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 bought the HSI titanium tourmaline ionic flat iron and I was so impressed with it. It glides so smoothly down the hair without any tugs! The digital display screen lets me adjust the temperature without any problems, it heats up fast, and I love that it comes with a pretty purple pouch, glove, and argan-oil serum. I also own the digital HSI ceramic ionic flat iron from 2013, and it’s still going strong, but I do like the titanium iron better, and I see myself using for it for years to come. It leaves my hair shiny and soft!”
The HSI 1st Gen Professional Ceramic Flat Iron is designed with tourmaline-infused ceramic plates, generating negative ions and allowing smaller water molecules to penetrate into the hair shaft to reduce frizz and static. Built for durability and lasting results, the floating plates give the flexibility to flip, curl or straighten your hair – all with a single iron.
The plate material you choose can also make a big difference on your style results. Ceramic, titanium, and tourmaline are the most common terms you'll come across. Ceramic plates hold heat well and provide even heat distribution, preventing any hot spots on the plates can cause damage. Ceramic is especially effective for fine hair that can be especially vulnerable to heat damage. While many hair straighteners have ceramic coated plates, plates made entirely from this material are more effective, as this coating can wear off over time. Tourmaline is a gemstone, but when crushed and used to coat the plates of a hair straightener, it has properties and results similar to ceramic plates.
We usually roll our eyes at oil-infused heat tools — but you can actually watch this oil being sucked right out of the refillable cartridge in the handle. When you press the iron closed over your strands, the oil vapor seeps through tiny holes to condition and straighten your hair. And don't worry fine-haired friends: It made our tester's hair silkier, but not like she'd dipped it in an oil vat.