I haven’t had the best luck with hair straighteners. I broke my GHDs after treading on them while being chased by a bee, and my next set developed the unique fault of only working when they were physically located in my house. Going on a trip? Forget about it.
After these mishaps, I resigned myself to a cheaper set of irons, which in fairness weren’t bad at all. But the Cloud Nine ‘The Touch’ straightener has just blown them out of the water for good.
These sleek irons look for all the world as if Apple’s team were given the design brief, with gentle curves, no buttons, and of course that flawless snow-white aesthetic. They come in a heat-resistant travel pouch embroidered with 9s, include a clear plastic heat guard and come in a smart black and turquoise box.
So what makes The Touch different from all the other high-end irons? The way you operate it is really cool. As I mentioned, it has no buttons, so you switch it on by clapping the plates together once. It turns on instantaneously, and the heat is so fast we could fit it in an Instagram video:
That second beep means it’s reached its operating temperature. Yep, as quickly as that. Amazing.
The plates touch when you’re running it through your hair, so you can actually turn it on just by clamping it around a strand. That’s a great example of a product designed for the way people actually use it. Why do you need an On button when you could just start straightening your hair?
The Touch has two temperatures: 165 degrees C for ‘fine or delicate hair’, and 195 degrees C for ‘thicker, wavier hair’. Switching between them is equally hassle-free: you just clap the plates together twice for the higher temperature, or three times for lower. It’s quite enjoyable – I feel like a flamenco dancer, which at 8am during my morning routine is a welcome bit of fun, frankly.
As for performance, the Touch curls and straightens as brilliantly as I’d expect from Cloud Nine. I used them to curl my hair for a wedding on Saturday and the ringlets were still there after about 8 hours of really bad dancing (sorry, Periscope) and a night of wine-induced coma-sleep. I won’t include the ‘after’ photo…
If you’re not familiar with Cloud Nine, they were founded by one of the original GHD creators, and have been quietly pumping out amazing hair products for years. My last pair of their straighteners were sadly the ones that became geographically-aware, but they’d performed perfectly for over a year before that. And their hot roller product, The O, is one of my all-time favourites for 80s daytime soap star volume.
OMG, did I leave my straighteners on?!
I’ve been saying for a while that someone needs to invent a WiFi module for hair straighteners so you can turn them off from work. Just in case. Some of us have anxiety issues, OK?
Well, the Touch makes my anxiety both better and worse. On the one hand, they turn themselves off after 30 seconds of inactivity, which should relax me. But on the other, not physically turning them off makes me worry that somehow they won’t go off and the house will burn down. So I still have to check them before I leave to ensure the light has gone out (yes, they beep, but I’m paranoid). Still, it does help me feel better when I’m halfway to the tube station and think “Wait, did I…?” and can reassure myself that they’ve almost definitely turned themselves off.
It’s exhausting being me.
Touch on tour
Amazingly, there’s a two-pin international plug hidden inside the UK three-pin one. You don’t need a separate adapter, you just undo the screw in the middle of the plug and pull the two-pin one out. Why doesn’t every plug do that?!
The voltage adapts automatically, so you don’t need to worry about that either. Magic.
Overall, I’m pretty sold on the Cloud Nine White Touch. At just under £100, it’s priced the same as other high-end straighteners, but offers a lot more functionality – and if we’re honest, cool factor. It looks good, it’s really innovative and you get to feel like a flamenco dancer every time you want to up the temperature. What’s not to love?
Apple, if you ever get into the beauty industry, ask these guys for tips.
The Cloud Nine White Touch is available now at Amazon UK.