Had enough of bad hair days? Got a spare $700? Then this gold-plated hair dryer might be the one your hair’s been waiting for!
Dyson has revealed probably its most prestigious hair dryer to date – the 23.75 karat gold-plated Dyson Supersonic, hand gilded in gold leaf from Florence, Italy.
Retailing for $699, the new blue and gold hair dryer was designed by Sir James Dyson himself and will be available to buy in Australia from September 17.
While it’s only a couple of hundred dollars more expensive than some of Dyson’s other Supersonic hair dryers, which typically cost about $499, it does cost more than some of the brand’s vacuum cleaners!
However, at approximately 333 atoms thick – 1/666th the diameter of a human hair – each gold leaf is incredibly delicate and must be applied by hand, according to Dyson.
Five leaves are used on each product, which are then brushed together to form a smooth, even finish.
“Gold is one of the most resilient materials in the world and has been used in design, sculpture and architecture for centuries,” James Dyson said.
“As an element, I’m fascinated by its properties. Like the engineering process we pride ourselves on, gilding is a true example of meticulous craftsmanship.”
Dyson sought the expertise of a master gilder to teach its engineers the skills required to decorate the new hair dryer.
Engineering lead Britta Stockinger said despite not being experts in gold, they weren’t afraid of the challenge of having the metal on their product.
“We weren’t experts in gold or gold leafing, but we broke down the technique into individual steps to understand how each parameter affects the finish and how we could best apply it to our hair dryer,” Ms Stockinger said.
“Using our expertise in design processes, adhesives, paint and model making, we managed to learn a very traditional skill and translate it to a 21st century application.”
During development, engineers rigged a robotic paint arm to carefully apply an adhesive called “size” onto the surface of the red loop of the hair dryer. The robotic arm ensured the adhesive was repeatedly applied the same each time, ensuring an unblemished finish.
Finished in Dyson blue, the hair dryer comes with colour matched styling attachments and is completed with a presentation case, coloured the same red as the ‘Gesso’ primer used during the gilding process.
The specific red hue underneath the gold layer is intended to reveal some of its colour over time, giving each gold leafed face a “distinctive patina”.
Dyson notes in a statement that in order to retain the “lustre” of this layer, a top coat has not been added. As such, the gold leaf is delicate and should be treated with care.
“Through use, some of the red base colour may become visible beneath through the gold. This is intentional and designed to reflect the colours seen in gilt artefacts. It should not be considered a defect, but rather something that makes each hair dryer unique to its owner.”
— The Verge (@verge) August 29, 2018