When the Dyson Airwrap launched back in 2018, it essentially defied everything we thought we knew about styling hair. Convention says that you need heat (and a lot of it too) to dry, smooth, and curl hair. But the scientists and engineers at Dyson figured out a way to harness airflow, specifically something called the Coanda effect, to style hair without much heat at all. The result? A pro-level blowout, with just one tool, for all hair types.
I’ve been using the Dyson Airwrap on and off for the last three years, and that’s to say I have a lot of thoughts on this genius device. Ahead, my honest review of the Airwrap—and whether or not it’s worth gifting to a loved one (or yourself) this holiday season.
My Hair Type
First, it’s important to know my hair type. I have naturally wavy/curly hair that is dense and thick, so blow-drying it with a regular dryer can take upward of 25 minutes. My typical hair routine involves a dryer, flat iron for my bangs and ends, and then a curling wand to add shiny, controlled waves back into my hair. It’s a process, and it involves a lot of heat.
There are Dyson Airwrap fans out there across the entire hair spectrum. If you have fine hair, this device will cut your drying time in half and give you the body and volume you always dreamed of achieving at home. If you have curly and thick hair, the soft and firm smoothing brush attachments make the Airwrap an important tool to add to your routine.
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How to Use It
To get the best results from the Airwrap, you need to follow the directions. This was my first problem when I started testing it. The tool is not as intuitive as other hair wands and irons, because it approaches styling in an entirely different way.
You need to use it on slightly damp—not wet, not dry—hair. The pre-styling dryer attachment will help take your hair from soaking wet to barely damp, but it doubles as an amazing travel blow-dryer too. Once you’re done with that, pop on a new attachment: either the soft or firm smoothing brush, volumizing round brush, or one of four curling barrels. The attachments help style your hair while drying, and the result is always some variation of bouncy, voluminous waves.
For my hair, I like rough-drying, then grabbing either the straightening brush or round brush to smooth before finishing with the larger curling barrels. I use the highest heat setting but not the highest airflow setting, which I find makes my hair too frizzy (and can be quite loud to hold next to your ear for 10-plus minutes).
The curling wands are where the magic really happens. The Coanda effect comes into play here by wrapping your hair automatically around the wand, as long as you choose the barrel with the airflow direction of your intended curl (so either away from your face or toward it; you have the choice). After you section apiece of hair, let it get swirled up by the barrel for a few seconds, then push the cool-shot button to lock the curl in place. Switch the Airwrap off to avoid tangles, then release the curl.
The many times I’ve run into trouble with the Airwrap are entirely my fault. Your hair needs to be barely damp before you start styling—do not attempt to style sopping wet hair, because it will take you hours. Using the Airwrap on dry hair won’t achieve as much body and hold, but I love using mine on second- and third-day hair to revive a blowout.
Also, don’t rush through the curling process. Methodically curling, cooling, then gently releasing is the way to achieve glossy curls that last. The curl should be dry to the touch before you unravel it from the barrel. Some hair types may find that the Airwrap curls don’t last as long as curls with a traditional heat-styling wand. That can be true, especially since the Airwrap uses far less heat. Try using a styling product with light hold in your hair before you begin the process, then set the curls with a good amount of hairspray at the end. You should be able to get at least three days out of each Airwrap session, save for a few touch-ups.
My hair is prone to frizz, and if I’m not careful, the Airwrap can actually exacerbate it. Cranking down the airflow setting but keeping the heat high helps with this, as does using a smoothing product both before and after styling. If you have curly hair, or hair that’s dense and thick, you’ll want to keep the heat and airflow settings all the way up. You can also finish your style with the firm smoothing brush to help calm any residual frizz.
If you have long hair or want a less-defined curl, Dyson sells longer curling barrels for $40 a piece, though if you want both the 1.6- and 1.2-inch size, that will set you back an additional $80.
When used correctly, the Airwrap delivers on the promise of an at-home blowout using minimal heat. My hair feels so much healthier when I use it instead of my other styling tools, and I’ve never been able to achieve so much body and volume on my own. But there isn’t a ton of versatility in terms of the looks you can achieve with the Airwrap.
All in all, the Airwrap hasn’t necessarily made my hair routine faster (I have a lot of hair)—just a whole lot smarter. It’s much easier to reach for just one product and cord than two, three, or four. Going from wet to dry—with rough-drying, brushing, and curling—can take me upward of 45 minutes.
One piece of advice: Brush out the curls a bit with your fingers or a paddle brush before walking out the door for a true pro-blowout look.
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Is It Worth it?
The Airwrap styler costs $550—and more if you want the barrels for long hair. That’s a serious investment, and one that will be worth it only if you a) get unbridled joy from owning the coolest beauty tools or b) love the look of blowouts and want to do them at home.
If you’re concerned about hair damage and you style your hair often, then the Airwrap is 100 percent worth it. If your hair is fine and you are constantly chasing salon-worthy volume, then it’s worth it. If your hair is curly and you’re looking for a way to get it straighter with minimal heat, then it’s worth it. If you travel a lot and don’t want to pack a bunch of different tools, then it’s worth it.
It’s not worth it if you are looking for a solution to cut down on styling time, or you like achieving curls and styles with a ton of variety. When you own the Airwrap, you’ll still want to own an additional dryer, curling wand, and straightener. But you’ll find yourself reaching for them less often—and your hair will be so much healthier for it.
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