Styling irons are now an accepted part of our at-home beauty kit, yet it wasn’t that long ago that women with frizzy, curly tresses used to attempt to straighten their hair with clothing irons.
Thank goodness those days are gone and there are tools that allow us to straighten our hair safely and easily.
Last year I judged a teenage beauty competition and it hit home just how “essential” we now deem our ghds in the developed world. One of the questions we asked each contestant was what would they put in a time capsule. Of the 20 finalists, 18 of them replied “ghds and a smart phone”.
While we are obsessed with straightening our hair, one drawback of styling irons, until now, is the drying effect that came with their continual use. The final result may not be frizzy but certainly frazzled and straw-like. Not a good look.
Enter two new super heroes on the styling scene – L’Oreal Professional Steampod, and the new ghd eclipse. Both have been developed with the care of hair in mind, while still delivering sleek locks.
I had the opportunity to try the Steampod a week before the Eclipse. I was so impressed with it, I even wildly announced to the office that it was better than my ghds (first generation).
A week later I tried the new ghd eclipse, and was undecided. I still am. They now have equal status in my styling kit for different reasons. If I’m in a rush, I’ll use the ghd eclipse and then finish off my hair with the Steampod to give the hair extra shine factor and straightness, aided by its detangling comb.
The Steampod adds moisture to the hair, which seems an odd notion because too much moisture in the air can turn straightened hair into a frizz-bomb. However, the steam works by progressively heating the hair, gradually opening the cuticle to avoid heat shock. A balanced flow of high-pressure steam delivers optimal penetration into the core of the hair fibre while the anodized ceramic plates adapt to the hair’s natural movement and apply uniform pressure for maximum contact.
The Steampod also has five variable temperature settings (from 170 to 210 degrees celsius), which enables you to adapt to sensitivity levels and desired styles.
Another feature of the Steampod is the detachable detangling comb that untangles hair and spreads the strands evenly before application. So you can comb and straighten as the same time.
Used in conjunction with the Steampod Smoothing Cream I was left with super straight, shiny hair, and this lasted a week.
The ghd eclipse is the next generation of styling irons from the company responsible for good hair days all over the planet.
The styling temperature of the ghd eclipse is set at 185 degrees celsius, which ghd scientists have proven is the optimum styling temperature to get the results you need without frying your hair. This is combined with their tri-zone technology, exclusive to ghd. The eclipse has three ultra-sensitive heat sensors on each plate where most stylers only have one. This means you can style your hair from root to tip in a single stroke. This is because the sensors respond instantly to any fluctuation in temperature to ensure no heat loss during styling, so a constant temperature is maintained for each stroke.
Why is this a good thing? Because repetitive strokes using a styling iron set at temperatures below 185 degrees can dry out the hair, and temperatures above 215 degrees celsius will start to melt the keratin protein in the hair and cause irreversible damage.
As travel companions, the ghds win because they are sleeker, lighter and less bulky in design.
However, I do love my Steampod and its accompanying “water pod” – a scaled down version of the in-salon “water tank” – which you fill with water, like you would do your iron, prior to using.
The verdict: both deliver excellent results – especially when used in conjunction with one another.