2020 is the unofficial year of the hot brush. From Revlon’s One-Step Dryer to BaByliss’ Rotating Blow-Dry Brush (both of which promise a smooth, salon-worthy finish), we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to smart tools that mimic professional hair treatments in the comfort of our own bedroom.
As lockdown rules loom and with salon closures potentially impending, the hot brush trend shows no signs of slowing down. The latest brand to get involved is ghd, with its Rise Volumising Hot Brush.
Since its launch in August, the brush has earned sell-out status, with ghd announcing multiple restocks and launching the tool onto ASOS, Cult Beauty and John Lewis to meet demand. The Rise promises volume and body with a styling temperature of 185 degrees to minimise damage, while bristles boast “cool touch” technology, which supposedly makes it much easier to get into the roots for added lift. The round barrel makes waves and curls easy to achieve but it can also be used to straighten and smooth hair.
So far, so good, but unlike the Revlon and BaByliss brushes, the Rise is meant to be used on dry hair, so you need to either air-dry or rough-dry your lengths first. Still, the reviews speak for themselves, as do the salon-worthy curls and waves flooding Instagram. Is it really worth the hype? Here’s what happened when two R29 staffers gave it a go…
Jacqueline Kilikita, Beauty Editor
“I’m a big fan of the ghd Curve (a wand that produces the coolest S-waves in seconds) and ghd Platinum straighteners – nothing smooths my thick, wavy and often very frizzy hair better – so the Rise Volumising Hot Brush had a lot to live up to.
The tool itself is incredibly light and features plastic teeth, exactly like the round brushes hairstylists use during a professional blow-dry. Unlike the Revlon brush, the heat isn’t like a hairdryer, it’s more like a tong, so the tool itself makes no noise apart from a little beep which indicates it’s ready to use.
On Instagram, most hairstylists have been working on long hair, producing beautiful, voluminous, waterfall waves, so I was interested to see how it would work on my long bob. I separated my hair into very small sections and wrapped it around the barrel of the brush. I curled upwards so my hair was wrapped around the whole barrel, held for 10 or so seconds and released. The first wave was incredible and looked really retro on my short hair. But my hair is super heavy and so it dropped very quickly. To combat the dreaded fall, I’d advise having a can of hairspray on hand to spritz each section as you go. If your hair is thick or curly, you might have to go over each section more than once.
I’ve tried pretty much every hot brush out there and they all tug at my hair, often pulling it out, but not this one, which is a big plus. While it curls and waves expertly, you can’t feel the heat at all, so it’s really easy to get right up to the root for extra volume. Some sections looked just a little bit too pin-up for my liking but if you don’t curl upwards and just brush straight down, you can use the tool to straighten out any mistakes.
While it does exactly what it says on the tin and makes hair look freshly blow-dried, I prefer the ghd Curve as the waves look a bit more modern.”
Jessica Morgan, Staff Writer
“At first glance, I was disappointed that the ghd Rise doesn’t work on wet hair. As someone with 3c/4a curly hair, in order to use the brush I had to blow-dry my hair first, therefore adding more heat to my hair. That said, using the tool afterwards was very easy.
I attempted to follow the instructions by watching the ghd Rise ‘how to’ video on YouTube to master the technique. I struggled initially because of the angle I had to use the brush at but once I got the hang of it, I could see that my roots were gaining volume.
I really did like the curl I achieved. It almost made me look like a 1950s housewife, or an extra in The Stepford Wives, which I wasn’t exactly mad at. I loved the volume the brush gave my hair, although it wasn’t as straight and silky as it would have been had I gone to the hairdresser’s for a professional blow-dry.
Overall, it’s a really good tool to have at home if you want to give your hair some extra va va voom. For those with afro hair textures, it’s probably not a tool you’d automatically reach for because you have to blow-dry your hair first, which ultimately leads to more damage. I won’t be using it every day because of this, but it’s great to have at home for special occasions.”
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