If you’re looking for an affordable mid-grade hair straightener that offers tremendous value, you can’t go wrong with the HSI Professional Digital Ceramic Flat Iron with Tourmaline. With a quick heat-up, digital LCD temperature control, and solid ceramic plates infused with tourmaline, you can straighten type 3 hair – and some type 4 hair – with ease.
Flat irons can get pricey, but they’re an investment. The Chi Elite is inexpensive when compared to other high-end tools in the industry, making it a safe bet for those new to hair styling. Though it may be more expensive than some hair straighteners, it offers a high level of quality that the others don’t (not to mention it’s a Chi, which is known for quality). We tested the HSI, which is about $60 less expensive than the Chi Elite, and its cheapness was apparent at first glance. It did nothing for any of our testers’ hair. If you’re a beginner, the Chi Elite is a great first flat iron.
Early hair straightening systems relied on harsh chemicals that tended to damage the hair. In the 1870s, the French hairdresser Marcel Grateau introduced heated metal hair care implements such as hot combs to straighten hair. Madame C.J. Walker used combs with wider teeth and popularized their use together with her system of chemical scalp preparation and straightening lotions.[3] Her mentor Annie Malone is sometimes said to have patented the hot comb.[4] Heated metal implements slide more easily through the hair, reducing damage and dryness. Women in the 1960s sometimes used clothing irons to straighten their hair.
Ceramic and electrical straighteners were introduced later, allowing adjustment of heat settings and straightener size. A ceramic hair straightener brush was patented in 2013.[6] Sharon Rabi released the first straightening brush in 2015 under the DAFNI brand name. The ceramic straightening brush has a larger surface area than a traditional flat iron.
Early hair straightening systems relied on harsh chemicals that tended to damage the hair. In the 1870s, the French hairdresser Marcel Grateau introduced heated metal hair care implements such as hot combs to straighten hair. Madame C.J. Walker used combs with wider teeth and popularized their use together with her system of chemical scalp preparation and straightening lotions.[3] Her mentor Annie Malone is sometimes said to have patented the hot comb.[4] Heated metal implements slide more easily through the hair, reducing damage and dryness. Women in the 1960s sometimes used clothing irons to straighten their hair.
The solution? Automatic shut off. That way, even if you do forget to turn off your hair straightener, you can be at ease knowing it will turn off on its own automatically. Not all hair straighteners come with this feature, and if you don't have an issue remembering to turn these types of things off it may not be necessary. Still, a little peace of mind and extra precaution never hurt.
The Chi Air is similar to other Chi tools and has that iconic sleek design with gold plates. However, one feature our testers believe makes the Chi Air stand out against the Chi Elite and others is that it’s so lightweight. True to its name, the tool is lighter than other flat irons which makes it easier to manage when styling. One tester believed the light design even made it snag less when passing over hair.
Unlike the plain Jane ceramic plates of most hair straighteners, the tourmaline-infused ceramic plates in the CHI Air Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron are designed to keep your hair healthy during styling. Specifically, the tourmaline helps to more evenly distribute the heat during use which, in turn, creates a higher number of negative ions for shinier and healthier looking hair with each use. This reduces the static electricity created, meaning you get a sleeker, smoother style.
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Cleaning your flat iron is critical to ensuring it works as well as it did the first time you used it. Over time, hair product can build up on the plates. This buildup can lead to inconsistent styling results and major snagging. To clean your flat iron, simply wait for it to cool down and wipe the plates with a cotton swab or soft cloth coated in rubbing alcohol.
The Chi Elite Flat Iron has all the features Chi flat irons are known for. Like the Chi Air, it comes with a one-hour shut off and temperature dial to ensure you’re getting the correct heat. It also worked across all hair types and was specifically good on kinky, curly and thick hair. One of our testers even said it “work[ed] better than the Babyliss” and that styling her own hair with it was “not as uncomfortable.”
I've owned a Conair, Chi, and I-Tech straighter before, but this one is FABULOUS! A lot of research was done before I made the decision to purchase this one, and I feel like it paid off; my previous straightener was 4 years old, so it was about time. I received this new one today before I got home for my lunch break, so I had to go ahead and bust it in ;) There really is no tugging at all on your hair - so smooth, and I was shocked that it truly heats up in 15 seconds, as advertised! It also does something magical to my hair, like it adds more shine like no flat iron has done before. Mind you, my hair is very difficult to deal with. I am a Caucasian, but my hair has always been coarse, wavy, dry and thick! This iron worked beautifully on my hair. 10/10 would recommend! If it doesn't work the same after a few months, I'll be sure to update my review. As of today, I'm very happy! :)

There’s no use cramming a bunch of hair between two hot plates if not all of it will actually get ironed. Making small sections is annoying, sure, but if you try to iron too much at once, it won’t work and you’ll end up going back over the hair multiple times anyway, which can cause damage. This is especially important for those with kinky or tightly coiled hair. If you don’t section your hair, your flat iron won’t work the way you want it to.
In the end you want to make sure that your hair is protected no matter what hair straightening treatment or tools you choose. Many hair straighteners are for daily discipline and upkeep. There are lotions, sprays, balms, serums and cremes to help you tame wavy or curly hair, control frizz or protect from humidity. Several hair straightener creams offer protection against damage from hair dryers and hot irons. Look for the hair products that will protect your hair and keep it smooth, shiny and silky.
Eight embedded sensors regulate and evenly distribute the heat on this ceramic iron, minimizing damage and increasing shine and smoothness. With adjustable temperature settings that go as low as 140 degrees (the coolest we've ever seen), it's ideal for anyone with super fine hair, or to smooth out the tiny frizzies around your hairline. It also comes with a lifetime warranty, which is never a bad thing.
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