When Dyson first launched the Supersonic Hair Dryer two years ago, it turned the beauty world on its perfectly blowdried head. The revolutionary dryer was blissfully quiet, far lighter than any one of its predecessors and far more powerful, drying hair in a fraction of the time. Oh, and it looked totally different, too. But Dyson did exactly what Dyson has always done - it ditches traditional thinking in order to break the boundaries of engineering - and from their vacuum cleaners to their hairdryer, Dyson have managed to manipulate air flow in such a profoundly powerful way, that the results are both unprecedented and unparalleled.
So, to say that our expectations were high for the elusive new launch would be the understatement of the century. And yet, no one had a clue what to expect...
Lottie Winter, Beauty Editor
I have fine hair but a lot of it, meaning it takes ages to dry but any styling drops quickly. To get a style to stay, I either have to rely on copious amounts of hairspray, or else singe the strands at high heat. Either way, my hair is often pretty unhappy.
Having spent weeks speculating what the new product could possibly be (a mini hair dryer? A nail polish dryer?) it was the moment of truth. A slick, tan leather box sat in front of me, inside it, the culmination of 6 years of product development, £24 million in research and 103 granted patents and 170 pending patents.
Introducing the AirWrap Styler; a multifaceted hair styler able to create a multitude of different looks using nothing but air.
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It works using a phenomenon known as the Coanda effect, where a high-speed jet of air flows across a surface and due to differences in pressures, the air flow follows that surface. Think of it a bit like when you put a spoon under the tap - the water cascades off the spoon in the same shape. Well, it's like that - but with air. The AirWrap Styler uses the Coanda effect to whip sections of hair around its barrel, which in turn sets it in a perfect curl or beachy wave, depending on how you style it.
All sounds good in theory, but what about when it's put to the test? As with any brand new technology, it takes a bit of getting used to. This isn't like upgrading from an iPhone 8 to an iPhone X - this is like switching to a completely new method of communication. There's nothing else like it, so the learning is from scratch, not just from where the latest styling tool left off.
The AirWrap Styler comes with various attachments; two barrels, two big barrels, a firm brush, a soft brush, a round brush and a rough dryer. I focused on the star attachments - the barrels - as that is, to me, where the Coanda effect comes into its own. The two barrels have arrows to show the direction of air flow - and therefore, the direction of the curl - so you would use one barrel for one side on your head, and the second barrel for the other side.
How to choose your curling tool based on what curl you want to create
Having towel-dried my hair (you don't have to have bone dry hair to use it as you do a traditional curling iron - the AirWrap curls as it dries) I combed through and sectioned my hair into the same size clumps as I would for tonging. Holding the section midway, I lifted the AirWrap just behind and without any assistance from me, my hair wrapped itself around the barrel as if it was magnetically attracted to it. I held it in place for a few seconds until dry, pressed the cold switch, which sets the curl in place, and turned the AirWrap off before pulling it away to reveal an absolutely perfect curl. My jaw dropped. I couldn't *believe* something with relatively no heat (it's the same heat as a normal hair dryer would be - over 100 degrees cooler than a tong or curling wand) could produce such a good curl. And because it used air and not scorching heat, the curl was bouncy and shiny and, well, happy.
You can also use the barrels in different ways to produce different types of curls. If you hold onto the ends of the section of hair after you wrap it round (much like you would do with a traditional curling wand), you'll get more of a beachy wave.
While the barrels are the real show-stoppers, I also tried the other attachments, each of which delivered sleek, professional-looking style with minimal effort. An instant hit for me was the firm brush attachment, which you use exactly how you would a normal hair brush (except, this one dries you hair at the same time). Simply start and the root and brush down to the ends. Of course, you can brush from the underneath if you want more volume or brush off the face to create a slicked back look. Not only does it tame my unruly frizz, but it smooths and straightens hair as if it's been blow-dried in the salon, rather than creating a poker straight finish.
I have no doubt that the Airwrap is going to save me a lot of time in the mornings while simultaneously making me look like I've spent hours getting ready. On top of that, it's also going to mean my hair will no longer suffer any of the high heat I've been subjecting it to for years.
Dyson, you've done it again...