ghd Platinum+ vs ghd Gold – our beauty experts' verdict on which you should buy

We compare the premium ghd Platinum+ vs ghd Gold, two high-tech stylers. But which one is best? Our experts share their thoughts...

ghd Platinum+ vs ghd Gold
(Image credit: Future)

If you're in the market for some new straighteners, it makes complete sense to arrive at ghd. The question of which model to buy, though, can be tricky to answer. Fortunately, our beauty experts have compared the ghd Platinum+ vs ghd Gold Styler in this guide to help you decide which tool is best for you. 

Choosing the right hair straighteners can be the difference between a good hair day and a not-so-great one. And, as the woman&home team has seen firsthand in our years and years of testing the best hair straighteners and best hair dryers, not all hair tools are made equal. But one brand that’s always top of the shelf is ghd, with its variety of models that caters to different hair types and needs. Two of its most cutting-edge tools that have racked up countless five-star reviews are the ghd Platinum+ and ghd Gold. 

First came the Gold, which quickly became a best-selling styler after landing on shelves in 2011. Then came Platinum+, which made headlines when it launched in 2018 for being the world’s first-ever "smart" straightener. Here, we put the two tools head-to-head to see which is the best ghd hair straightener. Spoiler alert: it’s a close call.

Emma Stoddart
Emma Stoddart

Emma Stoddart is a freelance beauty journalist who has worked for some of the UK’s top titles including Net-A-Porter, Stylist and Grazia. Her experience spans online and print as well as producing editorial shoots with some of the industry’s biggest artists.

Aleesha Badkar, Digital Beauty Editor at woman&home
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha Badkar is woman&home's Acting Digital Beauty Editor, covering all things beauty on the site, from the best techniques and sharpest tools to the newest products. Previously, she was Deputy Editor and Beauty & Fashion Editor for My Imperfect Life, where she headed up the beauty, fashion and eCommerce pages. 


How we tested the ghd Platinum+ vs ghd Gold Hair Straighteners

The ghd Platinum+ and ghd Gold Hair Straighteners we tested for this piece

The ghd Platinum+ and ghd Gold Hair Straighteners we tested for this piece

(Image credit: Emma Stoddart)

Prior to writing this, our tester had only ever used the ghd Original IV straightener (shocking, we know). But our motto is if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. While the Original has undoubtedly stood the test of time, it was about time we took the newer models for a spin. To ensure a fair test, we styled half our hair using the Gold and the other half using the Platinum+ and directly compared the results. We looked at how the design differed, how easy each model was to use and whether smart technology really made a difference. To see if both tools cater to different styling needs, we also consulted other testers with various hair types including short, curly and very thick hair. 

ghd Platinum+ vs ghd Gold, by our beauty experts

Specifications comparison

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Header Cell - Column 0 ghd Platinum+ghd Gold
Temperature settings:185ºC185ºC
Cord length:2.7m2.7m
Available colors:Black, white, cobalt blue, scarlet red, rose gold, powder pinkBlack, moon silver, powder pink
Auto shut-off:After 30 minutes of inactivityAfter 30 minutes of inactivity
Added extras:Ultra-zone predictive technology, and precision milled, ultra-gloss floating platesDual-zone technology, gloss finish floating plates
Review rating:4/54/5

ghd Platinum+ vs ghd Gold design comparison

Collage of GHD Platinum+ and GHD Gold side by side on white background

(Image credit: Future/Emma Stoddart)

ghd Gold design

If, like us, your first ghd straightener was the Original Styler, you’ll probably remember the classic yellow ceramic plates. Newer models, including both the ghd Gold and ghd Platinum+, have swapped these out for sparkly, metallic grey versions that look (and feel) sleeker. On the Gold, the plates measure 9cm long and 2.5cm wide and boast a straight edge. Note that they’re floating plates, meaning they’re not 100% attached to the styler, which allows for some movement and flexibility. 

The smooth, rounded barrel shape of the Gold resembles that of the Platinum+ and, because of this, both tools can be used to create wavy hairstyles and bouncy curls as well as sleek styles. Both feature a power button on the inside of the handle that illuminates when turned on. As with most ghd stylers, there are also no variable heat settings as all stylers reach the brand’s identified optimum styling temperature of 185 degrees.  

The straighteners are reasonably lightweight (weighing in at 0.45kg) and we found that when styling our fine strands we didn’t get that dreaded armache. There’s also a generous 2.7-meter swivel cord that allows you to reach harder-to-style sections (mainly the back) as well as your mirror from across the room. We love how these straighteners look and feel – sleek, stylish and professional. 

ghd Platinum+ design

On first impressions, the Platinum+ and Gold look very similar with their curved, barrel designs and metallic grey plates. But on closer inspection, we spotted a few key differences. Firstly, the two-piece hinge seen on the Gold model has been updated on the Platinum+ with a ‘wishbone’ hinge and a single curve. This gives the styler an overall sleeker look and improves the control, as you can open and close the tool effortlessly without pulling or catching hair. 

Another difference between these two stylers is the weight. The Gold weighs 450g, while the Platinum+ is less at around 300g. Because of its lightweight design, we found that the Platinum+ is easier to handle and manoeuvre – especially on curly and thick hair types. Plus, despite being lighter, it boasts a larger barrel shape than the Gold which is ideal for styling large sections of hair as well as creating loose curls and beach hair waves

Both tools have floating plates, and both feature a 2.7-meter swivel cord. They also both come with an in-built timer that turns them off automatically after 30-minutes of inactivity to give you peace of mind when styling in a hurry. While the Gold comes in a choice of black, silver or pink, the Platinum+ is available in a wider array of colourways, including black, white, red, blue, gold and, our favourite, powder pink. 

User experience

ghd Gold 

In terms of usability, both of these stylers really impressed our tester. It’s very clear to see how advanced the newer models are when compared to the Original. While the Original can occasionally pull and tug hair, both the Gold and Platinum+ feel silky smooth, gliding across strands effortlessly. When styling fine hair that’s slightly wavy, we found the Gold styler smoothed each section in just two passes. Thick or naturally curly hair may require more passes to achieve a super straight style. 

It's worth noting that the Gold doesn’t feature ionic technology, which may be problematic for hair that’s prone to frizz. If you do have frizzy hair, consider a different model that does feature this technology. It's also that little bit heavier, which will be more noticeable for those with thicker and/or curly hair that takes longer to straighten. But overall, the Gold is easy to use and the rounded sides are a great bonus for anyone who wants to create curls and waves, too. 

ghd Platinum+

The Platinum+ is a cut above the rest. Its featherweight design, large plates and rounded barrel shape make hair styling so seamless. No longer do you need to put hours aside for styling – this tool makes it so quick and easy (and enjoyable). One or two passes are all you need to get a smooth finish, while still maintaining body and movement. Both our fine and thick-haired testers got on with this tool, saying it cut styling time in half (a big tick).

It's also really easy to create bouncy curls and loose waves with this styler. Where the barrel and plates are slightly larger than the Gold, you get a bigger curl that’s full of body. Because of the slightly larger plate size and advanced tech, this is easily one of the best straighteners for curly hair, too. While both stylers glide effortlessly through strands, this one has the edge with its curved ceramic plates that never ever catch or snag. And because of the wish-bone hinge, you have more control when opening and closing the plates. 

ghd Platinum+ vs ghd Gold: performance

ghd Platinum+ and ghd Gold next to each other on a linen background

The ghd Gold (top) and ghd Platinum+ Styler (bottom)

(Image credit: Future/Emma Stoddart)

ghd Gold 

The best thing about these newer tools is how quickly they heat up. The Gold reaches the optimum temperature of 185 degrees in just 25 seconds. You’ll know once they’ve heated up as the styler makes a beeping sound. Clever, right? Once hot, the tool maintains its heat with something called "dual-zone technology". This means the styler has two, instead of one, heat sensors to ensure the heat is evenly distributed from root to tip for super smooth results. 

The outer casing of the Gold can get quite warm and, in some cases, too hot to touch. This is where the cool tip comes in. If you’re creating curly hairstyles, hold the cool tip to control the barrel when rotating it down the length of your hair. This is also useful when styling hard-to-reach sections at the back. The downside? The plates aren’t the widest or longest we’ve tested. If your hair is especially thick or curly, we’d recommend giving the ghd Max Hair Straightener a whirl. The extra-large plates will significantly cut down styling time.  

ghd Platinum+ 

Scrap 25 seconds, because the ghd Platinum+ heats up in a record time of just 20 seconds – impressive stuff. Again, the styler will let you know once it's ready with a clear beeping sound. Like the Gold, the temperature remains consistent, but instead of the Gold’s "dual-zone technology", the Platinum+ features "ultra-zone™ technology" – a step up. According to the brand, this predictive technology allows the styler to recognize your hair's thickness and the section size, as well as the speed at which you are styling, to adjust the power and temperature accordingly. Very clever! 

While we can’t see this technology in action, we can say that our hair felt smoother and looked shinier after a few days of use, not once looking over-styled or damaged. As for the casing, the Platinum+ is insulated, meaning it stays cool all the way around; it’s just the ceramic plates that heat up. This is great for those days when you’re styling in a hurry, as you don’t run the risk of accidentally scorching your skin. This styler works equally well when straightening, curling and waving hair, making it a true multi-tasker.

ghd gold vs ghd platinum: The verdict

Both ghd stylers are seriously intelligent tools that feature advanced technology. When compared to the Original Styler, these tools are in a league of their own – delivering salon-worthy results at record speed without significantly damaging or snagging strands. Both tools feel luxurious to hold and will certainly look the part on top of your dressing table. 

When choosing between the two, we’d say the Platinum+ takes the lead – just. Its wishbone hinge and insulated casing make it a bit more user-friendly and its technology is that step up from the Gold's. That said, there is a significant price difference, as the Platinum+ also costs £70 more. It's worth considering your hair type, too. For those with thick, coarse or naturally frizz-prone locks, the Platinum+ is definitely the clear choice, as it makes for faster styling. Dry or damaged hair types will also benefit from this styler’s ultra-zone technology, which means the hair isn't exposed to excessive heat.

However, if your hair is fine and/or doesn't require significant styling to achieve your desired straight finish, there’s no reason the Gold wouldn’t meet all of your hair's needs and it'll save you a feew pennies in the process. Still can't decide? Read our full ghd Platinum+ Hair Straightener review for a deep dive into the techier of the two. (You may also find our Dyson Corrale vs ghd Platinum+ comparison helpful!)

Make further savings on your next purchase with the latest ghd discount codes.

Emma Stoddart

Emma Stoddart is a freelance beauty journalist and self-confessed skincare aficionado with over five years’ industry experience. Emma has worked for some of the UK’s top women’s titles including Net-A-Porter, Stylist and Grazia. Her experience spans online and print as well as producing editorial shoots with some of the industry’s biggest artists, including Val Garland. Asides from working with them behind the scenes, she’s also had the chance to interview the likes of Patrick Ta, Pat McGrath, and Sam McKnight for all their insider tips and tricks.

With contributions from