Opinion Page: Product Follow-Ups, Pt. III

This is a review that’s tough to write.  Every now and again, I recommend something and later decide the original recommendation was wrong.  This is one of those times.  So let’s talk about my Dyson hair dryer.

My hair is pretty simple.  It’s fine and it’s very straight.  I add a volumizing product and keep it conditioned, and that keeps it looking nice.  It’s not tough to style or plagued with texture and frizz issues.

At least, it didn’t use to be.

Last year, I developed a problem with tangles.  Large, painful snarls began forming when I dried my hair.  At first, I thought it was the hair extensions that I put in for my wedding last September.  So I had those removed.  The tangles got worst instead of better.

Then, I was reading this review on See Anna Jane, and realized that the tangles were caused by the cyclone motion and high power of the Dyson hair dryer.

I reached out to a PR person who works with Dyson.  Her comments were less than helpful.  She told me that “some women” need to learn how to use the blow dryer properly.  That it wasn’t a tool for “novices.”  And that I shouldn’t be trying to use it like a “traditional blow dryer.”

A bit insulting, for sure.  I was a little frustrated that I was essentially being told that this blow dryer was just too advanced for me.  But I did what she advised —  I turned the speed on the dryer down and I put the concentrator on to direct the air flow.  But nothing worked.

Every time that I dried my hair, I was still forced to brush out or cut out these large snarls.  Finally, I had enough.  I purchased the lightweight Harry Josh lightweight dryer from the Dermstore sale, and two weeks later, I haven’t had a single tangle since.

I don’t know why it took me so long to connect the dots that the Dyson was the cause of the tangles.  I loved the fast dry time, and the light weight of the Dyson dryer.  And sometimes, when you pay so much for a product, you just don’t want to believe it’s deficient.

So many friends and fellow bloggers love the Dyson sonic dryer, that it feels weird to write a negative re-review.  But my hair was suffering.  And as a person who blow dries her hair 4-6 times per week, I should be the last person who needs to be taught how to use a dryer “properly” in order to avoid tangles.  So if it happened to me, it may happen to some of you, and I’m just trying to spare you the months of breakage and damage.  Your mileage may vary.

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  1. Jen says:

    I think I got my Harry Josh (the older version) on your recommendation a few years back, didn’t I? If I’m remembering correctly, I look forward to an update on the Ultra Light. Is it worth getting a new one?

    December 8, 2020/Reply
  2. Allison says:

    I, too, hate to admit this, but I am not loving my Dyson(s). I encountered the same problems with tangles with the blowdryer. I also own the Airwrap styler, which has six attachments. A wonderful gift from my husband who thought it would save me hours each week on drying and straightening my hair. After trying for 2 years to love it, I recently tried the Revlon One Step Dryer / Volumizer at my sister’s house. That $40 brush is everything I wanted the Airwrap to be. I’ve purchased my own and now plan to get rid of both my Dyson hair tools.

    December 8, 2020/Reply
  3. Tiffany says:

    Yeah, YMMV. I have thin, fine hair cut short, chin length, and the Dyson has been fine. I use the concentrator and blow dry with a round brush. Is the Dyson a nice hair dryer, IMO? Yeah. Life changing? Eh. But I have not encountered this problem. But it may have to do with the length of my hair.

    December 8, 2020/Reply
  4. Jodi says:

    I have been eyeing the Dyson dryer forever, and right before Covid bought the Drybar dryer and I really like it. It has really cut my drying time down. I used to dry my hair everyday before going into the office. Ironically, now I NEVER dry my hair. I mean I think I have dried my hair 3 times since March. I get out of the shower, throw some air dry product in it, and put it up. I saw some Dysons on sale during cyber week and shrugged…..maybe after covid? Now your review gives me serious pause.

    December 8, 2020/Reply
    • Bridget Devlin says:

      Can you share the air dry product you use? I’m a novice in this area but that sounds like a WFH dream.

      December 8, 2020/Reply
      • Jodi says:

        I use bumble and bumble don’t blow it. Sephora also makes a product called air dry styling cream that is very good and less expensive but they are frequently out of it.

        December 8, 2020/Reply
      • erica says:

        Kristin Ess has an air dry creme at Target. I find it user friendly – as long as you don’t put it directly onto your roots/scalp, it’s hard to overdo it. Works well for frizz taming, enhancing soft waves, and is not stiff/crunchy/sticky. Smells great, too!

        December 8, 2020/Reply
    • Lauren says:

      I had the Dry Bar dryer for years before getting the Dyson as a Christmas gift maybe in 2018. I have VERY thick hair that goes past my shoulders and do not think the Dyson does a markedly better job. It is a good dryer that I use regularly but not worth the extra money.

      December 9, 2020/Reply
  5. Amy says:

    I LOVE my Dyson hair dryer but the original (don’t have the air wrap) seems to work best (from conversations with multiple stylists/blow dry bar workers) for those with wavy/curly hair who blow it out often. The diffuser is AMAZING and does about the best job aside from the Deva Curl one (a friend had that and we swapped on vacation out of curiosity). The ability to change the angle on the concentrator to blow dry my entire head ‘straight’ (not pin straight, but straight with a bit of a bend at the ends) is a game changer for me, it saves SO much time. It also takes me less time to dry my hair and does WAY less damage than my previous Elchim did.
    I can completely see why it would be too much force/air for those with fine/straight hair (my mother’s hair, she hates my Dyson fwiw).

    December 8, 2020/Reply
  6. Heather Edwards says:

    I’m with you on this review. I borrowed the Dyson hairdryer from my sister-in-law when on travel a couple years back and my hair has never been so tangled. I was glad to have been able to try it before buying it. I love my regular GHD dryer or sometimes a drying brush.

    December 8, 2020/Reply
  7. Amy says:

    I had a lot of tangles when I first started using the Dyson (4 years ago), but I thought it was unrelated. The tangles have pretty much gone away, so maybe I have just coincidentally learned how to use the dryer. I would have been so mad if I had received that reply from the company.

    December 8, 2020/Reply
  8. Beth says:

    Thank you for this re-review. It’s things like this that make me appreciate you and this community. Like with so many things in life, it’s okay to change your mind after learning more information or gaining more experience! Thanks for re-sharing your thoughts on this product.

    December 8, 2020/Reply
    • Ana says:

      +100%! Completely agree. Thanks for re-reviewing. This is precisely why we are all loyal readers.

      December 9, 2020/Reply
  9. TheLOOP says:

    Ugh that is such a patronizing response from Dyson. They have a similar response on complaints about their cordless vacuum – that people need to change how they think about cleaning and vacuuming… in short 15-20 minute bursts instead of a bing chunk of time. It was a turn-off IMO

    December 8, 2020/Reply
  10. Louise King says:

    I found this post very interesting because I’ve noticed the same thing. Since I purchased and started using the Dyson a year ago, my hair has noticeably less shine and I’m also fighting tangles more than I used to. I kept trying different hair conditioners and masks, thinking dry hair was the problem. Mine is fairly thick, long and wavy/curly. I started using the larger concentrator, and that made a slight difference. So, what technique did the PR person recommend?

    December 8, 2020/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Low heat, low speed, no upside down blowdrying, only drying the roots and letting the rest air dry. how is that a technique?

      December 9, 2020/Reply
      • MARY says:

        LOL “letting the rest air dry” = the best way to use our product is to mostly not use it. What a joke.

        December 9, 2020/Reply
      • Tiffany says:


        December 9, 2020/Reply
  11. Laura says:

    I was so excited to get the Dyson as a Christmas present a couple years ago. Unfortunately, while I didn’t have tangles, it dried my normally oily hair out so much that it felt like straw. I used it a few times then sold it because it was SO bad for my hair.

    December 8, 2020/Reply
  12. Rachel says:

    Different hair, different needs. The Dyson works amazingly for my thin, dry, curly hair. I use it on medium heat + medium airflow with the diffuser.

    December 9, 2020/Reply
  13. L says:

    I have the Drybar hair dryer but don’t love it; it feels really bulky and like the nozzle is too long for me to competently maneuver. I’ve had my eye on the lightweight Harry Josh for ages but am having a difficult time justifying a second hair dryer, particularly at that price, when I have a hair dryer that works perfectly fine already… Very open to being talked into the purchase while the dryer is on sale, though. Has anyone made this switch?

    December 9, 2020/Reply
  14. Jenn S. says:

    What a wild response from Dyson. For as much as their products cost, that’s really out of the realm of acceptability as far as customer service replies go.

    I’ve had a positive experience with my Dyson, and haven’t run into this tangling issue personally – but I*have* run into weird tangling issues that (at first) seemed unprovoked twice before in my life.

    First caused by too much protein in my hair products (this sounds crazy, but stick with me). Everyone’s hair is different, and proteins such as keratin ARE IMPORTANT for your hair regardless of type. That said, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. I simply had too much in my routine between shampoo/conditioner, product, etc. When your hair reaches that, “too much,” point it becomes brittle, prone to breakage, and therefore tangles. I pared back and things rapidly normalized.

    Second was too much biotin. I was talking a multivitamin as well as a ‘beauty’ oriented biotin supplement.

    It is bizarre.

    December 12, 2020/Reply
  15. Catherine says:

    Your honest reviews are why I keep coming back to your blog. I don’t have a Dyson dryer, but I’ve often wondered if a more (much more) expensive hair dryer would help to solve my hair woes. Like you, I have straight and fine hair, and it’s not that hard to manage – so to have tangles is just crazy.

    December 16, 2020/Reply
  16. Michelle says:

    Thanks for this. I once considered buying the dyson, but I’m glad I didn’t. I do like their vacuums. How shitty that their customer service is so terrible.

    December 16, 2020/Reply