Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, $399 new / $275ish refurb
This post’s title should be Beauty Skeptic or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dyson Supersonic.
At the end of 2018, I shared that I had purchased a refurbished Dyson Supersonic hairdryer. This is now the single most expensive beauty tool I own. In the time between the time I placed the order and delivery I vacillated between whether or not I was losing my damn mind.
If you’ve been reading for a long time, you’ll know that when I like to use pricier tools for a long while while before writing about it. This enables me to evaluate its performance long term and make a confident recommendation. We’ve all gotten a product (beauty or otherwise) that was great at first and then maybe not so much as time passes. Frankly, I find the gushing, “I’ve used it for 3 days and it is TOTES WORTH IT,” reviews grating beyond belief.
The dryer arrived on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, I have no alluring unboxing photos; since it is a refurb, it doesn’t come in fabulous retail packaging that’s worth showing you. It came in a very utilitarian, nondescript, white cardboard box with white inner packaging that was effective but not luxurious. As much as I can appreciate nice packaging and presentation, I also appreciate not paying a huge premium for it.
- “Wow this thing’s weight is distributed sooo nicely.”
- “Diffuser? Ugh, space consumption.” (Great for the curly girls, though).
- “Concentrators – omg, there are two of them? NEAT.”
- “Omg the magnetic bit for the tools is amazing. This is so nice, so much better than something that snaps on that can wear with time and become less secure.”
- “OH! It sounds so smooth. And – this thing is powerful.”
My hair, which is long (and longer than usual at the moment thanks to CoVid-19), goes from, “I got out of the shower five minutes ago,” to dry in less than ten minutes. This varies depending on what products I’m using and how diligent I’m being about sectioning – but it is great. Thanks to a girlfriend, I started wearing wireless earbuds when I blowdry (genius), and I usually go through about two songs. That’s like 6-8 minutes.
But speaking of sound – I’ve seen some people claim that the Dyson Supersonic is quiet. While it is quieter than other hairdryers I’ve owned in the past, it is still a hair dryer with a motor and therefore does make noise. Hence the earbuds. (I like these ones from Tranya ($39), by the way.)
In the nearly two years I’ve owned and used it, it hasn’t shown any signs of stopping. It works just as well as it did day one. Attachments all securely grip via magnets as well as they ever did. Cleaning is easier than a conventional dryer; the filter is at the end of the handle near the cord. You just wipe it down. It is unreal.
I’ve never had it overheat on me – as in either motor needing to cool or it running too hot and burning my scalp or hair (that’s actually a key selling point; it checks and adjusts to maintain temperature very frequently).
Because of how quickly it gets the job done, my arms never get tired from drying my hair. And due to the shape of the dryer (barrel is not super long), it isn’t awkward to maneuver.
Funnily enough, my colorist got a Dyson Supersonic slightly before I did and used it at the salon. After two years of abuse, the motor on hers wore out – now, granted, this is a professional who is using it for hours each day on multiple clients, in a very product-heavy (read: build up) environment. Given that use case, I’d say it fought valiantly. It’s important to note, too, that she did not have the Professional edition, which is slightly lighter weight to stand up to all-day use.
I have nearly only good things to say about the dryer. I have but two functional concerns:
- First, it takes a moment for the cool shot to engage. I don’t use it often so it doesn’t bother me terribly, but if I used it regularly and it took a few seconds I may find that annoying.
- Second, sometimes when I turn it off for a moment and quickly turn it back on, it doesn’t want to power on immediately. It isn’t a result of a GFI issue, and it will obey my command within thirty seconds. It’s almost as if I’ve disrupted a shutdown procedure and it needs to finish that before it can resume for me.
And the elephant in the room, of course, is the price. It is a beast, but it is also, in my view, inaccessibly priced.
Value of the Dyson Supersonic
So where do I place the value of a $400 dryer? Well, first, it’s important to remember that I bought a refurb and saved almost 50%. I’d recommend it at the price I bought it (around $220 due to a sale they ran on refurbs; they are around $275 at the moment).
I love this damn hair dryer, but $400 makes me balk hard. If it were stolen and I needed a new dryer today, I’d check for refurbs (they are available) or consignment to bring the price down to the $220-275 range, but I couldn’t choke down $400 for it. I’m not explicitly on a no buy, but I have pared down a lot of spending – and a Dyson Supersonic is undoubtedly a luxury.
The Bottom Line
Like I said, I love my Dyson Supersonic.
I don’t, however, love the price, and I think $400, especially this far away from its launch (with the Airwrap and straightener on the block, too), is too steep. There – I said it.
I love when technology and beauty intersect. We’re definitely dealing with really awesome innovative technology (and with that comes R&D overhead), it’s simply too much. It may have been worth $400 at launch, but it certainly isn’t now. That said, Dyson is also a high end consumer brand, so we know some of what we’re paying for is the prestige of the name. That chafes me, but that’s how it is.
If you want a Dyson Supersonic, save up and wait for them to go on sale or snipe a special on the Dyson Outlet on eBay (yes, its legit). Don’t pay full price for one.