By Nejla Matam-Finn
I think it is fair to say that we all hate a bad hair day.
However, what I personally hate the most is not having the right tools to try to make it look at least presentable. Before I get into the whole ordeal, let me provide a bit of a background on me and my complicated relationship with my hair.
You see, I have alot of hair, and they are super thin and curly - and when I say curly, I mean corkscrew curly. That means like any curly-haired girl, I have tried my fair share of magical potions that promise "fuzz-free and shiny" hair. I have also spent countless weekends trying the most hydrating hair masks because that curly set of hair also has the tendency of being on the dry side and, thus, in need of constant attention. Of course, styling tools don’t necessarily help on this matter but, well, you have to choose your battles. Anyway, growing up, my mother owned a salon (she still does, actually) and so I basically spent hours on end watching and learning from the professionals on taking care of hair. That does not mean that I am a professional but I've definitely picked up a trick or two - like perfecting that straight blowout in less than 20 minutes.
So, you see... my advice comes from a deep knowledge of this situation and not just superficial trial and error. Ok, now let's dive straight into, in my opinion, the most important styling tool: Hairdryers.
Hairdryers are, unfortunately, not all made equal. From the price, the weight and the power, there is huge range out there. A good hairdryer is going to cost you quite a pretty penny but if you choose the right one, it will not only make your morning routine more pleasant but, probably, help you on your relationship with your hair.
For years, I didn’t have a good hairdryer till my mother gave me a Parlux hairdryer as a gift. Now, this one changed my life. The power of the Parlux as well as its light weight made my life much easier. As I was living in a cold country at that time, having to dry my hair in the morning in a more efficient manner was a no-brainier. Why? Damp hair + bad cold weather = TERRIBLY bad hair days.
I kept my first Parlux for 10 years before swapping with my mother for the Parlux 3200 compact. Not only was it more powerful than the previous one, it is also much lighter - like 490g light. So, obviously, my love affair with the Parlux brand continued. That was until I read about the Dyson hairdryer - billed as the Apple product of all hairdryers. Of course, this instantly piqued my interest and curiosity.
Now, like any Apple spokesperson at the popular annual Keynote presentations, Dyson claims to have produced a more powerful hairdryer, with a sleek aerodynamic design, and with regulated air temperature at all times, making sure that you don’t burn your hair (remember my worries about over-drying my tame). While all that sounded amazing, one thing stopped me for purchasing it. And I am sure you can guess - THE PRICE. How do I justify spending $600 on a hairdryer? In my line of work, $600 can get me an Hermès scarf, or if you're quick enough, a great vintage Chanel piece from THE FIFTH COLLECTION (click here to shop for pieces under $600).
I've decided to give the thought of getting a Dyson a rest, until Santa (aka my brother-in-law) placed a Dyson hairdryer under the tree for Christmas last year. So, for the last two months or so, I've been giving my Parlux a rest and testing out the Dyson.
Yes, I love it. But while the Dyson has taken the place of my Parlux, I thought I should do a list of the pros and cons so you can make your own informed decision when trying to pick out your drying tool.
PARLUX 3200 COMPACT
Parlux is an Italian company founded in the 70’s and manufacture only hairdryers. Now, that's a credible background fact, isn't it? The company has an impeccable reputation in the professional hair world. One of the reasons is that they not only manufacture the most powerful hairdryer in the market, their hairdryers are practically indestructible. As you can imagine, a professional stylist relies on their hairdryer - they can’t afford a change of strength as well as constantly replacing a faulty hairdryer. They need powerful, strong tools to do their jobs efficiently. After all, most professionals purchase their tools out of their own pockets.
Remember how my first Parlux hairdryer lasted me 10 years? It would have stayed with me for longer if not for me swapping for a more compact one for travels. Among the professionals, it’s actually considered a pretty light one as well as extremely ergonomic, thanks to its short handle. Imagine if you had to manipulate one all day, you will want to have a handle that is not going to injure your wrist.
The Parlux 3200 Compact is pretty well-priced, if you asked me - especially when you know how long they last. I found one at www.lookfantastic.com for SGD128 (and that includes shipping). For this amount, and if you keep it for at least 10 years, it is like paying $12.80 per year.
It being a professional tool, I will recommend it for someone who actually is used to handle such a big hairdryers. If you are not, then make sure you practice (go watch the countless tutorial videos on YouTube. Super helpful!). It can be a little bit intimidating at first but totally doable with a bit of practice. The only thing that is never easy is if you have long hair like I do. Doing the back of your head takes lots of stretching and contorting to make it look like you just came out of the salon.
The Parlux comes with a set of two nozzles but there is no diffuser, so you have to purchase one separately. It offers different set of temperature and power as well as button to press when you rather have some cold air. Despite the model being called "compact", the Parlux is not a actually a compact hairdryer. So, if you need to travel with your hairdryer because you can’t rely on those provided by hotels, keep in mind that this model will take a bit of space in your luggage. Moreover, if you take into account taking the right brushes with you, you might want to leave more than just a bit of space in your luggage.
Who is it for? If you are solely looking for a robust and powerful hairdryer that will last you a long time, then this one's your winner.
Easy shift between cold and hot temperature while doing your hair
Hard to manage, if you are just starting out
Accessories to be purchased separately
First of all, the design surprised most of us during the launch. On top of that, not only is this machine powerful, it is super compact, light (not the lightest), and has a sensor to protect our locks from the heat. Surely, that sparked a big interest and I was super curious. Unfortunately, the price was way to steep for me to take the plunge (still can't get over how it costs SGD600. So, thank you, Santa!).
The Dyson comes with 3 extra accessories - a smoothing nozzle, a small concentrator nozzle, a diffuser. It also comes with a heat/anti-slippery mat to rest the Dyson on while using it. Basically, it offers 3 different hot and cold blow strengths. But what makes it super attractive, at least to me, is how compact it is. Plus it is ergonomically designed and that makes it so easy to balance while doing your hair. Yes, even when you are drying the one at the back. With this Dyson Supersonic, I feel like I struggle less and, more importantly, I am not over stretching my arms like I do when using a classic hairdryer.
I never travel without my hairdryer because I have had bad encounters over the years. So when I travelled with the Dyson, and all its accessory plus my brushes, I did not get the feeling that I had to give up space in my luggage. When it comes to power, the Dyson is powerful but I think what makes it extremely powerful is the fact that the air emitted is more targeted, despite the design. Impressive. Honestly, I think the claims of it cutting your hair-drying times by half is due to the fact that the blow is targeted and focused. This means you don’t have to go over and over again on the same part of hair.
One thing about the Dyson Supersonic is that it is one of the most silent hairdryers out there. While this is not so important for me, I can imagine that if you are a professional (or a working mother getting dressed with a sleeping baby in the room), this feature is definitely a plus. If you are a beginner at doing your hair, I can safely say that the shape makes it easier to get used to and makes you do a more precise work on your locks.
Now being the new player in the market, it is hard to know exactly how long the Dyson Supersonic will last and when you've shed $600 on a hairdryer, you clearly want it to last. And last FOREVER.
So, I suppose only time will tell. But I am a proud owner of other Dyson products and feel that the first generation of vacuum cleaner were more solid than the new ones, so let’s hope that the Dyson hairdryer is made to last.
Who is it for? A beginner who wants to be serious about taking care of their hair at home, or if you travel alot and rely on your hairdryer to look the part.
Easy to travel with
Great for beginner
Unconfirmed durability (will it last a lifetime?)
No switch from one temperature to another while doing your hair.