CHI Lava Curl Shot Review

If you know anything about hair tools, then you’ll know CHI products. They’re reliable and durable.

We zoom into the Chi Lava Curl Shot to see how good it is compared to its counterparts in the market. 

If you’ve seen any of those L-shaped curling wands or “curl bars” as they’re called, the Lava Curl Shot is CHI’s take on this hot tool.

Its lava-infused ceramic barrel and cool shot feature are what drew us into this nifty device, and if we like it, we’ll definitely keep it. Read our Chi Lava Curl Shot review and see if this styling tool is a keeper.

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CHI Volcanic Lava Ceramic Curl Shot 1" Curling Iron With Cool Shot Locks In Curls. Durable Barrel....*
  • 1" Volcanic lava Ceramic barrel provides less damage to the hair offering smooth, shiny results
  • Cool shot button sets curls for long-lasting results
  • Fast styling and long-lasting results without the damaging effects of high temperature
  • Lava Ceramic minerals conduct ions, which smooth, reduce frizz and lock-in shine providing moist heat for...
  • Lcd Digital TEMPERATURE display and with 1Hr auto shut-off

* Prices and Images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on 2021-11-09 at 22:36  

Features at a glance:

Product Name:CHI Lava Curl Shot
Sizes available:1” Barrel
Plate Material: Volcanic Lava Ceramic Barrel
Body Material:Plastic
Auto Shut Off: Yes
Dual Voltage:Yes

Its magnetic flap and sturdy box house the hair dryer-shaped tool. The wand is firmly horizontal to the handle, and it's not too heavy to hold. 

Sleek and matte, the cooling vent is directly behind the wand to blast the shot of cool air on the single barrel wand. The cooling vent is meant to cool down your locks: making the curls last longer.

The Chi Lava Curl shot is pretty easy to use once you get past the awkward few pieces as you curl your hair. You need to keep the wand horizontal to your head. 

The vent which houses the cooling fan keeps cool throughout styling and provides a powerful shot of cool air. You want to get smaller sections of hair to wrap around the barrel and take advantage of the Lava barrel.

What We Like

The Results:

The curls are bouncy and luscious- it may be the Volcanic Lava minerals in the ceramic barrel that holds in the heat and seal in the moisture for more shine and less frizz.

If you sport a longer bob: You can curl the end pieces for a spring/summer preppy effect. 

The Cooling Feature:

The cooling feature is also surprisingly strong. And I’ve figured out a hack with this one. You want to curl the hair, remove it from the wand while cupping it in your hand and give it a cool shot from there! 

You’ve got to be careful not to burn yourself, though. Better yet, use the gloves they’ve included.

I found the cooling feature doesn’t do much to cool the hair if it's still on the hot barrel. But it’s a great way to set the curl and make it last longer.

The 1” Barrel

The curls are defined and give girly a summer-time vibe. The barrel is made of Volcanic Lava Ceramic, which doesn’t damage your hair as much as a metal plate. But it's still a pretty good heat conductor.

Temperature Display

If you’re looking to track how much heat you’re putting on your hair, the Temperature Display can help guide you. If your hair is recovering from heat damage or you’re generally trying to use less direct heat, this comes in quite handy. 

What we didn’t like 

The Price

We’d expect a few more barrel sizes for variety in the styles we can pull off for its price.

I’d prefer to get a wand with more barrels to switch up the curls. Getting a grip of the handle on the Chi Lava Curl shot can be a bit tricky in the beginning because of the awkward shape of the handle.

The Cooling Feature

Yes, I love the cooling feature–the way I use it. I don't see much of a difference when you use it as prescribed, which is on the barrel.

The hair does not get the time to cool properly as it still gets the heat from the hair at the same time. The dryer that gives it the cool shot feature is also a bit bulky, making the wand a bit hard to use.

Another feature we didn’t really like was that you couldn’t detach the wand to get the cooling fan close enough to the hair to cool it down and hold the curl fully.

This means the other sectioned-off pieces are cooled down and ruffled up by the fan, a real downer if you were looking for more defined, set ends.

Single Barrel

Versatility is what we expect for wands with a price tag of over $100. It's a bit of a letdown that Chi only did 1 barrel for this one. The Volcanic Lava barrel doesn’t quite make up for the Curl Shot not having more attachment heads. 

CHI Lava Curl Shot Alternatives

Let’s look at other products in the market and see how they compare!

CHI Lava Curl Shot vs CHI Spin N Curl

The sister to the Lava Curl shot, The Spin N Curl is a great contender in terms of ease and control of the device.

The Spin n Curl spins the hair around the barrel while heating in a protective case. It is almost burn-proof and easy to use on the back of your head.

CHI Spin N Curl Special Edition Rose Gold Hair Curler 1". Ideal for Shoulder-Length Hair between...*
  • 1” Inch Ceramic Rotating Barrel ideal for shoulder-length hair between 6-16” length.
  • Includes Pre-set Temperatures: Low 370°F for Fine Hair, Medium 390°F for Medium Hair, High 410°F for Coarse...
  • Includes Adjustable Heat-Up Times: 15 seconds for Fine Hair, 17 seconds for Medium Hair, 19 seconds for Coarse...
  • Beep Alert / Auto Temperature Lock / 1 Hour Automatic Shut Off for Safety.Clean the surface of Spin n Curl...
  • Directional Buttons / Tangle Protection / 9ft. Swivel Cord / Dual Voltage / 2-year Limited Warranty

* Prices and Images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on 2021-11-10 at 04:53  

Honestly, when it comes to the curl, they work easily well on giving a defined lasting curl. You might notice a difference if you use the Lava Curl Shot over a longer period of time as it has the mineral Lava wand, which regulates heat and is less damaging to hair.  

Chi Lava Curl Shot vs Hot Tools Gold Curl Bar

Heating up to 450 degrees, the Hot Tools Curl Bar provides a cheaper alternative to the Chi Lava Curl Shot. It also has the “L” shaped feature of the lava shot with no cooling at the bend.

Hot Tools Professional 24K Gold CURLBAR Set*
  • Four interchangeable barrels (¾”, 1”, 1¼”, 1½”) for unlimited styling options.
  • Rotating Dial controls temperature and timer settings, temperatures reach up to 450°F.
  • Built-in Curl Timer with vibrating notification.
  • Soft Touch Handle provides comfortable grip.
  • Universal Dual Voltage makes this great for traveling.

* Prices and Images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on 2021-11-09 at 22:36  

It has a temperature display. The wand is metal and hot. So you’d want to add a heat protectant spray before use. Just like the Curl Shot, it's equally awkward to use at first, especially if you’re used to using a simple wand. 

It also has one barrel feature and does a great job, and gets a lasting curl. I’m really impressed by this tool.

The standard one comes with either a 1” barrel or a 1 ¼”   barrel. But you can get the Hot Tools Gold Curlbar set which comes with four interchangeable barrels, giving your more style versatility. 

CHI Lava Curl Shot vs Kristin Ess Soft Wave Pivoting Wand

At first glance, the Kristin Ess Pivoting Wand looks just like a regular curling wand.

But you can bend the wand to make it “L” shaped (do this before heating the wand, though!). It will click into place, and you can use it then.

Kristin Ess Soft Wave Pivoting Wand 1 ¼”*
  • "People always ask me why they would use a curling wand versus a curling iron. The answer is simple: You use a...
  • Tools: The need for affordable, professional heat styling tools has never been greater. Whether you're looking...
  • 1 1/4" Titanium barrel delivers heat faster, Rotating handle between 180° + 90°, Even heat for more...
  • Features: 1 ¼” barrel is perfect for creating easy, everyday waves, or soft, bouncy curls. Titanium barrel...
  • Innovative handle rotates from 180° to 90°, for easier styling, and less stress on your arms. Temperature...

* Prices and Images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on 2021-11-09 at 22:36  

If you’re not entirely convinced about curl bars or L-shaped curling wands, the Kristen Ess is a great option to choose since you can use it as a regular curling wand.

The L shape supposedly helps take the pressure off your wrists and make curling easier. But it takes practice to get the hang of it.

With all the bells and whistles of a quality heat styling tool, the Kristin Ess Pivoting Wand is a great contender, even just among curling wands. The fact that it can pivot and turn into an L-shaped curl bar is just a bonus.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Does the CHI Lava Curl Shot work on short hair?

Yes, the Chi Lava curl does work on short hair. As soon as you get comfortable with the grip, you’ll be able to give yourself soft, shiny curls. 

Does the Lava Curl Short work on Wet hair?

No, it does not work on wet hair. The wand gives direct heat to your hair. You should have your hair dry and add a little moisture with a heat protectant spray. The heat molds and shapes the hair without it being wet or damp.

How To Use The CHI Lava Curl Shot

  • Brush and detangle dry hair and  part into small sections
  • Turn on the Curl Shot to start the heating process
  • Apply Chi 44 Iron Guard Heat Protectant Spray
  • Working from the back of your head, section small pieces of hair and wrap around the wand
  • Hold hair around the barrel for 8-10 seconds.
  • Blast Curl Shot Cooling feature for 5 seconds and release
  • Use CHI Enviro 54 hairspray sparingly throughout your hair and lightly tousle

Final thoughts on the CHI Lava Curl Shot

Curl bars or L-shaped curling wands haven’t really become a thing compared to automatic hair curlers or cordless curling irons

You can tell this is the case due to the lack of competing products in the market.

The first curl bar ever, the Hot Tools Gold CurlBar, was released a few years ago. The only other L-shaped wand that came out is the CHI Lava Curl Shot.

If you’re one of those people who still love to use the good old curling wand, but want something more ergonomic, then get the CHI Lava Curl Shot. Your hair and hands will thank you.

Last Updated: June 9, 2021

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