There is no denying that £189 – or even £150 when it’s on sale – is an extortionate amount to spend on a pair of hair straighteners but in the case of the GHD Platinum Plus Styler, we really do think it’s worth it. From the design to the performance and how good our hair looked each time, we recommend it very highly.
UPDATE: Before we get into our GHD Platinum Plus review we wanted to flag up two updates.
Firstly, GHD has partnered with the Breast Cancer Now charity to release a limited-edition, pink GHD Platinum Plus styler (£189).
The collaboration has been made to raise awareness of breast cancer and to encourage men and women to check themselves for unusual lumps and bumps.
The pink version of the GHD Platinum Plus has a powder pink shell and black detailing with the words “Take Control Now” printed on the side, as a nod to the breast cancer awareness charity.
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GHD is donating £10 from the sale of every pink GHD Platinum Plus, as well as from the sale of the pink Helios and pink Gold styler, to breast cancer charities across the globe. You can also personalise the hair dryer for free.
Separately, GHD recently launched a barrelled hot brush called GHD Rise. It’s a round version of its GHD Glide hot brush and is designed as a styler for dry hair. In particular, it’s been designed to add volume as well as waves, curls and flicks to your hair.
Continue reading for our GHD Platinum Plus review.
Forget everything you know about hair straighteners. The GHD Platinum Plus Styler changes the game, mixing style and technology in ways not seen before from GHD, or any heat styling brand.
Touted as the world’s first “smart” straighteners, the Platinum Plus uses sensors with “ultra-zone” and “predictive” technology.
These determine your hair type, thickness, and speed of use – at 250 times a second – and deliver the optimum amount of heat. This makes styling your hair faster without causing excessive damage.
But, at £189, does the reality live up to the claims to justify its high price?
A quick disclaimer: Since our GHD Platinum Plus review went live, we’ve also had the opportunity to thoroughly test the Dyson Corrale – Dyson’s first pair of straighteners.
As you’ll read in our Dyson Corrale review, there is a number of differences that have changed our opinion on a couple of features in the GHD range. We explain more about these below but as we still standby the majority of this review, the verdict and star rating remain valid.
Due to the fact GHD straighteners really do lead the pack, the main rivals for the GHD Platinum Plus Styler’s crown are its own siblings.
There are four GHD straighteners to compare the Platinum Plus to – the GHD Original IV, the GHD Mini (perfect for short blow dried hair), GHD Max (ideal for longer, thicker blow dried hair) and GHD Gold (a model that sits performance and price-wise between the Original and Plus).
The Platinum Plus Styler is the most expensive, while the £109 Original IV is the cheapest. You can buy the GHD Platinum Plus Styler in white, black, rose gold, and “deep scarlet“. Plus, for a limited time, it’s available in cobalt blue as part of the Upbeat Collection.
We should also give shout out to Cloud Nine straighteners. It’s no surprise they’re so good, considering the founder of Cloud Nine is Robert Powls, who also founded GHD.
His range has won a number of awards and they’re similar to GHD’s range in terms of features and design. The Touch Iron costs £129, and the Original Iron is £149.
The biggest, immediate change to the Platinum Plus compared to the Original IV is its sheer grey, floating plates.
These have replaced the yellow/orange plates on older models. It’s immediately obvious, when seen from a distance, that you’re using a Platinum Plus and given its price, we all know that it’s a status symbol.
Similarly, the two-piece hinge seen on older GHD straighteners has been replaced on the Platinum Plus styler. It now features what the company calls a “wishbone” hinge with a single curve. This wishbone hinge creates a smooth line and connection between the two plates and is said to improve handling.
It also prevents blow-dried hair from getting caught, which was was a particular pain point – both figuratively and literally – with the Original model because we’d often pinch and pull strands or entire chunks out accidentally.
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The physical switch and flashing red LED of the Original have been ditched in favour of a flat LED button embossed with an On symbol. The straighteners still beep to let you know when they’re ready to use, but this new audio alert is softer.
The size of the Platinum Plus, in terms of length and weight, is almost identical to the GHD Original, yet the smoother lines and curves make it feel less bulky. The Platinum Plus additionally comes with a 30-minute timer, which only later models of the GHD Original have.
This means that if you accidentally leave your straighteners on, built-in sensors know if you’re still using them or not and will turn them off after 30 minutes of inactivity. This has been a huge relief on many occasions when we’ve left the house but can’t remember if we’ve left them on or not!
The Platinum Plus Styler is such a break away from the design and feel of the Original IV model that if the latter is the only GHD straighteners you’re familiar with, you’ll find the Platinum Plus tricky to get used to – at the start, at least.
Firstly, its wishbone hinge makes the opening and closing of the straighteners feel smoother and they doesn’t snap open as abruptly as on the Original.
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With the Original styler, you could physically feel your hair being pulled as you dragged the straighteners through the hair. The plates on the Platinum Plus glide much more smoothly over your tresses.
The feeling is so different, it can trick you into thinking your hair hasn’t been straightened enough, which causes a tendency to run the Platinum Plus over the same section multiple times. It took at least a week of using the Platinum Plus to realise these extra movements were unnecessary.
Since we tested the Platinum Plus, Dyson has released its Corrale straighteners and this has changed our opinion of the GHD Platinum Plus slightly. Where we thought the Plus glided over our hair, this was relative and in comparison to the Original VI.
The Dyson uses flexing, rather than floating plates, to create smoother heat styling. As you reach the ends of a section of hair, these flexing plates release the hair gently. You can read more about these flexing plates in our Dyson Corrale review.
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With the Platinum Plus, there’s a tendency to clamp hair all the way to the end and this can cause hair to snap and break. However, the benefits in the way the GHD straighteners grip the hair – and its rounded, smoother edges – do make curling and free styling your hair with the Platinum Plus a doddle.
Our one complaint is that the Platinum Plus does have a tendency to flatten the hair a little too much. We know that sounds like a contradiction in terms but the way it grips the hair means that we often end up removing a lot of the volume from blow drying while trying to smooth the frizz.
Up to now, we’ve been using the Revlon 2-in-1 Pro dryer and styler (you can read more about this in our best hair dryer guide) and then just straightening the top layers.
However, we will soon be testing the GHD Rise to see if the brand’s new barrelled dryer can restore some of this volume without the need for resorting to the straighteners. We’ll update this page once those results are in.
You can read more about the GHD Rise here.
We’ve used the GHD Platinum Plus Styler for months and we were initially impressed with not only the look of our hair but also the feel of it. We still are, but since we’ve used the Dyson Corrale, our opinion has changed somewhat.
After a month’s use of the Corrale, our hair was more noticeably stronger and broke a lot less than it did with the GHD, which itself is an improvement on the Gold and the Original VI.
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When it comes to straightening our hair, the Corrale wins. However, when it comes to curling and waving it, nothing comes close to the GHD.
Plus, once we’d gotten over the idea of having to repeat sections of hair, we found the Platinum Plus Styler made our morning routine much faster. Granted, the Corrale is even faster, but it’s also twice the price.
All that said, we’ve also recently changed our shampoo routine and this has made a significant difference to our hair generally. We’ve ditched shampoo and conditioner for Hairstory’s New Wash – a sulfate-free, paraben-free hair wash that removes all residue and helps your hair feel soft and shiny.
There is no denying that £189 is an extortionate amount to spend on a pair of hair straighteners but in the case of the GHD Platinum Plus Styler, we really do think it’s worth it. From the design to the performance and how good our hair looked each time, we recommend it very highly.
This is even more relevant since the release of the Dyson Corrale.
While the Dyson offers a number of benefits and improvements over the GHD, the differences between the two in terms of hair damage is marginal yet the Dyson costs twice the price.
For the same price as the Dyson, you could buy the GHD Platinum Plus twice over and still have change to buy heat defence spray or hair masks to shrink this margin.
What’s more, GHD products are built to last. Our Original IV styler is still going strong after seven years and we don’t have any reason to believe the Platinum Plus won’t equally go the distance.
This makes the initial investment – when compared to how much you may spend replacing cheaper straighteners in the same amount of time – slightly less painful. Slightly.
Victoria is founder and editor-in-chief of mamabella, freelance journalist and Mum. She has a passion for empowering people to feel beautiful whatever their age, size, skin type and budget