Is the Dyson Airwrap *Really* Worth $600?
At HUM Nutrition, we believe in living your most beautiful life, inside and out. To help, we sometimes try products and trends that prioritize looking and feeling your best: like the Dyson Airwrap. It promises shiny hairstyles that last all day long (without the dreaded heat damage). So, is the Dyson Airwrap *really* worth $600? I bought one and tested out its curling functions (which claim to dry and curl your hair at the same time—and hold all day long). Here’s what I found out, and what professional hairstylists have to say about it.
As someone who was born with lots of fine, chronically-straight strands, I always coveted my pals’ locks that were voluminous, curly, or could hold texture in any way. (They, of course, wished they had my hair—we all want what we don’t have, right?)
Since I was in junior high, I’ve made countless attempts to find a way to create the curls I always wanted. Hot rollers. Wands. Wave crimpers. Classic curling irons. Dousing my mane in hairspray. Growing out my hair so I’d have more to work with. Then, suffering from heat-damaged hair and having to chop it all off to restore its overall health.
I could occasionally get a curl to cooperate for an hour or two, but could never get the look I truly wanted—let alone get it to stay all day. But at my latest haircut, my stylist introduced me to the Dyson Airwrap—a tool I’d seen on Instagram but didn’t believe the hype on—and suggested that I give it a try while I was in her chair. The machine comes with a few different attachments, and it claims to quickly dry and style your hair with low heat, saving you time and heat damage. The best part? Users on social media say that the curls last all day long—even on pin-straight hair like mine.
“I know using hot tools on bob-length hair can be a challenge,” says my personal ‘do designer, Carly Condon, a hairstylist at Elevencherry salon in Des Moines, Iowa. “After using it myself for six months, I thought this could be an easy and fun way for you to achieve more versatility with your personal style.”
After seeing what we could do with the tool that day, I hopped home and headed to Dyson’s site to scout out more details about the invention. Turns out, they were just a couple of weeks away from releasing their 2.0 model, which was reportedly redesigned with attachments that allowed for quicker and easier styling. I signed up for the notification list, promptly placed my order when I received the email, and anxiously awaited the package. Could this be my magic bullet to the marvelous, red carpet-ready hair I dreamed about? (That is, without having to pay $50 each time I wanted to make it a reality? Sorry, Carly!)
What is the Dyson Airwrap?
Somewhat like a Swiss Army Knife of the hair world, the Dyson Airwrap Multi-Styler Complete ($599.99) debuted in 2018 and has gone on to develop a cult-like following on TikTok and other social media sites.
The engineers at Dyson tapped into the same motor and technology they use in their vacuums, just with a slight redesign. Using what they call the “Coanda effect,” the high-speed air in the wand’s cylinder generates a vortex that flows through slots in the Airwrap barrel. Instead of using clamps or twirling by hand to get your hair into a spiral, this Coanda system attracts strands to the Airwrap’s surface and basically does all the styling for you(once you get the hang of it, of course).
The complete Dyson Airwrap set comes with instructions and beautifully-designed attachments for the base wand, which include:
- A smoothing dryer
- A soft smoothing brush made for fine hair
- A firm smoothing brush that’s best for medium-to-coarse hair
- A 1.6-inch Airwrap barrel
- A 1.2-inch Airwrap barrel
- A round, volumizing brush
- A storage case with a filter cleaner
In an effort to reduce heat damage caused by many traditional hair dryers, irons, and straighteners, the designers outfitted the base wand with a regulating microprocessor that measures the temperature within the tool 40 times each second to ensure it never tops 302 degrees Fahrenheit. (For comparison, most hot tools reach temperatures between 350 degrees to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.)
What’s the biggest difference between the new Dyson Airwrap and the older model? The 1.0 model came with two Dyson Airwrap barrels of each size, one for each direction of vortex. With the refreshed design, a simple twist of a knob at the top of the Dyson Airwrap barrel reverses the airflow. The dryer also has a smoothing mode. Those who invested in the previous model can buy the new attachments separately to use with their current wand.
The Dyson Airwrap is now available in three versions; each created to work well with different locks:
- Complete, for multiple hair types
- Complete long, for chest-length or longer cuts
- Smooth+control, for frizzy hair
The new Dyson Airwrap so in demand that all three models are often out of stock, but fans can sign up for alerts to receive emails when units are available to buy.
How to Use the Dyson Airwrap
After unboxing my package like a true social media star, I was too pumped to sit down and watch video tutorials before diving in. I did, however, glance at the directions and went over what Condon had told me during our trial run.
It’s best to get your hair about 80 percent dry first with the dryer, then switch to the styling tool you like based on your desired end style. Separate your hair into portions, just as you might to use other styling tools, grab about a one-inch section of hair and allow the Coanda flow to wrap it around the barrel. Let it stay there for about 10 seconds, hit the cool button (to “lock in” the wave), and gently pull the wand down away from your hair and allow it to release. Repeat around your head, switching directions to create waves away from your face. Use your fingers to shake it out, and if you’re like me, cement the style into place with hairspray.
My Dyson Airwrap Complete Review
My inaugural use took me about 20 minutes, which is less than the time it would take me to drive to and from my salon.
The curls lasted for four hours before I came home and hopped into bed. I’ve used the Dyson Airwrap barrels about three times per week for the past five weeks, and the dryer daily. Although I’ve yet to dive into all of the attachments and if they might work well on my hair, I’m sold on the gentle dryer and the Airwrap barrels themselves. Now, in less than 10 minutes (last trial I had it down to eight!), I can create bouncy, smooth waves that last for hours.
What Professionals Think of the Dyson Airwrap
“I’ve had the good fortune of being able to play with the Airwrap on set and while styling some personal guests in their home with the guest asking me to show them how to use it,” says Gregory Patterson, celebrity hairstylist and beauty and grooming expert in New York City. His verdict: Genius technology; challenging learning curve.
If you find it difficult to use a combo of a dryer and brush together or struggle with using hot tools, a styling tool featuring the Airwrap technology might be a way to achieve the results you’re after, he adds.
As an Airwrap fan herself and as a stylist who uses the Airwrap, Condon believes that it’s worth every penny because of all of the tasks it can accomplish: dry, smooth, tame flyaways, add volume, and curl.
“I also think it’s healthier for your hair than using a traditional curling iron since it doesn’t use high heat. That being said, it should still be used with a heat protectant,” Condon confirms. “It’s also just plain-user friendly.”
Condon says she’d recommend the Airwrap to “almost anyone;” the exception being someone who is genetically blessed with curls who isn’t interested in smoothing them out.
Bradley Leake, a Los Angeles-based celebrity hairstylist adds, “I always tell my clients, instead of buying
a million different tools, learn how to use your few favorite tools in a million different ways!”
The same curling iron can produce totally different styling results depending on the amount of heat, the
angle from which you’re directing the barrel, and the hair product you’re pairing with it, Leake explains.
You just have to become adept at using whatever tool you choose.
So, is it worth $600? “That’s a big question,” Patterson admits. “It’s a lot of money for the end result, in my humble opinion. I think at that price point, you’re likely paying for the brand and the innovation with some pretty high-tech components. But if it’s in your budget and gets you to where you want your hair to go, go for it!”
7 Budget-Friendly Dyson Airwrap Dupes
It’s understandable if you don’t want to drop $600 on a beauty tool, so I tapped Patterson and Condon to share other options that can help accomplish one or more of the Airwrap functions at more affordable price points. Here are their top three picks:
Amika Blow Dryer Brush 2.0, $100
This blow dryer brush will help you achieve a smooth yet voluminous style, similar to the smoothing brush attachment on the Airwrap, Condon explains.
Boujee Beauty BIGG 38 MM Curling Iron, $139
“One of the biggest draws to the Dyson Airwrap is the blowout effect it has on your hair, but this boujee
beauty brand iron will also provide that fresh blowout look with big, soft, bouncy curls,” Leake says.
ION Luxe 4-in-1 Autowrap AIRSTYLER, $149.99
An ionic hair dryer with a round brush that has similar wrap technology to the Dyson Airwrap, is the best dupe in Patterson’s opinion. “The hand positioning on the Ion Autowrap is another game changer for me as well because it feels natural, is lightweight, and produces great heat that seals the cuticle and creates insane volume and body with lasting style.”
Hidden Crown Curl Bar, $95
For less than $100, this extra long-barreled tool will provide the most glamorous beach waves or
Hollywood curls, all depending on how you use it/ “Made with ceramic, it’s a safe option especially
when paired with a heat protectant,” Leake says.
Conair Xtreme Big Curls Hairsetter, $34.99
“Hot rollers will give you that ‘90’s supermodel blowout’ look similar to the look you get from the Airwrap barrel,” Condon says. “This also uses lower heat than a curling iron.”
Plus four more fan favorites:
- T3 Whirl Trio Interchangeable Curling Iron Set, $325
- One-Step Volumizer PLUS 2.0 Hair Dryer and Hot Air Brush, $74.99
- Hot Tools 24K Gold One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer, $40.96
- Beachwaver PRO 1, $199
If you’re struggling about whether or not to make the investment, stylists say to think critically about how you would use it—and how often. “Look for what you need this to do for you day in and day out, and also consider your natural hair texture,” Patterson says. “This isn’t a ‘for everyone’ styling tool, so make sure you know where you want to go with your style and if this is the best tool for the job.”
So, is the Dyson Airwrap worth it? Your own hairstylist can help you decide—as can your budget. For me, the math more than worked out. Considering blowouts clock in at about $50 locally, for the style and gratuity, I’ll make the Airwrap worth my money after about 13 uses. But it’s definitely not cheap, and there are other tools (like those mentioned above) that can tackle some of the same tasks. Another factor you’ll want to consider is the heat damage you’re saving your hair from. If you style your hair regularly, the Dyson could save your locks from feeling dry and fried. (And if you’re concerned about your hair health, consider taking a supplement like HUM Nutrition’s Hair Sweet Hair to help support longer, stronger hair from the inside out.) But swapping out your trust curling iron for this hair-friendly machine. The choice is yours, but I’m happy with mine.