The hair care space isn’t one that’s seen much tech innovation since handheld hair dryers went mainstream in the 1950s.
While there are flashy new products from time to time, most of us settle for the same-old, same-old: Gadgets that may help us look our best, but are a total pain to use.
So I jumped at the chance to test out the Dyson Supersonic, a $400 hair dryer that looks like something used in outer space. This product is said to be extremely powerful, super-fast, and capable of much more than turning my hair from wet to dry.
Not only did the Supersonic live up to my expectations, it went above and beyond. Here’s what using it was like:
Overcoming the sticker shock
The Supersonic is Dyson’s first foray into hair care. The company is predominantly known for its powerful and expensive vacuum cleaners, but it also makes hand dryers, lighting, and air purifiers.
Let’s get over the biggest hurdle first: Yes, the Supersonic costs $400.
It’s very difficult to get over the price tag. I’m almost positive I paid $18 at the drug store for my last hair dryer, and even a “nice” hair dryer costs in the $50-$100 range. Spending $400 seems absurd, and maybe it is.
But if you’re someone with challenging hair, or just someone who uses a hair dryer every day of your life, is it that crazy to invest?
After using the Dyson for a few weeks, I can definitively say yes.
Powerful yet quiet
The dryer is small and lightweight — about the general shape and size of a rubber mallet or maybe a meat tenderizer. Compared to current hair dryers, that alone is revolutionary: there’s no long snout and no extra weight to hold up while trying to dry the back of your head.
There are four heat settings and three fan settings, and the dryer comes with three interchangeable nozzles: A diffuser, a smoothing nozzle, and a concentrator, all of which snap onto the end with magnets. And the dryer itself is made out of a soft-to-the-touch material that looks and feels luxurious.
The first thing I noticed when turning it on is that there’s no slow ramp up or power down like other dryers. When you turn it on, you’re immediately hit with the full force of the air, and when you shut it off, it’s immediately silent. The Supersonic has 1,600 watts of power and an airflow of 85 cubic feet per minute (To give you some perspective, a typical Shop-Vac runs at 120 CFM. This thing is powerful).
The other difference from other dryers is the sound: It’s incredibly quiet for such a powerful machine and the frequency is different. I was able to use the dryer in the morning without bothering my sleeping roommates.