The reputation speaks for itself: the GHD Gold are highly effective straighteners for the majority of hair types, and will curl well too.
- Quick, effective straightening
- Easy-to-handle design
- Curls very well
- Fast heat up
- Only one temperature setting
- No safety lock
- No carry case
- Review Price: £139
- Floating 9cm plates
- Dual-zone technology
- Heats to 185 degrees
- 2.7m swivel cord
What are the GHD Gold?
GHD is likely to be one of the first brands that comes to mind when you think about hair straighteners, and for good reason. The brand has produced consistently well-received, premium hair straighteners for the best part of 17 years now, and the GHD Gold is no different.
Sitting in the middle of the company’s product lineup, falling between the classic IV styler and the pricier Platinum+, they offer straightforward but reliable styling with plenty of reputation thrown in for good measure.
GHD Gold – Design and features
GHD hasn’t strayed too far from its regular design path with its Gold styler. There are a couple of limited edition designs, but the standard version sports a sleek, all-black finish, with a silver circular logo at the hinge. The sparkling grey ceramic plates measure 9cm long and 2.5cm wide.
They’re floating plates, which means they have some movement to them when pressed. As such, they fit snugly around the hair and help to improve styling.
GHD has used dual-zone technology here, where two heat sensors – instead of one – ensure a more consistent temperature across the two plates.
The GHD Gold are simple in that they heat to one temperature only: 185ºC. Any lower, GHD argues, compromises performance. Any higher and the effects on hair is too detrimental, the company says.
That means you simply press one button on the inside of the straighteners to get them up and running. A bleep and flashing LED light around the button confirms they’ve been switched on, with a second bleep and a solid LED indicating that they’ve reached temperature.
The barrel of the straighteners is rounded at the edges, which helps with curling, and there’s a slightly elongated section that runs off the plates at the very end of the straighteners, providing a cooler tip to put extra pressure if required.
The straighteners are pretty lightweight at 274g, and come with a generous 2.7-metre swivel cord. A heat-resistant rubber plate guard keeps the straighteners closed for travelling or after use, but there’s no safety lock or carry case.
GHD Gold – Performance
The GHD Gold heat up super-quick. GHD quotes around 25 seconds from being turned on; we measured it faster, at 17 seconds.
This is easily the fastest turn-on time we’ve tested o a pair of straighteners, its closest rival being the Cloud Nine Original Iron, which takes 24 seconds – although that is to get to a higher temperature.
Straightening hair is great with the GHD Gold. Hair glides well through the plates, and we don’t notice any snagging at all during testing. On hair that had been plaited overnight, we were able to achieve super-straight results with the recommended two runs over with the irons.
Curling is equally excellent with the GHD Gold, giving an even and bouncy finish, helped along by the slightly curved barrel.
We did find we had to be more careful here not to press too hard – movement through the hair could be a little less smooth when twisting the barrel. Overall, though, there was very little to complain about here.
The outer casing of the GHD Gold remains on the warm side of hot – unless they’re on for a significant amount of time, at which point the cooler tip offers a place to put your hands.
Adjustable heat would be welcome for hair at the very extremes of thin and thick, and the plates aren’t the widest or longest we’ve tested either.
Those with super-thick or long hair might prefer to consider GHD’s Max styler, which features wider plates for quicker styling. Ultimately, though, the GHD Gold provide fast and effective styling for all hair types.
Why buy the GHD Gold?
At almost £140, the GHD Gold are certainly an investment. However, performance is superb, and they certainly demonstrate a notable difference in results between cheaper and pricier straighteners.
They’re very effective at straightening most hair types quickly, and do a decent job of creating curls too
However, note that the GHD Gold don’t offer the flexibility in temperature that some might like, or the very high temperatures that super-thick hair might need.
GHD’s reputation comes to the fore: the Gold are highly effective straighteners for the majority of hair types, and are great for creating curls too.