GHD Air hairdryer February 2012
Is the ghd hairdryer just a lot of hot air?
The GHD Air is the first hairdryer from big haircare brand GHD, best known for its range of ceramic hair straighteners. Promising to ‘help you unlock the secret to a gorgeous salon blow dry’ this hair dryer comes with ionic technology to minimise frizz and leave hair sleek and shiny. Does GHD’s hairdryer live up to the hype that usually surrounds its products? We reveal our first impressions below.
There’s no doubt that as hairdryers go the GHD Air is pretty good: it’s powerful, you can adjust the heat and intensity levels to suit the style you’re creating, and the powerful airflow lets you add volume at the roots. The wide nozzles can help you achieve a smooth, straight finish.
But the GHD Air will set you back just shy of £100, and on first impression we couldn’t find anything that justifies such a high price tag. In fact we think it’s no better than a good hairdryer costing half the price.
This hairdryer only has two fixed heat settings and two power levels, but we found these gave a great range of heat and blowing intensity options that would suit all needs, from quick drying to careful styling.
The highest heat setting doesn’t get overly hot, which may come as a surprise if you’re used to a red-hot blast from your hairdryer. But the GHD Air is so powerful it can dry quickly without relying on extreme heat. This makes it gentler on hair and less likely to cause heat damage.
We were impressed with the quality of the nozzles, which attach securely; once you click them into place they hold fast and won’t fly off the end if you tip the hairdryer upside down. They taper to a wide but thin opening which lets you concentrate the airflow along the length of the section of hair you’re drying to create a sleek, straight finish.
A big plus point of this hairdryer is that it has ionic technology. The concept behind this feature is that negative ions are added to the air flow, which latch on to the hair shaft and cancel out the positive ions which cause static. These negative ions leave the hair smoother which creates a sleeker, glossy look. Previous Which? tests on other hairdryers show that ionic technology can reduce static and protect the hair cuticles from damage.
Some claim that the negative ions are good for hair because they separate water molecules, making them easier to dry (therefore causing less heat damage) and more easily absorbed to help hair retain moisture. However this theory has been disputed by some scientists and has not been proven in tests.
Straighter and smoother hair
One of our testers tried it out on thick, wavy hair that’s prone to frizz and liked the overall effect – hair was smoother, straighter and shinier compared to using a standard hairdryer. It also dried her hair in record time.
But we were less impressed with the results on fine, straight hair – here our triallist felt her hair was left flat and lifeless. Overall, her hair appeared less voluminous and duller than usual.
Quick and easy to use
This hairdryer is particularly quick to dry – handy if you’re in a rush and don’t spend a lot of time on your hair in the mornings.
It feels solid and quite heavy, but because it’s so quick the weight doesn’t become tiring. And the cable is three metres long, so you won’t have to stand next to the socket when you’re using it.
It’s comfortable enough to hold - the power and heat switches are inset into the handle so they don’t interfere with your grip. They’re stiff enough that you won’t accidentally knock them off your chosen setting, but flexible enough that you can change the settings with your thumb as you’re drying.
Despite this hairdryer’s plus points, it doesn’t seem to have anything that you can’t find on other, cheaper models. If you like the idea of a smoother, sleeker finish ionic hairdryers are widely available – you can buy one for as little as £15.
Overall, it’s a good hairdryer, but we think you could get the same results for a lot less.
Pros: Powerful, versatile styling, ionic technology for smoother results, easy to use
Cons: Less effective on fine hair, very expensive