Business Insider - CHI LAVA Spin N Curl Review - CHI Haircare
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  • My natural hair is quite curly but it can dry unpredictably, I’d never know if my curls would dry in one direction or another — or how they’d dry at all because my hair is so thick.
  • I got a keratin treatment almost two months ago to relax my curly hair, but since then, I’ve been exploring different ways to style my now-wavy hair — including curling it into something looser and controlled than my natural curls.
  • I tried the Chi Lava Spin N Curl which has a self-rotating barrel to curl hair easily, and it helped style my hair in about 20 minutes.
  • While styling pros might find this tool a bit limiting, the Lava Spin N Curl is truly designed for someone with more basic skills — like me.

Two months ago, I decided to get a keratin treatment to relax my curly, frizzy, and unruly hair. I’ve learned how to style my now-wavy hair everyday into something that isn’t a ponytail or braid, but I haven’t quite figured out how to do my hair for more formal occasions — like the weddings I’m attending in the fall and winter.

I’m really happy that I got the keratin treatment because my hair dries into a more relaxed wave now and it takes a fraction of the time to style. But because it used to be so voluminous and frizzy, I never perfected my styling skills. Now that I have a couple of weddings coming up in the fall and winter, I’ve been on a mission to find a curling iron that not only curls my hair but also does the bulk of the work for me.

Recently, I tried the Drybar Brush Crush to quickly straighten and smooth my roots as they grow out. It’s great for my everyday look, but with the weddings coming up, ideally, I’d like a style that looks like I put in a little more effort, like loose curls or soft waves. Yes, I realize that I have naturally curly hair, but it wasn’t as manageable or smooth previously.

I’m capable of using the most basic of hot tools like straightening brushes, but curling irons have always been an issue for me. Even with my relaxed hair, I can’t get consistent curls with a curling iron or wand, and any curls I manage to create always completely fall flat before my event. Not to mention, it’s really difficult to twirl your hair around a hot cylinder while contorting your arms to reach the back of your head.

I basically needed a curling iron that would do everything for me, and if it came with a personal hairstylist, even better.

After doing some research, I found the CHI Lava Spin N Curl, which looks a little intimidating at first (and nothing like your typical curling iron), but has taken almost all of the effort out of curling my own hair.


How to use the Lava Spin N Curl

The Chi Lava Spin N Curl has a 1-inch rotating barrel housed within a chamber that gently wraps your hair around it as opposed to you doing it manually.

The barrel is made with volcanic ceramic for even heating and comes with temperature settings that correspond to your hair type (370°F for fine hair, 390°F for medium, and 410°F for coarse). In addition, there are two directional buttons that you can use to curl your hair away or toward your face.

The Lava Spin N Curl will beep once it’s heated up to your desired temperature. Then you’d split your hair into small 1-inch sections, but depending on the thickness of your hair, you can probably add a little less or more.

To curl, twist a section of hair once or twice to make it a little more compact and easier to slip into the curling chamber. I normally hold the iron about two or three inches from my roots for more natural-looking waves, but you can place it wherever you want. And you can get the tool as close to your scalp as possible too — the outside of the chamber never gets too hot.

Once your hair is in the chamber, press and hold any of the two-directional buttons so the barrel spins and curls the hair toward or away from your face. Your hair will slowly get pulled into the curling chamber and around the barrel — your hands never have to move the tool at all. Hold the directional button until the device beeps three times, release, and lower the tool so the hair slides out of the curling chamber.

It’s that simple — you do virtually no work.

Because the device wraps your hair around the barrel, you get the same sized curl each time for a uniform look. Plus, the directional buttons eliminate any confusion on which way your hands need to twist the curling iron, and you won’t burn your fingers off trying to get your ends in a clamp either. The whole process took me about 20 minutes to complete and I didn’t get frustrated once.

Here is what my hair looks like right after I curled it (left), and after I brushed them out with my hands to achieve a looser curl (right).

I was a little nervous that the rotating barrel would eat my hair, but surprisingly, it didn’t tug or catch on my strands. The one time it did (which was my fault), it immediately stopped and started beeping to alert me to reset the wand. Even then, my hair and scalp came out unscathed.

Cons to consider

If you’re a hair styling expert, this product probably isn’t for you because of its limitations. The barrel just creates 1-inch curls, so it might not be as appealing to someone who likes to switch up curl sizes for a more natural look.

It also doesn’t come with a stand, so you have to be careful when placing it on the counter so it doesn’t roll away or burn your toothbrush.

Compared to some of our top picks in the best curling iron guide, this is one of the more expensive curling options at $130. Still, I feel like it’s worth the investment for someone who has a hard time curling their hair since it does most of the work for you and creates the same type of loose curl each and every time, which is something I have trouble doing on my own. As a result, I spend far less time fumbling with a standard curling iron and more time showing off my finished hair.

The bottom line

I was surprised by how easy this tool was to use because like I mentioned before, it initially looked odd and more complicated to use than a regular curling iron. After testing it though, I realized it was designed that way to do the work for you and is made for those less skilled in the styling department like myself — the $130 investment is worth it.

After having much success and fun showing off my waves, I fully plan on using the Chi Lava Spin N Curl to style my hair for my friends’ weddings in the coming weeks.


CHI LAVA Spin N Curl

Create flawless curls and waves at the push of a button with the CHI Lava Spin N Curl. Sourced from some of the most effective heat-conducting materials found on earth; volcanic lava combined with the power of CHI ceramic creates bouncy, sleek results without the damaging effects of high heat styling.


  •  1” Volcanic Lava Ceramic rotating barrel creates bouncy curls and waves
  • Maximum temperature of up to 410°F/210°C
  • Includes pre-set temperature settings with adjustable heat-up times and display
  • Curl chamber surrounded by a protective heat barrier for safe usage
  • Directional buttons with tangle protection
  • Temperature display with auto-lock
  • 11 ft. (3.35m) swivel cord


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