When it comes to high-end styling wands, two products are often brought up by stylists, vloggers, and influencers – the Shark FlexStyle and Dyson Airwrap. The Dyson Airwrap as a brand has been around for more than 4 years but its second revision just launched earlier this year and maintains its position as a luxury product. But Shark really shook up the space when they announced their FlexStyle product offering similar specs and some interesting attachments while costing less than half the price of the Airwrap. This is a classic battle between form and function and will serve as a basis as to which styler is best for you.
Technologies and Performance
One of the top reasons people go for either a FlexStyle or an Airwrap is their support for Coanda airflow technology which uses airflow to gently wrap (kinda suctioning) hair and create frizz-free curls. While both companies took different approaches to their accessories, both companies put a lot of effort into their technologies to ensure their products manage temperature well and deliver good results for various types of hair.
Shark FlexStyle: The FlexStyle’s key feature is its ability to become a blow dryer easily; the body of the styler twists, forming a fully functional L-shaped hair dryer. It won’t match the performance of dedicated hair dryers like Shark’s own HyperAIR product but it can help lessen the overall time of a styling session since you don’t need to plug in any extra beauty tools and only swap attachments.
On the specs end, the FlexStyle offers four different heat options and three airflow settings along with the usual cool shot button for locking in a setting. With 1,300 watts and a special temperature regulating feature, the FlexStyle delivers a good amount of drying power without damaging hair.
Dyson Airwrap: The Airwrap uses the same V9 digital motor as Dyson’s Supersonic hair dryer. It offers a similar level of customization as the FlexStyle with four heat settings and three speed options available. While you can use the Dyson Airwrap as a hair dryer, you must add the included Coanda smoothing dryer attachment.
Winner: Tie: The Shark FlexStyle boasts a similar spec sheet to the Airwrap while offering greater versatility with the hair dryer feature which is impressive even before you start comparing prices. We’ll call this a tie.
Weight and ergonomics are two of the most important things both Dyson and Shark took into consideration when designing their multi-stylers. Both stylers weigh about 1.5 pounds, which is adequate given their capabilities. But it’s easy to see their unique approaches to the designs given the price differences.
Shark FlexStyle: The Shark FlexStyle looks sleeker than the typical multi-styler. It lacks that extra fit and finish that has made Dyson products so iconic but then Dyson products are also very expensive. The hinged body might look unsightly to some but it’s still really cool how easy it is to transform the styling wand into a rather futuristic and compact hair dryer.
Dyson Airwrap: The Dyson Airwrap and its accessories look like they belong in a professional salon environment. The unit itself has a plastic housing but it feels high quality and looks luxurious with no distracting lines or cut-outs. The design is symmetrical too and adding a few accessories like the brush doesn’t distract from that balance. Attaching accessories is really simple and has that satisfying click. Plus Dyson has made this available in some premium finishes.
Winner: Dyson. Dyson’s careful, thoughtful design and premium materials give it a leg up on Shark.
Both Shark and Dyson take a “choose your own adventure” approach as they want to match your hairstyle with the proper bundle. With the Shark FlexStyle, you need to choose carefully because you cannot buy the accessories individually at the time of writing. Dyson presents less of a risk since they sell these accessories along with several other optional attachments.
Shark FlexStyle: The Shark FlexStyle lets you choose between the “Straight & Wavy” bundle which exclusively includes paddle brush and the “Curly & Coily” bundle which comes with the curl-defining diffuser. Both bundles come with a pair of 1.25-inch Auto-Wrap curlers, a styling concentrator, and an oval brush. If you have a tough time choosing the bundle you want, you may opt to build your own bundle on Shark’s official website.
Dyson Airwrap: The “Complete” and “Complete Coily/Curly” Airwrap bundles share these six common accessories – a Coanda smoothing dryer, dual Airwrap barrels measuring 1.2” and 1.6” respectively, a firm smoothing brush, a round volumizing brush, and a presentation case. Exclusive to the “Coily/Curly” bundle is the wide-tooth comb for detangling and lengthening hair while the “Complete” bundle offers a soft smoothing brush for straight hair styles. The “Long” bundle has the same accessories as the “Complete” bundle but the Airwrap barrels are longer.
Winner: Even though Airwrap’s second revision has an impressive showing, the lack of a diffuser could be a deal-breaker for those curly hair buyers. The FlexStyle has a smaller attachment ecosystem but the included accessories are more practical and worth the lower cost for more people. This one is a tie, only beacuse the choice is so personal.
Shark FlexStyle: Shark sells the FlexStyle on their website for $269.99 USD or $349.99 CAD.
Dyson Airwrap: The Dyson Airwrap sells for $749.99 USD or $599.99 CAD on their official website.
Winner: since most of us don’t want to needlessly spend more money than we have to, will give the price judgement to Shark.
It’s really though to pick a winner here. Shark has thoughtfully mimicked the pricey Dyson and it doesn’t feel like a knock-off. Even so, Dyson’s Airwrap is the original here, plus it’s well made and durable.
We’re going to leave this one to you, readers. Post your comments below and let us know which one you bought or which option you’d choose and why in our comments section.