Here’s the deal, friends – I enjoy doing my makeup; I’m downright religious about my skincare routine, but a hairstylist, I am not. Not only is styling my hair something I’ve struggled with and don’t particularly enjoy, but I also have naturally curly hair (see my review of the Dyson and Shark hair dryers here for photographic proof). I have never mastered the art of sleek and elegant blowout, and curling irons continue to befuddle me. Plus, my hair doesn’t hold curls from flat irons or curling wands well, so I usually don’t bother with hair tools beyond the hair dryer.
Although I love my curls, there are times when I just want a blowout with volume and curls that look nothing like my natural curl pattern. So, I decided to try out the Dyson Airwrap Multi Styler and the Shark FlexStyle Air Styling & Drying System and share my review with you. These tools are much more distinct, in my opinion, than the hair dryers. So, let’s have a good old fashioned throwdown in four rounds. At the end, I’ll declare the winner.
WHERE TO BUY THESE TOOLS
ROUND 1: HAIR DRYER FUNCTIONALITY WINNER? SHARK
The first difference between the Shark FlexStyle and the Dyson Airwrap is that the Shark FlexStyle rotates to bend 90 degrees and turns into a more traditional-looking hair dryer. To be clear, the Dyson Airwrap can also be used as hair dryer (and a powerful one at that), but it is used as a wand with attachments just added to the end of the wand, which can be a tad awkward when you’re trying to dry your hair. For me, as a curly haired woman, I like to “halo dry” my hair – essentially taking the diffuser attachment and circling my hair at a distance of 6-8″ to take my hair from sopping wet to damp before styling. I found this easier to achieve with the Shark FlexStyle.
ROUND #2: THE ANTI-FRIZZ ATTACHMENT WINNER? DYSON
The second difference between the Shark FlexStyle and the Dyson Airwrap is the antifrizz tool that came in both of the sets that I purchased. This is a funky little attachment and to be honest, I was really skeptical. I tried the Shark FlexStyle defrizzing attachment first and was left a little perplexed. The attachment seemed to smooth my hair somewhat, but I didn’t really see the point of the attachment and doubted that I would reach for it regularly. However, when I use the Dyson Airwrap’s defrizzing attachment, my mouth actually dropped open like in a movie. I had blown out my hair and styled it, so my hair was very voluminous at that point (in a good way!), but when I ran the attachment over my hair, the frizz disappeared and the volume of my hair went down by at least a third, resulting in a more sleek look.
So, for me, the defrizzing attachment that comes with the Dyson is a huge win. I loved it and am really impressed by its efficacy. If you struggle with frizzy hair (I certainly do) and want this tool, be sure to check the contents of the set you buy – some sets have this attachment and some don’t. This Dyson Airwrap set and this Shark FlexStyle set definitely have the defrizzing attachment.
ROUND 3: EASE OF SWITCHING SIDES WINNER? DYSON
Another significant difference between the Shark FlexStyle and the Dyson Airwrap is that the Dyson has a switch at the top of the curling barrels to change the direction of airflow from right to left. The Shark FlexStyle, however, requires switching curling barrels – one barrel provided is to curl clockwise and the other barrel is to curl counterclockwise. I think this is significant particularly if you plan to travel with your hair tool – the extra barrel adds bulk and weight to your suitcase. Plus, using one curling barrel just saves time even when you aren’t traveling.
ROUND 4: ATTACHMENTS FOR STRAIGHTENING HAIR WINNER? SHARK
The brush attachment for achieving a blowout that come with both the Shark FlexStyle and the Dyson Airwrap worked really well for me. However, I prefer the brush attachment that come with the Shark FlexStyle overall. The Dyson set I purchased came with both a firm and soft comb (pictured above) and also a round brush with stiff nylon bristles.
Personally, I have very breakage-prone hair and while I liked the soft comb and even the firm plastic comb as well, I wished that the bristles on the round brush were a bit more flexible, so that I felt like my hair was being tugged less firmly. The combination of firm plastic comb teeth and soft bristles on the Shark FlexStyle brushes felt more protective of my hair and I also liked the oval shape of the Shark attachments better than the semi-circular shape of the Dyson attachments.
Before declaring a winner, I should say that both the Dyson Airwrap and the Shark FlexStyle impressed me. To be honest, I did not expect to love either tool. As I said up top, I’m just not great at styling my hair and these tools looked…complicated. However, they were the opposite of complicated. The Dyson Airwrap and the Shark FlexStyle are basically “Blowouts for Dummies” tools – even I can succeed at styling my hair nicely with the help of these fine fellas. To recap, I have curly, fine, breakage-prone, color-treated hair. So, basically, my hair is kind of nightmare to care for and both of these tools reduce heat damage to minimum, which is really important to me.
WHICH HAIR TOOL WINS? THE DYSON AIRWRAP
The overall winner for me is the Dyson Airwrap. I know that there is a really significant price difference between these two tools, but I do genuinely think the Dyson Airwrap is the superior tool. The suction power on the curling wands, which is the most stand-out attachment for the tool, is better on the Dyson than on the Shark. The Dyson Airwrap simply curled my hair more effectively than the Shark tool.
In other smaller ways, the tools were more evenly balanced in my mind. The Dyson has a better defrizzing tool and it’s easier to switch sides with the curling barrels, but the Shark has better brush attachments and superior hair dryer functionality. If you want to replace your blow dryer or don’t own one currently, the Shark FlexStyle might be the better option for you. However, if your primary consideration is a multi-styling hair tool that is incredibly effective at not only blowing out your hair, but also curling it, the Dyson Airwrap is the right pick.
For me, when I consider how happy I am with the look of my hair after styling it with the Dyson Airwrap, the price per use is worth it to me. What are your thoughts? Have you tried either of these tools? Let me know in the comments!