This year Dyson perked up our homes by introducing the V8 vacuum cleaner and improved air quality around our house.
And now, my hair will also get some much deserved attention — while sitting at home! An introduction that turned almost instantly into addiction… the more I use it, the more I need it.
Claimed to be the quietest, fastest and most hair-friendly hairdryer in existence — the tech geniuses at Dyson have turned this morbid machine that hadn’t seen much change since its very inception, into one that’s gonna save you multiple trips to the salon, and quite a bit of money in the long run.
The Dyson lands up in our office. The happy (and the only) volunteer with long hair steps up to do the job of finding out how good this really is. But, no matter how good the looks are, it’s the price that’s a huge, huge deciding factor for a consumer item as basic as this.
So is this the best hairdryer that mankind has seen and is the price tag worthy of the big spend? Let’s just say, it might be a bit steep, but if you calculate the cost of your annual visits to the salon (if you’re a regular, like me), the money you spend on the damage caused by frequent blow drying, the salon appointments that you have to plan your day around, and of course, the customary tips — do the math, you’ll recover your money in less than a year.
Design: Old, meet the new
We’re all used to hairdryers that have large backsides that remind one of some Bollywood leading ladies from the 70s. This big fat posterior is what houses the large motors in conventional hairdryers, making them heavy and inconvenient for frequent home use. Pick up any model from any brand and that’s one thing that has remained constant, since the time the hot air and hair became best friends.
An overhaul in the drying space was largely overdue and that’s exactly what Dyson has served to us, on a very expensive platter. These good folks have taken the hairdryer to finishing school; fit it with a much smaller digital motor that cuts the noise down to almost half; put it in the handle, making it look more proportionate; skimmed the fat from its derrière and given the old machine a whole new metallic look.
There’s an immense amount of engineering involved, mind you! A silicone mount between the V9 motor and the handle, for instance, is largely responsible for cutting the sound and vibration, aside from the smaller motor impeller with aerodynamic blades that help reduce sound frequency. But that’s the textbook reference. The difference in weight is substantially evident from the word go. You lift it and you feel it.
The task at hand is achieved with regular hairdryers as well. But hair health is important; and damage-free, shine induced hair is an exorbitant promise they have managed to deliver.
Personally, I haven’t ever been satisfied using a dryer at home. Every attempt has resulted in hair even more unmanageable than what I started with, only to end up tying it up to avoid the full extent of the disaster. Besides, you give up halfway, beaten by the heavyweight.
The lightweight (or not-so-loud) performer
By the time I got my hands on this one, I was no stranger to the world of hairdryers. Up until this point, I’ve invested a lot of emotion in the art of blow-drying in general and a lot of money in the instruments required for the job in particular.
Not that one machine has been all that different from the other — of course, the power, performance, and results achieved by each is different — but every penny spent (though far less in comparison) has been regretted sooner or later.
Firstly, no matter how enthusiastic you are about wanting to save those trips to the salon, you almost never get around to executing the mammoth task of accomplishing a blowout on your own. Secondly, with schedules like ours, where’s the bloody time for self-help?
The Dyson Supersonic is relatively lighter than anything I’ve used so far, but the cherry on this cake is the fact that it lives up to a very critical promise — that of being a silent performer. It’s a hairdryer, after all. It can’t be muted, but the voice cords of this sleek machine have been efficiently reduced enough to ensure you can still clearly hear the voices in your head. It’s a testimony to the massive investment Dyson has made in making anechoic chambers to fine-tune the sound and extract a resonant frequency that is more soothing than the usual whine.
The other crucial claim — that of effective, fast drying and adding shine — that’s under control as well. Truly speaking, though I've never timed blow-dries before, I know for certain that at the salon it’s an hour-long ritual that entails washing, drying and styling. It’s engineered to protect hair from extreme damage and the dedicated button for a cold shot is rather a practical one. The cold shot at 28° C helps set hair after styling, but that’s more appropriate for salon use.
Home drying, on the other hand, is all about getting the job done. Wash, dry and get the hell on with your day. Was there a remarkable difference in a home blow dry by Dyson as compared to another of its species? The claim of being quick like a whistle is true, and ooh, the shine post drying is enviable.
Magnetic fields and high velocity jet of air
Dyson’s army of styling attachments aren’t like your regular ones. No twisting and turning involved here - just point and snap to get the job done. Rotate and pull slightly to disengage.
$71 million, four years and 1625 km of human hair is all it took to produce this marvel. No wonder then a good hair day doesn’t come cheap. Yes, we agree that a salon stylist would do a better styling job any given day, but a quick dry, frizz-free shiny hair is what a lady’s morning dreams are made of.
Temperature control is vital if you style your hair on a regular basis, that’s why we appreciate the intelligent heat control that prevents the temperature from exceeding beyond 150° C, beyond which the major damage is caused.
The ergonomics are also spot on! Moving the motor to the handle has been a bliss. The dryer handle that would earlier weigh you down is now smoother to hold and lighter. The handle provides a balance of sorts on the overall aesthetic, but it can be a little irksome for some. Though it lacks grooves that ensure grip, the anti-slip coating ensures it’s not at a risk of falling out of your hand.
Their Air Multiplier technology is developed after rigorous R&D. Forcing high speed through miniscule apertures and concentrated airflow is better seen than written about. The heat and speed settings are aesthetically concealed in the main body that takes some getting used to since these aren’t placed at their usual spots on the handle.
The real challenge is to store the large apparatus and its gear. Though a storage case is available, it’s a few more thousands out of your pocket to keep the expensive artifact in style.
Dyson Supersonic Verdict
After using it for three weeks, I’d call myself an addict. Would I buy one for myself? Maybe I do spend a fair amount of money on professional styling, and no matter how long they last and how good they are, damage by way of causing extreme dryness and making hair fragile is an unavoidable side effect of the process. But three weeks in, my hair is shiny, less damaged than before, and the fact that the drying time is less than half of that spent at the salon is an added bonus.
I’ve used cheaper alternatives, sometimes combinations of dryer/drying brush and stylers or straightener, but that’s a time consuming regime and needs to be planned ahead. It’s been a vicious circle of spending on styling equipment, realising how time consuming they are and then ultimately landing up at the salon. That problem, for one, seems to have been solved with the Supersonic.