- Versatility: hair dryer and styler
- Easy-to-install accessories
- Fun to use in hairdryer mode
- Three heating levels.
- Continuous cool air flow option
- Blowing power slightly below its competitors
- Not always easy to use in styler mode
American company Shark presented its first styler at IFA 2022. The FlexStyle relies on the Coanda effect to shape the hair as part hairdryer, part curling iron. Another advantage of this styler is that it is priced well below its main competitor, the Dyson Airwrap.
Dyson was all-powerful in this sector. The British company was the only player to offer a credible styler, the Airwrap. But American company Shark has recently launched the FlexStyle, an affordable alternative to the popular Dyson. Priced at less than £300, the Shark is also more versatile than its competitor, acting as both a curling iron and a hairdryer – a versatility initially provided by the Airwrap but abandoned in the latest models. What’s more, it also relies on the Coanda effect to shape our hair – a physical phenomenon that Dyson has widely democratised. And to appeal to all hair types, the Shark FlexStyle travel pack includes 6 different attachments: two curlers, two styling brushes, a diffuser and a concentrator.
Convenient to use
In appearance, the Shark FlexStyle has the same silhouette as the Dyson Airwrap. Its tube-shaped body houses easily fit attachments and removes by activating the control provided.
Of course, you can also use it bare. This is highly likely when the FlexStyle is used as a hairdryer. And to help structure wavy, curly and frizzy hair, a diffuser can be attached to the appliance. Shark also supplies a concentrator for perfect blow-drying or straightening. This is a considerable advantage of the appliance: its versatility. A single appliance can be used to dry and style hair.
It’s worth pointing out that the drying function was originally planned for the Dyson Airwrap before it was dropped from the latest models. A straightening nozzle is currently supplied with the device, but it’s not suitable for all hair types and doesn’t make the Airwrap a fully-fledged hairdryer. The Airwrap’s main function is styling, while the Supersonic is responsible for drying.
Shark has equipped its styler with a pivoting head to make it easier to hold when blow-drying. This is an undeniable advantage. The end of the tube swivels 180° so that the dryer nozzle points directly at the hair.
The styling function is provided by the two styling brushes and the two attachments: one for curling the hair in one direction and a second for curling it in the opposite direction. Of course, you’ll have to get used to it and forget the old habits you’ve acquired with traditional curlers.
With the FlexStyle, hair needs to be damp. You don’t want to dry it 100%. Otherwise, you’ll have to dampen it again with a spray bottle, for example. Next, the Shark swallows the strand once it has been placed in the middle of the nozzle. This is the Coanda effect, already tried and tested by Dyson with its Airwrap. But beware of long hair, which can be heavy for the appliance.
Like Dyson, Shark claims that its styler takes care of the hair. The hair is obviously protected because traditional curling irons have no heating plates. The device is also said to regulate its temperature almost 1,000 times a second.
Finally, to adapt the FlexStyle to your hair, the appliance offers three airflow settings and three heating levels. A cool air option can also be activated by holding down the dedicated control for a few seconds.
To assess the Shark’s performance, we measured the power of the airflow using an anemometer placed 20 cm from the air outlet.
Set to the first intensity, the styler produces a blast of air with a power of 5.5 m/s. It reaches 8.2 m/s when pushed to its maximum. By comparison, the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer produces an airflow of up to 17.4 m/s, while the Airwrap has a maximum power of 11.6 m/s.
On the other hand, when fitted with the concentrator nozzle, the Shark increases its power, with an airflow of 12.6 m/s. It then outperforms the Airwrap since the latter is not designed to dry the entire head.
The airflow temperature also comes under scrutiny when we test this type of device. The advantage of the FlexStyle lies in the fact that it has three heating levels. We could even say four, but intensity 0 produces a neutral airflow – i.e. without heating it – so it doesn’t count in the rating. Above all, this first power level enables you to activate a flow of fresh air without maintaining continuous control, which is a small comfort when using it.
Thanks to these three heating levels, the Shark has a wide temperature range: it can go as low as 41.7°C and as high as 60.5°C.
At maximum intensity, it’s 3°C cooler than the Supersonic and 5°C cooler than the Airwrap.
While stylers and hairdryers are used just a few centimetres away from our ears, the volume produced by these appliances is far from being a detail. And the Shark FlexStyle could fare better in this respect. It emits 75.4 dB(A) at minimum power and cranks up the volume to 80.5 dB(A) at full power.
On top of that, it’s the shrill nature of the noise that quickly becomes unbearable. So you must use FlexStyle efficiently to turn it off as quickly as possible.
While the FlexStyle is often associated with Dyson’s Airwrap, Shark tries to set itself apart. Its strong point is its versatility, role as a fully-fledged hairdryer, and styling function. This means that the same appliance can dry and style your hair, removing the clutter from your bathroom and easing your wallet. But while the FlexStyle is excellent fun to use, the results are only sometimes convincing, especially in styling mode.
Shark FlexStyle [HD435SLUK] 4-in-1 Air Styler & Hair Dryer for Curly & Coily Hair: Auto-Wrap Curlers, Oval Brush, Concentrator and Diffuser, No Heat Damage, Stone
|Current Price||£219.99||September 24, 2023|
|Highest Price||£269.99||June 21, 2023|
|Lowest Price||£219.99||September 22, 2023|
Last price changes
|£219.99||September 22, 2023|
|£269.99||July 17, 2023|
|£249.99||July 16, 2023|
|£269.99||July 3, 2023|
|£249.99||July 1, 2023|
Shark HD430 FlexStyle Air Styling & Drying System, Powerful Hair Blow Dryer & Multi-Styler with Auto-Wrap Curlers, Paddle Brush, Oval Brush, Concentrator Attachment, Stone
|Current Price||$299.95||September 24, 2023|
|Highest Price||$299.95||June 14, 2023|
|Lowest Price||$289.99||July 29, 2023|
Last price changes
|$299.95||September 9, 2023|
|$294.97||September 7, 2023|
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|$294.99||September 4, 2023|