Confessions of a Dyson Airwrap Skeptic

It took some convincing—but I'm a convert.

Dyson Airwrap Review
(Image credit: Dyson)

I’m confident that you’ve heard of the Dyson Airwrap. Since its 2018 launch, it’s become a fixture of beauty society. The temperature-regulated hot tool goes viral at what appears to be a monthly cadence. It’s consistently sold out. And, according to Dyson, one of ‘em sells every four minutes. Its reputation precedes it—every single Dyson owner is a walking Airwrap advertisement. Read: It’s the best thing I own! It will change your life! Just look at my hair!

For years, I avoided testing out the tool on principle alone. The hype surrounding the multi-purpose styling device was simply so high, I morphed into a Grinch-like skeptic. Drugstore curling irons and blow dryers have served me well in this life, and trading in my trusty $19.99 devices for a $600 contraption felt a tinge far-fetched.

But the claims inevitably got the best of me. The reduction of heat damage sounded enticing, the extensive attachments had my hair styling wheels spinning, and the new limited-edition shade just looked really, really pretty. Long story, short: I caved. The Dyson Airwrap came home with me for a pretty intense testing session. I’ve tried every attachment in the box—and am sharing my *very* candid review, ahead.

The Technology

The scientists over at Dyson are top-notch, there’s no denying it. When they created the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer in 2016, it was the biggest innovation the hair styling industry had seen in years. The Airwrap Multi-Styler possesses the same hi-tech design. It leverages the Coanda effect, which is what put this tool on the map. That essentially means that the right pressure and speed are combined to create a spinning vortex of air that can be used to either to curl, shape, smooth, or dry.

There are three heat settings and three power settings to choose from, all of which are monitored 40 times per second. Intelligent heat control keeps the air under 302 degrees, which is ideal for preventing any kind of heat damage or breakage on the hair shaft. For reference, other hot tools hover around 390 to 450 degrees.

The Attachments

Coanda Smoothing Dyer

This attachment is two-fold: It works to give hair a rough dry at the start of your blowout process and to smooth flyaways as a final step. The airflow is concentrated and pretty powerful, but it still won’t dry your hair as quickly as the Supersonic. It’s great for a quick, 80-percent-of-the-way rough dry. Pro tip: The air vent clicks in at 90 degrees—make sure you hear the snap.

Round Volumizing Brush

My personal favorite attachment, the round volumizing brush is the closest thing I’ll ever get to a salon blowout. I can use a round brush and blow dryer in tandem (it’s a skill I worked long and hard to perfect), but the round brush attachment provides five times more volume. It gets close to the root, effectively providing that coveted lift. You can roll up and twist out hair for a bouncy blowout, too. It’s really the MVP.

Smoothing Brushes

In every Airwrap box you’ll find two smoothing brushes: the soft smoothing brush, which is ideal for fine hair, and the firm smoothing brush, which is ideal for coarse hair. The bristles of each are designed to work with your particular hair type, which makes these idea for brushing through every texture, from straight fine hair to coarse, curly hair. The best part is, you don’t have to possess any kind of crazy skill or technique to get a smooth blowout. They’re pretty intuitive attachments.

Airwrap Barrel

Easily the most popular attachment (and the tool’s namesake), the Airwrap Barrel, which is available in both six and eight inches, is the Airwrap’s version of a curling iron. It uses the Coanda technology to swirl a chunk of hair around the barrel and create a soft, bouncy curl. In newer Airwrap iterations, the airflow’s directionality can be switched by simply turning the knob on top of the device.

Diffuser

While this attachment doesn’t come with every Airwrap, you will find it in your box if you buy the Airwrap that’s created specifically for curly and coily hair. It sends air evenly around your curls to reduce frizz and define curl patterns. Use this and you’re good to go—no other attachments needed.

Wide Tooth Comb

You can never go wrong embracing your natural curls, but if you have curly or coily hair and want to give yourself a blowout, this attachment is a must. The wide tooth comb helps detangle and lengthen your hair while providing a burst of heat to assist in the drying process. It prevents a lot of the tugging or tension you’ll find with some of the other attachments. Pair this with the smoothing attachment and you’ll be in business.

My Review

It's clear that I started out an Airwrap skeptic, so I’ll cut to the chase: I’m a convert. Since getting my Airwrap, I’ve retired my Supersonic. My hair is undoubtedly healthier. And I finish styling in approximately half the time. But the viability of the tool really depends on the end result you’re after.

My styling process starts the second I get out of the shower. I apply a detangler of my choice (I have a handful on rotation) and The KilgourMD Bundle, which includes both the Prevention Scalp Serum and the Treatment Scalp Serum. The duo lays the groundwork for healthy hair growth—and, as an added bonus, give my hair a gorgeous shine.

Once that's soaked in a bit, I grab the Coanda Smoothing Dryer, which is perfect for my fine hair. I get through a rough dry in approximately eight minutes (not too shabby), at which point I switch over to the round volumizing brush. The latter, dare I say, is my favorite invention in the history of hair. I’d buy the Airwarp for this attachment alone. It’s eons easier to operate than a brush-dryer combo, gives my roots unbelievable lift, creates insane volume for my face-framing layers, and allows me to do a bouncy blowout in a fraction of the time. I can get a swoop inward on my ends or create a loose curl by spinning the round brush counter-clock wise while holding the machine upside-down.

The flyaway attachment is what I typically reach for to seal the deal. While there’s a bit of a learning curve on how to hold the device (it should blow airflow out and down), it really does push those straggly little hairs into place better than any product. I have a lot of new growth and baby hairs, and one shot of heat with this attachment keeps them down and out of the way all day.

As for the famed Airwrap Barrel? It has a purpose, but it’s not for everyone. It gives a classic, very voluminous and bodyful curl without the need for much styling skill. It makes a wave easy to achieve—a godsend for people who have historically struggled to learn their way around a curling iron. That said, the curl is one-size-fits all and versatility is not of the essence. Sure, you can slightly alter how tight the curl is depending on how long you hold your hair against the heat. But overall, it gives a standard swirl—there’s no creating beach waves or twist-and-pull curls in the way that a traditional curling iron with a clamp permits. For that reason, I still frequently reach for my curling iron.

The Airwrap is 100 percent worthwhile if you want one tool that can give you a sleek finish, bouncy blowout, or standard curls in a quick and easy manner. If you require versatility in your styling though, don’t expect this to create every look in the book. Instead, think of it like a nice addendum.

Want to streamline your styling and add an AirWrap to your routine? Shop below.

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Beauty Editor

Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and shares the breakdown on the latest and greatest trends in the beauty space. She's studied up on every ingredient you'll find on INCI list and is constantly in search of the world's glowiest makeup products. Prior to joining the team, she worked as Us Weekly’s Beauty and Style Editor, where she stayed on the pulse of pop culture and broke down celebrity beauty routines, hair transformations, and red carpet looks. Her words have also appeared on Popsugar, Makeup.com, Skincare.com, Delish.com, and Philadelphia Wedding. Samantha also serves as a board member for the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). She first joined the organization in 2018, when she worked as an editorial intern at Food Network Magazine and Pioneer Woman Magazine. Samantha has a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. While at GWU, she was a founding member of the school’s HerCampus chapter and served as its President for four years. When she’s not deep in the beauty closet or swatching eyeshadows, you can find her obsessing over Real Housewives and all things Bravo. Keep up with her on Instagram @samholender.