It’s been eight years since Ghd first entered the hairdryer game. The brand was one of the first haircare brands to bring a salon-style, professional hairdryer to the masses with the Ghd Air, and a lot has changed since then. There are now dozens of professional dryers available for the everyday consumer — from both traditional haircare companies and non-traditional brands, like Dyson. As beloved as the Ghd Air was, amongst these fancy pants new releases, the Air was starting to show its age. It was about time Ghd shook things up with a new release to wow both stylists and everyday consumers alike.
The Helios is Ghd’s latest attempt at a professional hairdryer with mass appeal, but is it a game-changer for home styling? According to Ghd, its newest addition to its styling tools lineup is faster, lighter and quieter than the Ghd Air but I wanted to put it to the test. I got my hands on the new-look Ghd Helios from the iD collection to see if it’s worth the splurge.
As pretty as a picture
The new limited-edition Ghd iD collection features a range of hair tools in fresh lilac, bright blue, and soft pink. Ghd’s most creative collection yet, the Ghd iD collection is inspired by Gen Z and their powerful expression of individuality. But that doesn’t mean it’s only for young ladies, the new collection is for the young at heart too!
The collection includes the Ghd platinum+ styler, Ghd helios professional hairdryer, Ghd gold styler, and Ghd original styler in a choice of oh-so-pretty colours. As far as looks go, the pastel blue Ghd Helios I have been lucky enough to acquire is indeed a thing of beauty. Classy and elegant, this stylish tool would take pride of place on any dressing table. If aesthetics matter to you, then this pretty pastel tool knocks it out of the park.
The different coloured versions of the Ghd Helios’ plastic shell are additionally covered in a thin coating that feels soft to the touch (almost like silicone). This coating gives the dryer a smooth, luxurious feel, and makes it easy to clean and care for.
Out with the old, in with the new
But, as important as looks are, when it comes to a hairdryer, what really matters is performance. With this new iteration of its professional hairdryer, Ghd has made a point of fixing a few of the bugbears users had with the Ghd Air, without losing what we loved most about the styling tool.
Beyond its good looks, the most striking thing about the Ghd Helios is its weight. The Helios is lighter than the Ghd Air, tipping the scales at 780g compared to the 1.54kg of its predecessor. While, on paper, the Helios is heavier than other dryers I’ve tested, it is noticeably more ergonomically balanced than many of its competitors. Even though it has a little more weight than similar hairdryers on the market, it feels very light in the hand and doesn’t feel bulky to use. Most importantly, you don’t get fatigued using this dryer, even with extended use.
But, as much as things change, they also stay the same. In terms of the outside functionality of the dryer, everything else — including the placement of the two-speed and dual-temperature switches, the cold shot button and the branded grille — are almost an exact copy-and-paste from the Ghd Air. The hairdryer offers 3 speeds, 3 heat settings, and has a cord length of 3 metres for easy styling wherever you are.
I’ve got the power!
Of course, when it comes to investing in a hairdryer, power and performance is everything. The motor in the Ghd Helios is more powerful than its predecessor, packing a 2,200w brushless DC motor (up from 2,100w on the Air) and the holes in its back grille have been redesigned to reduce noise. It is noticeably quieter than the Air, as well as many other hairdryers on the market (in fact, it’s at least two decibels quieter than the Air). This is thanks to the advanced acoustic technology built into the dryer to ensure low sound levels when in use.
Performance-wise, the Helios smashes it out of the park. This hairdryer makes everything from rough-drying to basic blowdrying and styling a cinch. Compared to other hairdryers I’ve tested, the Helios offers the quickest and gentlest dry of any other hairdryer on the market. In terms of speed, it even beats the oh-so-speedy Dyson Supersonic. I have long, dense curly hair and the Helios smashed the competition with a drying time (from wet to completely dry) of just 3 minutes! When I need to rough dry my hair without the nossle, I can get it done in just under 2 minutes; it’s an absolute game-changer for me.
The Helios’ great results are due to the combination of speed and power, as well as a cleverly designed contoured precision nozzle – the nozzle is now thinner with a curved edge designed to carefully channel airflow and speed up styling. The dryer removes water from the hair quickly, while the nozzle reduces frizz. Styling and blowdrying my hair with the Helios is a lot easier and quicker, even for a novice like me.
With the Helios, it takes me about 40 minutes to blowdry and style my hair, which is super fast considering it usually takes me an hour in front of the mirror for a decent blowdry. Styling is super easy thanks to the Helios’ variable speed and temperature controls, and a cool shot button lets you quickly set your look and allows for precise styling control.
The Helios’ speed alone makes me bold enough to say that it’s my new-favourite hairdryer… Because you can’t put a price on this kind of time-saving and convenience!
Styling at home, the Helios was over a minute faster than the Supersonic at drying my hair straight out of the shower, which comparatively offered a total dry time of almost 4 minutes. But, I also put it to the test in the salon with my hairstylist. Using the Helios, my stylist had me out of the chair in just 25 minutes with the perfect salon blowdry. Another win, considering my hair usually takes a good 45-minutes to blowdry in a salon!
The even better news is that my hair looks oh-so-shiny and feels super soft after every styling session with the Helios. My hair doesn’t feel fried after using this ultra-gentle hairdryer, with only minimal flyaways and frizz after a blow-dry. The super sleek results are thanks to Ghd’s Ionic technology, which helps reduce frizz and flyaways and increase shine. After a few weeks of using the Helios my hair feels stronger, and I am definitely seeing fewer breakages and less hair loss in the shower.
Price and availability
Of course, with a price tag of R3,300, the limited-edition Ghd Helios iD Collection hairdryer isn’t exactly within everyone’s budget. But, if you’re the type of lass who believes in investing in the best styling tools for your hair, then you will no doubt find the Ghd Helios to be a worthwhile investment.
I can’t recommend this hairdryer enough if you blowdry your hair regularly and want a styling tool that is gentle on the hair while still offering plenty of power. And, while its price tag may seem steep, the Helios is still vastly more affordable than the Dyson Supersonic at R6,999, and it is arguably a better hairdryer.
After years of working as an Editor and writer for popular websites like Joburg’s Darling, Cape Town’s Darling and Joburg.co.za, Crystal left her sanity and an established career in lifestyle journalism behind to follow her dream of creating a website for the intellectual and discerning woman. Today she spends her time chasing the thrill of being the first to know about ‘the next big thing’. She’ll try anything once and has been known to put her body, hair and health on the line – all in the name of research.