It becomes extremely hot – up to 392 degrees Fahrenheit, and it holds that heat until you shut it off. Because of this, you can straighten any type of hair with Chi, including very thick and coarse tresses. So if you have such hair, this iron could be your best option. It is not only designed to straighten but also to curl hair. Thanks to its ergonomic design, you won’t strain the hands and wrists during use.
So, when it comes to hair care, it is no surprise that the healing benefits of infrared technology would make their way into the industry sooner or later! The far infrared technology in the CHI Air Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron leaves your hair looking and feeling smoother and silkier than ever before, while helping to restore your strands to their naturally strong and beautiful thickness.
This styling iron has 1-inch plates, allowing it to do more than just straighten. It can also curl, flip, and be used to add volume if your hair tends to fall flat. It heats up in under 30 seconds so you can start styling almost right away, and there are a wide range of temperature settings from 250 degrees to 460 degrees Fahrenheit. While the high-temperature options make this straightener ideal for other hair types, too, if you do have fine hair you'll want to keep this in the lower temperature range.

“Infrared is so beneficial being that the wavelengths are longer and can penetrate deeper into the cuticle heating the hair from the inside out, keeping your hair's own natural moisture, leaving the hair smooth (and) shiny and keeping it extremely healthy, versus other conventional styling tools that actually pull moisture out of the hair, leaving the hair dry, brittle, dull and damaged,” said hair expert and stylist Gina Rivera.


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.

Most reviewers on Ulta love the GHD Gold, praising how quickly it heats up, how it makes their hair feel, and how long this tool has lasted them. Some reviewers did feel that it was too expensive and didn't like the lack of control they had over the temperature setting. While those with very fine hair may find the 365-degree setting too hot, the lack of different settings, in this case, is to help prevent hair damage. The price is steeper than some, but it's also a straightener that's built to last, which helps justify the price.
Though it looks high tech with an LCD screen, this budget-friendly straightener has impressed Amazon reviewers everywhere. "I have very thick curly/wavy hair and in a matter of 45 minutes my hair was the straightest I’ve ever been able to get it by doing my hair on my own," wrote one reviewer from Florida, who said her straight hair managed to endure the state's humid climate.
“This is a badass flat iron. Here’s the skinny: The moment you turn it on, it has a ‘Fragile, Damaged, Healthy’ setting, and it also auto-locks the buttons to keep what temperature you want while doing your hair. It comes with a professional bag for traveling with it. This flat iron is ‘pinky in the air while drinking your tea’ fancy. It is the Ferrari of flat irons, for a girl on a budget wanting a new flat iron. And for my fellow sistas: It works amazingly on African-American hair.”
Many hair straighteners feature a visual interface to alert you when the device is getting a bit too hot for comfort or when it has surpassed the ideal temperature for your hair. With the T3 Micro Single Pass Flat Iron, you can expect the same visual cues with the bonus of sound alerts as well! That’s right; this flat iron will actually tell you when it reaches its ideal temperature or when it is about to shut off automatically after one hour. Now that’s some hot tech!

Celebrity hair stylist Priscilla Valles’s go-to straightner is the classic GHD 1-inch straightener. “I start in the nape and bring down small sections, one row at a time and I use a GHD flat Iron with a comb in the other hand,” says Valles. “I place the comb in front of the iron while ironing at the same time in a slow motion all the way down. Never stopping cause that will cause dents in the hair. At the end a dime size of ouai rose from top to bottom just to add some shine and control any fly aways!”
Titanium is a lightweight metal that heats up very quickly and can hold high heat at a consistent temperature. This material is ideal for those who have thick, curly, or natural hair that can be more difficult to straighten. Since it's lighter than ceramic, it also makes for a lighter hair straightener overall, which means less arm strain as you're taming your mane. As someone who has very thick hair, I can attest — Any feature that can make styling easier and faster is a plus.
You're on your way to work with your perfectly styled hair, ready for that big client meeting…and suddenly you're not sure if you remembered to turn off your hair straightener. Cue the mind spiral where you imagine being responsible for your entire apartment building burned to the ground. We admit. it may be a bit dramatic, but it's definitely not a good feeling to start the day with.
“This flat iron is amazing! It is so small, it almost looks like a flat iron for a doll. Don’t let the size fool you. I have medium-thick, naturally curly hair, and this iron had no problem getting all of my hair straight. If you are used to a flat iron, you should have no problem using this. This is the best flat iron for traveling, the gym, or stashing in your desk at work. I would highly recommend this flat iron.”

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.
I started this site after I made the decision to get a new hair straightener. I am not a novice with irons by any means, and I’ve had just about every kind imaginable except for some of the newest options. When I realized how far the industry had come in the last couple of years, I decided it was time to try something new. A good flat iron can last for years, as long as you look after it and make sure you buy one that’s robust enough to take what you put it through. By doing your homework up front, you can make sure you not only get the right straightener for your locks, but you don’t end up spending an inordinate amount of money on something that doesn’t work for you. Believe me, I’ve been there!
With well over 25,000 reviews, the HSI Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Flat Iron is one of the best straightening irons you can get, but because of its thin build and rounded plates, you can also use it to curl your hair. It’s got solid ceramic plates to reduce damage, evenly heat hair, and promote shine, and if you’re a traveler, it’s got a dual voltage that can be used anywhere in the world.
Most reviewers on Ulta love the GHD Gold, praising how quickly it heats up, how it makes their hair feel, and how long this tool has lasted them. Some reviewers did feel that it was too expensive and didn't like the lack of control they had over the temperature setting. While those with very fine hair may find the 365-degree setting too hot, the lack of different settings, in this case, is to help prevent hair damage. The price is steeper than some, but it's also a straightener that's built to last, which helps justify the price.
Automatic shutoff isn’t a feature we included in our criteria since people have varying opinions about it, but we liked that the Chi Elite has this. Especially for new users who might forget to turn off their flat irons. Like the Chi Air, the Chi Elite will shut off after one hour. However, if you’re working with kinky hair, auto shutoff may be a problem. Traditionally this hair type will take longer to straighten due to detangling and the fragility of the hair.

The ceramic blue plates aren't just pretty; they push conditioners into the hair, quelling frizz 65 percent more efficiently than a traditional ceramic iron. Even experts were impressed. "[It] leaks heat-protective ingredients onto the hair at the exact point of contact, coating every strand during the straightening process," says cosmetic chemist Ni'Kita Wilson.

×