The new Dyson device uses a mixture of hot and cold air to manipulate wet hair to straighten or curl.
The new Dyson device uses a mixture of hot and cold air to manipulate wet hair to straighten or curl.

Dyson’s new device is the best yet

WHEN it comes to beauty, Dyson is a relatively new player in Australia's $7 billion market.

Known primarily for vacuum cleaners, it wasn't until 2016 founder Sir James Dyson ruffled the industry with the launch of his whizzbang hair dryer - a product unlike any other dryer in the world.

You see, his dryer came without a very familiar feature - a blade. Costing the family-owned company $94 million in research and development costs, the bladeless dryer was in the works for four years, and promised users a "high velocity" air jet and noise "beyond the audible range for humans". It was a point of difference they hoped would blow away the competition.

The Dyson Supersonic revolutionised hair dryers.
The Dyson Supersonic revolutionised hair dryers.

Involving 103 engineers, 600 prototypes, more than 100 patents and, bizarrely, more than 1625km of human hair, the dryer set out to address common problems with existing hair dryers - noise, weight and damage to hair.

When it arrived in Australia - the Supersonic wasn't, and still isn't, cheap. But despite the $699 price tag, Dyson successfully won over the sceptics with its marketing mastery of blurring the line between want and need.

Last year alone, the company pulled in a record $6.5 billion, a nod to the success of the Supersonic.

Sir James Dyson's tactic of creating a problem, or at least drawing attention to one, and then offering a solution is an approach that is paramount for the company.

The device can straighten, curl and create waves from wet hair.
The device can straighten, curl and create waves from wet hair.

It's a marketing ploy the company has used on its latest fan purifier, range of bagless vacuum cleaners and now, its latest instalment in the world of beauty.

Today, the masters of appliance reinvention have upped the ante in personal styling, launching a product so diverse, it's like a Thermomix for your hair.

Dubbed the Dyson Airwrap, this multi-tool enables users to curl, straighten, blow dry and even create the perfect beach wave using a single device. Oh, and it can all be done from wet hair.

Instead of drying your hair before styling, the styler uses jets of air to allow you to achieve curls, waves and smooth blow-dry finishes at home.

They styler uses the ‘Coanda effect’ to blast air and manipulate hair on a curved surface.
They styler uses the ‘Coanda effect’ to blast air and manipulate hair on a curved surface.

According to Dyson, the creation stemmed by an obvious problem when it came to heat stylers, being tangled hair, temperature damage and weak airflow.

Instead of using extreme heat to get a curl or to straighten, the device uses high pressure blasts of air on a curved surface to create the desired look.

Known as the "Coanda effect", curls, beach waves or straightness will occur when a high-speed jet of air flows across a surface and, due to differences in pressure, the air flow attaches itself to the surface.

Taking advantage of this principle, Dyson's team of aerodynamicists created a way to style hair using only air combined with heat. The result, depending on which of the six styling heads you use on the device, will create a curl, wave, smoothness or rough dry your hair, all without causing extreme heat damage.

Around 230 engineers and scientists developed the styler over six years.
Around 230 engineers and scientists developed the styler over six years.

"We have been obsessively manipulating airflow for more than 25 years," Sir James said.

"It is one of our core expertise. Harnessing the power of Dyson's digital motor we have engineered a truly unique styling tool preventing extreme heat damage when styling. I'm immensely proud of what our engineers have achieved."

To come up with the product, 230 engineers and scientists spent more than six years testing and researching different hair types and styling habits around the world.

The device can straighten, curl, and create waves from wet hair.
The device can straighten, curl, and create waves from wet hair.

The motor spins to create an area of high pressure at the top of the styling barrel. A high velocity jet of air then disperses out of six air slots around the barrel.

The machine's styling brushes are also engineered to take advantage of the Coanda effect. To achieve a blow dry finish, the brushes align hair when styling, helping to provide a smooth, shiny finish when dry. Basically, the device eliminates the need for a round brush in one hand, and a hair dryer in the other - a godsend for the millions of men and women who battle their blow dryer each morning.

The new styler will retail for $699.
The new styler will retail for $699.

While it will set you back a cool $699, this device will attempt to weasel out any other dryer, curler or straightener you have stashed away in your vanity. Coming with six attachments - each with a different styling purpose - blasts of hot and cold air enable users to create desired styles with the press of a button.

It's a smart move by the vacuum cleaner magnate, who has set his sights on the world's lucrative hair and beauty industry.

According to Euromonitor, consumers are becoming more concerned about hair and scalp health, and are more frequently looking for products to address specific concerns.

According to Bau Vuong, an industry analyst at IBISWorld, hairdressing and all that comes with it will continue to grow in Australia.

"Hairdressing is considered a necessity of personal grooming," Mr Vuong told the ABC.

"Demand tends to be resilient for these haircuts, even during uncertain economic conditions. The industry is expected to be worth $6.5 billion in the current year."

The hair care industry is booming, with the global value set at $123.5 billion.
The hair care industry is booming, with the global value set at $123.5 billion.

An increase in factors like pollution, sun damage, scalp issues, hair thinning and loss, there is now an increased focus on categories offering benefits of maintaining the health of hair - including hair thickness, faster regrowth, damage repair, deep nourishment and other such categories gaining importance.

In a study conducted by Statista, in 2018, the global hair care market is estimated to be worth about $123.5 billion - including hair technology.

According to the study, men and women are more likely to spend more if it means the outcome of their hair will be healthier.

"In today's culture, healthy hair is a staple that portrays the idea of maintaining a youthful appearance, and this factor strongly influences purchase decisions among consumers," the report said.

Consumers are wanting to find ways to maintain the health of their hair, without compromising style.
Consumers are wanting to find ways to maintain the health of their hair, without compromising style.

"Hair care and technology is continuously engaged in research and development in order to formulate new, more effective and safe products.

"Growth in the hair care market has been encouraging, which has prompted a number of new entrants to gain a foothold in niche segments.

"In the coming years as well, this trend is projected to continue, especially as millions of consumers in developing economies are now becoming conscious about styling their hair, colouring grey hair, and maintaining a healthy scalp and style."

The new Dyson Airwrap will be available online from Wednesday. Sydneysiders can try out the new device at Australia's first ever Dyson pop-up store in the city's CBD from today until Sunday, October 14.


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