Let’s get this out of the way first and foremost: The Dyson Airwrap costs a pretty penny. At $549, there’s no wonder one of the most-searched questions for this futuristic hair tool is “Is the Dyson Airwrap worth it?”
And that’s just the question we sought out to answer when three of our editors — all with different hair types and textures — tested out the multifunctional styler for ourselves.
Dyson’s foray into the hair tool world started with the Supersonic, the cult-favorite high-end hair dryer known for cutting down dry times drastically (which we also tested and, spoiler, loved). Two years later, in 2018, the company launched the Airwrap, a device with multiple attachments that allows you to curl, wave, smooth and dry hair. Bonus? It does all of the above without the use of extreme heat, but rather a powerful airflow — one that actually grabs your hair for you to create curls and waves rather than requiring you to twirl your hair manually — combined with controlled heat. Cue that big ol’ price tag.
A quick rundown of the Airwrap’s specs: It’s a multipurpose hair tool that, in short, comes with a boatload of attachments, all of which snap on and off easily. There are four curling barrels (two 1.2-inch and two 1.6-inch) for tighter and looser curls, respectively. In each set, one barrel is intended for the left side of your hair and the other for the right side, as they each twist your hair in a different direction. (So smart.) Then there are two smoothing brushes, one with firm bristles and another with softer ones, plus a round brush. Finally, the set includes a “pre-styling” dryer attachment for general drying, which we felt was very similar to the quality and function of the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer. (We also appreciated that the cord is 8 feet long, which is a plus if there’s some distance between your mirror and the nearest outlet.)
So, the big question: How well does this thing work? Three editors, all with different hair types — one with curly, fine hair, another with 4b curls who wears extensions and one with wavy-to-curly, thick, dry hair — all found the tool to be excellent at curling and smoothing our hair alike.
For two of us who are notoriously terrible and uncoordinated when using a traditional curling iron, using this magical device was like a breath of fresh air. We loved that we didn’t have to worry about burning our fingers in the process, as the Airwrap doesn’t use extreme heat to do its thing. Instead, it literally grabs your hair and wraps it around the barrel (hence its name) using an incredibly powerful airflow, though you do have the option to control both the heat setting and airflow level, including a cool shot. What’s even more convenient is that you don’t have to go through the added step of completely drying your hair before you curl it: The Airwrap works best on damp hair, meaning all you need to do is lightly dry it with the included attachment (or air-dry, if that works with your hair type) before using the barrels. And because it doesn’t use intense heat, you won’t have to worry about any catastrophic heat damage with regular use.
We thought it was the most efficient curling method we’d ever used, though as with any new hair tool, there is always a bit of a learning curve. You’ll need to keep the tool vertical while using it, rather than holding it at an angle, to ensure proper airflow. And it might take a few tries to nail down your ideal curl shape (e.g., you can can start in the middle or at the ends of your hair to get a different result), but once you’ve got it down, we’re confident in saying that there is no easier (and less damaging) way to curl your hair out there.
Our one gripe is that our curls didn’t seem to last as long as we would have hoped, leaving us, after about two hours, with more of a (still very pretty!) beachy-wave look rather than defined curls — so we’d suggest using a product to help them maintain their shape. Depending on your hair type and texture, we’d recommend Tresemmé Compressed Extend Hairspray ($6.89; target.com), Fantasia Liquid Mousse Spritz Super Hold ($12; amazon.com) or Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray ($26; sephora.com), ideally spritzing product into your hair before and after curling for the best results.
As for the other attachments, they also impressed us. Our editor with 4b curls used one of the brush attachments to refresh her hair and it produced the same effect as a blowout, leaving it feeling super smooth and silky — and our editor with fine, curly hair easily straightened her hair with the brush attachment as well.
Bottom line: Overall, we were incredibly impressed with the Airwrap. If you’re someone who styles their hair regularly — whether that’s blowing out, straightening or curling your hair, or a healthy dose of all three — you’ll be impressed too. Sure, the price tag packs a little sticker shock, but for a tool that’s essentially a top-of-the-line hair dryer and curler all in one, and provides a salon-quality result? Think of all that money you’ll save on professional blowouts! We’d say it’s certainly worth it for someone who puts this to use on a regular basis. And the ultimate gift for the beauty lover in your life. (Perhaps you missed the boat on Christmas, but Valentine’s Day is creeping up soon — just saying!)
The Dyson Airwrap ($549; nordstrom.com and sephora.com, or $549.99; dyson.com) is available in three sleek colorways — nickel/fuschia, black/purple and nickel/red — and comes packaged in an equally sleek, convenient carrying case you can use to store the tool and all its attachments.