What’s hair styling got to do with branding?

Posted by – May 1, 2012

The other week my hair stopped curling. Let me explain: my hair has a gentle wave but I create lovely even curls (if I have the extra 5 mins required during my get ready time) with my GHD. If you are a girl you no doubt know what a GHD is, if you are a male with a girl in their life you also probably know what a GHD is, but for those who don’t: a GHD is a hair iron – it flattens, curls or kinks you hair. Really, really, well. The best I say.

The GHD is like the soulmate to the Hairdryer. An invention no less impressive and game changing as the iPhone was to the mobile phone market.  

ghd hair iron

So upon my recent hair misdemeanour of curls falling out just hours after being created with my GHD, I started to distress about having a hair problem, a hair disease. Then the marketer in me started thinking how funny that was because I didn’t even think for a minute that maybe something was wrong with my GHD, so sold I am on the brand and product being pretty much perfect (could be perfect if they figured out a way to stop you burning your fingers),

GHD were an unknown brand and they became a hair styling staple, as commonly bought and demanded as a hairdryer, almost overnight. Girls, and women, the world over, flocked to shell out $400 (or thereabouts) on this product, most of whom probably never spent more than $100 on a hairdryer and whom never would have dreamt of spending such a seemingly large sum on a nice to have (not need to have) product. I was certainly one of them. Girls even had birthday cakes made in the shape of a GHD, look: 

In a very short time, the GHD became the must have item for women who wanted gorgeous hair, ie. pretty much every woman on the planet. They had just one product, and hence why it was and is still simply called “The GHD” or “My GHD” – it straightened hair, perfectly, no frizz, little fuss, beautiful. My Mum tells me she used to straighten her hair with the clothes iron, and I have seen a photo of it or else I wouldn’t believe her. From hairdressers to your best friend, everyone became a fan or owner of a GHD, and if you didn’t have one, you lusted after it until you could afford or justify the price tag.

The GHD is/was product gold – the best in its field, yes I believe so. I remember my older sister bought one and I chastised her for it, how could she possibly justify spending so much money on a hair styling thingy. I bought a competitor one for a fraction of the price and thought it was pretty good, that was until I used hers, then I just had to have one too. And so it went for no doubt many, many girls and the brand and global business that is GHD now, a decade on, remains a firm market leader, a quality that competitors aspire to copy yet can’t.

Looking into GHD for this article, I found two brand taglines, both powerfully apt:


ghd: a new religion for hair

ghd brand tagline

ghd: you can do anything with your hair


ghd brand tagline


This is what GHD say about themselves on their website:

A decade on from revolutionising hairstyling with the launch of its first styler, ghd remains true to its founding ethos: the spirit of transformation. In addition to its iconic stylers, which continue to be a cult must-have for women in search of beautiful hair, new product line ghd Style and a collection of professional brushes complete the ghd range.”

I can’t pick any holes in that. This is not a sponsored post. This is simply a marketing story of an amazing brand that I thought of following my hair uncurling incidents. My hair has recovered its ability to hold curls again, so I am putting it down to a different hair shampoo or leave in product that I tried. I have way too many of those in my bathroom cabinet.

GHD will be in my bathroom cabinet as CEO of my hair for some time to come.

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2 Comments on What’s hair styling got to do with branding?

  1. Renee says:

    There is no comparison to a GHD, that’s one brand getting its message across.

  2. Laura Bentley says:

    Hilarious! I used to think my “other brand” was amazing. Change my life when I got my GHD! You have just written about my hairs life story! Love it! X

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