The Difference is CHI
It's funny how we want what we don't have. I think that's especially true when it comes to hair. We want it curly when it's naturally straight, and when we have natural curls, we spend hours flat ironing.
Chemical relaxers can often be super damaging to your hair. The product is often harsh, burns your head, and can cause so much damage to your hair that it's just not worth the trouble. The CHI Straightening System is different than other relaxers on the market. It's 100 percent ammonia free and completely color safe. The damage done after the service was quite minimal and the results were quite amazing.
The CHI system is very involved. It takes a minimum of two to four hours to complete. Time will depend on your hair length, texture, and the level of experience of your stylist.
When the service is done properly, the CHI system infuses the hair with silk, protein, and moisture. CHI utilizes several of its products throughout the process including Silk Infusion, Keratin Mist, Infra Treatment Shampoo, Infra Treatment, the CHI flat iron, and CHI hair dryer. The straightening chemicals and these products are specifically designed to work together to deliver outstanding results.
At the end of the day, you get a permanent chemical straightening service, a deep conditioner, and a reconstruction service all in one. You can color or even highlight your hair after the service, and it can be done on hair that has been permed, relaxed, colored, or highlighted. However, the CHI Straightening System is not compatible with hair that has been relaxed with a sodium relaxer.
The biggest difference between the CHI Straightening System and other relaxers that I've used in the past, is the final result. I was amazed at how soft, shiny, and healthy looking the hair was after the service.
Cost and Maintenance
The other major difference with the CHI Straightening System is the price. Price points for a standard chemical relaxer start at around $50 - $100. The CHI straightening system will be significantly higher. Most salons that I have spoken to start at around $300 - $500.
So, is it worth the extra cost? If having soft, straight, shiny, bouncy hair is important to you, then absolutely. It's important that you choose a stylist that is well versed in doing this type of service. Timing and following the steps of the service exactly are very important and, as with any chemical service, can have devastating results if not performed properly.
What kind of maintenance is required?
It's important to take good care of your hair after ANY chemical service, and the CHI straightening system is no exception. CHI recommends using Silk Infusion and Keratin Mist. A heat protecting spray should still be used when using a flat iron or curling iron (and it is okay to curl your hair after you straighten it). A good moisturizing shampoo and conditioner will keep your hair in good condition after the service as well.
While I was impressed with the CHI Straightening System and the results, it is important to let you know that not all experiences are positive. Severe breakage and damage can be caused with the CHI Straightening System if it is not administered properly by a stylist that has been trained to use the system as intended.
I can not caution you enough to consult with your stylist prior to any chemical service to make sure that your hair is in good enough condition to handle it! It is very important to be up front and honest with your stylist about all chemical processes done to your hair prior to the consultation.