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Dyson’s latest invention? A $500 flat iron that won’t fry your hair

The Corrale is Dyson’s latest foray into haircare, and at $500, nobody said that beauty comes cheap.

Dyson made a name for itself in reimagining the humble vacuum cleaner, but the company has since broken into air purifiers and, more recently, haircare. In 2016, Dyson launched its first beauty product, the $400 Supersonic hair dryer, and it now employs hundreds of people in its Hair Laboratories, which has accounted for $174 million in R&D investment to date.

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[Photo: Dyson]
Dyson’s latest foray into haircare is the Dyson Corrale, a $500 flat iron that’s seven years and $43 million in the making. With the familiar gunmetal-meets-purple sheen of a Dyson Animal pet vacuum, the Corrale runs roughly 10% cooler than the average flat iron thanks to precision design and engineering. Dyson is promising it’s not only easier to use, it also damages your hair less, and leaves your hair shinier than competitive products.

We haven’t tried the Corrale so we can’t validate those claims, but anyone who has used a flat iron—even a premium flat iron—can attest that routinely straitening your hair is terrible for it, leaving it looking limp and fried over time. The process can be harder than it looks, too. Flat irons are simple machines: They clamp hair, heat it, and flatten it. But you often have to go over the same parts of your hair repeatedly, both to make sure every layer is really flat, and to catch flyaway strands that may have escaped the iron’s clutches. The more passes to your hair, the more abuse it takes.

[Photo: Dyson]

Corrale’s performance advantages come down to all of those engineering tricks Dyson is known for. Its copper heating plates are an industry first, which flex around your hair as it’s squeezed, so it can be gathered easily, and each strand experiences similar pressure. The plates are also incredibly smooth at the microscopic level—produced with 65-nanometer precision (a bit shy of the width of a human hair)—which means more of your hair’s surface area is actually in contact with the plates at any given moment. Dyson worked with similarly tight tolerances with the launch of its Supersonic hair dryer, and to achieve them, the company had to get a special permit from the U.K. government to buy a piece of machinery capable of creating nuclear weaponry.

Each of the Corrale’s three heat settings also runs 40 degrees cooler than competitive flat irons (the device tops out at 410 degrees instead of 450). Dyson argues that with more surface area of your hair touching the heat, the flat iron can get by with less heat overall. As an added safety, the Corrale checks temperatures 100 times a second, constantly auditing its own performance, so it should never heat above its ceiling.

[Photo: Dyson]

The Corrale is also designed to be comfortable and convenient to use. It can operate cordlessly for up to 30 minutes on a charge. If it’s dead, you can plug it in with a magnetic cable and use it that way. At $500, the Corrale runs about twice the price of a high-end flat iron. That means much like the Supersonic, the Coralle falls into a premium performance haircare category that will be marketed to hairstylists and the wealthy alike—though the professional version for salon use will launch with a long cord and black/purple color scheme.

The Corrale launches today. For anyone who is as squeamish at the scent of burning hair as I am, the future cannot come quickly enough.

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About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company who has written about design, technology, and culture for almost 15 years. His work has appeared at Gizmodo, Kotaku, PopMech, PopSci, Esquire, American Photo and Lucky Peach

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