It's no secret that Dyson has been dominating the hair care space—proving itself three times over with the fast-drying Supersonic blow dryer, the futuristic Corrale flat iron, and the versatile Airwrap (all received high scores from WIRED). I'm constantly trying to persuade everyone around me to invest in at least one of them. A couple of years ago, I bought my mom the Supersonic for Mother’s Day. Last year, I convinced my friends to pool our money together to buy the Corrale for our best friend's 30th birthday.
But when Dyson announced the Airstrait, its wet-to-dry flat iron, I had my doubts. Perhaps it's because I'm still scarred from my Croc Wet to Dry Flat Iron from middle school. It's been over a decade, but I can still clearly hear the sizzle from my wet hair being clamped between the heat plates—resulting in crunchy, damaged strands with each pass. So, you can understand my apprehension toward the Airstrait.
I was slightly relieved to see that it's more of a hair dryer-straightener combo. Instead of squeezing your wet hair between hot plates, it uses airflow to dry and straighten your hair. Still, I wasn't completely convinced. My mix of wavy, curly, and coarse hair requires as much heat as possible to avoid looking frizzy and puffy. And that $500 price tag doesn't help. But as with the company's previous hair tools, I should've known. After only two attempts, I was ready to throw my blow dryer and flat iron in the trash.
With no heat plates, you're probably wondering how the Airstrait works. Located along both arms of the device are 1.5-mm gaps. Airflow travels via the motor, splits into both arms, and accelerates through the gaps to create two high-velocity downward blades of air. At a 45-degree angle, those blades merge to create one focused jet of air that moves downward to straighten the hair as it dries—resulting in a natural, smooth finish.
In addition to watching your hair dry, you'll also hear the Airstrait working. With the ability to sense when the hair is clamped within the device, it automatically increases airflow. Once your hair is out, it immediately decreases it, like a Dyson vacuum that increases suction when it senses dirt or switches floor type. It also has intelligent heat control to regulate airflow temperature 30 times per second, so it'll never exceed the temp you set.
The Airstrait has diffusers (the gold pieces that stick out from the side) that help keep the air flowing onto your hair instead of onto you. As someone with sensitive skin, I'm always left with a lot of redness after blow-drying my hair. Regardless of how high the heat setting is, I don't experience irritation with the Airstrait. The diffusers are removable, making it easy to clean away any product, like a heat protectant, that may build up over time.
To set the temperature, there's a digital color display to see what mode you're on and buttons underneath to cycle through each setting. Choose from two main styling modes—wet and dry—and three temperature settings for each. With wet mode, you'll have the choice of 175, 230, or 285 degrees Fahrenheit. In dry mode, you can pick between 250 degrees, 285 degrees, and boost mode. You can alternate between low-flow and high-flow speed settings as well. There's also the option for a cool mode, which helps set the style.
If you couldn't tell, there are a lot of ways to customize the Airstrait, which is great! It means there are multiple options for different types of hair. Each button is labeled intuitively, with a red for heat, a blue for cool mode, a raindrop icon for wet hair mode, etc. But I find myself staring at the controls for longer than I'd like to, trying to remember how to get to certain settings. Dyson could have made the display bigger and merged a few of the buttons instead. I highly recommend tapping through all the menus first, so you're familiar with each one.