CHI is not a brand name and can be applied to any flatiron that uses ceramic plates. The Farouk CHI flatiron is a leading brand in the flatiron space in America, however, not every CHI flatiron belongs to the Farouk brand.
Retailers sometimes prey on customers that don't realise that not all CHI flatirons are Farouk by charging an unnecessary premium on all CHI products.
What are the benefits of ceramic plates?
Ceramic plates are superior to metal plates because they transfer heat more rapidly, more evenly and the level of heat can be regulated better so they are likely to straighten hair better and with the least heat damage.
No. In order to create heat metal is needed. Most ceramic irons have aluminium as the base plate and several ceramic layers on top of that. Cheaper ceramic irons will only have a thin ceramic layer which gets eroded after a few months.
When should you replace your ceramic iron?
If you see that the surface of your ceramic iron is uneven, then it's likely that the ceramic layer has been (partly) eroded so it's best to replace it.
An uneven surface will also mean uneven heating as some spots on the iron will get hotter than others. This will increase the likelihood of heat damage and even hair breaking as it gets caught on the eroding plate and snags.