ON a quest for perfectly blow-dried hair? We had the chance to review the Shark Style iQ Hair Dryer and Styler – that’s how we moved on.
You may know Shark better for its vacuum cleaners, but the brand launched its first-ever hair dryer last year, taking its expertise in airpower technology to the next level (and rather handily competing with the Dyson Supersonic, to which it is often compared. ).
- If you want to try the Shark Style iQ hair dryer for yourself, you can now get 20% off on Amazon – buy here
With quick-drying iQ technology, intelligent stylers and promising fast results without heat damage, it is a powerful product suitable for both straight and curly styles: win-win.
But does it live up to expectations, and more importantly, is it worth the price tag? Read on for the verdict.
- Shark Style iQ Ionic Hair Dryer & Styler HD120UK, now £199.99 (was £249.99) from Shark – buy here
Shark Style iQ hair dryer and styler review: short summary
Let it be said, the Shark iQ definitely feels like salon quality when you hold it in your hands. Everything from the sound of the spaceship to the ionized sky felt like a definite upgrade from my usual hairdryer.
It took me a few times to get used to it, but by the third time I tried this dryer and styler, my hair looked much smoother and shinier than usual after drying it myself.
I usually rely on flat irons to tame the frizz, but I could completely skip this step after drying with the iQ – in the long run I think this would improve the quality of my hair infinitely. Let’s just say it could use a break from all that heat damage.
The downsides are the price (it’s definitely more of an investment than regular hair dryers) and the heaviness was noticeable at first – but wasn’t an issue for me personally.
On the other hand, the drying time was amazingly fast, it made my hair incredibly smooth and I loved that I didn’t get scalding hot during use – a problem that often causes more frizz for me in the summer.
- Fast drying
- Versatile styling options, with three detachable heads including a diffuser (plus can be used with the AirWave for beachy waves – sold separately)
- Automatic heat and airflow settings for intuitive drying
- High-velocity heated ionized air ensures quick drying with no heat damage – and you won’t get so hot when you use it
- Quieter than standard hair dryers
- Quite heavy at 0.5 kg
- More expensive than bog standard models
- The style brush was a bit tricky to master
Unboxing and first impressions
The hair dryer came packaged in a smart and stylish branded cardboard box. Once opened, my first impressions were that it is very aesthetically pleasing, with the rose gold details adding a beautiful and luxurious feel. A good start.
When I picked it up, I didn’t expect it to be as heavy as it is: at 0.5kg, it’s heavier than my favorite hair dryer, but I liked that the overall size is more compact.
Switching on the Shark Style iQ is really satisfying, with an instant ‘whoosh’ that should be a few decibels lower than standard hair dryers.
I’ve had comments from hairdressers about how much my hair retains moisture when wet (aka hella porous and takes forever to dry), so the quick-drying results of the iQ were a game changer.
I was able to cut my drying routine down to about 10 minutes while the smoothness of my hair was really noticeable after that. Before, I could only achieve the same softness by blow-drying alone, by using the babyliss big hair, which, while great, lasts for centuries.
I’ve only tried the diffuser once as this isn’t something I normally use (ie my previous attempts were disastrous), but I definitely noticed my hair was a lot less frizzy than the ones I’ve tried before. Could I be a diffuser after all?
With a natural wave in my hair, I also tried the diffuser head, which was great for a messy bedhead style — and again, quick-drying. I hadn’t quite mastered the extendable pins for defining curls and would probably need to practice a few more times. But for a first try it was promising.
Features and design
The Shark Style iQ comes equipped with three temperature and airflow settings, as well as a cool shot (which you have to hold down to use).
These settings intuitively adapt automatically to each styler (the LED button lights up when the styler connection is found), but you can also change them manually to your preference.
There are a total of three stylers: a concentrator, a style brush and a diffuser.
The precision 2-in-1 concentrator has two openings that you can switch between – the wider one can be used for quick drying, while the narrow setting concentrates the air for even more control and precision, so it’s great for finishing styling.
This was my favorite styler of all three, as I found it the easiest to use. I think I need a little more practice with the style brush as the horizontal and vertical angles didn’t feel natural to me – but this may be because I’m used to using the Babyliss Big Hair hot brush as mentioned above.
How much does the Shark Style iQ cost cost?
It’s currently on offer for £199.99 – a great deal, as the exactly the same set but minus the style brushcosts £229.99.
Where to buy the Shark Style iQ
You can pick up yours directly at Sharkas well as from the will of John Lewis† Amazon and Terribly†
Shark Style iQ: the verdict
- Comfort and ease of use: 4/5
- Dry time: 5/5
- Healthy drying: 5/5
- Smoothness: 4/5
I’m not much of a pro when it comes to hair dryer handling: I tend to blow dry my hair roughly, which inevitably results in frizz, and then I need straighteners to smooth things out again (unless I use my trusty Babyliss Big Hair use, but my biggest complaint with that is how long it takes).
So to be able to dry my hair in a short time with minimal effort and a concentrated nozzle that actually does all the work for you was a revelation.
I also loved that a blow-dry session with this bad boy didn’t make me melt, which is always a problem with hot blow dryers (and a total nightmare if you have bangs because it sticks to your head).
I may not have mastered the style brush and diffuser yet, but I’m going to check out Shark’s styling tips for more in-depth tutorials.
Price-wise, I’m not sure I personally would have invested in this – my current one isn’t great, but works great, so honestly, it’s the hair dryer I never knew I needed.
But if you’re looking for a hair dryer and styler with the latest technology and willing to spend a little more for something that delivers faster results and protects your hair from heat damage in the long run, I’d say go for it.
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