Confusing detail in new $700 Dyson. Picture: Supplied
Confusing detail in new $700 Dyson. Picture: Supplied

Confusing detail in new $700 Dyson

Dyson's latest product is a cordless hair straightener with a hefty price tag, prompting one loaded question: "Is it worth it?"

The well-known British brand has spent £25 million pounds (nearly $A50 million) creating a device that doesn't need to be plugged in to use and has patented "flexible" copper plates it claims protects hair health.

As a result, you'll need a spare $699 handy to take one of these home.

While Dyson's products have always sat at the expensive end of the scale, a detail it puts down to spending millions developing impressive new technology, the timing of this launch has been particularly unlucky.

After spending seven years getting The Corrale ready for market, it hit shelves in the midst of a global pandemic which has seen millions lose their jobs.

So it's understandable people want to know if the product, dubbed a "game-changer" by hair professionals, lives up to the hype before splashing out.

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SCIENCE BEHIND THE CORRALE

The justification for the pricing lies in its "flexing plates", which are different to the standard ceramic ones used by leading competitors. Dyson said it created the copper version to evenly distribute heat and prevent frazzling and breakage.

Basically, it's meant to stop hair splaying as you run the device over your locks, requiring fewer passes over your strands to get the same result and getting the job done with way less heat damage.

After using it for the past two weeks after being sent a handset to review, I am torn.

On one hand, the Corrale is impressive. It gives solutions to annoying problems, offers exciting new experiences (hello straightening your hair on the go) and looks super sleek on your bathroom vanity.

But on the other, it feels irresponsible to indulge on such an expensive tool during an extremely difficult economic climate.

 

That said, in times like these it's often the small things that can bring us joy. I have actually loved having a play and styling my hair with the Corrale while being stuck in isolation. In fact, it arrived on my doorstep the day I was meant to fly to the UK to visit my family, so it brought an element of light relief to my upsetting situation.

HOW DOES IT PERFORM ON FINE HAIR?

With that in mind, I decided to put the despair of COVID-19 to the side and treat this how I would any other new product I've been let loose with in the past.

Regular Beauty Diary readers know my hair is fine and has a subtle natural wave to it, so points I immediately wanted to test out were: How well does it curl? How long will styles last? Is the battery life any good?

My natural hair, before any sort of action with the Dyson Corrale.
My natural hair, before any sort of action with the Dyson Corrale.

After charging it up for a first run, I noticed straight away the handset was a little heavier than my normal straightener (a GHD Platinum Styler, RRP $269) - and definitely bigger. It's not an off-putting weight that would leave your arm aching though.

Not being restricted by a cord attached to a wall was weirdly liberating, like being a naughty toddler who had escaped from that strap mums tie to their wrists to make sure they don't lose them.

I set it on the lowest of its three heat settings, 165 degrees, and after a beep that signalled it was at the right temperature, I twisted the iron through a small section of hair to get a curl.

The first pull felt really weird and that's because instead of that glide you'd be familiar with using a normal hair iron, the plates almost feel bouncy - a bit like a bungee.

It clasped my hair so well that it tugged and got stuck as I pulled down.

But it wasn't the Dyson's fault as I quickly realised the copper plates were so good at holding onto hair, my usual tight grip just wasn't necessary.

The first time I used the cordless hair iron, I found it didn’t glide and felt sticky because my grip was too tight.
The first time I used the cordless hair iron, I found it didn’t glide and felt sticky because my grip was too tight.

I continued to do curls on one side of my head, playing with my grip, and settling on a much looser one to normal, which led to a really different straightening experience. You really don't have to clamp down as the copper plates do the gripping for you.

While the curls set, I straightened my hair on the other side of my head - specifically to test Dyson's claim you only need to run the iron over hair once for results.

On 165 degrees though, I didn't get the poker straight finish I was looking for. So I turned it up a notch to 185 and then I saw results.

The one thing that is important to note here, is that you really do need to section hair for this to work. If you're like me, you have a habit of just running and iron over and over loose hair, you won't get the benefit of subjecting your hair to less heat.

DO STYLES STAND THE TEST OF TIME?

For me, the true test comes in how well the styles held and stayed in place. Curls are notorious for dropping, especially in fine hair like mine - so would these babies stand the test?

I ventured outside to see how well the styling fared in the elements. It was a particularly windy day, so I pulled on a coat and went for a walk.

While I looked like I'd officially lost it with half my head in curls and the other side straightened, it didn't really matter because anything goes these days. If someone had looked at me oddly I would have just said "iso life" - but sadly, no one did.

By the time I got home after 40 minutes in the breeze, about 80 per cent of the curls were intact while the straight side still looked super sleek after a brush. Winning.

My hair also looked lovely and shiny all around, with the Corrale giving a gorgeous glossy finish. It also left my hair feeling really soft and healthy.

This took just five minutes to do, hence the happy face.
This took just five minutes to do, hence the happy face.

Another pro for Corrale is the timesaving element. Most days I've used it, I've completed a simple straight style and it takes me just five minutes which is a huge winner in my book.

With human contact still restricted, I've not been able to test the straightener on any other hair types, such as thick or curly. However a few YouTubers with different hair types to mine have reviewed the product and declared they love it.

Sylvia Gani, a beauty content creator with long, thick hair, told her 2 million followers, it was "amazing" and tamed her most "unruly" hairs.

"This is magic y'all," she said.

Curly haired YouTuber Julissa Guillen said cut her straightening time in half.

"It took 22 minutes to straighten my hair, usually it takes me about 40-45," she said in her review.

CONFUSING BATTERY PROBLEM

One thing I spotted almost immediately though was the inconsistent battery life.

Dyson said it lasts 30 minutes and takes 40 minutes to recharge to 90 per cent - but almost as soon as you turn it on, the battery symbol drops by a third.

It's not just my Corrale it happens with either as I've seen others discussing the issue online.

None of us are sure whether it means it instantly loses the power when you turn it on or if it is a weird glitch in the handsets, but regardless - it's unnerving when you are on a time limit and I expect more from such a high-end product.

I've contacted Dyson about the issue and am waiting to hear back about it, so will let you know once I know more.

Whenever I switch the Corrale on, its battery life drops almost immediately.
Whenever I switch the Corrale on, its battery life drops almost immediately.

SO, IS IT WORTH THE MONEY?

Overall, I would say I loved using the Corrale and was super impressed with its finish and timesaving qualities. The cord-free aspect seems otherworldly and like nothing else on the market - and while I haven't had the device long enough to notice any major improvement on the health of my hair, Dyson's damage-reducing claims compared to some of its competitors make sense and aren't full of jargon and complicated terms.

You also would find it impossible to burn yourself using this as the exterior doesn't heat up to scorching levels - another huge plus.

But there's no getting around it, the Corrale costs $700 and right now it's a stretch for many. However just like its predecessors, the Supersonic hair dryer and the AirWrap curler - both of which cost upwards of $500 - if you can afford it, it's a worthy investment, one that will make you and your hair very happy.

This column is not advertorial content. Every review is independent, honest and ad free.

If you have a question about a beauty product or an item you'd like to see road tested in The Beauty Diary, jump into our official Facebook group where you can join like-minded beauty junkies. You can also catch me on Instagram or tweet me - don't forget to hashtag #TheBeautyDiary.

Originally published as Confusing detail in new $700 Dyson

The curl result on its lowest setting was impressive.
The curl result on its lowest setting was impressive.

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