Is This $400 Dyson Hair Dryer Really Worth It? We Put it to the Test

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Anne Ebeling)

The beauty blogosphere has been buzzing recently about this fancy new hair dryer from an unexpected company, Dyson—that’s right, Dyson, the appliance company whose latest products inevitably land on our roundups of high-tech vacuums and fans. As we would expect from this tech-driven manufacturer, Dyson’s hair dryer uses innovative technology, including a powerful “digital motor V9” and smart heat controls that stop hair damage before it happens. Very cool, but is it worth the $400 price tag? We tested it to find out.

(Image credit: Anne Ebeling)

What Your $400 Gets You: First of all, the dryer comes packaged as sleekly as we’d expect for a product at this price point. The crisp white box and neatly coiled cords reminded me of opening a brand-new Apple product. Inside that pristine package I found: The miraculously hollow, donut-shaped hair dryer, a diffuser, a smoothing nozzle, and a styling concentrator. If you’re a fan of unboxing, this product doesn’t disappoint.

How We Tested: For this super-scientific (read: completely subjective) study, I asked my curly haired coworker pal Nora to test out the hair dryer with me (I have straight-ish hair). We dunked our heads under the faucet at work (literally), and then blow dried our hair as we normally do. Neither of us has blowout-bar-level hair drying skills, so we expected our results to be a good test of what the everygirl can achieve. Without further ado, here’s what happened.

Nora’s Before & After

(Image credit: Anne Ebeling)

Drying Time: 8 minutes

Favorite Attachment: The diffuser

Overall Reaction: I am the most casual of hair dryer users; I only use the cool setting. I was super pumped at the prospect that the Dyson might be powerful enough to help me style my hair heat-free in a minimum amount of time. Sadly, that wasn’t the case. While the dryer looked super cool, it took me about as long to dry my hair with the diffuser attachment as it does with my regular old hair dryer. I even tossed on a little bit of heat to see if that would help, but it was largely the same. I did feel very fancy, though.

Katie’s Before & After

(Image credit: Anne Ebeling)

Drying Time: 5 minutes

Favorite Attachment: The smoother nozzle

Overall Reaction: As you can tell from the photo evidence above, the visual difference between using my normal hair dyer (a $30 John Frieda model) and the Dyson was far from dramatic. What was remarkable, however, was the drying time—completely dry locks at my length in 5 minutes flat is impressively speedy. If you blow dry your hair every morning and have long, straight hair, this is your ticket to making it to work on time.

Our Collective Pros & Cons

The Good:

  • Super fast drying time (for straight hair, at least)
  • Three speeds and three heat settings, so you can customize the air flow
  • Quieter than most dryers; we were even able to hold a conversation while using it
  • Less long-term hair damage
  • The fancy factor

The Bad:

  • The price! (but we all already knew that)
  • Although the dryer itself is small and light, the cord is long and bulky, so it’s not ideal for travel
  • Minimal immediate results

Our Verdict: Considering the limited visible results, neither Nora nor I felt the splurge would be worth it. But if you blow dry your hair every day, there are a couple of good reasons to consider it: (1) It could shave minutes off your morning prep time and (2) it could improve the long-term health and shine of your hair. One of the best parts of this dryer is its intelligent heat control that monitors air temperature, preventing heat damage. Over time, this could make your hair healthier and shinier, but it’s not something you can see after a single use. Sounds like we have some more testing to do…

(Image credit: Anne Ebeling)

Tell us: Would you ever consider buying this dryer? Or have you already tried it out? We’d love to hear!