Dryer and styling brush combination tools have been a game changer for me. I love the look of a blow out, but always struggled with using a round brush and dryer on myself. I have tried the Revlon One Step Styler, the Hot Tools Dryer Brush, the Conair Dryer Brush with dual voltage, the Dyson Airwrap, and now the Shark Flex Style!
The Dyson quickly became my favorite because it kept my hair healthy while styling. It really didn’t have any serious competitors or tools that compared. So when I saw that Shark released their Flex Styler device, I immediately ordered the version for straight hair.
When I started this comparison of the new Shark FlexStyle and the Dyson Airwrap, I expected it to be a one-for-one comparison. While I was filming the results of each of the attachments side-by-side over the course of a week, I was very surprised by what I discovered. Let’s dive right in to the details!
Full disclosure: I purchased both of these devices with my own money, this post is not sponsored, and I all the thoughts below and in the video are my own. I do use affiliate links on all posts throughout the blog.
The Shark Flex Hair Styler retails for $269 and comes with the wand base and four attachments: a drying nozzle, a smoothing brush, a round brush, and 1.25″ curling attachments (one barrel for each direction of curl).
Shark also has a Flex Style option for curly hair which also includes four attachments: a diffuser, the round brush, the curling wands, and the nozzle and a “build-your-own” option at $249 that includes three attachments of your choice. (This info becomes important at the end of this post in my summary.)
The Dyson Airwrap retails for $599 and comes with the wand base and a leather storage box, heat protection mat, filter cleaning ring, and six attachments: a smoothing drying brush, a 1.2″ curling wand (the new curling attachments now go both directions by switching the airflow at the top), a 1.6″ curling wand, a firm smoothing brush, a soft smoothing brush, and a round brush.
The Shark breaks down to $53.80 per item in the box and the Dyson breaks down to $59.90 per item included in the box.
Going through the per-item cost was so interesting to me! On the surface, the Shark looks like a much better value, at $330 less than the Dyson Airwrap. But when the cost was divided by the quantity of attachments and add-ons that came with each tool, it was much closer to an equal cost-per-item. That being said, the cleaning ring and heat protection mat (protects your countertops while heat styling) are lower cost items compared to attachments, but dividing by everything inside the box seemed the easiest way to calculate.
It’s interesting to me that the hair styles look more similar in photos than they do in the video (coming soon).
Shark offers their curling wand in a 1.25″ size, with a medium length barrel. Dyson offers three different curling wand sises: .8″ for tight curls, 1.2″ for medium curls, and 1.6″ for loose curls and waves. Dyson also offers two barrel lengths: original and long for longer hair.
Both brand’s wands are made from a non-metal material that was gentle on my hair. The curling attachments are the only Shark attachments that use the coanda effect.
The video goes in to more detail, but when I curled each side with a different tool and immediately set the curls with setting clips, the Dyson curls lasted longer. I still liked the curling results with the Shark curlers, I thought they looked really, really pretty. They just didn’t have as much longevity as the Dyson curls.
Both the Dyson and Shark round brushes are made from metal. As the metal heats up, this causes heat damage to the hair. I try to use these attachments as little as possible or only on the “cool” setting, to avoid stripping my hair of moisture.
Shark’s brush width is larger than Dyson’s, it reminds me of Revlon’s and Hot Tool’s One Step Stylers. For longer hair, this might be nice, shorter hair will do better with the Dyson round brush. The Shark round brush felt more like a mid-quality attachment (Revlon/Hot Tools) vs a high end one.
The Dyson round brush attachment is a smaller width and gives slightly more curve and wave vs Shark’s wider oval barrel. I feel like you can see the slight wave in the Dyson side.
Shark’s smoothing brush feels like it got my hair more smooth than Dyson’s. I was happy about that!
However, the Shark smoothing brush base is metal, just like the round brush. I could feel that my hair was dry that day after using this attachment. The top plastic piece of the Shark Smoothing Attachment broke off after the first use, which I was surprised by. This attachment felt more like a mid-quality attachment vs worthy of a high-end price tag.
Dyson’s bristles are plastic with rounded ends and use the coanda effect. This combo has been very gentle on my hair. Their “soft” smoothing brush has added plastic balls on the ends of the bristles to be more gentle on hair. Shark’s bristles are blunt plastic with longer pieces of plastic in the center. They were already splayed out after one use.
The Shark bristles did grip my hair better, resulting in a slightly smoother finish vs Dyson.
What I love about the Dyson Airwrap and what initially what justified the price to me, is that it comes with a dryer head. It’s best to use any styling dryer only after your hair is dried to 70% dry, to prevent hair from breaking. Hair is it’s most delicate when it’s wet, so “rough” drying it (drying without any brush or styling tools) is the best option to maintain healthy hair.
With all of the other one-step stylers I mentioned purchasing above, I needed to use a separate dryer before using the styler. This took up extra space in my bathroom and added a significant expense to a “lower priced” styling tool.
I love the Dyson tool for speed, as it feels like it covers more surface area. I just ordered the reengineered Smoothing Dryer Attachment ($39) so I will update once I have tried that.
I like that Shark’s drying nozzle is more precise. I felt like even though it took a bit longer to dry, my hair was smoother because of the precision nozzle.
Dyson Buttons: Dyson’s base wand (what each attachment clips in to) has the buttons set at the top. The cool shot button is activated by pressing the power button up and holding it. I do wish that the cool shot button could lock in place, like the other buttons do, without being held. I do use it on each section of hair and my finger does get tired by the end.
The Dyson buttons are perfectly placed so that I don’t shut anything off while using the tool and I am able to style my hair only using one hand. The buttons click up and down between setting easily and stay locked in place once you change them.
Shark Buttons: the Shark buttons are stacked lower on the handle. The on/off button is right between the filter, which only covers 3/4 of the base. Above the power button is the heat button, which has to be changed by pressing the button multiple times to navigate through the heat settings.
The airflow button above that also has to be changed by pressing it multiple times to toggle through until you want to get to the setting you want. The cool shot button is at the center of the wand.
My biggest issue with the Shark wand is that the buttons are so low on the device that I have to use two hands to operate it. I wish they were placed higher and were buttons that toggle instead of buttons you press.
The Dyson wand is 5.5 inches around and an oval shape, which fits perfectly in my hand and does not strain my hand or wrist while using.
The Shark wand base is also 5.5 inches around, but it’s a circle shape and does strain my wrist and hand after extended use.
The Shark wand has a swivel feature, so that the device can be used in a “L” shape for easier drying and styling, if you prefer to wrap your curls from top to bottom.
I do really like this feature, however, I worry about the longevity of the Shark wand with this added swivel feature. When I was using the round or smoothing brushes and using far more tension vs the curling attachments, I could feel that tension tugging on that swivel area. I am worried that if I used the smoothing and round brush attachments regularly, the Shark wand might not last as long as the Dyson.
Dyson Filter: this filter is at the bottom of the wand and the outer casing is removable. The filter cleaning ring can be slid up the base and twisted over the filter to clean it before each use. I do clean it before using it each time, to get the best performance from the device.
Shark Filter: The Shark filter cover is also detachable, so that the filter can be cleaned. It does not come with a cleaning tool, so I recommend maybe purchasing a small brush to get any dust out.
Power: The Dyson and Shark bases both have 1300 watt power. This is great, they both are very well made wands.
It does feels important to note that they have equal power, because drying my hair with the Shark styler took me longer vs Dyson’s. I think that came down to the Shark buttons not being in a place where I could adjust them with one hand, so I’d have to stop and put the brush down to adjust it for each piece of hair.
Voltage: Both version that you purchase in the US have 120 voltage, meaning they can only be used on that voltage level. These can not be used in Europe, you’ll fry the device, because EU countries use a higher voltage.
You can either to purchase the EU voltage device if you travel enough to justify the cost or you’ll need a dual voltage device. I leave this dual voltage tool in my suitcase with this outlet adapter for international trips.
Dyson has three heat settings, three air flow setting, and a cool shot button.
I use the highest heat setting for my rough dry only, then switch to the medium heat setting for styling, and the cool setting and cool shot button to smooth and set my style.
Shark has four heat settings, three air flow settings, and a cool shot button.
I can use the medium or high heat only when I am rough drying. But trying to use the medium heat setting near my scalp with the styling attachments was uncomfortably hot for me. I ended up using the lowest heat setting and the cool shot buttons only. The device just got too hot for my scalp and hair on any other setting.
In my opinion, the Shark Flex Style is a very good styling tool. However, it could be a great tool with a few tweaks.
1 | Replace the metal round brush and smoothing brush with the same hard plastic used for the Shark blow drying brush system. This would be more gentle on hair.
2 | Replace the plastic bristles with boar bristles or add a rounded edge to the plastic bristles, so they’ll be more gentle on my hair.
3 | Move the buttons up to the center of the Shark wand and replace the press buttons with buttons that toggle up or down.
4 | Have the cool shot button stay turned on without having to hold it in place.
Having used the Dyson Airwrap for two years and it almost exclusively replacing all my other styling tools, I clearly love the device. I do think there are some areas where it could be improved, however.
1 | Replace the metal on the round brush with the same non-metal material that is used for the other Dyson styling attachments.
2 | Replace the bristles on the smoothing brushes with either boar bristles or some material that grips the hair to create more tension while styling.
3 | Have the cool shot button stay turned on without having to hold it in place.
4 | I would love to see Dyson release a mid-price point option with the wand base, filter cleaning ring, drying attachment, and then only one size curling and one smoothing brush included.
I love the Dyson technology, I just think a lower price point would work well for people who might not necessarily want or need a 2nd smoothing or curling attachment and the leather storage case and heat protection pad. I think this could make them more competitive with Shark’s price point as well.
Shark has definitely introduced true competition to Dyson in the multi attachment styler space. I really don’t think anyone has been able to truly deliver a device that yields somewhat similar, or in the case of the smoothing brush, better, results.
However, hair health is an important factor to me. This is where Dyson wins, with the majority of their attachments being non-metal and more gentle on my hair. In the two years and three months that I have been using the Dyson, my hair has never been healthier feeling or grown longer. Even my hair dresser of eight years commented on how long and healthy my hair has gotten.
If you are primarily looking for a multi attachment styling tool to curl your hair or touch up your natural curls, instead of blow outs or straight styling, the Shark Flex Style version for curly hair with the diffuser would be an amazing option. You can build your own with three attachments: the diffuser (which Dyson does not offer for their Airwrap), the curling wand set, and the drying nozzle for $249. You could also get the pre selected set which also includes the round brush for $269.
I think the Shark really shines as a device when it comes to curls. The round brush and smoothing attachment didn’t compare for me to the Dyson, but I think the curling attachments are very well done. I love that they have an option for a diffuser. I can see someone being very happy with the Shark Flex Style if they primarily want a healthier heat tool to do curled looks or dry naturally curly. The set for curled hair seems to be where Shark really stands out.
In conclusion, I’ll stick with using my Dyson the majority of the time, for now. The Shark Flex Styler is good, but has room for improvement. I’m definitely curious to see future versions of the Shark tool as they continue to improve the device and attachments.
I hope this review was helpful to you if you are trying to decide between the Dyson and Shark multi styler tools.
Please ask any questions you have either below in the comment section or on the YouTube video. I am here to help and try to answer as many of your questions as possible!