Pros: Quick to warm up, safe, gentle flat iron
Cons: this iron stopped working for me
I probably would have broken down and tried the Chi Flat Iron someday, or so I'd like to think. Maybe not though. When I got most of my perm cut out and off in early April 2004 I decided I'd be brave and go for a straighter/flippy look. Problem was, I couldn't really remember what my "original" hair was like - yes, it had been that long since I'd started perming it.
It's really a bit wavy, and not the look I was going for. After talking with friends and reading on-line, I decided I wanted to buy a flat iron, a ceramic flat iron. Immediately the name Chi popped up from everywhere - friends, on-line sites, you name it. But the price tag, at least in the $110 and up range. Uggggh. I figured I could do "better" and for $50 bought an iron from a company called Hot Tools. Not having using an iron before I felt like I was mostly getting what I needed my hair to do - not consistently, but some days. (Aren't we supposed to have bad hair days?) But a friend kept nudging me about the Chi she owned - and about 6 weeks later I had the opportunity to borrow hers for one weekend.
And I never looked back ... within 48 hours I was plunking down my own money for my very own Chi Flat Iron. It was that good.
I don't regret it, it was by far one of the best hair purchases I have ever made. Every claim I've read, every tid bit friend's have told me about how well it works, it's all true.
I picked mine up at a store called Ulta, though with a sale and a friend's discount card. I paid right around $120 for mine. (other options I know a lot of people use are purchases through Ebay) That seemed a lot to me for a hair product, but since I had seen what it could do and purchasing a Chi Flat Iron is a one time purchase ...
The Chi Flat Iron is a slim styling tool, designed to de-frizz and make hair look straighter (not flat, but straighter) - the plates are 1 inch in size. It can also give a more touseled, flipped look - but is designed overall for the straighter look. The Chi looks similar to a thin, flat curling iron, with a ceramic plated, long, skinny rectangle on either side of the "arm". Mine simply has a long plug in cord and an On/Off switch. There is no temperature control. How hot does it get? The side you touch is coated and protected, and though the iron is hot, quite hot, you are never in danger. A small red light simply flashes when the Chi Flat Iron is ready.
How long does that take? Seconds. Literally. In less time it takes me to brush my teeth, certainly in less time it takes me to apply my makeup. I had this idea that I'd have to turn it on "early" (like I had always done in the past with curling irons) to let it "sit" awhile. Nope. The cool down process is quicker for me than a normal curling iron also, but I still need to wait a little while before trying to pack this into a suitcase or etc.
Some marketing details (taken from folica.com):
"CHI ceramic flat iron by Farouk system and Global Beauty Network Inc. This iron will bend, flip, curl, spiral, and straighten hair. One Tool, with endless possibilities.
Moist ceramic heat with ceramic plates and coils
Ceramic will maintain even temperature all the time
Seals the cuticle
Locks in hair color and retards fading
Ceramic heat will ensure the penetration of the silk molecules to the hair
10 foot heavy duty electrical cord
360 degree swivel connection to prevent tangling
On-Off switch on the side for easy access
Fits in a standard curling iron station
"Flash Heating" in only seconds
Saves energy - CHI only uses 20-25 watts of electricity
Circuit breaker for safety
Space age installation = heat is only produced to the ceramic plates
Exterior will be only warm, not hot "
Sounds good huh? Notice the claims for the hair - seals the cuticle, repels humidity, locks in color. I have found the Chi Flat Iron to do all that and more. Drying my hair (air dry or blow dry) my hair is naturally a little wavy, even with the cut and layered ends. I could not get the look I wanted with out my Chi - believe me I have tried. Section by section I put my hair through the ceramic plates, starting at the base of my hair and pulling down. Piece by piece it straightens - within minutes. The total time is dependent on what look I want to do - just a general all over straightening, slightly fringed ends takes about 10 minutes. I usually take about 15 or more to do the flips - I straighten it all first and then go back picking random small strands and flipping the iron outward as I pull down.
One of the great things about the Chi Flat Iron is how soft my hair feels. It is in wonderful condition. I can remember, in the past, the damage a curling iron would do to my hair and how dry it would make it - a little bit of styling product sprayed through my dry hair before I iron it, and viola! Another amazing thing is how long my style will last. I can get 2-3 days out of each Chi session if I wanted to. Most importantly I can go out in the humidity, mist, and some rain, and my hair stays. For the months before I had the Chi my hair would look good until I went outside - then it would frizz all up and look like I hadn't tried to style it.
Using a heat protectant (since the Chi can get so hot) is a must - I use a easy to use spray called Sebastian Hot Tools Protecting Spray. I also find, in comparison, the Chi pulls through my hair easier and with less snags than the cheaper hot iron I originally purchased. This doesn't leave any build up on the iron and so far I haven't needed to clean the ceramic plates.
Though I really did love this flat iron when it worked, the problem was no matter which Chi I seemed to purchase, they always stopped working on me within a year. They would just stop turning on and heating up. After the 3rd Chi flat iron purchase, I finally went and tried another model.
Another Chi Flat Iron I tried and compared Chi TURBO Flat Iron
When I bought another brand & loved - the Solia .. Solia Pink Ceramic
Another flat iron I tried thinking I could save some money Andis Ceramic Flat Iron