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Dyson airwrap vs ghd creative curl wand: Which hair styler is best?

We put tools from leading hair care brands head to head to find out which you should invest in

Chloë James
Wednesday 16 December 2020 18:19
<p>We tested how easy it was to perfect our style and how long it lasted</p>

We tested how easy it was to perfect our style and how long it lasted

Curling your hair is one of the beauty’s biggest battles. Not only is it tricky to nail the technique, but some styles fall flat within minutes of perfecting them and, even if it stays perfect, you’ve got to contend with the risk of long-term heat damage.

Determined to solve these problems, Dyson launched its groundbreaking airwrap tool in 2018 after six years of research. The device broke the internet upon release – with multiple attachments, it has the ability to not just curl, straighten and volumise hair, but also manages to simultaneously dry it without applying extreme direct heat.

For those curling hair on a daily basis, this was a complete gamechanger. However, some still question whether styling hair using only air can really give the same results as a classic curling wand.

To find the answer, we put the airwrap to the test against one of the best in the business. After dominating the industry for nearly 20 years, ghd knows a thing or two about hair (its name literally stands for “good hair day”). The curve creative curl is a traditional wand, first released back in 2014 alongside three other devices, designed for use by professional hair stylists. 

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What really gives it an edge is its tapered design which, unlike a straight wand, gives you more flexibility over your styling.

To see how it holds up against the airwrap, we created every kind of curl possible using both devices. Loose waves, tight curls, big bouncy volume – we put both to the test, assessing how easy it was to perfect our style and how long it held up afterwards.

ghd curve creative curl wand

Temperature: 185C

Barrel size: 23mm – 28mm

Cord length: 2.7m

As the name suggests, this ghd wand is designed to give you creative freedom over your hair. From beach waves to Hollywood curls, it has a tapered design spanning from 28mm at the base of the barrel to 23mm at the tip to let you control the size of each ringlet.

When it comes to creating the curl, it works like any other wand. Hair wraps around the barrel and is held in place for a few seconds before letting go to reveal a perfect curl. The wider the barrel section you use, the bigger the curl. We recommend using the wider part of the barrel and bigger sections of hair for looser curls, and brushing through them to achieve a wavey look. Those with short hair will want to stick to the narrower end.

Curling wands can be tricky to master at first, but we found this easy to use. It heats up to its maximum temperature of 185C very quickly, dinging to let you know when it’s done. This heat is maintained throughout the whole barrel so is powerful enough to create your perfect curl on the first try. ghd claims that this is the ideal temperature for creating a long-lasting style. Put to the test, this is definitely the case. Even very loose curls lasted well into the next day.

While this is a lot of heat to expose your hair to, the temperature is monitored by technology that recognises the thickness of hair and adapts the styling temperature accordingly. There’s also a cool tip and it comes with a styling glove to protect your fingers.

Unlike the Dyson airwrap, you can only use the tool on dry hair, so it's vital to roughly blow dry your hair first. Those curling their hair on the regular couldn’t ask for a more solid tool – however, it definitely works better on longer styles as the barrel is quite lengthy.

Dyson airwrap hair styler complete

Temperature: 150C

Barrel size: 30mm – 40mm

Cord length: 2.62m

The release of the airwrap solidified Dyson’s recent dominaton over the hair industry. What set it apart from its competitors was its ability to style hair with minimal damage thanks to its use of air rather than direct heat.

Two years on, the concept is no less revolutionary now than it was then. Whether you’re looking to dry, straighten, curl or just smooth out your hair, the device uses something called the “coanda effect” to attract hair to the surface of your chosen attachment, projecting air along each strand to smooth and set your style.

This all sounds a lot more complex than your average styling tool. However, in reality it’s much easier to use. We reviewed the complete set, which includes four barrels for curling (two clockwise and two counter-clockwise), two smoothing brushes, a volumising brush and a pre-styling dryer. The latter works like any other hairdryer, while the brush attachments transform the device into a hot brush. Simply brush through your strands, pulling up and away from the head to straighten and volumise. Anyone who struggles to mimic a salon-esque blow dry will appreciate this – the air flow aims to replicate a hairstylist’s technique, directing air down rather than up as is normally the case when styling your own hair.

Curling is where the tool really thrives. It’s also the trickiest technique to master at first. Hold the device about 3cm away from the end of your hair, bring the barrel underneath and let the hair wrap around it. Hold it in place for a few seconds, press the cold switch to set the curl, turn off the device and pull it away. The sensation is strange at first, but cuts styling time in half once perfected. Because it does most of the hard work for you, curls end up more even than when you style with a wand. There’s also no risk of accidentally burning yourself – it might be capable of reaching 150C, but it checks the temperature over 40 times a second to prevent unnecessary damage.

It might be pricey, but for those styling their hair on a regular basis, it’s the healthiest option and a more than worthy investment. Of course, its biggest selling point is the fact it manages to simultaneously dry and style hair, drastically cutting styling time. But second to that is its ability to create the perfect curl – this can be a hassle for anyone short on time or patience but there’s no other device that can tame the thickest, stubbornest hair into ringlets with so little effort. Admittedly the curls won’t last overnight, most likely because of the low heat. However, they’re quick and easy to refresh.

Using the airwrap on the go can be a bit of a hassle, mainly due to transporting the many attachments. Thankfully it does come with a handy travel bag, as well as a storage case in Dyson’s latest edition. It’s also surprisingly lightweight.

The verdict: ghd vs Dyson airwrap 

Our favourite device is the Dyson, which is purely down to ease of use and the number of styling options it provides. Once you’ve nailed the technique, you couldn’t ask for an easier styling experience. Eliminating hair drying from our beauty routine is a massive timesaver. The health of your hair and scalp will also thank you in the long-run.

However, we can’t deny that the ghd gives you longer-lasting results. It’s easy to use, works quickly and gives hair a very even curl. We also can’t not mention the price difference. The price tag of the airwrap is hefty but worth it, but if you prefer not to switch up your style on a regular basis you might prefer to invest in the ghd curve.

Want sleek hair with minimal damage? Check out our round-up of the best hair straighteners 

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