CHI Air Expert Classic Review

“Stunning hair and stunning looks – The Chi is a model straightener.”

Chi – look up the word’s meaning and there are a multitude of definitions, but the feeling is definitely of a word with positive connotations.

And as Chi the hair company, or Cationic Hydration Interlink Technology as it is also known, that positivity is achieved courtesy of a long history of quality products as part of the larger Farouk brand. Cationic Hydration Interlink Technology adds to the hair’s strength as well as retaining and adding essential moisture, with the result being magnificent looking hair – result!

Chi have earned a reputation for excellence in all their products with many years of industry experience behind them, so it should go without saying that their hair straighteners will fit the category of superlative performance. But does the hype match the delivery?


Model looks

The Chi Pro 1” Ceramic Flat Iron immediately scores in terms of good looks. Whilst some people may not be motivated by color, for others a straightener that looks pretty is a key consideration. So with a contemporary and vibrant color choice of red, pink, aqua blue and purple as well as classic black, this may be the first thing that attracts you to the Chi. When you have a pair of straighteners that are as iconic as Chi’s are, a distinctive look means that others can easily recognise that when it comes to your purchasing choices, only the best will do. Vanity not only in how you look, but how your straighteners look also, shows that you take pride when it comes to appearance in every aspect.

But put appearance aside, and actually it is the Chi’s superior performance that will capture the heart.


CHI Air Expert Classic

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Thick to slick

The plates are made from Tourmaline Ceramic, a superior choice that is known to eliminate frizz and static. Tourmaline’s negative ions counteract the positive ions present in dry and damaged hair, so sealing in the hair’s natural level of moisture as well as adding to it too. Having tourmaline present in your straightening irons improves the hair’s texture and makes it a whole lot easier to style. In terms of finish, this means that straightened hair will not just be just that – straight – but also have that finished salon look with no flyaway or kinks. Shine is always appreciated with the straightened hair look and the Chi delivers on this point, leaving your hair silky smooth and looking at its healthy best. Some straighteners struggle to flatten thicker hair, but the Chi is master at taking on even the toughest of challenges. Even heat distribution that actually does distribute heat evenly makes the job of straightening a relative breeze for even the most inept home hair stylists. Even hair that looks impossible to tame can be transformed to catwalk perfection, making choosing the CHI PRO AIR 1″ Ceramic Flat Iron an assured choice of purchase.

Lightweight but packs a heavyweight punch

But this doesn’t mean that you are getting a straightening iron the size of a clothing iron with the weight to match. The CHI PRO AIR 1″ Ceramic Flat Iron manages to be brilliant without needing to be a heavyweight in terms of holding the thing. This makes it ideal for everyone, and is a good contender for those with dexterity issues due to its size matched with performance. A longer than average cable means that reaching those hard to reach places is easier than you imagine – so no more sleek front and sides and a mass of tangle at the back. But the longer cable also means tangle of a different kind, with the cord being prone to twisting.

Quick, quick!

In a rush? The plate heats up mega-quickly, and combine this with the Chi’s ease of use and you can achieve your look quicker than when using competing straighteners. This is a fact that should not be ignored as choosing a straightener that delivers in a fraction of the usual time is a real bonus and can enhance your day and mood! Imagine pressing the snooze button on your alarm one more time, or having an extra cup of coffee, and the advantages start to add up.

Say no to auto

One negative has to be that unlike the equally popular GHD’s, there is no auto cut-off if you forget to turn the straighteners off. As unlikely as that may seem to happen, Chi are missing a trick here, even if it’s just because a competitor is giving customer’s something that Chi are not.

Curl girl

Of course, straighteners are now not just for straightening, as waves, kinks, waves, twists and more are all part of a good pair of straightener’s skill base. But whilst the Chi Pro Air may be your best friend when it comes to straight hair, it is not necessarily the best on the market for waves and curls. This is not particularly an issue with the performance of the Chi, as get the knack and again the Chi Pro Air will give you the curled hair of your dreams, but this is just because holding it when you’re curling can be a little dicey due to heat build-up on the exterior. This is not a major issue however, and as with all products you will get used to your own way of handling, but it is definitely worth a mention.

Weighing up the pros and cons, it seems that these are the most important considerations.

CONS – can be difficult to hold when curling, cord can tangle, no auto shut-off feature

PROS – straightens even the thickest hair, lightweight, hair condition enhanced with stunning results

Buying a pair of straighteners should always be a more considered purchase and the Chi offers supreme performance at a pleasing price point. The brand are known for their quality and this is a purchase that is set to deliver excellence for many years to come.


GHD V Gold Classic Styler Review

“Everything that glistens IS GOLD”

GHD – or Good Hair Days to give it its official long name, are THE aspirational brand of straighteners in the UK. GHD are the gold standard of hair straightening there, so with this pair being actually named gold in their title, surely these must be destined to exceed all straightening expectations?

Tangled – not Disney style

‘Tangled’ may be a hugely successful Disney film based on the fairy tale of Rapunzel, but when it comes to even the longest of locks with the GHD Gold stylers, tangling is not an use. Smoother plates mean that the hair is smoothed and de-tangled so any prince would want to rescue you from the tallest of towers. The term professional finish is one that is thrown about a lot when it comes to straight hair but the GHD undoubtedly delivers salon look hair. Ker-ching!


GHD V Gold Classic Styler

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Beach babe waves

Go to a salon, and the best stylists are now attached to their favourite pair of straighteners like a bee is to nectar. The days of using straightening irons just for the purposes of straightening are well and truly gone, and they are a versatile tool that creates stunning curls and waves. This is where the GHD Gold Styler starts to truly excel. Shaped plates have been designed to make any type of styling as stress free as possible and with the emphasis on a professional salon finish. I am happy to admit that I’m as amateur as it gets yet was quite impressed at my curling prowess with the GHD Gold. It is also worth mentioning that I curled at night, and was beach babe ready in the morning – no further styling needed. However they manage this, the curls are almost set in rock, something that I haven’t managed to achieve with other straighteners.

Hey, good-looking

I can’t go any further with the review without bringing in the GHD Gold’s looks. If less is more, and style is minimal, then these are a classy act. Matte black with an array of gloss circles, randomly placed, and just the right amount of gold, is perfection for me. These are not cheap straighteners, so if I’m spending my hard earned cash on them, I want them to look A-MAZING. These do. They really do. GHHD are such an iconic brand that you may well want to leave them out so others admire your exquisite taste, and when your straighteners look this good, it’s almost a shame to put them away. But that seamlessly leads me on to the next point.

Plate it up – now!

Plates – a bit like when we’re on a diet, the size of your plate and what you put on it helps. GHD Gold is all about the ceramic plate, known to produce superlative results. I’ve already talked about them being smooth which increases shine and minimizes tangle, and I’ve raved about the contours that enable you to easily achievable a whole host of contemporary styles, so why oh why do I need yet another section dedicated to the plate?

Well the reason is simple – heat…quickly. We all could do with gaining a few extra minutes or even seconds in the day so the fact that these heat up in a flash is a real plus point. As instant as it gets, once you’ve switched them on, it’s hardly worth moving away as you will hear the tell-tale ‘I’m ready!’ beep by the time you’ve turned away. And I do mean heat that is effective. There’s no point straighteners heating up quickly if they still need a little longer to actually straighten well. These are ready to use, straighten and go – genius!

Health and safety executives not needed

Straighteners have come in for a fair bit of criticism when it comes to both health and safety over the years. Tales of burnt ears and necks needing hospital admissions as well as stories about appliances overheating are not just the stuff of folk-lore. But the technology has come a long way and the GHD Gold Stylers are a great example of just how far.

The body of the styler is lighter and cooler than ever before. Not only does this mean easier styling, but also less strain on the arms, hands, neck etc and less risk of burn.

And there is an auto shut-off after 30 minutes, meaning that however forgetful you are, it doesn’t really matter, although this is never a guarantee of course.

Another feature I hadn’t seen before on any other make is the plate guard that means you can put the straighteners away straight after use. To be honest, as fab as this seems, I’m a little wary and would still be tempted to leave them out to cool, but the facility exists for those a little less paranoid than myself.

But with me raving about so many positives and so few negatives, in the fairness of balance, he’s a summary of major pros with a selection of cons.
PROS –GHD s have an amazing reputation and come with a 2 year guarantee, results are so good professionals don’t hesitate to use them for straightening as well as waves/curls, plate guards are a nifty feature despite the fact that they would panic me
CONS – errrr, errmmmmm, lack of manual temperature control and no temperature display
You’ve guessed it, I am a GHD fan and the GHD Gold Stylers have done nothing to make me think that my loyalty is misplaced. These are impressive and will deliver – there’s not much more I can say!


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BaByliss Pro Porcelain Plate Flat Iron Review

“Babyliss is straightening bliss”

Mention the brand name of Babyliss and unless someone has, quite literally, been living on the moon, they are likely to be familiar with it. With an established reputation for quality, buy Babyliss and you feel pretty darn confident you are getting good value. Yet although this is just my humble opinion, they are still not seen as a brand that screams must have straighteners unlike their competitors, the kings of the hair straightening world, Chi or GHD.
But happy to be proved wrong, the Babyliss Pro Porcelain Plate straighteners were put to the test.

Plate it Up, Baby!

The Babyliss Pro Porcelain Plate straighteners have plate in the name for a reason. The 4” long and 1” wide plates are made to a superior grade that makes them suitable for commercial use, so that’s a pretty good recommendation. Porcelain is not just great for an exquisite cup of tea in a quaint English style, as it is fab on a straightener plate too. I get easily confused with my IRONS and IONS, especially as both are relevant to straighteners, but the science is all to do with negative and positive ions counteracting each other which results in healthier hair by retaining the hair’s natural moisture, whilst also enhancing the texture. But whatever the science, something is working as these Babyliss straighteners definitely left the hair looking far better than before.

On a more negative note, the plate width may not suit everyone. Personally, I found it increased the straightener’s styling versatility and I was able to do things like flicks on shorter bits of hair, but that usual niggle of a lot of straighteners, as in not being able to get close enough to the hairline, was an issue here. I can’t just blame Babyliss though, as the risk of burnt scalps the world over is probably an insurance risk just not worth taking.

Babyliss Pro Porcelain Plate

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Light as a feather…well sort of..

The Babyliss Pro Porcelain Plate straighteners are very definitely amongst the lightest straighteners around. Obviously they aren’t as light as a feather as they would be constantly just blowing away and making people with allergies sneeze, but their lightness will make them appeal to a lot of people. Lack of a heavy weight means that it can be easier to reach awkward places and it also makes them a good straightener choice for if you are traveling.

Again to balance with a bit of a negative, the straighteners are lightweight due to their ‘plastic’ exterior. This means that the straighteners don’t look as amazing as some other brands and they could crack if dropped, but as the plan is never to throw them around, it is not something that is a huge issue.

It’s Getting Hot in Here

Having plates that distribute heat evenly is not easily achieved, even in this day and age of straighteners being as common to own as a kettle or a toaster. Even heat means a superior result with minimal signs of dryness and enhanced shine. Luckily, the Babyliss Pro Porcelain Plate straighteners have no such hot-spots and this is definitely a bonus find. Even more pricey models can’t offer this so it’s a real pat on the back moment.

The straighteners are also quick to heat up and retain the heat well, even if you get distracted and walk off for a while.

A nifty little feature is the adjustable heat dial up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. This is especially perfect for those with extra fine hair or thick frizz, as it means that the straighteners will do their job without the worry of short-term and/or long-term damage.

On and on…and on…

Straighteners with a cord that’s too short can be problematic as you can’t reach around all the hair easily. Straighteners with a cord that’s too short can also be problematic as you are constantly having to whip the cord around from side to side, as well as their being a chance of tangling. The Babyliss falls in to the latter category here with its 8ft cord. Whilst there was no tangle when I used, I could see that it could happen, but as with most things, it is likely that you would find your own way of avoiding this, or it may not even bother you in the slightest of course.

What’s that smell?

A quick trawl around other reviews did bring up the issue of a weird heating kind of smell on initial use. There was definitely something in the air but as I’m not prone to panic I did just that and didn’t panic. Some electrical items can have an initial ‘burn-off’ tell-tale odor, but if this continues, then it’s probably time to take it back to the store and raise the issue with them.
Here’s a brief round-up of the Pros and Cons for the Babyliss Pro Porcelain Plate straighteners.
Pros: Effective, commercial grade plates that leave the hair looking healthy.

Lightweight model that makes it perfect for holidays and travel.

Adjustable temperature control minimizes potential damage to the hair.
Cons: Outer casing is maybe not the best quality and makes the straightener look a little boring.

Potential of a weird burning smell when first used.

Long cord may tangle in use and you may find you need to whip it around your head and from side to side

So in conclusion, is the Babyliss Pro Porcelain Plate straightener actually straightening bliss?

Well at a relatively cheap price point you are no doubt getting value for money. It may be worth spending more on a premium brand if the look of your straightener is important, but other than that, these deliver exactly what they say they will.