Last fall, home care maker Shark launched the Style iQ hair dryer, moving the brand into the electric beauty and hair care arena and firmly pitching it as a rival to vacuum cleaner maker and beauty disruptor Dyson. Like Dyson’s hair dryer, the Style iQ boasts efficient, damage-free drying at a premium price, setting the Shark as a serious competitor in the market.
This year Shark followed up with FlexStyle. It’s a clear competitor to Dyson’s expensive but very popular Airwrap styling tool. Could this killer product be hair care’s next big hope?
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Shark FlexStyle Review: What You Need to Know
The FlexStyle is the most direct competitor to the Dyson Airwrap Multi-styler Complete (£480) still on sale. The Airwrap comes with 8 accessories including 30mm and 40mm barrels, a firm soft smoothing brush, a round volume brush and a smoothing dryer.
Like the Airwrap, the FlexStyle uses an airflow-based Coanda effect to curl your hair instead of heating plates. This allows curls to occur at lower temperatures and less damage to the hair, especially on fine, brittle hair. It also means you can style your hair while it’s dry without having to dry it before using hot styling tongs.
The sizable FlexStyle box opens to reveal a neat mat that houses the main drying unit, two curl barrels (both 31.75 mm in size), a paddle brush for smooth styling, and an oval brush for volume. It has a black carry case. Plus concentrator and diffuser attachments that allow you to use his FlexStyle like a regular hair dryer. The drying unit and attachments are finished in stylish matte black with rose gold trim.
The FlexStyle has 3 temperature settings and 3 speed settings, which can be selected individually using two buttons on the handle of the tor. Also, you can set curls with cool shots. The 1400W motor (slightly more powerful than the Dyson) provides fast and efficient drying. And a smart thermal sensor measures the temperature of the airflow 1,000 times per second to ensure a safe, non-stick, and uniform temperature.
The tool weighs 661g including attachments and comes with a 2.67m cord, long enough to easily reach your bedroom mirror from most outlets.
Shark FlexStyle Review: Price and Competition
The FlexStyle is priced at £300. That’s significantly cheaper than his £480 for Dyson’s Airwrap Multi-Styler Complete, but still a good deal. At the time of writing, his FlexStyle is the only other curling wand that uses the Coanda effect to wrap hair around a styling barrel.
However, there are other curling tools that use air to style your hair. I highly recommend Revlon’s One Step Hot Brush (£63). BaByliss Hydro Fusion Air Styler (£60) and Hydro Fusion 4-in-1 Brush (£80). T3 Airbrush Duo (£170). All of these tools use a combination of hot air and ceramic-coated round or paddle brushes with ionic technology to create a bouncy, salon-style blowout with minimal damage to your hair. . These stylers are great for adding volume and creating loose curls rather than tight ringlets.
For automatic curls that use a mechanical motor to wrap the hair, BaByliss’ Curl Secret (£60) and Wave Secret (£150) promise foolproof styling without the need to master tongs, wands or brushes To do. The automatic curl motor does it all. However, both Curl Secret and Wave Secret use standard ceramic coated barrels instead of air to shape the hair.
Another option for healthier hair curls is ghd’s Oracle (£135). It uses a U-shaped ceramic plate surrounded by “cool zones” to gently pull the hair through a tool to create lustrous, natural curls that are less damaging than curls. mitigate. at higher temperatures.
However, for ringlet style curls that use air to shape the hair, Airwrap and FlexStyle are the two current options.
Shark FlexStyle Review: Feelings
The drying unit rotates around a joint and can be easily switched from a vertical setting to a right angle setting (the ‘flex’ in FlexStyle’s name). The vertical configuration lets you add a curling barrel and brush attachment to curl or smooth your hair.To rotate the FlexStyle into hair dryer mode, slide the latch down and click into place. Rotate the top half of the drying unit until it fits. Use the FlexStyle in this position to dry hair rough before curling, use the diffuser attachment to add volume to natural waves and curls, or use the concentrator attachment to straighten his blow-dry hair. Dries to create a smooth finish.
To use the brush and curler attachments, rotate the top of the FlexStyle back to the vertical configuration. You can then clip on either a curling barrel, oval, or paddle brush. Like the Airwrap, the FlexStyle blows air through slots in the curling barrel, creating a pressure differential in the airflow. This will make the hair magically wrap around the barrel. Curls are created as the hair dries into place, making FlexStyle a healthy way to style your hair without the application of direct heat.
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Unlike the Airwrap, the FlexStyle only has one size curling barrel. The two barrels have slots facing in opposite directions. To change the curl direction, you need to replace the clockwise barrel with a counterclockwise barrel. Both barrels are clearly marked, making it easy to determine which direction the curl is wrapped, but switching between barrels is more inconvenient than flicking the directional switch on the airwrap.
Switching between temperature and speed settings is easy, but with clearly marked buttons at the bottom of the handle. Additionally, Cool Shot can be easily activated by pressing and holding the blue button further up on the steering wheel. This will blow cold air, seal the cuticle and set the finished style. The attachment clicks firmly into place and feels solidly attached to the wand when in use.
Oval brushes are a good size and shape for creating rounded blowouts, and paddle brushes are also good for straightening hair and smoothing flyways for a smooth finish. Combining the FlexStyle in dryer mode with an oval or paddle brush, I was able to style my towel-dried medium length hair in less than 20 minutes, leaving it looking and feeling healthy, soft and smooth.
Where the FlexStyle lacks performance is the Airwrap duping curling barrel. After one test after another, we found the Dyson’s barrel to wrap more efficiently. This is probably due to the greater pressure differential that wraps the hair around the barrel more effectively. Dyson’s ionic technology also leaves hair super smooth and shiny – FlexStyle uses airflow to effectively dry hair at low temperatures to minimize damage and dehydration, but not moderately. The length of hair lacked the glossy finish created by the Dyson Airwrap.
It also arguably adds a layer of fuff not present in Dyson’s simple switch, since the barrel must be switched to change the direction of the curl. Additionally, the FlexStyle’s single barrel size means the tool has fewer options for curl sizes and styles.
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Shark FlexStyle Review: The Verdict
FlexStyle is the first styling tool that truly competes with Dyson’s revolutionary Airwrap. Like Airwrap, FlexStyle curls hair quickly and reduces heat damage. The shark tool offers a similar method of styling using air, but at a lower price point than the Dyson, with the addition of tools for blow-drying. Diffuser and concentrator attachments are versatile and allows FlexStyle to be used for dryer configuration and styling with a curling wand. Also, using the brush tool adds a simple yet effective way to create straight he blowouts or voluminous waves.
If you are primarily interested in using curling barrels, the FlexStyle settings are less user-friendly than the Airwrap settings. You need to switch barrels to change direction, and the set includes only one barrel size. FlexStyle’s barrel produces soft ringlets with a healthy feel, while Airwrap creates more versatile curls with two barrel sizes and ringlets with a shinier finish. In the curling business, Airwrap is king.
But if you’re looking for a hair dryer with more features that works as a blow dryer, styling brush and curling wand in one, the FlexStyle makes more sense. The dryer works well with or without a styling attachment, and the two brushes create a glamorous, salon-style blowout quickly and with minimal fuss, leaving your hair dry quickly with a soft, healthy finish. For the do-it-yourself styler, FlexStyle is a sophisticated and capable package.