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Best Hair Dryer 2024 – Dyson vs Shark

We decided to venture into new territory this week! Instead of testing Dyson and Shark vacuum cleaners, we took on a different challenge: hair dryers. Specifically, we tested a range of Dyson and Shark hair dryers to find out which one stands out as the best.

The Basics

The Hair Dryers in this competition.
All of the Hair Dryers we evaluated in this competition. © Vacuum Wars

Dyson Models

On the Dyson side, we have:

  • The new Supersonic Nural model
  • The regular Supersonic model, which comes in gold or rose color
  • The first-generation Supersonic model, the hot pink one

Shark Models

On the Shark side, we have:

  • The HyperAIR, which comes in two different colors
  • The Shark SpeedStyle, which only comes in one color but has a version with a diffuser and one without
  • I also bought one of the best-selling budget models from Shark called the Cozy, so I could have something to compare the more expensive ones to.

Price Comparison

Starting off with the price, the Dyson models are significantly more expensive than the Sharks. The Sharks are about half the cost of the Dysons on average. The Cozy, the budget model, is literally four times cheaper than the most expensive Dyson.

Hair Dryers Current Prices

Testing Power and Airflow

It wouldn’t be a Vacuum Wars video without testing their power. So, I tested their airflow with an anemometer on all of their power settings.

Testing Hair Dryers Air Flow
Testing Hair Dryers Air Flow in our Studio. © Vacuum Wars

I found that the first-generation Dyson had the most airflow and the Cozy had the least. However, I scored this category based on the variation of airflow because certain attachments work better with different speeds. The more options you have, the better. For example, the Cozy had only two airspeed settings, where the others had three. The first-generation Dyson supposedly has three airspeed settings, but over and over in our tests, we found no difference between its max power and its medium power, and its low power was way higher than the others.

When all that was adjusted for, the actual winner of the power test was the Dyson Supersonic, followed by the Dyson Supersonic Nural, with the Sharks behind the Dysons and the Cozy in last place.

Hair Dryers Airflow Scores

Noise Level

I tested their noise level on all the power settings. I consider this important since you’re basically holding it right next to your ear for long periods of time.

Testing Hair Dryers Noise Levels
Testing Hair Dryers Noise Levels in our Studio. © Vacuum Wars

Here again, the Dyson Supersonic was the winner, and the Nural was a very close second place, which I thought was impressive because those two had the most airflow. Usually, products with the most airflow are necessarily louder, so the engineers at Dyson must be doing something right.

Hair Dryers Noise Scores

Weight and Cord Length

Another important factor is their weight. I weighed them without the cord or attachments and found that the first-generation Dyson was the lightest, with the Shark HyperAIR being the heaviest.

Hair Dryers Weight

I also measured the length of their cords and found that the two newer Dyson models were tied for the longest cord at almost 9 feet, where the Cozy had the shortest cord at just a hair over 6 feet (no pun intended).

Temperature Variation

I measured their temperature on all of their power settings. I set them up facing a target with their standard blower attachment exactly 6 inches away from that target and then used a laser-based infrared thermometer to measure the heat reflected on that surface. This reading is not the same way that the manufacturers measure heat, so take it with a grain of salt.

Measuring Hair Dryers Heat
Measuring Hair Dryers Heat in our Studio. © Vacuum Wars

The results were interesting though. I found that on their max heat setting, the Cozy got the hottest at 150°F, followed by the Shark HyperAIR, with the first-generation Dyson being by far the weakest. Here again, the issue for me was not so much about how hot they could get but how much variation in temperature you could achieve. So, I based my temperature score on variation and found that the Shark HyperAIR was the winner, followed by the Dyson Supersonic, where the Cozy and first-generation Dyson were essentially tied for last place. The Cozy only had two settings, which were wildly different, and the first-generation Dyson had all three of its heat settings much lower than the others.

Hair Dryers Temperatures

Real-World Testing

I did test each one of these hair dryers by actually drying wet human hair with the different attachments and timing it, but I didn’t end up scoring that because I found the test wasn’t very scientific due to too many variables. However, I did have a good time seeing how the different attachments affected the drying area of the hair with the infrared sensor.

Hair Dryers Heat on Hair

Features and Attachments

Common Features

As far as features, they all have a cool shot button where you press it to instantly stop the heating elements and cool down the area very quickly. All three Dyson models and the Cozy use magnets to connect their attachments, whereas the Sharks use a locking mechanism.

Interestingly, all of these use an advanced negative ion feature to dry hair, which breaks down water molecules on the hair, allowing for faster drying times and reducing frizz. They also all have some form of auto heat adjustment, which monitors and adjusts the temperature to prevent overheating.

Hair Dryers Features

Sensors

The newest Dyson, the Supersonic Nural, has unique sensors and intelligent features that the others don’t have. For example, it has scalp detect, which measures the distance between your hair and the hair dryer, automatically adjusting the air temperature to protect your scalp. It’s also the only one equipped with a motion sensor, so it knows when you set it down, ensuring safety and convenience.

Dyson Hair Dryers Scalp Protect
Dyson Hair Dryers Scalp Protect

Both the Supersonic Nural and the Shark Speedstyle will sense which attachment is in use and will adjust their heat and airflow or optimal results. These setting can be adjusted manually as well.

Attachments

Diffusers: Most of these hair dryers came with some kind of diffuser, which slows the air and widens the heat signature for more even, gentle drying. The Dyson Supersonic Nural’s diffuser was more advanced than the others and had essentially two ways to use it, one of which enhanced curls and wave patterns in hair.

All the Dyson models also had a styling concentrator, a wide tooth comb attachment, a gentle air attachment, and a flyaway attachment, which Dyson says harnesses the Coanda effect to lift longer hairs and hide flyaways for a particular styling effect.

The Shark SpeedStyle came with a standard concentrator as well as a unique attachment, a quick smooth brush, and a rapid gloss finisher, which I think is similar to Dyson’s flyaway attachment. There is also a SpeedStyle package that includes a diffuser.

ModelAttachments
Dyson Supersonic™ Styling concentrator, Gentle air attachment, Flyaway attachment, Diffuser, Wide-tooth comb
Dyson Supersonic Nural™Wave+curl diffuser , Styling concentrator, Gentle air attachment, Flyaway attachment, Wide tooth comb
Dyson Supersonic™ First-generationStyling concentrator, Smoothing nozzle
Shark SpeedStyleRapidGloss finisher, QuickSmooth brush, Turbo concentrator
Shark HyperAIRIQ 2-in-1 Concentrator, IQ Styling Brush
Cosy CompanionsDiffuser, Concentrator nozzle
Comparing the attachments sets for each hair dryer.

Conclusion

After adding up all these scores, the Dyson Supersonic Nural was our number one pick based on these results. It was followed very closely by the standard Dyson Supersonic, and then the Shark SpeedStyle in third place. The Shark SpeedStyle is also our budget pick, as it achieved a high score while being about half the cost of the other two.

Whether you have curly hair, thick hair, or are looking for frizz control, these hair dryers offer a range of features to enhance your hair care routine. The Dyson Supersonic models, with their high-end technology and intelligent design, are particularly impressive for achieving a sleek blowout and curl definition, making them winners in this review.

06/26/2024 05:15 pm GMT

 

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