Is GHD’s Duet Styler Really a Hair Game Changer?
Main Image – @GHDhair/Instagram
From the age of, well, zero, my hair has been a big ball of unmanageable frizz. Thanks to a combination of my father’s beautiful red curls and my mother’s thick, natural wave, my hair type got stuck somewhere in the middle.
The result? Thick curls, but not the cool kind. Don’t get me wrong, I think curls are seriously cool. But thanks to an uneven wave running through mine, I just can’t reach, or pull off cool status.
Next, throw in some frizz to a hair type that already doesn’t *really* know what it’s doing. That’s a sure-fire way to start a teenage girl’s obsession with Babyliss straighteners, circa 1998.
Straightening my confused hair was – and still is – the only way I can tame it. No amount of ‘sleek’ blow-drying or frizz-taming serums can help give it shape or calm it down.
So, from the age of 16, I’ve been straightening it every other day, sometimes daily. Unfortunately, this has resulted in some hair thinning and dryness. Because let’s face it, 24+ years of applying heat to your hair is going to cause problems, no matter how much you try to protect it.
And then there’s the blow-drying. So. Much. Blow-drying.
In an attempt to make my straightening regime afterwards quicker and easier, I would vigorously pull each section down with my hairdryer as if my life depended on it. From wet to dry to straight took well over an hour.
So, imagine my excitement when GHD announced the launch of their Duet Style 2-in-1 Hot Air Styler earlier this year. A hairdryer and straightener in one. And no, not in separate power buttons – 2-in-1 means you can dry and straighten, at the same time! *shouts animatedly*
Here’s how I got on. Did it fall flat or did it change my life?
What is the GHD Duet Style 2-in-1 Hot Air Styler?
The GHD Duet Style 2-in1 Hot Air Styler (£379/$399 on the GHD website) is a hot tool that promises to dry, smooth and straighten the hair simultaneously, whilst leaving minimal heat damage. It looks like a giant pair of straighteners – a bit clunky looking if I’m honest – but hey, it’s got a lot to do.
You can see the airflow holes on either side of the tool and in the middle of the straightener plates. It’s quieter than your average hairdryer and it’s also meant to use 45% less energy than the GHD Helios Hairdryer too.
The settings are satisfyingly uncomplicated. No hi-tech screens or arrows to confuse you. Just an on/off switch and a shine shot button. It can be a dryer and styler together, or just a styler on its own – the choice is yours.
How do you use it?
Flick the switch upwards to activate the airflow. It’ll beep and then sound a bit like you’re on a plane that’s about to take off. When it beeps again about three seconds later, this means it’s ready to use.
Run it through wet hair in small to medium sections, just like you would use your normal straighteners through dry hair. You’ll notice it glides less easily through the hair than you’re used to because it’s wet.
It takes about three or four slow passes to get each section completely dry. Full transparency – it feels really odd and like a huge chore at first – but you’d be surprised at how quickly you get used to it.
Once your hair is dry all over, hold down the button underneath the switch, and the noise of the airflow will fade. Then wait for the beep and it can be used as a normal styler for touch-ups.
Finally, to switch it off completely, slide the switch down and you’ll hear a final goodbye-beep. Easy peasy!
So….does it work?
This is the part where I get to scream from the top of my lungs: YES, YES, A THOUSAND TIMES YES!
When I blow-dry my hair with a normal hair dryer, it ends up looking anything but straight. Ok, so it’s slightly less ‘bouffant’ but the ends still point in all directions. And there isn’t much shape to it.
With the GHD Duet, it’s done in one. Dry, smooth and straight. It now takes me 20 minutes to dry, straighten, tame and shape my hair instead of the usual hour. Hallelujah!
Now, my hair looks just the right amount of sleek with a touch of volume. A bit like when it’s been given a professional blow-dry. What’s more, I can sleep on it and know it’ll look the same in the morning. No need for touch-ups (which helps in the heat department).
What’s the catch?
Luckily, there aren’t many. But here are 4 things I have noticed that you may want to take into consideration before you buy.
1. Let’s start with the price. At £379/$399 it’s not *exactly* pocket money material. For me though, buying this was worth every penny.
2. I probably won’t get used to how heavy it is compared to my normal straighteners. But when you remember that this is one serious piece of kit and everything it’s doing, all is forgiven.
3. The other thing to consider is your hair length. I have a short bob. This has its advantages because it takes no time at all to run it through and dry/straighten quickly. If I had hair down to my waist though, I might struggle both with the weight of the styler and how long it would take to run through every section. You have to go quite slowly to make sure it dries and it does not dry in one pass, no matter what you’ve seen on the adverts.
4. The disadvantage of having very short hair and using the GHD Duet is the thickness of the clamps. It’s quite tricky to get up close to the roots around the back of my neck because of the chunkiness. But now I’m just being picky.
Well, hello game-changer! If we had met when I was 16, let’s think of all the other things I could have done with those extra 40+ minutes every other day. On second thoughts, let’s not.
If, like me, you need to speed up your hair styling regime this is the perfect solution. As expensive as it is, it does exactly what it says on the tin. And it does it really well.
My hair is left sleek and styled to perfection and the only time it frizzes is on the school run when it’s rainy or dewy. And we can’t really blame GHD for the weather!
An added bonus is that during their research, GHD found no evidence of heat damage from the Duet Styler (and so far, I can vouch for that). But remember, this research was from four passes per section. So, if you run it through a section of hair more than four times, you could be risking damage so always use a heat protector.
I think my glee about this product can be summed up in one story.
When travelling with my family on holiday recently, pretty much everything went into my checked bag. Prized possessions including my makeup bag, my iPad and even some semi-valuable jewellery went down into the depths of that aeroplane. It was BA, so who knew if it would ever be returned?
With two young children in tow though and all their stuff in my handbag, I just didn’t have time to run all my valuables through security. So I decided to take the risk.
But my GHD Duet 2-in-1 Hot Styler? Oh, that stayed in my hand luggage, where I could see it at all times. Because why would I take that risk?