Since its launch, the Dyson supersonic hair dryer has been the subject of discussion in salons, coffee mornings, and online beauty forums. Despite its outrageously high price, it is arguably the best of its kind. After nearly 4 years of research and development, Dyson’s team of engineers, scientists, and hair stylists came up with a hairdryer that would make its competition pale in comparison. How the Dyson hair dryer does its job is indeed an intriguing matter. This article attempts to dissect one of the best innovations of our time by examining its hair drying process and the parts involved in this process.
The specialists at Dyson’s purpose-built laboratory simply took apart the traditional hair dryer, identified its issues, and modernized it with a touch of Dyson. Those who are familiar with other products manufactured and sold by Dyson will instantly recognize Dyson’s trademark bladeless fan in its supersonic hair dryer. Apart from this, the V9 and a glass bead thermistor give the hair dryer its cutting-edge capabilities.
The V9 is a digital motor developed by Dyson. It is small enough to fit inside the handle of the hairdryer. The 13-blade motor impeller rotates 110,000 times per minute pulling in room temperature air from outside through the vents on the handle. While doing this, it generates 3.5 kPa of air pressure at a time. This pressure helps to push 13 liters of air up to the head of the hairdryer each second.
The flow of air which is sucked in by the digital motor passes over a double-stacked heating element. The heating element converts electrical energy to heat energy and heats the flow of air which passes over it. It is possible for this air to become too hot and therefore damage the hair. To guard against overheating the air, Dyson’s engineers placed a glass bead thermistor in front of the heating element.
The thermistor is a resistance thermometer. It is highly sensitive to changes in temperature. Any change in temperature will cause a prompt change in resistance. The glass bead thermistor regulates the temperature of the air coming in through the vents of the hairdryer. It measures the temperature of the air flow 20 times per second and ensures that it does not exceed 3020 F. In this way, it prevents overheating and protects the hair against extreme heat.
After passing over the heating element, the flow of air moves to the head of the hairdryer which resembles a hollow cylinder. Here, the high-pressure air is amplified 3 times. The technology which enables this amplification is known as air multiplier technology. The amplified air exits the head as a controlled, high-velocity stream of air at a rate of 41 liters per second. At this speed, it is possible to blow dry type 3A curls of waist length in less than 10 minutes.
The Dyson supersonic hairdryer comes with 3 attachments which are magnetic and rotate at 3600 making it very fast and convenient to attach and detach them. The styling concentrator enables precise styling. With this nozzle, you can style your hair one section at a time without disturbing the rest of the hair. The smoother allows you to dry and style your hair at the same time, and it does so very gently. The diffuser is especially beneficial for curly hair. It distributes the air evenly around each curl much like air drying and helps to prevent frizz.
You can choose from 3-speed settings (fast drying / regular drying / gentle drying) and 3 heat settings (2120 F / 1760 F / 1400 F) which are neatly positioned on the barrel of the supersonic hairdryer. There is also a cold shot button to help you set your hair soon after styling it.
As the debate over its merits and demerits continues, the Dyson supersonic hairdryer is being enthusiastically adopted by a niche customer segment of upscale hair salons and luxury hotels. It remains to be seen whether Dyson’s $71 million R&D investment will pay off in the foreseeable future.
- ThoughtCo., How Dyson’s Supersonic Hair Dryer Works