Newsflash: not all hair dryers are created equal. You might think you can use any old tool and your hair won’t know the difference, but as we learned when Dyson launched its Supersonic hair dryer in 2016, some really are better than others. The Supersonic, which is packed with the same vacuum tech other Dyson applicances are known for, rings in at just under $500—and people rave about it.
When we found out T3, one of our fave makers of hot tools, was launching a new hair dryer, we decided to see how it measures up against the Supersonic. Five editors here at FLARE, Hello! Canada and Chatelaine evaluated each dryer based on things like dry time, weight and functionality to determine which of the two is worth your hard-earned bucks.
The Tester Team
Below, you’ll see feedback from Emily, who has fine, colour-treated chin-length hair; Prescylla, who describes her hair as “full, kinky, and curly”; Mishal, whose thick, shiny hair runs half way down her back; Nezariel, who says she has fine, curly (sometimes frizzy), chin-length hair; and Tara, who has fine, shoulder-length hair.
T3 Cura Luxe Hair Dryer
Specs: This black and rose-gold dryer launched just last month, and it’s powered by T3’s DigitalIon Air Technology, which the company says delivers a faster dry and smoother, shinier hair. It also has a volume booster switch, five digital heat settings, two speed settings and a cool-shot button. Its most innovative feature is the auto pause sensor—the dryer automatically turns off when you let go of the handle. (No more burned inner thighs when you hold it between your legs!)
Price: $320 at sephora.com
Weight: “It’s more ergonomically friendly and lightweight than its predecessor,” says Mishal. But, if we’re comparing it to the Dyson (which we are, obvi), it’s definitely the heavier of the two.
Attachments: The nozzles knocked this dryer down a notch for most of us, since they were tough to lock in and then remove. “Getting the attachments on was a mess,” says Prescylla. “It took me about ten minutes because the one I chose just wouldn’t seem to fit. I also wanted to turn the nozzle to make the air flow in a different direction, but couldn’t get it to do that.”
Function: The T3 has a ton of settings, including the aforementioned volume-boosting switch, which removes the smoothing ions and helps your hair get to its fullest. “The volume booster switch really sets this dryer apart as it gave my hair some extra oomph and is a totally unique feature,” says Emily. “And, let’s be real, the dryer design is chic af, you just feel fancy using it!” That said, some of us found the auto shut-off a little frustrating. It’s great if you’re setting it down a lot during styling, but sometimes a subtle finger shift can stop the airflow, and it takes a few seconds to heat up again when it starts.
Dry time: Three and a half minutes for Tara, four minutes for Emily, 17 minutes for Nezariel, 20 minutes for Mishal, and three hours for Prescylla.
Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
Specs: Built with a digital motor just like its Dyson vacuum and fan cousins, this Insta-famous dryer provides a high pressure, focused stream of air that dries hair super fast. It has four heat settings, three airflow settings, a cold-shot button and an ionizer. According to Dyson’s research, it’s six times faster than the average hair dryer—and a third of the weight.
Price: $499 at thebay.com
Weight: Most of us found the Supersonic relatively light, and evenly balanced since the heaviest part (the motor) is in the handle. “My bird arms get weirdly tired if I’m holding any kind of hair tool for too long, and that definitely did not happen with this dryer,” says Tara. “For the amount of power it has, it was surprisingly lightweight.”
Attachments: The Supersonic comes with two smoothing attachments and one diffuser. “Getting the attachments on the Dyson was very easy,” says Prescylla. “They’re magnetic, so they literally just popped right on with no issues, and I really liked how I could easily change the position of the attachments to make the air flow in different directions.”
Function: The shape of the Supersonic makes it easy to maneuver around your head (and it’s so much easier to fit in a suitcase!). It also doesn’t have a back vent, which means you don’t have to worry about your hair getting sucked in and caught in a tangled mess (one of Mishal’s biggest fears). According to four of the testers, it’s easy to switch between heat settings, and never overwhelming since it only has two buttons. Nezariel had other feels: “The Dyson was hard to control while also trying to brush out my locks,” she says. “Sure, navigating the buttons, adjustments and smoothing attachments was a breeze, but actually getting this bad boy to stay comfortably in my hand while drying? It didn’t work for me.”
Dry time: Three minutes for Emily and Tara, 20 minutes for Mishal, 30 minutes for Nezariel, and one and a half hours for Prescylla.
And the winner is… The T3 Cura Luxe!
Majority rules, and Emily, Tara and Nezariel all picked T3’s latest dryer. But, take note: they all have finer hair. If you’ve got a thick mane and you’re looking for something that’ll dry it as fast as possible, go with the Dyson—it was the winner for Mishal and Prescylla.
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