REVIEW: DYSON AIRWRAP

…and why it didn’t work for me.

 image via Dyson

image via Dyson

Ah, the Dyson Airwrap. The product that’s been flooding your Instagram and YouTube feeds with rave reviews, that no one can seem to get their hands on. It’s been sold out everywhere since its coveted launch. It only came back in stock in between Sephora sales (shady) and I was lucky enough to get my hands on a complete set! Sadly, I didn’t keep it long enough to even take photos for this blog post.

If you don’t know anything about the Airwrap, it pretty much sounds like a miracle product. The tool is supposed to help you skip a step, by drying and styling your hair at the same time.

What’s included:

  • 1 pre-styling dryer

  • 2 1.2 inch curling barrels

  • 2 1.6 inch curling barrels

  • 1 round volumizing brush

  • 1 soft smoothing brush

  • 1 firm smoothing brush

These barrels/brush heads attach to the base to to give you a styling tool that pretty much does everything. So if you’re needing to justify the price, the Dyson Airwrap is meant to almost replace all your styling tools and combine them into one. The other draw here is that it uses air, hence the name, Airwrap. It supposedly doesn’t use extreme heat and doesn’t damage your hair. More on that in a sec.

The Dyson Airwrap is a super innovative product. Literally nothing on the market right now does what this product is doing. They’re implementing brand new technology and it could be a total game changer for those who spend a lot of time doing their hair. After hearing so many rave reviews, I knew I had to try it. Almost every single review out there is pretty much saying that this is the best thing since sliced bread and it’s totally worth the money. However, a very large chunk of these videos are sponsored. I chose to ignore that fact and dish out almost $600 for the complete set. I may be the only one, but I felt that this product fell totally flat. I have a lot of thoughts on this:

My experience:

When my package from Sephora arrived, I immediately hopped in the shower to wash my hair so I could test this bad boy out. I started with wet hair, and used the pre-styling dryer to dry my hair so it was damp to the touch. I really loved how quickly the dryer dried my hair and it didn’t feel like it was frying it. I tend to avoid blow drying my hair because I hate the way it feels after, but this was a dryer I could see myself looking forward to using on a regular basis. It dried my hair somewhat quickly, however, I realized that I wasn’t exactly skipping a step, was I? For a product that advertised drying and styling your hair all at once, I still had to actually dry my hair first. Ah well. Onto the styling tools!

I have smooth, straight Asian hair that typically has no issue holding a curl. It’s not thin, nor is it thick, and I really didn’t think I would have this issue. I’ll cut to the chase—the curls made with the Dyson Airwrap do. not. hold.

I began with the 1.6 inch curling barrels. The Airwrap curling barrels have 6 individual openings in which hot air blows out, using the Coanda effect to attract the hair and wrap it around the barrel for you. It’s honestly really cool—when it actually works. Yes, there is certainly a learning curve which I found to be extremely quick to get over. But the problem here wasn’t the learning curve, it was the fact that your hair has to be the perfect level of damp to actually work with the barrels. If it is too wet, the ends of the hair will be too heavy to catch on, and if it is too dry, the barrel will just blow the hair in every which direction. It was hard to know exactly how much moisture the hair needed to have, and it totally depends on your hair type. For me, 80% dry was the winner. If you have layers, same deal. The barrels will blow away certain layers if everything isn’t one uniform length, making the curls uneven and just annoying. These barrels are also way too short for anyone with longer hair. Length-wise, my hair falls just above the breast, and it kept popping off the top of the barrels because it wouldn’t fit. As a result, I had to use much less hair per curl, making the whole process take way longer than it should.

Styling my hair the first time with the Airwrap curling barrels took me over an hour on the first go. It was difficult to move onto the next curl without ruining the one you just made, due to the air blowing all around. It’s also important to note, the whole “without heat” aspect of this tool is just false. Even the “low heat” claims are incorrect. Your hair will definitely be in better shape after using this tool because it’s nowhere near as directly damaging to your hair, but your skin will absolutely feel that heat. There are three heat settings: cool, warm, and hot, but really you’ll only be able to use the hot setting to style if you don’t have super thin hair. So yeah, this thing gets HOT. The hot air actually burned my neck and ear a few times while using it. The tool is constantly blowing out hot air in every direction, so imagine having a hot blow dryer right by your ear for almost an hour. That’s what it feels like. It’s loud, and frankly it’s not great for your neck and the skin around your face. You get a couple seconds of relief at the end of each curl when you hold the On button upwards to give your hair a cool blast to set the curl. The cool shot is more of a warm shot, but okay.

Now honestly, this thing creates absolutely beautiful curls. They are soft, volumous, and they fall so naturally. Within minutes, actually. Safe to say my heart sank when I saw this. Before I could finish curling the right side of my head, the left side had already completely fallen flat. It makes sense that curls using this “less heat” method would not last as long as curls made with your typical curling iron, but my curls were pretty much gone before I could even finish styling my hair. On my first go, I attempted to curl my hair using no other styling products. Fair enough. I went at it again with my favorite Ouai Texturizing Hairspray. Still nothing. I also tried different levels of moisture in my hair which helped a smidge. I found that it’s better for your hair to be a bit more wet than I previously mentioned, but for the ends to remain 80% dry so the barrels can catch onto your hair. So if you’re struggling, it might help to dry your ends a bit more than the rest of your hair, and obviously let the rest of your hair retain a little more moisture. I also began to turn the heat setting down to cool AND blow the cool shot at the end simultaneously, to truly give it as much colder air as possible. Like I said, this all helped…a bit. I definitely had better results doing this, but the curls still fell within about an hour. I didn’t want to give up. I kept trying over and over again, using mousse, skipping conditioner so my hair wouldn’t be too smooth to hold a curl, trying different size curling barrels, and I kept ending up in the same place. This is getting really complicated for a $550 tool and I’m just as confused as you are.

The smaller 1.2 inch curling barrels also helped a bit, as I gave them a try in an attempt to see how they might hold overnight. I literally gave myself the tightest, Shirley Temple-esque curls and my hair was up to my shoulders. It was extreme. I found that with these barrels, the curls still fell as I was styling, but definitely not to the same degree as with the larger barrels. Once I was finished curling, the curls looked pretty normal, I was no longer Shirley Temple, and I was pretty pleased. I knew in my heart that they wouldn’t last, but I went to bed in them. I woke up with the right side (the side I slept on) pin straight, and the left side had a soft, incredibly uneven wave.

I really wanted to love this product. I did my fair share of trial and error before deciding to return it. Although my hair felt healthier and was definitely in much better shape than it would’ve been with your typical styling tools that use more heat, the product wasn’t actually styling my hair. I couldn’t justify keeping an almost $600 product that didn’t do what it said it would. I shrugged it off to user error at first, but with every other attempt and trying different methods, I settled with the fact that the technology just didn’t seem to work with my hair type. I didn’t try any of the other styling tools that came in the case, so I can’t exactly speak for how they work—I would assume that they have much less of a learning curve, and hopefully, less having to work around obstacles. I already have straight, smooth hair, so I wasn’t exactly jumping on those tools to try out. And I figured, if 2 out of the 6 styling tools don’t work for me, it’s not worth the $550 + tax price tag. For that kind of money, all of the tools should work. I definitely can see this product working well for someone with finer, thinner, and shorter hair. If you don’t have that type of hair, I would strongly advise you test it out first at a Dyson location before buying, or purchasing somewhere with a flexible return policy.

So to recap:

Pros:

  • Uses less heat - less likely to burn yourself

  • Replaces all of your styling tools

  • Better for your hair

  • Super innovative

Cons:

  • Still uses heat, unlike the website advertises

  • Not good for long, thick, or layered hair

  • Curls don’t last long

  • Doesn’t skip steps or save time

  • Expensive $$$