I know that heat tools can seriously damage hair, but I just can’t quit my flat iron. A single pass of the tool over my hair smooths out any frizz, and I can give myself beachy “S”-shaped waves by simply flicking my wrist instead. The only caveat is that the heat from my beloved iron fades my color and dries out my already-dry hair even more. But for anyone like me who picks style over hair health, 2018’s most-hyped hair product just might be the reason why we don’t have to choose one over the other anymore.
Two years after releasing the game-changing Supersonic Hair Dryer to rave reviews, Dyson started pandemonium again with the Airwrap, a new hair tool that curls and straightens hair using minimal heat. Instead, the styler uses the Coanda Effect, a physical phenomenon where high velocity jet of air meets a curved surface and wraps itself around the curve. Basically, the tool uses air set at low heat to create a vortex so that hair wraps around it.
You’re meant to leave your hair wrapped around the tool for 10 seconds. Then, you pull it down, and you’ve got yourself the perfect curl. To really set the curl, you can flick the heat switch to cool before letting the piece of hair down. It’s kind of like a vacuum — but your hair won’t get stuck in it. To get the best results, the tool should be used on hair that’s 85-percent dry.
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But, Dyson didn’t stop there: The Airwrap does more than just curl hair. On top of two different-sized Coanda Effect curlers, there’s three smoothing brushes (firm, soft, and round) and a round brush.
The tool is sold in three separate sets to choose from based on hair type, texture, and the style you’re trying to achieve. Each option does, however, include the rough dryer that dries hair just enough so it’s damp. And just like Supersonic Dryer, the Airwrap is super expensive. The Volume + Shape and Smooth + Control sets will set you back $500 each, while the complete set for multiple hair types costs $550.
The Airwrap’s hefty price tag hasn’t stopped people from buying it. It’s currently sold-out at its online retailers, and only the complete set is in stock at dyson.com. The brand told me via email that the Airwrap sold out within a few days of its launch, and the demand for it continues to rise. Whenever more units become available, they quickly get scooped up in a few days.
Along with the other beauty editors in the audience at the Airwrap’s launch event in New York, my mind was blown when I saw the tool in action. Jen Atkin, celebrity hairstylist and Dyson ambassador, demoed three different looks on models with varying hair textures. She made creating loose waves and smooth blowouts with the tool look easy. But how effortless is the Airwrap, for someone who isn’t a professional stylist? For the sake of healthier hair, I was prepared to find out.
This is what my hair looks like when I don’t do anything to it. It’s thick, slightly coarse, and super-straight, Typically, I use a flat iron everyday to add waves to it.
I don’t like how tight curls look on me, but I decided to try the smaller barrel attachment to give myself loose, voluminous waves because my hair is on the shorter side, and I wanted to be able to easily control how much hair was wrapping around the barrel at once.
I’m going to be honest: There’s a definite learning curve that comes with using the Airwrap. The hardest part is holding the tool at the right angle so that the section of hair wraps around it. You also have to make sure that you’re using the right barrel for the side of your head that you’re working on. (The Airwrap comes with two barrels that emits the airflow in opposite directions.)
There were a few false starts, but once I got the motion down I was able to curl my entire head fairly quickly without any drama.
The end result: Bouncy waves. I usually prefer undone, Olsen-like waves, but I liked how voluminous the Airwrap made my hair look. Plus, that shine! My hair has never looked this glossy from using a flat iron. I always, always spritz my waves with a shine spray because my hair is so faded and full.
I also tried the smoothing brush, too. This was more straightforward, and gave me the same results as I’d get using one of those smoothing brushes that are everywhere on Instagram. It left my hair soft and smooth in a matter of minutes, and I would definitely use it instead of a blow dryer.
So, is the Dyson Airwrap worth the price and the hype? I wouldn’t say that the tool can replace your curling iron. Although it did deliver on creating great curls, they didn’t last as long as they would have if I used a traditional curling iron or flat iron. However, if your hair is extremely damaged from regularly using hot tools, or you have to save time styling it, the Airwrap could be worth the investment. Just put it this way: Professional-grade curling irons and flat irons normally cost upwards of $100 each. All of the Airwrap’s attachments are like getting multiple tools in one.
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