The Dyson Supersonic hair dryer is an expensive gadget, with a price tag of $549, which seems even more obscene given that you can pick up a perfectly serviceable one for $30. So is it worth it? That depends.
If you're the kind of person who's happy with a cheap pair of earphones because they blast out tunes and that's all you need them to do, then probably not. Your hair is going to be dry either way, and if that's all your end goal is, there's no need to fork out hundreds of pounds when you can get the same end result for a tenth of the price.
However, if hair care is important to you, your routine is rushed, or you have no budget constraints, then you should seriously consider the Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer; look at it as an investment in your hair health that'll make your day-to-day routine go from 'ho-hum' to 'ho-boy, it's dry already?? And feel how soft!'
The hairdryer itself is lightweight, with a filter in the handle that's super easy to clean, and is less cumbersome than the usual fare you'd find in the electronics department. It has a generous cable length of 2.7 metres so that you can wander around multitasking without accidentally yanking the plug out of the socket.
In the box, you'll also find a non-slip heatproof mat, which you can always co opt for your straighteners or curling irons if you don't think the dryer is reaching carpet-melting temperatures, and a tiny little looped cord that that the website is calling a storage hanger and you're never going to use. Basically, the box has everything you need in to whip it out and start maintaining that mane.
For such a compact design, you're losing nothing when it comes to airflow power, and while the claims on the box may sound like marketing mumbo jumbo, there's a measurable difference using a Dyson dryer compared to one you might pick up at Boots or order from Amazon, and that's essentially what you're paying for. It's airflow is powerful, thanks to the Air Multiplier tech that amplifies airflow by three times. You won't have to worry about extreme heat with intelligent heat control that measures air temperature 20 time per second, and that V9 digital motor which operates at up to 110,000 rpm dries your fast. As someone who usually has to take around 20 minutes at least to get all of their hair dry, the Supersonic has cut my hair drying time significantly. And if that wasn't enough, my hair felt noticeably smoother after using it. Dyson attributes this to negative ions and reduced heat, that minimise static and protect strands making them less porous, giving each one a smooth - and therefore shiny - finish.
The Supersonic comes with three attachments as standard: a smoothing nozzle, a styling concentrator, and a diffuser. Dyson released a further two attachments last year with the gentle air attachment for fine hair, and the wide tooth comb for textured hair. All of them are magnetic and snap on and off the body of the dryer with an ease that'll make you wonder how you managed before this sleek little wand came into your life.
It's doubtful you'll regularly use them all, but they very much all do their own thing as advertised. Only a couple were suitable for my hair, leaving me flitting between the larger smoothing nozzle and the diffuser. The style concentrator is great for focusing air onto sections of hair at a time, but I've never managed to blow dry my hair straight, so I rough dry and follow up with straighteners.
The wider, thinner nozzle would certainly make the feat easier if I chose to tackle it. The gentle air attachment looks like a tiny, stubby, knobbly ring, and diffuses the air stream so that it's more gentle, and cooler for those with fine hair and sensitive scalps, while the wide tooth comb attachment has a number of sturdy teeth to help style curly and textured hair as it dries.
There are three airflow settings (fast, medium, and gentle), and four heat settings, including a constant cold mode. There's also the typical cold shot button featured on every hair dryer, that switches to a cool temperatures so you can blast and set your style. While it makes noise - obviously - it's in a different ballpark to the loud droning you've become accustomed to over the years. It sounds efficient. On top of all of that, it looks great, with a halo of colour lining one end of the barrel, and a muted matte finish.
I have pretty thick, course hair, that is a world away from being straight and reeks of insolence. It very much has its own agenda, which includes hulking out of the confines of hair bobbles, sending them pinging across the room, and waging war with combs and hairbrushes. Once preened, it looks great, but that's a lot of effort that I'm not willing to put in, frankly.
The Dyson Supersonic doesn't come kitted out with stylist capabilities, which would be as great as it would be impossible, but it significantly shortens the amount of time needed to dry your hair, and left mine feeling noticeably different and much-improved after giving it a blast. I'm still rocking my low maintenance look, but now it looks sleeker and behaves for longer - even overnight.
You take for granted the small things the Supersonic offers until you're using a bog standard hair dryer again, and while it's not revolutionising how we dry our hair, it's certainly enough of an evolution that you should fork out if you can, or add it to your Christmas list. Sure, you can get by without it, but given the option, you wouldn't want to.
This post originally appeared on Gizmodo UK, which is gobbling up the news in a different timezone.