If you haven’t flat-ironed your hair since 2008, consider GHD's new Duet Styler tool your sign to start up again. With Y2K and early ‘10s styles still on the rise, people are opting for pin-straight hair (see: Bella Hadid’s straight chunky highlights) that boasts 2023 body thanks to volume at the roots and flips at the ends. Creating this look often calls for blow drying your hair and then smoothing the strands with a flat iron—but leading hot tool brand GHD decided to combine the two tools in one with the Duet Styler ($399), which blends a blowdryer and and flat iron into a single wet-to-dry tool.
The inspiration behind the GHD Duet Styler launch? It’s the thing there never seems to be enough of: time. When styling hair from wet to sleek, you typically have to blow out or air dry your hair before straightening it, since flat-ironing wet hair can cause intense damage. Although this routine is just fine during a slow weekend, it can be impossible to squeeze in during hectic weekday mornings.
The team at GHD saw a gap in the beauty tech industry and wanted to create a product that dries the hair and styles it quickly and in one fell swoop, with minimal damage.“We are dedicated to developing pioneering technologies and creating the best-in-class products that tackle consumer and professional stylist needs,” says Jeroen Temmerman, ghd CEO. “The new GHD Duet Styler is a revolution in tech beauty, that dries and styles at the same time, combining hot air and styling plates; the GHD R&D [research and development] team has achieved the impossible.”
“Following years of research at the dedicated GHD R&D labs in Cambridge, we have utilized our deep knowledge of hair science to understand the complex interaction that hair has with water, heat, air, and styler grip,” mentions Dr. Rob Milner, GHD's Chief Technology Officer . Dr. Milner goes on to explain that GHD’s research was an integral part of creating this product’s key feature, AirFusion technology, which combines convection that circulates heat, and conduction that spreads heat evenly onto the hair.
The GHD Duet Styler dries and styles the hair simultaneously using a chamber that includes both vents and hot plates (much like the ones in your traditional flat iron). The center vent uses internal airflow aerodynamics to create a steady airspeed for drying the hair, and four smart low-temperature plates contain sensors inside to predict what your hair needs, keeping the temperatures cool enough to avoid damage or sizzle that you might get with a traditional flat iron.
“Many styling routines over-dry or over-heat hair, but Air-Fusion technology in [the] Duet Styler retains the natural moisture level of the hair, providing a long-lasting style without causing damage,” explains Dr. Milner. It comes with a "shine shot" feature that basically turns it into a normal flat iron, and adds a smoothing finishing touch once the hair is completely dry.
I’ll be honest: I haven’t really flat ironed my hair since maybe high school. Back in the day, I didn’t really consider heat damage (because who considers anything when they’re a teen), and I would flat iron my wet hair with my heat setting on max. I thought the sizzle and literal smoke coming from my head was just something that happens when you flat iron your hair, and after years of doing this, I was left with dry, brittle, and lifeless curls.
Fast forward to now, and I almost had a trauma response when it came to placing a hot plate on my wet, delicate hair again. Still, in the spirit of being a beauty guinea pig, I towel dried my hair, prepped it with three pumps of the GHD Sleek Talker Wet to Sleek Styling Oil ($45), and sectioned it off. I began by running the GHD Duet Styler through a 2-inch section of my hair, first holding the product at my roots for three seconds, as recommended by GHD. After slowly running the tool through my strands about three times, I was left with shiny and dry hair from root to tip, with no signs of sizzling, crackling, or smoke in sight.
I have a ton of wavy-curly hair, and drying from wet to straight with the GHD Duet Styler took me about 20 minutes, which is record time. I was afraid that straightening my hair would make it lose its volume, but I believe that holding the styler at my roots for three seconds was key in adding body at my crown. My only caveat with this tool is that it doesn't style waves as easily as a regular flat iron, so it’ll work best for people who prefer straight hair above everything else.
Sure, the price may be a bit steep, but if you’re on the hunt for something that will eradicate your long blow-drying and flat-ironing routine without frying your hair, this is the one for you.