You’ve heard the raves, you’ve seen the Instagram posts, and you’ve seen the hacks. Since its launch in New York on 10 October, all people can talk about is the Dyson Airwrap styler, whether it will replace a regular hairdryer and curling iron, and whether it is worth the hefty $600+ price tag. Should you ask Santa for it this Christmas? We travelled to the Dyson Airwrap’s Southeast Asian launch in Bangkok on 19 October to find out.
All-in-one hair styler set
The first thing that might confuse you when you see the Dyson Airwrap in stores is that it comes in 3 different sets: Volume + Shape at $649, Smooth + Control at $649, and Complete at $699. Which one should you buy?
You may think that the sets only differ by the number of attachments they come with, but it is more than that. All three sets come with the basic pre-styling dryer, which basically dries and prep your hair before you style it, and the two 30mm barrels, for whipping your hair into smaller and tighter curls you’ve seen beauty bloggers do, all over Facebook and Instagram. The additional attachments for each set are different and are designed for different hair types and purposes.
The Dyson Airwrap Volume + Shape set ($649), which comes with five attachments, comes with a soft brush and a round brush for people who want to add body and volume to limp, flat hair.
The Dyson Airwrap Smooth + Control set ($649), which comes with six attachments, comes with two 40mm barrels for bigger and looser curls and a firm brush to control and smooth frizz-prone hair.
All of these attachments can be found inside the Dyson Airwrap Complete set ($699). It’s perfect for those who want to share the set with other family members who have different hair types. Each set comes with a camel-colored case which has snug compartments for every attachment.
In my opinion, the difference of $50 doesn’t really matter if you’ve already decided to shell out more than $600 for a hair styling device. But if you purchased either of the $649 sets and felt buyer’s remorse later on, there’s the option of purchasing additional attachments individually to complete the set.
Whether it is voluminous curls, natural waves or sleek, straight hair you want, the Dyson Airwrap styler uses air jets to achieve your desired style without using extreme heat that can damage your tresses.
Does it work? The R&D and D&T behind the product
You can say that the manipulation of airflow is Dyson’s core expertise, having built a company and a slew of products based on airflow technology for more than 25 years. The Dyson Airwrap styler is powered by the small but powerful Dyson digital motor V9 that creates a phenomenon known as the Coanda effect. Taking advantage of this principle, Dyson’s team of aerodynamicists created a way to style hair using only air combined with heat.
Six years and an investment of £24 million later, Dyson’s team of 230 engineers and hair scientists finally developed the Dyson Airwrap, after testing and researching different hair types and styling habits around the world.
Although the Dyson Airwrap looks bigger and bulkier compared to other hair stylers, it’s actually quite light. The design is rather thoughtful, sporting a swivel cable for ease of movement at any angle, and clockwise and anti-clockwise 30mm and 40mm styling barrels for symmetrical curls. That’s why the barrels always come in a pair.
Doesn’t damage hair
Just like the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer with its intelligent heat control, the Dyson Airwrap styler has a glass bead thermistor that measures temperature up to 40 times a second, transmitting temperature data to the microprocessor and regulating the product’s temperature, ensuring hair does not become exposed to extreme heat that can damage it.
Once hair is damaged, that damage cannot be reversed. If you really want undamaged hair, you’ll have to grow new hair. Making a switch to using the Dyson Airwrap styler will allow new undamaged hair to grow, resulting in healthier hair in the long run.
Ease of use
The Coanda effect for curling.
So we’ve come to the part where we try to explain what kind of magic Dyson uses to get those tresses to wrap themselves automatically around the barrels.
It’s called the Coanda effect.
Unlike traditional hair curlers where you have to manually wrap sections of your hair around cylindrical rods, the Dyson Airwrap styler uses the Coanda effect. It occurs when a high-speed jet of air flows across a surface and, due to differences in pressure, the air flow guides the hair to the curved surface of the styling barrel and the hair winds itself magically around the barrel.
The Coanda effect for smoothing.
As for the styling brushes, they too take advantage of the Coanda effect to smooth hair. To achieve a sleek blow-dried finish, the brushes align hair when styling, helping to provide a smooth shiny finish when dry. In order to keep the airflow focused in the desired styling direction, the Dyson engineers incorporated a switching mechanism. This directs airflow according to the tension in the brush. No matter which way you brush through hair strands, the air flows in the direction of your hair. This helps to achieve a stylist-inspired blow-dry finish.
To be honest, I was a little overwhelmed when I first got my hands on to try the Dyson Airwrap styler with its many attachments during the launch event. There’s definitely a learning curve at the beginning but it’s easy to pick up and you will soon get used to after a few tries. But it’s still going to be time-consuming using it, because you can only style a small portion of your hair at any given time.
To achieve a salon-grade blowout at home with your Dyson Airwrap styler, it’s important to bear in mind a simple chemistry lesson. Hydrogen bonds line each strand of your hair. The act of washing our hair breaks down the hydrogen bonds, resetting the natural style of your hair, priming it for styling. The Dyson Airwrap styler works on wet to dry hair and produces optimal results when you blow dry your hair to about 60% to 70% dry with the pre-styling dryer, before moving on to use the other styling attachments.
My own curls lasted a couple of hours without the use of additional hair-styling products, so I think that using a hair spray to set your blowout, or using styling products in advance can prolong the longevity of your style.
Maintenance is simple. The Dyson Airwrap styler filter is magnetic, removable and can be easily washed using the filter cleaning brush provided in each set.
Lastly, for those who are wondering whether the Dyson Airwrap styler will unseat the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer – these two devices have two very different purposes. The main feature of the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer is to dry hair. Although the Dyson Airwrap styler has the pre-styling dryer, it is smaller than the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer and is less powerful at drying hair. Its main strength is to style hair.
With Christmas just around the corner, I am predicting that the Dyson Airwrap styler will top shopping lists as one of the most coveted presents this year. The Dyson Airwrap styler is now available in Singapore on shop.dyson.com.sg (sold out at the time of publication), selected departmental and electrical stores such as Robinsons The Heeren and TANGS at Tang Plaza.