Ok let’s get one thing straight before we begin. Apologies about the pun. But what we often consider as quality is simply a brand, a label or an idea. The most powerful brands can actually replace the name and come to define the appliance itself. For example, Hoover (vacuum cleaner), Xerox machine (photocopier), and perhaps in the future a pair of GHD’s. At the moment we only refer to actual GHD branded hair straighteners as this, yet we don’t to any other brand in the market. It’s almost like a peacock display of feathers, owning a set of GHD’s puts your hairstyle above those who don’t. Why? Are they honestly that much better than their competitors that they are given a category all of their own? They are certainly the most expensive, but does a hefty price tag always guarantee a correlated step up in quality?
Walk into most salons or hairdressers and you will find that they use GHD hair straighteners as standard. But taking a precursory glance at Amazon’s top selling hair straighteners, they only make the top 20 with 4 models, taking 3rd, 11th, 18th and 19th place. Beaten by Remington and BaByliss both in quantity and ranking, and both brands being less than half the price of GHD’s, it seems that the public too have spotted the issue. But are we not buying them because it is a luxury product simply out of the average person’s price range, or is it because we recognise no difference in quality?
It turns out that in reality the GHD’s are more reliable, have a longer lasting guarantee, heat up faster and, after speaking to a few hairdressers, are a lot smoother and therefore easier to use. Their testimony can’t be ignored either, as they use them day in day out. However, that is in a professional arena. Back home is it necessary to pay a packet for something you will use every few days, when you could get something for half the price that albeit won’t last as long, but will do the job in the domestic sense? Well, that of course is up to you. Some would claim false economy, and see the GHD’s as an investment. And to be fair, GHD offer a range of package deals with heat proof mats, sprays and other accessories.
In truth GHD do provide a better product, but that’s not to say the quality is twice as good as a Remington or BaByliss. Wish I could say the same about the price. It all really depends on the individual. If you straighten your hair regularly, and have the extra cash, by all means it is the product for you. If however, you spend modestly and hair straighteners are to you a luxury and nothing more, I would recommend you invest your money in something that won’t take you into your overdraft and will do a more than satisfactory job.
Lisa Snow blogs on beauty and culture for Marie Claire. She lives in London with her husband and two children.