CHI is one of the leading hair styling brands in the world. It’s been making products since 1986 and has steadily gained recognition as a manufacturer of professional styling tools such as blow dryers and flat irons. It’s not a stretch to say that anyone who knows anything about hair has heard of CHI.
If you’ve been eyeing CHI hairdryers but don’t know which is the best one for you, I’ve taken the liberty of comparing the most well-loved blow dryers in the CHI range to help you decide. Find out which one beats them all in this roundup and buying guide.
A Buying Guide for CHI Hair Dryers
Is CHI a good hair dryer brand?
CHI, which stands for Cationic Hydration Interlink, is a Houston-based brand founded by hairdressers. It makes tools for hairstylists and hair enthusiasts. Since they’ve dipped their toes in the hair world, it’s safe to say they know a thing or two about what works.
A science-based approach to hair
CHI’s approach to haircare is science-based. CHI aims to transform your hair into its best version: silky, manageable and smooth.
At the forefront of the CHI Transformation System is the use of ceramic heat and negatively-charged ions to bring back moisture and seal the hair cuticle. In fact, they were the first brand to combine ceramic heat and negative ion technology. A CHI hairdryer is typically made of ceramic components, which is one of the brand’s signature trademarks.
Ceramic is wear and abrasion-resistant and conducts and retains heat excellently without dehydrating the hair. Far infrared heat enhances the capabilities of the ceramic in CHI products, thereby improving the hair structure.
Silk as a heating component
Did you know that CHI also uses silk in their professional hair styling tools?
CHI professional tools use hydrolyzed and powdered forms of silk in various molecular sizes. Silk carries a positive charge, which counters the negative charge in hair. This results in improved elasticity, strength, and shine.
Silk is a great addition to hot tools because it can hold moisture up to three times its weight. When it penetrates the hair strand, it strengthens the hair from the cortex (the innermost part) to the cuticle (the outermost layer).
Other reasons why consumers love CHI products are because of their performance, durability, and consistent innovation.
CHI is a pioneer in ceramic heat, infrared technology, and touchscreen component and it continues to improve upon this legacy.
How do I choose the best CHI hair dryer?
The first feature to check out before you buy a CHI ceramic hair dryer is its wattage. A higher wattage translates to a more powerful airflow. This lets you dry your hair quicker. A good benchmark is at least 1800 watts. If you’re using your hairdryer frequently, consider splurging on one that’s 2000 watts or more.
The number of attachments depends on the price of the hairdryer but it’s helpful to have at least one nozzle for free. The most useful hair dryer attachment, in my opinion, is a concentrator nozzle, especially if you like styling your hair straight. For curly-haired gals, a diffuser is your best friend. Make sure you get the most bang for your buck with your hairdryer purchase.
Heat and Speed Settings
Hair dryers usually have separate controls for heat and speed. With speed settings, one for high and one for low is enough for most people. Heat controls can be limited to two in budget hair dryers but you ideally want at least three to choose from for versatility. More temperature settings also mean a lower chance of frying your hair.
You should definitely get a blow dryer with a cool shot, also known as cold shot, button. It’s a game-changing feature that I think should be mandatory at this point. This button shoots a burst of cool air that will set your hair in place. Plus, it can make your strands look shinier, which I won’t say no to, ever.
Look for a lengthy and sturdy power cord when buying a CHI Pro hair dryer. At least 6 feet is ideal but try to get a longer one if you style far away from a power socket. This eliminates the need for an extension cord and gives you so much freedom to twist and turn the blow dryer without fear of pulling out the cord.
Ergonomic and Durable Design
A blow dryer should be easy to use and feel good in the hand. An ergonomic handle does wonders for usability, as does a lightweight feel. Soft-touch or grippy blow dryer handles are also a plus.
Preferably, go for a CHI Pro hair dryer that feels like it can withstand a drop. Lightweight doesn’t necessarily mean a flimsy plastic build. A somewhat weighty and solid construction gives peace of mind and ensures longevity.
If you’re living with a partner or children and you have to do your hairstyling before they wake up, it will be helpful to have a quiet blow dryer. Even if you’re living solo, it’s still beneficial to get a hair dryers with a low noise level, just to be kind to your eardrums.
Last and not least, set a budget before buying your CHI Pro blow dryer. It’s easy to get carried away when you see just how many CHI hair dryers there are. Go with a price range in mind so you don’t get overwhelmed or have buyer’s remorse.
The 5 Best CHI Hair Dryers for a Salon-Quality Blow Dry
CHI Rocket Hair Dryer
Blast off in style with the professional-grade CHI Rocket Hair Dryer. This award-winning gizmo is a quiet operator, allowing you to dry your hair while being kind to your ears.
The CHI Rocket Hair Dryer uses ceramic heaters which reach optimal temperature faster. It gives off moist heat so your hair looks healthy and lustrous. The CHI Rocket has been shown to dry hair 40 percent quicker.
For a dose of extra hydration, the hair dryer produces negatively-charged ions for a frizz-free finish. It also emits ionic positive energy which adds moisture to the hair shaft.
There’s an infrared light indicator on the CHI Rocket ceramic hair dryer that lets the user know when the blow dryer is using ionic and infrared technology. Infrared heat cuts down on drying time and reduces hair damage. Along with the ceramic hair dryer’s even heat distribution, this keeps your locks looking lustrous even with frequent styling.
The 1800 watt motor assures me that this will stay powerful and style your hair quickly so you can move on to the next steps in your routine.
This CHI professional hair dryer has a low electro-magnetic frequency output so you reduce your radiation exposure while using your trusty hot tool. It comes with a concentrator nozzle and a comb attachment for more versatility.
For ease of use, there’s an 11-foot power cord and a hang loop. However, this isn’t a swiveling cord, so that may limit your movement a little. It weighs over 2.2 pounds so it feels substantial in the hand but it may be too heavy for some people.
The build quality of the CHI Rocket feels premium which assures me that the product will last a long time and can sustain rough handling. The cold shot button works great and doesn’t need to be held down so you can save your energy when drying your hair. I do wish there were more temperature settings though.
- Has a 2-year warranty
- Uses gentle ceramic heaters that deliver moist heat
- Comes with an ion generator that gives off positive and negatively-charged ions for healthy hair with less frizz
- Has a 1800W motor and 2 speed and heat settings
- Low electromagnetic output and comes with 2 nozzles and a salon-length power cord
- Quite heavy
- The cord doesn’t swivel
- Heat and speed settings are limited
CHI Ceramic Hair Dryer
Another well-loved product in the CHI line, this ceramic hair dryer uses a 1875-watt DC motor for fast airflow and reduced heat damage. Despite the immense power under the hood, the hair dryer is actually lightweight, so it’s great for travel.
The Ceramic Hair dryer uses CHI’s signature ceramic heater, plus tourmaline ceramic components. This combo enhances shine and minimizes frizz. It heats the hair gently yet effectively. Plus, the hair’s health is protected with the CHI hair dryer’s negative ion and infrared heat technology.
The Ceramic Hair Dryer comes with multiple speed and temperature settings and a cold shot button to seal it in for extra hold. It’s fitted with a 7-foot swivel cord so you can style at whatever angle tangle-free. This comes with a hang loop for storage and an anti-slip bumper for user safety. There are also 2 attachments included with the CHI Ceramic Hair Dryer, namely a concentrator nozzle and a diffuser.
This CHI hair dryer can suit all hair types and the price point is quite low for a ceramic hair dryer. A downside to this product is the lack of extensive heat controls. You also have to hold down the cold shot button when locking in your hairstyle. The build quality needs to be improved but for the price, I think most people will be satisfied with it.
- Has a 1875-watt DC motor
- Uses a tourmaline ceramic material for healthy and even heat distribution
- Emits negative ions and uses far-infrared heat
- Has multiple heat options and a cool shot
- Add-ons included 2 attachments, an anti-slip bumper, and a 7-foot swivel cord
- The temperature settings are limited
- You need to hold down on the cool shot button
- Build quality is not good
CHI Touch 2
This is a refresh of the first CHI Touch Hair Dryer and it’s even better. The CHI Touch 2 has touch controls with options for 39 heat, speed, ion, and cold shot settings. That’s 39 settings for each feature! It’s above and beyond what you’d expect in a hairdryer.
The touch screen on the CHI Touch 2 is a 2.4-inch color display with clearly labeled details. To adjust the settings, you just swipe through the speedometer dials–no need for endless clicking.
This hair dryer is easy to use, partly due to its ergonomic concave handle. Gripping this CHI professional hair dryer is straightforward and the soft-touch rubber finish prevents slips. The hair dryer can be used hands-free because the back of the barrel r is flat, allowing you to prop it up. It blows hot air at an angle in this position so you have full control of your brush as your hair dries.
The 1875-watt hair dryer uses a heater made of which dries evenly and effectively. It also emits negatively charged ions for a frizz-free finish.
The CHI Touch 2 Hair Dryer is not cheap by any means but it’s reasonably priced because of the spectacular build quality. However, that also means the hair dryer can be quite heavy. The touchscreen also can’t be used with wet fingers. It’s a bit hard to change the settings as you’re using the hair dryer because the controls are on the back of the product.
- Has a touch screen control with a 2.4-inch display that’s clear and easy to read
- Has 39 settings for heat, speed, ion, and cold shot
- Has an ergonomic and soft-touch handle
- Can be used hands-free
- Fitted with an 1875-watt motor with a ceramic heater
- A bit heavy
- The touch screen can’t be used with wet fingers
- Hard to change settings when the hair dryer is in use
CHI Classic 2 Ceramic Hair Dryer
The CHI Classic 2 Ceramic Hair Dryer has all the trademarks of the CHI brand with a couple of freebies included. Inside, there’s a 1875-watt DC motor that delivers powerful airflow. The heater is made of ceramic that heats while retaining hair moisture.
The negatively-charged ions the CHI professional hair dryer emits condition the strands and seal the hair cuticle. These eliminate frizz and leave hair looking lustrous and feeling silky.
The tourmaline ceramic components also use infrared heat so hair dries quicker with less damage. There are 2 speed and 2 temperature settings, which is quite limiting. However, you do get a cold shot button to maximize hold.
For nozzles, you can choose between a diffuser and a concentrator. That should cover all kinds of hair types from straight to curly.
The CHI Classic 2 hair dryer also comes with a nylon bristle round brush, a trusty companion for bombastic blowouts. It makes the price tag even more reasonable.
You also get a drawstring pouch so you can store the hair dryer while on the go. When at home, you can take advantage of the hang loop and the anti-slip bumper.
The Classic 2 is backed by a 2-year warranty which is long by hair dryer standards.
A downside to this product is the length of the nozzles. It’s awkwardly long and doesn’t feel balanced when you’re holding it. It will tire out your arms, especially if you lack strength or have mobility issues. The button placement is also questionable. It’s too easy to click the buttons accidentally while using the hair dryer, particularly the cold shot button.
- Has a 1875-watt DC motor
- The heater emits negatively-charged ions and infrared heat
- Comes with 2 speed and 2 heat options, plus a cold shot button
- A diffuser and concentrator is included, along with a round brush, a bumper, and a pouch
- Backed by a 2-year warranty
- The nozzle is too long for the hair dryer and is hard to use
- Buttons can be clicked accidentally while using the hair dryer
CHI 1875 Series Hair Dryer
Don’t let its looks fool you: the CHI 1875 Series Professional Hair Dryer is a powerful machine. It’s one of the best hair dryers in the CHI line because it’s small but mighty. It carries an eponymous 1875-watt DC motor in its small body. The airflow is impressive considering how tiny the hair dryer is.
As always, you get a good dose of negatively-charged ions as the air passes through the ceramic heater. The generated ions give hair a shine boost and speed up the hairstyling process, so you reduce its exposure to heat.
The hair dryer weighs just a pound and has a 6.5-foot long cord attached, removing the need for an extension cord. It makes for an excellent travel companion, especially if you’ve had enough of hotel room dryers.
This comes with 3 temperature and 2 speed settings so it fits most hair types. Of course, the dryer also includes a cold shot so your masterpiece doesn’t crumble mid-day.
In the attachment department, this has you covered, as well. It comes with a concentrator and diffuser to whip up various hairstyles depending on your mood.
The cherry on top is CHI’s Rapid Clean Technology. The LED lights are antimicrobial to inhibit the growth of bacteria inside the hair dryer.
The nozzles are a bit short, which is a disadvantage if you have long or thick hair as it can take a longer time to style it. That being said, if you’re making your first foray into CHI heat styling tools, this is undoubtedly the best place to start and well worth the money.
- Lightweight but has a motor with 1875 watts
- Emits negative ions for healthier hair
- Has a 6.5-foot long cord and uses Rapid Clean Technology
- Has 3 heat settings and 2 speed options, with a cool shot
- Comes with a concentrator and diffuser attachment
- The attachments are short and not good for drying long or thick hair
As you can see, there are so many CHI hair dryers for every need and whimsy. The best hair dryer by a significant margin is the CHI Rocket Hair Dryer.
It’s quiet but powerful. The 1800-watt motor and ceramic heaters will take your strands from damp to dry in a few minutes. It delivers all the benefits of negative ions and infrared heat to manage the health of your locks even with frequent styling.
The construction is topnotch. It feels and looks high quality and it’s guaranteed to last you a long time. You don’t even have to press down on the cool shot button to sustain a steady stream of air. It does the job for you, and at the end of the day, that’s all you really need in a good hair dryer.
About the AuthorLeah Williams is the founder of Lucky Curl and has been in the hair care and styling industry for the last 15 years. Since then, she has developed incredible expertise and a deep understanding of how to treat and style the most difficult hair types and is passionate about sharing her knowledge with the readers of Lucky Curl.
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