I thought people were crazy to spend S$600 on a hairdryer. This is me admitting I was wrong

I could not believe anyone would pay S$600 for a hairdryer, such as the Dyson Supersonic launched in 2016.
Business Insider/Jessica Lin

When Dyson brought its Supersonic hairdryer to Singapore in 2016, I thought everyone shelling out S$599 to get their hands on one was just insane. Too much money lying around, perhaps?

I mean, my own hairdryers (I always have at least two, just in case one breaks down) were some of the most powerful and reliable models on the market – and none of them cost more than S$200. So to spend more than half a grand on just one hairdryer? You’ve got to be kidding me!

While I’m not exactly a vain pot, I’ll admit I’m actually quite protective of my hair: I go for scalp treatments, I don’t dye or colour my hair because I’m afraid of damaging it in any way, and I also carry my own hairdryer when travelling because I don’t trust hotels to have the best hair care equipment.

But although I couldn’t get over the Supersonic’s super price tag, the endless five-star reviews it had got me wondering if I was missing out on something. Still, I would remind myself time and again that its S$600 price was not to be trifled with. Money doesn’t grow on trees, you know?

Fast forward to August 2019, and I’ve finally picked up the Dyson Supersonic, thanks to a review opportunity. And now that I’ve tried it, I suspect I may not be able to go back to my regular hairdryer anymore.

Here are 5 things about the Dyson Supersonic that won me over, and what I now think about that controversial price tag.


1) Didn’t leave my arms feeling sore

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It may not be the lightest hairdryer on the market, but it was incredibly easy to use and my arm did not feel tired after 10mins of continuous use.
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Business Insider/Jessica Lin

The first thing I noticed about the Dyson Supersonic was its weight.

Apart from a uniquely Dyson design with a gaping hole in the middle, the Supersonic is similar in size to many other regular hairdryers. So when I picked it up, I was pleased to find that while sturdy, it was much lighter than I’d expected.

According to Dyson’s website, the Supersonic weighs just 659g and measures 245mm by 97mm by 78mm, so it isn’t the lightest hairdryer on the market. However, the balanced design meant it was a breeze to use and I don’t feel the weight of it while drying my hair.

Because of this, I would classify the Supersonic as travel-friendly, despite the fact that it can’t be folded up like other travel hairdryers. Here’s an idea: perhaps Dyson can also consider making the Supersonic cordless – just like its famous vacuum cleaners.


2) So powerful, it dried my hair in record time

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Drying my hair has become less of a chore these days.
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Business Insider/Jessica Lin

Dyson claims the Supersonic is fast-drying, due to its air multiplier technology that amplifies air to “produce a controlled, high-velocity jet of air”. This was one of the claims I expected to be just hot air – but I was wrong.

I still remember the first time I finished blow-drying my hair with the Supersonic: I sat for two minutes combing through for any wet spots that were missed. Nothing. I couldn’t find any wet spots at all.

My hair may be fine and naturally straight, but it is quite thick and long so it usually takes a minimum of 15-20 minutes to dry completely. With the Supersonic, it took just 10 minutes – my arms weren’t even tired from holding up the hairdryer yet (also because it’s so light)!


3) Volume, bounce and no sweat

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My hair and scalp feel healthier after one month of using the Supersonic.
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Business Insider/Jessica Lin

Singapore’s humid weather does little to help my scalp, which tends to be quite oily. It also makes my fine, straight hair limp and flat.

While years of regular treatment and daily medicated shampoo and tonic use have helped improve the condition tremendously, my hair still feels slightly weighed down after each blow-dry with a regular hairdryer. This is partly because the heat from hairdryers causes me to perspire even when I’m in an air-conditioned room.

The first time I used the Dyson Supersonic, I noticed that even on the highest setting (there are four settings – 100 deg C, 80 deg C, 60 deg C and 28 deg C), my scalp was not uncomfortably hot and my hair did not feel like it was on fire.

Close-up: Around 30 minutes after using the Supersonic in a non-air conditioned room, my hair retained its shine and volume.
Business Insider/Jessica Lin

Even after 10 minutes of use, my scalp continued to feel clean and light. In fact, the difference was so stark that I immediately started to question what I was doing without a Supersonic for so long.

Standing in front of the mirror and combing through my hair, I also found it was shinier, bouncier and smoother than it’d been in a long time. Crazy as it sounds, it was like I had just visited the salon for a treatment.

The GIFs below show the movement in my hair after a Dyson Supersonic blowout (first GIF), and after a blowdry using another brand’s 2000w hairdryer.

My hair definitely had more body after using the Supersonic, compared to the regular hairdryer, which made my hair look flat and lifeless.

4) Magnetic attachments are genius

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The Supersonic’s attachments: Diffuser (left), smoothing nozzle (top right) and styling concentrator.
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Business Insider/Jessica Lin

The devil’s in the details, and it’s obvious that Dyson made sure those details added up for a completely game-changing user experience.

It may seem like a small factor to consider but the magnetic attachments are one of the design details I love most about the Supersonic.

Magnets make attaching and changing the attachments on the Supersonic quick and easy. Best of all, you don’t have to risk scalding your hands when changing or reattaching a piece that’s been heated up.


5) It doesn’t hurt my ears

The Supersonic is not miraculous enough to be called noise-free, but it is definitely a lot less noisy compared to my 2500w and 2000w hairdryers.

The 1600w Dyson’s digital motor is a lot quieter than the regular hairdryer despite spinning at 110,000 revolutions per minute (rpm).

Even after 10 minutes of continuous use, my ears didn’t feel like they had gone through battle. So while it isn’t noiseless, I’d say the Dyson’s noise levels were controlled and not uncomfortable on the ears like other hairdryers usually are.


So is it worth that crazy price tag?

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Like Dyson’s vacuum cleaners, the Supersonic comes with a premium price tag.
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Dyson

The US$71 million (around S$100 million) Dyson spent on researching and developing the Supersonic was obviously very well-spent. Even my hairstylist, who was using specially imported hairdryers at his salon, agreed that the Supersonic is in a league of its own when it comes to performance.

Dyson, in my opinion, should definitely be lauded and rewarded for the way it has changed the consumer hairdryer industry. The level of performance the Supersonic provides does justify the massive price tag that comes attached to it. This is especially true for people with long, frizzy, and other types of high-maintenance hair-types.

So, if you ask me whether I still think that it takes a crazy person to splurge S$599 on a Supersonic, I’d say no – but you’d have to be pretty passionate about your hair.

Having said that, not everyone is able to part with such a large sum of money on a single piece of equipment. So while many people could benefit from having a hairdryer that solves all the common problems with existing hairdryers on the market, the luxury price range means the Supersonic ultimately remains as that – a luxury product.

Will Dyson ever lower the price of a great product that remains unattainable for many? I certainly hope so.

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