For many women, a good hair day involves shinny, sleek and straight hair that looks freshly blow-dried and healthy. And for a large part of us not genetically blessed with supermodel hair, hair straightening tools are a large part of our beauty routine. Founded in 2001, ghd is one of the most popular manufacturers of professional and premium consumer hair styling tools. However, their seemingly uncontested rule has lately been challenged by another product that is taking the market by storm: the L’OrÃ©al Steampod. After having tested both of them on different types of hair, here is the ultimate ghd styler vs L’OrÃ©al Steampod review.
L’OrÃ©al Steampod Pros And Cons
L’OrÃ©al Steampod is a hair straightener that works by releasing steam into your hair as it straightens it (a bit like ironing your hair). A range of Keratin treatments are also available to treat the hair before using the Steampod, such as the Steampod Replenishing Smoothing Cream, which can restore health to damaged hair by bonding keratin proteins to it, but they are optional and any good heat protection product will do.
The fact that it uses steam to style the hair means the Steampod is more bulky than a ghd styler. It has a water reservoir that must be filled (preferably with demineralised water or the mineral deposits will clog the tubes) and that ads bulk and makes it a bit heavy. However, if you have very curly, frizzy or damaged hair the results can be amazing in terms of the health of your hair, and the style will last easily until your next wash without touch ups. Sleek and smooth touchable hair, no matter how much of a frizzy mess you had before.
L’Oreal Steampod line of products include a variety of serums and creams which help repair the hair as they straighten, fix split ends and increase shine; they are steam activated and the heat makes them penetrate the hair better. This is particularly relevant if you have very curly, frizzy or natural hair and want to keep it healthy after heat styling.
The Steampod is a bit slow to get started, as the water in the reservoir needs to reach the required temperature. It has different temperature settings, which for some is a blessing as it allows for more control but for others is just a hassle and hair damage waiting to happen.
In terms of size, the Steampod plates are wide enough, so it feels like you can put a lot of hair in at a time and so the actual straightening time is usually shorter than with a ghd styler with smaller plates. However, this makes it a bit unpractical if you want to straighten you fringe or do touch ups after a few days. You can do curly styles using this styling tool, but it’s less easy to manoeuvre than the ghd equivalent. Doing the back of your hair is challenging, as it can only be used in one direction (the steam is released only from one side of the plates).
ghd Stylers are a trusted classic, and they have a wide range of heat straighteners to suit different budgets and hair styles. In that sense, they are more versatile than L’Oreal Steampod however this affects the price. The major benefit of a ghd Styler is that is extremely lightweight, and easy to handle. The cable rotates so the styler can be manoeuvred any way you need to create all sorts of styles, and the stylers can be used both ways. All the stylers from ghd use universal voltage, so if you travel a lot they are the perfect choice.
In terms of usage, different ghd stylers work for different types of hair, but the thicker and curlier your hair is the more likely is that you will need the more expensive versions. All of them are ready to be used in less than 30 seconds, and turn off automatically if you don’t use them which is perfect if you tend to get distracted. Long, thick hair will take longer to style but the lightness of the tool makes this not such a big issue. However, the resulting styles are less long-lasting than with the steampod, and you may find yourself having to do small retouches after a day or so.
The best way to avoid harming your hair when heat styling is by using a heat protection product, keeping the temperature at 185 degrees and avoiding multiple passes on the same strand of hair. ghd straighteners, particularly the Eclipse and Platinum series, are perfect for this as they distribute the heat evenly on the plate and adapt the temperature to your hair type. However, unlike with the steampod, your hair won’t feel like it has been treated, though the ghd Platinum claims to reduce breakage by 50% and seal the hair cuticle for weather-proof, healthy styles.
Steampod or ghd, which one to choose?
Both ghd and L’OrÃ©al stylers are really good products, but sadly given the price-point is unlikely that you would be able to afford both. Which one to choose will depend on your particular circumstances and requirements.
Choose a ghd Straightener if
ghd Stylers are better suited to people who:
- Travel a lot, and want to be able to bring their stylers with them
- Want to create a variety of looks, not just straighten hair
- Have overall healthy hair which is not very damaged, unless you want to splurge for the Platinum series
- Have wavy or straight hair that isn’t very difficult to style
- Want a styler for touchups, or for styling a fringe for example
Choose L’OrÃ©al Steampod if
The new L’OrÃ©al Steampod is perfect for people who:
- Have damaged hair, and want to treat at the same time as they style
- Will be mostly using it at home, as it is not portable
- Want to create really smooth hairstyles than last
- Have very curly, frizzy hair (people with African American hair say they love it)
- Are trying to transition away from relaxed hair
- Have loads of hair, and not a lot of time to straighten it
Personally I find a good combination to be a small ghd styler such as the ghd V Gold Mini Styler for retouches and styling on the go, and the Steampod for quick, regular styling. Both the L’OrÃ©al Steampod and any of the ghd Stylers range are a worthy investment that will help you keep healthy hair even when using heat styling regularly.
If you need to choose between ghd Stylers vs L’OrÃ©al Steampod keep in mind that ghd straighteners are more versatile but less kind to hair, whereas the steampod is heavier and more difficult to get used to, but quite foolproof when creating straight hairstyles even on challenging hair and can be used to nurse damaged hair back to health.