The most highly anticipated launch of the year has hit our sunny shores.
Yes, the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer is finally here! I’m sure it needs no introduction, but if you’ve somehow missed the hype; the vacuum cleaner pioneers have launched another ground-breaking machine. They have basically re-invented the hair dryer. Doesn’t sound too incredible? Read on.
Okay, I’m going to address the elephant in the room straight away, and say, yes, at R6500 it is one of the most (if not THE most) expensive at-home tools on the market. But there is a reason for it, and whether the time, effort and money put into the development of it really depends on how often you use a hair dryer.
Obviously if you never use one or only pull yours out for special occasions, then this just isn’t aimed at you. But, if you have to blow dry your hair often, or even have to go to a salon in order to tame your tresses, this is your life (and time and money) saver. You see, Dyson ploughed £50 million (that’s near enough R931 million at the current exchange rate), 4 years, 1600km of human hair and a whole new team of scientists to develop this take on hair styling. And after 600 prototypes, they settled on what can only be described as a whole new world for hair drying.
I have never really thought about hairdryers, except for how much I hate them. I loathe drying my hair because firstly, I’m rubbish at it, and secondly, it takes so long, and I frankly have better things to do with my time. I appreciate that having hair that looks good when air-dried allows me to have this attitude. But still. They are loud, heavy, annoying and, maybe this is just me, but their filters EAT hair.
Not the Supersonic. The Dyson engineers discarded everything we knew about hair drying, and started from scratch, and the result was a whole new look and internal system. Regular dryers pull air through the filter at the back, heat it in the head and then blow warm air out the front. The weight is at the back of the device, making it top-heavy, and the heat cannot be evenly distributed or controlled (ever tried pulling an attachment off just after use? I have burn scars.)
Dyson have coined something called ‘air-multiplier technology’ to pull air from basically everywhere to blow out 3 times more air than regular dryers. The demand for more air resulted in the ‘big hole’ in the head of the dryer. This can be achieved thanks to the clever motor which spins 20 times a second, which is incredibly 5 times faster than the motor in a F1 car. So, fast, very fast.
The super-strong motor, which is housed in the handle for MUCH better weight distribution, is 3 times smaller than regular ones, and packs a serious punch to deliver huge amounts of air in record time. The hair-eating filter issue is moot thanks to a super-fine metal mesh filter hidden at the end of the handle. I couldn’t get it to take my hair no matter how hard I tried!
The next incredible part in the design is the heat regulating technology in the head. It ensures that all the air that leaves the nozzle is the same temperature, and that it never, ever goes above 125C to ensure your hair is protected at all times. That’s not to say you don’t have choice – there are 4 temperature settings and 3 speed settings for you to choose from, as well as 3 styling heads that are magnetic, so won’t fall off. See – it’s those little touches that make this a game-changer. Why has nobody ever made magnetic attachments? Seems obvious. As well as staying put, the attachments themselves also have clever technology in their composition. They have been designed to stay at a manageable temperature; so can be touched by human hands without the possibility of third degree burns. Genius.
I tried and tested the Supersonic for two weeks, and was so impressed! I tested how long it took me to blow dry my hair straight with a regular dryer (18 minutes) and compared it to the Supersonic (7 minutes). Less than half the time, and the Dyson delivered a better finish. No freaking joke! The same went for the diffuser, which I again used on both. I’m not even going to give a time for the regular dryer, as I had to straighten my hair afterwards because it was a frizzy nest. The Dyson gave me beautiful, fuzz-free curls in 10 minutes.
But, as I mentioned before, I am terrible at drying hair, so I needed an expert to put it through its paces. I don’t know a better expert than David Gillson, so it was handed over to him. Also, I personally thing that the biggest impact this dryer is going to have is on the salon because stylists spend all day drying hair, not just 20 minutes in the morning. Dyson had the same thought, so actually sent their engineers to hairdressing school, so they could fully understand the workings of hair dryers.
He was like a kid at Christmas, and all the other (jealous) stylists in the salon flapped around it like moths to a flame. He had just gotten back from a work trip to Amsterdam where, at a hair show all the international stylists were using the Dyson, and he turned up with his ‘tractor dryer’. So he was incredibly keen to give it a go. He tried it on a few of his clients, as well as me, and suffice to say he loved it. I’m going to share his thoughts below – obviously this is from a stylist’s point of view, but they are valid for at-home users, too, and are a great summary of why this is such an incredible launch.
Noise – I honestly can’t believe how quiet the dryer is. I was working in a salon full of stylists drying hair, and you could still hold a conversation without shouting. As a stylist, I do find that I need peace and quiet after a day in the salon. I think this would be greatly reduced if all stylists used the Supersonic. It obviously isn’t silent, but it’s quiet enough that I had to keep checking that it was on.
Weight – I always tend to hold regular dryers near or on the head to be able to better control the weight, which is absolutely not necessary with the Dyson. It allows for much better maneuverability for stylists and will enable my clients to tackle the backs of their heads more easily at home.
Speed – To be able to get a super sleek and shiny blow dry in 10 minutes is juts incredible. It allows my time-strapped clients to get out of the salon quicker, and cuts down on the time stylists spend drying hair.
Shine – the styling attachments are all very impressive. The rough-dry nozzle is great for quick, natural styles, while the narrow styling nozzle delivers incredible shine and smoothness in record time, and it even negates the need for a flat iron. The diffuser creates almost a dome of air, so is so much more targeted and precise than regular ones, which often just blew the hair everywhere. I created beautiful curls on Emmy in minutes with just mousse.
Price – yes, R6500 is a fair amount to spend on a dryer, but if you need to use one often, or get regular blow dries, you will pay it off quickly. For example, if your get weekly blow-dries at R150 – R200 each, you’ll have paid off a Dyson in 8 to 11 months!
And if you want to entrust your locks to the fabulous David (he is a Master Stylist, after all), he is a partner at Carlton Hair Hyde Park (011) 325 4916, and makes regular trips down to Carlton Hair Constantia Village (021) 794 4417. You can also stalk him on Instagram here.