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 • Hair  • Haircare Reviews  • Could the MD London Strait Hair Straightener *Actually* Be Better than My GHDs?
MD LONDON hair strait hair straighteners

Could the MD London Strait Hair Straightener *Actually* Be Better than My GHDs?

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Main Image – Courtesy of writer

When it comes to hair straighteners, I’m pretty darn picky. I’ve always been a GHD girl through and through for my thick, dry, wavy hair, but it wasn’t until I arrived on holiday last year that I needed to think outside of the box. This is because the voltage on my GHD Duet Style wasn’t suitable for my US power supply. Disaster.

I hastily purchased a $20 pair of Remington straighteners from Walmart and used them for the duration of my holiday. It was actually pretty good. It straightened, heated up quickly and, despite having absolutely zero heat protection and the fact that it really badly dried my hair out, it would at least work for my two weeks away.

But when I got home, I kind of missed using my trusty yet hair-frying Remington straightener. OK there were two important things missing from it – heat adjustment to protect my hair and an automatic switch off. But I liked how lightweight and super skinny it was and much easier it was to use than the GHD Duet Style (which by the way is brilliant, and a very different kind of straightener altogether, but it’s quite heavy and clunky).

It made me realise I had been a total straightener (GHD) snob and that I should open my eyes to other brands who could offer me what I needed for a fraction of the price. (Apparently, it’s not all about GHD…who knew?)

Enter stage left, MD London, created by the very lovely hair expert and friend of Live That Glow, Michael Douglas. He has launched a straightener, a hair waver, a hair dryer and a selection of hairbrushes that give other hair brands a serious run for their money.

And yes, you’ve guessed it. I tested the MD London Strait Hair Straightener (£109 on the MD London website) – which does have heat adjustment and automatic switch off by the way – to see how it compares to my beloved GHDs. Here’s how I got on.


The product details

With a whopping eleven heat settings (230 degrees max, which is hotter than most) Strait has an easy-to-understand LED screen and three buttons – one on/off switch and two arrows to adjust your heat settings.

It also comes with a heat mat wrap so you can instantly unplug the straightener, wrap it up and store it or put it in your bag without burning anything else while it cools down. And, possibly the most important thing for this forgetful beauty editor is that it turns off automatically if you haven’t used it for 30 minutes. So, no more reminder notes on the front door required (just me?).

The box comes with a QR code that takes you straight to an information/how-to video with Michael too. I mean, straightening your hair is pretty universal but when it comes to his Wave product, I can imagine this feature being super handy.


MD LONDON hair strait hair straighteners

Image – Courtesy of writer


First impressions

Can we just have a moment for the fact that you get a choice of really nice colours (green, pink and blue)? Which I know seems like a silly thing to get excited about but come on, it’s always a fun option to have in life, whatever you’re buying.

I chose Casal Blue and when I opened the box, it was a sexier blue than I was expecting. Yes, I know this doesn’t affect the use, bla bla bla, but it looks cool which is just as important.*

*Not really as important.

The other thing I noticed was the soft matte feel of the straightener. It didn’t feel plasticky or cheap. It felt rather suave and luxurious.

It was super lightweight too – YES! No more back-breaking, arm-breaking styling time for me, which is actually why I sometimes just can’t be bothered to wash my hair a lot of the time – the arm ache afterwards just isn’t worth it.

I switched it on with a single click of the on/off button and the LED screen instantly lit up and counted quickly upwards to 180. I like how you can see how hot it’s getting, and how quickly too, as with some electricals you’re not quite sure when it’s going to be ready.

There’s no loud beep when it’s done (or that cheap-sounding GHD ‘chime’), it just stops when it gets to 180 and then you can adjust it accordingly, once it’s reached its standard temperature. 

Running it through my hair was a dream. It’s lightweight, the glide of the plates and best of all – no snagging. I have had a lot of problems with my GHD Platinum catching strands of my hair in the corner groove of the plate and it physically hurting as I run it through my hair.

I even complained to head office about it and was told no one else had mentioned it. I was kindly sent another pair and the same thing happened. Not just me then.

So, you can imagine my delight when I used the MD London straightener and there was zero snagging, just a comfortable, super-smooth operation with each pass. It doesn’t burst your ear drums when you clamp the plates together either, no matter how hard you do it. Some straighteners can be loud and unnerving when you use them near your ears but this is very softly ‘spoken’ and muffled. I love it.

And finally, the skinniness of this straightener is fab – I have a short bob, so trying to get into the roots underneath and around the back of my head with a clunky hair straightener is pointless. And even if you have longer hair, or even a fringe, you’d still benefit from thin plates so that your roots can be just as straight as the rest of your hair.


MD LONDON hair strait hair straighteners

Image – Courtesy of writer


My surprising results

Most importantly, this straightener straightens! Depending on how hot you make it, it should be a pretty quick job. I like to keep mine on the 200-degree setting which gets me through my thick, somewhat unruly hair without needing to do more than one or two passes through each section. Thinner hair types will need it cooler for this kind of experience – bonus.

So, are they better than a pair of GHDs? Ok, I wouldn’t exactly chuck my GHDs away and I’d still use them if I had no other option. But, hand on heart, yes. MD London has finally given me a reason to stray.

This straightener is lighter, smoother, and just all-around classier. Michael Douglas has clearly done his homework on what people want from their straighteners and he’s put everything he’s learned (including years and years of hair expertise) into Strait.

I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’ve shelved my GHDs and MD London has taken pole position on this beauty editor’s dressing table.


What other users are saying

I couldn’t find one bad review on the MD London website. Ok, Strait is new but it’s not that new. Amanda Burleton is a girl after my own heart. “They have taken some getting used to as I have always had GHDs but I have found the size of them is better with my short hair,” she says. “I also love that you can change the heat settings which is the main reason I bought them. I love the colour.”

Cici Emmons says, “was surprised how light and versatile these straighteners were,” and Susie Tait says, “I have GHD and Cloud 9 but these are better, get closer to the roots with the design.”


Overall value for money

If you think about how much the GHD Platinum retails at (a whopping £239/$279) you’ll be pretty happy to hear that the MD London Strait costs £109. There’s no denying this is still a lot of money to part with but when you compare it to the GHD price and the fact that I believe MD London Strait performs better, it feels pretty gratifying.

Save up for it and see it as a well-earned investment.


The takeaway

If you’re in the market for a new straightener and are willing to stray from big brands like GHD, give MD London Strait a go. To be honest, I can’t see a reason not to.

It’s cheaper, more enjoyable and comfortable to use than particularly the GHD Platinum and the results are second to none.

I’m so happy with mine and feel a little bit silly for assuming that GHD was the only straightening brand worthy of my money. There are so many brands out there now providing the same, if not better results that don’t cost £239. MD London is officially my new favourite.


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Beauty Editor

The former Beauty Editor of Glamour UK, Philippa has been a beauty and lifestyle journalist for over 16 years, picking up countless tips and tricks from makeup artists, hair stylists, dermatologists and celebrities. In that time she’s written for names like Cosmopolitan, The Sunday Times Style, The Telegraph, Grazia, Refinery 29 and Byrdie. Philippa lives in the UK with her husband, two children and their hyperactive cockapoo, Paddy.

Expertise: Makeup, hair care
Education: Oxford Brookes University

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