Product Type: GHD Hair Straightener
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Give it to me straight
GHD IV Styler
Member Name: Joker25
GHD IV Styler
Advantages: Work very well, quick to heat up, durable
Disadvantages: Pricey, no temperature dial
I'd been through quite a number of different brands with varying degrees before coming to the realisation that I might as well bite the bullet and get a pair of GHDs.
As most will know, the acronym stands for Good Hair Day, which is what their appliances aim to help you create. The have a reputation as producing some of the best straighteners and they have a price tag to match; when I was buying mine there was no set available for under £100 although the website is now offering the Mark IV styler for £99.
To maintain exclusivity, this isn't a brand that's available in shops. Purchases must be made via a hairdresser or the GHD website. I would be very wary of buying them from any other source as they are likely to be fake. The genuine article will come with a holographic label and a product number that can be verified via the website.
Mine were a limited edition pink and white set which seem to be no longer available. However, it is only the casing and the accessories which are different; the actual straighteners are the same as the Mark IV styler.
With my set I got a carrying case that can be doubled back on itself to act as a heat-proof mat and a little mirror. Both are good quality and have lasted well over the past year. I don't use the mirror often but the carrying case is sturdy and commodious enough to safely store the straighteners, the cable and a couple of bottles of hair product. It's worth looking at the specs on the website as each set will come with different accessories.
Once plugged in, these straighteners are activated via a switch on the inside, near the hinge. They heat within 30 seconds which is impressive and very handy if you're in a rush. Once at temperature, a red LED flashes to let you know they're on and hot. If left unattended for a certain length of time (30 minutes, I think) these have an auto-shutoff feature. This works well as I've forgotten about them on a couple of occasions and haven't returned from work to find that my house is a pile of smouldering ashes. Another handy feature is the swivel cord which makes wandering around the room whilst straightening your hair a lot easier. They also have a 'shiver' feature which, if the ambient temperature is too low, prevents them from turning on in order to prevent electrical damage. I've never had this happen, even last winter when temperatures in my part of the world were down to -16 and the inside of my bedroom windows had frozen solid.
I mostly use these when my hair has been washed the night before and allowed to dry naturally, although I do also occasionally use them straight after my hair has been blow-dried. In both cases they give good results although the end result tends to be more sleek if I've blow-dried my hair and used a decent serum beforehand.
For the best look I section my hair and this ensures an even result with no rogue wavy bits. If I'm in a rush, though, I will just start at one side of my head and work my way round, running the straighteners through my hair in big chunks. This gives a result that's more than adequate for work purposes. I've got quite a decent head of hair and I can do a quick straighten in just under ten minutes or a more thorough version in around twenty to thirty minutes.
The ceramic plates are evidently good quality because they always glide through my hair easily, with none of the snagging and tangling that I sometimes go with cheaper brands. After a year of use there are no discernable signs of wear on the ceramic plates and they heat up as quickly as they ever did. Before buying I had been warned by quite a few people that GHDs are notoriously prone to breaking but mine have had daily use for a year and have always worked perfectly.
Despite what the name may imply, these can also be used to create waves and curls in the hair. It's best to search for a Youtube video on how to do this as it took me a while to get the knack of it. If you're prepared to really put the effort in and use special shampoo and curl products then you'll find that you get results that are easily as good as using tongs or rollers. If, however, you're like me, have fine hair and can't be arsed with any of that then you'll find that you get lovely curls that last for a couple of hours before dropping without trace.
I hate to admit that all the people who raved about GHDs were right, but they were. I would hope that my set will last for a good few years yet and when they eventually go to the great big appliance heaven in the sky I shall replace them with another set.
Summary: The best straighteners around
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