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Simone Gannon: Is Dyson’s new €500 hair tool worth the hefty price tag?

New wet-to-dry hair straightener promises to take the stress out of styling, but it might stress your pocket

Before diving into this review, I must tell you that I am not blessed in the hair skills department. A relatively sleek blow-dry or a textured style requires more time, product and tutorial watching than I’d like to admit.

I have tried (and mostly failed) to master many different hair tools over the years. Everything from powerful blow-dryers and hot brushes to styling wands, straighteners and curling tongs. They all demand patience, finesse and storage space that I do not have.

In 2022, a friend recommended I try the most viral hair tool on the internet, the Dyson Airwrap (€549.99 from Dyson.ie). “It’s a game-changer,” she said. “Multiple styling tools in one. Borrow mine for a week and see how you get on.” I was so impressed that I purchased my own two weeks later.

In my opinion, the Airwrap is viral for two different reasons. Yes, it delivers a multitude of styles in slick packaging while significantly reducing damage to the hair thanks to the brand’s clever airflow technology – but it is also quite challenging to master. This challenge has led to hundreds of thousands of videos on social media with the hashtag #dysonairwraptips. A mixture of content from those who have mastered it, attempting to help others, and those who have not desperately trying to crack the code. The hashtag has more than 130 million views on TikTok alone.

While it hasn’t all been plain sailing, I don’t regret buying the Airwrap. It has changed how I style my hair for the better, and the brand’s damage-reducing knowhow is evident in my locks’ improved health and shine.

As a result, I was more than a little intrigued by their newest innovation, the Airstrait (€499.99 from Dyson.ie). The prospect of new cutting-edge technology excited me. The thought of trying to get to grips with it, less so.

Six years in the making, the Airstrait is an imaginative hair tool that promises to simplify your styling routine by combining a wet-to-dry blow-dryer and straightener. The blow-dryer (don’t be fooled by the small-looking vents by the way – it’s pretty powerful) is designed to help you blast dry the roots before straightening, as the Airstrait cannot wholly reach them.

Having used the Airstrait several times before the writing of this piece, my fears about mastering it were unfounded. It’s exceptionally intuitive and enjoyable to use, and despite its size, not taxing on the arms. From start to finish, working in two-inch sections, it takes roughly 10 minutes to dry and straighten my shoulder-length, fine hair, from wet.

There are also no additional attachments, as with the Airwrap. It’s just one (jumbo-sized) straightener with three different modes: wet to dry, dry (as it can be used to straighten already dry hair) and a cool shot to set the hair after styling.

There are no hotplates in the Airstrait, meaning no hair damage. It uses angled, high-pressured air to force the hair downwards. “The cuticles of your hair are like tiles on a roof,” says Dylan Bradshaw, global ambassador for Dyson Hair. “They’re all going in one direction. The airflow in the Airstrait follows the direction of your cuticles, sealing them as it styles, maintaining moisture and hydration levels and adding shine.”

Impressively, it also straightens without flattening. Bradshaw says this is because the airflow moves through the hair, allowing it to maintain plumpness and movement. In contrast, tongs or traditional straighteners compress the hair, often leaving it crispy and flat. And speaking of crispiness, the Airstrait has a rather genius auto-pause feature. If left idle for more than three seconds, it switches off. Pick it up again, and it resumes styling. Think of all the carpets we could have saved if we had this feature years ago.

According to Dyson’s website, the Airstrait is suitable for all hair types, including curly, wavy and coily. The time it takes to complete a style depends on how many “passes” each section of the hair requires. In my case, each section required approximately two passes. Thicker, more dense hair may require more.

At €499.99, it’s costly, and understandably, comparisons have been made to the Dyson Corrale (€449.99 from Dyson.ie), the brand’s straightener launched in 2020. Arguably both are straighteners, but they work very differently. The Corrale is cordless, works on dry hair and can also be used to curl hair. The Airstrait needs to be plugged in, works on wet and dry hair, has a built-in hairdryer and only straightens.

If you’re in the market for a high-quality, time-saving product that will give you a sleek blow dry and an even sleeker style, the Airstrait is worth considering – especially if you’re concerned about heat damage. If you don’t want to limit yourself to straight hair, however, or if you already have a blow-dryer and straightener you’re happy with, then it’s probably not.

This week I’m wearing… Nars Powermatte High-Intensity Lip Pencil

Ten years since it first adorned beauty counters, Nars Powermatte High-Intensity Lip Pencil (€30 from Brown Thomas) makes a triumphant return (albeit in a modernised, updated format). Ten shades, including three original icons, are available; Cruella, Dolce Vita and Dragon Girl. The latter was a staple in my make-up bag for several years, so you can imagine the joy when I reacquainted myself with its head-turning, intensely pigmented, long-wearing formula. The statement lip of statement lips.

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