GHD Gold Professional Styler full review
GHD is a leading brand when it comes to salon quality hair styling at home. The GHD Gold Professional Styler is the latest addition to the brand’s line, along with the more advanced Platinum+ Professional Styler, both among the best hair straighteners out right now.
The Gold, a 1-inch round barrel straightener, automatically reaches the steady and optimal temperature of 185 Celsius, or 365 Fahrenheit, without a temperature dial or a digital display that's found in many straighteners on the market. The result: a minimalist solution to getting sleek, straight hair in a short time – though this depends on the volume and texture of your hair.
GHD Gold Professional Styler: Price and Availability
At this price point, it's on higher end of the range. The most basic GHD Professional Styler is available for (£109/$149) while the mid-range GHD Mini and Max Stylers retail from £119 to £135 (though both are $199 in the US).
GHD Gold Professional Styler: Design and Build
The Gold features a sleek, rounded 1-inch barrel. This allows the versatility to both straighten hair and style curls. The body itself is minimalist, without any displays or dials, and features two glossy (sparkling) ceramic plates that feel nearly frictionless. The smoothness really gives a sense of how little resistance is there is on the plates as it glides across your hair.
We like that the grip on the GHD Gold isn’t rigid either once the plates are clamped. A bit of flexibility helps the plates slide more graciously while preventing snagging.
The Styler itself is weighted but not heavy, making it a good companion for travel too. It helps that the GHD Gold offers universal voltage, which means it is compatible with any destination voltage demands. The 2.7 metres long power cord also swivels where it connects to the Styler, so you can move freely and turn the device to suit the best angle.
The Styler doesn't lock in the closed position, which you may find in other straighteners, but you do get a silicone heat guard that you can slip on after use, which keeps the prongs closed and also protects surfaces from residual heat.
GHD Gold Professional Styler: Features
The first thing you might notice about the Gold is that it doesn’t have a dial or a display to control its temperature. That’s because the Gold only reaches one temperature: 185 degrees or 365 Fahrenheit.
This is the ideal heat for your hair to prevent breakage and damage while maintaining glossiness. Lower temperatures tend to dry hair out due to multiple passes, while hotter temperatures can burn proteins in your hair. To prevent this, the Gold uses heat sensors inside both plates, branded as “dual-zone technology”, that monitor and ensure the temperature remains consistent throughout usage.
The Styler chimes when you plug it in. The circular power button lights up once pressed and blinks until the it reaches its optimal temperature. This should take 25 seconds, though we measured a happy 21 seconds.
The GHD Gold was impressive right away as it effortlessly glided through my hair. As someone with light to medium waves, my hair took about ten minutes to complete styling in full. The ends of my hair, usually bedevilled with coarse split ends, felt smooth and soft.
On the left, you can see the natural waves in my hair. The side-by-side comparison in the middle shows my hair mid-way through the process. The last image is the final result, which took about ten minutes in total.
I would advise using the Styler with a heat protection serum (GHD has its own for £12.95 - UK only), as I could smell heated hair, but this was likely a result of me leaving the plates clamped too long. The Gold didn’t snag my hair either.
We tried the Gold on thicker, curlier hair too to compare results. This required a few more passes, but the results were noticeable.
The GHD Gold made a noticeable difference when straightening thick, curly hair.
Hair felt soft, smooth and shiny. Though it wasn’t pin straight, this could be achieved with more time allowed on each section. In any case, we were impressed with the Gold’s standalone performance without the use of a hair brush or any serums, which is what a typical user might use at home.