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When I needed a set of straighteners I did extensive research (including actually contacting companies to ask questions, including Ghd) and went for corioliss. I'd highly recommend them. Adjustable temperature and they're not coated like Ghds so no chance of it cracking off and damaging your hair. I think I got mine from miss Bollywood (Once I decided on corioliss I contacted them to find out their list of approved suppliers -although this was some time ago)
After my ghds died I tried a couple of other different ones that cost roughly half of what the ghd did. I bought into the line that other straighteners were now as good as the ghd but they weren't and I wasted my money. I've recently bought the Loreal steam pod which is the best straightener I've ever used, it's as good as the ghd but doesn't damage hair or leave it looking so flat. It's expensive though so maybe not for now but worth saving for.
I've dumped GHDs after mine kept developing the same fault. I've had new pairs sent to me 5 times as they kept breaking within the guarantee period. I fed up with the faffing around and I've bought some Cloud 9s & really like them.
My old ghds lasted over 10 years so when they died I bought new ghds, they were awful, so so crap. I didn't know that they'd changed the way they're manufactured. Apparently cloud 9's are from the makers of the originals, wish I'd got them instead.
I have GHD 3.1b from years ago that still work. However, some while back, I thought it would be good to try out the latest GHD model assuming that years on it would be much better so bought the Vs and they were terrible. My hair seemed to slip in between the plates rather than being gripped so it would take much much longer to straighten. Went back to the 3.1bs.
More recently (due to bleaching) my hair is in a state so wanted a pair that didn't heat so high as I think 3.1bs are at 210 degrees so bought both the Coriloiss C3s which are ok but more flimsy than the GHDs and the Cloud 9s which I really like.
I ummed and ahed about getting the steampod last year but a few things put me off: - people saying that after a few months of use their hair started to deteriorate - people saying the water pod often starts leaking - my big concern was that in the same way as a scaled is worse than a burn (wet heat worse than dry heat) straightening through using steam is going to be much worse than the dry heat of a straightener