Our take on Chi’s very fast-styling iron with its unique plates infused with volcanic lava
Available sizes: 1”,1.5”
For which hair type: thick hai̇r, medium to long hair
What we like: durable, fast results
What we don’t like: too hot for fine hair, no temperature control
Chi’s original lava ceramic Flat Iron brings a simple yet very effective styling experience. If you’re on a hunt for a very fast flat iron that brings bone-straight results, that has highly durable material, Chi may be the right choice for you. Its most unique quality that stands out is its volcanic lava-infused plates that makes this tool very long-lasting as well as bringing frizz-free results. Don’t get us wrong; this tool is far from being perfect. It doesn’t have temperature control and it reaches to temperatures up to 395F. This means there’s no gentle option for fine hair and this tool certainly is not suitable for fragile strands. It also doesn’t have auto shot off which is a very handy feature that makes flat irons safe against fire. But it still is a luxury tool with best quality material, and with $100, we think it’s worth the price. Below we share our experiences with “Chi Original Lava Ceramic Hair Styling Iron”. If you’re curious about the competition, check out the article about best flat irons for black hair.
Table Of Contents
- Shape And Size
- Heat And Variable Settings
- Material And Performance
- Price And Guarantee
Size of a flat iron is one of the most important aspects to consider before making a healthy decision. Chi Lava Ceramic Flat iron gives you two options to choose from. The smaller 1” one is considered the medium sized and it fits almost all hair types. It’s slim enough to come closer to the roots for shorter hair types and large enough to cover enough area at one pass for longer types. But if your hair is very short, it’s wise to consider an even slimmer option such as FHI Platform Signature Pro Styler with a plates size of 0.5”, half of Chi’s plates. The 1.5” option is for the longer and thicker hair types and for the ones that want an even faster styling experience.
It has an 3.55” plate length and is the shortest size on our list. This info may matter if you have long hair and want to style your strands with the as least passes as possible. There are much longer plates in the market such as Conair Double Ceramic with 4.73”, and it offers even a 2” plate width option.
It has multi-directional floating plates which is a great quality that ensures contact between hair and plates at all times.
This tool is convenient for curling hair as it has rounded-edged plates for less creasing.
Chi Original Lava Ceramic is one of the shortest flat irons on our list with only 10.25”. This can be beneficial if you travel with your flat iron and want a compact tool.
Variable heat setting is a very important feature that allows you to choose the perfect temperature for your strands without damaging them and for optimal results. Chi Original Lava Ceramic Flat Iron is the only tool on our list that doesn’t have temperature control. It has a maximum temperature of 395F, and there’s no way to adjust it to make it more or less. This temperature is convenient for thick hair types that need high levels of heat to tame. But if you have fine and fragile hair, you will need temperatures much lower than that. It certainly is not the right tool for fine hair and if that’s the case, there are many options on our list that provide a very gentle session, such as Tymo Sway that goes as low as 140F.
Heat of its handle is maximum 80F and is safe to touch. But its cool tip(174F) and back of its plates(177F) both get too hot and should be used with heat protectant glove if you want to touch these areas.
This tool doesn’t have any audible warning when it reaches its maximum temperature, It doesn’t even have auto shot off to make it fire safe. These features are important if you’re a beginner and don’t know how to use the tool, but doesn’t really matter for experienced home stylists.
This tool has ceramic plates which are infused with volcanic lava. First of all, ceramic is known for its gentle styling capacities and it’s much less likely to burn your hair than titanium. It may not be the fastest material, but it’s much more suitable for daily use as well as for beginners. Ceramic is a very common material when it comes to flat irons. Volcanic Lava, on the other hand, is quite unique and this tool is the only flat iron on our list with this material. The quality it brings is mostly about how durable it makes the plates, as well as releasing negative ions for frizz-free results. As much as ceramic is usually a gentle option, in this particular case, this flat iron is still considered a harsh one. Its high and non-adjustable temperature makes this flat iron not suitable for fine hair and if you need a gentle flat iron, you will need another brand such as Bioionic Goldpro Flat iron with ceramic plates as well as 170F minimum heat.
If there is one thing that stands out in Chi hair tools, it’s their material quality. Chi Original Lava Ceramic Hairstyling Iron doesn’t disappoint and it’s one of the most durable products on our list. The volcanic lava coating also helps in this matter. It’s very sturdy to hold and it justifies its cost of $100. We can say that it’s a luxury product with this material quality but as far as luxury tools go, it’s on the cheaper side of the spectrum.
Chi Original Lava Ceramic Hair Styling Iron weighs 9oz and is considered a medium-weight flat iron. It wouldn’t bother most but if you will use your flat iron for long periods of time and would really love to avoid arm fatigue, we recommend an even lighter tool such as Conair Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron with only 7.9oz.
Diameter of its handle is average-sized with 4.5” and fits most hands.
Its swivel cord is 11ft long which is a very generous size and longer than most. It may come handy in case your plug is not right next you mirror.
It has dual voltage so that you can use it anywhere in the world, and considering is weight and size, this is a quite compact tool that is travel-friendly.
It doesn’t have digital display nor temperature control which is a big downside. These are very useful features and if you are not very used to using a flat iron, you may want to consider another brand with these qualities. We can’t really say that it’s the most ergonomic tool without these features as it makes things harder for most.
Chi Original Lava Ceramic, with $100, is a middle priced tool. Chi products are usually considered luxury tools and even though it has its down sides, with this material quality, we can say that it’s definitely value for money. It comes with a 2 year guarantee which is the average number in the market. You can opt for a more luxury tool that has digital display and temperature control, but it will cost much more. A great example would be Bioionic 10X Styling Iron that has everything that a luxury tool has to offer, but costs $240.
As we mentioned above, Chi Original Lava Ceramic Hairstyling Iron is not the gentlest tool on our list and certainly not suitable for fine hair. Fortunately, Chi offers a solution to this issue with its Chi Original Digital Ceramic Hairstyling Iron. It comes with ceramic plates which is the gentlest material, the biggest difference is that it has a minimum setting of 180F which is perfect for delicate strands.
As much as $100 is considered average in the market, we know that not everyone has the budget to spend this much on a flat iron. When we look at more affordable options with similar qualities with Chi, we come across Conair Double Ceramic Flat Iron. It also has ceramic plates and does a decent job taming thick and unruly strands, and it costs only $29.