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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 November 2018

Face value: Is the Dh2,000 Dyson Airwrap a game-changer for hair styling?

We try out the Dyson's revolutionary new hair device which can style hair without using extreme heat

The full set comes with eight attachments. Courtesy Tom Bunning
The full set comes with eight attachments. Courtesy Tom Bunning

I have limited hair styling skills. Wearing my hair curly consists of a minimum half-hour routine, before it looks even halfway decent. If I’ve hit that snooze button one too many times, as is often the case, then my hair goes up in a bun or down in braids... and that’s it. Some weeks, I pay up to get my hair blow dried, and while it looks fabulous, I feel a little guilty about not doing it myself. Which is why the launch of the Dyson Airwrap – a tool that promises to make styling utterly effortless – piqued my interest.

The latest hair tool from Dyson is being dubbed as revolutionary because it doesn't use extreme heat to style the hair – an internal glass bead thermistor measures the temperature of the airflow 40 times each second, and the tool’s intelligent heat control helps keep the temperature below 150 degrees Celsius – which results in less damage to your locks. The tool harnesses the power of an aerodynamic effect called Coanda, which essentially attracts the hair and pulls it around the barrel for you. The best part is that you can style your hair while it is still damp, which saves time.

The Airwrap has been in the works for about six years – Dyson has invested a significant amount of time and money in understanding various types of hair and the issues that come with them. A team of female engineers worked on creating a device that is user-friendly and doesn't tangle the hair. In its final avatar, the device comes with eight attachments – a pre-styling dryer, round volumising brush, soft smoothing brush, firm smoothing brush, two 1.2 inch Airwrap barrels and two 1.6 inch barrels. Depending on what hair solutions you are looking for, you can either opt for the Smooth+Control or Volume+Shape kit (although the latter is not yet available in the UAE), or opt to buy all the attachments in one go.

I was surprised by how light the device was when I first held it. My hair was damp, because this is when the Airwrap works best. Your hair needs to be at the sweet spot between not too wet and not too dry to get optimum results. I tried the curling barrels first. I am not exaggerating when I say the process was seamless – a small section of my hair wrapped around the barrel without any tugging, pulling or tangling. My hair wasn’t hot to the touch and there was no dreaded burning smell - in fact, I could comfortably touch the barrel and after one brief cool ‘shot’ of the Airwrap, I had beautiful curls. My entire head of shoulder length hair took about 15 minutes to curl, with an extra couple of minutes using the soft smoothing brush to settle any frizzy bits and baby hairs close to my roots. By the end of it, by hair felt smooth and shiny.

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But there were a couple of issues. My curls dropped about 15 minutes after they had been styled – although, at this point I had not applied any products to hold them in place. I tried both the small and large barrel, but the curls formed by the smaller barrel seemed to give better results. Secondly, as easy as it does seem to use, there is certainly a learning curve with this device. It takes a little getting used to, so don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t work exactly the way you want it to the the first few times.

By the next morning, my curls have almost disappeared, so definitely scrunch in some mousse and finish off with some hairspray if you want the results to last longer. Dyson Supersonic and L’Oréal professional ambassador Peter Thomsen suggests that when styling your mane with the Airwrap, you ensure that your hair is completely dry once you are done using the device, so that the style you are going for sets in place. You can also top it off with some hair spray or ‘dust’ at the roots for volume and a good finish.

Dyson Airwrap - Image to be credited to Tom Bunning
The Dyson Airwrap. Courtesy Tom Bunning

The biggest barrier, however, is the price - Dh2,098.95 (including VAT) is a lot of money to pay for a hair device (a caveat: this is what I said about the Dyson Supersonic, but I own one and love it), but it does work, albeit with a mix of the right hair products. You can achieve at least three different finishes with the Airwrap – curly, bouncy volume and straight – and if you style your hair pretty regularly, this is a good investment. It is heat-controlled, lightweight, quick and convenient. On the other hand, if you’ve already mastered the perfect blow dry and can use your straightener to adeptly curl your hair, you might not need to add this to your collection.

The Dyson Airwrap costs Dh2,098.95 (including VAT) for the whole kit and Dh1,888.95 for the Smooth+Control kit. It is available at the Dyson demo store in The Dubai Mall, Dyson.ae and Sephora Middle East