Unlike the Bio Ionic’s handy digital temperature control, the Chi Air uses a small dial on the side of the tool that’s harder to read. The dial’s placement makes it not only more difficult to get an accurate reading, but also more prone to being hit by your hand and switching to a new temperature. That being said, most of our testers didn’t mind this minor inconvenience since they don’t expect to change the tool’s temperature often.
Seemingly small details like cord length can make all the difference in the effectiveness of a beauty tool. A longer cord length is desirable here, giving you more freedom and versatility depending on the power outlet situation in your home or your hotel if you're traveling. A cord with 360 swivel capabilities is also a plus. You'll be moving your hair straightener all around your head as you style, and a rotating cord will keep it from getting tangled.
Do you have curly, dry hair? Thick, color-treated hair? Short, straight hair? Fine, kinky hair? Finding the right flat iron for you really depends on your hair type. Heat and plate types are an important factor in this. Your flat iron should reach and maintain the right temperature and be made from the plate material that works best for you. While most will work well on a variety of hair types, pay close attention to reviews from people with hair similar to yours (bonus points if they include before and after pictures).
Consider this the perfect flat iron for full hair. "It is great for thicker textures because it distributes heat evenly, allowing for less passes through the hair," explains stylist Lacy Redway. The plates "make it easier to straighten or curl longer hair lengths." Redway was responsible for Tessa Thompson’s sleek ‘do on her past ELLE cover, so you know it’s top-notch.
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.
Negative ions have been a longtime fan favorite in the hair care industry, and it is no surprise that this same technology would appear in our top picks for the best hair straightener. Negative ions have been found to reduce static and frizz while locking in moisture, and the same goes for your hair when you use the CHI Air Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron!
The Babyliss gets hot quickly and moves through hair fast. This is thanks to its thin, lightweight design and the fact that it stays consistently hot. Our testers were amazed that it passed through their hair so quickly and left it smooth without feeling damaged or fried. Plus, when being styled by someone else, our testers said it didn’t snag their hair.
In short YES! You absolutely can use too much heat on your hair. Burning hair is not a good smell, it’s not a good look either! You may end up having to get a pretty severe haircut if you’re not careful about the amount of heat you put directly on your locks. Read through this to get an idea of what’s safe and what will leave you wishing for a good trim (or possibly a wig).
This feature is particularly helpful if you have textured hair with waves or curls, which can become damaged so easily by heated styling tools. That said, it is not clear which heat setting is ideal for users with thick or somewhat straight hair. This may make this slightly more difficult if you are using a flat iron for curling purposes or if you need to straighten an especially thick head of hair each day! However, we are confident that a little tinkering is all it takes to find the perfect heat setting for these different hair types and styles, so you can rest assured that this hair straightener can still meet all your hair styling needs!
While it isn’t the fastest heating hair straightener we have reviewed, the CHI Air Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron warms up to temperature in just one minute! If one minute seems like too long for you to wait, try adding a bit of multitasking into your morning routine by taking advantage of this found time. If you are at a loss for what you can do in just one minute, check out this list for a little inspiration:
GHD’s “styler” is permanently set to 365 degrees Fahrenheit, which the company says is the highest temperature hair can tolerate before it becomes damaged. As a person who went from a dark brunette to blonde highlights, I can vouch for its straightening power on processed hair. And though I don’t typically think of “comfort” as a flat iron necessity, the springy hinge that connects the two plates really did make it easier to clamp and glide the tool down my hair with minimal effort.