Designed by leading physicists, this sleek hair dryer boasts impressive power (2,200 watts, to be exact) to cut down on drying time while boosting shine for a healthier blow-dry. Impressed by the smooth results, this is a great pick if your budget allows—just note that the extra attachments come at an additional cost.
Sophisticated look and feel
Powerful, highly concentrated airflow
Ionic technology for smooth results
Upper end of the weight spectrum
Attachments sold separately
Why you can trust Woman & Home
The ghd Helios is one of our beauty editor’s best hair dryer picks because it sticks to the formula ghd knows best: creating sexy yet eminently useful tools that fit seamlessly into your beauty routine. This is a hair dryer that enhances your day without making a song and dance about it.
Cable length: 9ft/3m
Warranty: 2 years
A true all-rounder, the ghd Helios not only looks the part—but it acts the part, too. Packing in plenty of power, this hot tool significantly cuts down drying time for a healthier blow-dry at home. “The powerful airflow means that you don’t need to rely on heat to dry your hair,” says Zoe Irwin, legendary hair stylist and ghd ambassador, “the power itself is enough.”
Along with powerful airflow, the top-rated tool boasts ionic technology to help tackle frizzy hair as well as a good cool setting to lock in your look (more on this later). So, if you’re on the market for a new hair dryer, scroll on down to find out why the ghd Helios is, in our opinion, a brilliant choice.
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Our beauty editor’s ghd Helios review
ghd Helios design
When it comes to design, the ghd Helios is in a league of its own. The aesthetically pleasing hair dryer combines a smooth matte finish (that has a lovely soft feel) with glossy branded accents for a luxurious look. Available in five sophisticated shades, choose between black, ink blue, white, orchid pink or, our favorite, plum.
While the size and shape of the Helios will look familiar to fans of previous ghd models, such as the Air, a few new extras elevate the design. The air filter at the back has super-fine vents and the cool-shot button clicks on and off most satisfyingly. As for weight, the Helios is ghd’s lightest model yet at 2lbs (780g), weighing significantly less than the ghd Air, which clocks in at 3.3lbs (1.54kg).
Not at all clunky, the Helios is comfortable to hold and easy to manoeuvre (thanks to its 3m cable) for a seamless drying experience on all hair types. We would, however, argue that it’s not light enough to make it into our edit of the best travel hair dryers. For this, we’d recommend a featherweight, compact design like T3’s Afar Travel Hair Dryer.
What attachments come with the ghd Helios?
Included with the Helios hair dryer is the brand’s ‘bespoke contoured nozzle’—which is essentially a super slim nozzle that delivers highly concentrated airflow and heat for precise control. While this attachment is perfect for creating smooth and sleek styles—if you want to embrace curly hairstyles and natural hairstyles, you will need to use one of the best diffusers.
The brand does sell a separate diffuser attachment (and a very good one, too) but for an additional cost of $41/£29 which feels a touch unfair for anyone with curly hair who wants to enhance their natural texture. As well as a diffuser attachment, ghd sell a wide styling nozzle attachment that enables you to dry larger sections of hair—ideal for anyone with long or thick hair. Finally, there’s also comb attachment (again, sold separately) – featuring two rows of tapered teeth to gently lift and shape textured, curly or coily hair types.
How well does the Helios perform?
The ghd Helios performs exceptionally well, scoring top marks on speed, power and strand-smoothing results. While other hair dryers (read our Dyson Airwrap review, for example) now come with added frills and features—the Helios doesn’t. It’s simplistic design and clever technology delivers on results without feeling too techie.
The power and efficiency come down to a combination of the brushless motor, which generates super-fast airflow at 120kph, and the super-slimline nozzle, which compresses said airflow into a concentrated stream. Aim the nozzle at specific sections of hair and it will receive a highly controlled, almighty blast for ultra-fast drying and, thanks to ionic technology, frizz-free results. “The ghd Helios gives you the perfect flow of air when drying to create natural fullness, stunning shine and smoothness like no other,” says Irwin.
Quieter than most, including the Shark Hair Dryer, ghd use a clever acoustic system to keep noise levels down to a minimum. “Remember to use the cold shot button when drying; this blast of cold air helps to lock your finished style in place,” adds Irwin. We found the cold shot bolstered shine, too. A win-win!
What’s not good about it?
The Helios is a great tool that, like the best ghd straighteners, is totally fool-proof and easy to use. It dries hair in record speed without using high temperatures—reducing the likelihood of heat damage (a huge tick). If we had to mark it down (which is, of course, what this section is for) it would be for the lack of included attachments. While the Helios comes with the bespoke contoured nozzle—it doesn’t come with any other attachments. If you want a wider nozzle or a diffuser, you must purchase these separately.
Attachments aside, it’s also a little heavier than some other hair dryers on the market. After researching different tools, the difference between this and other, lighter luxury models sits at about 100-200g. This is probably negligible unless you have very thick, long hair, in which case you will probably notice that extra heft after half an hour of holding it up.
ghd Helios hair dryer review: w&h verdict
If your main driving force is results (a smooth blowout, in particular), then the ghd Helios is the hair dryer for you. Simple heat and speed settings and straightforward use give you a classic pick that's also quite elevated, in terms of design.
In terms of how it measures up to a higher-end model, it really does hold its own. Comparing the ghd with the 'new kid on the block' Zuvi Halo hair dryer, we found the Helios offered far more satisfying speed and power. When it comes to the GHD Helios vs Dyson Supersonic, there are a lot of similarities in terms of quality and hair health, but the ghd offering is a little more bulky and a little less comfortable to use. That being said, it's definitely worth your attention if you don't want to spend as much money as the Supersonic affords.
Speed, efficiency, affordability, plus a cool shot option and frizz-protective ionic technology tick all the boxes in a winning no-nonsense hair dryer, and ghd brand equity ensure you're getting longevity and that renowned quality as well.
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As woman&home's Beauty Channel Editor, Fiona Mckim has tried more products than she’s had hot dinners and nothing makes her happier than raving about brilliant finds on womanandhome.com or her instagram grid (@fionamckim if you like hair experiments and cute shih-tzus). Fiona joined woman&home as Assistant Beauty Editor in 2013 under industry legend Jo GB, who taught her everything she needed to know (learn about ingredients and employ extreme cynicism). She has since covered every corner of the industry, from interviewing dermatologists and celebrities to reporting backstage at Fashion Week and judging the w&h Beauty Awards.
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