GHD : Good Hair Day.....with a 40s twist

The list of things I love in life is extensive. But right near the top of the list is hair. I love creating styles and can gaze at pictures and videos forever (very bad for the work flow, especially when you can kind of call it work.... but really you know you should be doing something else….) What you should know, is that I’m a trained hairdresser. What you should also know, is that the only bit I really got a thrill from is the styling. Not with scissors but with the mighty comb. The finishing, the sculpting and whilst some hairdressers loathe hair ups, I was always happy to down scissors and arm myself with the Kirby grips.

Due to this I’ve done many a prom and wedding hair and am always on the lookout for inspiration and with The Historical Sauces I show clients how to develop their own vintage style.  I was approached to work with GHD to not only review their new hair dryer but also to take part in a hair challenge, with a choice of decades to take my inspiration from. For me the forties was calling, but as I like to mix it up, I’ve used a forties technique to create a style you can easily wear even if you don't dress in a vintage way, but do want to create some pretty vintage inspired hair. But first,  was does this new addition to the GHD family have to offer?

The GHD Air hair dryer

The pros

·         It’s incredibly light to hold (no more achy arms)
·         It comes with two differently sized nozzles
·      It’s noticeably quieter than my previous dryers
·         It doesn’t get too hot. Lack of heat is a pro? YES! Because it’s much kinder to your hair BUT don’t think that your losing power, this is a high performance dryer. It dries brilliantly, just without cooking your hair.
·         A 3m power cable. This is much longer than your average hair dryer and allows you to practically walk around the room and carry on drying your hair.
·         It boasts an ergonomic design. So it's just as easy to use if you’re a leftie or a rightie. I actually got someone who is left handed to test this and they found it fine. In a world mainly designed for right handers it’s easy for us to take these things for granted!

The cons

·         At £99 it’s not cheap 

When I think of GHD, I think of a premium brand that most salons use, and for the girl on the street, it’s a brand that’s expensive, but gives salon results. This is what GHD is, a bit of the salon in your own home. This is without doubt a great dryer, the lightness of it makes blow drying your hair properly (in sections and using a brush as a stylist will in a salon) incredibly easy. It really dries well without your locks feeling the burn. You don’t get that heated hair smell when you turn it up to full blast, because let’s face it – I think we’re all guilty of turning up the heat to speed up the drying process, so we can get out of the door quicker. 

It uses ‘’ advanced ionic technology to lock in moisture for softer, shinier results that last for longer ‘’ Of course price is all relative to what you have to spend, and £99 feels a lot for a hair dryer , it is a lot, but the GHD straighteners are also in that price range making them more expensive than other brands you can buy, but……….  You do know that you’ll get decent results for your investment and in my experience with GHD,  professionally and personally, it’s a reliable brand that will do what it promises.

My top tips for giving a salon worthy blow dry at home:

1) Towel dry your hair well. You want your hair to be damp but not dripping wet.

2) Choose your styling product with care, if your hair already has lots of fullness (lucky you) then using something to boost the volume might send it out of control! I've fine hair but lots of it, so I use and swear by, a Tigi product called Small to add fullness.

3) Choose your brush with care, a round brush can create volume. A flat vent brush won't.

4) Use a pintail comb to section your hair neatly,  begin drying the hair at the base near the neck , dry all of this section then work your way up the head.

5) Dry a section at a time working round the head, using the brush to lift the section at the roots then brushing through to the tips . Directing the air down the hair will smooth the hair shaft giving a smoother, shinier result.

6) Keep taking sections and work your way up the head. 

7) Pull the brush smoothly through the hair and keep the sections manageable - no larger in width than the brush, or you could end up with a tangled up brush in your hair! 

The final result. This almost looks like a different cut compared to when I let my hair dry naturally. It's much fuller with a decent blow dry. You will notice the difference in your hair when you dry it this way rather than blasting it with the dryer.

The iconic forties victory rolls are everywhere at the moment. Popular, but so very versatile as you can really vary the look depending on how and where you place them on the head. In a perfect world when you do rolls, or up do hairstyles, you’d leave your hair unwashed for at least 24 hours, but I know that’s not always possible in today’s busy world. If you’re out and about in the hot sun, getting soaked in the rain or have been working out for example you want to reach for the shampoo. The Tigi product I used prior to blow drying had given my hair volume and texture and using the round brush had given it a boost at the roots. So although I’m working with clean hair rather than day old hair, I’ve given myself the best starting point possible.

I also use Batiste XXL dry shampoo as it not only gives extra oomph, but also gives the hair an extra texture. For this style you can just apply a few short blasts just at the roots around the top of the hair and rub in well. 

I've dried my hair with a side parting, so taking the tail of my comb to get a neat section, I work from the parting and down to the top of my ear (towards the side that has the most hair)

You can just clip the hair your not using out of the way. Then split this top section so you have two smaller sections, and back comb the front piece starting at the roots.

This is my concentration face..
Then back comb the other piece. This is giving a firm foundation to the victory roll and makes the hair a coarser texture that can be shaped easier.

Back comb from behind and don't back comb all the way to the to the ends. Spray the back combing using a hairspray that has a good hold, and then gently using the comb (I'm using a pintail bristle comb ) bring the pieces together and gently brush the hair to smooth. You're not trying to get the teeth of the comb through the hair, you're just skimming it over the top of the hair.

To create the roll I wrap the hair around two fingers (If your hair is shorter you can try using your thumb or one finger) Take your time and tuck in any ends as you go. Once you have a firm 'loop' of hair, you can slide your fingers out and holding the loop of hair roll down towards the head.

If you find that your getting lots of sticking out bits that you cant tuck in /control, then you could use a pair of curling tongs on this section.This would make the hair want to curl together when you roll it.

 I didn't for this style and can normally get away with out adding curl. Another option would be that you could pop in a large heated roller to this section, but you'll need to allow about 20 mins for it to cool before taking it out.

Because I'm just doing one big roll that I want to place at the front of my head I want to turn the loop once I start getting near my head so I can place it in position. In the picture above the loop is facing the mirror in the collage below I'm turning turning the loop and moving it forward to face the direction of the camera. 

You need to keep hold of that loop and keep the centre as a hole, as you can see by the third picture above the roll is facing the camera and I'm using my finger in the centre of the roll to keep the shape. Don't worry about fly away hairs at this stage, those all get fixed at the end.

Doing this roll does take a bit of practice, but I promise you that once you have cracked it, you'll be able to do this in minutes! 

Almost there with the shape, just neaten by gently skimming your comb over the top of the roll. Then place a couple of Kirby grips in the hair where the the hole of the roll is. Use the Kirby grips to anchor the roll in to position. You can smooth any fly aways using a pomade or hairspray. If using hair spray you can then use a hair dryer when the spray is wet on the hair to blow the fly aways down.

Kirby grips anchor the roll

So I now have a roll. As I'm keeping my hair straight and leaving it down, it needs to accessorised to balance it out. I've used three hair flowers, but you could just use one.

There's that concentration face again

So there you go, using forties style inspiration to create a look on freshly blow dried hair. 

If you give this a go, I'd love to see a picture!

Visit the GHD website for more info on the new GHD Air hair dryer


  1. That hair do looks lovely! I love the flowers you pinned in there. And also you're concentration face is much better than mine.

  2. Gorgeous! Love this post. Very handy for helping with Victory Rolls.
    p.s love your dressing gown

  3. You described how I feel about GHD perfectly. My mam is shocked that I spent so much money on straightners, but I know that they are worth every penny because they make such a difference to my hair. I want that salon shine when I wash and dry my hair at home. Think I'm going to get my mam to read this post! - Jess x

  4. Crikey good article! I feel like I've just got some insider tips so thanks for sharing. Love how you've styled the whole look.

  5. Just followed a link from twitter, great blog! A really balanced review, the price is a big negative but the way I feel about my GHD'S means that they are worth every penny. Interesting to see they are branching out into other electricals. I will be needing a new hair dryer soon, may be xmas!

  6. Those hair flowers look awesome lady! It's never occurred to me to use more than 1. You're a style genius! Paloma Faith, Missy Vintage, Katy Perry..... ;O) I feel a hair flower shopping session coming on!

  7. I'm rubbish at hair but I feel at the age of 35 I should finally be able to do a blowdry. You have demystified it a bit. The GHD dryer does sound really good - and your hair looks lovely. Come and do mine!

  8. I've dramatically had to cut down on what I spend on my hair. I get it cut just a couple of times a year now - no more trims every six weeks! I also coloured it darker so I could do it myself at home. When I add up what I used to spend in a year at the hairdressers, omg. But I still buy more expensive shampoo because I know that it makes my hair feel better and the money I'm not spending at the hair dressers means that I can buy decent tools like ghds without feeling guilty and I still have great looking hair. I'm still much better off money wise,than when I was going to the salon so much. I used to go and pay to have a wash and dry sometimes just because I was going out! Now I just do my own.


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