(Pocket-lint) - Dyson has its fingers in several pies, from vacuum cleaners to hair care, all of which are pricey but deliver near-perfect results. The Dyson Supersonic might be the most expensive hair dryer on the market, for example, but having used that for a several years we'd not want to use anything else - it's worthy of its price tag.
Can the same be said for Dyson's second haircare device, a hair styler called the Airwrap? Yes, yes it most definitely can. Here's why the Dyson Airwrap is the only hair styler you need in your life and, again, why the hard-to-stomach price tag is worth it in the long run.
Premium, superior design
- Silver and pink finish
- Digital V9 Motor in the handle
- 9 attachments available
Taking on a similar design to the Dyson Supersonic, the Dyson Airwrap oozes that premium build quality we've come to expect from Dyson products. It's bigger than other curling tongs, and heavier too, but the points it loses for size, it more than claws back in performance.
As with the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer, the Dyson digital V9 motor sits in the handle, dispersing the weight evenly to make the Airwrap easy to manage and hold.
At the very top of the Airwrap's silver handle is a mechanism for attaching the various accessories, with a release button below it. The accessories are therefore not connected via magnet - as they are with the Supersonic - but easily attached by twisting into place with a reassuring 'snap' for a secure fit.
It depends on the Airwrap model as to which accessories are included, with the Dyson Airwrap Styler Complete offering all nine attachments, while the Volume+Shape and Smooth+Control models offer seven attachments each (more on these in a little further down).
Below the release button on the main handle, there's an on/off button with a cold burst option that's activated when pushed all the way up and held. You'll also find a heat setting button to the right of the on/off switch and a speed button to the left.
Dyson Airwrap technology: How does it work?
- No extreme heat - nothing above 250-degrees
- Glass thermistor measures temp 40 times/second
- Wet to dry
- Coanda effect
Anyone familiar with curling tongs or straighteners will have likely burned themselves at some point. It doesn't matter how careful you are, they are notorious for their ability to clip your finger or face leaving a red mark in their absence.
The Dyson Airwrap styler is different though. For starters, it doesn't use extreme temperatures, so while the barrel is still warm after and during use, we were able to touch it during and after 30 minutes of styling without any problems at all.
Even on full power and full heat, the Airwrap is designed to stay below 250C - because heat damage is claimed to occur to hair at this temperature and above. To ensure the temperature stays within that set limit, a glass thermistor measures the temperature 40 times a second, which is double the amount of the Supersonic.
The Airwrap is also a wet to dry styler, while most curling tongs require your hair to be bone dry if you don't want to hear that dreaded frazzle as a ceramic tong finds a wet strand of hair. This might sound strange at first, but it's one of the reasons we love the Airwrap so much - you don't have to completely dry your hair to then curl it, thus saving time.
Hydrogen bonds in hair break when your hair is wet, according to Dyson. The idea behind Airwrap is to style your hair when the hydrogen bonds are broken, reforming them by using the cold shot above the on/off button on each styled section before you turn the styler off and release the section of hair.
The Airwrap also sets itself apart from other curling tongs thanks to the use of a technology called the Coanda effect. This is essentially the use of high speed jets of air that flow across a surface which sees your hair wrap itself around the Airwrap barrels (it's like magic), meaning no moving parts like clips are necessary, nor high temperatures. It also smooths everything out, reducing frizz and you don't get any dents in your hair from clips.
- Hair needs to be around 80 percent dry
- 30 minutes for styled long, thick hair
- Curls didn't drop
Sounds pretty great right? No heat damage, no burns, requires wet hair and your hair wraps itself with minimal input from you. It's basically the dream. We can honestly say the Dyson Airwrap is one of the best pieces of technology we have had the pleasure in testing.
However, the way it works takes a little time to get used to, and having the right dampness in your hair makes a big difference to the final result. But after a couple of trial runs, we achieved the exact finish we were after every single time.
We have very long, thick hair which is typically frizzy when allowed to dry naturally (we don't allow this often, it's a bad look on us). Prior to the Airwrap entering our lives, it would take an hour to style our hair from wet, whether curled or straight. Even a blow dry is an hour's work for our hairdresser at the hair salon.
With the Dyson Airwrap, we can get out of the shower and have perfectly styled hair in 30 minutes. We also haven't touched our GHD hair straighteners or curling tongs isince we've had Airwrap in our lives, though we do occasionally use the Dyson Corrale hair straightener.
We have the Dyson Airwrap Styler Complete model, which has both the 30mm Airwrap barrels and 40mm Airwrap barrels, both of which use the Coanda effect we mentioned previously. The Firm Smoothing Brush and Soft Smoothing Brush also both use the Coanda effect and, again, both are included with the Complete model.
We found ourselves using both barrel sizes regularly - there are two of each so you can swap when you do the other side of your head to save having the awkward twist of the wrist. We pre-dried our hair to about 80 per cent - still damp but not dripping - then we used the 40mm barrels for when we wanted softer curls and the 30mm barrels when we were after a tighter curl. We would often run through those tighter curls with our fingers for a more natural look though.
For our fringe, we used the Round Volumising Brush - which although doesn't use the Coanda effect, it does allow you to create a blow-dried look. If we styled our hair with the Airwrap on a Saturday, for example, those fabulous curls would still be there on the Tuesday if we clipped it up at night. Sometimes they looked even better the day after, but more to the point, they didn't drop at all.
We didn't love the brushes as much as the barrels but that's mainly because of how we like our hair styled. Ultimately you get both options so you can pick which suits you and your hair best.
The Volume+Shape Airwrap model, designed for fine hair, only has the 30mm Airwrap barrels and Soft Smoothing Brush attachments included, while the Smooth+Control model, designed for frizzy hair, only has the 40mm Airwrap barrels and Firm Smoothing Brush. As mentioned, the Complete model has all attachments, designed for households where different hair types that might share the device.
All three models have a Pre-styling dryer and Round Volumising Brush, along with a Storage Case, Non-Slip Mat and Filter Cleaning Brush.
The Dyson Airwrap Styler is an absolutely fantastic device. We recommended it all the time to friends and we have had countless compliments on not only the condition of our hair but how fabulous and bouncy we've managed to make it look - all in half the time it previously took us using other hair styling kits.
It takes a little bit of trial and error when using the Airwrap to get the right level of wetness in your hair, as well as working out exactly how much hair should be in each section and getting the technique right, but once you have mastered these things, you will never look back.
Yes, the £400 (or £450 depending on the model) asking price is an awful lot of money to pay for a hair styler, but in our experience the Dyson Airwrap is the only hair styler we ever want to use again. That makes it worth every single penny for the time it's saved us alone!
If you don't want a full hair styler and you've got a great brush that you blow dry your hair with, try the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer. It's a brilliant hair dryer, which like the Airwrap doesn't use extreme heat, unlike other hair driers. The weight is also in the handle rather than the head, making it easier to hold.
The Dyson Corrale is the company's hair straightener and its third hair product. It's flexible plates are great for reducing frizz and the cordless technology makes it very easy to style your hair whenever you are, whether you want curly or straight. It's heavy though and the curls aren't as natural as the Airwrap offers.
This review was first published in May 2019 and has been updated to reflect the current market and our continued experience.