have used this gadget on multiple occasions and events. We have used flat irons for different reasons.

We used it for straightening our hair, curling our hair, and to get other various hairstyles. The hair straightener has become such an important part of our day to day life that some of us need to use it everyday.

But, did it ever occur to us how the evolution of flat irons happened? It is a question that demands answers. Flat irons were not always this compact and easy to use.

They certainly were not portable. If you are curious about how the flat iron transitioned from its first version to the latest, you are reading the right article.

In this article we will read about the very first flat iron, and how we now have a device that we use to style our hair and look amazing everyday.

Flat Irons During Ancient Times

Flat irons during ancient times

In ancient times, people had very little knowledge about hair straightening, hair care, hair fashion, etc. Only the Princesses and the Ladies had enough time to maintain their hair.

They had handmaidens who worked for them all the time. They used to look after their baths, study, reading, art, hair, and any other errands.

During ancient times, people used to heat up flat iron plates with the help of fire. Then they used to run those plates over their hair to make the hair look flat and shiny.

Even though these worked, they were a menace for the one straightening their hair, and the one helping them out. It caused burns on faces and hands. It was not an evolved idea, but it worked during that time.

Gradually people realized how harmful this can be for the hair, and how it is burning their hands and faces. Soon they wanted something that was better than running two plates on fire and then using them to straighten your hair.

Evolution Of Flat Irons

Evolution of flat irons

To help pull and straighten stray hairs out, special hair combs or tongs were invented in the 1820s. The concept was to use two heated rods to straighten the hair.

Two long rod handles were welded and attached to the two flat metal plates. The user was able to open and close the two conjoined plates against each other using a hinge mechanism.

To increase the temperature of the metal plates, the device was put in hot coals or a fire, but the design helped to reduce the possibility of unintentional burns.

The evolution resulted in better hair straightening, and it was safer then the earliest hair straightening ways.

Timeline Of Flat Irons

Flat irons have evolved with time. Beginning with just two metal plates to the assortments of flat irons today. All of this happened in a process and each of the improvements have their own time. Below is the timeline that portrays how the flat irons have evolved.



During 1872, the first proper flat iron for hair straightening was invented by a Parisian man called Marcel Grateau.

Erica Feldman was the first person ever to use this device and change the way her hair looked. The change in hairstyle with such a device, spread all over the world through word of mouth.

Everyone wanted to have a flat iron. People were in awe and they loved the outcome of it. This device gained its fame from its first use and to this day, everyone loves using the flat iron.



In 1906, the first hair straightener was registered and patented by a lad called Simone Monroe. The hair straightener that Simone invented was a bit different from the flat iron heating plates.

These straighteners looked like a comb. The metal rod had metal teeth. It would heat up and people would use it to straighten their hair while combing it.

These are not the same as the ones we use today.


In 1909, Isaac K. Shero invented the first flat iron that had two plates attached to it. The plates could be pressed together to straighten the hair. He patented his product in the same year as it was invented.



It was in 1912, that people came across a model that most resembled the ones we use today. It had two heated plates with a hinge in between.

You could easily open and close it. This flat iron was created by Lady Jennifer Bell Schofield.

The flat iron became very popular at that time. This model was much easier to hold and the grip was good as well. People loved the new flat iron and started making use of it more than ever.



During the 1950s, the third generation straighteners were made. Girls would get together and practice straightening each other’s hair or try creating curls with them.

Girls learned how to use alternatives if they did not have a flat iron to straighten their hair. They would spread their hair across a cloth ironing board, and run the flat iron on their hair to make it straight and crease free.

It did work like a charm but it wasn’t too safe or a one-person task.


Flat iron during 1980s

During the 80s Era, straight hair began to trend again. People got bored of the curls and waves. Everyone wanted to sport straight hair that looked silky smooth and shiny.Beauty companies started to make mass production of the flat irons.

These flat irons had a plastic body. In it were two metal plates made of various metals like aluminum, copper, etc. These were very easy to use and were better than before.


2001; by this time, a flat iron was available at everyone’s home. Everyone used a flat iron to style their hair. It was a necessity by now. The flat iron was a life saver for bad hair days.

Using a flat iron to straighten your hair is probably the easiest hairstyle you could pick and still look flawless.


During 2005 the flat irons evolved and the heat could now be adjusted properly but there was still a problem with the metal used. People realized that the metal plates needed to be changed for better results. These metal plates were frying everyone’s hair.

These were better versions of the previous models, but they still needed more improvement to get a better result.


In 2008, major evolution in the world of flat irons took place. The flat irons now used Ceramic

plates or plates coated in Titanium or gold to straighten hair.

The heat temperature was adjustable to get enough heat for your hair type. People were loving the changes because it protected their hair from the harm of direct heat, which led to severe hair breakage and scalp damage.


Latest flat iron

These flat irons are the ones we use now. They are fully loaded with features. They have ceramic plates for better straightening your hair.

The heat temperature goes as low as 215 degrees to as high as 440 degrees.

The Ceramic plates lock moisture, which can be beneficial for you, if your hair is coloured or has any other treatment to it.


In conclusion, we can say that the flat iron went through some interesting phases. It was a requirement for the flat iron in order to be where it is right now. People love using it and all the changes and additions have made it more admirable.

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I am Emily. I am a hair care enthusiast, and I like writing about it. Reading books and styling hair is one of my greatest passions. I have a knack for creativity, and I find pleasure in making art. I love going out in the field and basking under the sun on a cold day. My life motto is: "you only live once."

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