Dyson Airwrap Complete Review: Is It Worth The Cost?
For the past 3 years, the Dyson – Airwrap Complete styler continues to be one of the most coveted styling tools in the beauty industry and is often hard to keep on the shelves at various stores like Sephora, Best Buy, or even directly on Dyson’s website.
For those that do get their hands on this hot commodity, there’s an ongoing polarity in reviews for the Dyson Airwrap system; people either love it and use it every day or they hated it and returned it. Could it be the high price point or the well-mentioned “learning curve” that comes with the Dyson Airwrap?
To find out if it was worth the price and the potential headache, we tested the Dyson – Airwrap Complete styler on type 2A: thick hair with medium-long length. After testing the product for a couple of months and overcoming a big learning curve, we would definitely recommend the Dyson Airwrap if you have some extra change lying around.
Why we wanted to test the Dyson Airwrap
If you’ve ever styled your hair before with heat, you know the familiar feeling of crispy hair all in the name of beauty. Compared to its competitors, like the Revlon One-Step Styler or the Shark HyperAir, the Dyson Airwrap styler heats and styles hair at a lower temperature. We wanted to try the Dyson Airwrap styler because one of the big selling points that Dyson claims is that it keeps hair healthier by only using lower heat levels when styling hair. This is due to the internal thermometer that keeps the temperature of the tool under 302 ℉, whereas traditional curling wands and irons heat hair at about or above 400 ℉.
The Dyson Airwrap also has various attachments that allow you to dry, smooth, curl, and blow out your hair all in one powerful machine. One of the most intriguing aspects of this hair system is the technology used to style hair, aka the Coanda effect. This aerodynamic phenomenon occurs when air is propelled at a high-speed rate and the differences in pressure help the air attach to surfaces nearby even when these surfaces curve. The Dyson Airwrap styler is built with a digital v9 motor that spins up to 110,000 RPMs and generates 3.2kPa to create enough air pressure to produce this phenomenon.
We were able to see the Coanda effect come into play while using the curling barrel. As you turn on the Dyson Airwrap, strong jets of air flow through the slits of the barrel and encourage the strands of hair to wrap along the length of the curling barrel. The air simultaneously heats and dries the hair gently on the barrel and forms a curl. With the combination of the Coanda effect manipulating hair and using lower heat levels, the Dyson Airwrap is able to style without leaving your hair feeling fried.
Price of different Dyson Airwrap packages
With any other Dyson product, price is expected to be a dealbreaker for many and the Dyson Airwrap Styler is no different. At $549 per set, it’s a hefty price to pay for styling your hair. Dyson also likes to release a special edition set that comes with additional gifts like a Dyson branded comb and brush in a new color for a higher price of $599. For a slightly cheaper price, Dyson also offers refurbished machines on their website that range in price from $379.99 to $399.99 when in stock.
Dyson Airwrap attachments
The Dyson Airwrap styler complete set comes with 6 main attachments, a leather case, a leather slip mat, and a filter brush. Here’s a quick breakdown of each attachment:
- Pre-styling dryer: This is the initial step when first using the Dyson Airwrap, especially if you have wet hair from a recent shower. The pre-styling dryer helps to turn hair from drenched to damp–the desired moisture level for any styling method with this system.
- 1.6 x 4.25-inch Airwrap barrels: These curling barrels are one of two varieties that come with the complete set. This size creates loose and bouncy curls or waves. These are also the shorter barrel length and you have the option to buy the longer barrels, which are recommended for longer hair lengths.
- 1.2 x 4.25-inch Airwrap barrels: These curling barrels produce voluminous curls or waves. This width curling barrel is also available with a longer barrel length for purchase.
- Soft smoothing brush: This comes with soft ball tip bristles to help glide through hair easily while smoothing out frizz. The soft ball tips also are much gentler on sensitive scalps too.
- Firm smoothing brush: This brush comes with very firm bristles that help smooth out unruly and frizzy hair. Using this brush gives a straighter style than the soft smoothing brush.
- Round volumizing brush: For salon-quality blowout, the round volumizing brush is the closest attachment in this set. It’s a combination of using a hairdryer and a round brush to create bouncy and sleek hair.
Dyson also has additional attachments available for purchase on their website: small smoothing brush and small firm smoothing brush for shorter hair and bangs, and the long version of both 1.2 and 1.6-inch curling barrels for longer hair lengths. The barrels are 1.6 x 6.25 inches and 1.2 x 6.25 inches in size.
How to use the Dyson Airwrap
Getting started with the Dyson Airwrap styler can be a bit overwhelming with so many attachments and having to learn a new way of styling hair using jet-propelled air. Here is a breakdown of how to get started with the Dyson Airwrap.
Step 1: Dampen hair with a spray bottle or wash your hair in the shower. Hair needs to be damp in order to begin styling.
Step 2: If you’ve just stepped out of the shower, use the pre-styling dryer to dry your hair to the desired dampness level. Concentrate on drying the roots of the hair since it’s hardest to style and dry this part of the head.
Desired moisture level for each attachment and style based on our tests on 2A type hair:
- Airwrap barrels: 95% dry hair
- Soft smoothing brush: 85-90% dry hair
- Firm smoothing brush: 85-90% dry hair
- Round volumizing brush: 85-90% dry hair
Step 3. An optional step is to add any hair products like heat protectant sprays or mousse to your hair before styling. Then, use the desired attachment on your hair based on the instructions from the Dyson website.
One tip we learned along the way is to work with hair that’s at the right moisture level because if it’s too wet it will be too heavy to wrap around barrels or take longer to smooth out–this is where the pre-styling dryer comes into place. But if your hair is too dry, the style won’t set properly.
When working with the Airwrap barrels, make sure to gently feed the hair sections into the barrel as it wraps and push the curled hair to the top of the barrel if you need more room; This allows more air to wrap around the barrel. It’s also important to use a shot of cool air for about 5-10 seconds at the end of each curl to set the curl in place.
How we tested
We tested the Dyson Airwrap on medium-length type 2A wavy hair throughout two months of regular use. We also experimented with each of the six different attachments on four different heat levels, three airflow speeds, and varying levels of hair moisture.
Using Dyson’s guidance through online styling guides and videos, along with watching various reviews online and in-person from friends, we slowly learned valuable tips and tricks in styling hair with the Airwrap.
We also compared the end results of styling with traditional methods of styling like curling irons, hairdryers, straightening brushes, and flat irons with the Dyson Airwrap styler. When comparing the different methods of styling hair, we noted the differences in hair texture/potential damage, ease of use, and style duration.
Hair texture and potential damage after styling
After using the Dyson Airwrap styler, the hair felt soft, shiny, and smooth. Unlike traditional heating tools, the Dyson Airwrap styler doesn’t heat up hair higher than 302 ℉ and there is definitely a difference in the texture of the hair after styling. Whereas with traditional heating tools, the hair would feel crispy or even smell slightly smoky or burned. After using it consistently for a few months, there is also less strand breakage.
Ease of use
While using the smoothing brush or round brush attachments were fairly straightforward, we had the biggest difficulty getting used to the Airwrap barrels and using the Coanda effect wrapping tech. Traditional curling irons or wands have clamps or heat-proof gloves to help manually wrap the hair around the barrels.
We quickly learned that the Airwrap barrels needed a little guidance and weren’t 100% hands-free in wrapping the hair. It is also helpful to shift the curled hair on the barrel upwards to allow for more surface area on the bottom of the barrel for the rest of the strand of hair.
Another adjustment for curling hair was the necessary 5-10 second cool-shot of air for every curl in order to “set” the curl in place. This is a new step and somewhat annoying since you need to hold the “on” button upwards for the “cool shot of air” to stay on.
Compared to traditional curling irons that take about 20-30 minutes to style, curling hair with the Dyson Airwrap styler takes a longer amount of time (about 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on your technique and skill). Technically, the Dyson Airwrap styler simultaneously dries and styles the hair, but for some people, there may not be enough time to wash your hair before styling.
We also found that it was necessary to purchase the longer Airwrap barrels to accommodate medium-long hair. The shorter barrels that come with the original set are too short and there isn’t enough room to wrap the hair along the barrel.
In terms of drying, smoothing, and blowing out your hair, the Dyson Airwrap styler is easy and fast to use, but if you want curly or wavy hair, you will need a handful of patience and understand that this is a different type of curling tool with a set of new skills to learn.
In our opinion, style duration for any tool heavily depends on your hair type, the tool, and if you use any additional hair products (like hair spray or mousse). However, we tested the Dyson Airwrap with type 2A hair with no additional hair products and found that different attachments had different outcomes depending on the style.
Both smoothing brushes kept the hair slick and smooth for two days. The round volumizing brush started off slightly bouncy, but the hair fell flat throughout the day and kept some wisps of waves at the end of the strands.
While the 1.6 x 6.25-inch Airwrap barrels produced nice bouncy waves during styling, they started to lose their shape at the end of the night and looked like a day-old blowout the next day. On the other hand, the 1.2 x 6.25-inch Airwrap barrels created bouncy but tight curls and stayed intact for 2 days up until the hair was washed; Using the thinner barrel has a similar style duration to traditional curling irons we’ve used in the past.
The Airwrap on long air: does it work well?
On long hair, the Dyson Airwrap styler is a dream especially using the firm smoothing brush and the longer Airwrap barrels. The firm smoothing brush helped smooth and straighten hair much faster than using a hairdryer and paddle brush. It was much easier having an extra hand when styling too.
We found that it was necessary to buy the additional longer Airwrap barrels because the length of the hair was difficult to wrap all the way around the shorter barrels. The long barrels allow for more surface area for the hair to wrap around and therefore more hair is exposed to the gentle heat for styling. Using the long Airwrap barrels kept curls styled for over two days.
Unfortunately, we did wish the round volumizing brush was larger and wider. Unlike getting a blowout at a hair salon, the brush and hairdryer are able to give you a bouncier texture. The round brush is slightly too small and doesn’t give as much volume as expected. If you’re interested in seeing a comparison of the Dyson Supersonic versus the Airwrap styler, we’ve done a complete review here.
Can you use it on dry hair?
The Dyson Airwrap is meant to be used on damp hair, whether that’s straight out of the shower or dry hair spritz with some water, as long as the hair isn’t bone dry. Depending on which attachment you want to use, the moisture level of the hair ranges anywhere from 85%-95% dry.
If the hair is too dry, the heat is too low to actively manipulate and style the hair aka it will fall flat quickly. However, if the hair is too wet, it will take longer to dry and style or it won’t even wrap around the Airwrap barrels because it’s too heavy.
Is the Dyson Airwrap worth it?
Lastly, we also compared one of the biggest deterrents for this product: the price. It’s one of the most expensive styling tools in the market and by far one of the biggest questions online and in-person we ran into was, “is it worth the price?” If you want a styling system that is super quick and inexpensive, then you may want to pass since the Dyson Airwrap styler doesn’t necessarily produce better results in terms of styling than traditional methods. However, if money is not a big deterrent and you want a healthy way to style your hair on a daily basis, then the Dyson Airwrap styler is definitely worth buying.
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