The ReVamp Progloss 5500 injects volume into fine hair and smoothes out frizz
- Suprisingly fast
- Excellent range of attachments
- “Dual-ionic” technology for smoothness and volume
- A little heavy
- Matte black casing marks easily
Hair wash day can be a nightmare for people with thick and long hair, not only because it takes a long time to wash and condition but also because it takes forever to dry. Thanks to its powerful 2,400W motor and high heat settings, the ReVamp Progloss 5500 hair dryer dries hair in record time.
It retails at £100, which is at the pricier end of mid-range and, at first glance, it looks like a fairly standard hair dryer. However, this dryer also has “dual-ionic” technology, which allows users to switch between negative and positive ions at the flick of a switch. If ReVamp’s marketing is to be believed, this allows users to add volume or shine to their hair, depending on the setting. It also comes with all the attachments you could need to ace your hair game.
In my testing, alongside being blown away by its speed, I found this hair dryer added volume where I wanted it while smoothing the ends of my hair to get a sleek style.
ReVamp Progloss 5500 review: What do you get for the money?
Power is the name of the game with the ReVamp Progloss 5500. It has a 2,400W motor, which ReVamp claims blows out 168m³ of air per hour and, in our tests, it reached a top air speed of 28.3m/s, making it one of the most powerful dryers we’ve tested. To put that into perspective, the similarly priced BaByliss 3Q hair dryer reached a top speed of 21.6m/s.
As with other ReVamp hair-styling products, the hair dryer grille is infused with Progloss “Super Smooth Oils” – a blend of keratin, argan and coconut oils – which in theory is used to add shine, condition and protect the hair from damage, although I have my doubts that this actually works.
Add into the mix a deep bowl diffuser and two concentrator nozzles – one 6mm super slim concentrator for use with a blow dry brush and a smoothing nozzle – and you have a hair dryer that seems to have it all.
Its design doesn’t stray far from the average but there’s nothing wrong with that. The handle is comfortable, its plastic casing feels sturdy and it has a stylish matte black finish. All the functions are accessed via switches on the handle and these include a temperature switch with three heat settings, a power switch with two-speed options and a cool shot button.
The last control is for the hair dryer’s ionic function. It’s a three-way rocker switch with three clearly labelled settings: a negative ion setting on the left, for supposedly smoothing hair, a neutral setting in the centre that turns off the ionic effect, and a positive setting for “adding volume” on the right. This switch is orientated horizontally, which helps users avoid changing the ion setting when they’re trying to adjust the heat or speed; both of those switches are positioned vertically.
It’s not a particularly special feature. Indeed, ReVamp’s cheaper model, the Progloss 5000, has it and is available for under £50. The only difference is that the 5500 has the positive ion mode, which offers users the option to inject volume into the hair. This worked well in our testing, but there doesn’t seem to be any scientific consensus that these results can last on every hair type.
Regarding the temperature, the Progloss 5500 has three heat settings as well as a cool shot mode. In our testing, which involves heating a conductive surface using the dryer from 50mm away for five minutes, the top temperature I measured was 51.9°C, which is just on the warmer side of average. One problem that often occurs when hair dryers reach such high heat levels is that the air produced can take a while to cool when the cool shot mode is engaged. However, the cool shot on the Progloss 5500 comes through cold from high heat in just a couple of seconds.
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There are a few more features that give this hair dryer a high-quality feel. It has a 3m long salon-length cable, a convenient loop for hanging it up and a removable grille that’s easy to clean. If noise is something you’re concerned about – powerful 2,400W hair dryers like this have pretty noisy motors – the dryer is one of the loudest we’ve tested, measuring up to 96dBA with ReVamp’s “super quiet” silencer mounted to the rear of the dryer. You can remove this but I’m not sure why, since the noise levels rise by 6dBA if you do that.
ReVamp Progloss 5500 review: What’s it like to use?
Having tested a range of hair dryers, from budget-friendly options such as the £35 Remington Shine Therapy hair dryer and ruinously expensive hair dryers such as the £480 Dyson Airwrap Multi-styler, the ReVamp Progloss 5500 is notable for its power. Not only did it pump out air incredibly fast but the heat dried my hair quickly, while the ionic switch allowed me to create volume and shine where I wanted it.
Before testing, as with any hair-styling product, I washed my hair using shampoo and conditioner and then protected my hair using a heat protection spray. Make sure you use heat protection spray sparingly because using too much can weigh your hair down, which often makes a blow-dry appear flat and lifeless.
In terms of drying power alone, the ReVamp 5500 is tough to beat. At its highest speed and heat settings, my hair was dry in less than five minutes, although I found the high heat setting a little uncomfortable on my scalp at times. As mentioned before, when I used the hair dryer to heat a conductive surface from a distance of 50mm, it reached a maximum temperature of 51.9°C, so I ended up using the medium heat setting to dry my roots thereafter.
I also used both ionic drying modes to see if they would make any difference. I began with completely wet, heat-protected hair and rough-dried my hair using the smoothing concentrator to direct the air towards the root. At this point, I used the volume ion setting, hoping to help add volume.
Once my hair was mostly dry, I switched the ion switch to the smoothing setting and used a round brush to finish off the process. I used a slower speed setting to give myself more control here. To set the style I used the cool shot button.
After styling, the results were beautifully smooth and just as shiny as if I had used a standard ionic drier. However, since I used the “volume” ion setting at the root, my hair looked noticeably more voluminous immediately after styling, while the lengths stayed looking sleek.
I was still sceptical about how much of a visible difference the dual-ionic feature would make on my already thick, straight hair. So, I decided to try drying my hair using the “volume” setting alone. This made the lengths of my hair appear significantly less shiny but added heaps more volume – if big hair is the name of the game for you, then you won’t be disappointed. These voluminous results lasted all day after washing but needed a refresh by the second day.
Unfortunately, the diffuser that comes with the ReVamp Progloss 5500 isn’t as impressive. It’s just a deep bowl without prongs, which means it can’t be used to massage and add volume to the scalp. It can still be used to diffuse natural long curls and waves, but I’d prefer a regular diffuser, like other manufacturers supply.
The concentrator nozzles, however, were some of the best I’ve used. I found the narrower nozzle was fantastic for directing volume into the roots, while the wider blow-dry brush nozzle allowed me to smooth down large sections of hair at once, making styling super quick.
The dryer is also pretty heavy at 884g including the cable, and you’ll feel this as you dry your hair. My arms started to ache after about five minutes when blow-drying my own hair using a round brush. This is a common problem with high-power dryers and certainly not limited to the Progloss 5500.
Finally, despite its sturdy build, the sleek matte finish of the dryer marks easily. Whether it’s scratched by something on your work surface or there’s excess styling product on your hands, the finish starts to look weathered fairly quickly. This doesn’t compromise its styling capabilities but is something to bear in mind if aesthetics are important to you.
ReVamp Progloss 5500 review: Should you buy it?
If you want a powerful hair dryer that will dry your hair quickly while giving you the option to add volume or shine wherever you want to, the ReVamp Progloss 5500 is a brilliant buy at a reasonable price.
It’s easy and intuitive to use, powerful enough to dry your hair in double quick time, and its ionic tech does appear to work. As long as you can cope with its weight and noisiness, the Progloss 5500 is a fabulous hair dryer with all the attachments you need to blow dry any hair type, and it works particularly well on thick and long hair.