Just last month, the British hair experts Good Hair Day (GHD) launched not one but two revolutionary hair styling tools: the GHD Platinum+, an upgrade of the 2015 Platinum styler; and the ghd Oracle, which claims to be the world’s first professional hair tool to create endless curls in one simple stroke.
The Platinum+ is a major improvement upon the original, featuring “infinity” heat sensors as opposed to the three panels in its predecessor, which monitors heat a whopping 250 times per second and maintains it at the hair-safe temperature of 185˚C. It’s also now considered “smart,” featuring a groundbreaking predictive technology that can recognise the thickness of your hair, the section size and the speed that you’re passing your hair through the styler, and adjust the power accordingly. This is all quite invisible to the beholder — the Platinum+ looks and feels the same as the old Platinum, with the same curved barrel helping to give a uniform curl or straight locks.
Recently giving the Platinum+ a try, we discovered that these new innovations allow for even larger sections to be styled, giving more versatile possibilities — like a lot more oomph with bigger, looser waves, for instance. The GHD team are so confident in the new Platinum+ that they’re even offering a 3-year warranty with any purchase of the styler.
But there are plenty of people who have found at-home styling with a straightening iron or a curling wand cumbersome in the past. For these individuals, the all-new GHD Oracle — which took seven years of research and £5.2 million in investment to create — may be your godsend. It’s touted to be the world’s first professional hair tool that curls your hair in one stroke — no complicated wand-rotating, hair turning, rolling or arm tangling required. We decided to take a closer look.
The Oracle is the first with its unique design, featuring a U-shaped clamp, with one logo-facing, cooling plate on top, and two ceramic heater plates on each arm to maintain the hair heating temperature at 185˚C. This ensures that hair being passed through will be heated then cooled down before the hair leaves the styler, which helps to set curls in place.
We were absolutely intrigued at how essentially a U-shape single crimp would be able to effortlessly twirl your hair into a corkscrew — and a lot of it is to do with the revolution created by that U-shape. More importantly, was it going to be as easy to use as GHD stated? Upon first try, not quite so.
On either side of the styler you’ll find clearly printed the “curl-zone” — it seems simple enough to just pass your sectioned hair across and make sure it touches this area, but without careful positioning of the styler, I kept on getting limp, craggly sections rather than curls. It surely isn’t intuitive, and I needed to enlist the help of a professional GHD stylist to get the hang of it better.
For instance, if you want zig-zaggy, energetic, beachy curls, you’ll want to first place your Oracle vertically adjacent to your head, turn it 90 degrees, then keep the logo facing outwards, gently gliding it along your hair at a 45˚ outwards. To reverse the direction, you’ll want to face the logo backwards. For a right-handed person such as myself, it tends to be a lot easier to curl the hair on your right side or with the logo facing forwards rather than backwards or on your left side, which will require you to turn the styler upside down. Achieving beachy curls is a matter of alternating clockwise and counter-clockwise (logo facing backwards or forwards at first) strokes. It’s also easy to go for mermaid-style crimped hair — just clamp down along your sections to create a soft ripple effect.
I learned from my remedial styling session that it all depends on how horizontal or vertical you position the Oracle adjacent to your head, and how you glide your hair out — whether straight perpendicular to your head or at a 45-degree angle out. How much you rotate the Oracle and pull away also determines the tightness of each curl. What I’ve found to be useful to remember is to always try to pull the styler towards the direction the logo is facing — and the more horizontal the styler is, the more tightly corkscrew-like your curl becomes. That becomes the difference between a glam red carpet curl versus a casual, loose natural wave.
Sections also need to be kept uniform at about one inch, and until you get some practice and a hang of how the curl orientations work, it is quite finicky to use and also difficult to predict how the curl will end up. Personally I am used to using a straightening iron to curl my own hair, and I found it hard to stop myself from turning my hand at the last inch or so of hair, a natural reflex used to take care of those pesky straight arrow ends. In the case of the Oracle, that somehow undoes the curls — and I had to keep reminding myself to keep the styler in firm position as I pulled it outwards or downwards.
While surely hard to get the hang of, there are some clear benefits over using the Oracle compared to a regular straightening wand. With the thick barrel clamp and cooling “curl-zone”, it’s also much easier to hold the clamp in place with two hands compared to the Platinum+ or Platinum — you won’t feel the heat as closely. Although, it is slightly heavier. But once you’ve gotten a hang of the styler, it really does require just one stroke per section to achieve perfect, shiny and long-lasting curls — just like magic. As is expected of GHD’s stylers, any frizz is sorted out by nicely sealing in any frayed cuticles, leaving your hair appearing smoother, shinier and staying gorgeously styled for hours afterwards.
The GHD Oracle and Platinum+ sell for HK$2,580 each, available at GHD counters and partner salons city-wide, as well as Lane Crawford. See all stockists here.