A hair tool that promises to save time, and electricity and boost shine. Of course we had to give it a go. SJ tried it on her fine, frizzy hair and Jemma tried it on her thick, textured hair. Here’s how they got on.

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ghd is used to shattering the hair tool landscape and they may have just done it again with their new launch, Duet Style, £379.

The styling tool, which has been 21 years in the making combines the drying capability of a hairdryer and the straightening ability of…well, straighteners. And here’s the big news: you use it on wet hair. Put all thoughts of sizzling and singeing the life out of your hair because ghd claim Duet Style can dry and straighten your hair with no damage (more on that in a bit) as well as delivering up to 48 hours of softness and using 48% less energy consumption than if you were to use a hairdryer and a straightener separately. It does however come with a price tag of £349. So is it worth it?

Well, first up lets bombard you with the technology that explains how it works and then you can see what happened when SJ, who has fine, frizz-prone hair and Jemma who has thick, textured hair tried it out.

How does the ghd Duet Style work?

ghd have created, what they are calling ‘airfusion’, which is what make the Duet Style do what it does. Airfusion is a technology made up of five elements.

  1. Airflow - it has a unique air filter design that allows lots of air to be drawn into the styler allowing hair to be dried super quickly.
  2. Internal aerodynamics - the air is then propelled by a compact motor to deliver fast speed that’s super targeted but at a really low noise level.
  3. Drying and styling chamber - the air then makes its way down the centre of the plates into the ‘air grille’ and it’s here that it makes contact with the hair, drying and straightening it.
  4. Smart plates - the styling plates stay at an optimal low temperature of 185° the entire time and it’s this combined with the airflow that stops hair from getting damaged as you dry and straighten it ,and it’s what ghd says gives hair 48 hours of softness.
  5. Angled drying vents - there are angled vents around the plates to help direct the hair to the roots of the hair so that they dry without any extreme heat.

The tool has two settings. Slide the button up to activate the wet-to-dry drying and straightening mode. There is then an additional 'shine shot' button which switches the motor off, the heat increases to  185°C and it can be used to add extra shine (and smoothness) to the hair pretty much like a regular ghd platinum+ styler - just bigger.

So that's how it works. Now to the business of it not damaging your hair, especially as the idea of using an electrically heated hair tool on wet hair might send shivers down your spine. ghd tested the Duet Style in two consumer trials. It was trialled on 142 women in June and 109 women in 2021 , all with different hair types and textures. They got each woman to glide the styler over sections of hair four times, even though ghd say you only need to do it three times, but they wanted to be extra sure on the stylers ability to be kind to hair. A standard hair strength test was then used and it showed that there was no thermal hair damage  when the tool is used in the wet-to-dry mode. 

"Following years of research at the dedicated ghd R&D labs in Cambridge, we have utilised our deep knowledge of hair science to understand the complex interaction that hair has with water, heat, air and styler grip," explains Dr Rob Milner, ghd 's Chief Technical Officer. "Many styling routines over-dry or over-heat hair, but AIR-FUSIONTM technology in duet style retains the natural moisture level of hair, providing a long lasting style without causing damage.” Impressive stuff indeed. But how did we get on with it?

SJ’s verdict on the ghd Duet Style

This is fairly heavy in comparison with the regular ghd straighteners (which of course it’s going to be as it’s a hairdryer too), so it did take me a little time to get used to that. When you switch it on you have to wait a few seconds for the motor to kick in and for the styler to be ready to use but in true ghd style, it takes no time at all. The noise sounds like a small drone about to take off, far quieter than even the best hairdryers.

The instructions said to use it on towel-dry hair, so that’s what I did, but I’ve seen reviews where people have used it on far wetter hair than mine. For best results ghd recommend clamping the styler at the root for three seconds and then gliding it down the length of your hair, repeating until your hair is dry. Three glides per section were all I needed on my fine hair, which was astounding and amazing all in one go. I started off doing random sections, which is how I straighten my hair, but then decided I did need to section my hair, as I would when I dry my hair, to make sure I was getting every part dry. 

I used the shine shot button at the end and thanks to the wider plates it is super efficient. If I needed to straighten already dry hair it would cut the time it takes in half easily. 

It was undoubtedly speedier than using my hairdryer and straightener separately and because I sectioned my hair, the end result was straighter than I would normally end up with. The surprising major plus for me was how soft my hair felt afterwards (and continued to feel for days afterwards), noticeably softer than after blowdrying or using any other kind of tool on my hair and that is indicative of how gentle it is.

My only negatives would be that I don’t feel it got my roots as dry as a hairdryer would. You have a bit more freedom of movement with a dryer so you can move around the hair more easily and make sure you’re getting heat from every direction. This is a bit more static.

Unlike the regular ghd styler you can’t use it to add waves or a curl, so if you like some variety you have to decide whether you have the budget and storage space to have this in addition to your hairdryer and straightener or tong. If you only ever wear your hair poker straight then, in a way, this is a no-brainer because it’s the only tool you need. I also think if you have delicate, fragile hair or just very conscious of the kind of damage and trauma you're putting your hair through, this is a far gentler and safer way to get it dry and straight.

As for me, I’m slightly on the fence about it - an annoying place to be I know. It’s definitely very good at what it does, I 100% can't replicate the softness with anything else I currently own but I can replicate the look it gives me. Can I come back to you?

Jemma's verdict on ghd Duet Style

When I first heard of this launch, I immediately knew it was right up my street. I regularly straighten and blowdry my hair (about every 10 days to be precise). As much as I love the end result, the actual process is a real faff. Perhaps it’s because I’m a tad lazy, but in my defence, it takes me just over 2 hours to do. I use my Hot Tools blowdry brush, £69 first to dry and smooth out my locks, it’s speedy but doesn’t do the best job at straightening. So, I then go in with my (very much beloved) L’Oreal Steampod Hair Straighteners, £235 for poker straight hair. It’s a timely process, not to mention all the heat damage (I use the highest setting 210°C) and electricity used.

At first, I was a smidge disappointed with the new GHD Duet Styler. After vaguely skimming through the instructions and feeling a little presumptuous, I was under the impression that you could easily switch between the dryer and straightener settings. For example, after each pass of my hair (which I had already gone to the effort to part and separate) I could quickly fluctuate from the dryer to straightener so that section is done and dusted. After a quick re-evaluation I realised I was a little off the mark. I noticed after switching a couple of times, the dryer wasn’t going back on — that was because the straightener also known as the shine shot had heated up! It turns out you in fact have to completely dry your hair, then once finished go in and straighten. I did wonder how it differed from my regular method?

Alas, once I finally accepted that and hoped the GHD Duet Styler 2.0 (if it’s ever in the works) would incorporate my brainwave. I did enjoy the process. I have *a lot* of hair and thick hair too, so I really appreciated the size of the barrel. It was large enough so you could pass through a lot of hair without compromising how flat it got. I do agree with SJ that it’s tricky to get into the roots of your hair, but I don’t mind a little bit of volume there, so I’ll let that slide. It’s not too loud either so I didn’t feel guilty about annoying my neighbours at 10pm. What I really liked was the speed of it, I timed the process, and I took just under an hour that’s HALF the time I usually spend on my hair! You can see in the pictures (above) that it did a really good job straightening my curly, frizzy hair. I’d be happy with the blow-dried side alone in that time, let alone straight hair! My only qualm with this was how bulky it was use, it’s not the most ergonomic tool to hold. My thumb genuinely felt like it did a full-on workout after holding and switching the on/off button. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a small sacrifice then the tool is so quick and efficient so I’ll definitely be styling my hair again with it next week.