I tried the ghd unplugged and here’s how it compares to other cordless straighteners

An honest verdict on the new tech tool

Editor / July 15 2021

There’s nothing like a new nifty gadget to get you to do your hair in lockdown, I’ll tell you that. 

Cordless straighteners have been coming in hot over the past few months and now the ‘good hair day’ geniuses (FYI that’s what ghd stands for) have thrown their no-strings-attached design into the mix.

Say hello to the ghd unplugged ($475 at ghdhair.com). This guy’s a little more compact than the other cord-free devices you may have seen and that’s because it’s built precisely for touch-ups on the go.

And while the only place I’m going right now is from my bedroom to the living room, I’ve put it through its paces to see how it compares.

It’s small but it’s mighty

This straightener is made for the handbag. Or (once travel resumes), taking up as little space in your luggage as possible. Yes, please. At a guess, I’d say it’s around 20cm long. 

But although it’s smaller than your average straightener (but like, it’s not a mini either), you can expect the same quick heat up time (45 seconds to be exact) and excellent styling power as any other ghd tool. I’ve created both straight and curly styles with my unplugged and it does a great job, leaving a pretty shiny and smooth finish behind, too.

The plates are the same smooth quality as always, with no snags or uneven heat, so control down the hair is seamless. In fact, there’s no heat setting option at all. It’s just the one on-off button that takes you to the optimum styling temperature of 185 degrees.

Before styling



The charging is clever and convenient

The last thing I need is a whole other chunky charger to pack when I go away for the weekend. The good thing about the ghd unplugged is the cord that charges it is a USB, so you can plug it into your phone’s wall charger, your laptop or even your car’s USB port to charge. It comes with it’s own wall plug-in of course, but the fact it’s versatile earns a big tick from me.

To be fair, the battery also lasts up to 20 minutes, so if you’re someone who just likes a straightener for taming certain parts of their hair (a fringe perhaps?) you could totally get away with leaving the charger at home for a weekend. In terms of recharge, I’ve found it takes about an hour to charge back up to a full battery.

How it compares to other straighteners

In terms of other regular, non-cordless straighteners, the main difference I’ve experienced is size. Not just in terms of the device itself but the plates too. So if you’re looking for the best straightener to tame thick, frizzy hair (and lots of it) in a flash, sorry, this won’t be the one. You’ll need a big boy for that.

But if you’re looking for an incredibly convenient styler that can be used anywhere, anytime, the unplugged certainly earns my approval. It’s nowhere near as heavy or chunky as other designs but does the job just as well.

In fact, I find that out of all the cordless options I’ve tried, this one makes the most sense. The whole reason you would need a cordless option in the first place is if you’re out and about, traveling, or on a weekend away with the girl’s where the mirrors are nowhere near the plug-in ports. And for that kind of situation, the unplugged shines like a lightweight star.

The final verdict

If you’re considering purchasing a cordless straightener, the ghd unplugged should certainly be a contender. At $475 it’s a mid-range price point compared to most on the market, and given ghd’s history of creating hair tools that last, you know you’ll be using it for years to come. It takes less than two years at one use per day to whittle it down to under $1 per use. Purchase validated? You’re welcome.

Main image credit: Supplied

Trying to cut back on heat styling? Why not give TikTok's sock curls a try...