CHI Air Expert Classic Flat Iron Review

An Iron Called CHI? Bless You!

There are a lot of very good flat irons on the market, but the gold standard for ceramic flat irons has always been CHI. They were one of the first ceramic irons to hit the market, and they are still the biggest name in hair straightening tools even though the competition with brands is much stiffer than it was. In fact, no list of straighteners would be complete without a ceramic CHI.

The CHI Air Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic 1-Inch Flat Iron is the classic version of CHI iron that has been around for almost 20 years. It has ceramic plates and a smooth plastic housing that was originally popularized by CHI.


The first CHIs were all black with a tan color on the ceramic plates. Now, they come in a whole line of types and colors, but the heart is still the same. They heat up fairly quickly, but possibly not as fast as some of the new “instant on” irons, and they stay hot for as long as you need them to.

Keeping Your Heat Controlled

The Classic Chi has heat controls located on the inside of the housing so you don’t hit them with your hand when you’re styling. It has a wheel controlled temperature setting, and an indicator light that tells you when it has hit the correct temperature.

It doesn’t get as hot as a lot of other comparable irons, but that might actually be a good thing. Many other irons in this price range can get up to 450 degrees which some people do need for their hair. However, a good ceramic iron with the correct level of heat distribution should be able to do everything you need without the need for additional heat. I’m confident that just about any hair type can get a style that lasts all day with this bad boy!

Ceramic Heat Hits The Spot

The heat distribution on the solid ceramic plates really can’t be beaten. It’s so good it would be hard to notice a difference between this iron on the hottest setting and other irons that get even hotter. The plates stay consistent which means no hot spots (a complaint I come across with other models a lot). If you don’t have hot spots you get an even look, and you don’t have to worry about touch ups after a few minutes.

Ceramic Meets Tourmaline And Now They’re Pals

Of course, heat distribution is bolstered by the recent addition of tourmaline to standard plates. Tourmaline is a mineral or gemstone that’s crushed up and layered on top of the plates. Once it hardens, it forms another barrier that provides both consistent heat and an incredibly smooth surface. The smoother the surface on your flat iron, the more likely you are to get a good “straighten”.

Get It Straight And Go

Another thing I like about this iron is it straightens quickly. Some people even go as far as saying it cuts straightening hair by up to half! I’m a big fan of doing things quickly and efficiently, and if it means I can spend a couple of extra minutes in bed in the morning, that’s fine by me. If this one has the ability to cut even more time out of my daily hair escapades, sign me up now!

Good Size For Great Style

If you want to use your CHI for more than just straightening, you totally can. The smaller housing makes it possible to straighten, curl, and wave and more without the need for extra tools. Some irons have a big, bulky housing that makes it more difficult to get any style out of the deal, but the CHI is just small enough to work for almost anything.

Priced Like It Should Be

The price on this one isn’t bad, but it also isn’t the best. CHI irons usually run to about $100, so it aligns with that pretty consistently. I would expect it to be the kind of awesome iron that will last you for decades. The fact this brand has held its price for over 10-20 years tells me there must be something to their staying power. If people weren’t buying them (and loving them), I think the price would have come down by now.

Trendy While Being Classic

One of the less important things I really like about this iron is it comes in five different colors. Color doesn’t do anything for the usability of the iron, but it’s nice to have the option if that’s important to you and they are really cute. You can get this CHI in standard black, pink, purple, green and blue.

CHI Air Expert colors

Chi Halting

One of the things to look out for is there are people who say they stop working after about a year and sometimes less. Obviously, that’s something to consider before your purchase. I’m not spending $100 on an iron to be without it after just a year. I have had $60 or $70 irons last me much longer than that, so I’m wary of irons that wear out in such a short amount of time.

Don’t Get Burned

Another thing to be wary of is the housing on these does not provide the kind of protection that some other irons do which means it can get pretty hot from the outside. This isn’t a huge problem if you’re careful, but it can cause an issue if you’re trying to use it to style or curl your hair. Although, you could consider a protective glove if this really worries you.

Chi Everlasting

You cannot complete a search for a hair straightener without seriously considering a CHI, and I think this one does a pretty good job of proving why. These irons have been more or less the same for the last decade or two, and there is no sign of them changing any time soon.

It’s hard to believe that with all the new technology that has come into the world we would still be using something that is almost identical to its predecessor after so long, but that just speaks for the quality of this flat iron. You’ll get everything you need and more with a CHI (in my opinion).