An ex- Navy and RAF man has issued a warning about buying counterfeit hair straighteners after seeing hundreds through his new business.
John Wilson, 48, from Longhoughton, owns and runs Siriushair, which repairs faulty GHD hair straighteners.
He started out when wife Hilary’s pair of straighteners broke and he managed to fix them.
Word of mouth spread and after originally working from his spare room, then garage, the couple and son Oscar, now six, moved to a new house where he worked from a lean-to at the back of the property.
But the company continued to expand and John ended up renting out the old Post Office in Longhoughton from where he now works with two employees, repairing and refurbishing GHDs from across the country.
But he has issued a warning about the number of counterfeit products that are on the market which could cause serious damage.
“It’s big business to make fake GHDs,” he said.
“In this business we have seen people send in what they think is a genuine pair of straighteners for us to tell them that they are not proper GHDs.
“Stories we were hearing include ‘my husband brought them from Selfridges’, he had in fact brought them from a man in a pub and ‘my parents brought them from Duty Free at the airport’ but they were actually brought from a Spanish market.
“With a new set of GHD costing in excess of £134 the counterfeits are rife, but also very, very, dangerous. We have seen them set on fire, the heating plates drop out while in use and the possibility of electrocution due to poor manufacturing.
“London Fire brigade have also reported house fires caused by hair straighteners left turned on, a genuine GHD has an auto cut-off after 30mins, the counterfeit ones do not have any safety features.
“We have received hundreds of counterfeit GHDs and can tell a genuine from a fake within seconds of seeing one, we have compiled a database of all the codes on the fake GHD to assist customers in checking their hair straighteners, and we would like to offer this free service to readers.
“Simply bring them to us and we can tell you if they are real or fake.”
To get in touch with John and his team contact 01665 577236.