Last August, I celebrated my birthday in the English countryside, surrounded by wildflowers, way too many sheep to be comfortable with, and a table full of engineers. But still, one of my most vivid memories about that night was the face-framing waves that somehow maintained their volume through hours of humid toasting, thanks to the Dyson Airwrap, at that time still under lock and key. An invitation from Sir James Dyson, CEO and engineering-obsessed eccentric behind Dyson which produces your favorite space-age vacuum, fan, hair dryer, and now styling tool, had brought me to their high-tech factory to get a first look at the Airwrap (now a fan favorite as evidenced by their standing on this list). It was there that I fell hook, line, and sinker for the gadgety hair-styling tool.
In the hangar-style factory, I saw rigs designed to drop it from great heights onto all types of flooring for the clumsy amongst us. I saw a slightly creepy room full of samples of different disembodied hair textures for styling tests. I sat quietly in a padded room where the exact timbre of the whir of the motor was measured for greatest listening comfort. I left smitten with the Airwrap, which, if we know each other, you're already aware of because I have absolutely insisted that you play with mine.
The Airwrap works by harnessing a scientific phenomenon called the coanda effect in which high-velocity air in round objects turns into a powerful vortex (think jet engines). This was previously employed in the 2016 Readers Choice Award winner, the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, however, now to much more effect. The Airwrap is possibly most desirable for its versatility.
The kit comes with interchangeable heads to click into a motorized base for sleek styling, curling, or rough drying and can be bought tailored for your hair type (I have the Volume + Shape kit for my fine hair, but there is also a Smooth + Control pairing should you have more texture to work with). Hot air controlled by vents styles hair at lower temperatures than traditional tools might use, and have the very teenage witch effect of manipulating hair, no hands needed (or barely — you still need to hold the base and a button down, but there is no need to physically curl hair around a wand — the air will sweep it right into place).