The innovative tool has had mixed reviews since its launch last year. Here’s how beauty editor Lucy Partington (who notoriously cannot style her hair) got on when she tried it.
To say I’m rubbish at styling my own hair would be an understatement. It has a natural curl, I wash it every few days (although I only recently broke the habit of washing it every night), blast it dry and then straighten it.
Sometimes, if I’m in the mood, I’ll curl it with a tong (a skill I learnt literally about 18 months ago), but never anything else. It’s also worth knowing that it was only a couple of years ago that I stopped wearing it in a ponytail every day without fail, regardless of nothing.
I digress, but hopefully it’s obvious how much I lack any sort of styling skills.
When Dyson launched the AirWrap last September, I was intrigued but after I read the mixed reviews I decided it wasn’t worth the effort – or the cash – to try it.
But, after a visit to Dyson HQ earlier this month, my thoughts changed. I met with the engineers and scientists who developed AirWrap and the way they described the technology and how the tool works to style and set hair using nothing but literal air left me wanting to give it a go.
A few days later the Smooth + Control version arrived at the office.
It’s not cheap - £399.99 is a lot to spend on a styling tool – but it comes with six attachments. There are two 30mm barrels and two 40mm barrels (one clockwise, one anti-clockwise – clever), a smoothing brush and a ‘pre-styling dryer’, which essentially turns the it into a Dyson hairdryer, making it a does-it-all tool.
I watched a few tutorials before giving it a go (I found this one by Fleur de Force the most useful), washed my hair and started with the dryer attachment, using it until my hair was around 60% dry. Then I switched to the 30mm, clockwise barrel – I wanted beachy, loose curls.
It took a couple of attempts to get the knack of holding the styler in the right way and getting used to the way the way the air stream literally wraps hair around the barrel. But it definitely got easier - and quicker - as I worked my way around my head.
I took inch-wide sections, watched my hair dry and then switched to the cool shot to set the curl in place. Depending on the length of hair it did occasionally need a bit of a helping hand to make sure it was evenly wrapped around the barrel, but it’s the same when I use a tong.
In total it probably took me half an hour or so to style all of my mid-length hair. That’s around the same amount of time my usual routine takes, so although it’s not any quicker, it’s much better for the health of my hair given the fact I don’t use heat protector (the AirWrap doesn’t get any hotter than 150°C and anything above 185°C can damage hair).
The following morning I brushed out the curls, used a tong to add in a couple more and reshape those that had been flattened through the night, added some texturizing spray and was good to go.
I was surprised how soft my hair felt, there was no frizz at the roots and the curls held well all day. So far, so impressed.
A few days later I tried the smoothing brush attachment. It felt a bit retro but I was kind of into it. Being able to dry and straighten my hair in one go was game-changing and it did save me time, plus, once again again it left my hair feeling smoother than it had done for a while.
There was also a slight wave to it - no brush is ever going to make it poker straight but I liked it because it had masses of volume, something I could never in a million years create with my usual hair dryer and straightener combo.
I do wish I’d tried the AirWrap sooner, and although I haven’t fully replaced my straighteners with it just yet, I’m getting there. The curls are getting neater, the time it takes to style is getting (slightly) quicker and I think the condition is improving. My hair is definitely much shinier than it has been for a long time, too, which is never a bad thing
Would I recommend it? Yes, I really would - but only if you have the patience to sit and style your hair and if you have a bit of natural texture - whether that’s waves or curls or anything in between. I say that because I can’t account for how well styles will hold in straight hair, but if you live in London you can go into the Dyson store on Oxford Street for a blow-dry to try it out.
But me, the girl who famously cannot style her hair, she’s completely sold.
Dyson AirWrap Styler Smooth + Control, £399.99 is available to buy now.
Main image: Dyson