GHD Curve Classic Curl Curling Iron Review

The GHD delivered picture-perfect curls, but the lack of multiple temperature settings had us worrying about damage from too much heat

GHD Classic Curling Iron on colorful background
GHD Curve Classic Curl
Photo: GHD

Price paid: $199
Material: Ceramic
Barrel length: 4½ inches
Multiple temperature settings: No
Cord length: 9 feet 
Dual voltage: Yes
Auto shutoff: Yes, after 30 minutes
Warranty: 2-year 
Safety certification: MET Mark (MET Laboratories)

At $199, the GHD Curve Classic Curl Curling Iron was the most expensive curling iron we evaluated, so we had high expectations. 

How it works: The iron chimes when you plug it in, then you must press the power button to heat the barrel. A white circle light around the button pulses as it heats. When it’s ready, the light holds steady and the iron chimes again. After powering it down, the iron takes about 20 minutes to cool down to a temperature where it’s safe to touch the still-warm barrel. 

Our biggest gripe: The GHD does not offer multiple temperature settings. GHD claims that its Ultra Zone technology heats the barrel to a “safer-for-hair” temperature of 365° F. 

I asked Nilofer Farjo, a hair transplant surgeon and president of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, about this claim. “No heat is safe for hair,” she says. “The higher the temperature, the worse the damage becomes. Some curling irons get up to 400 degrees to 450 degrees, so limiting heat to a slightly lower temperature can be considered ‘safer.’ For fine hair, 365 degrees may be too hot.”

And she was right—this temperature felt a little hot for those of us with fine or color-treated hair. 

While Angela and I didn’t experience any damage, Perry felt that the ends of her hair came out a little crispy and smelling of plastic. 

What we liked: Those with fuller, thicker, and more textured hair were enthusiastic about this iron.

“This baby is amazing and was my favorite by far,” Ginger gushed. “This was the first iron I tried, and no other tool even came close to achieving the same bounce and hold that this iron delivered.”

Daniela also loved the Shirley Temple curls the GHD iron gave her and said they lasted for three days. Perry, however, felt the GHS delivered too-tight curls.

“I felt like I was getting ready for a piano recital,” she commented. 

All our evaluators felt the GHD gripped the hair without pulling or snagging it and even was able to clamp onto fine baby hairs at the hairline. Angela, a curling iron newbie, said the GHD was her favorite because it was easy to wield and she didn’t accidentally hit any buttons on the handle while using it. 

woman with their hair curled
Ginger shows off her GHD Curve Classic Curl before and after photos.

Photo: Ginger Cowles/Consumer Reports Photo: Ginger Cowles/Consumer Reports

Read about CR’s curling iron evaluation process and see our individual curling iron reviews (below).

This product evaluation is part of Consumer Reports’ Outside the Labs reviews program, which is separate from our laboratory testing and ratings. Our Outside the Labs reviews are performed at home and in other native settings by individuals, including our journalists, with specialized subject matter experience or familiarity and are designed to offer another important perspective for consumers as they shop. While the products or services mentioned in this article might not currently be in CR’s ratings, they could eventually be tested in our laboratories and rated according to an objective, scientific protocol.

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Headshot of CRO Author Laura Murphy (v3)

Laura Murphy

Just like you, I'm a consumer. I love to shop, and I'm obsessed with finding the highest-quality item at the best price. I want my products sustainably made with fair labor practices, and built to last, so I don't have to replace them every two years. I'm at Consumer Reports because I believe in harnessing consumer power to build a better world. Let's do this.