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Are Dyson’s Airwrap styler and Supersonic hair dryer worth their luxe price points?

Two Fast Company editors test out the vacuum maker’s hair care tools to see if their promises to protect hair and style quickly pan out.

Are Dyson’s Airwrap styler and Supersonic hair dryer worth their luxe price points?
[Photo: courtesy Dyson]

Five years ago, Dyson proved that it was more than a high-tech vacuum company when it revolutionized the hair-care industry with the launch of two products: the Supersonic, a quiet hair dryer, and the Airwrap, a styler. Both use less heat than traditional products and are engineered to prevent hair damage, relying instead on the Coanda effect, a phenomenon that happens when a high-speed jet of air flows across a surface and, due to differences in pressure, the air flow attaches itself to the surface. They have received rave reviews across the internet. Both are also really, really expensive: The Airwrap costs more than $500 and the Supersonic starts at about $400.

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To find out whether they were worth buying, I tested the Airwrap, and Fast Company managing editor, April Mokwa, checked out the Supersonic. Before we put them to the test, we got some advice from Jon Reyman, celebrity hairstylist and owner of New York’s Spoke and Weal salon, on what products to use and how to use them. Here’s how they performed.

[Photo: courtesy Dyson]
Everything about the Airwrap’s design—from the blue and gold limited-edition colorway released this year to the leather case it comes with to hold all six attachments—screams luxury. It’s safe to say that, even before I used the device, I was blown away (sorry) by how good it looked on my vanity.

As I have thick, wavy hair, Reyman told me to wash and condition my hair (I am a loyal Aussie Miracle Curls Cowash user, but Briogeo’s Don’t Despair, Repair! set is also great). For those with finer hair, he advises skipping conditioner altogether. To detangle, without damage, Reyman suggests a Mason Pearson brush which has both thick and thin bristles (Crown Affair’s brush 001 is a solid dupe). Next, he advises those with thicker, kinky, or coily hair to use an oil or hair cream, like Crown Affair’s leave-in conditioner, to smooth things out (those with thinner hair can skip this step). Finally, before using the tools, he suggests using a spray to prime hair for styling. I used my tried, true, and beloved Oribe Foundation Mist, which lasts forever and smells incredible.

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After prep, I started with the mini supersonic hair dryer extension, which dries hair at a lower temperature without damaging (so far so easy) before trying out the styling tools. Though the machine is quieter than a traditional hairdryer, the technology, which uses high-speed jets of air to cool and style hair at the same time, still makes a lot of noise. While traditional curling irons are silent, you cannot watch the latest episode of Succession—as I tried to do—while using it. Once my hair was damp, I used the thick, hot brush extension to straighten and smooth my hair. That’s when I was truly impressed. In less than ten minutes, my hair was sleek and straight. This was my favorite extension, and I’ve continued to use it to feel put together after every time I wash my hair. Finally, I used a long barrel curl. The device is not foolproof—it took me a while to get the right technique down and, because I have a lot of hair, took a long time to curl it. I can’t complain about the results–the curls looked bouncy and stayed in place—but as it took me about half an hour to get the hairstyle, I’ll likely just use the curler for special occasions. My ultimate verdict? If you’re someone who styles their hair every day, this is a must-have, as it will save your hair from heat damage. If you style only occasionally, it might be worth a skip. —Yasmin Gagne

[Photo: courtesy Dyson]
Of the many hair and makeup rituals that went to the wayside during the pandemic, ditching my blow dryer, hair straightener, and curling wand–embracing my hair’s natural wavy texture over blow outs and flat ironing–proved to be a silver lining. My hair has never been healthier, easier to maintain, or received more compliments. I hadn’t used a blow dryer more than twice over the previous 20 months, and with an occasional return to the office, I was now without the luxury of time for air drying. I was excited to try Dyson’s Supersonic hair dryer and the diffuser attachment, and grateful for the promise of protecting my hair from extreme heat of blow dryers past. It had been decades since I’d used a diffuser, but I was anxious to see if I could achieve the same casual waves and smoothness as an air-dried look.

The first morning I tried it, I happened to be in a rush, unintentionally putting it to the test of function and practicality with no time to carefully style and experiment. Using the dryer itself was a breeze to figure out. The small buttons were sleek looking, but their purpose was easy to decipher; the magnetic diffuser attachment connected with ease, and I loved the cool blast function that set things into place. I started with the strongest heat setting, but it was a bit too intense for my liking. Even pushing it down to the medium heat setting, my waves were about 80% dry–”running late, this is good enough for me to leave my apartment”–after about five minutes of drying time. The Supersonic (starting at $399) is a steep price for personal blow dryers, but five minutes to an out-the-door look, without the harsh heat, is well worth it. In the midst of writing this, I’ve received compliments from two coworkers on my post-pandemic natural waves. I’d say that checks the “how well does it style” box as well. —April Mokwa

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Fast Company’s Recommender section is dedicated to surfacing innovative products, services, and brands that are changing how we live and work. Every item that we write about is independently selected by our editors and, wherever possible, tested and reviewed. Fast Company may receive revenue from some links in our stories; however, all selections are based on our editorial judgment.

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