Having my hair styled into a sleek, glossy look that’s shiny and swooshes like a curtain makes me feel like a million dollars. I might be wearing frumpy clothes, or have a huge pimple on my face, but if my hair is perfect, it really doesn’t matter.
However, try as I might, I struggle to get shiny, smooth tresses at home – there are always some pesky flyaway strands that I just can’t tame. And I certainly don’t earn a wage that enables me to employ a personal hair stylist – which is why I can’t wait to get my hands on the latest version of the Dyson Airwrap.
Not only does the new hot air styler come with re-engineered curling barrels that offer air flow in both directions, so you don’t have to switch attachments half-way through styling as you do with the original version of the Dyson Airwrap, it also includes a new drying tool that can reduce the appearance of flyaways, which also wasn’t an option with the original.
It’s called the Coanda Smoothing Dryer, and as you’d expect it can be used to blast hot air at your locks to roughly dry them before styling, in the same way as you might use a hair dryer. However, it can also be used in ‘smoothing mode’, which replicates a technique used by hairdressers to create a smooth, sleek finish – meaning you really can achieve that stepped-out-of-the-salon look at home.
The quick fix for flyaways leads to a vicious circle
Flyaways are usually a sign of dry or damaged hair. Every strand of hair has an outer shell called the cuticle, which is formed of layers of overlapping cells known as scales. These scales line up perfectly on healthy hair, and reflect light just like a mirror to give the hair a glossy appearance.
However when hair is dry or damaged, these scales rise up and part, so not only do they fail to reflect the light in the same way as healthy hair, making it appear dull rather than shiny, they also suffer from moisture loss, meaning the shaft will eventually break. This creates what we describe as flyaways – short strands of hair that don’t have enough weight to sit against the head.
I have fine hair, which means it’s more vulnerable to damage than coarser hair, so something as simple as brushing my hair too vigorously, as well as my regular cycle of using dyes to lift my mousy brown hair with golden highlights, means I struggle with flyaways on a regular basis.
Usually, I reach for a pair of hair straighteners as a quick fix to tame those flyaways. The problem with this is that heating hair damages it – it starts to have an impact at temperatures of around 300F / 150C and above, and the damage gets worse as the temperature rises, which leads to a vicious circle of even more flyaways. While some hair-styling tools offer a choice of temperatures, many can’t drop below the heat damage threshold – and even if they can, I’m also guilty of using them at higher temperatures to speed up styling.
Skilled hairdressers don’t rely on styling tools to tame flyaways. Instead, they use an intricate blow-dry technique performed with a hair dryer and barrel brush to tuck flyaways behind healthy strands so they’re not visible, which helps to produce a shiny finish.
Even though I’ve asked a number of hairdressers for advice on how to do this myself, and followed their steps to the letter, it never seems to work. I’m right-handed, so I’ve been able to master holding the brush in that hand while using my left hand to position the hair dryer on the left side of my head in order to manipulate the flyaways. But when I switch hands to do the same on the right-hand side, my technique becomes, quite frankly, sloppy.
And let’s not even get started on attempting to use this technique to blow-dry the crown of my hair – my arms just aren’t long enough to angle the hair dryer in the correct way, and keep it far enough away that it doesn’t burn my scalp.
So I’d given up on ever being able to get shiny, sleek tresses at home again. That was until I tried the Dyson Supersonic flyaway attachment.
A lesson from the Supersonic
Yes, you read that right – the Dyson Supersonic. I know we’re talking about the new Dyson Airwrap here, but the new Coanda Smoothing Dryer actually takes inspiration from an attachment Dyson launched for its Supersonic hair dryer last year.
The flyaway tool for the Supersonic uses the Coanda effect to attract and lift longer hairs to the front, as a second jet pushes flyaways through the tresses and out of sight, leaving that shiny finish. I was able to try out the flyaway attachment for the Dyson Supersonic when it launched, and I was impressed with just how effective it was – it really did leave my hair looking healthy and glossy.
The Coanda Smoothing Dryer for the Airwrap works in exactly the same way. However, that may leave you wondering why I’m holding out for the Airwrap, instead of just taking the plunge and buying the Supersonic?
It all comes down to versatility. Not only will the hot air styler let me create a smooth sleek style, but the curling barrels also enable me to create soft waves and curls. The fact that the flyaway attachment also doubles as a dryer (Dyson recommends that your hair is 80% dry before using the Airwrap to style it) – you simply need to rotate the tip to make the air vent wider – means it really is an all-in-one device.
If you already own the original Airwrap, don’t worry – you’re not going to have to stump up for the new model in order to be able to tame flyaways, as Dyson is also making the attachments that ship with the new Airwrap available for existing customers.
The launch of the new Airwrap is especially welcome since it’s been near impossible to get hold of the original model since late 2021. Although if you just can’t wait until the end of March, which is when the new Airwrap launches, you can check out our guide on where to buy the Dyson Airwrap right now.
If you struggle to tame flyaways, whether that’s because you have hair that’s more prone to breaking or because, like me, you’ve broken all the cardinal rules of heat styling, the launch new Dyson Airwrap can’t come soon enough
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