I wasn’t going to post this, but there’s been a sudden influx of readers from Facebook over the past couple of weeks perusing my (fairly negative) review of the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer, so I felt I had to come clean.
Reader, I have been the proud owner of a Dyson Volume + Shape Airwrap since May 2020, it was £399.00 from Selfridges and…well, I love it.
In lockdown, my hair became unmanageably long but there was no way I would spend such a vast amount of money on a mere hair styler. However, Mark was given a £300.00 gift card for Selfridges and I thought, I’ll put £99.00 towards it, why the hell not? I’m only splashing out £99.00. #selfjustificationlogic
I thought if I absolutely hate it – a la the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer (read that sorry saga here), then I’d return it with a bit more haste this time.
DYSON AIRWRAP VOLUME + SHAPE STYLER
Engineered for fine and thin hair, this is the Dyson Airwrap Volume + Shape Styler. Attachments are engineered to curl, wave, smooth or volumise.
Styles and dries simultaneously – The Dyson Airwrap styler combines powerful airflow with controlled heat, to dry and style your hair from damp – with no extreme heat.
- Airwrap base
- Pre-styling dryer attachment
- 1 x Clockwise 30mm Airwrap barrel attachment
- 1 x Anti-clockwise 30mm Airwrap barrel attachment
- Soft smoothing brush attachment
- Round volumising brush
The presentation of the styler is slick as you’d expect for the price although the storage case isn’t leather which did surprise me. It is, however, beautifully made. Eighteen months down the line it still looks brand new with no scratches, drips from styling products or signs of wear.
It is a pain, but I keep my Airwrap stored in the case, not only to keep it dust-free but because I can’t prise out the integrated compartments that house the attachments without damaging the box – and boy, have I tried. I would love one of these cases to store makeup and bits and pieces in.
There’s a fair weight to the Airwrap and it’s a noisy little bugger. Also included in the case is a funny little brush thing to clean the filter at the bottom of the styler. I can’t remember if there was a thin rubber mat included (maybe that was the Supersonic?). If there is, I’ve lost it.
There are three fan speeds and three temperature settings: cool, warm, and hot. I use ‘warm’ as the ‘hot’ setting is VERY hot. As a standalone hairdryer, it’s quick and easy.
The magnetic attachments snap and twist on and off with ease. But, no matter how many tutorials I watched, it took me months to get to grips with the curling barrels. Getting my hair to curl around the wands was nigh on impossible at first, it just wouldn’t grab my hair, no matter how thin the pieces were.
Even now it still takes me a good hour and a half to do my hair properly. By ‘properly’ I mean, professionally. It takes time but you can easily achieve salon-perfect hair with this Dyson. All those years of a hairdresser’s training can be replicated with these very clever tools.
The soft smoothing attachment (which isn’t ‘soft’ at all, the plastic bristles feel quite hard on my scalp) combined with the ‘cool shot’ toggle button to set and shine your hair is one of my favourite ways to achieve silky straight hair. Not overly voluminous, but smooth and swishy.
My most used attachment though is the round volumising brush. Looking at it, there’s nothing particularly special about the design, it’s much the same as any other blow-dry bristle brush, but it is a multi-tasker. It can create volume at the crown, hair can be curved under or flicked out, curled, waved or loosely shaped.
Use the cool shot at the end and hair is not only set to perfection, but it’s also super shiny. It’s this guaranteed shine which is a theme of the Dyson Airwrap that I most love.
The cord, much like the original Dyson hairdryer as I recall, is freakishly long.
It was fun during lockdown to style my hair (God knows I had the time) but I realise that curly/overly wavy hair just doesn’t suit me. I had a three-hour session using hardcore mousse with the barrel attachments and curled all my hair and as glam as it looked, especially from the back, it just wasn’t me. I bet it would’ve looked good in a banana clip though, I must dig one out and parade around the house.
Now when I use the attachments, I don’t use mousse and let my hair naturally drop into beautiful, barely-there waves and it looks just gorgeous – it still takes absolutely ages though!
There are, of course, days when my hair just won’t behave no matter what I throw at it, but after these past two years, who cares?
I’m just going to sneak this in here quietly. I bought the 20mm Airwrap Long Barrels for £30.00 (never used them though) and the Small Volumising Brush (also £30.00) which I use frequently.
There, I’ve confessed all and I admit I now worship at the altar of Dyson and I didn’t give the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer a proper try.
Sales Assistant Sarah, I’m sorry.
DYSON SUPERSONIC VERSUS DYSON AIRWRAP
No contest, it’s the Airwrap every time for its versatility. It’s a good hairdryer on its own as I’m sure the Supersonic is, but the hair styling options are endless.
Another reason I didn’t put up a review until now was that I couldn’t find the Airwrap in stock anywhere in the UK.
‘Out of stock’ can sometimes mean unavailable ie discontinued. I wasn’t sure if they stopped making it, but in this case, the Airwrap is one of Dyson’s fastest-selling machines.
A CHEAPER ALTERNATIVE?
BaByliss Big Hair 2885U Spinning Brush
The BaByliss 2885U Big Hair styler has an iconic rotating brush to add dramatic volume and shine to styles and replicate a salon-perfect blow-dry at home. The large ceramic barrel adds fullness and body whilst the soft mixture of boar and nylon bristles create ultimate smoothness and shine. The super ionic conditioning leaves hair with a frizz-free, high shine finish.
The built-in superionic generator sends a stream of negative ions, which act to neutralise static charges as you dry, immediately enhancing the look and feel of your hair. The BaByliss 2885U Big Hair styler features 2 heat settings as well as a cool shot setting to give total styling control. Use the cool setting to set and finish your style for long-lasting effects.
Well, not really an alternative, but if you’re looking for volumised, bouncy hair for a reasonable price, then you can’t go wrong with the BaByliss Big Hair Rotating Brush. BaByliss has several similar-sounding brushes but ‘Big Hair’ is the one I have used since it first came on the market.
There are two heat settings and the bristle brush – a mix of natural boar and nylon bristles that rotate the hair in two directions.
A couple of my ones have conked out mere seconds after the three-year warranty ran out (though the warranty now covers only two years), but the others have lasted for years.
One niggle, the ‘supposed’ cool setting is virtually non-existent. In fact, I didn’t even know there was one, that’s how ineffective it is. No matter, you can still achieve great hold and bounce with the right styling products.
The barrel is quite chunky and it can be a little cumbersome to hold at first. I remember going on holiday and ditching it thinking it was too bulky to pack and then regretting it because my hair never looked quite right. I always pack it now in place of my beloved Dyson, if that got lost, I’d be devastated.
Once you master it, it’s very easy to use, especially at the ‘tricky to reach’ back of your head. Before I section my hair, I style my fringe and the crown, sometimes securing with a velcro roller and I work from the nape of the neck upwards.
The bounce holds as long as you start with moussed up fairly dampish hair – forget that rule about hair needing to be 90% dry before you style it, that doesn’t apply here.
The finish isn’t quite as shiny as with the Dyson Airwrap but hair IS big and thanks to Adele, big hair is BACK!
Dyson Volume + Shape Airwrap (when back in stock) Official Dyson, Boots & Currys
BaByliss Big Hair 50mm 2885U Styler £44.99 John Lewis *
BaByliss Big Hair 2885U Spinning Brush £50.00 Boots * Slightly more expensive than John Lewis, but there are those 200 Advantage Cards points to think about.