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GHD Rise review: An effective volumising hot brush

Our Rating :
£169.00 from
Price when reviewed : £169
inc. VAT

GHD’s round ceramic hot brush, the GHD Rise, creates smooth, shiny hair with volume in minutes, but it comes at a price


  • Ultra-Zone system minimises heat damage
  • Creates lift and volume at the roots
  • Leaves hair soft and silky


  • No wet styling
  • Expensive

The GHD Rise uses the same technology as the brand’s straighteners, which monitor and maintain optimal heat levels to protect hair from excessive heat. As some people find brushes easier to use for heat styling than straightening irons, the Rise applies this technology in a user-friendly brush format.

It’s a high-quality ceramic styling brush that uses the materials and features many have come to love and trust from GHD over the years. This brush makes it easy to add volume at the roots and create a lasting, natural-looking curl. However, the Rise can’t be used on wet hair, meaning it can’t completely replace your blow dryer and round brush styling routine, like a hot brush could, making its price tag even more of a commitment.

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GHD Rise review: What do you get for the money?

The GHD Rise hot brush has a round, ceramic-coated barrel that heats up to allow you to style dry hair. Like other products in the range, the Rise heats up to an optimum temperature of 185°C to prevent heat damage, and GHD’s Ultra-Zone heat sensor maintains an even and consistent temperature across the tool while it’s in use.

The round shape of the brush allows you to create lift and volume at the roots, easily curl the ends of the hair underneath for polished glamour or away from the face for a more carefree, beachy look. The brush also utilises “ionic” technology to help give the hair a smooth and glossy finish.

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The Rise’s 32mm barrel has short, nylon bristles that move easily through the hair without pulling or snagging, and their short length means it’s easy to bring the brush close to the roots to add lift. Meanwhile, the tapered handle makes it easy to manoeuvre the tool through the hair at different angles. There’s also a cool-touch tip for added support, so you can hold the end of the brush as you style.

As it’s a ceramic hot brush rather than a blow drying brush, the GHD Rise is only suitable for use on dry hair – similar to straighteners or curling tongs. This means you’ll need to blow-dry hair after washing or use the Rise on second-day hair.

GHD Rise: What are the alternatives?

The Rise’s main competition is its own sister product, the GHD Glide, which will also set you back £169. This is a ceramic paddle brush that makes an excellent alternative to classic straightening irons, particularly for long or thick hair, where drawing a paddle through the hair is much easier than sectioning and straightening with tongs. The Glide is best for a sleek and straight look. If volume is what you’re after then the Rise is a better option.

If you’re looking for a more wallet-friendly option, hairdresser-led brand Revamp offers the £60 Progloss Volume and Wave. This is a ceramic hot brush with a 32mm barrel infused with keratin protein, argan and coconut oil to condition hair for a glossy finish. Like the Rise, Revamp’s brush uses ionic technology and is suitable for use on dry hair. The main difference is that it has five heat settings, from 150ºC to 210°C, whereas the ghd Rise is fixed at 185°C.

If you prefer to style your hair from wet, the £50 Revlon One-Step ceramic paddle hot brush is one of our favourite budget brushes. The oval-shaped paddle brush allows the hair to be pulled smooth along the flat part of the oval and curled around the shorter edges. Another alternative for use on wet or dry hair is BaByliss’s £60 Hydro-Fusion Air Styler, a rotating hot air brush that delivers a shiny finish to big hairstyle blowouts. Both the One-Step and the Hydro-Fusion are easy to use and give soft and shiny results. The main difference is that these tools work using hot air rather than heated plates or barrels, which you might prefer, depending on your styling routine.

READ NEXT: The best hair straighteners you can buy

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

Like other products in the GHD range, the Rise is lightweight yet well built and balanced in the hand. The tapered handle feels comfortable, and it’s easy to hold, twist and roll the brush as needed to create the look you want. There’s a generous 2.7m long cord and you’ll also get a safety stand to keep the brush away from surfaces. Once you’ve finished using the brush you can switch it off using the button on the side, but there’s also a 30-minute auto-shutoff feature for safety.

The Rise works by simply plugging in and switching on the tool. In a few seconds, the indicator light and a gentle bleep will let you know it’s reached the correct temperature for styling. As you would with straighteners or a curling tong, spritz your dry hair with a heat protection spray and divide hair into sections. It’s easiest to work from the bottom of the hair around the neck up to the crown.

To create smooth tresses with a curl at the end, it’s as simple as placing the brush at the top of a section of hair near the roots, wrapping the hair around once, then slowly drawing the brush down to the end of the section. The techniques are similar to those you’d use with a blowdryer and round brush, but as you only have to manoeuvre one tool rather than two you can use your free hand to steady the end of the brush or hold your hair in place. This makes using the Rise much simpler than traditional techniques. It’s worth noting, though, that thicker hair may need two strokes per section, whereas fine to medium hair should only need the one.

My hair felt soft and healthy after styling and I found that, after leaving the hair to cool before touching and using a quick spritz of hairspray, the lift and curl lasted for a full working day.

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GHD Rise review: Should you buy it?

Once you get the hang of the styling techniques, the GHD Rise offers an impressively easy way to create a number of looks. These include soft, healthy-looking and very natural curls, waves and flicks, and even big volume to smoother, straighter styles. I found that my hair felt soft and shiny after styling, and the finished style lasted all day.

One downside, depending on how you prefer to style your hair, is that the Rise can only be used on dry hair. That isn’t an issue if you like to heat-style without washing but it does add time to your morning routine if you need to blow-dry first. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a tool that will give your hair sleekness and shine with extra lift, the GHD Rise is an effective and user-friendly tool. At £169 it’s not the cheapest hot brush on the market, but the results certainly won’t disappoint.

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