TechKnow: Which hot air styler is best?

Hot air stylers

Forget about labouring with hairdryer and brush in pursuit of salon-standard blowdrys. Faster, arguably better results are possible using just one hand with hot air stylers. I tested the Dyson Airwrap and VS Sassoon’s Digital Sensor Hot Air Styler, which is like a hairdryer and brush in one. Three brushes in fact (with perforations for airflow): one for a smooth finish, and two differently sized cylindrical brushes, which the motor can rotate in either direction to create volume and body.

The Dyson also has three brushes, as well as two pairs of differently sized barrels that create waves and curls. Air moves through these attachments according to the Coanda effect: at high speed, air attaches to convex surfaces. This radically different approach is most impressively demonstrated with Dyson’s barrel attachments: hair instantly wraps around them, all the way to the roots.

With the Dyson’s inward- and outward-styling barrel pairs, and the VS Sassoon’s bi-directional rotation, both appliances can create symmetrical looks without the need for users to switch hands. They also ionise airflow to reduce static electricity (which causes frizzy hair), digitally regulate air so hair isn’t damaged by heat, and have cool-air options to help set styles.

Verdict: With minimal fuss and for a good price, the VS Sassoon delivers a smooth look with body and volume. If you can afford the much higher price, invest in the Dyson. It produces even better results, including the option of waves and curls, and is also easier to use.


VS Sassoon Digital Sensor Hot Air StylerCredit:


An affordable step up from dryer and brush, with minor shortcomings. Operating the directional buttons is easy, but it’s a stretch to also reach the off/heat/cool switch with your thumb while the appliance is being used. I found removing my long hair from the cylindrical brushes fiddly. The digital sensor maintains even temperature and airflow, but the specifications don’t mention the maximum temperature so a question mark remains about whether hair could be damaged by heat.


Dyson AirwrapCredit:


The brushes produce excellent results, while the barrels do all the work to create waves and curls. So unless you want tight curls, there’s no need for curling devices, and hairdryers are also rendered obsolete for all but beauty perfectionists. In addition to brushes and barrels, there’s an attachment that turns this appliance into a mini hairdryer (with Dyson’s distinctive empty-cylinder body). The temperature is measured more than 40 times per second, and never exceeds 150c.

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