Like many beauty enthusiasts, I have long coveted the Dyson Airwrap, a styling tool that has been reviewed, loved, hated and obsessed about the world over for its innovative technology and ability to create some gorgeous salon-worthy looks with little to no heat damage. The love-hate relationship that many people have with the Dyson multi-styler has do with the fact that it costs $600.
As if answering our hair-goals prayers, the vacuum brand Shark released a similar product this past summer featuring near-identical technology, an updated design and a larger selection of attachments meant to replace all your existing hair tools. The best part? It’s less than half the cost.
With the Shark FlexStyler you can expect all of the things that made the Airwrap so popular in the first place: An adjustable-temperature stream of consistent air flow that promises fast drying and styling with minimal heat damage as well as multiple attachments that allow you to easily volumize, curl, straighten, dry and cool-shot hair to lock it all in place.
Most notably, the FlexStyler utilizes Coanda technology, the same feature for which the AirWrap is so famous. Coanda is the styling setting that reverses the direction of airflow so that sections of hair are automatically, yet gently, pulled and wrapped around the curling barrel for an almost hands-free styling experience.
Aside from the price, another major difference with the Shark FlexStyle is its swivel arm function, which is a personal selling point for me and a distinction that seemed very well received among other commenters and reviewers of TikTok.
The 90-degree positioning of the arm seems to make it less cumbersome for all-over styling and easier for creating multi-directional curls, and for transforming the styler into a more traditional-shaped hair dryer. Dyson’s Airwrap, on the other hand, calls for a little more maneuvering on behalf of the user, especially when using the curling attachments, because the handle remains straight.
A beauty content creator that goes by the TikTok handle @neoitgirl did a non-sponsored styling tool showdown and demonstrated across multiple videos just how the FlexStyle held up in terms of styling capabilities, ease-of use and attachment performance.
“I’m absolutely obsessed with this swivel arm. It makes curling certain parts around the face just so much more convenient... and my arms aren’t exhausted and it blew everything out so quickly,” she said. @Abbeyyung, another TikTok creator, said in a side-by-side comparison video that “the verdict is in... Shark FlexStyle curls just as good as the Dyson.”
Although both the Dyson and Shark claim to be compatible with all hair types from straight to 4C, the FlexStyle, as of yet, is the only option that offers a diffusing attachment which features retractable teeth and can help define natural curls as well as root-to-tip drying.
Other available FlexStyle attachments include a volume-inducing oval brush with smoothing boar bristles to help achieve that ’90s blow out, a styling concentrator, detangling paddle brush with boar bristles, a wide tooth drying comb and two 1.25-inch curling wands that can be switched out depending on which direction you want your curl to go. Each accessory can be purchased separately, or you can choose from the pre-selected FlexStyle bundles that Shark offers, depending on what’s best for your hair type.
From what I can tell, the performance of the Shark seems to be on par with its competitors, remains close in product quality and has a price tag that seems completely justified. Needless to say, I’ve been influenced — and if you have been too, scroll back up to find where you can grab (or gift) one for the holidays this year.