A decent pair of hair straighteners is an essential tool in the beauty box of most women. When it comes to this ubiquitous bit of kit, many believe that the higher the temperature, the more effective the straightening process. However, leading research undertaken by ghd has shown that this is not necessarily the case. In fact, the company’s pioneering Research & Development team has demonstrated that the optimum hair straightening temperature is around 185 degrees centigrade. This, along with other key technological advancements has put ghd ahead of the game, giving them the kind of competitive advantage that gives tech writers license to muse on their work.
A strong R&D team then, is central to the success of any business, but what else have the scientists working for ghd discovered? From their Cambridge-based research facility they’ve made major inroads into heat styling. Achieving the correct temperature is important if you want a product that straightens effectively while avoiding the two major types of hair damage – cuticle stripping and cortex melting. Cuticle stripping is simply when pieces of hair cuticle fall off due to over-zealous styling, while cortex melting occurs when strands of hair become damaged beyond repair by the very high temperatures that some hair straighteners can reach. To achieve a consistent temperature and avoid these types of damage, the ghd R&D team introduced ‘tri-zone technology’, which comprises three sensors in each of the hair straightening plates, to their platinum stylers. These intelligently-designed sensors guarantee that a healthy yet effective temperature can be maintained while the product is in use. To support the plates and ensure their alignment is always accurate, the team has also introduced a wishbone-shaped handle. This means the user doesn’t need to apply pressure to achieve optimum performance – the heat and the structure of the product work together.
In order to deliver consistent quality across ghd products, the Cambridge lab also subjects their technology to rigorous testing. One specially-designed robot does nothing but repeatedly pick up and drop the hair straighteners – far from random behaviour, this is done in order to ascertain how the product would respond if it slipped from its owner’s hands again and again. The robot can complete the drop-and-pick-up action 10,000 times over a 20-hour period. Meanwhile, another machine tests the efficiency of the product in heating up to the ideal temperature by switching it on for three minutes, switching it off and cooling it mechanically, then repeating. In this way, the straighteners can endure two years’ worth of use in just seven days. Given this intensive use and the high level of reliance their users place on their straighteners, it’s vital that they undergo such rigorous testing to prove their hardiness, and that customers are paying for long-lasting quality.
These measures, when taken en masse, combine to provide ghd with its renowned valuable competitive edge. It proves that a talented, brand-focused R&D team that has genuine passion for technological innovation, as well as exquisite user-centric design, is one of the most valuable assets a company can have.