These days, you can achieve impressive beauty results from the comforts of home: light therapy masks, micro-current tools, long-wearing gel polish, undetectable self-tanners. The one illusive treatment though has long been the blow dry – impossible to master anywhere that isn’t a salon with anyone who isn’t a professional. Even as a beauty editor, I’ve long found this to be true. I put it down to lack of proper training, but I’ve come to realise that I actually wasn’t arming myself with the correct tools.
Having short, shoulder-length hair, I’ve used a small travel dryer for the last few years, but in the spirit of trying new launches, when the ghd Helios Hairdryer landed on my desk, I considered it my responsibility to give it a run (lucky me). Developed by ghd‘s research team in Cambridge, the new Helios Hairdryer is the lightest, smartest innovation the brand has released in years. The idea is a blow dry that’s easier, faster and gives better (read: smoother, shinier) results. Basically, the Helios Hairdryer uses Aeroprecis™ technology, which essentially means powerful airflow (120km/h), ionic technology (reduced frizz), 2200 watt motor (it’s quick) and four colourways (because bathroom aesthetics matter).
Blow Dry Inspiration:
Stats aside, it feels good in your hand (structurally strong but not heavy), blows air that’s hot and fast, isn’t too loud and moves around your head easily. Also, minimal damage thanks to even airflow and temperature distribution – no easy feat for the unskilled such as myself. To complement my new tool, I borrowed some how-to tips, myth busters, do’s and don’t from ghd on achieving a smooth, sleek blow dry.
Blow drying causes damage to hair: This is half true. High heat and careless drying can definitely damage the hair, but with the right tools and proper prep, it’s safe. Wet hair is weaker than dry hair (thanks to a swollen cuticle), so using a quality dryer, a comb to gently detangle and a heat protectant will keep hair’s integrity while reducing the time it’s wet, and therefore vulnerable. Start with a lower heat setting and increase as hair dries for best results.
Towel drying is fine: Again, not entirely true. You definitely want to absorb excess moisture post-shower, but rubbing, tugging and pulling can damage the hair while it’s wet and in a weakened state. Instead, gently scrunch dry. This is particularly useful if you have curls as well to start defining the shape.
Heat protectors don’t actually do anything: False! Most heat protectants (given they’re good quality) help to even out heat distribution on the hair shaft, meaning that high temperatures (and thus, damage) aren’t localised to one area.
Step One: Shampoo hair and gently scrunch dry – never rub or tug as it can damage and break that hair.
Step Two: Spritz wet hair with a heat protecting spray (like ghd Heat Protect Spray).
Step Three: Using the ghd Helios Hairdryer, rough dry your hair on a low heat setting until it’s 80 per cent dry (editor tip: do this with the head upside down for added volume).
Step Four: Apply a root lift spray (like ghd Root Lift Spray) at the roots.
Step Five: If your hair is on the drier side, work a smoothing serum or oil sparingly into the ends.
Step Six: Section your hair, attach the concentrated Helios nozzle and direct airflow away from the roots and over a round barrel brush. Work from the neck up, and the back of the head towards the front. If you have curly or coiled hair, use the diffuser attachment instead to push curls towards the scalp.
Step Seven: When you get to the the front sections, wrap tightly around the brush when drying and hold for 10 to 20 seconds.
Step Eight: Blast once all over using the cool setting to set. Once done, mist ghd Final Shine Spray for a glossy finish.
I followed the above steps using a smaller round brush as my hair is quite short, and I skipped out on serum as my hair gets oily, fast. The resulting look was smooth volume with just a little movement. Perfection. My favourite thing about the ghd Helios Hairdryer was how quickly my hair was finished. Five minutes to rough dry and five minutes to smooth over. I’d estimate another five to ten minutes for longer, coarser hair. Also, it’s lightweight, so won’t weigh down your suitcase when you travel (and no more dodgy hotel dryers). My style lasted two days on its own, three with dry shampoo. A few weeks in, I’m converted – the predecessor has been passed down, and I now get around with an at-home-but-professional-looking blow wave weekly (almost).
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GHD Helios HairDryer, $290. SHOP NOW