ghd rise hands on

Hands on with the ghd Rise

A new hot brush styler

Styling hair is tough. I’ve never mastered the art of blow drying my hair and, for years, the most I could do with a ghd styler was straighten my hair. I’d watch friends twirl one around and transform into a natural waves masterpiece or easily blow dry a style with a curling brush while I could barely brush my hair and dry it at the same time. Over the years my job has forced me to push myself and, with some help from some talented hair stylists I’ve finally learnt how to curl my hair with a ghd, but that is as far as my skill goes.

When ghd announced the ghd Rise – a smart hot brush – I was intrigued. The concept was that the brush would be able to give more volume and body to your hair while using smart tech. It seemed like the perfect solution for me, someone with relatively thin “flat” hair. I was offered the opportunity to get hands on with the ghd Rise and experience it and so I arrived with naturally dried hair washed two days before, to see what it could really do.

First time using the ghd Rise

ghd rise hands on

I’ve incorporated ghd styling products into my hair styling, alongside their tech, mainly because I love the way they smell and make my hair feel. With the launch of the ghd Rise they’ve also included a new spray called the “root lift spray”. I used that to prep my hair and then gave the Rise a whirl. It is really easy to use and within minutes I was able to give myself volume at the top of my head simply by brushing the hair up and curling it slightly with the Rise. It was really a 3 to 4 minute job to get the same volume and lift I’d usually get if I leave the hairdresser after having a blow dry. Getting the ends to curl nicely under is also quick and easy to grasp. Getting a gentle wave took me a bit more time and I needed to get used to the movements required but after my first use I found I had a decent wave and bounce to my hair. By the second time it was relatively simple.

A few things to keep in mind:

ghd rise hands on

This doesn’t replace a styler/straightener. It’s a nice addition if you’re looking for a specific look with waves and volume. But really, it works with the styler as opposed to as a replacement.

You need to focus on separating hair to get the volume and effects. If you don’t separate correctly the hair sometimes knots around the barrel and you need to turn the styler off, untangle and go again. This happened to me. Luckily no damage, but if it happens to you – DO NOT PANIC AND PULL.

Some of the tech

ghd rise hands on

The Rise is called a hot brush and designed specifically to add volume and body to your hair. It incorporates the same ultra-zone SMART technology in some of the latest ghd devices. The Rise monitors its temperature 250 times per second to maintain a consistent 185 degrees. The idea behind this tech is the ability to detect thermal load (basically the ability to check changes in the amount of hair and thus keep a consistent temperature regardless of thickness of hair. This is confusing, but thinner hair absorbs more heat than thicker hair and the barrel of the hot brush adjusts accordingly to keep temperature consistent).

According to ghd 185 degrees is the optimal heat to ensure your hair style remains but also doesn’t burn. the ghd research and development team has consistently put this temperature forward as the bench mark for many of their products. The smooth touch nylon bristles on the brush are also 5mm away from the barrel. This was strategic – to ensure the heat stays away from the scalp (because, burns) but still short enough to ensure you can get the lift at the root.

Final thoughts

ghd rise hands on

I’ve used the ghd Rise three times now. Once, assisted by a ghd stylist and twice on my own. It is easy to use and simple enough if hair styling isn’t your vibe (like me). I’ve really loved the added volume for my relatively flat hair and it has definitely given me body that I’ve lacked from just straightening. Rather than having to curl with the ghd styler, I’ve been able to use the Rise to get some fun waves. It also looks like my hair was blow dried (which it definitely wasn’t). If you have flat and hair on the thin and fine side, this works a treat. It is currently retailing for R2900 and you can buy it from the ghd store online. If  you’re still trying to figure out how to curl your hair with a ghd styler – I have a YouTube video that might help. This was how I learnt:

Disclosure: After being given a chance to test out the ghd Rise I was gifted one by ghd.

I'd love to chat to you some more.


I usually send out a weekly mailer with a recap of blog posts but also some personal anecdotes. If you want to know about competitions or just catch up in a more personal setting then you might like to receive the mailer.

Enter your email and get the scoop first: