(Pocket-lint) - British engineering company Dyson is known to many for its vacuum cleaners. But those colourful plastic dust sweepers are far from the only products in its portfolio.
After entering the hair care sector with the excellent Supersonic hairdryer in 2016, followed a couple of years later with the fantastic Airwrap styler, Dyson took the next logical step with the Corrale hair straightener in 2020.
Offering flexible plates, cord-free technology, a premium design and one straight up hefty price tag, is the Dyson Corrale hair straightener a match for GHD?
- Dimensions: 292 x 45 x 41mm / Weight: 561g
- Finishes: Black Nickel and Fuschia, Purple and Black
With similar design traits to the Dyson Airwrap styler and the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer, the Corrale hair straightener looks like a very superior pair of irons with the signature industrial look we've come to expect from Dyson hair care products.
Everything from the lovely velvet carry case/heat-mat and heavy-based charging stand, to the chunky round barre, and simple OLED display, makes the Corrale hair straightener delightfully designed.
And that's before you get to the cord-free technology, 360-degree magnetic charger, the flexible plates themselves - more on those in a minute - and the three heat options that are packed within this straighteners' feature set.
On the front of the Corrale (or one side when not on the stand) you'll find the small OLED display, showing the three temperature settings - 165C (330F), 185C (365F) and 210C (410F) - and the battery indicator once you've selected the temperature setting you want. Below the display are physical plus and minus buttons to increase or decrease the temperature and a power button. The sliding safety lock mechanism then sits below the power button.
On the rear (or the other side) of the Corrale is an airplane symbol that highlights the clever toggle that you can pull up to disengage the battery for flight safe mode. Very handy for those travelling, although it is a little flimsier than we expected. You also need to put your hand in-between the plates to unclip it so you'll need to ensure they are cold.
Despite the overall premium design, the Corrale straightener is huge - significantly bigger and heavier than our older GHDs. Dyson's product is also over 250g heavier than GHD's Platinum Plus irons. That said, where Dyson loses marks for the sheer bulk of the Corrale, it makes up in performance - because the Corrale is really quite something in terms of its results.
How Corrale tech differs?
- Three temperature settings: 165C (330F), 185C (365F), 210C (410F)
- Intelligent heat control to maintain consistent temperature
- Magnesium copper alloy plates
- Auto shut-off at 10min
So how does the Dyson Corrale achieve great results? Seven years in the making (and a £25m investment), it's no surprise that there is a lot of technology within the Dyson Corrale straightener. What is surprising is the company didn't go down the same airflow route as the Airwrap styler.
Instead, it opted for heat and flexible plates coated with a magnesium copper alloy. Each of the 15-section plates are machined down so they are flexible, while providing enough pressure to clamp and style hair evenly for its entire length. Each plate is also precision machined to 65 microns - the width of a human hair - and the edges are coated to produce ionising properties that reduce static.
The flex isn't hugely noticeable - push down on the plates with your finger and they click and move - but we're not talking flexible like pinging a plastic ruler here. It's a subtle flex, the idea being it flexes around your hair to grip the entire section, including those whispy bits, meaning in theory you only need to go over each section once.
Competitors like GHD use ceramic plate technology, which uses heat alone to break down the hair bonds in order to style it, not the Corrale's combination method of heat and tension.
Often you'll have to go over the same section of hair a couple of times with a pair of ceramic straighteners before achieving a super smooth effect because traditionally ceramic plates lose effectiveness as you move down the hair, thereby damaging hair more as the hair is exposed to more heat for a longer period of time. Traditional hair straighteners also pull on your hair and snap delicate ends, while the Corrale's flexible plates don't.
Like the Dyson Airwrap, the Corrale straightener also has intelligent heat control, but where the Airwrap will check the temperature 50 times per second, the Corrale doubles this, checking it 100 times per second to ensure it doesn't exceed the temperature you've set.
Last but not least on the technology front, the Corrale has a 10 minute automatic shut-off function - really useful for those of us who leave the house in a rush and wonder half way down the road whether those straighteners are going to burn the house down. Come on, we've all done it.
Cordless battery performance
- Four-cell lithium battery, charges in 70 minutes
- 30 minutes cordless use (at 185C/365F setting)
- 4.34 metre cable (when corded)
The Dyson Corrale hair straightener can be used cord-free or corded. Cord-free is obviously the big story here, taking the irritation of plugs and cable tangle out of the equation (though the Corrale's 360-degree magnetic cord is more convenient than others we've tried, especially when it comes to curling).
Dyson claims the Corrale straightener's four-cell lithium ion battery will last around 30 minutes, which we found to be pretty much on point, though we'd say you'd get a few more minutes on the lowest temperature setting.
We used the middle temperature setting (185C/365F) for our hair as it is thick, coarse and long. Thankfully, we haven't run out of battery mid-styling at any point during our time with the Coralle when using the cord-free capabilities - which is a bonus as our unstyled hair isn't our best look so half and half would be pretty awful.
On the mid temperature setting - which is the same as the single temperature option offered by the GHD Platinum Plus - around 30 to 35 minutes is a safe bet, while on the highest temperature setting you'll need to be done in 25 minutes if you don't want to plug in.
When you do plug in the Corrale using the very reassuring magnetic mechanism - either to the stand or the straighteners themselves - they fully charge in 70 minutes, or you'll get 90 per cent charge in 40 minutes if you're more desperate.
Of course, you won't always need the cord-free capabilities. Chances are, if you're at home, you'll plug in the Corrale straighteners if you are planning on a longer styling session, such as curling.
Cordless certainly comes in handy for the times when you aren't near a plug though, like a quick day-to-night change up in a restaurant bathroom or a quick fringe fix in the car. Rare maybe, but still more than possible scenarios.
Superb, quick results
When it comes to styling performance, the Dyson Corrale hair straightener is absolutely excellent, just like the Airwrap. Our hair feels and looks significantly healthier and shinier than when we used our older GHD irons - and we found the straightened style remained near enough until we next washed our hair, without us needing to go over it.
Going over the section of hair once was enough 90 per cent of the time, with the Corrale and the other 10 per cent only took twice - which actually required some time to get accustomed to as we were so used to going over the same section multiple times to achieve the look we wanted. This meant we managed to do our hair in 15 minutes - that's half the time compared to our older straighteners (yes, really).
Our hair doesn't get caught or snap at all when using the Corrale either, whether straightening or curling, which counts for a lot. We can't say whether our hair is "up to 50 per cent less damaged", as Dyson claims, but it certainly feels it.
In terms of curling, the Corrale hair straighteners do a great job, though while the weight of the Corrale isn't noticeable when straightening, it is when curling for us (we have a lot of hair though). The smooth rounded outer barrel helps with delivering a good curly finish too, even if we'd still opt for the Airwrap for a bouncy blow-dry look.
The Corrale straighteners heat up quickly - around 35 seconds to 165C/330F, followed by a further 10-15 seconds per temperature setting thereafter - and a convenient bleep lets you know when they are good to go at whatever temperature you've selected.
You can also watch the indicator increase on the OLED display and the battery indicator on the display is useful to know how long you have to get that style done.
The Dyson Corrale hair straightener is fantastic in so many ways. Its styling performance is phenomenal, delivering a smooth and sleek finish, both straight and curled. Its cordless design is very useful, even if it's not something you'll use all the time. Having three temperature settings is handy too, and we love the OLED display, charging stand, and the fact that we only needed to go over sections of hair once, saving our hair - and our time.
Those great attributes come at a high price though - the GHD Platinium Plus is about half the price. The Dyson design, while premium, is also rather big and heavy as a result of its battery and technology, which can become laborious for longer styling sessions.
If your budget allows, your hair will love you for buying the Corrale. It's a fantastic straightener that delivers on its promises, and left our hair looking smoother and silkier in less time than usual.
This review was first published in April 2020 and has since been updated to reflect market changes and a longer time with the product.