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It was a series of online searches that led me to the Airwrap, an air-styling tool from Dyson that promises not to use extreme heat.
For one, my body temperature tends to run hot and there are days I skip blow-drying and styling my hair because I get too warm with the added heat from styling tools. I also followed a ketogenic diet about a year ago and it caused a lot of my hair to fall out, which made it painfully thin and in need of a volume boost.
The internet seemed to agree that using the Dyson Airwrap Styler, which features an intelligent heat control system that measures airflow and temperature to keep the unit below 302 degrees, made for a much cooler hair-styling experience. The device's brush attachment and air-curling barrels claimed to give hair a volumizing boost, so I was eager to try it out.
The price tag on the complete version of the Dyson Airwrap might make you hesitate, but since I've been using it, I've packed away or donated every other styling tool I own.
When the Airwrap arrived, I told my husband I had never held a hair product that felt so fancy. The unit comes in a truly gorgeous tan leather storage case and the number of gizmos and gadgets stored inside made me feel like I was a bit out of my league. As I identified each attachment's purpose, I looked at my husband and said, "Maybe I should call my hairstylist and see if she can help me make sense of this."
However, since it arrived right before the pandemic forced us to quarantine, I suddenly had time on my hands to learn how to use the Airwrap. I figured it would be a good way to motivate myself to shower every day and feel presentable instead of staying in my pajamas.
After watching several tutorials on YouTube and the Dyson website, I decided to finally give it a try.
The pre-styling dryer attachment is the perfect first step
The pre-styling dryer, an attachment that blows air and gets hair from wet to "damp" so the other attachments can be used, was first on my list. Having used a Dyson Supersonic hair dryer before, I was curious to see what the difference was. I decided to dry my hair thoroughly with it the same way I would with the hair dryer, which meant flipping my hair upside down and moving the air through it until it was completely dry.
The pre-styling dryer didn't have the same power as the Supersonic, but it's not supposed to. Its purpose is to take some of the wetness out of hair before the other tools are used. That said, it did dry my hair quickly and didn't make me break a sweat from the heat. On a day when I didn't want to take the second step to style my hair, it would do the trick and serve as a better blow dryer than some of the other brands I own.
The smoothing brush attachment tamed my flyaways
The next day, I tried the smoothing brush. The complete version of the Airwrap comes with both a soft smoothing brush that's gentle on the scalp and a firm smoothing brush for thicker, frizz-prone hair. Since my hair is thinning, I opted to try the soft version and was pleased with the results. After hitting my wet hair for less than two minutes with the pre-styling dryer, I went to work brushing the attachment through my hair, smoothing it down until it was dry.
I noticed a definite difference between only using the pre-styling dryer and finishing my hair this way. There were fewer flyaways and everything laid better and appeared straighter. I also thought this was one of the styles that gave my hair the most volume at the roots.
The round brush attachment added better shape to my curls
Next up was the round volumizing brush. Similar to the round brushes stylists use during a blowout, this brush has bristles designed to shape the hair as it dries. I followed essentially the same procedure as with the smoothing brush, drying my hair for a bit first then rolling the round brush through my hair and shaping it to curl under a bit on the ends.
Again, I was pleased and surprised by how quickly — and without making myself hot — I was able to dry my hair. I didn't get as much volume with this attachment, but I assume it's because I was pulling my hair downward and curling it under with the brush.
The curling barrels are fascinating
The most intimidating attachments for me had been the two curling barrels, one 1.2 inches and the other 1.6 inches. These aren't your typical curling irons: The instructions say to hold the barrel a few inches from the end of your hair and let the unit wrap your hair around it. I won't lie, I had flashbacks of getting round brushes stuck in my hair as a teenager while trying to blow dry. But I broke out the larger barrel attachments and decided to give it a whirl ... literally.
It's pretty fascinating. If you hold your hair near the barrel, it gently rolls the entire piece around it. Air then spins throughout each strand, and when you gently tug the barrel away from the curl, voila! There's a perfect curl waiting to be hit with a blast of cool air to set and then be sprayed with product.
I loved both of the curling barrels, but there's a trick to learn. Each size comes in two different barrels, with arrows pointing in opposite directions. To make sure your curls are symmetrical, curl one half of your head in with one direction, then stop and switch to the opposite attachment and curl the other side.
As I've perfected my technique, I've realized I like my curls to move away from my face. To easily make this happen, I look in my mirror and make sure the arrows on the barrel are pointing toward my face in the mirror, that way they're actually going the opposite direction from the mirror image.
Why it's worth the splurge
Though it comes with a hefty price tag, I think it's worth every penny. I no longer break into a sweat while trying to do my post-shower hair and makeup, and every single attachment has given me a boost of volume in the root area. I'm almost tempted to splurge on the brand's limited-edition set, which comes in a royal blue and copper design with a matching storage case and travel bag.
The only thing the Dyson Airwrap didn't accomplish for me is the sleek look you get from using a flat iron. However, Dyson recently added its Corrale Hair Straightener that I'm curious to test out in the future.
There's a reason people love Dyson vacuums, and after taking the time to learn how to use my Dyson Airwrap, I can see the same care and craftsmanship was put into the brand's hair-styling line. It's expensive, yes, but it has met my specific needs and changed the way I style my hair for the better.
Plus, my husband is happy I'm not running around the house complaining about how hot I am every time I try to dry my locks.
For more hair tools we're loving, check out:
- This easy-to-use hair tool gives me long-lasting, voluminous beach waves
- I tried the $40 straightening brush from Drew Barrymore's beauty brand, and I'm obsessed
- This $35 hair dryer is all I need to get the perfect at-home blowout
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This article was originally published on May 14, 2020.