Dyson will forgive you if the first thing you say when you see the all-new Dyson Supersonic r hair dryer is – “It looks like a pipe.”
“It’s a running joke with the engineering team,” said Dyson Haircare Engineer Steven Williamson, who agreed with my assessment as he held up the purple
pipe…er..pro-grade hair care appliance for me to view on our video call. I later found out that the product is called Supersonic r because of its “r”-like shape.
Dyson does have a history of odd-looking gadgets. Its small, powerful vacuums with internal cyclones didn’t look much like the competition, and then there’s the Dyson Zone air-purifying headphones and air filter.
This time, though, it’s a case of form meeting function. Dyson, which launched its industry-rattling Supersonic hair dryer eight years ago, learned a lot from that pricey and best-selling product with the distinctive hole in the top. The goal with this new dryer was to build something much smaller, lighter, more powerful, and up to the rigors of working a full day in a hair salon. The looks of the Dyson Supersonic r, unveiled at New York Fashion Week, are, in part, a direct extension of those efforts.
The tube-like body, which runs straight for about 10 inches before curving (without changing thickness) toward the business end, is Williamson told me, “more like an extension of [a hair stylist’s] arm.”
It’s not just the radically altered body; inside is a mix of familiar and completely new hair-drying technology.
Williamson showed me a model with half the plastic body cut away and I could see that the Supersonic r is packed with technology. In the middle of the long pipe, roughly where you hold the hair dryer, is the familiar Dyson Digital Motor (larger versions were made famous by Dyson’s long line of vacuum cleaners). That dense bit may help the dryer feel more balanced and, perhaps, make it easier for pro hairstylists to hold and use for hours at a time.
The new technology includes what Williams called Dyson’s new “streamlined heater,” which is a series of 0.25mm-thick foils. Nine of them are stacked along the curve of that pipe-like body. Williams said it’s a low-restriction design that leaves no hot or cold spots but offers more heated surface area to warm up the air.
Dyson also refashioned the still-familiar-looking air filter on the opposite end of the dryer (just above the plug). After years of selling the pro version of the Supersonic to salons, Dyson realized those environments are far more intense than your typical home bathroom, where you might use the hair dryer for 20 minutes at a time and, perhaps, every other day. That’s why the Supersonic r’s filter pops off and there’s an easy-to-clean mesh inside. There’s also a small LED light on the outside to let you know when it’s time to clean the filter. As a safety precaution, if you don’t properly replace the filter cover, the unit won’t turn back on.
The tech advancements are not limited to the Supersonic r body. Dyson added RFID chips to all the attachments (five are included in the box), which means the hair dryer recognizes each one and can adjust settings. When you change the settings while using the attachment, the Supersonic r will remember them and reapply those settings the next time you use the attachment. If this sounds familiar, that’s because Loreal introduced similar attachment technology for its new infrared hair dryer at CES 2024.
Dyson’s Supersonic r even has a pro-level price, starting at $569.99 (about $70 more than the current, though out-of-stock, Supersonic Pro) and should ship in April for American shoppers. There’s no confirmation yet of international pricing and availability.
Promises of a 20% smaller and 30% lighter Dyson Supersonic dryer that could be more powerful, efficient, and smarter – even one that looks like a piece of pipe – are sure to excite home hair stylists, too. Dyson has some potentially good news on that front.
“We’re looking to continue to advance. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see this coming to consumers in the future,” Williamson told me.
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