- Buyer’s Guide
- 1. CHI Pro Dryer
- 2. CHI Rocket Dryer
- 3. CHI Deep Brilliance Dryer
- 4. CHI Touch 2 Dryer
- 5. CHI Lite Dryer
- Tips for Buying a CHI Hairdryer
Updated: May 1, 2018
Ever thought that all chi hair dryers are all the same? That would be an understandable assumption to make, but couldn’t be more wrong! The power and performance of a hairdryer is affected by its motor, material, in-built technology, and a multitude of other features you may not have considered.
What are those attachments that come with my hairdryer? What does a DC motor do? Why does my hairdryer produce ions?
In this guide, we focus specifically on CHI professional blow dryer models. We aim to answer all your questions and more about this selection of five products, with our detailed product reviews. To help you choose your perfect CHI dryer, we’ve created this buyer’s guide filled with everything you’d possibly need to know about the brand and its products, which each come with different functions and unique selling points.
Inside each review, we’ll tell you the following points for each model:
- Price rating
- Material the product is made from
- The drying technology it includes
- Does it have add-ons and attachments?
- Its heat settings and speed adjustments
Our guides let you know which choice you should opt for with your budget, and recommend models depending on hair type and style. We’ll let you know if the model features a ‘cool shot’ button great for adding a sheen to your hair, and how the dryer leaves your tresses feeling when you’re done using.
Read on to find out which CHI models we rate and which won’t work for you!
1. CHI Pro Dryer
- Price: $$
- 11-inch/28cm long
- Made from ceramic
- Uses far-infrared heat
- Two heat settings
- Features cool shot button
- Produces moist heat
- Detachable concentrator nozzle included
- Dries hair up to 40% faster than average dryers
- Ceramic material means model is lightweight
- Far-infrared technology protects fragile outside-layer of hair
- Most affordable of CHI models we rated
- Concentrator nozzle
- Limited heat settings
- May not be good for those with fine hair
This dryer has the slightly strange addition of a ceramic heater that PRODUCES moisture. This seems like an odd feature for a product that is supposed to dry hair, but hear us out, it’s great! This is a dryer that is less ‘drying’ to hair. It infuses your strands with moisture giving them flexibility, healthy shine and strength. Other dryers suck the moisture out of your hair, leaving them brittle and breakable.
Let’s firstly address the price of CHI dryers. They are on the upper end of the budget scale, but when the health of your hair is on the line, you should invest in a dryer that will care for mane. After all, you’ve spent years growing it, and lots of money on styling it! This particular CHI dryer is the cheapest we have reviewed. It works just as a luxury dryer should, and left out hair feeling delightfully soft and smooth.
The limited heat settings are a disappointment, however. For a premium dryer, you might expect more than two settings. The cool shot button is a nice addition, so that you can add a layer of shine to hair after drying, or even use this for your whole dry. (This produces extra softness and a lovely gloss shine to your tresses.)
Far-infrared technology further helps save your hair from scorching heat damage by penetrating past the top layer of your strands and heating from within. Overall, we love this dryer – it’s slightly expensive, but a very worthwhile investment.
2. CHI Rocket Dryer
- Price: $$
- 1800 watt power
- Negative ion technology
- Far-infrared heat technology
- Ceramic technology
- Quiet motor
- Low EMF (electromagnetic field)
- Comes with a concentrator nozzle and comb attachment
- Cool shot button
- 1 year warranty
- Built with advanced haircare technology
- Cool LED lights
- Lightweight model
- Free attachments for creating different styles
- Limited warranty
- Low wattage
A combination of the leading and most advanced technology in the haircare field make this a powerful and durable product. There is a lesser warranty than other products on the market, and a lower wattage for its price range, but this is made up for with fast drying time.
The quiet motor on this model is powered with ceramic technology, which ensures the product is lightweight and produces a good amount of heat without being overbearing. There is unfortunately little information about the heat settings online; but as far as we can tell, there are two temperature choices. A cool shot button is included, so you can add shine to your style.
Add a concentrator nozzle or the comb attachment for a customized blow dry. These attachments are both suited for fine, straight, or otherwise easy-to-manage hair; though the concentrator can work for adding root volume to curly hair.
CHI products often assert that they have ‘low EMF’ (electromagnetic field). In a hairdryer, this means that it produces less radiation. There are some scientific and medical concerns about the appliances, devices and electricals we use and the radiation they emit. Experts are concerned about the possible health concerns of this; but don’t be too worried. All electricals emit small amounts of radiation, from our phones to our microwaves. CHI dryers aim to reduce the EMF their products emit, keeping radiation exposure to a minimum.
We give this dryer a strong 4/5 – it’s powerful and lightweight, and functions just as you’d want a hairdryer to. It could score better with more heat settings, a longer warranty and a more powerful motor.
3. CHI Deep Brilliance Dryer
- Price: $$$
- AC motor
- 1875 watt power
- Cool shot button
- 11ft salon-length power cord
- Two speed and heat settings
- Comb and concentrator attachments
- Removable filter for easy cleaning
- Two-year warranty
- Extra nozzles for creating different styles
- Long power cord for ease of movement
- Different heat and speed settings with cool shot
- Powerful AC motor
- Little information about materials used
- Heavier model
The CHI Deep Brilliance Dryer exceeds $150, but as far as we can tell, doesn’t do much more than CHI’s cheaper models. It has a slightly more powerful 1875 watt AC motor (compared to 1800 watts), which produces great wind power.
It features two heat and speed settings, which is still quite limited for a salon-quality product. For those who simply want to get the job done, this is absolutely fine; but those who like to fine-tune their haircare products might want a more customizable model.
It features an easy to remove filter for easy cleaning – has anyone reading remembered to clean out their current dryer’s filter recently? Uh, us neither… This is something we should all be doing though, as hair and dust build-up in your dryer’s motor can cause it to stop functioning prematurely.
On that note, this model comes with a two-year warranty; double the amount that the CHI Pro Dryer offers. Be assured that these dryers are extra-durable and customer reviews show their reliability is great.
This dryer comes with two extra nozzles – a comb and a concentrator. Use your concentrator to add volume and lift to all hair types. The comb attachment is great for creating a sleek, shiny, dead-straight style; or adding definition to curls or wavy textures. Just make sure your hair is completely detangled before using, or it could get caught up!
All in all, we think this is a great dryer that handles and works well. However, for its price, customers could get a better deal elsewhere in the CHI range.
4. CHI Touch 2 Dryer
- Price: $$$
- Industry-innovating touch screen controls
- Allows you to adjust speed, heat and ionic output
- Emits moisture as you dry with ceramic technology
- Includes cool shot button
- Ion generator
- ‘Hands-free’ option
- Comes with two nozzles
- Best precision heat and speed controls of any dryer we’ve reviewed!
- Salon standard
- Doesn’t dry out hair
- Comes with concentrator and diffuser nozzles
- Quite a large model
- Top-end price
We love, love, love this salon quality dryer. The controls are unlike we’ve seen before, it dries hair without drying it out, and it even has the option of being used hands-free!
The ceramic technology built into this product means that it emits ‘moist heat’, drying your hair without depleting it of its natural moisture. Where other heat stylers leave hair damaged and brittle, this model uses the latest technology to defend against moisture stripping.
The CHI Touch 2 blow dryer contains its own ion generator, using the brand’s own 3D-ion technology to infuse up to three times the amount of ions as average hairdryers. You’re left with a style that’s optimally frizz-free and silky smooth to touch.
The dryer’s ‘speedometer’ control settings are an exciting function that may at first seem like a novelty, but are actually the best controls we’ve ever used on an electrical haircare product. You can adjust in minute detail the scale of heat, speed, ions, and even adjust the temperature of the cool shot button, by sliding your finger across the screen.
This product is top-rated for those who want the best salon quality product their money can buy. It has a few too many sophisticated functions for those who just want to get up, blow dry and go – it may be too fiddly for you if this is the case. However, it’s a saviour for those who love beauty products, take the utmost pride in their hair and spend time on daily styling.
5. CHI Lite Dryer
- Price: $$
- Lightweight (weighs less than 1lb)
- 180-degree detachable rotating nozzle
- Far-infrared heat technology
- Made from carbon fiber
- 1600 watt DC motor
- Maximum ion generator technology
- 2 heat and speed settings
- Made from carbon fiber to produce lightweight product that’s highly durable
- Rotating nozzle for precise styling
- Far-infrared technology protects hair health
- Blasts hair with negative ions to smoothen as it dries
- Good quality for a travel product
- Less powerful motor than other types
- Limited heat and speed settings
The CHI Lite Dryer is optimized to do what it says on the box. It is indeed very lightweight, but to make it so, CHI have included a less powerful (and therefore lighter) DC motor that isn’t as strong as its AC counterparts. However, it still contains all the newest tech that looks after your tresses – far-infrared heat is harnessed to protect hair from within, and the less powerful motor means it’s less harsh on your locks.
The carbon fiber shell of this product is a clever use of the material. It’s super-lightweight, and you can be perfectly assured it will protect your dryer from any knocks or bumps. Carbon fiber is routinely used for motorcycle helmets and even on the bodies of cars. Your CHI Lite won’t sustain any damage in transit when you take it on your travels, that’s for sure!
The detachable concentrator nozzle that comes with this nozzle features a 180-degree rotation ability, so you can target specific areas of hair to add volume to. This model also contains its own ion generator, meaning your hair dries looking naturally luscious, sleek and shiny.
There are two heat and speed settings to choose from on the CHI Lite, which is fairly limited but expected from a travel-sized product. Most of us don’t require advanced heat controls; but they do come in handy for those with very stubborn hair to dry, or people with damaged or fine hair that require less heat.
If you’re looking for a durable, highly function travel dryer, the CHI Lite is perfect for you. It will work on any hair type, but perhaps might take longer to dry thick/coarse/Afro hair due to its limited wattage.
Tips for Buying a CHI Hairdryer
If you’ve read through our reviews and are still puzzled as to which CHI dryer to choose – never fear. We’ve compiled a short, simple list for you, to make clear all the materials and functions you should look for in a product based on your hair type and other needs.
Without further ado: if you have…
- For fine hair, you should be looking for products that are made with ceramic. This material is kind on hair by kind of absorbing some of the damaging heat before it reaches your hair.
- You should also look for models that come with concentrator attachments, so you can easily add volume to your blow dry. Otherwise, normal drying can leave hair flat and lifeless.
- Cool shot buttons are your friend! A blast all over the hair after drying leaves hair soft and shiny, and adds and element of health and sheen.
- Fine hair can easily become brittle with overexposure to heat, so setting your dryer on a lower temperature setting is a good option for you. Dryers with advanced heat controls (eg. More than two options) are recommended, so that you can get a cooler setting that’s also comfortable and not too cold.
- Fine hair tends to dry quicker, so you can get away with using lower wattage. This will also help prevent unnecessary and accidental heat damage.
- Choose a DC motor to avoid overpowering your hair.
- A diffuser nozzle is great for curly-haired beauties. This separates the airflow, making it lighter on your locks. It won’t be harsh and flattening on your curls, leaving you with cute bouncy ringlets.
- Curly hair tends to be thicker and takes longer to dry. If this is you, opt for a higher wattage model.
- Go for a middle heat setting, if you can. If you have hard-to-dry hair, it’s tempting to use your dryer on full heat, but this is damaging and can turn your hair flat and lifeless.
- Far-infrared technology will help retain your hair’s natural texture while ensuring a quick drying time.
- Ionic technology (also known as negative ion technology, or an ionic generator) will ensure your curls stay frizz-free.
- If you have thick, coarse curly hair, an AC motor will benefit you. Less powerful DC motors are all you need to use for fine hair.
- As your hair likely takes a long time to dry, you should look for far-infrared technology in your dryer. This dries hair quickly by breaking down large water molecules and heating hair from within.
- Go for at least 1800 watts, for a powerful and therefore faster dry.
- Advanced temperature and speed controls are great for thick hair. Go for a mid-heat and a fast setting to quicken the process.
- Use a diffuser to spread the airflow over a larger surface area.
- Tourmaline or titanium materials heat up faster and stronger – helping thick-haired people speed up their daily routines!
- AC motors are your friend. They pack a punch, and dramatically shorten your styling time.
- Working on the assumption your hair takes a long time to dry, you should follow the above instructions for thick hair.
- BUT – if you have long, fine hair, make sure you stay away from top temperatures and use mid or low heat settings to avoid damage.
- Depending whether you have thick or fine hair, use AC or DC motors respectively.
- Shorter hairstyles usually dry quickly, no matter what hair type you have. This means you should select a low heat. Ensuring you protect your short hair from heat damage is possibly more important than long hair – you’ll stunt your hair’s growth by inflicting too much heat damage.
- You can vary the speed to any you like best.
- Use a concentrator nozzle to add volume and definition to short hair.
- Take advantage of advanced haircare technology, like ionic and far-infrared. Anything that helps protect hair from heat is good for you.
- Choose a gentle DC motor – AC is too powerful for your needs.