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Skin Deep

Skin Deep: Here's my verdict on the hair industry's turbo-spendy new tools

Do you really need to spend five hundred quid on something for your hair?


Welcome to Skin Deep with Louise McSharry, my opportunity to put years of obsessing over beauty products and techniques to good use. I won’t tell you something is good if it’s not. I won’t recommend products I haven’t actually tried. As the magical sitar in Moulin Rouge said, I only speak the truth.

It’s been a big week in the world of hair appliances. Last week, GHD announced their new tool, The Oracle, which promises fool-proof curling for those who find curling with a straightening iron too much to fathom.

This week, Dyson announced their Airwrap, a styling tool which offers to dry, curl, smoothe, and wave hair via a collection of fixtures. So do you need either of them, and are they actually any good?


Well, truth be told, it’s too soon for me to answer those questions definitively.

However, having seen them both in action, I can give you some key information and first impressions, starting with the GHD Oracle. GHD is a huge name in hair care, so whenever they announce a new product, people get excited.

Most of us use ‘ghd’ as a general term for a hair straightener, but their range has grown far beyond the original ‘straightener’ (straightener is a bit of a misnomer given the fact that it is used to curl, wave and flick as well). At this point they have a full range of curling tongs in different shapes and sizes, wands, hairdryers, brushes, combs and anything else you can imagine might help you do your hair. So why do we need the Oracle?

Well, frankly, all that faff is just too much for lots of us.

Sure, we all have a friend who’s a whizz with the heated tools, but she’s not always around and there is only so many times you can sit in front of a mirror sucking a burned finger and cursing yourself for not being better at doing your hair. Enter, the ‘idiotproof’ curler. (Are they calling us idiots? Possibly. Does it matter when the product is actually idiotproof? Probably not.) The Oracle doesn’t require any particular dexterity, you simply clamp a piece of hair between the two plates, turn the tool by ninety degrees and push it straight down as the hair slides through. At the end you’ll have a curl, varying in Irish-Dancer-ness depending on how fast or slow you go.

PeterMarkHair / YouTube

You can also use the tool like a crimper, clamping down bit by bit on a chunk of hair, leaving you with a loose wave similar to the ‘S bend’ which you’ve seen every LA cool girl wearing over the last five years.

Overall, there’s no doubt that the Oracle is a useful tool for those who like to curl on a regular basis. It’s easy and quick to use, and requires only a small amount of practice to get the knack. It’ll set you back €199, and is currently exclusive to Ireland, in Peter Mark salons, and Hong Kong. THE GLAMOUR!

Now, the Dyson Airwrap, which has truly reinvented the wheel. Six years in the making, Dyson hope to replace damaging levels of heat with a more gentle airstream when it comes to styling your hair. The tool includes a small engine which distributes intense air-flow which is warm but not hot through a variety of attachments, depending on what kind of finish you want. The hero attachment is a pair of round barrels which create a vortex of air, gently bringing the hair around them to create a curl.

Why two?

They direct the air flow in different directions, ensuring you can create a curl which goes toward your face, or away. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking your hair would get caught in it. That’s what I thought. Then I tried it, and it really didn’t. It was unbelievably quick and handy to use, even at the back of my head which I always struggle with.


The Dyson isn’t going to give you a dramatically different look, or give you the ability to create something you can’t already with existing tools if you’re well-practiced, but there’s something to be said for having a single device which can curl, dry, smooth and volumise your hair. If you’re someone who likes a volumised blow-dry, but find the twisty turny carry-on of the Babyliss Big Hair too much, the Airwrap can help. If you can’t use a curling wand without burning yourself, the Airwrap can help.

If you can’t manage to hold a hair brush and a dryer at the same time, the Airwrap can help. Also, it promises to keep your hair healthy. If you espouse the use of extreme heat on a regular basis your hair will be stronger and shinier, and your colour will last longer. I know lots of women who, having used the brand’s hairdryer (which operates on the same low-heat basis), swear their hair is softer and glossier. Having said that, there will always be women who want the extreme heat and speed of a standard hairdryer, and are willing to pay the price in condition.

It’s difficult to comment on what styling a full head of hair with the Airwrap would be like, how long the style would last and what impact it would have on a morning routine without trialling one for a couple of weeks. Having said that, the idea of styling your hair from damp with an air based tool makes sense.

We all know that a good blow-dry almost always lasts longer than hair styled with hot tools. Also, if you’re Dublin based, you have the opportunity to visit and trial the product in the brand’s pop-up shop on South William Street until October 21st. I encourage you to do that, as the asking price of €449.99-€499.99 is steep. Having said that, it is a brand new concept. You are paying for true innovation, an improvement in hair health, and like all Dyson products a solid warranty. Do I want one? You better believe it. It’s available online now and in Arnotts from October 18.

Dyson Hair / YouTube

New Product


Urban Decay never fail to create a buzz when they launch a new palette, and their latest, Naked Cherry, is no exception. This gal includes twelve shades, from shimmering pinks to matte wines, and is perfect for autumn looks. In addition to the palette, the Naked Cherry collection also includes two new Vice Lipstick shades, two new 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencils and a cherry scented All-Nighter Setting Spray.

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