GHD hair straighteners are not something I’ve ever had the need to use, but they are seemingly very popular among the long-haired kind, none the less. There are cheaper alternatives out there, but devotes tell me that the ceramic plates seem to have a better finish and run hotter for longer, all essential features for taming unruly curls. So they tell me.
Make and model: GHD hair straighteners 3.1b
Fault reported: Buzzing noise, not warming up
Cost of replacement: £97.00
Cost of parts: £0.00
Hours spent on repair: About an hour (ish)
Tools needed: Cleaning cloths, small fine file
Sundry items: Contact cleaner
Repair difficulty: 4/10
Cups of tea: 2
Biscuits: 1 (Ginger Nut)
Someone got in touch to ask if I could fix their GHDs and to be frank, I’ve had mixed success with these repairs in the past as in general, the newer the model, the harder it is to fault-find and subsequently order parts for, something I find very frustrating. However, the 3.1bs discussed here are pleasingly old-school.
Dismantling these GHDs involves just one small cross-head screwdriver and one small flat blade screw driver, none of your fancy Torx heads here, thank you very much.
Strangely, the GHDs made a disconcerting buzzing noise when switched on, which to my fairly trained ear sounded distinctly 50Hz-like. That means that the mains electricity feed was causing some component to ‘arc’ or resonate- the buzzing noise, in plain English.
Fearing imminent catastrophe, I unplugged the GHDs and went to work. The main PCB is pretty simple on the 3.1b. Most of the solder joints were OK, but some of the joints around the switch had discoloured, showing that heat had built up, indicating a problem. To be on the safe side, I re-soldered all the joints to avoid a dry-joint situation.
The buzzing noise still prevailed. The switch seemed to be the next logical place to look and being of quality, the designers had provided easy access to the switch mechanism via a small metal cover with sprung tangs. A quick bit of jiggery-pokery and the switch was in bits.
The problem was revealed in an instant. Both switch contacts and corresponding wipers were burned and needed re-finishing and cleaning. A quick whizz with a fine file and clean with special electrical contact cleaner and the switch was as good as new. Since the GHDs were already in pieces, I gave the same clean up treatment to the 3600 flex mechanism, as a precaution.
So, this set of GHDs were saved from the bin, ready to straighten locks once more, thanks to a few basic tools and cleaning. Very satisfying.