When I first heard about the Chi, I thought it was the be-all-end-all of straighteners. Countless YouTube beauty gurus and beauty bloggers shouted their praise for this thing from the rooftops, and I knew I had to try it out. But is the Chi worth its $100 price tag?
Design. I was very pleased by the simplicity of the Chi’s design. It is slim and lightweight so it is easy for me to hold and move in my hands. The irons consist of two yellow ceramic plates, just as advertised. However, I was a little confused and put off by the Chi’s controls – it its lack thereof, I should say. There is only and on/off switch; no heat settings or any adjustment options of any kind, and this thing gets incredibly hot (about 370 degrees Fahrenheit!). But the fact that it has ceramic plates made me feel a little more at ease because of the benefits ceramic offers: ceramic will maintain even temperature at all times, will produce negative ions, seals the hair cuticles, helps locks in hair color and slows down color fade from heat use. That all sounds great, right? In a nutshell, this means that the ceramic plates are supposed to keep your hair healthier and looking that way.
Performance. Being that the Chi appeared to have to much to offer with the even heating and its smoothing properties and its potential to damage hair less than most, this was the thing I was most curious about, given the Chi’s popularity and status as a high-end styling tool. I wanted to see how it would measure up to every day run of the mill straighteners that I’ve used in the past. After using this tool several times I have been able to get a pretty good gauge on how well the Chi performs. The Chi did get my hair really straight. The fact that it is so slim also made it really easy to get close to my roots, so it did a pretty decent job at getting them straight (much straighter than I was expecting!). However, I did notice that while the Chi did to a great job with straightening my hair, it did make it look and feel a little dry – leading me to believe that the supposed cuticle-smoothing plates weren’t quite up to snuff.
My verdict. For roughly $100, I do not know if I would buy the Chi again. It does a great job straightening, but I really dislike the fact that I can’t control how much heat is going into my hair – and I don’t care how “evenly distributed” it is. I feel like the Chi is something I couldn’t use that often without actually feeling my hair being heat damaged. Overall, I think that this tool does do a great job, but if I had the chance to buy it again I probably wouldn’t. I feel that there are a ton of other drug-store brand straighteners on the market that work just as well, if not better than the Chi.