If I prompted you to name the most powerful and popular hair dryer by a company that also makes vacuums, there’s one brand you’d probably think of. But the hairdryer market is surprisingly busy with lots of players all vying for your hard earned hair drying dollars. And while you’d probably name Dyson as your hairdryer and vacuum maker, Shark has stepped up to the plate with its new hair dryer, the Shark HyperAIR. Judging from the looks, it’s easy to conclude where Shark got its inspiration but can it out-blast the competition? I’ll give you the blow-down! (Somebody stop me!)
Shark HyperAIR hair dryer
The Shark Hyper Air hair dryer is a practical choice for many people who don’t have extra money to spend on performance or looks. It’s a capable dryer, that dried my hair very quickly, gave me a nice smooth blow out, plus it’s compact and light enough, with a long cord. It has some minor downsides to be aware of but I think the Shark HyperAIR is a good dryer for the money.
- Powerful motor
- Fast drying
- Concentrator adds versatility
- Almost too much blast force on high
- Noisier than others
I loved the Dyson Supersonic and found that its performance lived up to its design and cost to the point that I see Dyson as a synonym for exotic looking vacuums and hair dryers. So I’m excited to see if Shark measures up.
What’s so special about Shark Hyper Air?
The most appealing thing about the Shark Hyper Air to me is how it tries to match the Dyson Supersonic pound for pound and even exceed it in other areas while making the price more attractive. If you compare the Shark HyperAir ($229 CAD) model against the Dyson Supersonic ($499 CAD average), you get roughly 30% savings. It’s Samsung versus Apple all over again and I’m all for heavy competition on the high-end!
Dyson has that sleek and sexy thing going on while the Shark looks a bit more utilitarian with a wider barrel but still manages to emit a semi-premium aura. Also like the Dyson Supersonic, the Shark Hyper Air really lives up to its “hyper” claims with its powerful 1,600-watt motor (the same power by the way as the Dyson).
Settings and Controls
Using the Shark Hyper Air isn’t very difficult. After turning the hair dryer on through the button on the back of the handle, you can cycle through 3 fan speeds with one button on the rear of the barrel and cycle through 3 temperature settings with the adjacent button. Next to each setting is a trio of light indicators to help you easily check the hair dryer’s current setting. You can find the “cold shot” button on the front of the handle. One of the most unique aspects of the Shark Hyper Air is how its official attachments can serve as settings as well.
As soon as you connect an accessory, Shark will recognize it and automatically apply what it thinks is the most optimal combination of fan speed and temperature.
How does the 2-in-1 concentrator work?
The 2-in-1 concentrator comes with a slider offering you to select between pre-styling and precision styling modes. Using the pre-styling setting retracts the nozzle expanding the amount of space air can pass through. This is the ideal setting for rough drying and untangling. The precision styling mode covers a smaller and more concentrated area providing more control over shaping and bending. You can also rotate the entire 2-in-1 concentrator to keep it aligned with your brush.
Using Shark HyperAIR
I spent a couple of weeks with the hairdryer and used it both with the concentrator nozzle and without. The dryer feels durable, and looks good, if a bit on the basic side, particularly when compared to something like T3 Micro’s dryers, which are white and gold and pretty.
I found the dryer to be extremely powerful; almost too much so when used at high power. The air absolutely blasts out of the nozzle with force, and even though I was hoping that could speed the drying it was a bit much so my preferred setting was one level down from full blast. The Shark HyperAIR was able to rough dry my hair in a very quick four and a half minutes. Further smoothing and sectioning took about 3-4 minutes. This is about twice as long as the Dyson’s dry time, (you can see more in my review) but still pretty quick.
The concentrator nozzle seemed to work pretty well at directing airflow for more precise styling. It was a bit awkward to have to twist the nozzle to get the right angle and using the lever to adjust the airflow, but that would probably come with time.
My hair came out soft and smooth and decently bouncy. It was lacking some of that “smooth as glass” sheen that I do get with the Dyson Supersonic, but for those who’ve not had the opportunity to use both would probably never notice.
Overall the dryer seems quite capable.
Optional Attachments for the Hyper Air
What caught me a bit off guard was how Shark managed to innovate in the rest of their attachments as well. There are actually a few additional attachments that come with this dryer, like the IQ Curl-Defining Diffuser. This one has prongs you can optionally extend to really reach deep into the roots of longer hair. This diffuser is also larger allowing broader hair coverage resulting to shorter drying times overall. For additional drying and shaping flexibility, you can also rely on the Shark IQ AirWave which lets you shape your hair into gentle waves while drying. There’s an array of different styling attachments that clip in just like the concentrator nozzle, but since I don’t have them, I won’t go any deeper.
Cord length & weight
Shark HyperAir has a 8.2 ft / 2.5m power cord, which was more than long enough for my bathroom use. The HyperAIR isn’t too heavy and I was easily able to hold it up during my drying time.
I don’t have a decibel metre handy, but from my hands-on testing, the shark hyper air feels a bit noisier than some other dryers. It’s not unbearable or problematic, but it’s not as subtle as some of the aforementioned competition.
How to choose the best hair dryer?
I highly recommend you compare the spec sheets of each hair dryer before you dig deep into their unique technologies. The Shark did leave me with really good impressions with its price-to-performance ratio, but I can imagine some people still going for something like the Dyson if they want something that lighter to hold option or you like the looks of the Supersonic.
You should also define your hair types and figure out how far you can expand the hair dryer’s functionality through the attachments. Hair dryers with all the attachments included should give you savings for the most part, but it shouldn’t stop you from doing some math to see if the accessories that matter to you contribute to a price out of your reach.
What is ionization in a hair dryer?
The water in your hair is made of positively charged ions. Leaving these ions alone will destroy your hair’s cuticle unless you counteract them with a hair dryer that can seal the cuticle with negative ions through ionization. This is how ionic hair dryers manage to dry hair fairly quickly even at low temperatures. The Shark Hyper Air actually combines ionization with heat adaptation to create a nice balance of speed without damaging the hair.
Overall Thoughts on Shark HyperAIR Dryer
The Shark Hyper Air hair dryer is a practical choice for many people who don’t have extra money to spend on performance or looks.
While it’s not as sexy as the Dyson Supersonic, it’s a capable dryer. It dried my hair very quickly, gave me a nice smooth blow out, it’s compact and light enough, with a long cord. Downsides? It may be missing some of the finer points smooth as glass blow dry, the motor is probably a teeny bit noisy, plus manipulating the concentrator’s lever while holding dryer and brush might be a challenge for some.
Those minor points aside, I think the Shark HyperAIR is a good dryer for the money.
It sells for about $230, which is about half the price of a Dyson; money you can otherwise spend on other hair tools, product or trims. You can get it from Amazon or Best Buy.
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