How much would you pay to protect your hair from damage, cut drying time, reduce tangles and minimise the faff and noise involved in drying your hair with a conventional hairdryer? Does £329 sound reasonable? That’s the asking price for the world’s most advanced and innovative hairdryer to date, invented by Hoover, fan and hand dryer innovator Dyson.
Before you remortgage/click away with haste, let’s consider some of the selling points of this most unique of dryers. It might look more Star Wars than salon staple, but 103 engineers, 1010 miles of human hair tested and 100+ patents pending suggest that the sci-fi-looking hair gun is anything but a gimmick. While we’re yet to road test it, some initial mulling over is essential before forking out. Here are our perceived ‘For and Againsts’:
It’s health insurance for hair. Kind of. Your average blower often blasts hair with scorchingly hot air, or alternatively, it may waft it feebly towards your strands, meaning longer heat exposure for your hair, singed ends and burnt scalps. Altogether not a happy situation, and one that James Dyson was set upon solving with the launch of the Dyson Supersonic.
“Hair dryers can be heavy, inefficient and make a racket. By looking at them further we realised that they can also cause extreme heat damage to hair. I challenged Dyson engineers to really understand the science of hair and develop our version of a hair dryer, which we think solves these problems.”
From a glass bead thermistor that measures the dryer temperature 20 times a second, transmitting data to a microprocessor which then controls the patented heating element, to a ‘fast and focused’ airflow that dries hair quickly and smoothly, Dyson has pushed the boat out to help to preserve hair health. Investing £50 million in the dryer’s development, training engineers in hair care and styling and testing prototypes (600 to be exact) on kilometres of hair roughly the length of Alaska all helped to ensure that the hairdryer dramatically reduced damage compared to traditional models. As James Dyson remarked to the BBC:
“Not damaging your hair, that’s worth a lot of money.”
It’s seriously fast. The brains at Dyson conceived a patented digital motor (in a move that would delight James Bond’s Q it’s called the V9), which is the smallest, lightest and most high-tech motor created by the company thus far, to be housed in the hairdryer’s handle (more on that later). Devised by 5 in-house motor engineers, it’s up to eight times faster than regular hairdryer motors, while patented Air Multiplier™ technology amplifies the volume of air drawn into the master motor by three. These two exclusive components deliver a precisely angled, controlled jet of air that’s neither weedy nor ‘wind tunnel’, with an additional benefit being that you won’t be wrestling with your hair for a good half an hour before work. Priceless.
It won’t do your back in. Gains are great in the gym, but hairdryer arm ache feels neither satisfying nor conducive to either good hair or good health. If you’re hairdryer’s clunky and heavy, you’re likely to cut corners when styling or just give up altogether, not to mention incur an injury. The fact that you’ll find the motor in the handle of the petite dryer rather than the head makes the Supersonic the most balanced hairdryer yet invented, and the motor being half the weight of your average dryer motor lightens the load too, as consultant celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin testified to The New York Times:
“That back-heavy feeling that usually makes your arms ache completely disappears with this, whether working on your own hair or blow drying someone else. For me, or any woman, that is a game changer. This is the 'break the Internet' dryer."
It’s oh so quiet. For a hairdryer anyway. We’ve heard tell that music and conservation are easily heard over the dryer whirring, which is where the ‘supersonic’ element of this styler comes in. Dyson’s aero-acoustic engineers used an ‘axial flow impeller’ inside the motor to reduce air turbulence, also equipping the motor impeller with 13 blades instead of the standard 11 to push the tone within the motor to a sound frequency beyond the audible range of humans. Your dog, on the other hand, may go nuts during drying time. Good thing our blow drying window is looking shorter than it used to be.
The attachments won’t heat up like the fires of hell. If you’ve ever struggled to reattach a flimsy smoothing nozzle or diffuser mid blow dry, you’ll know the pain that sizzling dryer appendages can inflict. Dyson is sympathetic to the struggle, and so the Supersonic’s attachments employ Heat Shield technology to keep components cool, while magnetic properties mean that they won’t fall off in the first place.
It curbs knots. If you normally end up with more of a bird’s nest than beachy waves, the Dyson Supersonic™’s impeccably smooth flow will be a literal breath of fresh air. Your hair can’t get sucked into the back of the hairdryer either, which is a major plus.
It’s been tested on a plethora of hair types. Not just by glossy-haired models. It was also developed by people who a) have lots of hair b) use hairdryers regularly and c) know what they’re talking about in the field of engineering. The holy trinity of hair gizmo invention right there.
It’s bulletproof. Almost. Over its four-year development, a team of people were specifically employed to try to destroy the Supersonic™, by throwing it, fiddling with buttons incessantly, stamping and pretty much wreaking havoc on the sleek-looking machine. The idea was to make the model as durable and long-lasting as possible, and while the Dyson team apparently pretty much cracked it in terms of designing the dryer to tough it out, you’ll receive a two-year guarantee on parts and labour should you choose to make a Supersonic™ investment.
It knows when it needs a clean. Or rather, it will tell you. A little light flashes when the filter needs clearing out, which is a revelation in itself as we’re not overly familiar with the hairdryer filter cleaning process. If your normal dryer is prone to conking out on you, the filter needs a good going over FYI.
It’s eye-wateringly expensive. In fact, it costs more than some Dyson vacuums, which is saying something.
Dyson is new to the beauty market. This isn’t really a detractor per se, and the fact that the company has invested £1.5 billion in future technology for its expanding beauty portfolio amongst other projects is clearly a hugely positive sign, but still, if you’re used to buying your beauty tools from industry experts, it’s a departure from the familiar.
Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, from £329 buy online