Finally: A Flat Iron That Works — & Won't Fry Your Hair

When ghd (fun fact: that stands for "good hair day") launched its Eclipse flat iron in the United States, I was hooked. I didn't think it could get any better than the beveled plates, even temperature, and crazy-fast heat-up time. But apparently, it could. This month, ghd released Platinum, the cool older sister of Eclipse that's poised to be an even bigger cult hit — and the answer to my super-thick, wavy-haired prayers.

In many ways, the two flat irons are similar — and that's a good thing. They both have a single temperature: 365 degrees, the same heat that's used for melting glass. "The hair goes through a glass transition phase, when you can mold it and shape it without causing damage," says Dr. Tim Moore, chief technology officer for ghd. "Anything higher melts the hair, and anything lower dries out the hair because you need to use more passes." Both gadgets heat up in eight seconds with tri-zone technology. (That's a fancy way of saying that the ceramic plates contain three special sensors that always distribute the same amount of heat to the hair — no matter how big or small a chunk you grab.) As someone who gets ready with one eye closed in the morning, I can't tell you how many times this has saved me from scalding the finer strands around my face.

Here's where the two flat irons differ: For one, Platinum's design is slightly tweaked. See the wishbone-shaped curve and cord at the bottom? Those allow you to rotate the iron every which way — ideal for creating little flips and bendy waves. The added springs in the handle give you a better grip with less force. (No more arm cramps.) And the floating, beveled plates are coated with a special high-gloss finish so your hair never feels like it's being tugged or snagged as you pass the iron over it.

Most exciting, though, are the clinical studies on this baby. The scientists at ghd's R&D facility in Cambridge, England, put it up against a standard, 450-degree flat iron and found that the Platinum reduced hair breakage by 50% and maintained the integrity of hair color up to two times longer. (Heat-styling is one of the biggest enemies of color, says colorist Aura Friedman.)

I've been using the iron a few times a week for close to three months now, and my hair has never looked healthier or shinier. I can make it pin-straight in half the time it used to take, and getting those model-off-duty waves is way easier with the updated design. While there will never be anything better for your hair than air-drying, I have to say, this comes pretty darn close.

ghd Platinum, $249, available at ghd.