Hair straighteners: Cloud Nine vs ghd

Earlier this month I told you that the Cloud Nine hair styler (created by the founders of the iconic ghd hair straightener) has launched in Australia with some former staffers jumping ship locally to launch the new straightener into our ghd-saturated market. Since I’m always curious about ‘competing’ beauty products (right now true mineral make up is fascinating me too) I couldn’t say no when one was offered to me on loan.

But let me start off by saying, I had never personally used a ghd before reviewing both the Cloud Nine and the ghd IV styler. Why? Because I never understood why people would fork out the ‘big bucks’ when it came to these heated tongs that flatten hair. I’d rather spend the money on clothes or shoes. Apparently I was wrong to think with a fashion brain, and was happy to be proven otherwise since my hair is naturally straight but thick, making styling difficult if I didn’t want it to just ‘hang’ limply.

Thanks to Twitter, I discovered some of you were keen to find out what the difference between the Cloud Nine and the ghd IV Styler were – and if it was worthwhile to change loyalties or upgrade from a cheaper alternative. So I’ve created this quick comparison table which I hope helps you make up your mind.

Cloud Nine vs ghd IV Styler

The hair straightener features comparison table

Cloud Nine ghd IV Styler
Temperature: User controlled, from 100°C to 200°C.
*Straighteners come with recommended temperatures for styling different looks.
Colour: Black plates, black coating & blue logo Orange plates, black coating and orange logo.
Weight: Approx 250 – 260 grams^
Feels lighter when using.
Approx 250 – 260 grams^
Feels heavier when using.
Finish on hair: Glossy natural shine (apparently due to their black plates) Natural shine, but not as glossy
Safety features: Built in safety chip which turns off the straightener after 30 minutes of non-use Built in safety chip which turns off the straightener after 30 minutes of non-use
Special features: – RFID Chip for tracking authenticity and quality control.
– Flashing light to tell you when the iron is at the right heat.
– Worldwide voltage
– User control temperature panel that is ‘state-of-the-art temperature control technology’
– ‘Shiver mode’ which protects the iron from internal condensation when exposed to temperatures below 5 degrees.
– A flashing light and beeping-noise to tell you when the iron is up to heat.
– Worldwide voltage
– ‘Innovative digital temperature control’
– A variety of colours
Extra components: – Plastic heat guard for quick post use storage so you don’t have to worry about the irons coming into contact with non-heat resistant surfaces.
– Heat protector bag
– Swivel cord (smooth)
– 2 year warranty
– Heat protector bag
– Swivel cord (a little tight)
Price: AUD RRP$279
GBP RRP£129.95

^Weight taken with old kitchen scales so approximates given.

Our verdict:

The little things really set the Cloud Nine apart for me – the temperature control and plastic heat protector – and the fact that I found the finish was nicer on the Cloud Nine.

But if I already forked out for a ghd, would I fork out for another one? Probably not, especially in the wake of the GFC and my longing for a holiday. But it’s always good to see some competition in the market, especially since the ghd has, for the most part, been competitor-less for almost a decade.

I’d love to know your thoughts on the ghd, Cloud Nine or even the Silver Bullet.

Note: The Cloud Nine styler was loaned to us to review, the ghd IV Styler was borrowed from a friend, a devote ghd user.

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Update: On November 4, 2010 we won a Star Award for this blog post.
Many thanks to the judges and Beauty Directory for recognising bloggers in their annual beauty media and pr awards breakfast. We’d like to say a congratulations to our fellow finalists as well as my fellow winners. You’ve all inspired me to continue creating original content and pursuing beauty blogging a little more seriously in addition to my fashion blogging.

Helen xx

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  • Melissa says:

    Thanks for the review. My hairdresser use the Cloud Nine and I love the finish it has on my hair. I might have to put the Cloud Nine on my christmas wishlist this year because it could be time to upgrade from my ghd (I have the version 3)!

  • kirsty says:

    hey there. i`d just like to give my opinion. personally i think cloud nine is the way forward. i work at a hair salon and my boss has been a hair dresser for 25 years. after working with her ghd for several years then just recently trading it in for a cloud nine. she feels that cloud9 by far has a better finish and works better than the ghd. i too see the difference when ironing clients hair with the cloud9 after using the ghd for so long on their hair. Another pointer about the cloud9. it has special minerals in its plates which protects and nourishes the hair.

  • sarah says:

    I agree with kirsty, after using the Cloud Nine you notice the diffence. Nay-sayers are just scared of change/breaking away from the pack of sheep.

  • haylee says:

    ghd’s are not what they used to be when i first used a ghd my hair stayed striaght for 3 days and now my new one barley keeps it staright for one day. my hair also looks MUCH healther after using a cloud nine, they do a better job in general. so yes ill be forking out money to by a new one 🙂

  • Alexis says:

    I got pressured into buying a cloud nine and seriously regretting it. Everytime I curl my hair the curls drop out within a few hours no matter how much hair spray or product I use. Biggest waste of money I’m sticking with my GHD.

  • Dylan says:

    Alexis, that’s because it’s a HAIR STRAIGHTENER!

  • Megan says:

    I haven’t had any problems with the Cloud Nine and curling my hair. Infact I think it’s better for my hair because I can keep the heat setting low to medium for straightening and set it higher for curls. Where as the ghd would just burn the shit out of my hair since it just has the one temperature.

  • Kate says:

    i used the GHD’s and loved them, but found my hair went frizzy afterwards, but now the cloud nine has come out and i LOVE IT!! its amazing and leaves my hair straight all day long, with no frizz (: its way better

  • Sandi says:

    The problem with GHD is when it breaks down (which they do), there is no-one in NZ that can fix them, or even get parts to fix them. They have to be sent to Aussie, so the agent here takes $150 and gives you a reconditioned one, someone elses fixed one! I wont be replacing my GHD. Cloud9 can be fixed in NZ.

  • Chris says:

    After hairdressing for more than 25 years and being a ghd user since they were first released i must say making the change to cloud nine was the best move i have made not only are they price competitive but the quality shine and result on the hair is superior to the ghd. I was sent the latest ghd iron free of charge to entice me back but found they snag and pull every time you curl and the shine and gloss is definitly not what you get with a cloud nine iron . cloud nine is the pick for me

  • nicole says:

    I bought a ghd from a hair salon and it burnt my hair. My fringe was frizzled and my ends looked like they were melted. I was in tears. I visited my friend at her salon and she told me that ghd had sold the company and were now making a new straightener called cloud9. She used it on my hair and my hair went from feeling like straw to feeling like silk!!! Now i just have to wait till i save up some money to get one and when i do im gonna get my pay back by burning my ghd. Seriously.

  • Sarah says:

    After working in the hairdressing industry and using a GHD for many of years, I found from purchasing my first GHD, when they first came out, to purchasing one in December last year, the quality has changed due to the founders of GHD leaving and where they are getting made. Today’s society is all about the new technology and cloud 9 is an amazing implement to work with, with its features from temperature to the korean minerals in the plates that leave the clients hair shiny and smooth to the swivel cord, cloud 9 is by far the new styling tool you must have. They are more affordable and have a warranty. For the GHD lovers, you need to let go of the old, and embrace the new, Cloud 9. x

  • Lisa says:

    Can you compare both of these to the Silve Bullet? My friends in the US have one and they swear by it. I have the ghd but it doesn’t work as well on my hair as it use to so I want to try something new.

  • Razia Khan says:

    I am a model, i need great hair ALL THE TIME..and after using the ghd for 7 years…i found it fried my hair more than anything else and my ends were brittle and split…

    when i first tried the cloud nine, i jumped up and down hysterically..I WAS IN LOVE!!! REALLY ON CLOUD NINE!

    Me and my cloud nine are never ever seperated. i have glossy shiny beautiful hair again thanks to my cloud nine….and you should hear the compliments i get about my hair when i am out in public…i blush like a little schoolgirl:-)

    GO AND GET YOURSELF A PAIR OF cloud nine hair irons…You will see that it is every penny well spent.

  • Steph says:

    Personally I’m a fan of Silver Bullet. I’ve owned two but the one I recently brought has adjustable heat up to 220 degrees – which works a treat on my thick, coarse hair. It cost me under $200 and I got a mini straightener with it as well. Very happy!

  • Michelle Pillay says:

    I recieved the Cloud 9 Straightener as a present and I must say it is fabulous!!!! Much sexier. My hair is absolutely shiny and I have a smoother finish. And i get to use it at a temperature setting that I feel comfortable with. I feel my hair is more healthier and full of life. WOW!

  • anabanana says:

    Anyone who says stylers don’t damage and nourish your hair are retarded, if you have ever burnt your finger on one, why would you put on on your hair?? The only difference between the both (in terms of being “healthier” …) is that the cloud nine has adjustable temp and the lower temp you go, the better in that the extent to which you damage your hair is reduced. The ghd has one setting, and its quite high, not so great for fine hair, but by NOT using your styler every day and trying to have it on a lower setting, that is what you call having “healthier hair”. no minerals will stop your finger from burning so why should it be different for hair? ridiculous.

  • ghdnayer says:

    anabanana, I love your comment. I got the shine that I had never had after the hairdresser using cloud 9 on me. my gosh, I got so much attention!

    I have owned a GHD for 4 yrs, but used less than 30 times, for the fear of damaging my hair.

    I do wonder if the shine has something to do with the material of the plates in Cloud 9. the shine was extraodinary.

  • tazbolt says:

    i have been trying for a long time now to decide if i should buy a ghd or a cloud nine and could not really make up my mind.but after reading all feed positive feedback about could nine i think my mind is finally made up.Thanks to everyone that posted their cloud nine experiences it has been a great help.

  • jusha says:

    After what I’d describe felt like a life-long allegiance to my GHD ,I have to admit that after buying my cloud9 everything changed.The cloud9 is nothing short of extraordinary!From my personal experience, the cloud9 was both quicker and more effective than the GHD.It provided a lasting and glossy finish which I simply found amazing seeing that I have miserably curly hair.So to those of you who are faced with the decision of which straightner to invest in, I would strongly recommend that you go with the cloud9 as it would truly mark the start of many many many Great Hair Days!

  • Millie says:

    I’d be careful about buying hair straighteners on ebay and uncertified websites. My friend has a fake ghd her boyfriend bought for her online – it doesn’t work the same as the real thing.

  • Missyme says:

    All of you saying that you have been using your ghd for years and are now amazed at the new cloud 9 obviously are not aware of the the fact that ghd also have new technology too. The gold series is absolutely beautiful. The hair is super shiny & so easy to use. Doesn’t damage the hair at all. As for the temperature. Woo hoo for cloud 9 having adjustable heat. What temp do you normally have it on. Mid range? Well ghd temp is 184 anywAy. That would be midrange for the cloud wouldn’t it. Ghd is no fuss easy to use and you WON’T fry your hair on it by having it at 200 degrees

  • Rashmi says:

    I have owned a GHD since 2007 and got another one in 2010. The older one was an MK3 model and really made my hair very straight although my normally healthy hair had a lot of split ends and was looking shabby. The second GHD i have is awful. I have to go over my hair many times to get it as straight as I want and the effect does not last. My boyfriend got me a Cloud 9 a few days ago and I love it. My hair is soft and sleek and the frizz-free effect really lasts. I will never go back to GHD after this.

  • mila says:

    I’ve tried different brands of flat irons and the best one for me is the Karmin G3 Salon Pro, it has tourmaline ceramic plates which cause less damage to the hair then the others, plus it leaves my hair soft, shiny and very straight. 😀

  • vivi says:

    thnx for the info, although I prefer the Karmin G3 Salon Pro which has tourmaline ceramic plates that damage less and keeps the hair soft, shiny and super straight, I luv it 😀

  • Kirsty says:

    I used to have a GHD in the mid 2000s. It was great! But I bought a new one last week and was extremely disappointed with it. It seemed weak in comparison to my older one, just didn’t straighten my hair the same. So I returned it and went looking for an alternative, and came across this blog. This blog and its comments encouraged me to try a Cloud Nine, so I did and I love it. The difference between the Cloud Nine and GHD is amazing! The Cloud Nine glides through my hair, makes it straighter without having to go over it multiple times, and leaves it feeling nicer. And I didn’t even have it on full heat! It seems like when the Cloud Nine and GHD are at the same temperature, the Cloud Nine works better. I’m extremely happy and if anyone asks me for a recommendation I would definitely recommend Cloud Nine over GHD.

  • Danielle says:

    Hi, Can someone tell if the cloud 9’s curl the hair as well as the ghds?

    I also have bonded extensions and wanted to see if anyone else who extensions have tried the cloud 9’s too??


  • Max says:

    I’m a hairdresser and have worked with GHD’s for a decade now and have noticed the technology has definitely changed over the years…and NOT for the better I might add.

    I have found the newer irons weaker than the original ‘Classics’ and they tend to drag on the hair and not glide as well as they should.

    I’ve also noticed that the only way of trying to sell GHD’s now is through ‘gimmicky’ marketing (ie. pretty colours/designs, pretty sparkly bags & brushes) rather than wowing us with their technological advances as the original product did. These ploys seem rather pointless, yet effective I suppose for the young uneducated market.

    Two weeks ago I used a pair of Cloud Nines for a wedding that I did hair for and was quietly blown away! They were slight in the hand, glided through the hair with ease and left the hair with an incredible shine without some of the frayed and dragged hair that I was used to seeing in some clients.

    And after researching the technology of Cloud Nines’ other products? …I now know where my next lot of irons are coming from…

    ps. Years ago, there were whispers of GHD working on the technology for cordless irons… I’d like to finally see someone come out with these -how good would they be??!!

  • Laura Wolfhart says:

    I used both of these for a brief period at my salon, and personally I much rather use the Karmin G3 that we have now. It has the best heating (fast and up to 460°F), easy use, very light and comes with a heat mat plus hairstyling instructions.

    Karmin is much more professional than GHD and it certainly gives Cloud 9 a challenge!

  • Laura says:

    Haven’t tried this one yet! I’ve been curious about the Cloud Nine straighteners and lots of people talk about them. I was asking for one but recently I’ve been using the Karmin G3 Salon Pro Styling Iron, I can straighten, curl and create waves with it because the pure ceramic tourmaline plates have rounded edges and heat up to 460F. It’s got all the features so I’m REALLY happy with it. (Got mine online at some site called “Beyas” or something similar, lol)

  • Jan.D says:

    Well cloud 9’s recommended to me by my hairdresser,Have today treated myself to a set but not yet tried them,Just read all these comments and now cant wait to try them,Have had GHD’s a few yrs now but find hair wont stay straight all day,Goes frizzy so hopefully thats the end to that problem lol 🙂

  • Jill says:

    My 5 year old GHDs (mk 3) died on me this morning. I refuse to buy the new GHDs as after trying my friend’s I found they didn’t straighten my hair properly. I have thick/curly hair and need industrial strength straighteners. So, I’ve just ordered myself a pair of Cloud 9s on the advice of my hairdresser. I need the higher temp on my hair to get it really straight. Can’t wait for them to come. ;o)

  • Halona says:

    @Jill i feel your pain i had my GHD since 2003. Now no GHD.

    Used the Cloud nine dont think that any hair straighter can work like the very first GHD iron that came out. It was the best. Your hair lasted long. It had an awesome shine.

    The cloud nine has too smooth plates hair easly comes off were as the GHD holds it tight, your hair is like elastic so it needs to be stretched. neways still hunting for a GHD cant live without one.xoxo

  • Robeet Powls says:

    I was the founder of GHD and now am the chairman of Cloud Nine. If you really want to know how much better we are contact me on our web site

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