Dyson Airstrait review: get wet-to-straight hair within minutes without the dreaded scent of burning

This is like having a mini hairstylist at your beck and call - though it comes at a price

Dyson's Airstrait: possibly worth the money for those with more 'complex' hair
Dyson Airstrait
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Price: €500
Where To Buy: Dyson

The search for the holy grail of hair products has been a long one around these parts. We seek something that will deal with frizz but won’t cause too much damage to hair; a tool that will cut down on time spent achieving a sleek style, but won’t require paying out as much as your monthly mortgage payment on multiple products.

So far, none has really hit the mark for all of that. You have hairdryers that will get 90 per cent of the way there, or heated stylers that will do most of it, but not all.

So Dyson is trying its hand again. The company has recently expanded its haircare range, this time to include a product that will straighten your hair as it dries, cutting out at least one pesky step for those of us who would like to have the time to have sleeky, shiny hair but find the multiple products a bit too much to deal with.

The idea of a wet-to-straight product strikes a note of fear into me, however. It conjures up images of sizzling hair and inevitable heat damage as the hot plates get to work.


But the Dyson Airstrait is a pleasant surprise. It’s more like a hairdryer with plates to keep your hair clamped as you dry it than it is a high-heat hair straightener. The air flow is directed downwards at the edge of the plates, so as you clamp sections of your hair between the plates and go down the length of it, your hair is dried straight. It takes a couple of passes, but in general, it works quickly, depending on the temperature and airflow settings.

It has three pre-set temperatures – 80 degrees, 110 degrees and 140 degrees – that allow you to dry your hair from wet to straight in minutes, and a dry mode that refreshes your style if you need it. A small display shows you what mode it active, and there is an additional boost mode to help set styles when you need it.

As you might expect, the Airstrait uses Dyson’s motor technology, with a 13-blade impeller that spins at a rate of up to 106,000rpm. That’s important because it pushes almost 12 litres of air through the machine per second, which in turn generates up to 3.6kPa of air pressure, straightening your hair as it dries it.

Simone Gannon: Is Dyson’s new €500 hair tool worth the hefty price tag?Opens in new window ]

If you are familiar with Dyson products, you will know though that all of this comes at a price, and the Airstrait is no different. It fits into the €500 category and, like many of these products, it will only seem like value for money to those who struggle with hairstyling.

In other words, if your hair is the type that air-dries straight or takes minimal effort to look polished, this product is not going to be high on your “must-have” list, given the price. Likewise if you are already skilled with a hairdryer and can do that perfect “just stepped out a salon” sleek blow-dry with a round brush.

For the rest of us though, the Airstrait will come in extremely handy.

In the space of a few weeks, it has largely replaced my hair straightener. It now takes less than 15 minutes for me to blow-dry my hair straight, without running hot plates over it. And unlike my previous efforts at blow-drying and subsequently using a hair straightener, it lasts a bit longer. It’s like having a mini hairstylist at your beck and call.

There is some smart technology in there that is intended to help prevent heat damage to your hair, although it will only go so far and help deal with the worst of the damage. Glass bead thermistors – a type of temperature-sensitive resistor – will regulate airflow temperature up to 16 times a second. In theory, that will help prevent extreme heat damage to your hair but the success of that could only be measured over a longer period of time.

It works surprisingly well. Within 10 minutes, it tackled most of the job; within another five, I was ready to walk out the door. This is almost unheard of around here, especially with a single device that wasn’t being wielded by a hairdresser. And it is easy to use, although the back of your head requires some extra contortions. The style lasted a couple of days, with only a minor touch-up in that time.

There are downsides, though, price aside. The first is that the position of the air vents mean you will never be able to get quite up to the roots, which could be an issue for those of us with curly hair. You dry the roots with the Airstrait clamped shut and pointed at your scalp, but you won’t get it straight right up to your scalp. That may be a deal-breaker for some people; it also means you don’t get the flatness at the root that ceramic straighteners can bring.

Using it also requires keeping the plates clamped shut a lot of the time, and when teamed with longer, thicker hair, you can end up with arm fatigue after a few minutes.

Lastly, there is the plug. For some reason, the Airstraight comes with an almost comically sized plug. That makes it a bit less portable, but Dyson has its reasons for it. It is a PRCD plug that tests the electrical current for safety – Dyson says it is to do with the wet-to-dry aspect of the Airstrait, and that removing this tech from the Airstrait itself makes it lighter and easier to use.


It works. As someone who regularly struggles with drying and straightening my hair, the Airstrait cuts it all down to one smarter device that works quickly and effectively. Dyson’s smart technology is designed to help prevent extreme heat damage, although any heat styling will inevitably have some effect.

It also senses when the arms of the device are closed, increasing and decreasing the airflow accordingly, and after three minutes of inactivity, it will turn off. It’s impossible to leave the device turned on.


Expensive if you are adding to your haircare line-up. It won’t straighten right to the roots, and you may have to take a break to prevent arm cramp while using it. It doesn’t travel well either; aside from the plug, which takes up a lot of space, the Dyson device is only intended for use with the voltage of the region where it was manufactured.

Everything else

It has numerous controls that cover everything from wet hair to dry, with a boost mode and a cold hot that helps set styles.


For those of us with more complex hair, the Airstrait is worth the money. For everyone else, a standard hairdryer will do.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist