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Innovation | January 5, 2024

The difference between a Dyson Airwrap™ multi-styler and a curling iron

There is a wide array of differences between the Dyson Airwrap™ multi-styler and classic curling irons. Understanding how they compare could be key to knowing which one is right for you. Read our comparison to help elevate your curls, no matter your hair type.


How do hair stylers work?

Hair stylers typically use heat to manipulate your hair. This is because you can use heat to break down the hydrogen bonds in your hair1, which allows the hair to be styled into a new shape.

However, the original shape returns when the hydrogen bonds are broken down again without any attempt to restyle the hair1. This can happen more quickly when your hair gets wet or if you stay in a particularly hot environment, like a sauna.

Traditional hair stylers, like curling irons, use heated metal to achieve this, but the Dyson Airwrap™ uses heated air instead.


Does a Dyson Airwrap™ use less heat than a curling iron?

The Dyson Airwrap™ exposes your hair to less heat than traditional curling irons.

This is because curling irons feature a clamp made of two hot, metal plates. These metal plates reach extreme temperatures, as high as 218°C, and grip your hair so you can manually curl while the hydrogen bonds are broken. Meanwhile, the Dyson Airwrap™ uses sensors to check its temperature around forty times per second to make sure it stays under 150°C.

Additionally, it doesn’t need a clamp because it uses the Coanda effect, which uses a jet flow to follow the trajectory of a nearby surface2. By heating the airflow, the Dyson Airwrap™ can simultaneously break down your hair’s hydrogen bonds to make them malleable and wrap them around the machine’s barrel to automatically curl your hair. Because the heat source doesn’t make direct contact with your hair, it doesn’t expose your hair to the intense heat of an average curling iron.

Extreme heat induces changes into the biological structure of hair3. When you apply heat over 150°C the α-keratin in your hair begins changing to β-keratin which makes your hair weaker, less elastic, and easier to break3. Temperatures surpassing 230°C burn or melt your hair and the strong disulphide bonds within your hair break down quickly, meaning your hair is even more susceptible to damage3.


Can a Dyson Airwrap™ be used on wet hair?

The Dyson Airwrap™ is specially designed to be used on wet and damp hair, while a curling iron can’t, because the extreme heat of the irons could cause severe damage4. This can save you a lot of time as you can use the Dyson Airwrap™ directly after washing your hair, whereas conventional curling irons and wands, due to the use of extreme heat, require the hair to be dried first.


Is a Dyson Airwrap™ easier to use than a curling iron?

The Coanda effect makes the Dyson Airwrap™ extremely easy to use. Simply let the air attract your hair to the Dyson Airwrap™ and then steadily bring it closer to your head. You don’t even have to twist, because the air wraps the hair around the machine automatically.

Meanwhile, irons with a clamp require a manual curling by clamping and twisting the hair yourself. Not only does this expose your hair to more potentially harmful heat, but it also leaves you more at risk of human error.


Which provides better curl quality?

Due to the clamp shape of curling irons, the ends of irons have been known to leave clamp marks in the curls, giving them a ridged look. Meanwhile, due to the Dyson Airwrap™ barrels having a round shape and no direct extreme heat, they give defined circular curls.

Plus, the Dyson Airwrap™ features a cold shot, which is a blast of cold air lasting for around 10-15 seconds depending on the needs of the user. This cold shot helps set a style and can help with curl retention. Typical curling irons don’t feature this kind of retention technology.


Is a Dyson Airwrap™ safer than a curling iron?

The Dyson Airwrap™ is very safe to use, even when swapping attachments, thanks to its cool tip at the end of the attachments that stays at a safe temperature despite the heat of the rest of the attachment. This gives you an easy to way to handle the Dyson Airwrap™ and swap attachments without worrying about burning yourself.

On the other hand, traditional irons can be difficult to handle due to the extremely hot metal plates, which can make swapping positions, hands, or curling direction more difficult.


Can they be used for more than just curling?

Moreover, the Dyson Airwrap™ is a multi-styler. With its multiple attachments it’s simultaneously a hair dryer, brush, curler and smoother. Meanwhile, a curling iron can only be effectively used to curl hair.

The Dyson Airwrap™ is so versatile because it features an array of attachments and accessories that can completely customise its function. E.g. The Wide-tooth comb is designed to shape and lengthen both curly and coily hair. This is a level of adaptability that general curling irons can’t typically offer.


Dyson Airwrap™ vs curling iron

There are key differences between the Dyson Airwrap™ and a curling iron, from the use of the Coanda effect, to the shape of the machine, to the sheer number of accessories. If you are looking for your next hair styling tool, consider all these factors before committing to a choice. For more information, read our article explaining how to use a Dyson Airwrap™ for curls and waves.

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