About four years ago I got to spend a glorious week with a Dyson Supersonic hair dryer. I loved my 7 days with what was at the time billed as one of the most advanced (and expensive) hair dryers ever made. Ever since I’ve been wondering about the long term; was the Dyson test a fad and I was just giddy with anticipation? Or is this hair dryer really something I should have just bought for myself back then and never looked back.
Dyson Supersonic hair dryer review
I recently had the opportunity to spend some more quality time with the Dyson Supersonic so I could revisit that initial experience, and see if I feel the same way after being able to use it more often and more regularly.
For those who may be unfamiliar, Dyson, makers of cyclonic bagless vacuums and bladeless fans and heaters announced its new hair dryer probably about 4-5 years ago now and it almost instantly achieved cult status. The Supersonic hair dryer features similar technology to its other products, but refined and on a much smaller scale.
The hair dryer looks completely different from traditional dryers. For starters it’s shaped like a cylinder and is open in the middle. It’s flat on both ends so it resembles a tube. That’s because the motor is not in the head of the dryer like traditional models, in Dyson’s case it’s in the handle.
Dyson Supersonic: What’s in the box
I received one of Dyson’s special gift sets, which arrives in a beautiful leather box with a plush interior. The box is a beautiful place to store your Supersonic when it’s not in use and looks luxe on the bathroom shelf (or you could use it to store makeup too!)
The dryer comes with a long, heavy duty cord (that’s 2.7m) and it does have a large and boxy electrical unit near the plug. There’s probably more than enough cord for most home users, and even for a salon. Indeed, Dyson describes this cord as “salon length”.
There’s a diffuser cone for managing curly hair, two styling nozzles that attach with magnets (very clever!), a rubber mat, and a string loop for hanging.
Dyson Supersonic Features
The Dyson dryer has some smart features that make you wonder why no one thought of them before the Dyson engineering team did.
Dyson Accessories attach with Magnets
For starters, the nozzle attachments snap on with strong magnets, making attaching and detaching them ultra easy.
Computer guts inside Supersonic
The dryer contains a computer microprocessor, which Dyson says is constantly measuring temperature, so it’s able to hold its heat settings more accurately, longer. Dyson says the ability to do that helps protect your hair’s natural shine.
Dyson Supersonic has better weight & balance
Dyson chose to place the motor for the dryer into the handle, which results in a better balance for the device. No longer will your blow dryer feel heavy after lengthy drying sessions (plus this dryer aims to cut drying time anyhow). With the bulk of the weight in the handle, it feels less heavy in your hands.
Supersonic has Ionic technology
Plenty of hair dryers today come with ‘ionic’ technology which is said to reduce frizz and static, and Dyson’s Supersonic does too. Negative ions are emitted from this dryer which should make things easier on your hair. I’ll report back…
Heat and airflow settings in Dyson Supersonic
The Supersonic has 4 heat settings; 100°C, said to be for fast drying and styling, 80°C which Dyson labels ‘regular drying,’ 60°C for gentle drying, and a 28°C ‘constant cold’ setting for cooling, smoothing and setting your style.
Similarly, speed of the airflow is adjustable to three different levels; there’s ultra high for fast drying, regular and low.
How Dyson Supersonic hair dryer works
The Supersonic dryer has 1600 watts of power. While that sounds like a lot, it’s actually quite common in professional or even drug store hair dryers.
It’s the technology in this hair dryer that makes the difference. For those that want to understand what’s going on here, a tiny microprocessor keeps things working as they should; you basically have a mini computer packed right inside the dryer walls. The motor that powers the airflow is just a scant 2.7 cm wide, compared to other dryers like my Conair which is 10cm wide.
Because Dyson’s motor is so small, it’s housed in the handle, which allows for a more balanced tool; all the weight is in your hand, not the back of the dryer head, so it tends not to pull your arm and wrist downwards.
A rubber mount helps to prevent the motor from vibrating against the inside of the handle, reducing the transfer of noise between the motor and the case. Even so I wouldn’t call this dryer quiet.
Dyson’s Air Multiplication technology
Dyson uses its Air Multiplication technology to create more airflow in this dryer. The Supersonic takes that power and in essence forces more air through the tool which gives this dryer its strong air flow.
Testing & My Review – Dyson Supersonic hair dryer
I usually only dry my hair two or three times per week, mainly to try to keep it healthy, but also out of laziness; I feel like it takes up time needlessly.
With the Dyson Supersonic, I noticed right away that my drying time is shortened significantly, a huge plus. The other thing that’s immediately apparent is how soft my hair feels after drying. Like silk. My hair is easily as silky as it’s ever felt.
I decided to time my dry time with both the Dyson and my old Conair.
Timed tests – Dyson vs Conair
I did several timed tests with the Dyson Supersonic; you can see some of the results in my video review posted here.
On one test, The Dyson was able to dry my hair almost fully in about 2 minutes using the highest heat and airflow settings. Then, I needed about a further 3 minutes to finish the drying, and to smooth and style individual sections using high heat but medium airflow and one of the styling nozzles. I noticed that when I was doing the final stage smoothing, I only needed to go over each section once with the Dyson before it was dry and in place.
With another dryer, it took me about 2 minutes and 40 seconds to get to the mostly-dry stage, then a further 5-plus minutes to get my hair smoothed and styled. I needed at least two passes on the smoothing stage to get the job done.
It’s worth noting that I still needed to flat-iron my hair for that shiny finished look even with the Dyson.
Probably once of the biggest surprises for me from this test was that I actually spend a lot less time blow drying my hair than I thought I did. If you’d asked me before I did any of this testing, I’d have guessed that it takes me 20 minutes to dry my hair. Turns out that I’m only taking about 5 minutes with my other dryer. The Dyson drops that to about 3 or 4. So yes, the Dyson does save time, the question is, is it enough to justify the $500 price? Perhaps if you have a lot more hair than I do, or a thicker mane, you’d be shaving off even more time using the Dyson.
Dyson Supersonic Results: Hair feel
I notice a definite difference with the Dyson Supersonic that would actually make me buy this dryer. My hair feels insanely soft. I couldn’t tell you if there’s one specific aspect of the dryer that gets the credit, but my hair feels soft, silky, smooth and seems to keep free of tangles all day long. These effects last into the next days.
Overall review – Dyson Supersonic
I really like the Dyson Supersonic. I love the fact it was quicker than my old dryer, and generated less scorching heat. I also felt like my hair was softer and smoother after being dried with the Dyson, and I continue to marvel over how silky my hair feels on days when I use the Dyson dryer.
If I were to make any improvements to this device it would be to make it quieter (because that would be another revolution), and to get rid of the annoyingly large electrical box on the cable. Obviously I’m not an engineer and don’t know if these are even realistic suggestions, but from a consumer standpoint, those are my thoughts.
So, would I buy this hair dryer for myself? Oh, man, I really want to… because it made my hair feel great. At $500CAD it is definitely an investment.
Bottom line; if you can afford this dryer, if you dry your hair daily, if you’ve got lots of hair, or your lifestyle is such that a few minutes are worth getting back, you’ll love it!
The Dyson Supersonic sells for $499 CAD on Dyson’s website or on Amazon.
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