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Dyson Airstrait review: Fast and effective wet-to-dry straightening

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £450
inc VAT

I’ve tested the Dyson Airstrait and it’s an innovative, powerful hair straightener that lacks a few luxuries


  • Fast wet-to-dry straightening
  • Innovative design
  • Long-lasting, healthy styles


  • Expensive
  • No storage case
  • Massive plug

Dyson is a big player in the luxury hair care market and since the Dyson Airstrait was announced for its US release in early 2023, UK hair care fanatics like me have been itching to get their hands on one. As the latest of Dyson’s hair straightening innovations, this eye-catching styling tool promises to deliver smooth, straight tresses using airflow alone – without the use of heated plates.

Having tested heaps of hair dryers and straighteners, I was keen to put the Airstrait through its paces. I wanted to find out if it could dry and style my hair faster than a hot brush and test how well the straight results lasted compared to heat styling. Most importantly, I wondered if its range of features could justify the high £450 price.

And, having tested it, it’s become clear to me that it most certainly can. The Airstrait is a unique, effective and powerful hair styling tool that would make a sensible investment for anyone who straightens curly or coily hair every time they wash it.

It does miss out on a few luxury elements that typically set Dyson products apart from their competitors but if your styling needs fit the bill, this is the product you need to buy.

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Dyson Airstrait review: What do you get for the money?

The Dyson Airstrait costs £450 at the time of writing, making it the second-most expensive Dyson hair styling tool available. On the more ‘affordable’ end, you have the £300 Dyson Supersonic hair dryer, while the most expensive is the Dyson Airwrap Multi-Styler, which costs £480 and can dry, curl and smooth hair. These eye-watering high prices, as you would hope, come paired with some of the best hair styling technology available, such as intelligent heat control and powerful motors.

With such illustrious predecessors, I had high hopes for the Dyson Airstrait. It’s available in two colours – nickel and copper, or Prussian blue and copper. I tested the first option and was impressed by the Airstrait’s premium finish. It fits perfectly into Dyson’s hair styling lineup.

The Airstrait is designed using a similar mechanism to a normal pair of hair straighteners. It has two arms joined together at one end via a hinge. Where you would normally find heated plates, however, the Airstrait pushes a precise jet of air through a slim cavity, straightening hair as it goes.

On the opposite side of the cavity to the vents, copper diffusers disturb this jet of air to help guide lengths of hair into a straight position. There’s also a plastic tension bar to grip the hair in position during styling, just as floating plates would in normal straighteners.

It’s all powered by one of Dyson’s Hyperdymium motors, which the company says spins up to 106,000rpm, generating 3.6kPa of air pressure as it does so. And temperature can be controlled more precisely than on lesser straighteners, too. Dyson uses glass bead thermistors to monitor temperature levels within the straightening arms at 30 times per second, the aim being to prevent heat damage and hot spots.

The Dyson Airstrait comes with a long 198cm cord, and while I’ve never needed to mention a plug in a review before, the Dyson Airstrait is an exception. It comes with a PRCD plug, which is pretty chunky and requires a safety test every time it’s plugged in. Thankfully, the test is simple and quick to perform.

Its 15cm length, however, could be a problem if you have particularly thick skirting boards or your sockets are close to the floor. Still you can resolve this problem by using an extension cord.

In the box, you also get a small silicone heat styling mat, which is just about big enough to fit the Airstrait on but Dyson doesn’t include any kind of case or carry bag. There is a locking system to hold the Airstrait in a closed position during storage but for a device costing nearly £500, I’d expect to be provided with something to put it in to protect it against bumps and knocks.

Added to this, the plastic casing on the Airstrait feels much lower quality than on other hair styling tools I’ve tested from Dyson, as well as some hair styling tools from other more affordable brands like Remington. I can only assume this is to keep the weight down but it doesn’t make it any more disappointing, and it makes the lack of a protective storage case even more problematic.

READ NEXT: Best hair dryers for curly hair

Dyson Airstrait review: How does it work?

The Dyson Airstrait essentially works the same as any hair styler but, since the straightening happens while the hair is drying, less time and heat is needed.

Here’s my quick explanation of how wet hair styling works:

When hair is wet, the hydrogen bonds that hold the hair in its natural shape are broken. As hair dries naturally, the hydrogen bonds re-form and it sets back into its natural shape. This is why naturally curly hair might go frizzy in humid conditions after it’s been styled.

However, when wet hair is moved into a new shape, such as when it is curled up around a hair roller, the hydrogen bonds re-form in the new curly shape as the hair dries. Heat styling follows a similar process, rearranging the hydrogen bonds as the hair cools. Using heat can lead to permanent damage to your hair, and this is something the Airstrait aims to mitigate.

The Airstrait dries and straightens hair at the same time and, in doing so, is able to use lower temperatures, thus reducing the risk of damage. Its high-pressure, gently heated jets of air max out at only 150℃, where traditional heat-only straighteners can reach temperature levels of up to 230℃.

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Dyson Airstrait review: What’s it like to use?

I found the Airstrait’s controls simple and easy to get to grips with. Clear instructions on the LCD screen guide you through the initial setup, which includes a choice of languages and whether you want the temperature displayed in Celcius or Farenheit.

On the top side of the straightener are four control buttons, a power button and a small colour display. The buttons are clearly labelled according to their function: the red button for adjusting heat settings; the fan button for tweaking air speed; the blue button activates the cold shot mode; and the last button is for switching between wet and dry styling. The styling settings are displayed clearly on the screen and you simply press each button to cycle through each of the three heat and two speed settings.

Every time you switch the Airstrait on, it runs a quick automatic cleaning cycle to blast any dust and debris out of the main mechanism before styling. But Dyson also recommends giving it a more thorough clean on a monthly basis to prevent dust buildup. This instructional cleaning video from Dyson shows you how to clean the tension bar, the filter and the diffusers. In my tests, I found the filter easy to remove but the diffusers a little trickier to get off.

The styling performance of the Dyson Airstrait was top-notch. I found it highly effective at drying and straightening my hair from wet, and since I could do a quick refresh of my style in ‘dry’ mode I could go days with great hair in between washes.

When wet styling, I used the Airstrait with its arms together to quickly dry my roots, then dried my hair in sections. The highest heat setting was slightly uncomfortable on my scalp, so I reduced the temperature when drying my roots. As with all my hair tool tests, I prepped my hair using a heat protection spray.

Since my hair was dripping wet when I began styling, it took three slow passes to get my hair completely dry and straight when using the highest heat setting and fastest air speed setting. After styling, I used the cool shot mode, which came through cold quickly, to set the style in place.

The Airstrait has some lovely touches that help make hair styling easy. One convenient feature is the auto-pause, which stops the Airstrait running after three seconds of inactivity, only starting again when the arms are pressed together. The Airstrait also only pushes out its fastest airflow when the arms are closed, preventing you from accidentally blowing bits and bobs off your dressing table. I also found the tension bar had just the right amount of grip on my hair, without snagging or pulling on it at all.

Critically, I found the whole drying and styling process was much faster (10 to 15 minutes), than my typical drying and styling times using a hair dryer and straightening tongs. I also found the dry styling mode both effective and quick, the results lasting all day without going frizzy. After styling, my hair felt soft and lightweight, which is impressive because my hair is quite thick and tends to feel heavy and lifeless.

However, it’s not all good news. Despite weighing only 480g, the Dyson Airstrait is bulkier than a normal pair of hair straighteners, and I found it harder to manoeuvre around my head as a result. This isn’t helped by the fact that there’s no swivel joint to prevent the cord from twisting around itself and getting in the way; you might have expected one considering the Airstrait’s luxury price point.

Another downside is that the Airstrait isn’t as versatile as normal hair straighteners, which can usually curl and wave hair as well as straighten it. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t achieve curly or wavy results with the Dyson and, when I tried to do this, the diffusers – alarmingly – clipped out of place under the tension.

Precise styling is also more difficult than it is with straighteners, although I’m sure getting flicks in the ends of your hair would get easier with time and practice. However, the main appeal of the Airstrait is that it can dry and straighten curly hair, so this might not be a problem for most users.

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Dyson Airstrait review: Should you buy it?

Whether you should buy a Dyson Airstrait depends on your hair type and styling preferences. If you straighten your hair every day and you’re hoping to splash out on some tech to get the job done quickly from wet, with less heat damage, the answer is very much yes.

It’s easy to use and provides long-lasting results quickly. For curly-haired people or those with afro-textured hair who spend hours drying, straightening and relaxing their hair every time they wash it, it’s a game changer.

On the other hand, since the Airstrait can’t curl hair like a normal pair of hair straighteners, those who want to create different styles are better off looking elsewhere. A Dyson Airwrap multistyler, or one of the excellent dupes I’ve tested, would fit the bill, and deliver versatile wet-to-dry styling options for those who desire straight or wavy hair.

The other thing that might put you off is that, unlike Dyson’s other hair care innovations, the Airstrait does lack a few key features that typically set high-end hair care products above the hoi-polloi. When you’re paying £450 for a luxury product like this, the little things like a storage case, premium finishes and swivel cord do make a difference.

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