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The best ghd straighteners for every style and hair type

With more 300 beauty awards behind them, the cult brand knows a thing or two about tresses

Sabine Wiesel
Thursday 03 June 2021 16:12
<p>All of these tools maintain a consistent heat of 185C – the optimum temperature for styling without damage</p>

All of these tools maintain a consistent heat of 185C – the optimum temperature for styling without damage

The name synonymous with hair straighteners, ghd is 20 this year. Responsible for revolutionising the way we style our hair today, ghd popularised at-home heat styling thanks to its game-changing touch-of-a-button stylers that made it possible to get salon results by ourselves.

The cult hair tools have become such an essential part of people’s every day that it’s hard to remember how we ever styled our hair without them. Before 2001, when three entrepreneurs from Leeds launched the original ghd styler into salons, we had to embrace our natural frizz and texture. And if we were lucky enough to own DIY straightening irons they were bulky, heavy and sometimes made our hair sizzle.

Then came along the haircare science and innovation from ghd. Hair stylists quickly sang ghd’s praises and the rest, they say, is history. Sleek, poker-straight hair became the only way to wear your hair in the Noughties, as the brand became a verb, and we all “ghd’d” our hair.

Since then ghd has been making waves – literally, as well as with new launches. We use the brand’s stylers to make beachy texture or bouncy curls, and it’s added hair dryers, wands, products and hot brushes along the way too.

With more than 300 beauty awards to its name, it’s no wonder the brand sells 2 million stylers every year, and all with its safer for hair heat styling technology, as ghd’s irons maintain a consistent heat of 185C. The optimum temperature, the brand says, for using heat on strands without compromising the health of the hair.

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With five straighteners to choose from, it can be difficult to work out which is the best option for not only your hair type but what you need and want the styler to do for you. Therefore, we gave them all a test run for you, so making the right investment couldn’t be easier…

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism acrossThe Independent.

The best ghd straighteners for 2021 are:

  • Best overall – ghd platinum+ styler: £189, Johnlewis.com
  • Best for straightening and curling – ghd gold styler: £149, Very.co.uk
  • Best for long, thick, textured or curly hair – ghd max styler: £179, Cultbeauty.co.uk
  • Best value – ghd original IV: £109, Lookfantastic.com
  • Best for short hair, fringes, precision styling and tight curls – ghd mini styler: £119, Lookfantastic.com

ghd platinum+ styler

Best: For everyday styling

The most high-tech straightener of the collection uses smart technology to predict your hair’s needs for bespoke styling. It recognises the thickness of strands and the styling speed, and responds to both, heating up accordingly. Infinity sensors then control the heat, monitoring the temperature a whopping 250 times a second across the plates. All this impressive tech means you’ll never compromise the health of your hair.

From the sleek design to the effortlessness of using it, this top-of-the-line straightener is a worthy investment for those that use a styler often, if not every day. We found it’s the quickest to use, as just one stroke leaves you with smooth, sleek and ultra-shiny strands. Our tester’s long, naturally wavy hair took minutes to straighten poker straight. And we felt reassured by the clever heat tech that we weren’t causing damage or colour fade to our fresh from the salon locks.

When it comes to curling, this makes light work of adding texture too. We didn’t find it much faster than the others in the collection, but we did find that the model’s wishbone hinge makes it easier, as there’s no chance of catching hair in the bracket like older models when twisting. It’s available in black, white or the anniversary ombré chrome edition (£199, Feelunique.com).

ghd gold styler

Best: For straightening and curling

The main difference we found with this styler compared to the platinum+, is it’s not quite as speedy to use. You’ll only really notice the difference between the two if you’re short on time in the mornings and are a daily or frequent user. If that doesn’t apply to you, save a few pounds and opt for the gold.

It’s a versatile option, as not only does it create a straight and glossy finish in minutes, we also found these slightly easier to create texture with. Whether you’re looking for loose waves or glamorous bouncy curls, the curved design of the barrel and edges of the plate made quick and easy work of it.

This styler uses two heat sensors, unlike just one in the original model, for a more evenly distributed temperature throughout the plates. This made it easy to glide through the hair without any snagging and create a smoother, sleeker finish compared with the original at just one stroke. You can also purchase the gold styler anniversary edition of this one too (£159, Lookfantastic.com).

ghd max styler

Best: For long, thick, textured or curly hair

The newest tool to the ghd professional hair straightening family is the go-to for those with more or trickier to style strands. It offers the same dual-zone tech as the gold styler for brilliant even heat distribution, but the selling point is the 1.65in ceramic wide-plates that are 70 per cent larger than the ghd original – promising to cut styling time by half.

This styler will tackle even the unruliest hair, transforming it into smooth and shiny strands much quicker than a smaller model, as promised. We were particularly impressed with the beautifully loose and natural-looking waves it creates thanks to the wider plate.

ghd original IV

Best: Value

Simple, effective and with a lower price-point, these are our go-to for newbies or less-seasoned straightener users. The iconic original still creates the same ghd magic, but with the main point of difference being they use ceramic heat technology that we found is slightly slower to use. This means, compared to the newer high tech models you do have to go over some sections.

It heats up in 30 seconds, slightly slower than the gold model, but still maintains the ghd optimum temperature of 185C that won’t cause damage to strands. And it still uses floating plates that flex just enough to glide easily through hair. All in all, you’re saving money on dated design and tech compared to other newer models.

ghd mini styler

Best: For short hair, fringes, precision styling and tight curls

The smallest straightener in the ghd range has a slim barrel with half-inch floating ceramic plates and the same tech as the original. This makes it ideal for those that struggle using larger plates on shorter hairstyles and great on sections of hair that needs extra attention.

If you’re looking to get to the roots, opt for these plates, as they give you the best control and are perfect for pixie cuts or the new must-have mullet. Those with texture who like to keep their length natural but struggle with kinks or cow’s licks in their fringes will love these too. The slender rounded edges also make easy work of creating tighter ringlet curls.

The verdict: ghd straighteners

The ghd brand is so well-loved and trusted after 20 years of bringing salon-worthy styling results into the comfort of our own homes that there’s not a styler that doesn’t make easy work of creating straight sleek styles or glamorous bouncy curls alike. For the most sophisticated option, our best buy goes to the ghd platinum+ styler for its speedy results that can work for any type of hair and length.

Voucher codes

For the latest discounts on hair styling appliances and other beauty buys, try the links below:

For more hair straightening gadgets, try our best hair straightener brushes for sleeker locks

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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