Photo: Instagram / @dysonitalia
I like to blame the humidity here for not having nice hair (or putting in the effort to achieve it), but the truth is, I am just not very good with hair styling tools. I have never mastered the traditional curling iron despite multiple attempts. At best, the curls would look uneven. At worst, they’d go limp before I even left my house, or I’d accidentally leave a large chunk of hair at the back untouched. And every time, I’d end up spending way more time than I should on it.
So when I first saw the Dyson Airwrap and was introduced to the unique way the machine worked, I expected that it’d be easier to use, but still was not confident of being able to achieve curls that actually look good on my own. Until I tried it.
Our verdict: The tool delivered.
Getting my hair to wrap around the barrel was definitely not intuitive. Position the barrel too high or low on your hair, or grab a too-large chunk of hair and the hair won't be able to wrap around the barrel properly. It definitely took a few tries before I could get it right - the trick is to only grab a small section each time (see above), position the tool a few inches from the ends of your hair, and ensure that the hair is fully wrapped around the barrel before you move it up towards the roots. But once I got the hang of it, I could curl the rest of my hair fairly quickly and easily. The first time I used it, I actually managed to curl all of my hair in around 30 minutes.
Photo: Veronica Tay / Art Direction: Shan
No extra tools or special skills on my part were needed to create different types of curls or looks.
The Airwrap Complete set comes with:
- A Pre-styling Dryer to help turn freshly-washed wet hair into damp hair.
- Three brushes: A Firm Smoothing Airbrush for straightening thick and coarse hair, a Soft Smoothing Airbrush with softer and more flexible ball-tipped bristles for straightening finer hair, and a Round Volumising Brush to create volume and shape for finer, thinner and straighter hair.
- Four Curling Barrels: They are available in two sizes - 30mm and 40mm - with each size in two types that will curl your hair in opposite directions so you get more natural curls.
The 30mm barrels gave me medium-sized curls. Switch them out to the 40mm ones and I get looser curls. And there is a method to achieve breezy beach waves with the Airwrap too: manually wrap hair around the 40mm barrel, as demonstrated above by US celebrity hairstylist Jon Reyman.
A salon-like blowout at home
If your hair is naturally frizzy or wavy and all you want on some days is sleek, straight hair, the smoothing brushes work great too. They've managed to tame my frizzy hair into the natural-looking straight hair I could never get naturally – almost like I got a blowout at a salon. In addition to frizzy hair, I also have a slightly wavy fringe (only the fringe!) and have attempted to give myself a blowout at home multiple times with a brush and a hairdryer but could never get the same results, so I am particularly thrilled about this.
What I was also grateful for was that there was also no need to spare precious minutes pre-heating, no need to fumble with manually wrapping my hair around the barrel while trying to avoid getting my fingers burned, no need to experiment with different heat settings to see what works best, no need to worry about using excessive heat or burning a chunk of my hair right off, and no need to worry about accidentally leaving it switched on after use.
Dyson also recommends that the Airwrap be used on damp hair for best and longer-lasting results - this means it’s a time-saver on weekday mornings if you wash your hair in the morning (or, if you don’t, just use a spray bottle to dampen your hair).
Should you buy it?
If you already have trusted tools at home that you are confident with, and good heat protectant products, the Airwrap is not a necessity, especially with its price tag.
But if you have never figured out how to work with traditional curling or straightening irons, and have always wanted to be able to curl your hair or give yourself a blowout at home, the Airwrap may be a worthwhile investment. While it's $699, it allows you to blow dry your hair, curl it three ways, or straighten it.
For frequent travellers who like to be able to blow dry, curl and straighten your hair each time you travel, an Airwrap will also be good to have, because it effectively cuts your load down to one tool and four attachments, as opposed to one hairdryer, one hair brush, one flat iron and one curling iron.