Can you remember life without GHD hair tools? I can. And let me tell you, it wasn't pretty. I used to set my alarm every morning for 5:45 a.m., fill up my Remington straighteners and wait 30 minutes for them to heat up. Then I'd clamp down on my hair over and over to try and smooth out any hint of a kink or curl. The end result? Frazzled hair.
Then there was the brief period where I'd make my sister iron my hair (on an actual ironing board) to try and re-create that poker-straight Jennifer Aniston look, but let's not talk about that. Essentially, trying to style your own hair at home pre-2001 was no easy feat. But then came the launch of the humble GHD styler. From that point on, my hair changed forever.
2001 and the Launch of GHD
Founded in Yorkshire by three men back in 2001 (praise be for that trio), GHD—which stands for "good hair day"—changed the way we style hair. Carried initially by salons and expanding solely by word of mouth, GHD had no advertising for the first two years of its launch. The launch of GHD was like the launch of the iPhone or the birth of the internet. You completely take it for granted now and can't really fathom how life was before it. How did anyone try to style their hair at home without the brand's tools? Ah, that's right—with an iron and a lot of time.
Above, you'll find the very first GHD styler. Whilst the trend was to wear hair poker-straight (think Jennifer Aniston at the 2000s Oscars), the stylers came with instructions on how to curl, add waves and straighten your hair.
A whole 18 years have passed since the iconic black-and-gold stylers hit hairdressers (and then stores) nationwide, yet GHD continues to be the global leader in hair tools and the UK's number one recommended styling brand. Despite the fact that poker-straight hair might not be everyone's go-to hair look anymore, profits continue to soar, with over 2 million GHD stylers now sold every year. Did we mention that countless stylers are used backstage at fashion week each season?
They're More Than Straighteners
Whether you're particularly into hair styling or not, GHDs are not just straighteners, as they can be used to seamlessly create any look. Poker straight? Done. Beachy texture? Sure. Scandi waves? Easy. All whilst giving you sleek, frizz-free hair. Whether you're a total novice or styling pro, there are tonnes of styling tutorials on the GHD YouTube channel to inspire you.
The brand counts Victoria Beckham and Jessica Alba as celebrity fans, although we'd challenge you to find a female celebrity (or hairstylist) who doesn't use a GHD tool.
Heat Styler = Hair Damage?
Whilst hair stylers, in general, can get a bit of a bad rep when it comes to the health of your hair, thanks to last year's launch of the GHD Platinum+ Styler (£175), heat styling your hair no longer has to damage your strands. The newest addition of the GHD family uses clever predictive technology within the ceramic plates to allow the styler to completely tailor how much heat to give out—depending on your own hair's natural texture. This clever heat-controlled technology means that your hair will never become overheated.
So this is a love letter to the humble GHD. Thank you not frazzling my hair whilst making good hair days accessible every single day.
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Opening Image: @jeffthibodeauco