The CHI flat iron is considered by many professional stylists, myself included, to be one of the finest hairstyling tools ever manufactured. Even though the flat iron has been around for decades, the CHI iron has revolutionized the beauty world and the skyrocketing popularity of flat ironing the hair is largely the result of this amazing tool.
With a few tips and tricks, you can get the most out of your CHI and be able to straighten your hair like a professional. Here are some tips I have discovered after nearly a decade of working with the CHI flat iron.
1. Keep your plates clean. The CHI works much better when the heating plates are free of buildup and debris. Always make sure to wipe the heating plates with a towel moistened with an all-purpose cleaner after each use (after the iron has cooled down, of course). Never use an abrasive cleaner like Comet or Ajax, and never ever use steel wool to clean your CHI; doing so will scratch the plates.
2. Start with the hair 99% dry. Never flat iron hair that is completely dry, and never flat iron hair that is damp to the touch. If the hair produces the tiniest amount of steam while it is ironed, then it is perfect. There needs to be a slight amount of moisture inside the hair in order to straighten the hair without damage.
3. Always use a thermal styling spray. Never flat iron hair unless it has been sprayed with a heat-protection product, like Redken Spray Starch or TIGI Seriously Straight. The hair will not only be protected from the heat, it will look better as well.
4. Iron in small sections. If you iron too big of a section, you will have to hold the iron on the hair longer, resulting in damage. If you cannot straighten a section of hair with 2 passes with your CHI, then you need to take a smaller section of hair.
5. After ironing a section of hair, most people have the natural tendency to run a brush or comb through it. This is a big no-no. Allow the hair to cool before you comb or brush it.
6. Most people run the flat iron in downward passes from the head to the floor. This results in limp hair with no body. If you lift the hair straight up from the head and iron in an upward pass, you will have straight hair with volume.
7. You can use your CHI to curl hair too. The rounded edges of the thermal plates are designed to give you many different styling options. By rotating your wrist and using the rounded edges of the plates, you can make the hair curl under or flip out, or use the CHI to make barrel curls.