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The Truth About "Fake CHIs"
on June 30, 2011
There are a lot of "fake CHI" accusations flying around here. I can assure you, most of the people saying these things are misunderstanding the relevant facts. I'm going to try and break it all down for potential buyers, then I'll give my review of this flat iron, so feel free to skip ahead.
First of all, it's important to understand that "CHI" and "CHI Home" are two different brands with different products. They are both by Farouk and both are listed on the Farouk website. The product you are currently reading reviews about is a "CHI Home" product, NOT a "CHI" product.
"CHI" products include the original "CHI" ceramic flat iron that everyone knows and loves. This original "CHI" and other "CHI" products can only be sold by authorized dealers. These dealers include Ulta, Trade Secret, and many salons that can be looked up on the Farouk website, they cannot be bought on Amazon or Target, etc. There was a lawsuit by Farouk in response to the huge number of counterfeit "CHI" products being sold.
"CHI Home" was created in 2009 to expand the "CHI" technologies to a broader consumer market (i.e. Amazon shoppers.) "CHI Home" products, including the flat iron you are reading about right now, are sold in a variety of places including: Amazon, Target, KOHL's, and Walgreens.com, among others. These are listed on the Farouk website's product page for this flat iron.
Most of the people leaving negative reviews seem to not understand the difference between "CHI" products and "CHI Home" products. "CHIs" were designed for professional salon use, while "CHI Home" products were designed for consumers to use at home. I think some people ordered a "CHI Home" product and expected a "CHI" product. They then used the "CHI" lawsuit to support their claims that "fake CHIs" were being sold, but they were never supposed to receive a "CHI" product and the lawsuit never had anything to do with "CHI Home" products.
If you're going to buy one of these, make sure it says "Shipped and Sold By: Amazon.com" (or another seller listed on the Farouk website on the product's page) before you buy it, so you know it is a real "CHI Home" product.
My Review of this flat Iron:
Since "CHI Home" products are not designed for professional use, they may be considered lower quality than "CHI" products by some. I have a 1' "CHI" ceramic flat iron and this product. This one is slightly lighter than the "CHI," but the length and width are the same. They feel a bit different when you use them. It's hard to explain the difference, but the "CHI" feels sturdier and heavier than this flat iron.
Clamping the iron and running it down your hair is smoother with the "CHI." With the "CHI" I can run it over and through my hair quickly without ever catching a strand, but this iron will snag a hair or two if you're not careful. The basic "CHI" only has an on/off switch, but this flat iron has 5 temperature settings (180, 240, 300, 360, & 410 degrees.) Both heat up quickly, but I believe this one's maximum temperature is higher than the fixed temperature of the "CHI." The tourmaline ceramic in this flat iron is supposed to be less harmful to your hair than the regular ceramic.
I cannot tell any difference in the results, but my hair doesn't need much straightening (it's straight if I blow dry it and slightly wavy if it air dries.) The temperature control is great for me because I can use a lower setting after I blow dry my hair to eliminate any frizz and make it silky, and a higher setting if my hair air dried and I need to get rid of waves or kinks. The benefits of the tourmaline ceramic and the temperature control make it worth while, in my opinion. I don't know how this compares to other brands though because I've only used Farouk flat irons.