Can ghd’s Rise turn a bad hair day into a great hair day? Even if you are a haar styling tool dummy? I did the test.
Some people cannot live without it, other do not understand the hype and cannot work with it but the Rise, ghd’s volumising hot brush (179 €) is still trending on social media thanks to a whole bunch of tutorials and reviews on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram.
The Rise works at 185°C as do all the other styling tools of ghd: the British brand claims that is the perfect temperature for hair styling. If you go up, you end up seriously damaging your hair. If you use a lower temperature, the style won’t hold as long. The hot brush promises two times as much volume that lasts all day but you can also use it to create waves, curls and a professional blowout effect. That all sounds very impressive but is the Rise worth the hype? I tested the tool. On hair that was in desperate need of a trim. (Thanks, lockdown.)
The Rise does not come with a manual so I watch tutorials of the brand on its YouTube channel and a whole lot of tutorials by non-professional people like me. Depending on how you roll your hair around the tool, you get a different effect: volume, curl, wave or more body. The nylon bristles promise to lift hair at the roots and to let it glide through the tool effortlessly.
It takes me a while to figure out how the Rise works but my first styling session leaves my hair looking like I just had a professional blowout: it has body, a lot of movement and some waves. I simply rolled every strand of hair around the tool and let it slide downwards. Unfortunately, the result does not hold in my hair for half a day but neither do curls I create with a straightener. (And I can not use styling sprays or lotions as I am allergic to them. I can only put a fragrance-free frizz-fighting cream with shea butter in my locks to protect them from heat.) Once my hair has lost its wavy blowout look, it looks straight, frizz-free and sleek. Which is not bad either.
Turns out my first time with the Rise was some sort of beginner’s luck: the other times I use the tool I simply cannot create that same effect but end up with smooth hair that has a bit more body than when I blow it out.
I cannot create volume on top of my head either but hairdressers have trouble with that, too. My hair simply lays flat on top of my head. The brand’s Pick Me Up Root Lift Spray helps a bit but the volume does not last all day. (I should not use that spray as it contains fragrance and linalool, which I am allergic to, but I did try it once to see whether it helps.)
I am honestly jealous of all the people that make it look so easy in their tutorials to style your hair with the Rise: simply roll a strand of hair around it, let it slide down and tadaah: great curls or a bouncy blowout effect. I manage to block a strand of hair from time to time, resulting in me panicking I will not get it loose in time before burning it off. That – luckily for me – never happens. I do burn my left ear once and have to be careful to not burn my finger tips while styling, even though the tip of the tool stays cool and the bristles do not become hot. Blame it on my clumsiness?
I do want to keep on trying the Rise out though, rewatch some tutorials and keep practicing. Because this light tool is easy to hold and once you figure out how to use it for your hair type/length/style it will save you money as you will no longer need to go to the salon for professional blowouts. And I’ve seen some pretty impressive results on YouTube.