GHD Duet Style vs Dyson Airstrait review

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

27th March 2024 | Author: Victoria Woollaston-Webber

In our GHD Duet Style vs Dyson Airstrait head-to-head, we look at the different features, design, and early performance of the two stylers to see which wet-to-dry straightener is potentially worth your time and money 


UPDATE: The GHD Duet Style is currently on sale as part of the Amazon Spring sales.

It usually sells for a staggering £379 but you can get the white model for a discount price of £304.

This is a saving of £75, or 20%.

What’s more, its biggest rival, the Dyson Airstrait, is now on sale more widely.

Having previously only been available directly from Dyson, you can now buy it from Sephora or Boots.

The price is the same but in case you have a Sephora, or Boots account or are shopping for something else, you can now pick up the Airstrait at the same time!

BUY GHD ON AMAZON

Original GHD Duet Style vs Dyson Airstrait reviews continue below

GHD made headlines earlier this year when it launched the first-of-its-kind wet-to-dry straightener called the GHD Duet Style.

It promised to revolutionise styling, with experts describing it as having the potential to “rock the industry” thanks to “game-changing innovation.”

This is because it combines hair-drying features and straightening plates in a single styler.

Our interest was well and truly piqued when GHD launched its Duet Style, and we’re now just as excited following the launch of the Dyson Airstrait (not Dyson Airstraight as some searches suggest!) – a wet-to-dry straightener from the iconic engineering brand.

Below we explain the key differences between the two products and our early impressions in our GHD Duet Style vs Dyson Airstrait guide.

You can also read more about what we think of the new Airstrait in our hands-on Dyson Airstrait review, and read more about the new GHD hair straightener in our GHD Duet Style review.


GHD Duet Style vs Dyson Airstrait

Dyson Airstrait UK vs GHD Duet Stylemamabella | mamabella

Below we list the similarities between the two products, followed by their key differences, and then our opinion of each.


GHD Duet Style vs Dyson AirStrait: Similarities

GHD Duet StyleGHD

Both brands describe their respective tools as wet-to-dry stylers. Both resemble straighteners, albeit with much larger and thicker designs; both have hot air vents along the inside of the respective styler’s arms; and both have features designed to dry the roots and add shine.

Both brands claim their respective stylers create minimal heat damage.

When used to dry the hair, they’re used in an almost identical way. Sections of wet hair are clamped in between the two chambers and as the stylers are passed over the hair, they remove moisture from the hair.

Dyson hasn’t specified how many times you should, or shouldn’t pass the Airstrait over your hair, whereas GHD advises against passing your hair through the chambers more than four times.

GHD’s CTO, Dr Rob Milner told mamabella that this is because “three passes are sufficient to dry and style the hair so, in our testing, we used four passes to ensure the hair was fully dried. We didn’t see a user need to dry further, so we chose four passes for our standard tests.”

Buy the Airstrait | Buy the GHD Duet


GHD Duet Style vs Dyson AirStrait: Differences

Dyson Airstrait UK review is it worth it?Dyson

The Dyson Airstrait offers two main styling modes – Wet and Dry – and only relies on hot air to style your hair.

There are five temperature settings to choose from across the two modes. You can select these via the buttons on the control panel.

Wet mode:

  • 80°C (175°F)
  • 110°C (230°F)
  • 140°C (285°F)

Dry mode:

  • 120°C (230°F)
  • 140°C (285°F)
  • Plus top-up Boost

In addition, the Airstrait has a separate Root Drying mode that directs a concentrated flow of air from the side of the styler that is used to dry the roots. It then has a Cool Shot mode, used to finish your style.

The GHD Duet Style offers a Wet mode, in which hot air removes the moisture from the hair. Once the hair is dry – and only when it’s dry – you can switch to Shine Shot mode. This turns off the hot air and turns on two hot plates which work in the same way as the plates on previous GHD straighteners, such as the GHD Platinum Plus, to straighten the hair.

In Wet mode, the air flowing through the drying 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.

GHD Duet Style in whiteGHD

In Shine Shot mode the plates reach 185°C (365°F). This is the standard temperature seen across GHD’s wider hair straightener range and is what the brand describes as the “optimal” temperature to mould the hair while causing minimal damage.

The GHD Duet Style costs £379 in the UK and $399 in the US. The Dyson Airstrait costs $499 in the US and the £449 in the UK.

Buy the Airstrait | Buy the GHD Duet


GHD Duet Style vs Dyson AirStrait: First impressions

On one hand, we love the variety that comes from the Airstrait’s range of features. We can use the styler in several ways and we imagine it could effectively replace our hair dryer/hot brush with ease. The Dry mode takes this versatility to the next level and genuinely (in our opinion) offers something unique in the market that appeals directly to how we like to style our hair.

As we explain in our hands-on Airstrait review, there have already been several occasions where we wished we had the Airstrait and could have benefited from its use.

The downside is that there is a lot going on with the Airstrait and, while the controls are intuitive, have the potential to feel a little overwhelming. Which mode are you in? Which temperature setting do you need for your hair type? When do you need to use the root drying mode? Is it time for the cool shot?

The GHD Duet Style removes a lot of this mental load. It selects the air temperature for you, and combines the root drying function with the main dryer so it has all bases covered. In our experience, this root drying feature can be a little hit and miss though, and only dries from beneath the root. It’s not possible to dry from above. This is great for adding volume, but less so for creating a sleek finish or removing frizz.

Dyson Airstrait wet-to-dry straightener designDyson

This is a minor point, however, because having the Shine Shot option effectively turns the Duet Style into a GHD straightener. The hot plates remove any frizz and create a smooth finish that even the best cool shot would struggle to match.

WHAT TO BE AWARE OF 

To change your style, hydrogen bonds within each hair strand have to be broken before being reset into their new shape. This is done via heat or moisture.

It’s why straighteners can bend and mould the hair, and why your hair becomes flat and more flexible when it’s wet.

When hair is wet, water naturally weakens these bonds. In this state, the bonds are more elastic and can be reset as hair dries but it also means that your hair is at its most fragile.

If you apply too much heat, it causes these bonds to break and damages the health of your hair, as well as your ability to restyle it.

Both the GHD Duet Style and Dyson Airstrait claim to strike the right balance between maximising hair styling while minimising hair damage, but we highly recommend that you still use a heat protectant.

Also, avoid passing the stylers over your hair too many times as this increases the potential heat, and thus the potential damage.

 

Considering how long it’s been drummed into us that using excessive heat on wet hair is the worst thing you can do, both wet-to-dry straighteners make us a little nervous (given how close the hot air gets to the hair) however, the GHD Duet Style’s use of hot plates exacerbates this a little.

In reality, it’s no different from drying your hair normally before running separate straighteners over it. Yet the fact the two are combined could make it tempting to skip the drying step and on the occasions we’ve used the Duet Style, we’ve almost gone overboard with heat protectant and making sure the hair is super dry before switching to the plates.

You can read more in our GHD Duet Style review.

Dr. Milner confirmed to us that the heaters on the plates in the Duet Style are the latest evolution of GHD’s ceramic technology meaning “the closest product in the market [to the GHD Duet Style] is the Platinum Plus.”

This includes a ceramic heater element inside each of the heater plates and an external non-stick, heat-resistant ceramic coating. As a result they’re designed to maintain a steady stream of heat.

In this way, with the Duet Style, you’re getting the equivalent of two GHD products in one thus making the price a little easier to swallow.

On the topic of price, there’s no denying that both stylers are expensive and, while for the price you’re getting the very best, market-leading technology in each, it does limit their respective appeal.

Since the Dyson Airstrait was officially launched in the UK, we now know that the Dyson styler costs £449 – a not-insignificant £70 more expensive than the Duet Style.


So which is the best wet-to-dry straightener?

Deciding which wet-to-dry straightener is best will come down to the features and performance you need.

In our limited review time, we’d have to give the award to the Dyson Airstrait. It better suits our hair type, the type of natural straight style we prefer, and how often we see ourselves using the styler versus the price.

However, if you’re looking for a truly 2-in-1 styler then the GHD Duet Style will seem like better value for money without sacrificing too many of the Airstrait’s features and bringing with it its own USP in the form of the hot plates.

Read our full GHD Duet Style review here.

Buy the Airstrait | Buy the GHD Duet


When is Dyson Airstrait coming to UK?

The Dyson Airstrait UK launch was on 31 January. It’s not available to buy from Dyson.


What do the experts think?

New Dyson wet-to-dry straightenerDyson

Dyson and GHD will both tell you their respective technologies are the best, and we can only go on our own experiences with the stylers. In order to get an independent and expert view of wet-to-dry straighteners generally (as a concept), we spoke to some of the best stylists and hair specialists in the business.

Award-winning celebrity stylist, and CEO of mdlondon, Michael Douglas told mamabella: “I’m not massively keen on wet-to-dry stylers. From an engineering and physics point of view, they’ve got a certain kind of novel appeal. However, there are a few things I have a problem with.

Michael Douglas and Davina McCallmdlondon

Celeb stylist Michael Douglas is pictured with Davina McCall

“One, they tend to make the hair very flat; they’re not great at putting body into the hair and, in my experience, they tend to cause quite a few flyaways. Two, straight hair, to me, feels like an absence of style. I like to see movement, body and texture. Straight hair to me feels styleless; it’s kind of an older style from the late ’90s, or early noughties and I think a lot of these wet stylers are being brought about due to advances in physics and technology and engineering, rather than driving trends or being influenced by trends.

When asked if he, as the founder of mdlondon and its BLOW hair dryer, would venture into this space, Douglas said: “I would never make a wet-dry or wet-to-dry product. I think you’re far better off blow-drying your hair and using straighteners if that’s what you like. I don’t think wet-to-dry stylers save an enormous amount of time and I think you get a better result without.

“Having said that, I like being proved wrong! It will be interesting to see how good and effective these new stylers are and how that ties in with what people actually want from their hair.”

Susie Hammond, Consultant Trichologist at Philip Kingsley said: “You need to remember that when hair is wet, it is much weaker and thus it’s much more susceptible to damage. So, while it’s very tempting to want to minimise the hassle of styling by using a one-step tool, there are some potential disadvantages we need to bear in mind. Straightening hair usually involves the use of high temperatures or multiple passes over the same strands which can cause breakage over time, although damage from heat will only occur past the point your hair is dry, so it’s important to follow a few simple rules to minimise the potential damage.”

These steps include:

  • Ensuring you’ve taken as much moisture out of your hair as possible before starting the process. This should be done by blotting and squeezing with a towel (microfibre towels are great for this) but never by rubbing the hair, as that can cause damage to the protective cuticle layer of the hair shaft. Roughing up the cuticles can also cause more frizz and less shine.
  • Use a heat protection product every time you style your hair.
  • Try and keep straightening for special occasions, meetings, etc when you need to look your best; the rest of the time it’s very possible to get a lovely smooth style with a good (wooden and vented) paddle brush and low heat on the hairdryer.

Award-winning men’s hairdresser, Jim Shaw added:  “I think it’s great to see the industry progressing and how much technology is now part of our everyday routine. The development of new products such as the wet-to-dry stylers is a whole new generation of innovation and one that is incredible to be a part of.  There has been a lot of discussion around these and I think it is all down to personal preference on whether these suit you, your salon, and your work. For me, I do like them however need some more time to get used to this new tool!”


How does the Duet Style compare to other GHD stylers?

If you want to zoom into the image below, click it and it will open in a new tab.

Best GHD straightener comparison chartmamabella | mamabella

Click the image above to make the file larger

The GHD Duet Style is the most expensive GHD styler – at £379. It’s also the only one not to have universal voltage, likely because of the hair-drying aspect. You can see how the Duet Style compares to the rest of the GHD range in the image above.

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


 

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