Welcome to Capsule Considers, where we try out and review the latest products on the market and offer our honest, unbiased opinions, free from any obligation or expectation because if you’re parting with your hard-earned money based on any of our recommendations, we’re gonna make sure it’s damn well worth it. Here’s Kelly Bertrand’s ghd Duet review: Is this new version of the old wet-to-dry styler the new Next Big Thing in hair?
If you were a kid in the 90s and 2000s, you’ll remember the horror that was the wet-to-dry straighteners made of metal that sizzled more than a Bunnings sausage sizzle and broke your hair off into frazzled little strands in the search for that perfect, pin straight hair that Avril Lavigne would have been envious of.
But this is 2023 and we’re operating at a new level here, kids – and the ghd Duet Style 2-in-1 Hot Air Styler is an interesting little number that’s wanting to disrupt the hair styling industry. I went to the fancy launch event a few weeks ago and watched an instructional video filled with hair science, and it’s very clear that ghd are properly coming for Dyson when it comes to innovation. But is it as good as the iconic Airwrap? Read on to find out.
Ghd’s scientists reckon they’ve done the impossible: a two-in-one hot air styler that dries and styles hair at the same time with NO damage. Not minimal, not less – NONE. She’s a bold claim but they’re very confident in it.
The aim is to simplify your styling routine straight from the shower when you head over towards your hairdryer. The Duet will dry and style your hair into a sleek, silky curtain of hair faster, with just one tool.
They’ve developed what they call Air-fusion technology, which channels an ultra-concentrated airflow through the drying chamber, designed to work with four smart low-temperature styling plates, to do the drying and straightening at the same time. Chuck in a few sensors to measure and predict your hair’s moisture, you also have no damage.
First, you use the drying mechanism, and then add a ‘shine shot’ with the straightening plates to finish off your look, and ghd say the look will last for up to 48 hours.
ghd scientists have achieved the impossible, blending the best of our drying and heat technologies to simplify your styling routine for beautifully sleek**, faster results with just one tool. Ground-breaking Air-fusion™ technology channels an ultra-concentrated airflow through a bespoke drying chamber, expertly designed to work in combination with 4 smart low temperature styling plates to efficiently dry and straighten hair. Infinity sensors predict your hair’s needs to maintain an optimal low styling temperature from root to tip, for best-in-class performance that respects your hair’s natural moisture*** with no damage*, sizzling or burning smell.
So that’s what they say – what do I reckon?
My ghd Duet review
The big question – does it do what it says on the box? Yes, yes it does. But will everyone like the finished product? Well, that’s a whole other kettle of fish.
Trying the product at home (I did have a salon experience with the tool, but there was no way I was basing this review off a professional hairdresser’s hoon on my hair – of COURSE it looked good but lets be honest here, most of us don’t have those skills!), I made sure my hair was straight out of the shower when I turned on the ghd Duet.
It’s not as loud as i would have thought for a dryer – the Airwrap is definitely noisier- but the Duet is also quite heavy and chunky, and it takes a minute to get used to holding it in your hands (I do have verrry small hands though, so you might be ok). There’s no denying it’s bulkier than your usual styler though.
After sectioning my hair into three, I flick the switch upwards and we’re in drying mode with four vents constantly sending out heat as I pass small sections through the plates. Here’s the first thing – it takes four, sometimes five passes on each section to full dry the hair – and as you can see, my hair be looooooong. So it was a lot of repetition as I slid the tool over the sections again and again, curving it in a little bit at the ends to attempt to get a tiny bit of shape in the straight ends.
But once the sections were dry, they were not only dry, they were *sleek* – so sleek I just wanted to keep touching them, even before adding the Shine Shot. The ghd Duet definitely does a better job of achieving a smooth, silky finish than a hairdryer alone, so if you’re wanting a shiny curtain of hair, you’ll adore this.
Where the Duet runs into a little bit of a problem is that because of its bulk, it’s a little hard to get it close to the roots to really tame that frizz, which anyone who lives north of the Bombays and who is accosted by humidity on a daily basis will know is often the biggest problem area.
It took me about half an hour to do my full head, which is a little bit quicker than it would take me to dry my hair and then straighten/curl it. It’s not half the time but it is quicker if you’re looking to streamline your morning routine, and i’m confident that with more practice, i’ll get quicker.
But the hardest part for me was actually holding the tool – the combination of tiny hands and being a general weakling meant I got a little cramp, and my arms got a little tired three quarters of the way through. But, free arm workout?
This is what my hair looked like post drying, pre Shine Shot:
I actually love the way it looks. I don’t often wear my hair dead straight, but it’s silky, smooth and very flippable which is always fun. I actually like it without the Shine Shot straightening because I like that it has some body. My hair is fine, but there’s heaps of it, so i’m always trying to give it some volume and texture, which is kind of the opposite of what the ghd Duel aims to do.
And here’s what it looked like after a quick few passes of the Shine Shot:
A little straighter for sure, and the shine is certainly impressive – and 48 hours later, it was still super straight and super shiny – that’s impressive. (i swear the hairdresser got it straighter and shiner, but who’s shocked? NO ONE).
So, would I recommend the ghd Duet?
Yes – if you like to wear your hair straight, if you have thick hair, you only want to style your hair once every few days and you want to streamline your routine.
I’d exercise a bit of caution if you have fine hair because this tool really does make your hair super-straight. You can kind of curl your hair with it, but because the hair is so silky, the curls drop out pretty fast.
I really loved how soft it made my hair – I’ve only used it a few times so i can’t definitively comment on the damage situation but it feels really healthy, and i can’t stop touching it. It’s pricey – $645 – but could be worth it if you think about how much a good hairdryer and straightener costs.