Dyson Supersonic hair dryer review: how to get salon hair at home

Voluminous curls, beach waves, straight and sleek… The Dyson Supersonic is designed to be versatile, but is it a jack of all trades, master of none?

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Dyson Supersonic hair dryer review
(Image credit: Future)
T3 Verdict

The Dyson Supersonic hair dryer is a beautiful looking tool. There’s a good choice of speeds and temperatures, plus a generous array of magnetic click-on styling attachments for achieving a straight finish, curls and waves. If you have short hair, it might be OTT. The big draw is how it dries without using extreme heat, so it’s instantly kinder to your hair. And if you’re the type of person who won’t leave home without a fresh blowdry finish, this is a big win.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Kinder to hair – no extreme heat

  • +

    Simple to use

  • +

    Works for a variety of hair types

  • +

    Ace magnetic attachments design

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    High speed setting isn’t that quiet

  • -

    Too much for short hair

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Hair dryers used to be boring until the Dyson Supersonic came along. Dyson dazzled us with claims that the Supersonic hair dryer can increase shine, decrease frizz and flyaways, and dry hair quickly and quietly without using damaging extreme heat. Like the Dyson AirWrap multi-tool styler, it’s become a hugely coveted beauty tool.

Dyson’s hair dryer, which starts from £299.99, comes in numerous colours, including limited-edition releases throughout the year. It's now even better value than when it was originally released, with Dyson including new attachments (that can be also be purchased separately). These include a Gentle Air Attachment and a Wide Tooth Comb, as well as the innovative Flyaway attachment. It also stands out from ‘normal’ hair dryers thanks to that giant hole in the middle.

Since its initial release in 2016, the Supersonic hair dryer has been re-engineered to work with a variety of hair types, with the most success experienced by people with wavy and curly hair (more on that later). It’s powered by the Dyson digital V9 motor and utilises AirMultiplier tech to boost airflow and dry hair faster.

For the purposes of our review, we tested the Dyson Supersonic on naturally thick, long and wavy hair (Type 2A-2B), on deeply wavy hair with a slight S curl (Type 2C), and on short, super-fine and straight hair. We have not tested it on Type 3A+ hair yet.

Dyson Supersonic hair dryer review: the hair dryer shown with diffuser and both styling nozzles

(Image credit: Future)

Dyson Supersonic hair dryer review: price, release date

The Supersonic hair dryer is available to buy now from major retailers around the globe, including Dyson itself, with prices starting from £299.99, though you can sometimes find it on sale for a little less. There are three main colours available to buy: Iron/Fuchsia, Black/Purple, and Black/Nickel, as well as some limited edition colourways released throughout the year. Make sure you check our Dyson discount codes to save on your order. 

Dyson Supersonic hair dryer review: design

The Supersonic hair dryer has three speed settings (High, Medium and Low – for diffusing) and four heat settings, ranging from 28°C (constant cold) to 100°C (for fast drying and styling). The cold shot (28°C) should be used to set your hair after styling.

Mercifully, the dryer utilises ‘intelligent heat control’ to measure airflow temperature over 40 times per second to prevent damage to your hair from extreme heat.

We love the distinctive look of this dryer, plus how sleek (compared to the bulk of chunkier, longer hair dryers) it feels in the hand. A series of magnetic attachments fit to the front, depending on the type of styling you need. Each of these attachments rotate, so you can easily achieve the angle you desire.

Another win is the length of the hair dryer’s cable: a generous 2.8m, so no drama here if your mirror is an annoying distance away from your nearest wall socket. The heat settings and speed settings are located on opposite sides of the head of the dryer. On the handle sits the on/off button and a cool blast button for instant bursts of cold air – use this to ‘set’ your finished style.

What you get ‘in the box’ depends on the colour you buy. The Iron/Fuchsia (standard), Black/Purple and Black/Nickel Supersonic hair dryers all arrive with the hair dryer itself, plus the following:

  • Flyaway attachment – hides flyaways for a smooth, shiny finish
  • Gentle air attachment – for fine hair and sensitive scalps
  • Wide-toothed comb attachment – for coily and afro-hair, creates volume and shape
  • Smoothing nozzle – directs gentle, low-velocity airflow to dry and style your hair simultaneously 
  • Styling concentrator – a slimline nozzle that uses controlled airflow to dry your hair one section at a time, so you don’t mess up the rest of your tresses
  • Diffuser – the weapon of choice for enhancing waves and curls, helping to reduce frizz and improve definition

The 23.75 Karat Gold edition, which is more expensive, comes with the same accessories, but this time they are housed in a red ‘Gesso’ presentation case that looks similar in shape and style to the Dyson AirWrap’s presentation case. It’s the same story for the Iron/Fuchsia with hand-finished leather case edition.

The latter two, in particular, make great gifts, especially the 23.75 Karat Gold edition, hand-gilded in – yep, you guessed it – 23.75K gold and individually polished to achieve a distinctive patina.

The Dyson Supersonic hair dryer spec is as follows:

  • Power: 1600AW
  • Airflow: 41l/s
  • Cable length: 2.8m
  • Weight: 0.66kg
  • Height: 245mm
  • Length: 97mm
  • Width: 78mm

Dyson Supersonic hair dryer review: back of the hair dryer showing the control buttons

(Image credit: Future)

Dyson Supersonic hair dryer review: the tech

By now, everyone has heard the figure: Dyson invested a mammoth $71 million into the Supersonic research project, building a new lab solely to investigate the ‘science of hair’. Over 100 engineers worked on the hair dryer, with all of them taking hairstyling classes at a local college to understand what hairstyling is all about. Imagine being in that class… 

The big sell with the Supersonic, of course, is that it dries hair without using extreme heat. On top of that, it offers controlled styling via a series of clever magnetic attachments, enabling you to achieve a salon finish at home. 

All of this magic is powered by Dyson’s brushless digital motor V9 (positioned in the handle), designed to be, on average, six times faster than other hair dryer motors. (That stat was gained from testing the Supersonic against the 20 best-selling hair dryers of 2018). It spins up to 110,000rpm, propelling 13 liters of air per second. 

The V9 works in harmony with Air Multiplier tech, which amplifies airflow up to three times. Together they produce a controlled, high velocity jet of air for faster drying.

Dyson Supersonic hair dryer review: diffuser and nozzles

(Image credit: Future)

Dyson Supersonic hair dryer review: performance

Remember that one of Dyson’s big sells with the Supersonic is that it dries hair without using extreme heat. We found that it does this incredibly well, and didn’t cause any extra frizz or flyaways to during the drying process. In fact, it eased them.

This was especially noticeable on our wavy/slightly curly hair, which is prone to a halo of frizz at the crown. When we used the smoothing nozzle, it flattened the shafts of our strands, which in turn helped them look shinier. The cool shot helped our finished style stay in place for longer throughout the day, though it dropped by the evening. 

As mentioned earlier on in our review, the Dyson Supersonic comes with a range of attachments, some of which have been re-engineered since the dryer’s initial launch. These include a smoothing nozzle that dries and styles simultaneously, directing a wide yet smooth airflow at your hair to create a sleeker finish. No straighteners needed here, thank you, which saves even more time in front of the mirror.

The styling concentrator nozzle was also a winner for our curly hair, as we were able to blow dry it straight, section by section, without inadvertently drying any neighbouring sections of our hair. This meant we achieved a consistently smooth finish, and it didn’t take any longer compared to drying with the wider smoothing nozzle. 

Both nozzles worked on our shorter, fine and straight hair, though the results weren’t as obvious as they were on our wavy/slightly curly hair. We also feel like the Supersonic is perhaps a bit too OTT for finer, shorter hair.

We love the re-engineered diffuser for achieving defined curls and smoother waves… all while keeping frizz to a minimum. The diffuser has longer prongs that reached deeper into our hair, getting closer to the roots for better circulation of air. The magnetic attachments click on without fuss and stay put during rigorous styling. 

The diffuser was very effective for drying (using the second heat setting) and adding definition to curls and ringlets. It took longer to style our hair with the diffuser, but the end result was worth the wait: bouncy curls with movement and natural shine.

Speaking of glossiness, Dyson’s intelligent heat control actually protects your hair’s natural shine. Extreme temperatures can make small pores appear within each strand of your hair, right? Pores scatter light, making your hair look duller. The Dyson doesn’t create such pores, so strands sit flatter and reflect light better.

The latest addition to the attachment lineup is the Flyaway Attachment, which aims to do away with 'flyaway frustration' using the Coanda effect, which is the same principle used in the Dyson Airwrap styler, to tame unruly hair with airflow alone.

The brand identified that at-home-stylers tend to smooth stray stands using straighteners and that this exposure to heat damages hair and makes flyaways more likely.

The new Dyson Supersonic Flyaway Attachment aims to break this cycle and save stylers from sacrificing hair health in pursuit of a smooth, sleek finish.

The attachment, which looks like a semi-circular curve, can attract and lift longer hairs to the front, as a second jet pushes flyaways through the tress and out of sight – increasing strand alignment and enhancing the natural shine.  

This is a similar technique used by professional stylists in salons, who use a blow dryer and brush technique to bury flyaways into the hair, but Dyson has made it fool-proof.

It has to be used on dry hair, and works surprisingly well, and means I don't reach for the hair straighteners as often.

Dyson Supersonic hair dryer review

(Image credit: Dyson)

Dyson Supersonic hair dryer review: noise and speed

Is the Supersonic hair dryer quiet in use? Well, it’s a hair dryer. None of them are quiet. Compared to the average hair dryer, it is quieter – but not on the highest setting; that one increases in volume quite a bit. 

As for it drying hair faster than other hair dryers… That depends on the hair dryer you’re pitting it against, and the type of hair you’re drying. It dried our short, fine hair in a few minutes, and sped up the drying and styling of our wavy hair by at least five minutes. While that may not sound like much, when you’re washing and drying your hair multiple times a week, the minutes add up.

Plus, the way it dries without damaging hair is something we care far more about than speed. We should also mention that our hair felt noticeably silky when blowdried straight – and that’s without adding in any product apart from heat protection spray.

Side note: there are no vents to get clogged with fluff or hair here, so the Supersonic is as easy to maintain as it is to use. The only thing we can think of that will eventually kill the Supersonic is motor burnout, but that’s clearly going to be a long way off.

Dyson Supersonic hair dryer review

(Image credit: Future)

Dyson Supersonic hair dryer review: verdict

There is still a lot of hype around the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer. Even now, people clamour to buy them whenever they’re on sale (and even if they’re not), and the special, more exclusive editions tend to sell out.

The Supersonic isn’t dramatically quiet or fast, but it is quieter and faster than many other hair dryers we have tried over the years. To us, those things don’t matter as much as the way this hair dryer styles without causing any undue damage to your hair. Extreme heat can wreak havoc on your hair, so the fact that the Dyson Supersonic works so effectively without using damaging heat is a real boon.

On the fence about what it could do for you? Perhaps book in for a Dyson Beauty Lab Blowdry in London (£35 per person). There you can receive a blowdry from a professional hairstylist using the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer. There are eight different looks on the Oxford Street blowdry salon menu, including voluminous curls, beach waves, and smooth and volumise.

If you have short hair that dries with a gust of wind, you can walk away from the Supersonic without any FOMO – unless you’re buying for a partner who has longer hair, then you can absolutely justify using it too. And if you’re on a budget, look elsewhere as the cost of this one is positively eye-watering.

For those of you with thicker, coarser hair that’s prone to frizz and that takes a lot of drying, as well as for people who want a salon finish daily, the Dyson Supersonic is a fantastic hair dryer and definitely worth trying. 

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Claire Davies

Claire Davies is Senior Content Editor for T3 magazine, and also edits camping, walking, backpacking, hiking and outdoor sports/adventure tech for T3's Outdoors channel.