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Dyson Airwrap review: A more natural look with less heat damage

The Dyson Airwrap offers an innovative way of styling your hair, which is both simple and effective — but pricey

Dyson Airwrap case
(Image: © Dyson)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Dyson Airwrap provides an easy way to style your hair which anyone can use. While the technique takes some getting used to, it provides a more natural look versus traditional curling irons.

Pros

  • +

    Creates less heat damage

  • +

    You can reach the back of your head with ease

  • +

    Multiple styles to choose from

  • +

    Comes with attractive case

Cons

  • -

    Takes up a lot of space

  • -

    Fairly noisy

  • -

    Expensive

Dyson Airwrap: Specs

Voltage: 220-240
Weight: 7.8 pounds
Dimensions: 6.5 x 15 x 7 inches
Accessories included: Pre-styling dryer, 30mm Airwrap barrels, 40mm Airwrap barrels, Firm smoothing brush, Soft smoothing brush, Round volumising brush, Storage case, Non-slip mat, Filter cleaning brush

The Dyson Airwrap Complete Styler is a unique device in that it uses air to help style your hair. In doing this, it doesn’t cause as much heat damage as traditional methods. Plus, it comes with a selection of tools to suit different hair types and to provide a range of style options.

Will this appliance live up to its reputation, or is it all hype? Find out how it fared in our Dyson Airwrap review. If you want to know more, check out 5 things I’ve learned from using the Dyson Airwrap.

Dyson Airwrap review: Price and availability 

The Dyson Airwrap comes with a steep price tag of $549.99/£479.99 and is available in nickel/fuchsia and black/purple colorways. There are also nickel/copper and blue/copper options in the UK. 

Dyson also makes a Long version for the same price which is the better option for longer hair. This features longer barrels, but is otherwise the same.   

Dyson Airwrap review: Design 

On first opening the Dyson Airwrap’s case, you can’t help but feel impressed. The quality of every attachment feels premium and there’s a good range of styling options. Two sizes of barrels are supplied (30mm and 40mm), so you can opt for larger curls if you want. While both a soft smoothing brush and firm smoothing brush caters for different hair types — the firm bristles are better for frizz-prone hair.

Dyson Airwrap contents in case

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Everything fits in the storage case neatly. However because of the generous number of attachments, it does take up some space. The whole thing measures 15 x 7 x 6.5 inches and weighs almost 8 pounds, so you’re not going to want to move it around often. You’re more likely to pick out your favorite attachments and store those for easy access; it doesn’t come with a travel pouch, which was a bit disappointing in my opinion. If you do decide to keep the storage case on display, it will look the part with a faux-leather finish and a magnetic clasp to close.

Dyson Airwrap case

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

On the main body of the Dyson Airwrap, you’ll find three temperature settings, which includes a cold mode to set the style, three airflow speeds and a main power switch. On the reverse, there’s a trigger to release the attachments when you exchange heads. There’s also a filter cage at the base which is removable for cleaning. Each of the barrel-shaped attachments features a ‘cool tip’ at the top to prevent you burning your fingers when switching.

Dyson Airwrap review: Performance

It’s quick and easy to remove and fit each attachment on the base, which is a relief as you need to do it often to alternate the curl direction. While the attachments felt hot at times during switching, it wasn’t anywhere near hot enough to scald.

Dyson Airwrap contents

(Image credit: Dyson)

Dyson provides a non-slip mat to prevent the attachments from burning your table, but I did find that the surface area of the mat was a bit small, and could only hold a couple of attachments, plus the base at a time. The mat also doesn’t have the best grip as it’s made of the same faux-leather material as the case. So if you’re not using it on a flat surface, be prepared for the attachments to slide off.

While I would say the Dyson Airwrap is quieter than a standard hairdryer, it is quite high-pitched, almost like a dentist’s drill. So it’s still likely to wake the house up first thing in the morning. If you’re using it in curling mode and repeatedly switching it on and off, it can also get a bit annoying for others.

The weight of the Dyson Airwrap doesn’t feel like much at first, but depending on how long you need to hold it, your arms can grow weary over time. I found my arm grew tired after about 10 minutes and I had to keep switching hands. This is not a problem if you’re attempting a quick style, but be prepared if you’re curling every last strand. It might be worth investing in the best adjustable dumbbells to get your arm strength up.

You need to partially dry your hair using the pre-styling dryer before you can use the Airwrap’s other tools. Your hair should still be damp, but not wet for the best results. It is tricky to fathom how dry your hair should be at first, but you soon get used to this — it essentially needs to be dry enough that the Airwrap can finish the job with the selected styling tool. The pre-styling dryer is easy to use, with a design almost like a mini Dyson air purifier. Just aim and loosely dry.

I used the curling barrels the most, mainly because I was mesmerized by the process. You need to hold the Airwrap at the correct angle to suck in each strand of hair from its end. And then hold for a few seconds to dry in place, and finally cool it to set. It doesn’t take long at all and the curls sit just as well as they would with a curling wand. My only issue with the process was switching heads to alternate the curls, which was admittedly tedious. Although, Dyson has already said this issue will be resolved with the next big upgrade.

I did love how easy and safe it was to reach around the back of my head without burning myself though, which is a definite plus. The final look was natural and I was happy with it, although my first attempt was pretty messy — you need to practice to get the best results.

Dyson Airwrap curling iron

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

I found using the smoothing brush attachments much more quick to style with. The only issue here was controlling my hair and keeping it in place as I brushed; if I tried to brush from underneath to add some volume, my hair would just blow away. Luckily the round volumising brush had much better grip and was a lot more effective for this kind of styling. I was pleased with the overall result which was sleek and tidy, but I will say I’ve seen a very similar performance from the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer which comes at a much cheaper price.

Whichever attachments I used, my roots still felt damp in places once I’d finished. Perhaps I need to dry more thoroughly before styling, or perhaps the Airwrap can’t dry quite as effectively as standard hair dryers. In either case, it’s not ideal if you’re immediately going out in the colder weather. You could style it without washing your hair to keep the roots dry, but you would need to dampen the ends with water.

Dyson Airwrap review: Verdict 

Ultimately, the Dyson Airwrap can help you achieve a glamorous look without much fuss or effort. While some heat is present as you dry your hair, it’s nowhere as much as using ceramic hair tools, so it’s a better method for styling in terms of hair-health. The technique definitely takes some getting used to and you will need to learn how to get the best results. However, the final look is natural and holds fairly well.

However, $550 is a lot of money to spend on hair care, which is why a number of Dyson Airwrap alternatives have popped up. If you’re only interested in straight drying styles, I’d recommend the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer instead. This produced similar results, and is much more friendly on the wallet. But, if you want bouncy curls on a daily basis, and you’re wary of heat damage, the Dyson Airwrap is the best bet.   

Katie Mortram
Homes Editor

Katie looks after everything homes-related, from kitchen appliances to gardening tools. She also covers smart home products too, so is the best point of contact for any household advice! She has tested and reviewed kitchen appliances for over 6 years, so she knows what to look for when finding the best. Her favorite thing to test has to be stand mixers as she loves to bake in her spare time.