TRIED & TESTED: I used ghd's new 'volumising' hot brush on my thin hair. Here's my verdict.

Mamamia’s Tried and Tested series is your review of the latest to hit our desks in beauty, health and wellness. You won’t find any #sponsored content here, just honest, relatable and independent advice. This week, Lifestyle Editor Tamara Davis road tested the new ghd Rise Volumising Hot Brush. 

According to market research, we all have a lack of trust in volumising products. Sprays and tools designed to 'add body' and 'lift' get their fair share of side-eye, especially from thin-haired girls like me, because we know that our hair does not want to be voluminous. Hairdressers tell us this over and over:

"The curls will drop."

"You need these choppy layers because your hair is so fine.

Is it any wonder we're sceptical?

Ask your thick-haired girlfriends whether they've ever considered lack of volume an issue and they'll tell you a flat-out no. But do I wish I had a bouncy, full-of-body mane rather than the limp, slightly sad strands I have to wash every day? Yeah, I do.

So when ghd told me they were releasing a volumising hot brush promising "two times more volume from root to tip," I gave them my side eye...then obviously asked to try it. Because if that sh*t works, I'm not saying no.

They also have pedigree in the area of hot brushes. Their straightening hot brush released last year, The ghd Glide, sold out in hours, and has received almost unanimously glowing reviews.


What is the ghd Rise Volumising Hot Brush and how does it work?

Launched on August 1, the latest tool from ghd is the brand's first smart volumising hot brush, claiming to add volume that lifts up from the roots and creates body through the hair to give you added bounce and fullness.

The ghd Rise, and root lift spray. Image: Supplied.

Here’s what you need to know about the product:

  • The slimline, lightweight brush has small nylon bristles that add gentle tension as you work with your hair. These are to help ensure tangle-free styling.
  • There's no extreme heat. Heater technology runs through the brush's barrel to respond to the hair's needs and ensure a constant temperature of 185 degrees celsius. It also comes with a 'cool tip,' meaning you can hold onto the end as you style. In short: you won't burn your fingers using it.
  • The product comes with a sleep mode, which switches it off after 30 minutes.

How to use the ghd Rise Volumising Hot Brush.

I sat through two hairstylist tutorials on how to use the brush, because let's face it, I'm no expert. I have used a ghd hair straightener to curl the ends of my hair a few times a week since I was 17, and that's it in the hair tool department. 


After turning the brush on and waiting for it to heat up, the basic method is this: you wrap a section of hair around the barrel, hold for eight seconds, reverse, and release. The hairstylist repeated the eight second command over and over, so that seems important. 

What about getting to the back of your head, you ask? GOOD QUESTION. I usually give up at this point, but inspired by the tutorial, I followed her advice.

The hairstylist said that when styling the back of your hair, you hold the tool horizontally when you wrap the hair around it.

The bristles mean you can get in close to the roots, which isn't always possible with a curling wand.

Cool cool, so how did you go using it?

Look. It is fairly easy to use, and if you know your way around a curling iron it should be quite intuitive. But the technique did take some getting used to. It feels safer than an iron or tongs, because the heat is less extreme. When the brush is close to your scalp, you don't get that scary burning sensation.

 Here's the before and after pics, because that's really what we're here for, isn't it?

My natural hair, before using the ghd Rise. Image: Supplied.


Using the tool on my air-dried hair, which I sprayed with ghd's Root Lift spray. Image: Supplied.


Here's my hair after applying the tool to the left half of my head. Image: Supplied.


Immediately after applying the tool to my whole head. Voluminous! Image: Supplied.



The final result, after brushing out my hair and lightly fluffing with my hands. Image: Supplied.

As you can see, the brush was pretty effective. I could see an immediate lift from my roots and my hair had heaps more body in the top-section. 

I will say it had a tendency to get stuck with the thinner sections of hair wrapped around it. I had to delicately unwrap the hair, then run the brush through it again. Again, this is probably down to getting used to the technique.

I can honestly say that hours after using the tool, my hair hasn't fallen flat. I can still feel the lift in my hair from my scalp.

Final verdict.

So, is the ghd Rise worth it? 

If you want a way to add lift when you style your hair, this guy really works. I'm forever fluffing my hair at the roots trying to give it some body, but I've never been a fan of texturising sprays as I like my hair to feel really clean - so this is a good alternative. Of course, I buddied the brush with ghd's root lift spray, which definitely amped up the results.


That said, $280 is steep for a tool that only serves one purpose. You may be able to achieve similar results with a curling iron, but you definitely couldn't get as close to the scalp as the Rise allows you to.


If you're someone who regularly styles their hair and doesn't mind an extra step, this might be for you. I personally will save it for special occasions (think weddings and events where I want my hair to have some extra oomph) but wouldn't likely use it in my everyday hair routine.


ghd rise ($280) is available in salons, department stores and

Have you used ghd's volumising hot brush, or a similar tool? Share your thoughts in the comments.