Skip to main content

After Nine Years, GHD Launches a Single Tool That Dries, Styles Simultaneously

GHD has invented and patented a two-in-one tool called the Duet Style, which combines a hairdryer with a straightener, and works on wet and dry hair.

LONDON — Cambridge, England, isn’t all cobbled streets, college choirs and medieval halls of learning.

It’s a thriving tech, biotech, research and development hub, and the place where GHD’s latest and most innovative hair tool sprang to life following nine years of research and tens of thousands of customer conversations.

On Wednesday, GHD, a British company that built its name on hair straighteners, will reveal the new tool, Duet Style, in what will be the biggest launch in its 21-year history. A two-in-one hot air tool, the Duet dries and styles hair from wet, with no damage, according to the company.

Related Galleries

The new device also consumes 45 percent less energy than the average hair dryer, and unlocks a new product category of single products that fuse controlled air flow with heat-driven styling.

Jeroen Temmerman, chief executive officer, said GHD is “obsessed” with anticipating the needs of everyday consumers and hairdressers, and with perfecting the “shine, softness and longevity” of freshly styled hair.

“Heat transformation to the hair is our core expertise, and there are not a lot of companies that have such a strong focus on that,” said Temmerman, adding that around 10 years ago GHD began moving beyond straightening, and into the sphere of air drying.

“We started to develop a completely new platform: air. The Duet brings heat and air together in one product. It is an industry first,” he said during an interview at GHD’s London offices.

GHD said Duet Style is the most innovative product it has launched in its 21-year history.

When customers switch on the Duet, the temperature adapts to the amount of moisture that’s in the hair, and dries it with a controlled flow of air.

As soon as the hair is dry, the heating element kicks in, with the temperature rising to 185 degrees Celsius, or 365 degrees Fahrenheit. GHD argues this is the ideal temperature for straightening hair without damaging it.

“You can get straight hair at 365 degrees,” said Temmerman, adding that there are those, especially in the U.S. market, who believe that higher temperatures do a better job.

The Duet is priced at 379 pounds, and launched Wednesday on the brand’s site, and exclusively at Selfridges.

From Feb. 15, the new product will roll out to other premium retailers and salons. GHD sells its hair tools and straighteners worldwide via retailers such as Ulta, Sephora, John Lewis and El Corte Inglés.

GHD, which was founded in 2001 by three U.K. hairdressers, also has a major marketing and education campaign planned in keeping with its belief that once customers learn how to use the tools, they can’t put them down.

The brand will also be the official hair sponsor of the 2023 BAFTAs, which take place in London on Feb. 19, and plans to wield the Duet Style wands exclusively at Victoria Beckham’s Paris show in March.

The brand will also take over the Glassbox at the Grove in Los Angeles from Feb. 19 to March 20, where consumers will be able to trial the new product.

Sales have been flourishing on Temmerman’s watch, rising 60 percent to around $400 million between 2019 and 2022. In the first quarter, the company said it is expecting growth of more than 20 percent, driven by the launch of Duet Style.

The brand said its own e-commerce business is delivering double-digit growth year-on-year with social media a major traffic driver. Overall, online sales account for more than 55 percent of revenues.

You May Also Like

GHD, which stands for Good Hair Day, said it sells more than 3 million professional styling tools every year across more than 30 countries. Markets with the biggest growth over the last couple years include China, the U.S., Italy and Spain.

The U.K. remains the brand’s largest market.

A L’Oréal alum who joined GHD in 2018, Temmerman said he’s fascinated by the research and development process. “At L’Oréal, I worked with chemists, and now I work with engineers,” he said, adding that GHD’s parent Wella has major R&D capabilities, and there are more innovations to come.

The company’s goal is to come out with two or three innovations per year by 2030.

They won’t all be as big as the Duet, he said, but they will be aimed at saving GHD customers, who span multiple generations and hair types, time and energy.

“We want to be where the consumer is. We want to be solving problems. Sometimes we’re thinking two years ahead, sometimes five to seven years ahead,” Temmerman said of GHD’s approach to innovation.

The company will continue to invest 2 to 3 percent of revenue in research and development at its Cambridge laboratories. He said the future will be about better communication between the brand and its customers — on a variety of levels.

“I think the technology will evolve to intelligence, where the devices can communicate to the end consumer,” Temmerman said.

From a research point of view, he added that gathering data and intelligence from the end consumer will be crucial to developing new products.

“I think the companies that are focused on the direct-to-consumer [conversation] are the ones that are going to win in this omnichannel environment,” he said.