This Absurd $700 Dyson Hair Dryer Is Actually Worth It

No one should need or want a $699 hair dryer. The number one hair dryer on Amazon costs $50, the one under my sink cost $90 in 2003, and the one my hair dresser uses daily on clients costs between $120 and $200. A $U699 hair dryer is more than twice the price of anything else, but that doesn't matter, because Dyson, a company best known for its fancy vacuums, has made a hair dryer, and the damn thing might be the last you'll ever need.

All images: Alex Cranz/Gizmodo

Dyson has this irritating habit of making wildly expensive products that are actually kind of worth the money. Its vacuums suck up pet hair better than the other guys and are easier to service. Its fans are super quiet, and don't require a screw driver and patience to clean. The Supersonic hair dryer is even more overpriced than other Dyson products, but it is also an outstandingly good product. It solves most of the major problems of every other hair dryer on the market, while also drying hair faster and better.

To test it out I used it on my own very wavy and straight hair and my roommate tried it out on her super straight hair. Not exactly the most diverse of tests and other hair types may have very different results, but the roommate's hair is incredibly fine and brittle, while mine is so thick that it takes, on average, over thirty minutes to dry from a wet head. The Supersonic dried it in a fraction of the time. Most mornings I could hop out of the shower and have my hair dry and presentable in seven minutes or less.

"It's so smooth now," my roommate crooned over her own hair after use. That sentiment was shared by my coworkers after I got a blowout with the hair dryer on camera.

"Can I touch it," a coworker asked.

Drying hair requires a combination of heat and air movement. Hair dressers usually use expensive hair dryers that get incredibly hot incredibly quickly. These dry hair fast, but they end up creating frizz if the hair dresser isn't careful — which is why they usually switch to a no heat mode at some point (that's also why it takes longer to dry it at the salon than at home).

The Supersonic has a sensor inside that measures the heat of the air to keep it from ever getting too hot. I can't say I noticed that particular feature, but that's because for the first time ever I didn't have to crank the heat all the way up to get my hair dried fast. The Supersonic churns out a lot of air at an incredible rate — which helped instead.

Air intake is at the base of the handle, so you have to hold it a little higher than you might be used to.

Usually that kind of air flow requires an insanely loud hair dryer that makes anything but falling trees inaudible. Cleverly, Dyson moved the dryer's motor into the handle and uses the rest of the handle as a kind of silencer. The effect is a dryer you can use while still having a conversation.

Dropping the motor into the handle also better balances the dryer so it's not a top heavy irritation that leaves your shoulder sore. Because the motor is in the handle the air intake is moved down there as well. So that fear you have of your hair being sucked up through the back of your dryer and catching on fire? A thing of the past.

There are currently only three extensions available for the dryer, two concentrate airflow while the third is a big diffuser. The big missing extension is the hot comb one — super useful for people with extremely curly and natural hair. Attachments don't screw in or squeeze on, but instead attach via magnet.

The only time the attachments fell off was when I dropped the hair dryer onto concrete from five feet up. The attachment snapped back into place with ease, and the ding on the dryer rubbed away with a swipe of my thumb.

It seems like Dyson really has made the perfect hair dryer. So that insane $699 price tag almost feels reasonable. Dryers were flawed! This one is not! But the price itself is a major flaw. If you dry your hair once a month do not buy this dryer. If you dry it once a week then maybe, do not buy this dryer. If you're drying it every time you wash you're hair, or if you dry hair for a living, than yeah, start counting your dollars and considering that insane price tag, because this stupidly expensive hair dryer is worth it.

README

  • It's 700 damn dollars
  • But it does the job so damn well
  • Comes with three attachments, including a very good diffuser
  • But no comb extension
  • Super light
  • Super quiet
  • Dries hair faster than any other dryer
  • But seriously. It is $699.

Comments

    I wouldn't say it's worth $700 after watching a proper teardown and a half-arsed experiment showing it's drying abilities compared to a normal hairdryer.

    Not to mention the power usage!!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-vJxez9UF8

    Someone on youtube actually did a tear down and proper test on this found that the unit wasn't actually that powerful and was only a very small motor inside.

    The other thing was the power cord i remember he had to use like a hacksaw to open the thing.

      I think part of the point of Dyson's digital motors is that they are more efficient so they can be generally smaller, lighter, etc. And in terms of this hair dryer, it's supposed to optimise the flow of the air so they motor can be smaller and quieter again.

      I don't know if any of that is actually true or not but I think that's Dyson's claim, so just because it's a small and/or lower power motor doesn't necessarily mean it's bad.

      Last edited 14/10/16 1:48 pm

        "Digital motor" is the best bit of marketing they have graced the world with.

        Their "digital motor" is a fancy name for brushless DC motor, and you probably have at least half a dozen of those within 5 meters of you at any given moment of the day. (pc fans, refrigerator fans, etc, etc).
        The only thing i can think of in my house that's not a brushless fan is maybe some of my power tools (definitely my Dremel) or things that use AC fans like the airconditioner.

          "digital motor" is Dyson's take on the brushless motor, but I was using their marketing term specifically to highlight Dyson's claims that, if true, mean a small motor is to be expected.

          If Dyson's claim is true or not (and I'm extremely sceptical) can be tested but that didn't seem to be done in the tear down.

          VS now has a "digital motor" in their brushless 3Q. The difference being the Dyson could in my mind lay claim to being digital with the CPU controlled temperature regulation. The VS however is literally just a brushless motor.

      Motor size does not directly equate to power. Did they measure it's torque and rpm? Things that actually matter in a motor.

        Neither of those things actually matter when you're driving the thing differently via built in reducer / air multiplier either.

    I use a $19.99 towel from Target — my hair loves me for it.

    I'm not entirely keen on this site becoming a dyson advertisement as it has become recently. I can appreciate their engineering and R&D, but they make products for the 0.001% and price them at levels that are embarrassing considering a large part of the world can barely afford food.

    This is an expensive designer item, not some revolution.

      On the other hand, all their new release vacuums are $100 cheaper for the barrels, and $50 cheaper for the hand sticks than the previous models.

    Of course it dries your hair better, it costs more. Its a scientifically proven fact that it works better because it costs more, otherwise you'd be a fool

      There is NO better response to this article. You win!!!

    Meh... $700. My dog has a $50,000 hair dryer... it's called my Hilux...

      So not worth it, get a mighty-boy, same job less money.

      I had a woman buy a Supersonic to dry her dogs hair.

    Dyson has this irritating habit of making wildly expensive products that are actually kind of worth the money. Its vacuums suck up pet hair better than the other guys and are easier to service. Its fans are super quiet, and don’t require a screw driver and patience to clean.

    No. The only good product Dyson makes are its vacuums. Its fans are extremely noisy and have very little airflow. I absolutely regret buying a Dyson fan a while back and since hair dryers are basically just small fans, I see no reason to give them the benefit of the doubt, especially not for something that costs 20 times what it needs to.

      Guessing you have a gen1 fan? They were stupid loud.

        Had an AM04 (first generation hot/cool fan) that was replaced with an AM05 in the recall. Both models were noisy with bad airflow. I only use it as a backup any more, I have an old fan heater that's quieter, and a Vornado fan for hot days that puts every Dyson fan to shame on airflow and is quieter on its highest setting than the Dyson is on its lowest.

          I don't remember ever hearing an AM05 as loud as a Vornado. Vornado's move a crapload of air though, more designed to point at the corner of a room and create mass circulation. They turn your whole room into a fan.

          Last edited 15/10/16 10:44 am

    Why are people so surprised by the cost?

    It's a mainly female orientated hair product, of course the top of the price list is going to be expensive!

    Your waste of money is someone else's daily essential item. Most girls I've met seem to think a games console or high-end laptop is a waste of cash but that hasn't stopped me buying them!

    Can't speak for this product but my wife has a pair of hair straighteners she bought 13 years ago for $300 and they still work perfectly today. This is a Dyson so you would expect a 10 year lifespan, so at 20c a day that's pretty cheap!

      You can't buy a $40 PS4, but you can buy a $40 hairdryer that will do the job.

        You could get a ps1 for $40. Does the same job.

          That's not really a good comparison. A PS4's job is to play PS4-generation games, something a PS1 can't do. This hair dryer's job is to dry your hair quickly without burning it, something a $40 hair dryer can do. Temperature sensors that adjust heat have been around for decades (Phillips has one that costs $50) and even professional salon hair dryers seem to average around $150-200.

          The Dyson might last ten years, but that Phillips $50 one I mentioned has a two year manufacturer warranty and the same functional features as the Dyson, but slightly less airflow. Even if you have to buy five of them, that's still 7c a day or 65% cheaper.

            The only Philips I'd consider worth comparing is the HP4997 at $200. Also though, because it's a Philips and not Dyson, you can save $70 by waiting for a sale. Besides the Dyson it's really the only hairdryer I've tested with a nice, constant, consistent heat. Every single $50 hairdryer is god awful with hot spots. The HP4997 is heavier than the Dyson, but also has a nifty styling reducer with a spring loaded exhaust on it to reduce pressure and heat when needed, and a 5 year warranty.

              I have a buzz cut so hair dryers aren't really my area of expertise any more, but 15 years ago I had hair down to my waist. Used a cheap $30ish hair dryer, never had a problem with bad heat or frizzing, and it never took more than 5 minutes to dry my hair. Maybe I was just lucky with good hair or something, but I just don't see there being so much difference to justify the jump from $50 to $700. $200 seems reasonable for a high end machine but I wouldn't ever go much higher.

                I went the other way, I always had a buzz cut, then I realised hangon, all my friends are bald and I'm not, flaunt it and grew my hair haha. As a guy though the most I'll really use a hair dryer for is 30ish to 60 seconds, it's the missus where the huge differences come. Going from a mid range VS recently to grabbing that Philips Pro it takes her less time, her hair is less frizzy, shinier and not so greasy, etc. It was noticeable from the first time she used it. Plus most hair dryers are poorly balanced, while the Philips isn't as light as the Dyson and doesn't have the motor in the handle, it's pretty well balanced, and as someone who's broken their wrist I notice that type of thing very quickly.

                Most of the barbers seem to be using Parlux now, but even then I don't really feel their heat is quite consistent enough, and the handles seem a little too retro looking vs comfortable to hold.

                Last edited 15/10/16 10:50 am

            For the record I love consoles and have never used a hairdryer, but to someone who cares more about their hair than video games, they both do the same thing, play video games!

            There are girls who want to look their best and would use a hairdryer every day, this item would be like a PS4 to them and your Philips one would be like a PS1 in quality.

            Premium / designer products are never proportionally priced based on how good they are. The top phones sell for $1100+ these days yet have been proven to contain $300 worth of parts, you pay extra for the brand, even if the product isn't 4 times better than its $300 competitor.

    Really! It's a feckin hairdryer. Doesn't matter how you dress it up. What Mental defectives would pay £300 for a hairdryer? You need a padded cell.

    Is it awesome? Is it a hairdryer built how hairdryers have never been built before? Sure.

    Should an item 3x the price of other high end items in its segment at least be complimented with a high end warranty. Yea, definitely.

    If I buy a Vitamix it has a 7 year warranty. Hell our Philips hairdryer has a 5 year warranty. The warranty on the Dyson Supersonic just isn't good enough, and doesn't inspire $700 worth of confidence in a new to market product.

    "Dyson has this irritating habit of making wildly expensive products that are actually kind of worth the money."

    No they don't. It's just marketing bullshit.

    I was hoping Campbell Simpson had written this article!

    My cat tripped on the cable for my Dyson (this is my 5th time using it) and it fell from the table around 2.5ft. It completely stopped working after and wont even light up - how does yours work from 5ft and concrete? Is there anyway I can troubleshoot or fix it?

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