$19 Target product beats Dyson
WHEN my eldest brother told me he was buying his wife the new Dyson Supersonic hair dryer for Mother's Day last year I was immediately impressed that he knew the product existed - and baffled he was actually willing to spend so much on a beauty gadget.
After a glass of wine one night, my sister-in-law confessed to me she appreciated the gesture, but didn't think the dryer compared to her old faithful GHD.
She added that now she would have to smile at her husband and pretend to love her expensive gift every morning.
I've never owned a GHD, but I do have a $19 Target hair dryer that does the one job I needed it to do and haven't felt the need to upgrade.
But as I settle into my 30s and understand the value in quality products, I figured it was time to try the $499 Dyson Supersonic to see if the super gadget could tame my frizzy, thin hair and deliver me the silky locks I've always wanted.
Dyson's first ever hair dryer comes luxuriously packaged in a smooth white box. The dryer is carefully wrapped in plastic and peel-away film used to protect the matt fuchsia patina.
Along with the pretty packaging comes an unexpected note.
"Hello. And welcome to your new hair dryer," it reads.
It's clear a lot of thought has been put into ensuring you feel as though your purchase is appreciated.
Inside the box you receive three styling attachments - a smoothing nozzle, a styling concentrator and a diffuser - all of which snap on magnetically. A storage hanger and a non-slip mat are also included.
The Dyson Supersonic is also six times smaller and three times lighter than your average hair dryer.
Dyson spent $96 million developing the Supersonic in purpose-built beauty testing labs, with a fresh team of engineers working on the product.
The company also employed the expertise of top stylists - like the Kardashians' personal stylist Jen Atkin - and used 1600km of human hair to test 600 prototype dryers.
The Supersonic has 1600 watts of power and an airflow of 85 cubic feet per minute which is noticeable when you turn it on and you're immediately blasted with the full force of the air. LED indicators show three speed settings and four heat settings. It also has a cool shot function which provides a hit of cool air to help set your hairstyle.
While most hair dryers market themselves around "ionic", "ceramic" and "tourmaline", Dyson seems to be more about retaining the hair's natural shine and preventing heat damage in the first place.
Dyson achieves this through a "glass bead thermistor" that measures air temperature 20 times a second and reports it to a microprocessor which then regulates the heat output.
The Supersonic had some impressive technology which the geek in me was excited about, but unfortunately I agree with my sister-in-law that the Dyson didn't deliver on the level of perfect hair you'd expect for the investment.
My frizzy and thin hair was not tamed, although I was impressed by the dryer's efficiency.
In the end, I didn't quite experience anything more than my $19 Target dryer offered.