Best GHD straighteners UK: Which GHD straightener best suits your hair?

Best GHD straightener UK: Discover which GHD straighteners best suit your hair type and budget

3rd April 2024 | Author: Victoria Woollaston-Webber

Discover which GHD straighteners best suit your hair type, styling needs and budget with our GHD comparison guide


GHD has become synonymous with high-quality hair tools that promise to cater to a wide range of types and styling needs – albeit at a price.

The brand’s straighteners, in particular, have garnered a loyal following for their advanced technology, design, and performance and they can be used for straightening as well as curls, waves, and more.

However, the range is growing – in February GHD released a new styler called the Chronos – and because they don’t come cheap it can be difficult to know the difference between the models. This can make it hard to determine which GHD straightener best suits you and your needs.

In this guide, we outline how each of the best GHD straighteners stack up against each other and what their respective stand-out features are to help make this choice easier (and prevent you from wasting your money).

This article is divided into the following sections. Click each link to jump to the relevant section.

If you’re still not sure which is the best GHD straightener for you and your needs, GHD also offers a Hair Quiz that helps you narrow down your choices.

And to get the best price for GHD hair straighteners, check out our GHD sale guide where you’ll see live price info for a range of websites.

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Best GHD straighteners UK

The below GHD straightener comparison chart shows how each styler differs in terms of price, technology, and features. Click the image to enlarge it in a new tab. Below the image we’ve highlighted the key differences to look out for when shopping for the best GHD straightener.

In addition to the standard models shown below, GHD regularly launches limited edition versions of its most popular stylers. At the time of writing, GHD is selling its Colour Crush collection which includes a red GHD Max, an orange GHD Gold and a lime green Chronos.

Best GHD straightener comparison chartmamabella | mamabella

Click the image to enlarge it in a new tab


Key differences between the best GHD straighteners

Each of the best GHD straighteners offers a single heat setting of 185°C. Based on GHD’s research, this is said to be the optimum styling temperature for achieving “long-lasting, professional-looking results without excessive heat damage.”

All of the models have an automatic shut-off feature which means that if the styler isn’t used for at least 30 minutes, they automatically turn themselves off.

Elsewhere, the key differences between the best GHD straighteners, besides their prices, are:

  • Technology: From single-zone to ultra-zone technology, and the new HD motion-responsive technology, each straightener offers a different approach to heat distribution and styling speed and efficiency. Single-zone sits at the bottom of this spectrum while HD motion-responsive is the most advanced technology.
  • Plate width: This refers to the individual size of each hot plate on each GHD straightener. On the standard models, the average is 26.8mm per plate and is designed to suit most hair types. The GHD Max has 42mm plates which are better suited to longer, thicker hair. Although the GHD Duet Style’s plates at 20mm, there are four of them rather than the two seen on the other stylers.
  • Heat-up time: This is how long it takes for the styler to reach the optimal 185-degree temperature. It ranges from 20 seconds on the Chronos and Platinum Plus, to 45 seconds on the GHD Unplugged.
  • Price: The cheapest GHD model is the GHD Original at £139.  The most expensive is the GHD Duet Style at £379.

FURTHER READING: GHD Platinum Plus vs GHD Chronos: Which flagship straightener is worth your money?

COMPARE GHD MODELS

GHD Platinum+: Best GHD straightener

£239 | BUY NOW

GHD Platinum Plus styler reviewGHD

At £239, the GHD Platinum Plus is definitely an investment, but for good reason. It has ultra-zone technology which means this straightener smartly maintains the optimal styling temperature of 185℃ evenly across its plates. This consistent heat is key to achieving salon-quality results at home, reducing hair damage and adding shine.

As a styler, it’s versatile enough to handle the majority of hair types, making it a great all-rounder whether you’re straightening, curling or adding waves.

It heats up in 20 seconds, turns off automatically after 3o minutes and comes with universal voltage. Elsewhere it comes with a three-year warranty.

Read our full GHD Platinum Plus review

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GHD Chronos: Best GHD straightener for curling, and shine

£289 | BUY NOW

GHD Chronos UK new straighteners release date and priceGHD

UPDATE: The GHD Chronos is now available in a new Cyber Lime green colour as part of GHD’s latest limited edition Colour Crush collection. It’s joined by a lime green GHD Helios, plus a red GHD Max, an orange GHD Gold and a blue GHD Duet Style. The green version of the GHD Chronos is slightly more expensive – £299 rather than £289 – but it comes with a heat resistant bag.

The GHD Chronos is the latest styler to join the best GHD straighteners ranks. It matches the Platinum Plus in terms of temperature (185 degrees), heat-up time (20 seconds) and warranty (three years).

For the extra money – the Chronos is £50 more expensive than the Platinum Plus – you get GHD’s latest heat technology known as HD motion-responsive technology.

GHD claims that this technology makes the Chronos twice as responsive to the movement and thickness of your hair in that it offers the most accurate heat monitoring of any GHD styler. It also monitors this heat distribution 250 times a second to make sure the plates maintain the optimum styling temperature of 185°C.

This also makes it three times faster while increasing shine by 85% and cutting frizz in half.

It should be noted that the “2x faster” claims are in comparison to the GHD Original which is the cheapest and oldest model with single-zone technology. It would be interesting to know how much faster the Chronos is compared to the Platinum Plus.

Elsewhere, the Chronos has a redesigned wishbone hinge and a new curved shape, making it easier to curl hair with straighteners.

Read our full GHD Chronos review here. 

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GHD Unplugged: Best GHD straightener for short hair/travel

£299 | BUY NOW

GHD Unplugged buttonGHD

The GHD Unplugged is a cordless straightener that allows you to touch up your look at work, in the car, or anywhere you need to. It has dual-zone technology, rather than the ultra-zone seen on the Platinum Plus.

This makes sure heat is consistent and your hair is styled evenly, without excessive damage, but it’s not as smart or as constant as on the Platinum Plus or the GHD Duet Style. By comparison, the Plus and Duet Style monitor heat 250 times a second, while the Unplugged (and Gold) monitor is 200 times a second. This is a minor difference but is a difference nonetheless.

The GHD Unplugged also has a longer, 45-second heat-up time than the rest of the stylers in the range. This is impressive for a cordless model, and the compact design means it can fit into your life and bag, but it’s more than twice the heat-up time of the Platinum Plus and Chronos.

The plates are marginally smaller on the Unplugged (22.5mm) vs the Platinum Plus and Chronos (26.8mm) but this is deliberate to keep the Unplugged compact and portable. As a result, the GHD Unplugged is unlikely to replace your main, everyday GHD straighteners and is more for style touch-ups on smaller pieces of hair.

In this way, the GHD Unplugged has effectively replaced the GHD Mini that used to offer smaller plates for shorter styles.

The price of the Unplugged is also on the higher side but this is to account for the battery technology, and the freedom having a battery offers. It comes with a two-year warranty.

Read our full GHD Unplugged review or get more wireless straightener recommendations in our best cordless straightener guide

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GHD Gold: Best GHD straightener for value for money

£189 | BUY NOW

GHD Platinum Plus GoldGHD

UPDATE: The GHD Gold is now available in a new Apricot Crush colour for a limited time, as part of GHD’s new Colour Crush range. It joins a Cyber Lime green Chronos and Helios, a Radiant Red GHD Max, an Apricot GHD Gold and an Elemental Blue GHD Duet Style. Like with the other stylers in the limited edition collection, the Apricot Crush GHD Gold is £10 more expensive than the standard model – £199 rather than £189 – but it comes with a heat resistant bag.

The GHD Gold is one of the cheapest GHD straighteners (not cheap, but cheaper!)

At £179 it comes with dual-zone technology as seen on the GHD Unplugged. This monitors heat 200 times a second to make sure that your hair is styled evenly but is inferior to the ultra-zone technology on the Platinum Plus and HD motion-responsive technology on the Chronos.

It has a 25-second heat-up time means it takes slightly longer than GHD’s flagship models, but only minimally so.

It has the same size plates as the Platinum Plus and Chronos and is backed by a two-year warranty that speaks to its reliability.

Shape-wise it’s a little less smooth and a little more boxy and square than the Platinum Plus and Chronos. This makes curling with the GHD Gold harder. It’s not impossible, far from it, but it’s not as easy as with the more recent models.

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GHD Max: Best GHD straightener for thick, long hair

£199 | BUY NOW

GHD Max GHD

UPDATE: The GHD Max is now available in a limited edition Radiant Red colour as part of GHD’s new Colour Crush collection. It joins the Cyber Lime Chronos, Apricot GHD Gold and Elemental Blue GHD Duet Style. Plus the Cyber Lime GHD Helios. The Red GHD Max costs £219 – rather than the standard £209 – but that’s because it comes with a heat resistant bag.

For all intents and purposes, the GHD Max is a GHD Gold with larger plates.

Specifically designed for people with long, thick, or curly hair the GHD Max has wider, 42mm plates. These plates are engineered to cover more hair with each pass, significantly cutting down styling time.

Technology-wise, it offers the same dual-zone technology as on the GHD Gold and it also heats up in 25 seconds and comes with a two-year warranty.

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GHD Original: Best GHD straightener for beginners

£129 | BUY NOW

GHD Original straightenersGHD

The GHD Original is the straightener that started it all, and at £129, is the cheapest GHD straightener available in 2024. It’s also the most basic in terms of technology and design.

Its single-zone technology makes sure the plates remain at their optimal temperature of 185℃ but it doesn’t adjust the temperature across the plates to adjust for different hair thickness or similar.

The 25.6mm plates are slightly smaller than the most recent, flagship models but the difference is barely noticeable.

What is noticeable, however, is that the hair doesn’t glide through these plates as smoothly as they do on Platinum Plus. It can also take longer to style with these straighteners as a result. Like with the GHD Gold, the Orignal has a more square shape compared to its successors making it less suited to creating curls and similar.

The GHD Original heats up in 30 seconds and comes with a two-year warranty.

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GHD Duet Style: Best multi-purpose GHD straightener

£379 | BUY NOW

GHD Duet Style designGHD

UPDATE: The GHD Duet Style is available in a new Elemental Blue colour for a limited time, as part of GHD’s new Colour Crush collection. The rest of the collection includes a Cyber Lime Chronos, Apricot Crush GHD Gold and a Radiant Red GHD Max. Plus a Cyber Lime GHD Helios. The blue GHD Duet Style costs £389 – rather than £379 – but that’s because it comes with a heat resistant bag.

The GHD Duet Style is the most expensive option in the best GHD straightener range but that’s because it’s a slight anomaly. Instead of just relying on flat iron plates to style your hair, the Duet Style also takes your hair from wet to dry thanks to a built-in hair dryer mode.

In Wet mode, the air flowing through the chamber doesn’t exceed 155°C (285°F), and the air from the roots vents maxes out at 90°C (195°F). These two vents run simultaneously so you can dry the roots and the hair at the same time. In Shine Shot mode, four 20mm ceramic plates then reach 185°C (365°F).

There isn’t a heat-up time listed on the GHD site but in our experience, it takes 20 seconds for the plates to get hot enough to use once the styler has been switched to Shine Shot mode.

There isn’t anything else like this in the GHD straighteners range so it’s hard to do a straight comparison. However, the plates are most similar to the GHD Gold so you’re effectively getting a GHD styler and GHD Gold for a cheaper price than buying the GHD Helios and Gold separately. You can read our GHD Helios review here.

The only similar product on the market is the Dyson Airstrait. You can read our Dyson Airstrait UK review here, or learn more in our GHD Duet Style vs Dyson Airstrait guide.

Read our full GHD Duet Style review

FURTHER READING: GHD Duet Style vs Dyson Airstrait: Which wet-to-dry straightener is best?

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Which GHD straightener best suits you and your hair?

Below we’ve explained which GHD straightener best suits different hair types and styling needs.

  • Best GHD straightener: The GHD Platinum+ is the best GHD straightener in terms of price versus performance, technology, and design.
  • Best for on-the-go/short hair: The GHD Unplugged is perfect for styling anywhere without compromising on performance.
  • Best value for money: The GHD Gold strikes a good balance between technology, performance, and price.
  • Best for beginners: The GHD Original is an ideal starting point, offering straightforward styling at an accessible price.
  • Best for thick, long hair: The GHD Max with its wider plates is specially designed to handle thicker, longer hair types efficiently.
  • Best multi-purpose GHD straightener: The GHD Duet Style offers drying and straightening features in one so while it seems expensive, it represents better value for money than it may appear.
  • Best for curling:  The GHD Chronos is the best GHD straightener for curling and waves as well as for the most advanced technology and speed.

If you’re still not sure which is the best GHD straightener for you and your needs, GHD also offers a Hair Quiz that helps you narrow down your choices.

To get the best price for GHD hair straighteners, check out our GHD sale guide where you’ll see live price info for a range of websites.

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