GHD hair straighteners: I’ve got a better idea!

Miss Thrifty11 September 3, 2008

You know how, if you take one simple financial decision out of the ordinary, it can snowball really easily?

Well, a few weeks ago I went and had a haircut. This didn’t turn out quite as I had hoped. I told the hair stylist that I’d be happy as long as he didn’t give me “a mullet or one of those godawful Rachel-From-Friends cuts”. (Hello! the 1990s were over years ago!) Anyway, for reasons best known to himself, the stylist decided to translate this request into a mullety Rachel-From-Friends cut. It looked okay in the salon but after I washed my hair at home, I looked like this:

(Without the facial hair, obviously.)

I like my follicles foxy, so this look did not go down well.  With a heavy heart, I began rummaging around for my dusty old hair appliances. Unfortunately my aged hair straighteners aren’t very good. They are more “straightening irons”: big metal plates that don’t get very hot and aren’t very good at taming my hair. They even squeak when I clamp them shut!

Heated hair styling technology has moved on since I last had any call for it. Now everyone is using these fancy ghd hair straighteners, with their super-heated ceramic plates. They are so popular, the company even has special “limited edition” straighteners, as pictured above. This amuses me a little: how much of a spiritually-unfulfilled sucker do you have to be, to want to splash out on “limited edition” straightening irons? But I thought I’d look into getting some of the standard straighteners.

Then I found out how much they cost:£120 (nearly $240).  Hmm, maybe not! (The limited edition straighteners cost another £15 on top.) My little sister, who knows about these things, suggested that I go for the fhi straighteners, which are apparently as good, but cheaper. But they’re still overpriced at £80 – that’s my household’s monthly food budget.

This was a shame because when I tried out the ghds and the fhis, both sets of straighteners gave lovely sleek hair.

But now I’ve found that it doesn’t have to be this way. I picked up some slinky Vidal Sassoon straighteners like these ones from Morrisons for £20.00 – a sixth of the price of the ghd version.

And guess what? They work just as well!

Let’s face it, there is nothing fancy about ceramic straighteners – despite all the marketing mumbo-jumbo. In essence they are two ceramic plates on a wire with a plug, which heat up to 230 degrees centrigrade. Why fall for the overinflated prices?

UPDATE: This post was selected for the 29th Money Hacks Carnival, hosted by Living Almost Large.

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11 Responses to “GHD hair straighteners: I’ve got a better idea!

Holly says:

There’s nothing worse than being given a haircut that you cannot recreate at home. Unfortunately this is what always happens to me!

Hollys last blog post..Yummy for my Tummy

September 4, 2008 at 10:18 am

admin says:

@Holly: Me too! I look much better now I have my Vidal Sassoon straighteners though :)

September 4, 2008 at 11:05 am

FruGal says:

The best thing I ever did for my hair was learn to give myself a great blow-dry. Everyone’s already got a hair dryer, all you need is a good brush and away you go! It lasts longer than straightening, and you get the straightness with the volume, rather than the awful poker-straight Neal-from-the-Young-Ones look. And I’m always suspicious of hair dressers who have to rely on straighteners in the salon – give me an old fashioned blow dry any day!

September 4, 2008 at 5:48 pm

admin says:

@FruGal: this is true, but when I’m rushing to get ready for work in the morning, I haven’t got time for a drawn-out blow-dry. One thing I do like about these straighteners is that they make styling super-quick.

September 4, 2008 at 7:57 pm

Alot of GHDs sucess has come down to the clever marketing and advertising behind the brand. They have worked hard with haidressing industry – Hair Salon in particular to build up there brand. I suppose alot of people see there hairdressers using the GHD and buy them because of that. But in my opinion they are still pretty dame good. Talking of the 80′s, do your remember the big chunky straighteners which look for like trousers pressers…..lol…..i can’t ever remeber them being good, but people still used them.

October 20, 2008 at 1:42 pm

ali says:

the difference is that ceramic flat irons are just like any other product…whether it be clothes, jewelry, or bags. You get what you pay for. Period. Cheap flat irons may not be as easy on your hair, they could have different temperature controls, or poor wiring. The Ghd flat iron detects each individuals’ hair texture so it knows how hot to get so you don’t cause extensive damage to the hair. They also have smart timers that turn off after 30 minutes for those of us who might be a bit forgetful. They also have 2 year warranties. There IS a reason some things are more expensive than others. Just because you SEE the same results doesn’t mean they are as good. Fake jewelry turns your finger green after a while…doesn’t mean it wasn’t pretty the first few times you wore it.

December 25, 2009 at 12:41 am

Miss Thrifty says:

So GHD flat irons – aka two plates of ceramic that are so hot, you cannot touch them – are “easy on your hair”? I am unconvinced. I do appreciate that GHD irons come with bells, whistles & PR puff that puts them into a premium product category and, for their customers, justifies those whopping great price tags. But the Vidal Sassoon irons that I mention in this post are still working great, thanks – I’d recommend them!

December 28, 2009 at 3:02 pm

sally m says:

I still believe more in my FHI’s and in GHD’s, mainly because of the sizzling sound of my hair frying that i have had with some of the cheaper hair straighteners i have used that claim to be ceramic, 230degrees etc etc.

September 14, 2010 at 1:16 am

bellocchild says:

Babyliss do a double-brush on ceramic plates, same principle as hair straighteners, but for about a fiver. Use with a hairdryer.

March 29, 2011 at 4:03 pm

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