The Most-In-One Hairstyling Tool

Coming two years after Dyson’s Supersonic hairdryer, Airwrap is the British brand’s second act to redefine another everyday task: making curling and general hairstyling as easy as possible – while being easy on the hair.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Coming two years after Dyson’s Supersonic hairdryer, Airwrap is the British brand’s second act to redefine another everyday task: making curling and general hairstyling as easy as possible – while being easy on the hair.

"This baton-like barrel is the control/power centre of the Airwrap. It is where you attach the styling attachments to. It also emits the heated air."

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Hairstyling, whether it’s daily or ad hoc, requires different types of apparatus. To tidy hair with minimum fuss, we need a blow-dryer and at least one styling brush. To create K-drama waves, we need curling tongs. To get super-straight hair, we need a flat iron. If we want different looks on different days, we’ll need a few tools.

This concept of hairstyling is outdated, according to the think-outof-the-box people at Dyson – the same folks who forever changed the way we think of and use the hairdryer with its Supersonic – because the process can be so much easier and sexier.

Airwrap, the company’s first gadget to reinvent hairstyling, does not cater to every hairstyling whim. But it does provide the kind of hairstyling most women want – getting unruly hair in place, and adding tousled waves or creating curls – with one tidy tool that off ers up to eight attachments. It’s also designed to style hair when it’s still damp, as opposed to dry (all hairstyling so far, except blow-drying, is done on dry hair for the most lasting result). This means it takes way less time to style, with way less hair damage.

Airwrap’s power generator and control centre is a baton-like barrel. Powered by the same compact V9 motor that powers the Supersonic, it is where the hot air comes from, and where we attach any of the eight attachments to straighten or curl hair.

Of all the attachments, the curlers are the piece de resistance that show how, when hot air is worked in a particular way, it can be, well, quite life-changing.

Traditional curling irons use a heated metal rod to curl hair. And it needs to be preheated. But Airwrap applies the Coanda effect. “It is basically how airflow attaches to a curved surface,” says Ben Bobillier, Dyson’s hair care engineering lead. “The Coanda effect is an everyday occurrence that you see everywhere, even if you may not notice it. For example, when you pour wine, a bit of wine always dribbles down the side of the bottle – that’s the Coanda effect. Aircraft also use this principle for aerodynamic lift.”

How it’s applied to hair curling: Each curler has six slots which emit heated air that wraps around the curler even as new hot air is continually pushed out. This creates a swirling vortex of hot air around the curler, which enables hair to wrap itself around it – automatically, and in one direction. Without any human intervention. This means all we have to do to curl our hair now is to rest a section of hair ends against the curler and work the barrel up as the hair automatically coils around the curler, until the barrel reaches the spot you want it to. Then, hold the barrel in place for a few seconds, turn on the Cool Shot function for a burst of cool air to set the curl for another couple of seconds, turn off , and slide the barrel out of the hair. What you get is curled hair that did not have to be manually wrapped around a heated rod – a tedious method that has remained largely unchanged since a century ago.

Dyson also promises that there is no need for a heat protectant product when using the Airwrap, because like the Supersonic, it’s programmed to never exceed 150 deg C, a temperature that the company’s engineers have found to be the highest hair can tolerate before it becomes damaged.

“It’s really about maintaining or creating a good style with as low a temperature as possible. Our competitors have tools that can go up to 230 deg C, but Airwrap will never reach those extreme temperatures,” says Bobillier. “That’s because it has a built-in glass bead thermistor to regulate temperature. It measures the temperature 40 times a second – a step up from the one in the Supersonic, which measures 20 times a second.” - RT

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What Airwrap’s eight attachments do:

1. Pre-styling Dryer – Wicks excess moisture from freshly washed hair to prep it for styling.
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2. Soft Smoothing Brush – To smooth and blowdry fine or thin hair. It has gentle-on-the-scalp ball-tipped bristles. The base of the brush oscillates and moves hot air in the same direction that you’re styling your hair in, for a smoother finish.
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3. Firm Smoothing Brush – To smooth and blow-dry thick, coarse hair. It also has an oscillating base.
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4. Round Volumising Brush – Adds volume and shape.
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5. Airwrap Barrels – Each curler comes in two sizes (30mm for medium curls and 40mm for large), and each goes in the opposite direction of the other so that you can alternate between them for more naturallooking curls.

Dyson Airwrap comes in three variations: Complete (with the eight attachments shown here), $699; Smooth + Control (with two 30mm and two 40mm barrels, Pre-styling Dryer and Firm Smoothing Brush), $649; and Volume + Shape (with two 30mm barrels, Soft Smoothing Brush, Round Volumising Brush and Pre-styling Dryer), $649.