Hairdresser Michael Douglas has been styling Davina McCall’s glossy locks for more than two decades — first as a friend, now as her boyfriend. The pair met on the session scene while filming adverts all those years ago, but went official as a couple in 2019. They already have a successful podcast together, Making the Cut, and now they have a new professional collaboration, in the form of Michael's first styling tool, which he boldly dubs "the perfect hairdryer".
Davina, naturally, is the ambassador. Michael is not shy of taking on the Dyson Supersonic, the hairdryer with a quiet brushless motor that's become cult despite costing upwards of £300. "It's the question I get asked most, 'is the Dyson any good?' or 'what hairdryer can I buy that's [as good as but] cheaper than the Dyson? And it's a difficult question to answer."
He believes he has answered it with the MDLondon Blow, £195, as modelled by Davina. And if you're thinking – well she has amazing hair anyway, apparently, it's largely down to Michael. "It's got a natural kind of fluffy texture to it, it's actually very thin, and if you don't blow dry it's very, very frizzy. So it's not naturally glossy and wavy. I do that!" he laughs.
Michael (incidentally, he was the UK under-14 break dance champion - things you learn in the stylist's chair!) has ploughed 30 years of hair styling experience of mortals and supermodels (Kate Moss, Claudia Schiffer and Naomi Campbell ) into the MDLondon Blow. He's the one that makes hair look pristine and glass-like on shampoo adverts. Having personally experienced a blowdry with Michael (I went, as did our Editorial Director Victoria, below) we agree it's set to rival Dyson's in a major way.
Here's a first look ahead of its launch on 3 October.
First impressions of the MDLondon Blow
It's the 'lightest hairdryer in the market'
The MDLondon Blow is ultra-lightweight and compact — Michael says that people mistake it for a travel hairdryer. “I wanted something as light as possible, at just 572g, this is half the weight of a ghd hairdryer and 112g lighter than the Dyson,” he says. It boats being officially the lightest high-powered hair dryer on the market, so would be great for popping in your hand luggage.
It's as powerful as the Dyson Supersonic
Despite being smaller than the Dyson, it matches it with 1600 watts and similar DC brushless motor technology, which generates negative ions to help reduce static. This also means it has fewer moving parts, which translates to less wear and tear than a conventional hairdryer and so "it's likely to last five to eight years longer than a conventional hairdryer making it less noisy and far more energy efficient," he says.
It's 'a full 10 decibels quieter than most hairdryers,' notes the spec, which is basically pretty damn quiet. We could easily hold a conversation with Michael when he dried our hair on full power. There are three speed and heat settings, though we should point out Dyson trumps this with four heat settings.
It comes in 'Farrow and Ball' matte colours
It launches with two matte shades, both inspired by his decor, a blue-grey (after the Farrow and Ball shade De Nimes) and an olive green, whose paint name he can't recall. They are colours that he and Davina (who he calls “my girlfriend”) discovered while decorating. “These are the two colours that kept coming up time and time again, I love them.”
The brand will roll out three more shades, a soft pink, pale blue and orange further down the line. All have a matte finish with copper buttons — très chic.
3 magnetic attachments, an extra-long cable and a thin barrel
It has two nozzles and a diffuser (the Dyson comes with five attachements). While he's clearly piggybacking the Dyson technology, he's trying to improve the user experience both for consumers and professionals. Blow has an ultra-thin barrel, which, he says makes it agile enough to get right up close to the root, in turn making it easier to create extra volume. The flat nozzle is the same width as a round brush so that when you’re blow drying sections of the hair none escapes over the edges of the brush. “You're more likely to get much better frizz-free styling by using a nozzle that covers the whole section of hair," he says.
The three-meter long power cable (the Dyson Supersonic's is 2.7m) "was an absolute deal breaker for me," says Michael. It gives you more room to manoeuvre, “I wanted to get you as far away from the plug socket as possible," he says.
Unlike the Dyson, it has a self-cleaning function, that reverses the motor to push all of the dust and debris out of the filter in order to keep it performing optimally. Blast it every three to four months to keep your machine in tip-top condition, he advises.
It's cheaper than the Dyson — but still pricey
At £195, the MDLondon Blow is more than £100 cheaper than its Dyson counterpart, but that's still hefty compared to most other hairdryers. For comparison, ghds start at £119.
But Michael argues it's well worth the investment if glossiness is what you're after. Sleek hair, he says is all in the drying, not the products you put on it. "I'm a tools guy and in my opinion, tools create the hairstyle and products just prolong the life of the hairstyle. Ultimately, if you want super shiny hair, you have to get every strand of hair and pull it in a particular direction and you do that with a brush and a blow dryer, not a product.”
While we're yet to give ourselves a blow dry with the new MDLondon Blow (when we met stock was stuck in transit) we were deeply impressed with the end result, which left us with swishy, frizz-free and, well yes, almost glass-like locks. We loved the fact it was so quiet, which made for a much more chill experience, but most of all, we just loved the look of it. It's definitely the chicest hairdryer we've seen. Sign us up for the pre-order now!
Find out more at mdlondon.co.uk