Celebrity Hairstylist Jen Atkin Chats Hair Health and Using the New Dyson AirWrap
Plus, our review of the new Dyson AirWrap styler.
The beauty industry has been buzzing with news and reviews of Dyson’s latest innovation – the company’s second product in the personal care department – the AirWrap. I got the chance to chat with celebrity hairstylist and Dyson ambassador Jen Atkin at the Toronto launch party for the AirWrap and learned she’s just as excited as the rest of us. “From day one I was just shocked that no one had ever thought of creating something where you can dry and style your hair at the same time,” she says. “I know there have been things on the market that are kind of gimmicky but the fact that it’s air and not heat with the Coanda effect…I mean.” Atkin (whose clients include the Kardashian and Jenner sisters as well as Chrissy Teigen) has even gone as far as to say that the AirWrap “will break the internet.”
In my wildest hair dreams, I’d wave the Dyson AirWrap around my head, my hair would swirl upwards in a mist of magic and poof, I’d be left with soft waves. (You never know what’s possible: science has even found a way to prevent grey hair.) While the AirWrap doesn’t grant that wish exactly, it does do something few would have ever thought possible: it styles your hair without extreme heat. Instead, the magic of the Dyson AirWrap lies in the Coanda effect – which basically creates a spinning vortex of air around the barrel that wraps and curls your hair. You don’t need to clamp a section of hair or rotate the barrel – all you need to do once the hair begins to wrap around the barrel is move it towards your roots. And there’s less of a risk of burning your scalp or neck. The AirWrap has a thermistor which measures the airflow temperature over 40 times every second ensuring it stays under 150 degrees Celsius. Temperatures above 150 degrees Celsius can cause extreme heat damage to hair; at temps above 230 degrees Celsius, hair melts.
For anyone with damaged hair the AirWrap has the potential to be life changing for the health of your hair. (Heat, chemical processing and pollution are a few of the major offenders when it comes to damaged hair.) Atkin says she’s noticed a difference in clients who have switched to the AirWrap, “especially blondes who colour their hair.” Use the AirWrap, in combination with regular trims and a daily supplement, and you’re looking at the healthiest hair of your life, according to Atkin.
There are two versions of the Dyson AirWrap styler available: Volume + Shape and Smooth + Control. The AirWrap styler Volume + Shape comes with four different attachments: the pre-styling attachment, which is like a mini Dyson fan you use to roughly dry hair until it’s just damp; a smoothing brush attachment; a round brush attachment; and two curling barrels (one for each side of your head). The Smooth + Control version comes with the same attachments with one exception: the round brush attachment is swapped for a larger curling barrel attachment. Both versions retail for $600, or you can buy the complete kit (good if you’re sharing the styler between different hair types) for $650. It really is a multi-use drying and styling tool.
Atkin also knows that the multi-use functionality of the AirWrap is going to be game changing for many women who are short on time. “Women just have busy lifestyles. I’m a four-day girl,” she says of how often she washes her hair. “I’m all about living that life of dry shampoo.” Atkin says she usually does a side park with some dry shampoo at the roots for two-day hair. “Day three, I’m centre part, sleek bun. And I’ll use Ouai Rose Hair & Body Oil to get it nice and sleek. Day four, I’ll take it out, put Ouai Dry Shampoo Foam through the roots and use the AirWrap to get a nice beachy wave.”
While your first instinct may be to use the AirWrap to create body and voluminous waves, it’s also a great tool for getting sleek hair to pull back in a pony or bun. A look Atkin says “makes everyone look awake and gives an instant facelift.” She also really loves a lob, the shoulder-length or collarbone-length hairstyle she’s had herself lately. And, she says, “I wish girls would go shorter. We’re in such a feminist era, like, who cares.”
And now, my review of the Dyson AirWrap ($600, dysoncanada.ca):
For my first trial with the AirWrap I use the pre-styler to rough-dry my medium-length hair. Then I used the round brush to attempt a blow-out – something I’ve previously failed at doing on my own. With the AirWrap, it was actually the first time I’ve used a round brush and not gotten my hair horribly tangled in it. And it was so much easier to maneuver the round brush and hair dryer as one unit.
Next, I tried the smoothing brush. My hair is fine and I don’t experience much frizz so this was a nice-to-have option but not life changing for me.
Lastly, I tried the curling barrel attachments. When I first saw this attachment in action during a very hush-hush embargoed media preview of the AirWrap back in late August, I think I gasped. The Coanda effect is really cool and something totally unexpected the first time you see it in action. That being said, it takes some getting used to. Instinctively, I started to rotate the barrel to wrap the hair before catching myself. The waves I achieved admittedly need work so it’s not a foolproof tool, but I think once I get the hang of it, it has the potential to replace pretty much every other styling tool in my bathroom cabinet. Here’s what it looks like in a Dyson how-to video.
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Like Jen Atkin, I’m a four-day girl when it comes to washing my hair so this probably isn’t a tool that I’d use every day. Since the AirWrap uses air rather than heat, your strands need to be damp to style. Therefore, I’d need to mist my hair with a spray bottle before styling if I was on day two, three or four. Not the worst thing but as a mom to a toddler, every minute counts in the morning.
If you’re someone who no matter how damaged your hair gets, can’t seem to break up with heat styling, this might be the tool to finally persuade you.