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GHD Duet Style review
12:00 pm | May 12, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Hair Care Home Small Appliances | Comments: Off

GHD Duet Style: two-minute review

The GHD Duet Style promises to be a game-changer, because it can dry and style at the hair at the same time. In theory, it could make for worthy, somewhat more affordable alternative to the Dyson Airstrait (which launched after the Duet), but on test it falls a little short in places.

Throughout my trial, I tested the Duet Style on a range of hair states: soaking wet; damp, towel-dried hair; and second-day hair. Compared to my regular hairdryer, which takes my hair from wet to dry in around four minutes, the Duet Style took an almost painful 15 minutes – the slowest hair dryer I've ever used. (In comparison, in our Dyson Airstrait review, we found this drier-straightener was a genuine time-saver.)

The issue with the Duet Style is that because you have to section your hair and dry each section individually. Even then, it takes multiple passes over each strand to truly dry it effectively. If it takes this long on my long, thin hair, I dread to think how long it would take on thick or coily hair. It's not going to be troubling our best hair dryer guide any time soon. 

Using the Duet Style on damp hair took an average of nine minutes, while using it bring life back to my second-day hair took less than two. The latter has quickly become my favorite way to use the Duet Style. The hot air reaches 300F / 150C, while the plates heat up to 360F / 180C. Like all GHD stylers, there's only one temperature setting.

Once your hair's dry, pressing the Shine Shot button turns off the hot airflow and turns on the plates. After 20 seconds, you can then run the Duet Style over your hair like you would with standard straighteners to knock out any remaining frizz and add a dose of shine.

The styles created with the Duet Style last noticeably longer than they ever have when I've blowdried my hair in the past. I have naturally curly hair, and typically a hint of humidity sends it into a frizzy frenzy, but the Duet Style improved this. The only downside is that you have to sacrifice the volume, body and bounce you only really get from a traditional blow dry.

GHD Duet Style hair styler in reviewer's home

(Image credit: Future)

I'm also not a huge fan of the Duet Style's size and weight. It measures 16.7 x 12.8in / 42.4 cm x 32.5cm (H x W) and weighs 1.5lb / 675g. This makes the styler cumbersome to maneuver around your head and near-impossible to create flicks or curls, like GHD promises, significantly reducing the Duet Style's versatility.

This extra weight also means you have to hold the end of the tool for stability and to stop your arm from aching, but the styler has a tendency to get hot during use, making it uncomfortable to grip for long periods. On the plus side, the large size does allow you to tackle bigger sections of hair at once. 

Size and weight issues aside, the GHD Duet Style's controls are simple and easy to use and the fact it creates styles that last is a major selling point. If you're looking for a one-stop shop for drying and straightening your hair, and you're a patient person, the Duet Style could be a good option. However, if you value speed, maneuverability, and styling versatility, or you have thick hair, you might be better off sticking with your trusty hairdryer and straightener combo.

GHD Duet Style review: price & availability

  • List price: $399 / £379 / AU $595
  • Available: US, Australia, UK and Europe

The GHD Duet Style is available in black or white as standard, and at time of writing there's also a limited-edition Elemental Blue colorway, which forms part of GHD's recent Color Crush collection.

The standard model costs $399 / £379 / AUD$595, making it the most expensive GHD styler on the market. In the US, the Color Crush version costs the same as the standard model, at $399, yet in the UK and Australia the price for the blue model rises to £389 and AUD$605 respectively. All three regions sell the blue version with a leather storage case. 

You can additionally buy the black GHD Duet Style as part of a styling set in the US. This kit contains the styler, a 'lizard velvet' storage case and the GHD Sleek Talker heat protect spray yet still costs the same, at $399. 

Within the wider GHD range, the Duet Style most closely resembles the $269 / £209 / AUD$370 GHD Max in terms of design, and is closest in price to the $299 / £309 / AUD$500 cordless GHD Unplugged. Yet stands apart from all of its siblings, as well as the vast majority of the market because of its 2-in-1, wet-to-dry features.

The only other like-for-like styler wet-to-dry styler is the Dyson Airstrait. The Airstrait is available in the US and UK for $499.99 / £499.99 and is due to launch in Australia later in 2024. The Airstrait offers the same wet-to-dry features as the Duet Style but doesn't have the flat iron hot plates seen on the GHD model. 

The GHD Duet Style is available in the US, UK, Australia, Canada and across Europe, and is sold directly from the GHD website, but also via plenty of third party retailers. 

Given that the choice of wet-to-dry stylers is limited, and the GHD Duet Style is significantly cheaper than the Airstrait, despite featuring hot plates, it represents decent value for money. You're effectively paying for advanced, cutting-edge tech and innovation and getting a GHD hair dryer and flat iron styler for the price of one. That said, you could still a separate hair dryer and flat iron with change to spare, so it depends on your needs. 

  • Value for money score: 3 out of 5

GHD Duet Style hair dryer review: design

  • Large and heavy paddle-shaped design
  • Easy to use controls
  • Well-placed air vents 

The GHD Duet Style is notably larger and heavier than the average styler, measuring 16.7 x 12.8 in / 42.4 cm x 32.5 cm (H x W) and weighing 1.5lb / 675g. The hot plates each then measure 0.6 in / 1.7cm wide. This makes it a bulky piece of kit and not the easiest of stylers to move around the head. It also makes it a pain to store.

GHD Duet Style hair styler with other GHD stylers to show how the sizes compare

(L-R) GHD Unplugged, GHD Chronos and the GHD Duet Style (Image credit: Future)

The plates sit either side of a central air vent on both the upper and lower arms of the styler. These vents are covered in a grid that disperses the hot air evenly onto your wet hair as you pass it through the dryer. There are then two thin air vents built into the arms of the Duet Style. These are used to dry the hair above and below the styler as it moves through the hair. A small but welcome, and smart, addition. 

Grille between the plates on GHD Duet Style hair styler

(Image credit: Future)

Design-wise, the Duet Style closely resembles the GHD Max, thanks to its wide, paddle-shaped design, albeit with a much thicker handle. This handle is where the motor and filter for the drying element sits and this filter is attached to the Duet Style's 360-degree, 8.8ft / 2.7m cord. Its minimal, easy-to-use controls are then found on the top of the styler's arm.

These controls consist of a power switch surrounded by a white LED ring, above a Shine Shot button. The switch controls the dryer element of the GHD Duet Style and can be used on wet or damp hair. The Shine Shot button controls the hot plates and should only be used on dry hair. Both controls are accompanied by a short beep that signals that the styler is ready for use. I'm a big fan of this auditory feedback and I miss it when I use other stylers without it. 

Control switch on GHD Duet Style hair styler

(Image credit: Future)

The hot airflow on the GHD Duet Style maxes out at 300F / 150C while the plates operate at 180C / 360F. GHD stylers only ever offer one temperature setting. This is the optimum temperature, according to GHD, because it's hot enough to mold the hair into shape, while causing minimal damage.

While the GHD Duet Style has a built-in filter, it doesn't offer a cleaning mode (like the Dyson Airstrait) so you'll need to keep it free from dust and build-up over time. GHD recommends using a soft toothbrush to keep this filter clear. 

It may not be the most stylish, or compact styler, but the GHD Duet Style's design is well considered. It shares the premium look seen across rest of the GHD range and there are small touches and accents that elevate its appearance. 

  • Design score: 3.5 out of 5

GHD Duet Style review: performance

  • Slow drying times
  • Difficult to maneuver and use for long periods
  • Long-lasting styles 

The GHD Duet Style takes a bit of getting used to. Not just because it's unlike any styler I've used before, but because it goes against everything I'd ever been told about using stylers on wet hair. For my Duet Style review, I tested the styler on wet hair, straight from the shower; on damp towel-dried hair; and on second-day hair. 

My favorite way to use the Duet Style is on second-day hair. It brings my style back to life without having to rewash it, and it gives more precision than a traditional hair dryer without having to resort to straightening it or similar.

From wet to dry, the GHD Duet Style took significantly longer than it does with a regular hair dryer – almost 15 minutes compared to the average of four. If you have long, thick or coily hair, this could exceed 30 minutes or more.  Taking my hair from damp to dry then took, on average, nine minutes and produced a similar finish. 

GHD Duet Style hair styler in reviewer's home

(Image credit: Future)

These lengthy times are largely because you have to section the hair, and dry each section in turn. GHD advises that you hold the dryer near your roots for three seconds to dry the hair closest to your head before passing it over the lengths, which adds to this time. It then takes multiple, slow passes over each strand of hair to dry it effectively. I had hoped, after spending this long drying my hair, that I'd be ready to leave the house, but my hair lacked the shine and finish I'd have expected. 

Thankfully, the Duet Style's Shine Shot came to the rescue. Press the button, wait 20 seconds and the Duet Style becomes a flat iron styler. You then run it over your hair to knock out any remaining frizz and add shine.   

The biggest selling point of the Duet Style, however, is that whichever way I use it, my style lasts much longer than when I blow dry it. I have naturally curly hair and usually, as soon as it gets even a hint of humidity, it becomes frizzy and the curls return. This was noticeably improved while using the Duet Style. It isn't the cure for frizz, but it's close. 

This does come at the sacrifice of body and movement though. The root drying vents help add volume at the roots but you don't get the same movement or bounce as you do with a regular blow dry. What's more, there's not much you can do about this. The Duet Style is too large and unwieldy to move around the head easily, or twirl it around the hair in the same way you would with a barrel brush. No matter how hard I tried, I never managed to add flicks or curls or achieve the versatility that GHD promises.

Cable on GHD Duet Style hair styler

(Image credit: Future)

Given the size and weight of the styler, it's also necessary to hold the end of the Duet Style while passing it over your hair to keep it steady and to manage the weight. This can get uncomfortable as the styler gets hot and you have to avoid the hot air coming out of the side vents.

It's not so hot that it burns you, but it's hot enough for you not want to hold it for long periods. There are strips of rubber edging to help with this but they're too narrow to really make a difference, and these rubber strips tend to attract a build-up of leftover heat protector and styling products easily. If there is one plus side to the Duet Style's large size, it means you can dry large sections of hair at any one time. Helping to counteract the long styling times.  

  • Performance score: 3.5 out of 5

Should I buy the GHD Duet Style?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

First reviewed: April 2024

T3 Featherweight StyleMax hair dryer review
6:10 pm | April 26, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Hair Care Home Small Appliances | Tags: , | Comments: Off

T3 Featherweight StyleMax hair dryer: two-minute review

The T3 Featherweight StyleMax is a, tech-packed hair dryer from the innovative LA-based haircare brand. It comes with four nozzles included, and offers custom heat and speed automation. It's powered by T3's Digital IonAir technology, which combines an ion generator, smart chip and custom fan to deliver fast drying times and reduce frizz. This is meant to result in efficient and hair-friendly drying, with less heat damage. I tested one out to see how it compares to the rest of today's best hair dryers. Does it live up to the brand's promises? 

Unfortunately, not quite.  It dries hair relatively quickly, depending on the Style Mode and attachment, but these drying times aren't exceptional. The Styling Concentrator attachment delivered the best results on my fine hair, giving me a sleek and bouncy style without compromising too much on drying speed. 

The Diffuser also performed well, enhancing my natural curls with volume and body. However, the Smoothing Comb didn't work as well as I'd expected and hoped, and I often burned my scalp while using it. A problem I experienced much more with the T3 Featherweight StyleMax that I have with any other dryer I've used in the past. Similarly, the attachments have a tendency to become excessively hot during use, making it difficult to change mid-style, or even rotate the best angle. Elsewhere, the Volume Boost made very little difference. More's the pity. And while the Style Modes are useful and versatile, they can be difficult to master and a little confusing.

Despite these issues, the T3 Featherweight StyleMax has several things going for it. The Cool Shot button is great for locking styles in place and you don't have to press and hold it like you do on so many of its rivals. The hair dryer's overall performance also led to softer, healthier-looking hair over time. 

Overall, the T3 Featherweight StyleMax is a mixed bag. It offers a range of advanced features and attachments that make it versatile and appealing for various hair styling needs. Yet, its performance and design quirks put me off from using this as my everyday hair dryer. Instead, I'll likely reserve it for special occasions when I have extra time to complete my style. 

T3 Featherweight StyleMax hair dryer review: price & availability

  • List price: $199 / £170 for Featherweight StyleMax + 4 attachments
  • Available in the US and UK

Price-wise, the Featherweight StyleMax is at the top end of T3's hair dyer range, sitting alongside the T3 Aireluxe with a list price of $199.99 / £170. That puts it in TechRadar's upper-mid price bracket.

There’s an impressive amount of tech built into the Featherweight and this, coupled with its wide range of features and attachments (it comes with four) goes some way towards justifying its cost. The performance falls a little short of what I’d expect for that amount of money, but you can’t really put a price on healthy hair so if you can afford it, it’s not a bad investment. In TechRadar's T3 AireLuxe review, that model gained 4.5*, and at the same price it's hard not to recommend that as a better place to put your money... although it's true that model doesn't come with so many functions and settings.

The Featherweight is significantly cheaper than high-end models like the Zuvi Halo and Dyson Supersonic, and on par with older premium dryers like GHD Air and the BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium range.

You can buy the Featherweight StyleMax in the US and UK directly from the T3 website. It's also available via Amazon and Ulta in the US, and Amazon and Beauty Bay in the UK. 

  • Value for money score: 3.5 out of 5

T3 Featherweight StyleMax hair dryer review: design

  • Five heat modes + Cool shot
  • Volume Boost button
  • Customizable presets for different hair types

The design of the T3 Featherweight StyleMax is a cross between the traditional, long-barrel hair dryers of old with the shorter, more compact shape of modern stylers, like the Dyson Supersonic and Zuvi Halo. It measures 7.6 x 2.9 x 11.2 in / 193 mm x 740 mm x 284 mm (W x D x H) and weighs 1.04lbs / 471g without any nozzles attached, and not including the chunky, 2.7m / 9ft cord. 

If you're looking for something to travel with, this probably isn't it – it's a bit bulky for slinging into a suitcase. The brand does have a travel-sized option that might be better for frequent flyers – head to TechRadar's T3 Afar review for more on that one.

Included with the Featherweight are four attachments: a Drying Concentrator, for rough drying your hair; a Styling Concentrator that smoothes as it styles; the SoftTouch 3 Diffuser for adding volume and definition to curls and waves; and a Smoothing Comb designed to lift roots, or stretch and detangle curls and coils. 

T3 Featherweight hair dryer with attachments

(Image credit: Future)

The design of the Featherweight StyleMax is a blend of traditional and modern, and looks like an elongated version of the T3 Fit hair dryer – the brand's compact option. There's a choice of three colors – white, graphite, and satin blush. I reviewed the white model, which has rose gold accents around both the grill at the front of the barrel, and the filter on the rear. The dryer is largely made from plastic with metal on the grill, and rubber at the bottom of the handle where it joins the cord. I'm not a fan of the bubble-like curved barrel. It doesn't look bad, but it does feel a bit cartoon-like, which is a bit at odds with the higher asking price. 

Technology-wise, the Featherweight StyleMax uses the brand's Digital T3 IonAir Technology. This comprises an ion generator that 'saturates' a super-wide airstream, powered by a custom-designed fan. A smart chip then keeps the heat consistent. This ionic technology uses negative ions to break the water molecules on your hair into smaller particles that evaporate faster, and this is what helps to dry the hair quickly.

The majority of control buttons are then found on the rear of the handle, below the filter. These controls, in order from top to bottom, are as follows: 

  • Hair input indicator icon
  • Hair Input and Style Mode selection button
  • Heat settings
  • Speed settings 
  • Power button 
  • Volume Booster  

Close up of buttons on T3 Featherweight hair dryer

(Image credit: Future)

Starting at the top, the hair input indicator icon consists of three wavy lines of increasing thickness. These each represent a different hair type ranging from fine on the left, to medium in the middle, and coarse on the right. You input your hair type using the Hair Input button and the corresponding wavy line will be illuminated. 

This Hair Input button then doubles up as the Style Mode selection button. Around the button are four icons which correspond to the four Style Modes. Moving clockwise from top left, these icons are: 

  • Rough Dry: for use with the Drying Concentrator.
  • Smooth: for use with either the Styling Concentrator and a paddle brush, or the Smoothing comb. 
  • Volume: for use with the Styling Concentrator and round brush.
  • Diffuse: for use with the diffuser.

The Drying Concentrator delivers a wide airflow to quickly, and roughly, dry your hair. The Styling Concentrator nozzle has a thinner outlet, compared to the Drying Concentrator, and this helps direct airflow onto individual sections. You can use this with a paddle brush to create smooth and sleek styles, or pair it with a round brush to create volume, body and bounce. 

The SoftTouch 3 Diffuser diffuses air to add volume and definition to curls, waves, and layered styles, while the Smoothing Comb directs the airflow through vented teeth to lift roots, smooth strands, and stretch and detangle curls and coils. These attachments all twist and lock easily into place on the grill.

When you select a Style Mode, the Featherweight will automatically select the most appropriate heat and speed settings to suit both the attachment, as well as your hair type and styling needs. At any point you can up the heat or drop the speed etc. manually using the standalone heat and speed buttons. 

T3 Featherweight hair dryer

(Image credit: Future)

These heat and speed buttons are each surrounded by indicator lights that correspond with the relevant settings. There are five thin light strips around the heat button, which correspond with the dryer's five heat settings. The speed button is encircled by three light strips which represent the Featherweight's low, medium and high speeds. 

The last button on the rear of the handle is the Volume Boost button. Pressing this boosts the speed and strength of the air flow to help you add volume into the hair and at the roots.  

And finally, the Cool Shot button is found under the grill on the front of the handle. The majority of the best hair dryers I've tested over the years require you to press and hold the Cool Shot button but once you've pressed the one on the T3 Featherweight it stays on until you turn it off. This is a small but hugely welcome addition. 

  • Design score: 4.5 out of 5

T3 Featherweight StyleMax hair dryer review: performance

  • Switching modes can be confusing
  • Mixed styling results 
  • Often burned my scalp or hand 

To test the T3 Featherweight StyleMax, I trialled each mode and attachment in turn multiple times over the course of a month. I timed how long it took the hair dryer to dry my fine, long, naturally curly hair, and how well it created each of the promised styles. I also experimented with manually adjusting the settings to see how differences in temperature and speed impacted the results.

To get started with the dryer you need to input your hair type. Start by pressing the Power button. Then press and hold the Hair Input button and cycle through the three options until the correct hair type line is illuminated. Next, select your preferred Style Mode by pressing the selection button again until the corresponding icon is illuminated. It helps to have the relevant attachment connected before making this selection, but it's not necessary. 

T3 Featherweight hair dryer

(Image credit: Future)

Two seconds later the dryer will start. There is always a two-second delay when switching settings, so don't be alarmed if the dryer seemingly turns itself off and doesn't come back on straight away. The lights surrounding the heat and temperature buttons show which settings have been automatically selected. If you don't feel like the heat or speed is adequate you can manually change the settings, but this will disable whichever Style Mode you've chosen. 

It took an average of 4 minutes 58 seconds to dry my hair using the T3 Featherweight StyleMax without any nozzles connected. Despite being a rough dry, my hair was surprisingly soft and relatively frizz-free, compared to how it looks and feels when I rough-dry it with other hair dryers.  

Next up, it took 6 minutes 12 seconds to dry my hair using the Drying Concentrator with the Rough drying mode selected. My hair was soft with a small amount of frizz but I got frustrated with how long it took to reach this result. Especially as there was little difference compared to drying my hair without an attachment. For me, the Drying Concentrator adds very little to the dryer and I regularly found the speed too low for my needs. 

The Styling Concentrator produced the best results, without having to sacrifice too much on drying speed. It took 5 minutes 9 seconds to create a sleek style with my paddle brush, and 5 minutes 45 seconds to finish a bouncy blow dry with a large, round brush.

Concentrator nozzle on T3 Featherweight hair dryer

(Image credit: Future)

The diffuser works very well and my curls were soft and full of body and bounce, while the Smoothing Comb helped to add a small amount of volume when blow drying my hair straight, or when separating my curls. My biggest complaint about the Smoothing Comb is that I often burned my scalp while using it. 

In fact, I burned my scalp more while using the T3 Featherweight than I ever have during all of my years writing hair dryer reviews. Just as I regularly had to turn up the speed to achieve the power I wanted, I often had to turn down the heat, or be much more careful about how close the hairdryer got to my head during styling. 

Similarly, the attachments become too hot to touch during styling so you have to wait until they've cooled down to remove them. This makes it difficult to switch attachments mid-style. For example, if I want to create a blow dry with the Styling Concentrator and then add volume at the roots with the Smoothing Comb, I have to wrap a towel around my hand to remove the first nozzle before attaching the second. This isn't a major problem, but it is an inconvenience. 

Speaking of volume, this button doesn't seem to make a huge difference. It increases the speed of the airflow to give your hair and roots extra lift but I noticed very little difference between when it was enabled and when it wasn't. And considering my fine hair needs all the volume it can get, this was disappointing. 

Overall, none of the Style Modes or settings produced a ready-to-go finish. I still had to run straighteners over my hair to remove any of the remaining frizz. However my hair felt much softer than it does normally and by the end of the review period, it looked and felt healthier.

  • Performance score: 3.5 out of 5

Should I buy the T3 Featherweight StyleMax hair dryer?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

First reviewed: April 2024

Dyson Airstrait review: straighter hair with the power of air
4:30 pm | April 12, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Hair Care Home Small Appliances | Comments: Off

Two-minute review

Dyson's latest haircare innovation is here, and ready to blow you away – literally. For the uninitiated, the Dyson Airstrait uses focused airflow to tame your tresses (much like the Dyson Airwrap), protecting you from potential heat damage incurred by using a combination of traditional hair dryers and straighteners. In that sense alone, it's easily one of the best hair straighteners I've ever used. 

Dyson may historically be best known for making some of the best vacuums, but in recent years its hair- and air care products have started appearing in TechRadar's best hair dryer and the best purifier rankings. Following the viral success of the Airwrap, the Dyson Airstrait is under a fair amount of pressure to live up to the multi-styler's legacy, and especially following the slightly lukewarm reception to the Corrale, Dyson's still-innovative but more conventional straighteners. All those efforts to master air engineering have clearly paid off; the Airstrait is pretty accomplished and a solid all-rounder, but it's got some flaws that make it far less useful for certain hair types and styling. 

Using a precisely angled (by 45 degrees) blade of focused airflow to simultaneously dry and straighten hair, the Airstrait managed to take my thick, wavy and porous hair from wet to straight in just 10 minutes – less than half the time it would take me to dry and straighten my hair, even if I was using the Dyson Supersonic and Corrale. It's worth noting though that it's pretty hard to achieve pin-straight locks; the Airstrait created more natural-looking results, which I personally prefer.

It's not just for wet styling either – the Airstrait also has a dry styling mode and a cool mode to set your style, though I will say the dry styling isn't quite as effective as wet.

As ever, though, the Airstrait falls victim to two of Dyson's cardinal sins: being overpriced and just a little impractical on account of its size and weight. There's no doubt it offers something fairly unique in the market – barring the ghd Duet Hot Styler, that is – but I'd say if you're gearing up to spend nearly $500 / £500, you're potentially better off getting an Airwrap and using its barrel or flyaway attachment to create a similar effect, depending on your hair type. 

It'd be remiss of me to not mention that although the Airstrait is a four-star product for me, that's largely down to my hair type. I can't speak for how it would work for coily or curly hair, for example. 

Dyson Airstrait review: Price & Availability

  • List price: $329 / £289 / AU$465
  • Launched in the US in May 2023, and UK in March 2024 

In case you missed the memo, Dyson's products are known for their high price tags, and the Airstrait is no different. At full price, it's $499.99 / £449.99 and is available directly from Dyson as well as at select third-party retailers such as Amazon.

The Airstrait launched in May 2023 in the US, but it has taken nearly a full year to hit the UK. As of writing, pricing and availability have yet to be confirmed for Australia, but I expect we'll see a release date before the end of 2024.

Now, there's no avoiding the fact this is an incredibly costly pair of tongs. In some territories they outprice Dyson's other hair straighteners, the Corrale ($499.99 / £399.99 / AU$699). 

Dyson Airstrait review: Specs

  • Value: 3.5 out of 5 

Dyson Airstrait review: Design

  • Chic, futuristic design with OLED screen
  • Monstrously large plug and broad plates
  • Fairly heavy for straighteners

 

Design-wise, the Dyson Airstrait is a real mixed bag. It's part retro, part futuristic aesthetically, resulting in a pair of tongs that look straight out of an 80s sci-fi movie in all the best ways – provided, of course, you like 80s sci-fi movies. 

Functionally, you've still got two plates that clamp together, which plug into the wall for power (here via a 6.6ft / 198cm cable). The key difference compared to a traditional straightener is that Dyson has swapped out hot plates for unheated panels, and on the underside there are two vents – that's where the air straightening magic happens. 

A thumb-sized OLED display on the main body shows you the styling mode, airflow and temperature settings. Below this, you'll find the five button controls: hot temperature, airflow speed, cool temperature, wet/dry mode and power. To me, the OLED screen is a bit unnecessary – I'd prefer a small light indicator and a slightly lower price tag, personally. 

There are two colorways currently available: bright nickel and prussian blue. It seems like Dyson is dropping its iconic fuschia colorway altogether, which I think is a shame. Still, I love the glossy finish and copper accents on the bright nickel model I tested.

At 1.18lb / 536g when held, they're pretty darn heavy for straighteners – just a touch lighter than the hefty 1.23lb / 560g Dyson Corrale. This does mean you could end up with some light arm-ache if you were using the Aistrait for a long period of time. Thankfully, the Airstrait makes pretty quick work of most hair types.

Even the PRCD plug for the Airstrait is pretty monstrous. This bulky component might be built with safety in mind, but my goodness it's an eyesore. On the plug are test and reset buttons to offer ground fault protection, which accounts for the seriously powerful engines whirring away inside the Airstrait. Just don't expect to be able to plug them into outlets with furniture backed onto them. 

  • Design: 4/5

Dyson Airstrait Review: Performance

  • Little-to-no hair snagging or sizzling
  • Instantly heats up and delivers speedy results
  • Shiny, silky hair, but not pin-straight

 

On test, I was pretty impressed with the Airstrait's performance. I've got thick, wavy and porous hair, so drying it can often be a bit of a pain, especially if I don't have time to let it air-dry a little first. 

However, with the Airstrait, I saved time on multiple fronts. For one thing, the Airstrait can handle fairly chunky segments of hair at once, all without snagging and pulling. I was pretty dubious of this claim prior to my testing (the Corrale promised much the same but I still find it's fairly easy to snag hairs if I'm not paying attention).

Then there's the drying itself. If you're slow and steady enough, the focused and angled blade of air generated by the Airstrait can dry a segment of my hair in just one pass, though I tend to give it a quick once over with a cool shot to set. 

It's worth noting that because of its bulky design, the Airstrait can't get right up to the root. That's fine for my naturally wavy hair, but might be an issue for those with more defined, tighter curls. 

Its wet mode offers three temperature settings (80C / 175F, 110C / 230F, and 140C / 285F) while dry offers two (120C / 250F or 140C / 285F), and there's also a boost mode.

The 45-degree angled blade of focused airflow is a pretty impressive feat of engineering, in more ways than one. For one thing, it heats the segment you're straightening impressively quickly, and there wasn't once in my multiple weeks of testing that I smelled the dreaded stench of burning hair. 

Plus, thanks to the angle of the airflow, the Airstrait doesn't disrupt the rest of your hair – or your face – while straightening, keeping you cool, calm and collected throughout your beauty routine. However, you can't really curl your hair as you can with standard hot plates, and it can be quite hard to create volume, especially given the issues with reaching the root of your hair. 

In just 10 minutes, my hair was silky, straight, and smooth, with minimal frizz and pretty impressive staying power. It's never quite perfect, but I struggle to achieve pin-straight results even with the best straighteners – plus I think a more natural straight look can be just as desirable. I did try it on dry hair, but I wasn't as impressed – it didn't seem to really do much beyond taming frizz and unmanageable flyaways.

The results lasted most of the day for me, keeping my hair relatively straight all the way through to the evening – but that's pretty standard for my hair type. When I tested on my partner's curlier Asian hair, I struggled to get it fully straight and noticed the results were slightly less shiny. If the styled hair got wet, damp, or encountered humidity, it became loosely curled again. This mirrors many customer experiences with curly, coily and frizzy hair – the Airstrait seems to work well, but doesn't offer the staying power of traditional hot plates.

Dyson has factored some pretty useful features into the design, too – in particular, the intuitive airflow adjustment and auto-timer. The former detects when hair is between the Airstrait's arms and adjusts the volume of airflow accordingly, and the latter cuts out the airflow when the arms have been left open for more than three seconds. 

Both these features can come in pretty handy, not least because the Dyson Airstrait is quite loud in use, registering 72 dB at its loudest while clamped around wet hair, and 63 dB when idle. That's still very impressively quiet for a hair dryer, though, and especially one packing this much power.. 

Overall, the Dyson Airstrait is a top performer for my very specific needs; it straightens wavy and slightly curly hair quickly and effectively, giving glossy and natural-looking results that by and large last the whole day. However, when used on curlier or coily hair, it's harder to achieve the same results you can with conventional straighteners.

  • Performance: 4/5

Should I buy the Dyson Airstrait?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider...

How I tested the Dyson Airstait?

  • I used the Dyson Airstrait as my main hair straightener and dryer for three weeks
  • I used it to dry my hair from wet as well as to straighten my dry hair
  • I have thick, wavy and porous hair

I used the Dyson Airstrait every time I dried my hair for three weeks, as well as its dry mode to touch up any unruly curls that set in overnight. I tested all of its modes and temperatures to gauge their effectiveness, as well as attempting different ways of using the Airstrait to style my hair.  

I also tried straightening my partner's thick, curly hair to see how performance varied between hair types. Additionally, I measured the decibel output to gauge how loud the Airstrait was in use. 

As well as testing haircare products for the past three years, I've been hair-obsessed since childhood; I've had long hair, short hair, colored hair and natural hair, all of which I've styled (and sometimes, disastrously, cut) myself with a wide variety of tools. I've used my own professional and personal experience to inform my testing.

First reviewed: April 2024

Zuvi Halo hair dryer review: premium style with mixed results
12:00 pm | April 7, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Hair Care Home Small Appliances | Comments: Off

Zuvi Halo hair dryer: two-minute review

Once dubbed the 'Tesla of hair dryers', the Zuvi Halo has gained a cult following across social media, as well as winning multiple accolades from industry experts – including being named one of TIME Magazine's Best Inventions. 

Instead of relying on hot air to dry hair, the Zuvi Halo uses a combination of targeted air flow with 'safe infrared light energy' to dry the water on the hair's surface. Said to have been inspired by the way the sun evaporates rainwater, it promises to boost hair hydration by 109%, shine by more than a third, and hair strength by 9%. 

The Halo offers five drying modes – Care, Fast, Soft, Style and Cool – and, depending on the mode you select, each adjusts the air speed and the intensity of the infrared light to suit different needs. For example, Fast prioritizes speed, while Care prioritizes hair health. Soft is best for people with sensitive scalps; the Style mode is designed to be used with Halo attachments, and Cool helps to set your style. 

Zuvi Halo hair dryer with attachments

(Image credit: Future)

You can't manually adjust the heat or speed settings to suit your specific hair, and this limits the level of control you have. However, there are three attachments available for the Halo: a Styling Concentrator, a Diffuser and a Gentle Air attachment, which add a degree of control and versatility. 

Making a decision over which mode to choose can be confusing; the Halo isn't as intuitive or easy to use as the majority of hair dryers. I always opted for the Fast mode because, for me, saving time is a priority. I found that my hair was frizzier and more unwieldy having used the Soft mode, and Care mode didn't dry as quickly as I'd like. Yet all of the modes were noticeably faster at drying my hair than with my regular Revlon One Plus, and my GHD Helios. 

The plus side is that this cuts down on styling time, especially in the morning. The down side is that I seemingly had to sacrifice shine in order to benefit from the speed. I often had to resort to using straighteners to calm the frizz and flyaways. Aside from adding time to my routine, this counteracted the stated hair health benefits of using the Halo. The finish was also in stark contrast to the brand's claims. 

Zuvi Halo hair dryer

(Image credit: Future)

That's not to say I wouldn't recommend the Zuvi Halo hair dryer. After three weeks of use, my hair health was noticeably improved. Once I'd become more familiar with the outcomes of the various modes, I valued the fact that I didn't have to mess around with different heat and speed settings. Plus, there's something novel and futuristic about the Halo dryer that sets it apart from the crowd, in a good way. In the many years I've been testing the best hair dryers, it's rare for a product to surprise me in the way the Halo did. 

It's just a shame that all of this next-level technology pushes the price of the Halo beyond the reach of so many, in addition to the fact that, for the price, the Halo isn't perfect.

Zuvi Halo hair dryer review: price & availability

  • $349 / £329 for Halo + 3 attachments
  • $329 / £309 for Halo + 2 attachments

The Zuvi Halo is available in two bundles. You can buy the Zuvi Halo hair dryer plus all three attachments – the Diffuser, Styling Concentrator and the Gentle Air attachment – for $349 / £329. Alternatively, if you don't need the Diffuser, you can buy a smaller, two-nozzle bundle for $329 / £309. It's not possible to buy the hair dryer on its own. 

Price-wise, the top-end Zuvi Halo bundle puts it on a par with the Dyson Supersonic. However, the Dyson ends up being better value for money because it ships with five attachments by default. This includes versions of the three attachments sold with the Zuvi Halo – Diffuser, Styling Concentrator, and Gentle Air attachment – plus a Wide-tooth Comb and Flyaway attachment.  

The Halo is available in the UK, US, Canada and across Europe, and is sold directly from the Zuvi Life website.  You can also buy it from Target in the US, and QVC in the UK. 

Zuvi Halo hair dryer review: design

  • Four preset modes + Cool shot
  • Faux leather handle feels premium
  • Bulky attachments

If the price doesn't draw comparisons with the Dyson Supersonic, then design of the Zuvi Halo will – certainly at first glance. The Halo has a short, circular barrel and long handle. It measures 9.9 x 3.3 x 3.8 inches (254 x 84 x 98mm) and weighs 1.2lbs / 546g without any nozzles attached. 

Zuvi Halo hair dryer

(Image credit: Future)

At the front of the barrel is an air outlet surrounded by a circular pane of glass, behind which sit the infrared LEDs. At the rear of the barrel is the filter inlet, which is positioned above the four main mode icons. These modes are:

  • Care: Balances speed with optimizing your hair health
  • Fast: Prioritizes speed
  • Soft: Reduces airflow and uses less light, for people with sensitive scalps
  • Style: For use only with the attachments – airflow plus direction and intensity of light adjusts according to the nozzle attached
  • Cool: Sets the style and adds shine

The Mode selection button and the Power switch sit further down the handle. Select a mode, and you'll see a small white LED light up below the corresponding button to show you it's currently selected.

As well as enabling you to toggle through the main modes, the Mode selection button also doubles up as Cool shot button on pressing and holding it. At the end of the handle is a 2.7m cord.

Zuvi Halo hair dryer

(Image credit: Future)

Unlike the majority of plastic dryers and stylers, the Halo is made largely from metal, with faux leather on the handle. This gives the hair dryer an extremely premium feel while also making it easy to grip. The white colorway and iridescent nature of the infrared lights also make the Zuvi Halo one of the most stylish hair dryers I've used.

Zuvi Halo hair dryer review: performance

  • Fast drying times 
  • Difficult to determine the best mode
  • Mixed styling results 

To test the Zuvi Halo, I trialled each mode in turn repeatedly for a month, taking note of the time it took the hair dryer to dry hair, the resulting smoothness and shine, and how hair felt overall after use. 

Not surprisingly, the quickest mode was Fast mode – although it wasn't as speedy as I'd hoped. On this mode it took the hair dryer 5 minutes 50 seconds to take my long, thin, naturally wavy from wet to dry. And while my hair felt more voluminous than normal when drying with a hair dryer (as opposed to a hot brush), it felt rough and looked frizzy. In fact, my hair looks less frizzy when I let it dry naturally. A quick look at some online reviews has found that I'm in the minority in this regard; but since it was a common occurrence throughout my review period, rather than a one off, it could just be that this particular hair dryer just doesn't suit my hair. 

Zuvi Halo hair dryer

(Image credit: Future)

Next up was Care mode. This produced a much better finish than Fast mode; my hair was smoother without losing volume, but it took almost 45 seconds longer to get my hair from wet to dry. 

Soft mode lived up to its name, leaving my hair feeling soft and healthy; but again, frizz and flyaways were an issue, not to mention it took around 8 minutes to complete styling. 

Zuvi Halo hair dryer

(Image credit: Future)

The Zuvi Halo's best results were in Style mode with the Styling Concentrator attached. It took slightly longer than Fast mode to style my hair – 6 minutes, on average – but the extra time paid off because my hair was left feeling both softer and smoother. The Diffuser worked well at setting my curls without leaving them looking frizzy. I didn't quite see the need for the Gentle Air attachment, though, considering the Soft mode adequately reduces both speed and temperature; it worked well, but seems unnecessary. 

Close up of diffuser attachment on Zuvi Halo hair dryer

(Image credit: Future)

Although the Zuvi Halo hair dryer looks bulky, especially with the nozzles attached, it's surprisingly lightweight. In addition, the shorter barrel makes it easy to move around the head; even taking account of the longer drying times across the board, my arms never ached in use. 

In terms of noise, the Zuvi Halo is one of the quietest hair dryers I've tried, even on Fast mode. The highest decibels it recorded throughout my review period was 78 decibels on Fast mode. I could easily hear my music, and have a conversation with my son while drying my hair, which is rare.  

Should I buy the Zuvi Halo hair dryer?

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First reviewed: March 2024

Zuvi Halo hair dryer: two-minute review

GHD Chronos review: a hard sell that falls short
2:20 pm | March 22, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Hair Care Home Small Appliances | Comments: Off

Two-minute review

GHD is a styling pioneer. It was one of the first brands to release flat iron straighteners (featuring its iconic ceramic yellow plates) and has consistently led the way when it comes to styling tech. Today it sells a range of stylers from curling tongs to hair dryers, brushes, styling products, and even the wet-to-dry GHD Duet Style, yet it's still best known for making some of the best hair straighteners, and the latest to join this collection is the GHD Chronos. 

As a successor to the GHD Platinum Plus, which launched in 2018, the Chronos promises to be faster, smoother, and easier to use. GHD claims it halves frizz, boosts shine by 85%, and styles hair three times faster and, for the most part, it lives up to these claims.  

I hadn't realized how much the Platinum Plus pulled on my hair until I used the Chronos. It glided through my hair with surprising ease, and this not only made it easier to use, but it reduced the friction and potential damage to my hair. In turn, this noticeably decreased frizzing and left my hair looking smoother and shiny, both when it was straightened but also when I used it to create curls and waves.    

This styler is more compact, and with rounder edges than previous GHD straighteners, but the hot plates have stayed the same size. As a result, the Chronos is easier to store and travel with, but it also makes it more ergonomic, letting you create curls and flicks easily. In fact, the Chronos' ability to create curls effortlessly is its biggest selling point.

Yet despite these updates and upgrades, the Chronos still falls a little short. Firstly, the claims GHD makes about its improved responsiveness, speed, shine and more are either in comparison to naturally dried hair, the GHD Original, or on a small sample of consumers, which lessens the impact of those claims somewhat.

Secondly, while the speed, shine, and ease of use improvements I experienced were good, I don't feel like they were dramatic or impactful enough to warrant spending $329 / £289 / $AU465. The improvements between the Platinum Plus and Chronos, for example, were relatively minor on my long, thin hair. Decent, but not groundbreaking. 

And thirdly, GHD continues to only offer one temperature setting — 365°F / 185°C — across all of its stylers. GHD says this is because it's the optimum temperature for creating a style without damaging the hair and, for my hair in particular, this is true. However, for thicker, longer, and coily hair, this remains a major sticking point with the Chronos as it does the rest of the range.

The biggest problem I have, though, is that because GHD has continuously led the way with its styling technology, any new product needs to be different enough to warrant ditching one of its older models. The GHD Original, for example, is still a great styler and much cheaper. All of GHD's stylers are so well-built that they last for years, if not decades, and they hold their value — and that's before you look at the wider flat iron market and how much competition there is. 

If you've been looking for a new styler, have an older GHD or rival model, or regularly use a straightener to create curls, there's enough about the GHD Chronos to appeal. If you already have the Platinum Plus, need a styler with more heat options, or don't need any bells and whistles then $329 / £289 / AU$465 may be a step too far. 

The GHD Chronos being held

(Image credit: Future)

GHD Chronos review: Price & Availability

  • List price: $329 / £289 / AU$465

The GHD Chronos is the latest flat iron styler to launch from the British brand and is available in white, and black for $329 / £289 / AU$465. You can buy it directly from GHD in all three regions. 

In the US, the Chronos is available from Amazon, Walmart, and Ulta. In the UK, it's available via Lookfantastic, Selfridges, John Lewis, and Harvey Nichols. It's due to launch on Amazon UK on 15 April. In Australia, it's available at Adore Beauty.

The Chronos is the flagship flat iron styler in the GHD range but it's joined by a wider range of straighteners including:

  • GHD Platinum Plus – a 1-inch flat iron styler and Chronos predecessor
  • GHD Unplugged – GHD's first cordless flat iron, with 0.9-inch plates
  • GHD Duet Style – a 2-in-1 dryer and styler
  • GHD Original – the original, entry-level 1-inch GHD flat iron
  • GHD Gold – a model that sits performance and price-wise between the Original and Platinum Plus
  • GHD Max – 2-inch plates designed for longer, thicker hair
  • GHD Mini – 0.5-inch plates for shorter hair

GHD Chronos review: Design

  • Ceramic plates with ultra-glossy coating
  • Heats up to 365°F / 185°C
  • Redesigned curved barrel and wishbone hinge

At first glance, the GHD Chronos looks remarkably similar to the Platinum Plus and other straighteners in the range. The body of the styler is made from plastic with a matte finish, available in either black or white. There are two grey-silver ceramic plates fitted on the underside of each arm of the Chronos, above the power button which is surrounded by a white LED. At the bottom end of the styler is a metal wishbone hinge with a 360-degree, 2.7-meter swivel cord attached.

Yet look a little closer at the design and specifications and there are a handful of key differences. Firstly, the Chronos is smaller than previous GHD models, measuring 11.8 x 4.6 x 2.8 inches and weighing 1.63 lbs. The Platinum Plus, for comparison, measures 12.6 x 4.72 x 3.54 inches and weighs 1.65 lbs. Despite the Chronos' smaller form, the 1-inch plates have remained the same size.  

There aren't any temperature controls on the GHD Chronos. This is because all of GHD's hair tools are pre-programmed to only a single setting of 365°F / 185°C. GHD claims this is the optimum temperature for heat styling because it's hot enough to manipulate the bonds in the hair and set the style, but isn't so hot that it breaks the bonds completely and damages the hair. 

The GHD Chronos

(Image credit: Future)

Features-wise, the Chronos uses what's described as "HD motion-responsive technology with a next-generation ceramic heater" to control heat to the plates. 

This is an upgrade to the ultra-zone technology seen on previous GHD stylers, and is said to be powered by an algorithm that identifies how the tool is being used. As you move and use the Chronos, its built-in algorithm understands the angle at which it's being held and the amount of hair in the plates. It then uses this to make sure the heat is evenly distributed. This promises to give you greater precision, and better heat consistency means better results. Ultimately, the technology has been designed to reduce the number of times you need to pass the plates over your hair, which saves you time and effort. 

As a result of these upgrades, and the ultra-gloss coating on the plates, GHD promises "the smoothest glide to deliver one-stroke styling with up to 85% more shine."

Other features include a 20-second heat-up time and a three-year warranty. The Chronos will also switch off automatically after 10 minutes if it's not being used.

The GHD Chronos controls

(Image credit: Future)

GHD Chronos Review: Performance

  • Quick to heat up
  • One pass is enough to smooth hair
  • Temperature needs to be reset every time

GHD makes a lot of bold claims about the performance of the Chronos. It's said to create styles that last 24 hours, three times faster than previous models. It claims to reduce frizz by half, enhance shine by 85%, and its re-engineered hinge and barrel have been “designed to craft high-definition curls and waves easily”.

In terms of speed, the Chronos took an average of 3 minutes and 15 seconds to straighten my hair. This isn't noticeably faster than the Platinum Plus, which takes 3 minutes and 25 seconds on average. Yet the three-fold increase is in comparison to the GHD Original and without one on hand, I wasn't able to fully test this.   

In terms of responsiveness, I didn’t notice much difference between the Chronos and other straighteners I’ve used. That said, I also didn’t have to pass the Chronos over my hair multiple times to achieve the desired finish, nor did I notice any hot or cold patches, so the best I can say about this is that it works as I'd expect.

Frizz was definitely reduced, and my hair did shine more than normal; as I have blonde hair it can be difficult to get a glossy finish due to the way it reflects the light. However, I had family members comment on the good condition of my hair, and I put that down to the Chronos.  

Sadly this style only lasted until I stepped outside at which point my hair quickly lost the smoothness and shine the GHD Chronos had created and the frizz returned, which took significantly less than the 24 hours promised. It should be noted that I have naturally wavy hair and it doesn't like any form of humidity, but I still had hoped the style would hold for a little longer than it did. 

Curling my hair using the Chronos took much longer – 9 minutes 45 seconds on average. This isn’t necessarily the Chronos’ fault; curling my hair with straighteners always takes longer than straightening it, and the Platinum Plus creates curls in a very similar time frame, but it’s worth noting.

The Chronos also glided through my hair without any friction as I twisted the styler to create the curls. This incredibly smooth experience, coupled with the smaller design and curved barrel, made curling my hair with the Chronos a hugely enjoyable experience. It was a noticeable improvement on the Platinum Plus, and any straightening iron I've ever used, and is where the Chronos really excels.  

Again, frizz was reduced, the curls were well-defined and smooth and they caught the light even more than when my hair was straightened. This style held for much longer and looked as good at the end of the night as it did at the start. 

For my thin hair, the single temperature offered on the Chronos was more than enough to create the style and hold it in place, until I left the house at least. 

The GHD Chronos on a marble counter

(Image credit: Future)

Should I buy the GHD Chronos?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

First reviewed: March 2024

Shark SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer review: hair drying made easy
2:21 am | February 12, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Hair Care Home Small Appliances | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Shark SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer: One-minute review

It might be a mouthful of a name but the SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer (hereon referred to as the SpeedStyle) has been designed to dry hair with less time and effort. Coming with a selection of five attachments, you can even reduce the amount of frizz in your hair while styling, resulting in glossier looks.

Its high performance is backed by the Shark SpeedStyle’s ability to automatically adjust the heat and airflow settings when switching between attachments, recycling this feature from the Shark Style iQ. You can still manually adjust the settings to your liking though, as the hair dryer sports two convenient buttons for airflow and temperature, allowing you to gain complete control over your styling needs.

The hardware that allows these intelligent features to function, along with a 1700W motor, are packed into a stylish and compact design, though it does mean the Shark SpeedStyle tips the scales towards the heavier end when compared to some of the best hair dryers. Despite the extra weight, it’s still small enough to neatly pack away into luggage, making it a good travel companion if your flight’s weight allowance allows for it.

Adding to the weight are five attachments that come with the SpeedStyle, and each one performs a specific task when drying and styling hair. They all use a simple rotating lock mechanism to connect to the hair dryer, and are cool-touch zones that don’t retain as much heat so you can touch them safely when swapping them. However, I found that those cool-touch zones would often still retain heat and I’d need to wait a moment or blast some cool air through them before I could touch them.

Depending on your location, you can find different Shark SpeedStyle bundles at various price points. The one I tested for this review comes with all the bells and whistles and is a hefty investment, which gets a little difficult to justify when you consider that the brand has a more versatile hair styling tool in the Shark FlexStyle Air Styling & Hair Drying System for around the same price.

Shark SpeedStyle hairdryer being held in front of mirror

The Shark SpeedStyle comes with five different attachments and a carry bag in its most expensive bundle. (Image credit: Future / Petra Player)

Shark SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer review: price & availability

  • Initially released in the US in August 2023
  • Available now in the US, UK and Australia
  • List price for full bundle: $259 / £249.99 / AU$559.99

Released initially in the US back in August 2023, the Shark SpeedStyle is available in all major markets in different bundles, although these options will vary depending on where you live. You can purchase the SpeedStyle directly from its maker or through various retailers, including on Amazon in the US, UK and Australia, and other regional sellers who typically stock Shark products.

The full package with five different attachments and a handy travel pouch will set you back $259 / £249.99 / AU$559.99 at full price, and is the only available bundle in Australia at the time of publication. In the US, you can select two of your own attachments with a regular list price of $179, or buy bundles with three pre-selected attachments for various hair types, including curly and wavy hair, for $199. The UK also has the pre-selected bundles for £199.

This price isn’t as extreme as the Dyson Supersonic – the British brand’s popular hair dryer is available from $429 / £329.99 / AU$649. Though, in Australia you can find the Supersonic for AU$549 with five different attachments in an exclusive bundle, making it a slightly more affordable option than the SpeedStyle at full price.

While it might be possible to justify the SpeedStyle’s price in comparison to Dyson, I find its cost a little confusing compared to the Shark FlexStyle. Admittedly the latter is more of a styling tool, but it can still be used as a hair dryer and comes with five attachments costing $299 / £299 / AU$499. It’s a more versatile appliance as it can transform between a hair dryer and a styling wand, plus, it’s lighter too. It might be a bit more expensive in the US and UK, but in Australia especially, the FlexStyle sits at a more affordable price – so you do the math.

• Value score: 3.5/5

Shark SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer review: specs

Shark SpeedStyle and Shark FlexStyle compared

The Shark SpeedStyle is larger than the FlexStyle, especially when the latter is in hair dryer mode. (Image credit: Future / Petra Player)

Shark SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer review: design & features

  • Slim design with a decent heft
  • Intelligent sensor for automatic adjustments
  • Four heat settings, including a cool-shot button, and three for airflow

Shark has designed a sleek and compact hair dryer, although the FlexStyle is a touch smaller when folded into its dryer mode. Compared to other brands, though, the SpeedStyle is slim. Also aiding in giving it a modern look is an unique off-white and rose-gold color scheme.

Even with its attachments, the SpeedStyle is small enough to slip into a travel bag – its most expensive bundle even comes with a neat carry case for this purpose. However, it will tip the scales in luggage as the SpeedStyle is heavier than some of its competitors, weighing in at 750g before any attachment. In comparison, the FlexStyle is only 700g, while the Dyson Supersonic and T3 AirLuxe are also both lighter at 650g and 707g respectively. On the flipside, the GHD Helios weighs 780g, so there are still heavier hair dryers than the SpeedStyle.

Its main barrel is a simple cylinder that’s uniform from end to end, Similar to what Dyson did with the Supersonic hair dryer. The Shark SpeedStyle, however, is thinner and slightly longer than its competitor, which is both a good and a bad thing.

I personally found the handle uncomfortable to grip, occasionally causing cramps if I’ve held it for too long while using it as a styler. In comparison, I found the wider handle design of the FlexStyle more comfortable when I reviewed it for sister site Tom’s Guide. That said, the slimmer design might suit smaller hands, which is complimented by a well-thought out button placement for a shot of cool air that’s easy to reach and press when needed.

Shark SpeedStyle hairdryer showing the button placement

There's a button for both heat and air flow settings just above the on/off switch on the handle of the Shark SpeedStyle. These buttons are low enough that they won't accidentally be bumped while styling. (Image credit: Future / Petra Player)

The other buttons are also well situated – the power switch is at the base of the handle but nowhere you would accidentally turn the dryer off, while the heat and airflow controls sit just above the power button and light up to indicate the setting you’re currently using. You likely won’t have to use the latter two buttons as the SpeedStyle inherits the auto-adjustments from the much older Shark Style iQ hair dryer. You can still manually make adjustments if you need to, although I found letting the SpeedStyle do its thing can save a little time.

Fitting attachments is a simple clip-in-and-lock mechanism, and these include a diffuser for drying curly hair, a Touchup brush for natural-looking blowouts, a round one for straightening, a styling concentrator that lets you focus on sections of hair, and a RapidGloss Finisher to add a glossy and smooth finish to your hairdo.

Shark SpeedStyle hairdryer on table with filter removed

The Shark SpeedStyle's filter can be removed from the back of the hair dryer for easy cleaning with a simple twist. (Image credit: Future / Petra Player)

Like a lot of other hair dryers out there, the SpeedStyle boasts a removable filter, which is a major improvement over the Shark Style Qi – keeping it clean will prolong the life of the product by preventing overheating. Given that the SpeedStyle can hit temperatures of up to 100ºC, you’ll want to clean it regularly to avoid any ongoing issues, especially if you use it every day.

While I didn’t have issues with overheating during my testing of the SpeedStyle, which included everyday use over a full week, I found that its barrel and attachments retained heat for quite some time and I had to wait a few minutes before I was able to touch them to switch attachments. And this is despite the fact that Shark has included cool-touch zones on the dryer and the attachments.

• Design & features score: 4/5

Shark SpeedStyle on table surrounded by attachments and hair brushes

Each attachment included with the Shark SpeedStyle has a specific purpose, allowing it to dry and style multiple different hair types. (Image credit: Future / Petra Player)

Shark SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer review: performance

  • Fast drying times
  • Good for different hair types
  • Requires a small learning curve for some attachments

Don’t be fooled by its compact size – the Shark SpeedStyle has some speedy dry times. Its 1,700W motor allows it to hit 100ºC / 212ºF, and I found I could dry my thick shoulder-length hair in three and a half minutes without any attachments at the highest settings. Brushing and styling my hair with the round brush attachment while also drying, however, took approximately 15 minutes for a simple and neat hairdo. While this is still quite fast, it doesn’t quite compete with the Dyson Supersonic or the GHD Helios – our reviewers found that the Supersonic can dry hair in a little over 2 minutes without attachments and the GHD Helios could do so in just over a minute.

What I really appreciate is that, even at its highest setting, the SpeedStyle doesn’t get very loud, hitting 85dB when on the maximum settings, but sitting comfortably between 76dB-80dB when on the lower settings, as recorded on the Decibel X app I used to measure sound for this review. Importantly, there’s no annoying high-pitched tone that I found with the Shark FlexStyle and that a colleague experienced with the Shark Cordless Detect Pro with Auto-empty System vacuum cleaner that was also reviewed on sister site Tom’s Guide.

My hair isn’t curly, so I didn’t use the diffuser very much but, for my needs, I found the Touchup brush the most useful. It can swivel to different angles while moving around your head, and uses the second heat setting to reduce heat damage. I found both brush attachments – the Touchup and round – capable of untangling knots easily, something my hair is prone to due to previous damage from bleaching, thanks to the combination of long, short and bunched bristles on both brushes.

Shark SpeedStyle hairdryer being held in hand with RapidGloss Finisher attachement

The RapidGloss Finisher attachment has a slight learning curve, but can be used for sleek and glossy styles with less frizz thanks to its metallic plating. (Image credit: Future / Petra Player)

I found that the RapidGloss Finisher – the SpeedStyle’s headline attachment – can take a bit of getting used to. It’s designed to smooth flyaways and leave a glossy finish by pulling locks of hair along a metal roller, but I couldn’t get it to work right the first few times I tried it. It took a few tries before I was able to smoothen my hair and achieve a glossier result than what my usual styling method yields. To get the best results from the RapidGloss Finisher, though, you need to use the highest heat setting along with the strongest airflow, so it can get uncomfortably hot on the scalp.

The styling concentrator also works well, but it’s a staple attachment for most hair dryers and not unique to the Shark Speedstyle.

I’m quite impressed with the cool-shot button – it kicks in real quick with an almost instantaneous temperature change even if the dryer is set at its hottest. I found that I could even use the cool-shot function to deal with the heat retention issue on the attachments, saving me a little bit of time.

• Performance score: 4/5

Shark SpeedStyle hairdryer behind held in hand with diffuser attachment

The Shark SpeedStyle comes with a diffuser attachment to help keep natural hairstyles while drying. (Image credit: Future / Petra Player)

Should I buy the Shark SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer?

Buy it if…

Don’t buy it if…

Also consider

If you’re not sold on the Shark SpeedStyle, here’s how it compares to three other hair dryers.

How I tested the Shark SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer

  • Used all attachments for different styles
  • Tested on thick, shoulder-length hair
  • Testing was done during summer months in Sydney, Australia

To put the Shark SpeedStyle to the test, I used it every time I washed my hair over a period of eight weeks. My testing included a week when I used it every single day. To put it through its paces, I swapped between the SpeedStyle’s attachments each time, using a paddle brush and comb to achieve different styles and results. 

I even went on holiday with it, leading me to the conclusion that it’s a good travel size despite being slightly weighty. I used it late at night in my hotel room and was relieved to not get any noise complaints.

Read more about how we test

[First reviewed February 2024]

Bellissima Creativity 4 You hair dryer review
6:17 pm | October 7, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Hair Care Home Small Appliances | Comments: Off

One-minute review

The Creativity 4 You from Bellissima is a powerful hair dryer that offers fast drying speeds and delivers silky, frizz-free locks. It's so good at knocking out frizz that the soft and shiny finish lasts for days – and, over the course of my review, this longevity only got better.  

The Creativity 4 You dryer isn’t the best-looking hair dryer I’ve used, but neither is it the ugliest. Nevertheless, its short, bulbous shape and gold filter make it look cheap, while it’s heavy and feels unbalanced in the hand, which meant I often had to pause whilst blow drying to give my arms a rest.

I’m a big fan of the physical buttons, though, alongside the subtle use of LED lights when you switch from Cool to Hot mode. I also welcome that you can lock the dryer in Cool mode, rather than having to manually hold down a Cool Shot to set your style. 

The 2.5-meter cable is slightly shorter than what has become common with rival dryers, but this never caused us any issues. The Creativity 4 You dryer arrives with four attachments that help you create a number of styles, and it’s this variety that sets the Bellissima dryer apart from many of its rivals; it also goes a long way toward justifying its high price. The Wavy attachment alone is something we’d not seen before and would pay extra for. 

Bellissima Creativity 4 You hair dryer

(Image credit: Future)

The Creativity 4 You dryer can fully dry a head of mid-length, fine hair in four minutes, and thanks to its ion technology, it does so without causing frizz. The dryer comes with two speeds and two temperature settings, which are controlled via the same switch, plus a Cool Shot mode. 

Note that during the course of reviewing the Creativity 4 You hair dryer, I regularly burned my scalp, even when using the device on a lower speed and temperature setting. Bellissima does advise people to hold the dryer away from their heads during drying, and I tried. However, this is the first hair dryer with which I’ve experienced as many problems as I did with dryer heat. 

Overall, the Creativity 4 You is a high-performing hair dryer that offers a huge amount of versatility for all hair types and styles. It falls a little short in terms of design, and needs to be used with caution. However, even with these criticisms, I’d still opt to use this dryer over many others I’ve tried and tested. 

Creativity 4 You review: price and availability

  • List price: $166.50 / £149.99
  • Available in the US and UK

Bellissima’s Creativity 4 You hair dryer is available in the US, UK, and Europe for $166.50 / £149.99. You can pick it up from Amazon, Argos, Very, and the Bellissima website in the UK, and Beauty Bay in the US and UK.

The dryer comes with four styling attachments and a storage bag. The attachments include:

  • Straight: a narrow concentrator that smooths and straightens the hair; 
  • Wavy: a curved concentrator that helps create soft waves and ringlets; 
  • Smooth & Delicate: this concentrator features a micro-perforated grid that helps minimize frizz and reduce hair damage;  
  • Curly: a diffuser for curly hair styles. 

While $166.50 / £149.99 for a hair dryer may seem excessive, the relatively high number of attachments, and the variety of styling options these offer go some way towards justifying this price tag. This is especially true when you compare the Creativity 4 You to other mid-range dryers such as the $200 / £159 CloudNine Airshot that comes with two nozzles, and the $279 / £179 GHD Helios, which only has one attachment. 

For the price, I’d have preferred a more sleek, well-balanced design, while the gold coloring cheapens the dryer somewhat; nevertheless, the performance makes it easy to put these minor points to one side.  

Price: 4/5

Bellissima Creativity 4 You hair dryer

(Image credit: Future)

Creativity 4 You review: specifications

Bellissima Creativity 4 You hair dryer

(Image credit: Future)

Creativity 4 You review: design

  •  Cool shot lock 
  •  Gold casing cheapens the overall look 
  •  Heavy and unbalanced in the hand 

The Bellissima Creativity 4 You dryer looks like a cross between short-barrel, Dyson-style dryers, and the traditional, bulbous dryers of old. The main body of the unit is black, as are the attachments, while the filter and grille are housed in a gold plastic section at the rear of the styler. I have to say that I’m not a fan of the gold design; it definitely makes the dryer stand out, but I think it cheapens the overall look. Each of the four attachments clicks into the front of the dryer using small clips that sit around the circumference of the barrel. 

The dryer measures 7 inches/18cm long, and 9 inches/ 23cm from the bottom of the handle to the top of the barrel. Along this handle are four controls: a Cold Shot button, which sits nearest to the barrel, a Hot button, the speed switch, and a power button. Each of these controls extends out from the handle, as opposed to sitting flush, feeling surprisingly high-end. There’s something reassuring about the feedback you get from pressing a physical button when almost everything today is managed via touchscreens or digital displays. While I was concerned that they might be easy to knock or press by accident while drying my hair, this hasn’t been the case. 

However, the speed switch has proved a little confusing, because you have to move it to the left to select the higher speed setting and switch it back to the right to lower the speed. This feels a little counterintuitive because most hair dryer controls go from left for low to right for high. This is a minor point, nonetheless. Plus, you do get a small increase in noise on the higher setting, so it’s easy to determine the speed at which the dryer is running.  

Bellissima Creativity 4 You hair dryer

(Image credit: Future)

One of my favorite things about this hair dryer is the fact that you can switch between hot and cold air without having to manually hold down the Cold Shot button, as is the case with most other dryers. This spares you an aching finger and ensures that the air actually cools, and remains cool, for the length of time you need it to. You can also see, at a glance, which temperature setting you’re on. If you’re in Hot mode, a red LED light glows around the Hot button. If you’re in Cold mode, there’s a ring of Blue light around the Cool Shot button.

The dryer remembers your previous settings each time you switch it on, which is a nice touch but hardly a necessity. If anything, it means you have to always switch it back to Hot mode if, like me, you like to finish by setting your style with cool air. 

One of my least favorite things about this dryer is its weight and balance. It tips the scales at 2.1lbs/950g, making it almost twice the weight of the Dyson Supersonic, and three times as heavy as mdlondon’s Blow’s dryer. In fact, its weight was one of the first things I noticed on taking the dryer out of its box, and my arm was aching within seconds of using the dryer. So much so, that when I’m blow-drying my hair with a barrel brush, I have to take breaks. Adding to the discomfort is that the bulk of the weight feels like it’s sitting behind the handle, towards the rear of the barrel. This causes it to pull on your wrist, mid-style.  

As a result, the Creativity 4 You dryer falls a little short for design – a selection of excellent features is let down by some poor choices elsewhere. 

Design: 3/5

Creativity 4 You hair dryer and its attachments

(Image credit: Future)

Creativity 4 You review: performance

  •  Fast and precise styling 
  •  Leaves hair feeling soft and shiny for days 
  •  Dryer gets super hot 

A lot of my design criticisms faded into the background on discovering how well the Creativity 4 you perform. It’s difficult to describe the feel of the air, but it isn’t rough as it is with other dryers; it feels soft, without sacrificing power. In addition, noise levels reach an average of 76db, which is quiet enough to have a conversation at the same time. The hair dryer took under four minutes to dry my mid-length fine hair. 

I welcomed that it dries the section of hair you’re working on without sending other sections flying in all directions. This is a particular problem for me with my fine hair when using rival dryers, and is a major cause of frizz and knots. 

My hair was left feeling smooth and soft – even after rough drying it straight out of the shower – with this feeling lasting for days. I can’t usually go more than one day without my hair becoming greasy, or losing volume and movement. Not only did my hair continue to look freshly washed the day after using the Creativity 4 You dryer, but it still felt soft on day three. The greasiness had started to creep in, but I could style my hair without it looking slick and flat. 

This smooth and sleek finish was amplified with the use of the concentrator nozzle and was even noticeable when I used the “Curly” diffuser to enhance my natural waves. The diffuser is large enough to hold large amounts of hair, but not too large that you lose precision.

However, my favorite attachment was the Wavy attachment. I had to watch a video tutorial to learn how to get the best out of it, but it’s far more simple than it first appears. The curved design fits on the circumference of a barrel brush. As you’re drying your hair, the barrel brush sits beneath the hair, while you hold the Wavy attachment on top. This dries the hair into the shape of the brush; you move the brush down and repeat to create a head-full of S-waves. It takes a bit of getting used to (and it’s not quick!), but if you’ve ever struggled to get beachy waves with a heated styler, this hair dryer is worth the investment for this alone. 

When I first opened the box, I didn’t think I’d have any use for the Smooth and Delicate attachment, which looks like a cattle grille. That was until I realized how hot this hair dryer gets. On multiple occasions, this hair dryer burned my scalp. This is partly my fault for holding the dryer too close to the roots, but I can’t think of a single other dryer I’ve used that has hurt me so much on such a regular basis. Even when I tried to hold the dryer away from my scalp, I still managed to burn my skin. It became almost a necessity to use the Smooth and Delicate attachment to avoid burning myself. I’ve asked Bellissima to confirm the maximum temperature that the Creativity 4 You reaches, but I’m yet to hear back from the company. 

The plus side of this high heat is that the Creativity 4 You dries hair quickly and effectively. This will be a particular benefit to people with thick hair – if you have strong arms, that is.

Performance: 4/5

Should I buy the Creativity 4 You?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

How I tested the Creativity 4 You hair dryer

  •  I used it as my main hair dryer for 3 weeks 
  •  I tried all settings on wet to damp hair 
  •  I tested on my own fine, mid-length hair 

I used the Bellissima Creativity 4 You hair dryer for three weeks as my main hair dryer. I recorded the time it took the dryer to take my hair from wet to dry, rough-drying and blow-drying. 

I also used all of the attachments multiple times and compared performance to other dryers I’ve tried and used regularly, namely the Dyson Supersonic and the Revlon 2-in-1 Dryer. 

I've been reviewing hair dryers and beauty tech for more than five years, and have been testing home appliances and gadgets for more than a decade. 

First reviewed August 2023

Bellissima Air Wonder 8 in 1 Hot Air Styler review: A capable, affordable Dyson Airwrap dupe
6:01 pm | October 1, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Hair Care Home Small Appliances | Comments: Off

One-minute review

It’s been a few years since Dyson disrupted the home haircare market with the release of the Dyson Airwrap styler, giving the competition plenty of time to catch up.

Since then, we’ve seen a host of Dyson Airwrap dupes hit the scene, from those that stay fairly close to Dyson’s high-tech, premium grade finish such as the Shark FlexStyle, to more affordable and approachable options such as the Bellissima Air Wonder 8 in 1 Hot Air Styler. This more conventional hair dryer doesn’t offer the advanced engineering and suction of the Dyson and Shark models, but its selection of attachments makes for a great first step towards leveling up your hair care.

Using the Bellissima Air Wonder with its one of seven attachments enables you to dry and style your hair in almost any way you can imagine – once you figure out the locking mechanism, that is, which is the source of a majority of complaints I’ve read online due to its unclear instructions.

The styling tool is capable and the results are decent, but I wouldn’t say it’s offering the best value for money simply because it comes in cheaper than the Dyson Airwrap. Each of the components feels pretty cheap, and both the attachments and the lock ring become so hot that you can actually burn yourself – I did so a few times, much to my chagrin. Note, too, that there’s no temperature control; just two heat settings and a cool shot. This is cause for some concern: how damaging might it prove to hair in the long-term if it’s so hot that it burns me after 10 minutes of use?

Still, if you’re careful – making sure you keep your hair hydrated and use good products – then I don’t think the Bellissima Air Wonder will be too much of a problem; but I wouldn’t use it every day or call it one of the best hair dryers I've tested. 

Bellissima Air Wonder: Price and availability

  • List price: $111 / £100 
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US and the UK

For a hot air styler, the Bellissima Air Wonder is pretty affordable at $111 / £100, and it’s widely available in the UK from retailers including Amazon and Argos. In the US, it’s slightly less accessible, but can be found through third-party retailers such as Beauty Bay.

One of the big positives for the value proposition of the Air Wonder is its included attachments. The product’s name is somewhat misleading, though, in that it actually comes with only seven attachments; I presume the supposed eighth styling tool is the wand itself – which is a bit useless for drying hair on its own. Aside from this, it’s a decent enough, affordable alternative to other multi-stylers; but I wouldn’t say it offers great value for money on account of some of its performance and design issues.

  • Value: 4 / 5

Bellissima Air Wonder: Specifications

Bellissima Air Wonder: Design

  •  White wand with seven black and gold attachments 
  •  Storage bag included 
  •  Lock function is clumsily designed 

Opting for a luxe color palette of cream with black and gold accents, the Bellissima Air Wonder 8 in 1 is a brush hair dryer, following the form factor of other multi-stylers by opting for a wand rather than the traditional L-shaped dryer. 

It’s fairly ergonomic in the hand, with a slight pear shape that keeps the controls within easy reach. At its thinnest point it’s about the same width as the Dyson Airwrap and Shark FlexStyle, but it’s a little shorter at 20.9 x 10.6 inches/ 53 x 27cm (l x w). Its longest attachments are the rounded brushes and curling iron, which add 19 inches/ 50cm to the overall length. 

Bellissima Air Wonder 8 in 1 Hot Air Styler being held by author

(Image credit: Future / Josephine Watson)

At the top of the wand is the lock ring, where you attach the accessories, and just below this sit the temperature controls. There’s no granular control on the Bellissima Air Wonder; simply a cool setting, and two heat settings. At the hilt of the wand is the fan. 

The attachments are coated with ceramic and keratin, and lock into place with a twist. There’s a QR code with instructions on how to do this included, since it’s clearly been a pain point; many customers online have been making returns or raising complaints about accessories falling off. 

Unlike the more premium Shark and Dyson devices, the Air Wonder has a far more manageable 3m cord, and the included bag makes it super-easy to store away.

While the Bellissima Air Wonder does indeed look very nice, all of the parts feel a bit tacky. In use, especially, it doesn’t feel robust, and there are lots of cracks and crevices in which your hair can easily become caught and ripped (like mine did a fair few times!)

  • Design: 3 / 5

Bellissima Air Wonder 8 in 1 Hot Air Styler being held by author

(Image credit: Future / Josephine Watson)

Bellissima Air Wonder: Performance

On test, the Bellissima Air Wonder 8 in 1 performed pretty well, transforming my typically unruly strands into silky and well-tamed locks – but it wasn’t smooth-sailing getting there, and I wouldn’t say I ever achieved the results I was expecting.

First, the positives. I welcomed the wide selection of accessories, and they definitely encouraged me to be a bit more adventurous with my daily styling. I mostly used the nozzle for rough drying and the three-barrel brushes to create volume and curls in my hair, all of which worked pretty well. Having never before used ovular brushes for styling, I particularly enjoyed seeing how I could get some more natural volume into my hair with the oval brush. 

Bellissima Air Wonder 8 in 1 Hot Air Styler being held by author

(Image credit: Future / Josephine Watson)

I found that styles created using the volume-centric attachments held well in my hair, playing nicely with the direct heat and airflow from the wand. Generally speaking, my hair felt silky and smooth to the same standard as it does with my go-to hair dryer, the Panasonic EH-NA65.

Image 1 of 2

Bellissima Air Wonder 8 in 1 Hot Air Styler being held by author

(Image credit: Future / Josephine Watson)
Image 2 of 2

Bellissima Air Wonder 8 in 1 Hot Air Styler being held by author

(Image credit: Future / Josephine Watson)

However, I found the other attachments disappointing. The curling iron was the biggest offender here, and it seems I’m not the only one, with dozens of frustrated customers having left feedback online that the tool just doesn’t work, despite being a big selling point. Any curls I did manage to achieve dropped pretty rapidly.

This is particularly surprising given the hair dryer's biggest weakness – how hot the main unit and its attachments become. It also feels like a massive oversight given that one of the key selling points of the air styler is being able to swap out attachments. Not only do these accessories feel incredibly hot to the touch, but even the lock ring itself becomes too hot to operate. 

This means that despite the multi-styler making quick work of drying my hair, the whole styling process was significantly lengthened by having to turn off the device or purge the heat using the cool shot multiple times.

The lack of a temperature control, plus the maximum heat of the styler being 392ºF/200ºC, means I have some serious concerns about how this dryer might impact the health of hair, especially if it’s used regularly and without careful consideration to hair protection and health.

Personally, I’d only use the Air Wonder on occasion rather than daily – which, in my opinion, brings down the value of the product overall quite considerably.

  • Performance: 3 / 5

Should I buy the Bellissima Air Wonder?

Bellissima Air Wonder 8 in 1 Hot Air Styler being held by author

(Image credit: Future / Josephine Watson)

Buy it if... 

Don't buy it if...

Bellissima Air Wonder: Also consider

If the Bellissima Air Wonder isn't for you, why not consider these other hair stylers?

How I tested the Bellissima Air Wonder 8 in 1

  • I used the Bellissima Air Wonder 8 in 1 every day for 3 weeks 
  • I tried all of the accessories on my medium-length wavy and thick hair
  • I tested all of its settings, benchmarking against the competition

For the three weeks I used the Bellissima Air Wonder 8 in 1, I made a concerted effort to use all of its accessories and settings, creating different styles with my hair to see how well they performed. I assessed how healthy my hair looked after styling, and how well various styles remained throughout the day.

I timed how long it took me to dry my hair compared to the Air Wonder’s closest competition – Shark and Dyson – as well as my standard, conventional dryer. 

I’ve been testing haircare products for two years professionally, but I’ve always had long hair and styled it with various products over the years.

First reviewed September 2023

T3 Fit review
6:30 pm | October 28, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Hair Care Home Small Appliances | Comments: Off

• Original review date: October 2022
• Still T3s foremost compact dryer
• Launch price:  $119.99 / £130
• Official price now:  $149.99 / £130

Updated: February 2024. The T3 Fit remains the brand's premiere compact hair dryer, though in the US its price did increase a little. Compact hair dryers aren't the most fast-moving sub-section of haircare tech, so it's still one of the best hair dryers you can buy for its size. The rest of this review remains unchanged.

One-minute review

The T3 Fit stands out as one of our best hair dryer favorites as a result of its light and compact design. And, in fact, it’s just one model in a range of stylish hair tools from US-based company, T3. Starting out in 2003 as a “part tech start-up, part beauty venture”, T3 currently sells a wide range of hair gadgets and technologies that have been mindfully designed to enhance your hair-styling experience. Choose from hair dryers, flat irons, curling irons and other useful and coveted styling tools. 

The T3 Fit compact hair dryer arrived in February 2021, and while it isn’t the most recent launch, it remains a popular choice for those in the know as a result of its lightweight yet powerful design. T3 has since launched the equally stylish-looking T3 Afar in January 2022, which is even lighter in weight and comes with a stowaway folding handle that makes it perfect for travel. Meanwhile, the T3 AireLuxe is the latest hair dryer from T3, launching back in April 2022; it champions 15 heat and speed settings to make it ideal for every hair type. 

 The T3 Fit is designed to be 30% smaller and 20% lighter than a full-size T3 hair dryer, while remaining powerful in performance. On board the T3 Fit is all the impressive technology you’d expect from a standard hair dryer. It features IonAir technology for the delivery of a wide, ion-infused airstream for drying hair gently and quickly. Plus, its Ion Generator saturates the airflow with negative ions to achieve a smooth and shiny finish; we noticed just how well this works on frizzy hair. While the control buttons aren’t the smoothest to operate and feel a little clumsy design-wise, we enjoyed using the T3 Fit because of its comfortable handle, quiet operation, balanced airflow and lightweight design. In short, we think it’s best suited to those who want the power of a standard hair dryer in a more compact form. 

T3 Fit price and availability

  • List price: $119.99 / £130 

At the time of writing, T3 hair dryers and styling tools can be bought online in the US and UK, with the T3 Fit model costing US $119.99/£130.  

We feel this is a fair price for a hair dryer that delivers all the functionality of a full-size hair dryer, but in a more compact form. Also, in terms of style, T3’s products look and feels premium, with the brand offering all of its best-selling hair dryers at reasonable sub-$221/£200 prices. In comparison, you can expect to pay around $210/£189 for the popular GHD Helios, and from $354/£320 for the Dyson Supersonic.  

Price & availability score: 5
 

T3 Fit design

  •  Lightweight at 400g 
  •  Compact form makes it great for travel  
  •  Easy-to-navigate controls 

The T3 Fit’s design looks and feels luxurious, with the hair dryer arriving neatly presented in a white box. Inside the box you’ll find it sits alongside a single concentrator nozzle, and if you’ve opted to buy it with its compatible diffuser, this will come in a separate box. There’s also a great range of accessories you can choose from in the T3 range, including a smooth paddle brush, clip kit and absorbent luxe turban towel.

T3 Fit hair dryer in box

(Image credit: Future)

We like the streamlined styling of the T3, which is finished in a shiny gloss white with rose gold accents. It’s also available in an attractive graphite finish, should you prefer. While it feels nice to hold and compact in hand, its shiny surface makes it slightly slippery to hold when styling with waxy hands. Unlike some hair dryers whose controls are flush with the handle, the T3 Fit controls jut out slightly. Although this makes it not as streamlined in style as some well-known hair dryers we’ve tried, it does make the T3 Fit easy to control.

T3 Fit has rose gold accents

(Image credit: Future)

The most enticing features of the T3 Fit design are its size and weight, which makes it instantly attractive for those who’d like a hair dryer for taking on their travels, or are simply short on storage space at home. It’s 20% lighter and 30% smaller than the full-size T3 AireLuxe, for example, yet it comes with equally impressive technology to style hair with impressive results.  

At 400kg, the T3 Fit proves a great tool for those with long or dense hair that takes time to dry; it will limit any arm ache you might suffer with extended use – something hair stylists will tell you is a big bug bear. 

Note that the T3 Fit’s head is shorter and chunkier than the sleeker, full-size T3 AirLuxe hairdryer; in fact, the T3 Fit is surprisingly similar in size to the Dyson Supersonic. However, while it’s lighter than the Dyson Supersonic, which comes in at 660g, the T3 Fit isn’t the lightest hair dryer on the market. For a full-size hair dryer of lighter weight, check out the Parlux Digitalyon Light Air Ionizer.

Setting up the T3 Fit

(Image credit: Future)

Setting up the T3 Fit for use was simply a matter of plugging it in and we were good to go. Its long 9ft cord enabled us to move around freely, while the hair dryer’s controls are conveniently positioned on the handle and click securely when pressed, with no possibility of accidentally knocking the settings while in use. The concentrator nozzle proved a little fiddly to attach to the head of the hair dryer at first, but once we’d discovered how it fixes in place, through the alignment of arrows, we were able to interchange between the concentrator nozzle and the diffuser attachment with ease.

Design score: 4.5/5

T3 Fit performance

  •  Gentle, yet powerful, airstream  
  •  Ion generator to encourage a smooth and shiny finish 
  •  Great for blowouts  

The great thing about the T3 Fit is that while it’s small in size, it has all the power and performance you’d expect of a standard-size model. At 1600 watts, and with two speed settings and three heat settings, it has been designed to tackle a range of hair types – from poker straight to hair with Type 4 curl patterns – through delivery of a steady and gentle airstream.

It’s the hair dryer’s Ion Generator that saturates airflow with negative ions to help reduce frizz and encourage shine, while IonAir technology ensures hair is dried at speed yet gently. Having used the T3 Fit, we could definitely feel the benefits of its built-in technology compared to rival brands, which can often feel too fast and too hot.  

Using the T3 to dry long, wavy hair that’s prone to frizz with even the slightest hint of outdoor humidity, we were impressed at how quickly it dried the hair – inside five minutes. We felt the benefits of the steady airflow of this hairdryer at both speed settings and on all three heat settings. In fact, even when we used the T3 Fit at its top settings, the hair dryer never became too hot nor did it blast out air too powerfully. The result was smoother hair that was less fluffy in texture than it is when dried with other well-known hair dryers. 

We used a large round brush to blow out our hair, too, and liked that it made hair feel thick and weighty, with a good bounce and shine. The results on shorter styles were equally impressive, with the T3 taking under three minutes to completely dry a head of shorter hair. 

Note that while the hair dryer didn’t ever become too hot, nor was the cool shot all that cold; we were expecting a much cooler blast of air than it delivered. In addition, we noticed that when the cool shot was pressed, while it did reduce the power and heat of the hairdryer, it took a little longer than we’d like to get cooler.  

Thankfully, the T3 Fit is reasonably quiet in operation. We used a decibel meter app to measure noise levels, with it coming in at 85dB on its highest setting and 77dB on its lowest setting. To put this into context, we’ve previously tried far noisier hair dryers that emit around 90dB of noise. Since the T3 Fit doesn’t become too hot nor too loud, it’s a good option for use on children’s hair as well, making it a good buy for all the family. 

Performance score: 4.5/5

T3 Fit comparison with other compact hair dryers

A comparison of compact hairdryers, from left to right: Parlux, T3 Fit and Dyson Supersonic (Image credit: Future)

T3 score card

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  • First reviewed: October 2022
Laifen Swift review
3:00 pm | September 26, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Hair Care Home Small Appliances | Comments: Off

• Original review date: October 2022
• Still Laifen's flagship, but the new Swift SE provides a more affordable alternative
• Launch price: $199.99 / £175.11 / AU$297.83
• Official price now: The same

Updated: February 2024. The Laifen Swift remains to be a great Dyson Supersonic alternative, though it's far from the only one at this point. Still, it's a fraction of the price, and nearly as affordable as some of the most high-performing standard hair dryers in this list. Since our original review, Laifen has released a more affordable sister product, the Laifen Swift SE ($149.99 / £128.01 / AU$228.02), which is marginally less powerful and more cheaply made, but comes in some adorable pastel hues.

One-minute review

Skepticism is key when shopping online, especially when it comes to new names and viral trends, so Laifen has an uphill battle establishing itself in the fiercely competitive hair styling market. Thankfully, the Laifen Swift makes an immediate impact. 

Launching its campaign on Indiegogo in 2020, Laifen Swift was met with enthusiasm by its backers. Having hit the market in 2022, all eyes are now fixed on its lofty promises and more affordable price tag compared to some of the best hair dryers.

This lightweight, powerful tool arrives with some impressive specs, packing 1600W of power in its slimline frame with a 110,000RPM brushless motor that generates 22m/s airflow. It offers three temperature and two airflow settings.

While it offers professional-grade specs and performance, there are a few missteps that make the Laifen Swift a little less spectacular than it could have been. It doesn’t have a separate cool shot button, nor does it have a hook for hanging – and, as of writing, it has a cord length of just 1.8m/5.9ft. The latter might be fine for home use, but in a professional setting the Laifen Swift’s cord might prove limiting.

Still, having used the Laifen Swift over the course of a week, we were impressed by how quickly it dried hair, keeping frizz to a minimum as a result of it generating and releasing negative ions into the airflow. With such a strong start in the market, Laifen is one to watch in the years to come.

Laifen Swift Special in its box with the three attachments

(Image credit: Future)

Laifen Swift price and availability

  • Laifen Swift: $199.99 / £175.11 / AU$297.83
  • Laifen Swift Special: $239.99 / £210.14 / AU$357.40

We received the Laifen Swift Special for review, which is identical to the regular Laifen Swift hair dryer, but comes with three attachments – a diffuser, standard nozzle and quick styling nozzle – as opposed to the standard nozzle-only bundle. You can also buy the quick styling nozzle separately, but the diffuser is exclusive to the Swift Special.

Compared to its biggest rival, the Dyson Supersonic (which retails at $429 / £329 / AU$599 as of writing), the Laifen Swift presents a much more affordable option with much of the same technology.

Currently, the Laifen Swift is the only product available from Laifen, and you can buy it directly from Laifen or on Amazon.

Value: 4.5/5

Laifen Swift Special without any attachments on

(Image credit: Future)

Laifen Swift design

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Short cord and no hook
  • Three heat settings and two speeds
Hair dryer Specifications

Here are the specifications for the Laifen Swift:

Speed settings: Two
Heat settings:
Three, plus autocycle
Hanging loop: No
Cord length: 1.8m
Cool shot: No
Weight: 0.89lb/407g
Attachments: One with regular package, three with the Special bundle

The Laifen Swift hair dryer is available in four colors – matte black, silver blue, pearl white and ruby red – and has a wonderfully luxe soft finish that makes it a joy to behold and, well, hold. It has a short, rounded barrel atop its long, straight handle; but it’s a shape that might not be for everyone. Personally, we’ve found this form to be far more storage-friendly.

Measuring 10.9 x 2.7 x 3.5in/ 27.7 x 7 x 8.9cm, the Laifen Swift is wonderfully light at 0.89lbs/407g without its cable, so you’re unlikely to feel much arm fatigue, especially given how quickly it dries hair – but more on that later. The attachments connect magnetically to the front of the barrel, snapping on and off easily.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Laifen Swift is its airflow design. Instead of channeling air through the rear of the barrel, it’s pulled through from the base of the handle. Here, users will also find the dust filter, the casing of which also attaches magnetically, clicking on and off quickly for maintenance.

Laifen Swift without its dust filter casing on

(Image credit: Future)

As mentioned above, the hair dryer delivers 1600W of power across three temperature settings and two speed levels, the controls for which are situated at the top of the handle. If you press and hold the temperature button, you can also switch on its temperature autocycle mode. There’s no separate cool shot - you have to use the temperature button to cycle through the settings - which is a little disappointing, as was the omission of a hanging loop. 

The biggest setback in the Laifen Swift’s design is its short cord length. While most home users may be content with its 1.8m/5.9ft length, with the professional potential of this hair dryer it’s a shame that Laifen didn’t opt to deliver its hair dryer with the longer cable lengths now commonly seen across the market. Plus, if you don’t have a well-situated mirror near a plug socket at home, you might find yourself reaching – or having to use an extension cord – with the Laifen Swift.

Design: 4.5/5

Laifen Swift performance

  • Fast drying times
  • Comfortable to use
  • Ionic technology reduces frizz

Delivering high-powered jets of ionized air, the Laifen Swift makes swift work of drying hair. We tested it on damp, thick, medium-length hair on its highest setting, which dried completely in just under seven minutes. It isn’t quite as impressive as the Dyson Supersonic, which takes four and a half minutes to dry the same hair type, but it’s a whole lot faster than the 12-15 minutes of the Panasonic EH-NA65 – which is this writer’s current home use hair dryer. For less porous and thinner hair, we’d expect a drying time of about five and a half minutes with the Laifen Swift, which just about matches the manufacturer’s claims. 

After drying, our hair was left feeling super-smooth with a gentle shine, and we actually noticed it didn’t become greasy as quickly as it does having used less powerful airflow dryers. Perhaps this is because we felt more confident getting stuck into drying our roots without fear of hair being caught in the rear of the barrel. 

The attachments all worked well during use, and while they (and the barrel) were prone to getting a little hot, temperatures didn’t reach anything close to being dangerous or uncomfortable. Switching the attachments out mid-dry proved nice and easy, too, thanks to the magnetic fixture.

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Laifen swift barrel rear, showing temperature setting LED indicator

The rear of the barrel displays the current temperature setting - blue for cool, orange for warm, red for hot. (Image credit: Future)
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Laifen swift barrel rear, showing temperature setting LED indicator

The rear of the barrel displays the current temperature setting - blue for cool, orange for warm, red for hot. (Image credit: Future)
Image 3 of 3

Laifen swift barrel rear, showing temperature setting LED indicator

The rear of the barrel displays the current temperature setting - blue for cool, orange for warm, red for hot. (Image credit: Future)

We’ve mentioned before just how well designed the Laifen Swift is, but the actual experience of blow drying hair really is a feat worth highlighting. The handle remains cool throughout use, the hair dryer is light enough to reduce arm strain (or even eliminate it, depending on how long your hair takes to dry), and switching out attachments is supremely easy.

The Laifen Swift claims to be incredibly quiet, emitting just 59db while in use. Unfortunately, this wasn’t our experience – unless those figures were achieved through very specific testing parameters of which we’re not aware. 

In our test, from six inches away, on the fastest setting the Laifen Swift recorded 79db for noise. This figure is fairly middle of the road in comparison to other hair dryers; the Dyson Supersonic registered 74db on our decibel meter, while one of the noisiest hair dryers we’ve tested, the Remington Hydraluxe Pro EC9001, registered 82db. However, what we can say in defense of the Laifen Swift is that the sound it emits is far less aggressive and grating than other hair dryers we’ve tried.

Laifen Swift rear showing its temperature and speed controls

(Image credit: Future)

A small, but notable issue we had with the Laifen Swift was its button placement. While the temperature and speed controls look and feel great, it’s far too easy to brush across or lightly press the temperature controls accidentally. If you’re not drying hair in front of a mirror, where you can see the temperature indicator on the rear of the barrel, you might not even notice that you’ve done it.

Performance: 4/5

Laifen Swift score card

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