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I'm obsessed with my Shark FlexStyle — but I may like its new colorway even more

It's powerful, easy to use and, dare I say it, affordable.
Courtesy Danielle Murphy

Ever since I started blow-drying my hair on my own as a kid, I've never strayed away from a basic hair dryer and round brush. It's the way my mother taught me, the way my father tried (... and failed, but try he did) to do it when my mom wasn't around and it's how I begged my sisters to do it when my arms were tired and I couldn't roll the brush through my thick hair any longer.

And my arm would get tired — like, really tired. So much so that, even now, I sometimes skip the straightening and curling I planned to do after because drying my hair took too long or I just didn't want to lift another tool ... or, I didn't want to wait for another device to heat up.

Then, Shark pulled a fast one on me and launched a complete all-in-one hair drying and styling system that makes those complications simply disappear — and for half the price of other popular brands. When I finally got my hands on one to try, I loved it (and so did the Shop TODAY team, who awarded it the best multi-use hair tool for our first-ever Beauty Awards).

Shark FlexStyle Air Styling & Drying System

But, speaking only on behalf of myself, this hair tool has really changed the game when it comes to speeding up my routine and giving my arm muscles a break. Here's how:

This hair tool is powerful

Considering the brand behind this souped up blow-dryer is a leader in top-performing vacuums, this detail was the one I had the highest expectations for. And it didn't disappoint. You can't tell by looking at it, but my hair is surprisingly thick, which means drying it can take a painful amount of time. And with my normal hair dryer, I have to wait until my head is at at least 70-80% dry to even make a dent. But with the Shark, I'm able to blow dry right away, without loosing volume.

Courtesy Danielle Murphy

I can completely rough dry my hair in about five minutes, even less when I use the styling concentrator attachment, which helps me direct the airflow. While I prefer the highest heat and airflow setting to get this done, the FlexStyler has three to choose from, respectively, to meet your blow-drying needs.

My favorite part has to be the rotating nozzle; it turns the dryer into a more ergonomic "L" shape, which keeps me from having to lift my arms as I go through each section.

It comes with multiple, easy-to-use attachments

The attachment I use the most has to be the oval brush. It feels similar to my natural way of blow-drying, but I only have to use one hand with the FlexStyler. Plus, this round brush head is larger, and therefore, gives me major volume. Unlike other heated brushes I've tried out in the past, this one doesn't burn my scalp on certain passes. That might have something to do with the brand's no heat damage promise, thanks to a system that regulates temperatures "1,000 times per second."

I have a few pros and cons when it comes to the curlers. First, I've never achieved fuller curls with any other device. (If you're looking for tighter coils, this isn't for you.) My hair gives off Texas pageant vibes in the best way when I'm done using them; but don't worry, they cool down to create a killer curly blowout. The FlexStyler also includes a built-in cool shot button to help set the curls quicker; it also rapidly cools down the barrel, which can get pretty hot depending on what setting you choose.

Courtesy Danielle Murphy

At first, I would have said having to use two different curlers to curl my hair in different directions was a major con, but now it's really not that bad. Swapping them out takes seconds, and I just need to look in the mirror's reflection and find the arrow to know which way each head will curl. That being said, I won't be mad if an updated version of this tool allows you to direct the air directly from the dryer without having to swap the wrapping attachments. What I really need is longer barrels — I have short-to-medium hair but still have to work in really small sections to get hair to fit. I can imagine users with longer hair getting frustrated.

Is it worth the cost?

Now let's talk about the elephant in the room: pricing. Honestly, compared to other high-tech stylers, the price of the Shark FlexStyle is more akin to a pony or other less intimidatingly sized (but definitely not tiny) animal. At just under $300, I'd consider this a do-able investment. Plus, if you're a Sephora Rouge member, you can get 20% off the tool right now!

Sephora also just dropped an exclusive version in a new black colorway. The limited-edition seven-piece set comes with the auto-wrap curlers, two brushes, a concentrator, a diffuser and its own case.

Shark FlexStyle Limited Edition

To be completely transparent, I was sent my device by the brand, but that's not to say I'm not already considering buying one for a future holiday or birthday gift. (And I definitely wouldn't count this one out for Mother's Day.)

After a few months of using it, my routine is getting shorter and shorter, my hair is feeling smoother (aka, no effects from the heat) and I'm getting a ton of compliments on my hair. Plus, I can dry and style my hair in less than 10 minutes. This tool may have messed with a three-decades long hair-drying tradition, but I can confidently say it was for the better.