Our beauty writer tried a $400 blow dryer, and the results will surprise you
I am both incredibly lazy and incredibly vain. This isn’t meant as a self-deprecating statement, it’s just a fact. I haven’t owned a hair dryer for the past three years because I heard air-drying your hair was healthier. Mostly though, I was too lazy to spend another hour actively drying my hair. This has invariably resulted in air-dried hair that is limp and accumulates grease quickly because it dries like a moist rag.
This context is only relevant because I’m about to detail how I tried the $400 Dyson hair dryer, and why it was a big deal for me, spiritually. In case you hadn’t previously heard the buzz about this $400 hair dryer, Dyson, the same company that makes high-powered vacuum cleaners, has now dipped their toes into the beauty industry.
The Dyson hair dryer looks like a contraption out of a science fiction novel.
Unlike other hair dryers, the Dyson product includes a 9-foot cord, and the engine is located at the shaft (so no worries about your hair getting sucked in the hair dryer). Plus, it features AI technology that measures the temperature every 20 minutes, to ensure it doesn’t fry your hair. The design is lightweight (roughly a third of the weight of most hair dryers), and the no suction digital engine makes it much quieter than its competition. Still, it costs $400, which is a month’s rent in some places.
The Dyson hair dryer includes three magnetic attachments: a diffuser for curls and defrizzing, a smoothing nozzle for an overall dry job, and a styling attachment for concentrated styling.
First off, for the integrity of my relationship with anyone reading, I will admit I received this hair dryer for free. I’m not a psychopath who will urgently recommend a $400 hair dryer to other people in my tax bracket as a form of sadism.
However, I DO think it’s helpful to get the lowdown on how these wildly trendy products work (or don’t work), for anyone considering taking a leap of faith. So let’s get into how it worked for me, and what I think of this futuristic piece of technology.
First, I showered and made sure my hair was dripping wet.
This is before brushing my hair, but I think it’s important to document the whole process.
Then I brushed my hair in preparation for the Dyson experience.
Despite the fact that I haven’t owned my own hair dryer in years, I have used my boyfriend’s (he’s got his life more together than me), and it takes me roughly 35 minutes to fully dry my hair. I have fine hair, but I have a lot of it and it tends to tangle and hold onto the moisture of conditioner for dear life.
I decided to time my experience by drying half my head first.
The Dyson has three heat settings and three power settings. There’s also a cold setting, but you have to keep your finger pressed down on it for the air to remain cold. For my experiment, I used the hair dryer on the medium heat setting AND the medium air setting. Partially, because my hair is fine enough that I had a fear I would overheat it. So, it should be taken into account that I could have used this full power to get a more accurate idea of how fast the hair dryer works.
I started drying my hair at 2:34 p.m. and by 2:41 p.m. the right side of my head was dry. I used a little leave-in product to protect my hair, but I don’t have any fancy styling routine. I used the smoothing magnetic attachment, since I don’t have curly hair (per the diffuser) or individually style sections of hair (the styling attachment).
After 10 minutes, my whole head of hair was dry.
This is obviously what it looks like before I put a comb to it. It looks a little wild, but it felt surprisingly soft. My hair tends to tangle easily, especially when blow drying (another reason I’ve stayed away). But this time, it was easy to brush out and my hair didn’t feel brittle. I’ll admit, it seemed smoother and more voluminous.
This was such a quick routine, I felt like I could actually see myself keeping it up.
My hair is naturally pretty straight — it gets wavy in humidity — but I recognize my hair type and know that my experience won’t represent a lot of people’s hair. However, I can say with confidence that this hair dryer was surprisingly quick without making my hair feel fried. The sound level was relatively low, and it dried my hair in 1/3 of the time it takes with other hair dryers.
Does that mean it’s worth $400?! Again, probably not for most people reading. Unless you’re a hairstylist, have a sugar daddy, or are deeply offended that I’m assuming you can’t afford this. $400 is still a ton to spring on a hair dryer.
However, I will say that for myself, a lazy vain person, it lent great results. I’ve used it a few times and each time I’ve been able to dry my hair within 10 minutes without using the hottest setting, and my hair has felt even and smooth.
I’d definitely be curious to hear the experiences of women with curly hair, natural hair, and women who have more specific styling routines. I’m neither enough of a scientist or hair expert to determine what the appropriate price point for the Dyson is, but I will say, it was a blast to try.