CRAP! That is the best description for the Chi brand straightening iron. These irons used to be top quality but due to mass production the quality has steadily gone down hill. I have owned 4 of these irons and they have all ended up in the trash. The last two I purchased, number 5 & 6, were impulse purchases. Number 5 was broken out of the box and would not turn on so it was immediately returned. Number 6 was purchased when I left my T3 iron at home during a trip so I ran into Ulta and grabbed a Chi. Used it once and it took numerous passes over the same section to calm the waves and frizz. The problem with this is that I have fine hair but I do have a lot of it and going over the same area over and over is very damaging. I returned it immediately and got my money back and used it to purchase a T3 compact iron for travel.
Now that I have a chi flat iron (and have had it fot about five years now)... I will NEVER go back to anything else. I know different brands and those lame kiosks at the mall like to think that they have the better product- they are wrong. I understand that this flat iron is pretty expensive and is not within everyones budget, bit its definatly an investment well worth every penny. I would buy the conair, revlon flat irons... but after 6 months to a year, they would short out or the heater would stop working. This gets really old because it always seems to happen when you really need it most. I never have to worry about that with my chi. Its ALWAYS dependable, heats up within a matter of seconds, and gets the job done in half the time it would take with any of my old flat irons. To those who are on the fence about making this pirchase... JUMP! it will be the best thing you do.
A little background: I'm half black and half white which can be a blessing and a curse hair wise. Genetics is always a crap shoot and, depending on how you look at things, my hair is either fabulous or a total mess. My hair isn't exactly like a black woman's and it isn't exactly like a white woman's. That means that I could never do what either group can do to "fix" my hair. My hair is super curly (mostly tightly wound curls) and frizzy leaning towards the 'fro side if left to its own devices but basically very fine. Growing up I had two hairstyles - pig tails and a pony tail - because, well, that's all I could ever figure out to do with it because any thing else ended up in a mass of tangles. I can comb all the tangles out of my hair and, one minute later, turn my head and my hair gets tangled. I'm not being the slightest bit facetious when I say that either. Keeping my hair untangled when it's curly is impossible.
Back in the 80s and 90s, I generally tried every thing I could get my grubby hands on to "fix" my hair. By "fix" I mean get it under some kind of control so it's not a tangled mess so I could ditch the pony tail. I've tried drugstore flat irons which are generally useless to me. They basically smushed my hair into flat, funny smelling half curls that bounced right back after an hour. I also tried a regular iron which resulted in the same smushed, funny smelling tresses. I tried applying hair grease (got a good case of dandruff from that), no conditioner, lots of conditioner, no shampoo washes, egg/mayonnaise masks, over-the-counter-relaxers (got a good case of fried hair from those), hot curlers (why?), pin curlers (again, why?), silicone serums, and even activator (ie Jheri curl spray....not my idea, it was done by a well meaning babysitter). Natch, none of this mess worked so I figured my lot in life was just unmanageable, frizzball hair. Since technology is mostly wonderful, some genius finally figured out how to heat up ceramic to help vain, frizzy headed girls like myself. Enter the Chi.
I did loads of research before I purchased this flat iron. I chose the Chi mainly based on the generally positive reviews and the price. I wasn't about to spend $250 on something I wasn't sure would work or if I could even manage to get to work myself. I waited a week after buying it to finally use it because, honestly, who wants to be disappointed straight away after plopping down $100 for something? The first time I used it, it wasn't a complete success mainly because my technique was terrible and I didn't use any kind of product (I now use Redken Straight Lissage Align 12 Lotion along with a heat protectant). Despite my crap technique, I still managed to get my hair pretty darn straight. Even my mother, who has been there from day one on my terrible hair journey, was surprised.
I've had my Chi for at least two years now and, thankfully, my technique has improved. I used to let my hair air dry and then I would straightened it but I (finally) learned to blow dry my hair properly and then use the Chi. This routine gets me straighter results more quickly. Yes, I do have to go over sections more than once but since my hair is super curly this is a given. Even when I go to a salon, the stylists have to do that as well. The Chi gets my hair super straight and it stays that way. I cheat a bit and typically only wash my hair every few days so I don't have to do the blow dry/straighten routine on a daily basis and this works for me.
All that said, there are probably better/faster irons out there but I'm of the "if it ain't broke" mindset mainly because my Chi still works. I've never had a problem with it conking out or performing in a way that disappoints me. It still takes only a few seconds to get super hot. It also hasn't fried my hair but I'm pretty diligent about using a heat protectant when I blow dry and iron my hair. I'll even go so far as to say the Chi saved my life. My hair life anyway. I now have hair that's actually under control and easy to deal with. No more tangled mess and pony tails!
While I do get lazy sometimes and chuck my whole routine to give my hair and my arm a break, I always go back because the results are fabulous. I'm still on the fence about buying another Chi because I've read that other irons (like the GHD) are better but I would recommend the Chi to others. If it can tame my wild mane, I'm confident it can help other people.
I have the type of hair that drug-store flat irons cannot hope to tame. It's curly, it's coarse, it's thick, and there's a freaking ton of it. The CHI makes it completely smooth, completely frizz-free (which is something of a miracle for me, haha) and my hair stays straight for days.
If I'm being honest, I don't know if this is unique to the CHI itself, or to all high-end flat irons--I've only ever used the CHI, and my hairdresser uses the "Superstar" which also works well. I've found it's price pretty competitive--it usually runs about $100, but you can usually find it on sale somewhere. Many other irons of it's calibre run between $130-$150 or so.
I am on my second CHI iron--the first one died after about a year of frequent use (3-4 times/week.) I've had my second one for 4 years and counting. I have noticed that their efficacy decreases with time--when I first got it, it took about 25 minutes to do my entire head, and now it takes 30-40. However, that's still a fraction of the time it takes me with other irons, so I consider it well worth it. To be safe, I'd buy it from a store with a generous return policy/warranty.
This is a great beginner flat iron. The ceramic plates distribute heat evenly, making it harder to damage hair. It heats up fast, retains heat well, and leaves hair looking healthy and shiny. I used drugstore brand flat irons before switching to Chi, and the biggest difference I observed was the decrease in crunchy, over-processed ends, even when I used the iron several times a week.
I got my first Chi in 2009, and it cost around $100. Although it's still going strong, I recently looked up the prices of a replacement on Amazon and Ebay. It's definitely gotten to cheaper to buy. Now, it's around $50 dollars. For that price, I'd recommend buying it immediately. It's a really good flat iron to experiment with, and it's fairly affordable, in comparison to other, higher end flat iron brands.
This is a good flat iron, but at this price it is overpriced. It is very comfortable to hold, looks chic and comes in a big variety of colors. It comes with a pouch too. The cord is professional length, and has floating plates. The one I am talking about has temperature settings, which the ultra chi does not. What I did not like was that when you open and close the flat iron it squeaks. It is a little too square, so your curls won't come out as perfectly round spirals. For a flat iron this price it should have auto shut off at least, even the cheap Remington at the drugstore has one hour auto shut off, digital temperature control, and looks super sleek too. . Don't waste your time and money.
A quick description of my hair: thick, wavy and curly. This straightener works really awesome in the first couple of months and then it goes to pure garbage. I have gone through, and I kid you not 5 of these. I would go back to my salon and just exchange it for a new one and then eventually I just gave up and they even told me since the demand for these irons are so high the quality of them has decreased significantly. My first chi was amazing until it just never turned on again, my new ones all snagged onto my hair breaking it off, and I had to go over my hair a lot to get it pin straight. ALSO it took me literally 2 hours to straighten all of my hair which is pretty ridiculous because my new iron takes me about 40 mins now. I would never recommend this to anyone who loves their hair because this seriously ruins it and it is a waste of money because they constantly just die out of nowhere.
These last forever and are hands down the best straightener you can buy!
I have had this for about 4 years now (the original black chi) and this is The best flat iron I have ever used. Hair is pin straight and leaves your hair shiny and silky. Do not forget to use a heat protector because this iron gets very hot. You can even curl with it. It's around 100$ at ulta but its worth it.
Simply the best! Even in the Netherlands.