Dyson Supersonic hair dryer – Innovation Award Winner

Posted by Harrison Astbury August 26th 2016

Dyson Supersonic, the hair dryer, re-thought

Most households will have some form of hair dryer shoved away in the far reaches of the bathroom cupboard, only brought out for special occasions. For many of us, however, busting out the big, noisy hair dryer to get ready for work is a daily morning ritual, and can be a frustrating and time-consuming process. For longer, thicker hair, it could take 20 minutes to get it just right – depending on the quality of your hair dryer.

Picture this – it’s a hot, humid summer’s day and you’ve just rolled out of bed after a few too many wines the night before. You look over at the clock and it’s already 8.30am! Your hair is looking like a nightmare. The last thing you want to do is turn on that dastard hair dryer, giving yourself a headache and taking 20 minutes to dry your hair. No, this simply isn’t an option, and it doesn’t have to be anymore thanks to the modestly-named Supersonic hair dryer by Dyson.

What is the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer?

To put it simply, the Supersonic hair dryer is a game-changer when it comes to drying your hair. Why? Because of its power and ability to dry your locks super quickly, safely and gently.

Dyson invested close to $100 million, employed over 100 engineers, built 600 prototypes, and tested on over 1,600km of human hair in developing the Supersonic hair dryer. Dyson went to the end of the earth to build an appliance that many of us take for granted, often settling for mediocrity. It’s the first major step in hair dryer technology in over 50 years, and it shows. It’s a hair dryer for the 21st century.

At close to $700 at the time of writing, the Supersonic hair dryer doesn’t come cheap, but just like buying a new smartphone, that’s the price of being at the forefront of modern technology and innovation. Of course, Dyson is no stranger to innovation as the world’s leading manufacturer of vacuum cleaners.

Why is the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer innovative?

Just by looking at the Dyson Supersonic, you can tell it’s not your average hair dryer. It has three key innovative features:

  • Standard hair dryers usually only blast out air-flow at around 12,000 revolutions per minute (RPM). The Dyson boasts 110,000RPM! The V9 digital motor uses Dyson’s patented Air Multiplier technology. This, as Dyson says, is their smallest and lightest motor yet. And at 110,000RPM, it packs a punch. This allows hair to be dried much more efficiently. Think of it like a drag race between a farm tractor and a Ferrari. Similarly, due to this fine-tuning, the Dyson operates at a much lower volume, which allows your singing to be heard by others in the house. This may or may not be a good thing. Though, we all know how annoying noisy hair dryers can be.
  • Air temperature is measured 20 times every second – automatically. There’s no ‘Hot’ or ‘Melt your scalp off’ temperature setting on the Supersonic hair dryer. Where many hair dryers go wrong is that they blow too hot, thinking heat equals faster drying time. This can be very damaging to the hair, and doesn’t do much for drying it any quicker. It only dissipates water molecules quickly. You need wind, too, and the Dyson’s 110,000RPM comes in handy here. With Dyson’s heat technology, the Supersonic hair dryer leaves your hair better off and not so ‘brittle’ feeling.
  • It’s the world’s first bladeless hair dryer. The bladeless fan eliminates the risk of hair being sucked into the motor – which, as many of us know, is an embarrassing annoyance that can strike at the worst times. Instead of being in the head of the dryer, the motor is placed in the handle. The Dyson Supersonic is a safer way to blow-dry your hair.

It’s the little things

Beyond these three key features that already make the Supersonic a great product, Dyson has put a lot of time and energy into making sure the user experience is second to none.

  • Unboxing the Supersonic makes you feel like you’re in luxury. It’s housed in a brown leather carry case; it comes with a heatproof pad to rest it on, and an instruction manual.
  • Due to the motor being in the handle, rather than the head, this allows for a much more balanced control, which is easier on your wrists. If you’re going to be sitting at a computer for eight hours at work, the last thing you want is to get carpel tunnel syndrome from your hair dryer in the morning!
  • Many users report that the weighting is perfect, which allows for fluid drying movements. It may not seem like much, but if you’re using it every day it certainly adds up.
  • The attachments are magnetic. Ever tried to attach a diffuser? Yeah, it can be annoying. The Dyson attachments simply snap into place, which makes removal and attachment easy.

Is the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer worth the money?

The Supersonic hair dryer is a serious bit of kit. It’s the Ferrari of the hair drying world. Dyson have poured all their resources into it with their first foray into the hair dryer business. It’s an established industry, with giants comfortably in their positions, and the Supersonic has made them a bit edgy.

Though, was all this money and research into a $700 hair dryer worthwhile? Are people going to buy such an expensive hair dryer? The short answer is yes – yes, they will. Many people will scoff at the thought of paying $700 for a hair dryer, but that’s not who Dyson are marketing this hair dryer to. They’re making it for the people who value a top-shelf product and are willing to pay top dollar for an appliance that they can trust to deliver outstanding performance every time. It’s a bit like buying a Miele dishwasher. If you plan to use it every day and only want the best results, the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer could be a wise investment.

Canstar Blue’s research committee was impressed, handing Dyson an Innovation Excellence Award in August 2016.

Frequently asked questions

Canstar Blue’s Innovation Excellence Awards have been determined through a panel of external and internal judges, who adhere to a strict awards methodology – outlined below. Brands or representatives of brands submitted products for consideration. We also accepted consumer nominations, where anyone could submit products they thought were worthy of an innovation award, and also conducted our own research to identify products that were worthy of consideration.

A single legitimate submission was all that was needed for a product to be considered by our judging panel. To be described as innovative, we assessed both the degree of innovation and the overall impact the product could have. In terms of degree, we considered whether there are any other similar products available, where it is a “first” in Australia or New Zealand, and where it opens up any new markets. We also assessed the potential significance of impacts to the existing market in terms of competition. And, of course, something that’s truly innovative will have “wow” factor. In terms of overall impact, we considered the number of people who could benefit from the innovation, its ease of use, expense, and the potential it has to change people’s lives.