I knew it was a hairdryer the second I received an invitation to a "secret briefing" of a new Dyson beauty tool, but the size and design still took me by surprise. I immediately had questions about the Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer:
How much? Where's the motor? The filter? Speed and heat control? How long did it take to develop? How do you hold it to use it? How do you direct airflow with an aperture that size and a barrel that short? How much does it weigh? How is the consumer version different from the professional salon version? When does it launch? Where will it be sold? Please may I have one?
dyson supersonic hairdryer answers
1) How much? The consumer price tag is $499 CAd and $399 USd, with a two-year warranty. You may already know this if you've seen any of the social media on the Dyson Supersonic as it launched in Tokyo yesterday. Pricey. No surprise, really – the tech is in-SANE. Almost Fifth Element futuristic.
2) Where's the motor? The teeny motor is in the handle, and it's the same technology you'll find in Dyson's cord-free vacuum cleaners and hand dryers. Stashing the motor in the handle is a bit of ergonomic genius; unlike standard hairdryers with the motor up top, the Dyson Supersonic rests comfortably balanced upright in the hand without constantly threatening to tip forward, without causing tension and fatigue in the wrist.
3) Where's the filter? The filter is at the bottom of the handle, the perforated section. You won't catch your hair in it there. And should it ever need cleaning, a small light indicator will let you know.
4) Where's the speed and heat control? Two little buttons on the coloured part of the barrel control speed and heat (the one on the right is the cool-shot) for your blowdry. Aside from that, "intelligent heat-control" technology monitors the temperature of the airflow and sends the info 20 times per second to a micro-processor chip that regulates it.
There are three speed settings and four heat settings, including the cool. The max heat the Dyson Supersonic airflow will reach is 212ºF. If you were hoping for more heat, there's no need – the dryer has a powerful airflow that reduces drying time without increasing the potential for damage. "It's the strongest airflow I've ever felt from a blowdryer," says Matthew Collins, hairstylist and co-owner of Brennen Demelo Studio in Toronto. "So many consumers hold the dryer nozzle too close to the section of hair they're round-brushing on maximum heat and scorch the hair. That won't happen with this dryer."
Dyson's signature air-multiplier technology – it's in the brand's humidifiers, air purifiers and phantom heaters – is a key element of the dryer's unexpected airflow strength: 13 litres of air is drawn in through the back and the base, goes up through the handle, and, powered by the mighty little digital motor, it's propelled through the front of the barrel (the non-coloured side). And as it leaves the front of the dryer barrel, the airflow has attained three times the force at which it was pulled into the handle.
The machine also has an auto-shut-off function to prevent it from overheating (just in case you leave it on, throw it on your bed, and accidentally cover it up with your duvet or something).
5) How long did it take to develop? It took 103 engineers and scientists four years and 600 prototypes to develop the Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer. Apparently, Dyson invested the equivalent of $100 million CAd in the project.
6) How do you hold it to use it? Well, just like a standard blow dryer. "The learning curve is the same as it would be with any unfamiliar dryer – one blowdry and you're good to go," says Matthew.
We turned the dryer on to get a sense of how it sounds compared to standard dryers. Lovelies, if your stylist uses one for your salon appointment, you'll be able to carry on a proper conversation without your stylist having to switch the machine off to have you repeat the question, or to answer. "Half the time when I'm using a standard blowdryer with clients, I have no idea what they're talking about," says Matthew. "I've learned to smile and nod really well!" The Dyson, however, sounds more like audible white noise than a hairdryer, so salon-chair chats won't be a problem.
7) How do you direct airflow with an aperture that size and a barrel that short? According to Matthew, who has spent some time using the Dyson Supersonic, while the compact size of the barrel allows for easy maneuverability, "it doesn't compromise on the power of the airflow or the drying time the way a smaller standard dryer generally does."
To direct the airflow more precisely, use one of the three nozzle attachments – they're magnetized, and once in place are very easy to nudge in whatever rotation you need.
8) How much does it weigh? The Dyson Supersonic weighs 618g. There are lighter dryers on the market, but what makes this different is its perfect balance as you hold it in your hand. As mentioned up in answer #2, there's no awkward weight distribution threatening to tip it in any direction.
9) How is the consumer version different from the professional salon version? The construction of the Dyson Supersonic is exactly the same in the professional units. However the cord is longer in the pro version, and the attachments are customized for salon use – they don't have a protective outer shell to keep the nozzle cool. Without that shell, the nozzle is skinnier with a tighter airflow, more in line with what pros are used to. Colour is different too – the consumer version comes in this fuchsia/iron and white/silver. The pro version is gunmetal grey/silver.
10) When does it launch? The Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer is available now in Japan, and hits in the UK in June, I think. It launches in Canada and the US in September.
12) Please may I have one? I know, pricey! So I don't mind if a bunch of you get together to buy one as a group gift for me. That would be really nice!
Here, have a look at this intersting series of Dyson Supersonic videos; they should explain anything I've missed.
I get that it's so hard to get past the price tag – a $500 hairdryer isn't in my budget at the moment. But this is so Dyson! Crazy technology and excellent durability, judging by the bashing the unit takes in the first video clip. Very few companies make products like this anymore; Dyson is all about cutting-edge technology and quality. If you do buy (or receive as a gift) one of these Dyson Supersonic hairdryers, we bet it'll be the last blowdryer you'll own.
So, what do you think??? I know you have thoughts!
shoppity shop-shop *grin*
Images via Dyson.