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GHD Unplugged cordless hair straightener review: Effortless styling on the go

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 299
inc VAT

Get smooth, sleek and frizz-free hair wherever you are with GHD’s super-portable hair straightener

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Portable and effective
  • Convenient USB-C charging

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Straightening plates are a little narrow
  • Battery life could be longer

GHD is a powerhouse in the world of hair-care products. Launched in 2001, the brand’s signature ceramic-coated straightening irons quickly came to dominate the marketplace and, over two decades later, GHD straighteners now grace salons, fashion shoots and bedrooms worldwide.

One of GHD’s newest offerings is the Unplugged, a lightweight cordless straightener that – despite its smaller size – promises to offer the same super-sleek, frizz-free results as other tools in the GHD straightening range.

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GHD Unplugged: What do you get for the money?

On opening the box, you’re presented with a small, light and stylish-looking straightening tool. You can choose between a matte black or matte white finish, and if you buy direct from GHD you can add a personalised 20-character “monogram” to your straighteners for a £10 charge.Just like all the straightening tools in GHD’s range, the Unplugged employs ceramic-coated heating plates. The benefit of the ceramic coating is that it heats up more evenly, minimising potential damage to hair from hot spots, and it also glides more easily over the hair, reducing friction and snagging and helping to produce a glossy, healthy-looking finish.

At 2cm wide, the plates are a touch narrower than those found on standard-sized models, but that’s partially offset by the fact that they’re mounted on “floating” springs. These springs allow the plates to adjust to the hair as you pull the tool through, reducing the number of strokes required to straighten the hair. The result? Your overall styling time is reduced and the length of time hair is exposed to heat is lower.

There’s just one heat setting of 185ºC, which GHD says is the optimal temperature for damage-free heat styling. The Unplugged uses dual-zone heat sensors (similar to the sensors used in the mains-powered GHD Gold) that monitor and adjust the temperature of the tool as you straighten, helping to maintain a consistent temperature with no risk of scorching or heat damage.

The Unplugged is charged via a standard USB-C port, which is very convenient as it means you don’t need to carry a proprietary charging dock around with you when you travel. A mains adapter and USB-C cable are supplied in the box, but you can potentially charge the Unplugged from wherever you have access to a USB socket, such as via your laptop or in your car.

The lithium-ion battery takes two hours to fully charge, and a single charge lasts around 20 minutes, which should be long enough to style a typical head of hair. The straightener switches itself off after just three minutes if not used, to help preserve the battery. The battery itself is flight-safe and can be carried in both hold and cabin baggage.

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GHD Unplugged review: What’s it like to use?

The Unplugged is smaller and lighter than standard straighteners: it weighs 300g and is only 22cm in length. Despite its compact size, it feels sturdy and well made, and fits nicely into the hand when straightening. The controls and display are clear and simple, with few buttons and no excess information, and the supplied carry-case means that it fits effortlessly into a handbag or carry-on luggage.Charging couldn’t be simpler: just plug in the supplied cable and wait. A five-segment battery-level indicator at the base of the tool shows how much charge is remaining. The Unplugged also gives a little beep and flash when the battery is starting to run low, so you know you have a few minutes left to finish your style. This audible warning is particularly useful if you’re using the tool around the back of your head and can’t see the battery indicator.

Once charged, the Unplugged heats up in around 45 seconds; a little electronic tune and pulsing light on the power switch lets you know it’s heating up, and a beep and steady light means the tool has reached its working temperature of 185ºC and is ready to use.

Styling is quick and easy. The plates are slightly narrower than a typical straightener so you may need to work on slightly smaller sections of hair, but most hair types will straighten with just one pass of the Unplugged. The handle is a similar width to that of GHD’s other stylers so it feels comfortable and familiar rather than fiddly.

The rounded shape of the Unplugged means you can easily use the tool to create straightener curls as well as completely straight styles – great for styling the fringe away from the face or creating a glamorous evening look.

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GHD Unplugged review: Are there any downsides?

At £299, the Unplugged sits at the higher end of the GHD price range. It costs more than the premium Platinum Plus model (£219), and almost twice as much as the GHD Gold (£169). That said, the Unplugged’s price does compare well to that of other premium cordless straighteners, such as the Dyson Corrale (£400) and the Babyliss 9000 (£200). Cheaper options are available with and without ceramic coating, but without GHD’s signature floating plate technology or smart heat sensors.

The compact design is great for portability but does mean that the Unplugged is a little smaller than standard straighteners; this can make styling slightly less efficient as you’ll need to work through your hair in smaller sections.

Battery life is another potential issue, A full charge lasts around 20 minutes depending on exact usage, which is less than the Dyson Corrale’s 30 minutes from a full charge. The Unplugged also takes substantially longer to charge: two hours versus the Corrale’s 70 minutes. If your hair tends to take a long time to straighten, you have two choices: increase your budget and buy the Dyson Corrale, or save your money and buy a mains-powered pair of straighteners with wider heating plates.

READ NEXT: Best GHDs to buy

GHD Unplugged review: Should I buy it?

Overall, the GHD Unplugged is an excellent cordless straightener that delivers the straightening power and quality of design we’ve come to expect from the GHD range. Lightweight and portable, it’s perfect for styling on the go, after work, on holiday or wherever you happen to be.

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