The best GHD straighteners, ranked by a beauty editor

What would a world without ghd straighteners be like? You could bank on a few more bad hair days at the very least. Since 2001 this cult brand has led the way in creating cutting-edge smoothing and styling devices for every hair type and look. 

Two decades on from the launch of the original styler, ghd now offers a varied collection of the best straighteners you can find anywhere. This brand has won hundreds of awards, created the flat iron of choice for top stylists globally, and most importantly, is still the go-to brand for home straightening. So if you are thinking of investing in new hair straighteners, you’ve probably also wondered if there’s a model within ghd’s offering that’s right for you.

The good news is, the answer is almost certainly yes. During their 20-year reign over the styling market, ghd has brought out a variety of upgrades and hair type specific iterations of their classic flat iron, as well as someof the best hair dryers on the market, the best hair straightener brush according to the experts and a whole range of the best curling irons with their Curve line. So of course, ghd straighteners’ offering has a styler for every need—from wide plates for curly hairstyles to mini versions for short hairstyles and new cordless models for on the go.

Best ghd straighteners, by our beauty team

How do you know which GHD straighteners are right for you? When you’re considering paying hundreds for a hair tool, it needs to check all the boxes, so we analyzed everything from size and weight to ease and speed of styling—while also considering cost—so that you can make the best choice (and investment) possible.

ghd Platinum+ in black, one of w&h's best ghd straighteners picks,

(Image credit: ghd)

1. ghd Platinum+

 

Best ghd straightener overall

Specifications

Cord length: 9ft swivel cord

Temperature: 365ºF/185c (variable)

Warranty: 2 years

Added extras: 25-30 second heat up, heat resistant protective plate, universal voltage, and automatic sleep mode

Reasons to buy

+

Ceramic plates prevent heat damage

+

Monitors heat to maintain temperature

+

Round barrel enables versatile, snag-free styling

+

Gentle dry, damaged, and colored hair

 

Reasons to avoid

Plates don’t open as widely as others

 

Our top choice and ghd’s most premium straightener option is often pitted against the Dyson Corrale, so if you’re weighing up Dyson Corrale vs GHD Platinum+ it’s worth taking a few factors into consideration. The Platinum+ features predictive heat technology, which intelligently adapts to the thickness and density of the hair—meaning more control, less damage, and fewer split ends.

It also heats up in just 15 seconds and the wishbone hinge makes styling feel easier than with older ghd models—no clamping or awkward angles to contend with. Thanks to the smooth plates, you can achieve sleek or waved results in record time. Do bear in mind though, that less damage doesn’t necessarily equate to a free pass with heat styling, especially if your hair is brittle, weak, or color-treated. There is no such thing as a damage-proof hair straightener.

It’s also worth noting that Platinum+ comes with a three-year warranty in case your model misbehaves (all other ghd hair straighteners hold a two-year warranty). Wondering if you really need to go for the top brass in the ghd cannon? ghd Platinum+ vs ghd Gold is a common quandary. Both are great stylers for regular users, but if you’re concerned about the drying effects of heat-styling on brittle, delicate, or damaged hair, we recommend the Platinum+ between the two.

Read our full ghd Platinum+ hair straightener review

ghd Original - Hair Straightener (New & Improved)

(Image credit: ghd)

2. ghd Original Hair Straightener (New & Improved)

 

Bestselling ghd straightener

Specifications

Cord length: 9ft swivel cord

Temperature: 365ºF/185c

Warranty: 2 years

Added extras: 25-30 second heat up, ceramic heat technology, automatic sleep mode, universal voltage, and protective plate guard

Reasons to buy

+

Suitable for all hair types

+

Single-zone technology

+

Round barrel

+

Updated ghd interface

+

Automatic sleep mode after 30 minutes

 

Reasons to avoid

Slim plates can equate to longer styling time

 

Can you believe that it was 21 years ago when the ghd Original Styler landed on our shelves? A total game-changer, the hot tool quickly became world-famous and now, two million are sold every year across the globe. While it remains a best-seller, the team at ghd has decided to give the original styler an upgrade—making use of the latest technological advancements.

The “new and improved” Original Styler features the same sleek look with slim plates that can be used to curl, wave, and straighten strands. The difference is that the plates now boast a gloss coating to guarantee sleek, smooth results.  The ceramic heat technology is as effective as it ever was, but it now also ensures there’s no extreme heat, using the optimum styling temperature of 185°C.

A simple and straightforward styler, you can’t go wrong with this hot tool. It does take a little longer to cover the entire head when compared to the Max or Platinum+ models, but the slimmer handle allows you to get right into the hairline when styling. The new version also features single-zone technology so that the heat is evenly distributed across both ceramic plates to help effortlessly style your hair.

ghd unplugged in white, one of w&h's best ghd straighteners picks,

(Image credit: ghd)

3. ghd Unplugged

 

Best cordless ghd straightener

Specifications

Temperature: 365ºF/185c

Warranty: 2 years

Added extras: Advanced lithium-ion battery, USB charging, 3 minute shut-off

Reasons to buy

+

On the go styling

+

Ultra-lightweight

+

Handy charging options

 

ghd Unplugged joins the latest wave of cordless stylers to land on the market, including the Dyson Corrale Hair Straightener and Babyliss 9000 Cordless Hair Straightener, and brings plenty of useful features to the party.

Despite its somewhat chunky appearance, this styler is extremely lightweight for a cordless option. Weighing in at 35% less than the Platinum+, and measuring just under nine inches across, it’s compact and easy to maneuver. It features the usual ghd specs, such as dual-zone heaters and ceramic plates, as well as the slick styling experience we’d expect from ghd.

Now, about that battery life. You get 20 minutes in total from a full charge—which takes about two hours. If you have fine hair, that will be plenty. But if you have thick or curly hair, you could probably only use this as a top-up tool as opposed to your main styler. With that said, they do make charging easy thanks to a USB port, so you can easily plug it into your laptop or car to give it a boost. Overall, this is a great pick for travel and touch-ups.

ghd gold in black, one of w&h's best ghd straighteners picks,

(Image credit: ghd)

4. ghd Gold

 

Best GHD straightener for curling and waving hair

Specifications

Cord length: 9ft swivel cord

Temperature: 365ºF/185c

Warranty: 2 years

Added extras: 25-30 second heat up, two generation heat sensors, contoured floating plates, round barrel, heat resistant plate guard, and universal voltage

Reasons to buy

+

Glides through hair easily

+

Styling opportunities are endless

+

Rounded barrel makes curling easy

 

A great versatile styler, the Gold is a great pick for anyone who likes to experiment with their hair. Curved in design and with a rounded barrel, you can create curls and waves at a quicker rate than any other pair of ghd straighteners. Top tip? leave the ends free for beach hair waves. If you’d rather go smooth and sleek, the floating mechanism on the plates moves easily down the hair shaft without snags.

Heat-wise, these straighteners warm up in just 25 seconds and are pleasingly lightweight and easy to maneuver. You can expect an even temperature without hot spots due to the highly intelligent heat sensors in each plate. This allows for controlled styling without the need for repeat passing through the hair—a big tick.

If you’re after styling versatility with a nod to heat protection, the ghd Gold should suit your needs. There’s no ionic technology to keep static at bay, so they may not suit those with very frizzy hair but you can still achieve a smooth, sheeny look. And if you are determined to perfect how to curl hair with straighteners, this is the gold standard option.

ghd Max, one of w&h's best ghd straighteners picks

(Image credit: ghd)

5. ghd Max

 

Best ghd straightener for thick or long hair

Specifications

Cord length: 9ft swivel cord

Temperature: 365ºF/185c

Warranty: 2 years

Added extras: 25-30 second heat up, ceramic heat technology, automatic sleep mode, large round barrel, smooth, contoured 1 ½ floating plates, and multi-styler

Reasons to buy

+

Ideal for long, curly, or thick hair

+

Minimizes damage, breakage, and frizz

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One pass is usually enough

 

Reasons to avoid

Takes a little longer to heat up

 

If you have thick hair, curly hair, or a natural hairstyle that you’d like to smooth out every now and then, the ghd Max is undoubtedly one of the best straighteners for curly hair on the market.  With broad plates that are double the width of other ghd models (two inches vs. the usual one), you can hold and smooth larger sections of hair to cut down on styling time.

These generous proportions also allow thick hair to be styled at a consistent 185ºC, which will be a godsend to anyone who worries about having to make repeated passes and frazzling individual sections. This sets it apart from other brands’ irons designed for thick hair, many of which rely on higher heat that can cause damage over time.

The downside of larger plates is they do take slightly longer to heat up than other ghd stylers, but the time you’ll save during styling thanks to its XL design will more than make up for it. It’s also worth noting that it can be harder to create waves and curls with this tool but if your main hair straightener uses are to smooth and straighten, this is the one for you.

ghd Mini, one of w&h's best ghd straighteners picks,

(Image credit: ghd)

6. ghd Mini

 

Best ghd straightener for short hair and bangs

Specifications

Cord length: 9ft swivel cord

Temperature: 365ºF/185c

Warranty: 2 years

Added extras: dual-zone sensors monitor heat, enhances shine, makes versatile styles, and creates a healthy look

Reasons to buy

+

Narrow plates perfect for short styles

+

Heats up quickly

+

Very portable

 

Reasons to avoid

Design could be more robust

 

With a plate width of just half an inch, this pocket rocket allows for precision styling that’s ideal for both a bangs hairstyle and a pixie haircut. The ghd Mini also offers the same styling power as other ghd models, including the Gold and Platinum+.

Due to its size, it can feel a little fragile in the hand, although we never experienced any issues while using it and the two-year warranty should set your mind at ease. It has simple controls, sticking with ghd’s signature temperature of 365ºF/185ºC which takes away any guesswork, and the floating plates ensure a smooth, snag-free experience.

If you find that your short hair sticks out at weird angles when using conventional straighteners, or that larger tools leave a dent in the top of your hair, then you’ll likely fall in love with the Mini. Styling every section may take a little longer, but the seamless results will be worth it in the end.


Your GHD straightener FAQs answered

Do ghd straighteners turn off automatically?

It’s that agonizing question we all ask ourselves after leaving the house in a hurry: “did I forget to turn my hair straighteners off?” You rack your brain back to that very moment you put them down but cannot remember if you turned them off or not. Do not fret. All ghd hair straighteners are programmed to switch themselves off automatically after 30-minutes. Phew!

How hot do ghds get?

All ghd tools reach an optimum heat of 185°C/365°F. This temperature has been specially chosen because, according to the brand, it’s scientifically proven to produce long-lasting straight hair without causing damage to individual strands. Their research found that anything above this optimum temperature can cause structural damage to your hair.

How long do ghds last?

Most ghd straighteners come with a warranty of two or three years for peace of mind but many users claim that their styler has lasted upwards of five years. The trick is to take good care of the styler, cleaning them after use (once cooled) and storing them in a heat-resistant bag.

If your hair straighteners are not maintaining an even heat, or it’s taking longer to style your hair—it could be that they’re past their best. Some experts recommend replacing them after four years.

How to heat protect hair when using ghds

“One of the best hair care tips, which is very often ignored, is using a heat-protective spray on your hair before using any heated tools,” says Charlotte Mensah, ghd global ambassador, and hairstylist. “If you do, you’ll love how your hair looks even after the styling wears off! Follow this commandment, and your hair will really thank you for it.”

Here are the key ingredients to look out for when it comes to heat protection for hair:

  • Humectants: Humectants act as water magnets that help hair draw in and retain more moisture. Glycerin, panthenol, and propylene are all types of humectants that can often be found in heat protectant sprays to deliver hydrated, healthy hair results.
  • Amino Acids: Amino Acids work as strengthening and conditioning agents. In the world of haircare, their main function is to supply nourishing antioxidants to repair surface damage. For example, Keratin is a structural protein that helps strengthen strands to restore and repair heat and color damage.
  • Natural Oils: Natural oils seal and protect your hair cuticle, all while locking in moisture. They work especially well for thick, curly, or natural hair, as these types can take on a heavier product without getting weighed down. If we’re calling out superhero ingredients, coconut oil repairs split ends and shields your hair against the effects of heat-styling tools. Not to mention, a little goes a long way.

How to curl your hair with ghd straighteners

“My top tip on curling hair is to trust the styler, don’t clamp and drag the plates
down the hair—It’s not a competition to curl it in the fastest time possible, so take your time with the sections you are curling and let the styler do the work for you,” says Patrick Wilson, ghd creative artist. Follow his step-by-step guide below:

  1. Prep: “Always use heat protector before using any heated tool on your hair, my favorite is the ghd heat protect spray.”
  2. Turn & push: “When curling around the face, make sure you direct the hair away from the face. Place the styler at the root, before turning it 180 degrees. Apply a light pressure and push downwards until you reach the ends of the hair.”
  3. Direction: “It is important to alternate the direction of the curls when moving onto the back of the head as this will give your hair more volume and texture.”
  4. Dress: “Once you’ve finished curling your whole head it’s important to let the hair cool down before brushing and dressing out as this will help set the curls in place. I always use the ghd detangling comb, £8.50for a natural finish as the wide tooth’s brush the curls out very softly.”
  5. Finish: “Finish off by setting the hair with a hairspray to ensure your hair is set in place.”

woman&home thanks Charlotte Mensah and Patrick Wilson for their time and expertise

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