Compare hair straighteners from brands ghd, Remington, Philips and VS Sassoon on effectiveness, hair care, weight and size, time taken to straighten hair, value for money and overall satisfaction.
They’re a styling staple that many of us simply can’t go without, but which hair straightener is really best for your precious hair? While some hair straighteners boast all sorts of technology, what really makes the difference between having a well-designed, reliable straightener, and burnt hair? Who can you really trust?
To find out, Canstar Blue surveyed 500 consumers to seek their opinions on the hair straightener they’ve purchased and used in the last three years. There were four leading brands that received the minimum sample size to be included in this year’s rating, but only one took the top spot – ghd. Achieving five stars for overall satisfaction, ghd has continued to impress users for effectiveness, hair care, weight and size, as well as the time taken to straighten hair. It’s the third year in a row that ghd has come out on top.
This year we found that:
While ghd scored three stars in the value category, it still maintained strong results in the areas that matter most – namely hair care and effectiveness. With almost two thirds of the consumers (62%) we surveyed using their hair straightener at least a few times per week, spending a little more money perhaps pays off in terms of your overall satisfaction. More on ghd shortly, but for now, let’s take a look at what makes a good hair straightener, starting with the basics.
Typically hair straighteners are categorised by the type of heat plate they use. There are other differentiating factors including plate size and overall straightener size, which are also important to consider for different hair types. Several brands produce ‘mini’ hair straighteners, ideal for travel. While you might have to sacrifice on power with one of these, the small size is convenient to help keep your hair tidy when you’re away from home instead of lugging around a full-sized straightener.
Firstly, your hair should be completely dry, unless you have a straightener specifically designed for damp hair. It’s also highly recommended to apply a heat protection spray or serum to your hair while wet to both make your straightening more effective and to protect your hair from heat damage.
Straighten your hair in sections so it passes smoothly through the straightener and is heated all the way through from both sides. Start from as close to the root as you can get without burning yourself, gently clamp down, and run the straightener down the length of your hair. Don’t hold the straightener in any one place for too long, as this risks burning your hair or leaving fold marks. You may need to run the straightener over the section multiple times until you get the desired look.
A hair straightening brush is another hair styling tool that has made its debut in the last few years. It’s quite simple – a heated brush that straighteners your hair while you brush. It aims to make hair styling faster and more straightforward as you can brush and straighten your hair at the same time – a two in one! While it works faster than a traditional flat iron, it’s not quite as effective as getting that perfectly dead-straight hair.
Here is a guide to the four hair straightener brands that featured in our 2018 review, as well as some of the other prominent brands on the market.
Standing for ‘good hair day’, ghd is an incredibly popular brand of hair care products. It’s a UK-based company offering a variety of hair products including hair straighteners, hairdryers, curlers and hair brushes. It was so well received that for its first two years, the company didn’t even need to advertise because popularity spread so quickly through word of mouth and salon recommendations. As our ratings show, ghd is as popular as ever.
For its hair straightener range it offers ghd Gold, which is a premium line boasted for dual-zone technology – two sensors that aim to maintain 185°C temperature from root to tip. It also produces the ghd max styler for taming longer and thicker hair as well as the ghd mini styler for short hair and fringes. The brand is also famous for its limited edition products, which generally target trending colours and/or designs. Prices start at $190 for the original ghd IV styler and max out at $360 for the limited edition gift sets.
Starting off as a firearms maker, Remington’s personal care products range emerged as the brand expanded into other products, merged with other companies, and was sold to others until it blossomed into the diverse personal care producer of today. Across many retail stores in Australia, you’ll find a wide variety of hair straighteners for various hair types.
Remington produces hair straighteners boasted for PROheat Sensor Technology that maintain heat while you style from root to tip. Expect ceramic plates and variable heat settings. It also offers a couple of hair straightening brushes, one with bristles infused in keratin and argan oil – claimed to straighten and nourish hair. You can find Remington hair straighteners from around $30 going up to around $70 for the Keratin & Argan Oil Nourish Straightener.
Known for its vast range of home electrical products, Philips produces both ceramic and titanium hair straighteners balancing quality with value. Expect to pay between $50 and $150 for the Philips range. Some of its hair straighteners are equipped with ionic conditioning, which is claimed to eliminate static, condition the hair and intensify the hair’s glossiness with the charged negative ions.
Philips’ Pro Straightener is boasted for a 10 second heat up time and floating plates that move when too much pressure is applied to avoid hair damage. It also features extra-long 110mm plates for additional reach when straightening. For a simple model, its Care & Control Straightener heats up to 230°C and features ThermoGuard technology, which increases temperature by 5°C increments when it’s above 200°C to prevent unintentional heat exposure.
This brand of hair styling tools and products was created by one of the world’s most famous hair stylists, Vidal Sassoon, creator of the bob haircut. While VS Sassoon makes a range of innovative hair products, it tends to be one of the more affordable of the big brands.
Expect ceramic tourmaline plates and ionic conditioning to reduce static when straightening your hair. Other features include a water reservoir to produce steam mist and diamond radiance technology boasted to be smoother and harder than standard ceramic. It also offers a couple of straightening brushes with ceramic straightening fins and temperatures up to 210°C on the Diamond Luxe Straightening Brush. The full range sits between $30 and $145.
Founded by a French hairstylist in the 60s, BaByliss is now part of Conair’s personal care products company. BaByliss focuses on high-end electrical styling tools and working to bring new innovations to the home and the salon. It features a number of styling tools boasting European quality including hair dryers, curling tons, hot rollers and straighteners.
The BaByliss Hypnotic straightener features an infused mineral complex – a blend of ceramic, titanium and Japanese Kioyseki mineral – claimed to emit a higher level of natural ions for fast styling. Other design aspects include long 110mm plates, digital control up to 230°C and auto shut off after one hour. Most of the range sits above $100 with one model – Optima3000 – being priced at $269.95 (RRP).
One of the major producers of hair straightening brushes and combs, Instyler works to bring new technologies and designs to hair care tools. The brand has really picked up with the recent popularity of hair straightening brushes. Its Straight Away Hair Straightener comb sits around $100 and features six temperature settings. It’s claimed to allow fast and easy straightening from root to tip with even heating temperature to help prevent hair damage. Other Instyler styling products can be found in a similar price range.
A professional brand that rivals ghd, Silver Bullet is usually more affordable but is still a high-performing product range. It’s not as heavily marketed as other brands, so it’s something of a hidden gem. Silver Bullet straighteners feature titanium, tourmaline and ceramic plates with variable heat settings. Certain models are designed with a keratin straightening system.
Silver Bullet Keratin 230 Titanium straightener features variable temperature control, titanium technology and is stated to be ideal for thick and coarse hair. It has 37mm heating plates and includes a mat, clips, comb and brush for all your styling needs. Prices range from around $80 and can go up to $220 for the more advanced models.
This household name in hair treatment and styling products has recently branched out into styling tools. The SteamPod uses steam to smooth and treat your hair at the same time. It helps to hold in the hair’s natural moisture while the heat brings smooth texture, claimed to last a maximum of three days, unless you wash your hair sooner. It features anodised plates, high pressure steam jets and a comb insert to spread hairs evenly over the steam jets. The L’Oreal Professional Steampod Hair Styler can be found at around the $300 mark.
The price of a hair straightener varies from as little as $10 up to thousands of dollars for lavish designer tools. You can get something very reliable for between $100 and $200 dollars. Indeed, our survey found consumers spent an average of $148 on their current hair straightener. More than half of these people (62%) admitted that brand was an important purchase decision factor for them. Consumers were also more likely to buy a hair straightener that was recommended by friends or family with more than half (51%) agreeing to this.
You can buy a hair straightener from hair supply shops, electrical retailers, department stores, and in some cases direct from the company’s website. Different kinds of stores will carry different ranges of brands and quality.
A hair straightener is a great tool if you want smooth, neat hair. But it’s not the only way to style your hair. Your natural hairdo may be amazing just the way it is and can also stay much healthier without using heat. However, keeping a straightener on hand can come in handy for the special occasions or days where you feel like doing something different with your hair. Furthermore, with a number of brands out there, you are sure to find one within your budget.
Canstar Blue surveyed 3,049 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used a new hair straightener within the last 3 years – in this case, 500 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
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