The $400 Blow Dryer

Dyson. Synonymous with smooth. It even rolls off your tongue in a smooth way.

Dyson products are the Louis Vuitton of household products.  When you think of Louis Vuitton you think of QUALITY: clean lines, sleek designs, superior material and – yes, a hefty price tag.  Dyson products are known for esthetically pleasing designs that turn ordinary household appliances into cool pieces of art.

Late last year, Dyson came out with the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer with a price tag of $399. WOW! Just WOW! As a professional hair stylist, I have played with, tested, and owned many blow dryers, some of which have cost me over $150.  I love keeping up with the newest and latest product trends, and often get  curious as to see what the hype is all about when something comes with a hefty price tag, but for $400 I better have not one complaint about this new gadget I’m adding to my tool belt!

Luckily, my coworker bought it and I got a chance to hold it and watch it do its magic without having to bite the bullet and fork over the funds. This blow dryer is gorgeous!!! I  got the same feeling I get when you buy a new cell phone – you want to play with it for hours and test out all of the cool new functions. But is it worth $400?

I was fully ready & prepared for the Dyson Supersonic to blow me away.

Unfortunately it did not and here is why…

My first thought about the Supersonic is – it’s so sexy.  It is white, light weight, sleek, compact, comes with 3 separate magnetic attachments and a really cute carrying case.  When it comes time to use it on my first blow dry, I enjoyed the loud, clean sound of the air blowing – I found it relaxing.  I did realize my hand was starting to cramp a bit – now, that could have been because I was just on vacation for 2 weeks. Regardless, it was very uncomfortable which quickly made me realize the handle was a bit too long and not designed to comfortably hold like most professional hair dryers.

The Dyson Supersonic is said to preserve the natural shine by constantly regulating the temperature. Well – that’s not all that goes into creating shine. You have to work for the shine by smoothing the hair -so once it’s nicely flat and smooth the light reflects off the hair giving it the shine.  The less smooth the hair the less shine. I found myself working extra hard looking for that smooth shine that I was so accustomed to getting with my own dryer. I attributed that to the Dyson not being hot enough; it  only goes up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

Most of the women that come into our salon have fine textured hair easily smoothed by any dryer, but while using the Supersonic I quickly realized that this tool would not be suitable for all hair types, especially the women with thicker course hair.  I love heat styling – I have picked up some great techniques to expose the shine in the hair in very little amount of time.  So while the Supersonic did dry the hair faster, my goal isn’t to just get it dry, it’s to create shape and movement that gives style that is not easily achieved at home. You don’t come to the salon to “dry off”, you come to look beautiful!

All in all, the Dyson Supersonic does not seem to be worth the $400 price tag, especially as a professional tool. But it has so much potential!  Dyson can easily redesign the Supersonic to make it more professionally-user friendly with its same sleek sexy look and great technology but with more thought and effort put in to answering the question, “what is the desired end result?” No one buys a hair dryer for $400 to just dry hair fast – we all want to look great in the end, too!

Karen M. Alvarez
Davis Hairdressing South Boston

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