The best Dyson Airwrap alternatives available for under £100

If you somehow predicted that a company best known for its high-end vacuums and air purifiers would also wind up making the world’s most coveted hair tool, please come collect your prize.

We’re talking, of course, about Dyson and its legendary Airwrap. Launched in 2018, the multi-functional styler has since earned a cult following for its ability to dry, smooth, and curl without the use of extreme heat. Eight different brush and barrel attachments make it suitable for a range of different hair types and textures — plus, it comes with a sleek leather case for easy storage.

No blazing-hot plates, no blistering metal rods, and no need to head to the hairdressers for a bouncy hairdo anymore? If that all sounds too good to be true, it kind of is: The Airwrap is even more expensive than a PlayStation 5 and just as hard to find.

Why is the Dyson Airwrap so popular?

We’d love to tell you that the Airwrap is an overhyped gimmick so you could save your hard-earned money, unsubscribe from all of those restock email alerts, and finally close out the Stock Informer tab that’s been pinned to your browser window for months. In fact, that’s probably going to be the case if you’re someone who doesn’t go out of the way to style their hair every single day: The Airwrap has a semi-steep learning curve, it takes up a lot of space, and at the end of the day, it just isn’t some miracle-worker for unruly tresses that can’t be tamed by other gadgets, said Mashable tech reporter Rachel Kraus.

But believe it or not, there is an actual time and place for a £450 hair tool. The Airwrap is designed for use on damp hair, so if you like getting ready right after you hop out of the shower, it’ll fit effortlessly into your existing routine. If you’re worried about frying your ends with daily styling, the Airwrap “could just be your follicles’ saving grace,” noted Kraus. And if you’re someone who frequently drops hundreds of pounds on professional styling, an Airwrap could actually save you money in the long run.

For her part, Kraus couldn’t justify the price of the Airwrap despite it working “really, really well” on her hair. If you find yourself in a similar boat, it’s time to explore some alternatives.

What should you consider when shopping for an Dyson Airwrap alternative?

First, a little bit more about the Airwrap itself. According to a press release, its motor harnesses the power of an aerodynamic phenomenon called the Coanda effect. This produces a spinning vortex of warm air, which attracts and automatically wraps hair around the Airwrap’s barrel to gently dry while adding volume. All the while, an intelligent heat control system is measuring the device’s temperature over 40 times a second to ensure it never ventures beyond 150°C.

Dyson’s engineers perfected this technology across about 500 prototypes, so as far as the Airwrap’s design is concerned, it’s safe to say there really is no exact match or fair comparison elsewhere on the market. That being said, you may be able to get similar results out of simpler tools (with a little practice) — namely, hot air brushes and certain curling irons and straighteners.

Start your search by pinpointing the top reason why you’re drawn to the Airwrap in the first place, aside from the “minimal heat damage” thing, and pinpoint the device out there that specialises in that department. Once you’ve figured out what kind of tool will get you closest to your desired results, you can further narrow your search using the following criteria:

Power A styling tool’s air-blowing power is typically measured in watts. Those with higher wattage will usually produce more heat than those on the lower end, meaning they work faster but can damage hair quickly if you’re not careful. Most hot air brushes fall somewhere in the 1,000- to 2,000-watt range. (For comparison’s sake, the Airwrap’s 1,300-watt motor puts it just slightly below the average pro-quality hair dryer and makes it capable of taking tresses from wet-ish to ready in about 10 to 15 minutes.)

Multiple heat settings — Any styling tool that forces you to scorch your hair on “high” the whole time is a no from us. Being able to choose from a few different temperature settings makes it way easier to avoid heat damage, especially at the end of your hair routine when you’re already mostly dry. (Bonus points for any tools with a cool shot, which will seal your hair’s cuticles and set the look in place.) Keep in mind that Airwrap has three airflow speeds and four heat settings, including a constant cold shot.

Cord length — Professional-quality styling tools can have cords as long as 8 or 9 feet — the Airwrap’s clocks in at 8.2 feet — but you can get away with a shorter one if there’s an outlet right next to your vanity.

Weight You’re going to be holding this thing above your head for a not-insignificant amount of time, so the lighter, the better.

No matter what kind of device you wind up buying, even if it’s an actual Airwrap, consider adding some styling products to your cart while you’re at it, too. Dyson itself recommends using hairspray to “maximize curls’ longevity” and a heat protectant “whenever possible.” (It can only help.) And for extra volume, its Global Lead Stylist Amy Johnson suggests applying a mousse to your roots while your hair is still wet.

What is the best Dyson Airwrap alternative?

We’ve searched high and low for the best Dyson Airwrap alternatives, and lined up a strong selection of your best options. There should be something for everyone here, with all these dupes available for under £100. You just need to consider everything listed below and pick a favourite.

These are the best Dyson Airwrap alternatives in 2022.

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