We put Chi’s unique triple-duty hairstyling iron to the test, which has plates both for curling and straightening
Available sizes: n/a
For which hair type: medium to thick hair, all hair lengths
What we like: versatile styling and durable material
What we don’t like: no low heat setting for fine hair
Hair styling Irons are generally divided into different categories as everyone have different needs. If you’re one of those that want a flat iron to straighten your hair but also would like a curling iron to give your strands beautiful curls, Chi 3-in-1 Hairstyling Iron may be the right choice for you. It has unique plates which makes this tool different from your usual flat iron. While it has classic flat iron plates on the inside to straighten and smoothen, it also has heated and rounded plates on the outside which allow you to curl and flip with your tool. Its plates are ceramic infused with tourmaline and are great for daily use with its slow and gentle heating, while providing frizz free results with tourmaline’s negative ions. Yet this tool is not for fragile strands. It has the highest minimum heat setting on our list with 360F and certainly is too harsh for fine hair. But Chi offers many other flat irons with much gentler qualities if this is your case. It’s a luxury tool with a luxury price of $110 and is not for every budget. Below we share our experiences with “CHI Tourmaline Ceramic 3-in1 Hairstyling Iron”. If you’re curious about the competition, check out the article about best flat irons for thick hair.
Table Of Contents
- Shape And Size
- Heat And Variable Settings
- Material And Performance
- Price And Guarantee
Chi 3-in-1 Hairstyling Iron has a unique shape and it comes with a unique size. First of all, when we look at its inner plates, they have a width of 0.86” (advertised as 0.75” but it’s larger), which is considered quite slim. It fits most hair types, but if your priority is to straighten very long hair, you may want to consider another tool with larger plates. There are many in the market such as Conair Double Ceramic, that has many size options including 2”. While the inner straightener plates are quite narrow, it also has a rounded barrel on the outside which is 1”. Last but not least, the length of its plates is 3.94”, which is above average. This is an important aspect as even though its plates are quite narrow, the long size makes it more desirable for longer strands.
As mentioned above, the biggest quality of this tool that stands out is its ability to double as a curling iron. Not only it comes with rounded edged plates, it also has a heated barrel that allows you to create all sorts of textured styles. But if you don’t have the intention to curl your strands and would only like to straighten your hair, you may want to consider a flat iron that focuses on only this quality. Chi has other versions such as Chi Original Digital Ceramic Hairstyling Iron with flat plates.
It comes with a special feature that really makes a difference. It has smooth silicone strips on the inner plate that grips the hair and it makes a huge difference on how easy you glide your hair.
Size of the tool is 11.5” and is above average, which means that it’s not the most compact tool in the market, in case you are considering travelling with your iron.
Heat is one of the most important aspects to consider if you want the perfect flat iron for your needs. This tool goes up to temperatures as high as 425F, which is perfect for taming unruly hair and creating effective results. It’s minimum temperature though, is far from being gentle enough for fine hair. So, this tool is a right for you if you have medium to thick hair, but if you have delicate strands, we recommend considering a straightener with lower heat settings. Bioionic Goldpro Flat Iron is a perfect option with ceramic plates and 170F minimum heat setting.
This tool has many different modes that you can choose and activate. First of all, you can just heat the inner plates with the “smooth” setting and use it as a flat iron. You can also only activate the outer plates with “curl” setting to create spiralled curls. Finally, there’s a “smooth and curl” setting that activates both if you prefer waves and textures.
Its handle has a maximum temperature of 91F and is cool enough to touch, its cool tip reaches till 135F and is on the limit of being too hot to touch.
It has auto shut-off technology that turns itself off after 60 minutes, which makes this tool safe and gives peace to busy heads.
As you can guess from its name, this tool has ceramic plates which are infused with tourmaline. Ceramic, first of all, is known for its gentleness. It heats up slower which makes things much easier, especially for beginners. It’s much less likely to burn your strands and much better for daily use. But, as a down side, it’s slower than titanium and if speed is your priority, it may not be the greatest option. As it’s a very uniquely shaped tool, we can’t really compare with any other flat iron in the market. But there are much faster options such as Babybliss Nano Titanium prima 3000 with titanium plates and reaches temperatures like 465F.
Like all Chi products, it has very durable material. It’s one of the sturdiest tools to hold and its heavy weight also helps that. It’s considered to be a luxury tool and it reflects on its price. But with its high-quality material, it’s more than worth its price of $110.
Weight of Chi Tourmaline Ceramic 3-in-1 Hairstyling Iron is 10.1oz. This is definitely above the average considering there are flat irons in the market that weigh as low as 7.7oz, such as FHI Platform Signature Pro Styler. As much as this makes this tool sturdier, it also makes it bulky and more uncomfortable to hold for long periods. If you have long and unruly strands, you will know the struggle.
Diameter of its handle is 4.” and is one of the slimmest sizes on our list. It will fit your hands perfectly if they’re small but it may not be the perfect size for larger hands.
It has swivel cord and its 6.5ft long (It’s advertised as 9ft long). This is a very small number as cords can be much longer, some as long as almost double, like Chi Original Lava Ceramic Hairstyling Iron with a 11ft cord.
It has dual voltage which allows you to use your tool anywhere in the world, a useful feature for frequent travellers.
It comes with a thermal mat which is a handy accessory as the outer side of the tool also gets hot.
It has led display that shows the temperature and you can switch easily and activate different heating systems. It also comes with digital temperature control.
Chi Tourmaline Ceramic 3-in-1 Hairstyling Iron costs $110, which is considered luxury, rather than being budget friendly. But as we know that flat irons can cost so much more, this price is actually very reasonable. Especially considering how durable its material is. But obviously, not everyone has the budget to spend this much on their flat iron and in that case, you can go for a flat iron option with rounded edged plates with a more affordable price. Conair tourmaline ceramic also comes with tourmaline infused ceramic plates and costs only $56. It may not be as perfect as this tool at creating curls but it will smoothen your strands as good as Chi does.
This tool come with a limited 2-year guarantee which is the standard number in the market.
We want to mention another flat iron that has very unique features. It doesn’t have a heated barrel like Chi, but it has a rounded shape and it still allows you to curl your hair successfully. On top of that, it actually has vibrating plates for increased surface contact and a faster session. It costs much more than Chi with $240 and you can certainly feel it in its material quality.
If you have fine hair, you may be in danger of burning your strands with Chi Tourmaline Ceramic 3-in-1. There are many tools in the market with much wider range of variable heat settings. Tymo Sway may have titanium plates which is not the gentlest material, but its minimum temperature of 140F is so gentle that it’s a winner for being the safest tool for your delicate strands. It may not be as satisfying as Chi at curling your hair, but it comes with rounded edged plates that helps make the curls smoother and less creased.