Counterfeit is rampant and it doesn’t discriminate, not even against hair products. CHI has a popular line of flat irons that often sell for more than $100. This price far exceeds a lot of other flat irons that sell for $30 or less. As a result of its high price and popularity, the CHI brand has attracted a host of imitators. Not only are CHI knock-off irons rampant, but they are often made of inferior parts.

Look at the CHI iron cord. Many fake CHIs only have two prongs on the plug. Many real CHIs have three prongs on the plug with a reset button. There are some authentic CHI models with a two-prong plug, but most two-prong CHIs are fake.

Identify stickers on the handle. Stickers are a sign that the CHI iron is fake. Also, many fake CHI irons fail to include electrical information on the handle (for example, 20 Watts). Real CHI irons have the words “Global Beauty Network, Inc.” stamped on the handle. The inside of the handle will have the words “Farouk Systems, Inc” and have a certification number right below it.

See if the ceramic on the irons is peeling or worn off. This is a sign that the plates are actually not made of ceramic but aluminum. Real CHI irons will not wear or chip.

Close the irons together and see if they move. Real CHI irons will move slightly to the side when pressed together.

Read the CHI manual. All CHI irons come with a manual. Many fake CHI products will also include a manual, but it is not unusual to see misspelled words in a manual that accompanies a fake CHI. The manual should also include contact information for Farouk Systems on the cover with a legitimate customer service number.

Call customer support. The number is listed on the front of the manual. Give the representative the model number of your CHI flat iron and she will be able to tell you if it is authentic.

Be aware of the seller. Purchase the iron from a trusted retailer or seller. If the price is too low and the seller is selling a new CHI iron, it is likely that the iron is fake.