Using airflow alone, the brand new Dyson Airstrait claims to dry and straighten wet hair without heat damage
Move over Airwrap: the Dyson Airstrait straightener is the latest addition to Dyson’s range of high-quality, air-powered hair-styling tools. Unlike your typical pair of straighteners, the Airstrait uses two precisely angled, high-pressure “blades” of air to dry and straighten sections of hair at the same time.
It’s designed to work on all hair types and textures, and Dyson claims its wet-to-dry mode eliminates heat damage completely. This is an exciting prospect for those who struggle with fragile, unmanageable hair, as traditional heat-based styling dries out and damages hair, problems that only get worse over time.
Like typical straighteners, the Airstrait has two arms attached at one end by a hinge point so hair can be inserted between the two arms. Along the top edge of the straighteners on both sides is a 1.5mm gap through which a high-velocity “blade” of air is pushed through at a 45° angle. As you feed hair between the two arms, these two blades converge into one focused jet, which uses downward pressure to straighten the hair. Dyson claims this directional airflow also helps to align hair strands for a smooth and shiny finish.
Those who are familiar with the brand may know that Dyson has already released a pair of straighteners, the Dyson Corrale, which uses heated plates, is cordless and retails for a hefty £400. The Dyson Airstrait instead uses high-powered air jets to straighten the hair, and no heated plates at all. Until we get our hands on one for a full review, we can’t test exactly how well this works, but the science behind the product looks promising.
Wet styling hair is the most effective way to style without heat; from plaiting your hair overnight to using foam rollers or a silk scarf to curl your hair while you sleep, it’s effective and completely avoids heat damage. It works because when the hair is wet, hydrogen bonds in the hair fibre are weakened, which boosts its elasticity, allowing it to be reshaped. As the hair dries, hydrogen bonds reform in the new shape, fixing the style in place until it’s wetted again, either by showering or humidity in the air.
The air jets in the Dyson Airstrait use this premise to dry the hair and straighten it in the process. The hair is heated slightly but to nowhere near the temperature of a traditional hair straightener.
To generate airflow powerful enough to straighten hair the Airstrait uses a Dyson Hyperdymium motor, similar to the one used in the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer. This motor propels over 11.9 litres of air through the machine per second, which generates up to 3.5kPa air pressure; impressive stats for a motor that’s only 27mm in diameter.
As with other Dyson hair-styling tools, including the Dyson Airwrap, the Dyson Airstrait has “intelligent” heat control that uses glass bead thermistors to measure the temperature of the air 30 times per second. This data is fed into a microprocessor that regulates the heating element and keeps the temperature at a safe level to prevent heat damage.
Indeed, it’s supposedly suitable for all hair types, and there are two styling modes and temperature control options to give the user some flexibility. The two wet and dry styling modes are pre-set with the best heat and airflow combinations; “wet” mode can be used at 80°C, 110°C or 140°C, and “dry” mode can be used at 120°C or 140°C.
There’s also a “boost” setting designed to top up a style, which we assume can be used to refresh the hair after a long day or after sleeping, although this is unclear. For airflow control, there are two-speed settings, a root drying mode and a cold shot to set the style.
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These impressive technical stats are typical of Dyson tools and the science behind the Airstrait is convincing, but only time will tell if it lives up to our expectations. As of right now, Dyson has not revealed how much the Airstrait will cost in the UK, but if its other products are anything to go by you can expect to pay at least £300. In the US, the Dyson Airstrait currently retails for $500.
James Dyson, founder and chief engineer at Dyson, said: “Delivering the ease of use that people love about straighteners but with high-velocity air blades saves time, maintains hair strength and achieves an everyday natural straight style.” If the styler is as convenient and effective as Dyson would lead us to believe, then it could be a wise investment for some.
The Dyson Airstrait will be available to buy in the US, Canada and Mexico from 11 May, but those of us on this side of the pond and beyond will have to wait until an unspecified later date to try it out.