When Dyson came out with its futuristic and high-powered hair dryer in 2016 — The Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer— it was featured in magazines, placed strategically in many an Instagram photo, and began showing up in the hands of our favorite hair stylists. But the future of hair styling doesn’t come at a low price. The Dyson Supersonic retails for over $400. And yet, the TME team tested the Dyson and labeled it “The G.O.A.T.” Scotti, Shana, and Amy all agreed. Indeed, the Dyson hair dryer has been a game changer for curly-haired people like me.
But then, in 2021, Shark entered the ring.
Just as Shark is Dyson’s fiercest competitor in the vacuum market, so they have become Dyson’s rival in the world of hair styling tools. Shark released its first model of the Hyper Air Dryer at a more accessible price point (it’s currently on sale now for Cyber Week) and with many of the same features as the Dyson.
Shark Vs. Dyson: The Battle Of The Hair Dryers
These slick new hair dryers claim shorter drying times, low heat damage to the hair, and a variety of cool styling attachments. They have the power to cast out other hair tools, dooming them to the dusty bin beneath our sinks.
Where To Shop Dyson Supersonic & Shark Hyper Air Hair Dryers
With Cyber Week Sales swirling, you can currently get a deal on both hair dryers. As of now, Dyson is offering a gift with purchase but if you’re interested in the Shark, that’s on sale at multiple retailers. Below you’ll find my review of each dryer and how they measure up when it comes to curls.
Where to Buy the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer: Dyson (Gift with Purchase) | Nordstrom | Ulta | HSN | Blue Mercury
Where to Buy the Shark Hyper Air Dryer: Amazon | Shark | Bloomingdale’s | Walmart
Which Is The Best Hair Dryer & Diffuser For Curly Hair?
Let’s talk about diffusers. Diffusers are a make-or-break attachment when it comes to styling my curls. I need the diffuser to attach securely to the dryer, which is true of both the Dyson and the Shark, thankfully. However, the Shark’s diffuser bowl is larger and deeper, allowing me to dry larger sections of my hair and cutting down on overall dry time. If you’re a curly-haired human, you know how important cutting down on styling time is.
Curly hair is a lifestyle — my hair has demands and requires a lot of attention, especially on wash day. The Shark has the coolest diffuser feature I’ve ever seen — the prongs in the diffuser bowl can be adjusted for hair length, so you can get the dryer closer to your roots. When I showed this feature to Kat, she audibly ooohed.
The Dyson’s diffuser bowl is not bad, it’s just not as good as the Shark’s diffuser. That said, if you plan to travel frequently with your dryer, you may actually prefer the Dyson because it is slightly more compact.
Tech Spec Comparision: Dyson Vs. Shark Hair Dryers
So, in the areas of wattage, speed and heat settings, temperature regulation, weight, and noise level, the Dyson and Shark are nearly indistinguishable. The Dyson comes with more attachments, which may or may not be important to you based on how you style your hair. But, of course, a true product test requires the addition of our first-person user experience in addition to an understanding of the technical specifications, and, in my case, I have to consider the effectiveness of each tool for wavy/curly hair.
Below is a breakdown of the tech specs on each hair dryer to give you a clear idea of what you are getting from each tool.
|The Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer||The Shark Hyper Air Dryer|
1600-watt motor powering 3-speed settings and 4 heat settings.
1680-watt motor powering 3-speed settings and 4 heat settings.
Intelligent heat control. The dryer measures air temperature over 40 times a second to regulate heat.
Intelligent heat control. Uses “IQ Technology.” Unclear how often the temperature is measured.
Magnetic attachments. Attachments included in the gift box I purchased included a diffuser, a flyaway tamer, a gentle air attachment, a wide-tooth comb, and a styling concentrator.
Magnetic attachments. Attachments included in the set I purchased included a diffuser, a styling brush, and a styling concentrator.
Heat shield technology to keep the surfaces of the attachments stays cool.
Heat shielding is not noted in Shark specs, but in my testing, it seems to apply to the Shark as well.
|Lightweight and low noise. Weighs about 1.8 pounds.||
Lightweight and low noise. Weighs about 1.6 pounds.
Which Hair Dryer Wins for Curly Hair?
So, which hair dryer emerges victorious in my test? The Shark Hyper Air Dryer. This baby gets to live with me until its motor dies a natural death. What pushed the Shark over the finish line to victory?
Well, the price. As you can see in the tech specs above, these are very similar machines but the Shark is simply more affordable. Both of them are worthy investments, and both were a significant improvement over my previous blowdryer (a formidable Chi dryer that lasted for years.) Both dryers cut down on dry time. I was at 80% dryness — about where I like to stop — in five to six minutes. The Dyson may have dried my hair just ever so slightly faster than the Shark, but the difference was hard to measure, even using the timer on my phone.
I will note that while both tools are aesthetically pleasing, Dyson has the upper hand on packaging, making as more of a high-end gift than the Shark. The beautiful limited edition blue color of Dyson’s Supersonic makes for a gorgeous holiday gift if you’re thinking about splurging on a special someone. The Shark I purchased, on the other hand, is a simple matte black that fits my personal style. But…it looks like Shark released a gold version that is oh-so-pretty!
Dyson Supersonic | Shark Hyper Airdryer
In the end, you can’t go wrong with either dryer. Both are beautiful, would make a great gift, and outperform other dryers on the market.