Can George Northwood’s Hair Tools Replace My Expensive Versions?

·6-min read

When it comes to hair tools, I’ll admit I’ve been swayed by the luxury versions. My bleached, dyed strands are fragile to say the least, so the promise of achieving a smooth finish in next to no time (and sans the intense frazzle) is always welcome. As a result, my go-tos are ghd (a brand which caps its tools at 185 degrees to protect hair) and Dyson (which prides itself on smart airflow to style lengths without excess heat). But this month, there’s a new brand vying for our attention, and it might have the credentials to rival all of the above.

Enter: Undone by George Northwood.

If you’re a regular at Boots, you’ve probably come across the celebrity hairstylist’s product range, which includes targeted shampoos and conditioners, styling creams and heat protection. George is the genius behind both Meghan Markle and Alexa Chung‘s hair, and the collection boasts huge fans like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Now, a hair straightener, hairdryer and hair tong are part of the range, and they’re a cut of the price of other buzzy hair tools on the market.

“My collection would not have been complete without my tools,” said George in a press release. “These will help you achieve the look of some of my much-loved muses. The range is called Undone because this reflects my signature style,” he added, referring to the accidentally perfect waves he’s famous for, “but I also want to ‘undo’ the maze of hair.” In other words, it’s hairstyling made simple.

All good hair brands must start with a hairdryer, and the Undone by George Northwood Blow Dry It Hairdryer is the talk of salons across London. At £65, it’s less than half the price of some of the more luxe tools out there, but does it live up to the hype? It’s selling point is the lightness. While it isn’t as featherweight as my trusty Dyson Supersonic, George says it’s easy to achieve an effortless blow-dry thanks to the five heat and wind speeds and a cool shot to set your style in place. He also promises frizz-free results with lots of shine.

I usually use the ghd Helios Hair Dryer, £159, as it dries hair in record speed and makes it smooth, shiny and less frizzy. I’m convinced my hair is in much better condition since using it and I recommend it to anyone who asks. But — excuse the pun — George Northwood’s blows it out of the water. It’s much lighter (which makes styling easy), cuts drying time in half and makes hair sleek and frizz-free when used with the narrow nozzle. It also comes complete with a diffuser for curly hair. My hair was so smooth, I didn’t straighten it that day, and as you can see in the picture, there isn’t much frizz or any flyaways, which I always grapple with post rough-dry. With the right brushes, you can even fashion a salon-worthy blow-dry.

Next up, the Straighten or Wave It Flat Iron, £55. The straightener heats up across the entirety of the tourmaline plate (said to condition and impart shine) so that you can style your hair evenly and quickly. Techniques to curl your hair with straighteners are all over TikTok at the moment, but no matter how many times I attempt them, I always seem to fail, so I used them to straighten out my natural, frizzy waves instead.

The straighteners didn’t quite cut it for me. I struggled to achieve the perfect temperature setting for my thick hair (which is why I tend to prefer tools which are capped at a certain number that works for all hair types and textures) and it took multiple passes to straighten small sections of hair. The plates are very thin, which made smoothing the root easy, but that meant I couldn’t straighten large pieces of hair at one time. Call me impatient, but in the summer I want styling my hair with heated tools to be a quick and easy job. I finished the rest with my trusty Cloud Nine The Original Iron, £159. There’s also a tiny design flaw: the palm of my hand kept getting caught in the mechanism just above the power button every time I went to clamp the plates shut to straighten. Overall, these straighteners are a good option for those with very fine hair who are wary of subjecting their strands to too much heat. If you have very thick, wavy or curly lengths, stick to ghds, or if you’re looking for something more purse-friendly, the Nicky Clarke Supershine Straightener Izora, £66.59, is excellent.

Then there’s the Curl It Tongs, £65. The barrel is longer than others to fashion a looser, cool girl wave and heats up between 120-210°C. There’s also a heat-resistant tip to prevent singed fingers and a clasp to make light work of creating flawless waves as it holds hair in place. So does it live up to the Instagram hype? It’s definitely undone hair made easy. The swivel button at the bottom allows you to control the temperature to achieve the perfect wave or curl depending on your personal style. Once I got my head around the lever and learned to curl away not towards my face for a framing effect, it was simple. This YouTube tutorial is very helpful.

Prom curls aren’t George’s style, so I brushed my hair out and added some texture spray for more of an Olsen twin-inspired finish. The barrel is a lot thinner than my usual T3 SinglePass Curl, £120, but it lends hair a more relaxed rather than glamorous wave. My hair is thick and heavy, so the waves didn’t hold that well, though the loose look is George’s signature. If you’re looking for more bounce, try the Mark Hill Pick ‘N’ Mix Small Curl Barrel, £16.99, which creates long-lasting curls and waves. My only real gripe with the Curl It Tong? It doesn’t come complete with a heat protector mat. The tool gets super hot, so be sure not to rest it anywhere.

My verdict? All three tools have their merits depending on your hair type, texture and personal style, but the surefire winner is the hairdryer, which I much prefer over expensive versions. It’s bound to be a sell-out, so get in there quick.

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