It’s pretty amazing how much the world of hair styling has advanced in the last 10-20 years. What was once a highly in-demand salon service, blowouts can now be done just as easily in your own bathroom. All you need is one of the nifty new styling tools to get that just-got-back-from-the-salon look.
It’s no secret that Dyson turned the haircare world on its head when the Airwrap first made an appearance about six years ago. Since then, we hadn’t seen another brand try their own hand at replicating the device, until now. Meet the Shark Flexstyle—a new hair styling tool also created by a vacuum company.
I’ve written about my love of the Dyson Airwrap previously. But after trying the new Flexstyle at home, I’m impressed by how similar they truly are. If you’re someone who loves the look of a blowout, but doesn’t have the cash to shell out at Drybar every week, it’s time you consider investing in a Dyson ($600, sephora.com) or a Flexstyle ($299, amazon.com).
Wondering which one is worth it? Considering the Dyson is $330 more than the Flexstyle, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of both and figure out which styling tool is right for you. This post is all about the performance and technology of the Flexstyle and Dyson Airwrap. Plus, I’ve added my thoughts on which one is worth your money.
Flexstyle vs. Dyson Airwrap
Note: This is a review of the original Dyson Airwrap Styler, not the new Dyson Airwrap Complete, which I have yet to get my hands on.
I think the performance of these two tools is different, but the results are pretty similar. I noticed that the Flexstyle dries hair faster than the Airwrap. This includes while using the styling concentrator, the curling wands, and the brushes. The airspeed on the Flexstyle is stronger and faster, making it more effective in drying and styling your hair quickly. I also love that the Flexstyle rotates into a blow dryer—it’s an innovative blow dry design.
The Airwrap comes with three airflow speeds, two hot air settings, one cold air setting, and then the cold shot button to help lock in a look. The Flexstyle comes with three airflow settings, three hot air settings, and one cold shot button.
A significant difference between the two is the amount of heat that each tool gives off on its highest setting. When using the Flexstyle, I noticed that the highest heat setting was way too hot on my hair. It was basically burning my scalp. I don’t recommend anyone to use that heat setting on their hair unless they want to significantly damage their hair and scalp. Thankfully, you can still use the first and second heat settings on the device and still not cause a ton of heat damage to your hair.
The Airwrap does not get as hot as the Flexstyle, so it might take longer to style your locks. That being said, it’s less likely to cause a ton of damage to your hair and scalp since it’s not as hot.
As noted previously, I don’t have the new Dyson Airwrap Complete. I own the original Airwrap that includes the multiple sets of curling wands that separately go in different directions. Because of this, I can’t speak to the new rotating barrel attachments on the latest Airwrap device.
However, I can still compare all the attachments that come with the two devices. The attachments that come with the original Airwrap are the pre-styling hair dryer attachment, four curling attachments (two different sizes), a firm smoothing brush attachment, a soft smoothing brush attachment, and one round brush attachment. The new Airwrap Styler Complete comes with a Coanda smoothing dryer attachment, two rotating curling barrels (each a different size), two smoothing brushes, and one round volumizing brush.
The Flexstyle comes with a style concentrator, a paddle brush, an oval brush, and two auto wrap curlers (both are the same size). You can also purchase a curl defining diffuser separately to use on your device. I would say that the Airwrap round brush and the Flexstyle curling wands are my favorites.
I love that the Airwrap round brush really gives you that gorgeous, bouncy blowout that you’d typically get at a salon. Unfortunately, the oval brush that comes with the Flexstyle doesn’t really give you the bounce that the Airwrap round brush does. Instead, the oval brush offers a more sleek-looking blowout.
On the flip side, the Flexstyle curling wands are able to gather and wrap your hair around the barrel much easier than the Airwrap curling wands. I also noticed that the Flexstyle curling attachments allowed my hair to dry faster and was generally quicker than the Airwrap curling attachments.
One of the big downsides with the Flexstyle curler attachments is that they only come in one size. The Airwrap comes in two sizes, and the new Airwrap has curling attachments that rotate. Meaning, you don’t have to swap the barrels out every time you want to switch the direction of your curl.
I think the Airwrap smoothing brushes and the Flexstyle paddle brush essentially worked the same. I didn’t see a huge difference between the two.
The Flexstyle concentrator attachment is far superior when doing a rough dry on hair than the original Airwrap dryer attachment. I haven’t been able to try the new Airwrap Styler Complete Coanda smoothing dryer, so I can’t speak to that, unfortunately.
Both tools use the Coanda effect to create different hairstyles. The Coanda effect is an aerodynamic phenomenon that happens when air is propelled at a specific speed and pressure and naturally follows an adjacent surface. This then pulls in the surrounding air and creates a spinning vortex of air around the cylindrical-shaped barrels of the Flexstyle or the Airwrap.
What differentiates the Flexstyle from the Airwrap is that the Flexstyle gets hotter and has a stronger airflow. But, as I said, I wouldn’t use the Flexstyle on the hottest setting very often. I think it would completely fry your hair. I love that the Flexstyle has a rotating base that can transform into a blowdryer.
Obviously, the price tag difference between the Dyson Airwrap and the Shark Flexstyle is a huge selling point. The Airwrap costs $600, while the Flexstyle costs $270. The Flexstyle comes with five attachments, while the Airwrap Styler Complete comes with six attachments.
The Airwrap Styler Complete comes in two sizes (the normal size, along with the long size). There is also the Airwrap multi-styler Complete Curly/Coily set that you can purchase for textured hair types. The Flexstyle only comes in one size. However, you can purchase the curl-defining diffuser separately if you have curly or textured hair.
Although the attachments that come with each are similar, they definitely create different looks, which I mentioned previously.
Shark Flexstyle vs Dyson Airwrap: Which Is Better
Choosing between the Shark Flexstyle or the Dyson Airwrap really depends on what you’re looking for in a hair tool. The Flexstyle dries hair faster, gets hotter than the Dyson, and costs significantly less. The Airwrap takes longer to style your hair, but if you’re someone who is really concerned about your hair health, the Airwrap might be your best option. If you style your hair more than three times per week, I would suggest going for the Dyson Airwrap. It might benefit your hair health in the long run.
On the other hand, I’m incredibly impressed with the Flexstyle. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a multi-styling tool that creates different styles with impressive results. I’m amazed by how well this device creates curls with the two curling wands. And I also love how powerful the airflow is, too.
My biggest downside with the Flexstyle is that I prefer a bouncy blowout look to a smooth blowout look.
You can’t really get a bouncy blowout look using the oval brush with the Flexstyle. I prefer to use the round brush on the Airwrap when trying to achieve a bouncy blowout look at home. The type of blowout that the Flexstyle Oval Brush offers is similar to the one that the Revlon One-Step Volumizer Original offers, if you’ve ever tried that device.
If you really love the bouncy blowout look, I would suggest you either splurge on the Dyson Airwrap, or purchase a round brush blow dryer (like the Drybar Single Shot Round Blow Dryer Brush, $132, amazon.com). Even if you purchased the Flexstyle and the Drybar Round Brush, it would still be $198 less than the Airwrap!
I hope you found this review helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or reach out to me on my Instagram!
*This post contains affiliate links, so I may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through the links on my site at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting my small business by shopping through my affiliate links—I am so appreciative!