GHD Gold hair straightener review: My new secret to sleek and shiny hair

The only tool you need to create a range of looks

ghd gold
(Image credit: Future)

If you didn't know by now, here at Marie Claire UK we are big fans of GHD hair straighteners. Therefore, we've taken it upon ourselves to try out some of the brand's most popular styles to let you know which one is best for you.

Our Features Editor, Jenny Proudfoot, took the GHD Gold Styler for a spin. Thanks to the round barrel, this hair straightener is designed for both straightening and curling, meaning that you can create a range of looks in one go. Keep on scrolling to hear Jenny's thoughts, plus all the information you need about the tool...

How much do they cost?

The Gold Styler retails for £169. Although it is more pricey, you are essentially getting a hair straightener and a curling wand all in one, so it's definitely worth it.

How easy are they to use?

"The GHD Gold is very easy to use - it feels lighter and more compact than most models and features a long cable that can turn a full 360 degrees. The slim model also makes it easier to get right to the root of the hair and the rounded barrel is a definite benefit when it comes to styling." Jenny Proudfoot, Features Editor

What hair types are they designed for?

The Gold Styler is ideal for thick, wavy hair types, as it helps to keep your hair sleek and glossy.

"The most noticeable benefit of the GHD Gold Styler for me was the long-lasting shine - something that truly made it stand head and shoulders above others. As someone with extremely thick, dry and dehydrated hair, a sleek shine is the hardest thing for me to achieve at home. Many straighteners suck the life out of my hair and flatten it with a dull finish, and some make my hair look matted and damaged. These straighteners in comparison blew me away, giving me a sleek and smooth finish, a long-lasting shine and bouncy volume - all without making my hair fluffy or static - side effects that I have long struggled with. To sum it up in one word, the GHD Gold made my hair look really healthy - something that it definitely isn't. And so if it can do that to my hair, it can do it to anyone's." Jenny Proudfoot, Features Editor

What features do they come with?

The Plates

These straighteners feature smooth, contoured floating plates that glide through the hair for frizz-free styling.

The heat settings

The straighteners reach the optimum styling temperature of 185°C. Any hotter will damage the hair, whereas any cooler and the style will be compromised. They heat up in 25 seconds, so you won't be waiting around for long.

The cord length

They come with a 2.7m swivel cord so that you can comfortably style your hair no matter where you are.

The technology

If you're familiar with GHD tools, then you'll know all about the dual-zone technology. The straighteners come with two new generation heat sensors that control the optimum heat from root to tip for smoother, sleeker and healthier looking hair.

ghd gold

(Image credit: GHD)

GHD Gold Styler: The verdict

"My hair really is a full time job - in part because despite having thick unruly curls, I have always wanted sleek and glossy straight hair - a practical impossibility for someone like me.

It's no surprise therefore that when I heard about GHD's new Gold hair straightener - promising unrivalled salon shine and sleekness, I jumped at the chance to try it.

The result? One that I have never been able to produce myself with a home styler before. In fact, it has now become my secret to sleek and shiny hair.

I was immediately impressed with its heating speed - perfect for someone like me who is already spending enough time on their hair. Plus, it features dual zone technology and new generation sensors that control the optimum styling temperature of 185ºC. I recently sampled a competitor straightener brand that heats to a much higher temperature, and the damage that it did to my hair was really visible. By contrast, the GHD Gold offered much more heat control, felt a lot less damaging and in the process, helped reduce my frizz a lot more.

While I mainly used the GHD Gold for straightening, it is primarily marketed as a styler. This is something I can definitely attest to, with it styling my hair into loose waves and turning the ends in with ease - something I've struggled with other professional stylers in the past. Additionally, I don't know the science behind it but I have also found that my hair stays in place for longer when styled or straightened with the GHD Gold. I wash my hair weekly, and with this styler, one straighten will last all week - weather permitting of course!

In terms of speed, I do find the GHD Max styler straightens my hair quicker - unsurprising given the larger surface area of its plates, but the GHD Gold probably comes in second for me, definitely straightening my hair faster than the original model. This could be due its sleek finish, with most straighteners frizzing and fluffing up my hair, something that only adds to my usual straightening time.

Another feature that's well worth a mention is the GHD Gold's smart safety setting, with the straighteners automatically turning themselves off after 30 minutes of not being used. Any bushy haired millennial will know the anxiety of whether you left your hair straighteners on - I've driven back to my house on many an occasion just to check. So this feature cannot be underestimated.

So, would I recommend the GHD Gold hair straightener? In short, yes.

It's smart, quick and easy to use, with salon-level results. If you are someone whose routine includes a lot of styling, or who struggles to achieve shine, these are the straighteners for you.

Personally, now that I've tried the GHD Gold, I won't be looking back." Jenny Proudfoot, Features Editor

Grace Lindsay

Grace Lindsay is currently Junior Beauty Editor at Who What Wear UK and previously was Marie Claire UK's E-Commerce Writer.  With over three years of experience in the fashion and beauty industry, she covers everything from the best make-up and skincare deals to how to shop the stand out trends of the season. When she's not typing away at her laptop, Grace can be found shopping her favourite vintage markets IRL, or catching up on her never-ending list of books to read.

With contributions from