We experimentally investigate the dynamics of a persistent spin helix in etched GaAs wire structures of 2-80μm width. Using magneto-optical Kerr rotation with high spatial resolution, we determine the lifetime of the spin helix. A few nanoseconds after locally injecting spin polarization into the wire, the polarization is strongly enhanced as compared to the two-dimensional case. This is mostly attributed to a transition to one-dimensional diffusion, strongly suppressing diffusive dilution of spin polarization. The intrinsic lifetime of the helical mode is only weakly increased, which indicates that the channel confinement can only partially suppress the cubic Dresselhaus spin-orbit interaction.