Struggle to do your own hair? This new curling tool is ‘game-changing’

Beauty: Ghd's new Oracle is billed as an ‘idiotproof’ curling tool. Is it any good?

Revolutionary? Ghd’s €199 Oracle hair curler, available only in Ireland and Hong Kong

Revolutionary? Ghd’s €199 Oracle hair curler, available only in Ireland and Hong Kong

 

When ghd launched its original straightener, in 2001, a hair revolution was born. I can remember the first time I used a ghd straightener: heat styling was not ideal for hair, and still isn’t, but suddenly the frizzy, overly thick entity on my head, which never looked how I wanted it to, and never behaved, submitted to the poker-straight trend of the time.

Later, people started to realise they could use the straightener for curling and waving, too. If they were sufficiently dextrous and skilled with hair they could slip seamlessly, and frizz-free, into the beachy wave trend that has been around for years and still isn’t budging. The rest of us burned our fingers on curling wands, or just said to hell with it.

Now, after seven years of research, the company has created something completely different: the ghd Oracle, an “idiotproof” curling tool that requires no skill. You put a section of hair between the tongs, tilt the device at 90 degrees, pass it straight down the hair, just like you would a straightener, and your hair comes out curled. In the beauty industry, where there is little new under the sun, it is completely original and very exciting.

Ghd Oracle: beach wave curls
Ghd Oracle: beach wave curls
Ghd Oracle: modern wave curls
Ghd Oracle: modern wave curls
Ghd Oracle: texture bend curls
Ghd Oracle: texture bend curls
Ghd Oracle: red carpet curls
Ghd Oracle: red carpet curls

It does take some getting used to. The direction you tilt the tool in dictates whether the hair curls towards or away from your face, and how quickly or slowly you pass your hair through the tongs will alter the result. Cooling plates on the side should ensure you won’t burn yourself while setting the curl or wave, to ensure a longer hold in the hair, and ensure you can curl from closer to the root without endangering your scalp.

Once you get the hang of the technique you can master any of six curl styles; ghd has released video guides. Perhaps my favourite style is the textured press, which is like a very large wave that you get simply by pressing your hair through the machine, as with a crimper back in the 1990s. The result is a lot more elegant than a crimp, thankfully; it’s more of a mermaid wave.

Unless you curl your hair regularly (or would like to be able to) this isn’t an essential tool. But it gives access to a kind of styling most of us haven’t been able to do at home. As with all heat styling tools, it shouldn’t be used more than once a week, and should be paired with whatever heat-protectant spray or cream you find works best with your hair.

We are among the first in the world to get our hands on it: for now the ghd Oracle is available only in Ireland and Hong Kong. It costs €199 from Peter Mark salons.

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