CHI Infrared Curling Iron Review: Faking a Blowout and Creating Beachy Waves with a Curling Iron

So, I've long been a fan of curling irons. You would be too if you grew up with my straight hair. So, in high school I had about... 4 curling irons? I had all sizes. 1/2 inch up to 2 inches. And then I had my crimper (left over from the 80s), hot rollers... you name it. Anything to avoid leaving my hair super straight all the time.

Fast forward a lot few years (ok, maybe more than a few...) and that big collection of curling irons has been lost over the years. Maybe they were lost in my many moves during college (to and from the dorms, into an off campus house with 5 guys, then an apartment with a friend from high school, etc) or maybe they broke and I threw them away. Who knows? The main thing is that for the last couple of years I've been down to just the boring 1" curling iron. So, when Misikko asked if I'd review a product, I pounced at the chance to have a different size curling iron.

I was sent a Chi Infrared 1.25 inch curling iron. I haven't actually been able to find this exact curling iron on-line, so it may have just been discontinued? But, looking at the images on-line it looks pretty similar to the other professional curling irons carried by Misikko.

You can see that while this is a sturdy curling iron, it is pretty basic. A simple on-off switch, no temp controls or anything. It does heat up very fast which I liked and it was refreshing to be able to just turn something on again.

I've been trying to take pictures of my hair efforts with this curling iron... but the lighting and photo gods have not been on my side. The great thing about a curling iron this size is that it is even more versatile than a 1" iron, which is too small for me to straighten my hair. Yes, straighten my hair!

I used to do this years ago, before flat irons were everywhere. I've found that it is much faster than a flat iron, mostly because I can handle bigger chunks of hair with a curling iron than a 1" flat iron. As well, the ends of my hair are much easier to deal with using my curling iron. A very small amount of curl looks best and it is a much easier to replicate result for me than using a flip of my flat iron. Recently, Sarah from Confessions of a Product Junkie featured how to fake a blowout with a curling iron, and I can't explain it any better than her. This is what I've been doing for years!

I've also been trying to master Mindy's Wavy Hair over at Dear Emmie. This isn't too complicated, but I want to have it downt o a 5-10 minute science. I'm still at 15-20, so things are looking a little slow.

What's your favorite size of curling iron? Do use it to straighten or curl?



  1. I love using my curling iron to straighten my hair. I grew up in the big hair late 80s and early 90s but had a complete dislike of my curly hair. In became pretty adept at using the biggest curling iron I could find to smooth and soften my natural curls. I still do it today, although the available products make my job much easier than when I was a kid.

  2. I have always used a 1 3/4 or 2" curling iron to straighten my hair. I have very wavy/slightly curly hair and using the curling iron to straighten has always left me with volume and a natural look versus the stick straight straw I'd get with a flat iron. Plus I feel like it's gentler since the barrel doesn't touch all of my hair.

  3. I usually use a 1.25 inch barrel curling iron too because I have shorter/mid-length hair and I find it's easier with a smaller curling iron, but if you want more volume it's usually better to use a bigger one. Do you use the chi styling products? I've always wanted to try them.

  4. Hi! I'm not an expert on curling irons but a few years back I was at a shopping centre and stumbled across some girls promoting an INFRARED curling iron. I was told that it relaxes the hair and so it is also quicker to create curls (like it took about 3 sec., I counted :D) Do you know anything about this type of curling iron? I don't seem to find much on the web. TA

  5. There's one from Revlon that actually has infrared lights included in it, I don't know if it actually works or not. I've heard it's mostly a gimmick for hair curling.

  6. I have had this same curling iron for years and I love it! I have thick wavy hair and this is the only one I have found that works! Sadly today after years of travel, moves, and use it broke... So now I have to start the search for a replacement. Any tips?

    1. I don't have one unfortunately! If I still had mine I'd give it to you (I collect so many tools they get given away to friends after a while, so mine is long gone). I've only seen this model with the infrared, I'm surprised no one else ever made one!


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