‘ghd’s Unplugged Hair Straightener Is My New Handbag Necessity For On-the-Go Styling’

When I was in high school, I took my hair straightener everywhere with me. If I was going out after school, it would be placed into my school bag for touch-ups. When I stayed at friends’ houses, along came my hair straightener. And, before getting my first ghd straightener at the age of 17, the device I was using wasn’t small — it was one of those chunky ones with the massive straightening plates.

I did thankfully receive a thin, compact ghd straightener for my 17th birthday and I proceeded to take it everywhere — from school, university, the gym and even to Europe while I backpacked across the continent. It’s safe to say that I’m a hair straightener enthusiast, largely thanks to my extremely coarse, wavy, thick hair, which errs on the side of unmanageable if I don’t heat-style it.

So when news of ghd’s latest launch hit my inbox, I was immediately interested and couldn’t wait to get my hands on the device. The ghd unplugged cordless hair straightener ($475) is a light and portable styler that offers cord-free styling on the go. It takes just 45 seconds to heat up, can be used for 20 minutes of continuous styling and delivers 65 percent more shine to your hair thanks to the high-gloss plates.

The ghd unplugged hair straightener.

On first look at the ghd unplugged, I was pleasantly surprised at just how small and compact the styler was (weighing just 300 grams and measuring in at around 22 centimetres long), but on first use, felt as powerful as a full-sized device — there’s nothing worse than a tiny straightener that barely makes a dent in your hair. The unplugged comes with a storage pouch, which is the size of a small pencil case, making it perfect to pop in your handbag.

In fact, I’ve tried it in three of my most worn handbags and it fits comfortably, without taking up too much room. And, while I have been trialling the device during lockdown (which means I currently don’t have anywhere to take it!), I look forward to the day when I can slip it into my bag and take it to work with me — I already know it’s going to become well acquainted with the inside of my handbag as I plan on taking this baby everywhere.

The unplugged heats to a temperature of 185ºC and it easily styles my thick hair with little effort. I prefer first straightening my hair before using a straightener to add in loose waves (yes, the pre-straightening is required otherwise my hair is a fluffy mess). After straightening my hair as I usually do, I used the unplugged to add in the waves. I’ve tried small, portable straighteners in the past but have found they aren’t strong enough to style my hair effectively but I haven’t experienced that issue with the ghd unplugged.

One thing I will note is that the unplugged isn’t suitable for straightening my hair from scratch, which takes about 15 minutes and requires a bigger device for the job. I tried using the unplugged — just to see how it would go — but with the small plates, it was taking too long. Instead, this is very much a styling device, perfect for adding in curls, straightening out flyaway hairs and using for touch-ups when required, hence the handbag friendly size.

The perfect loose waves. I styled my hair with the ghd unplugged the day before and slept on it.

The unplugged has a battery level indicator on the side of the device, with each light representing roughly 20 percent of charge, so you’ll know when it’s running low and needs to be charged. The charging cable is USB-C friendly, so simply charge it from your laptop, your car or any USB-C socket, which is perfect for when you’re on the go. The only downside here is that charging does take around two hours, so keep this in mind before running the battery flat, as you won’t be able to use it for a little while.

While this wouldn’t replace my larger hair straightener, the convenience the ghd unplugged hair straightener offers is next level. As someone who is used to schlepping a much larger heat styling device around, the size and weight of this one is a huge highlight for me.

I should also note that with a price tag of $475, it’s on the pricier end of styling devices and is not accessible for everyone. All I can say is that if the ghd unplugged is within your budget and you do carry your straightener around with you a lot normally (hello, want to be friends?), then this is definitely worth the investment.

For more information, visit the ghd website.