How Dyson has reinvented the hair straightener
Exclusive: Prepare to see hair straighteners used in a lot more places next month, with Sir James Dyson suggesting women will use his company's latest device "in a taxi, in the office, in the loo, wherever (they) want to".
The renowned British inventor issued the warning after revealing plans to unveil a breakthrough, battery-powered hair iron today, in a move designed to challenge market leader GHD, banish flyaways, stop hair burns, and speed up the hair-styling process.
But there's a catch: the Dyson Corrale will cost double the price of its competitors when it arrives in Australia.
Dyson's first hair straightener will follow the launch of a hair dryer and curler from the engineering firm, and Sir James told News Corp it was part of a seven-year project to reimagine and improve personal styling products.
"We've bought quite a few kilometres of human hair to test and one of the most interesting aspects is what happens when you overheat the hair," he said.
"Instead of it becoming nice and glossy, it becomes like a bit of old rope. It makes it physically weak and easy to snap and it looks dull and lifeless.
"Everybody who uses hair irons acknowledges that they're not good for the hair, although people have accepted it as an essential part of their hair regime."
To address the problem, Sir James said the company used flexible metal plates machined to the width of a human hair to deliver an even tension to tresses and reduce flyaways, added three precise heating controls to avoid burning hair or producing "smoke" and, in what could prove a game-changer, had powered it using four lithium-ion batteries, allowing the Corrale to be used without a cord.
The hair straightener could be fully charged in 40 minutes using the battery technology developed for vacuum cleaners, he said, and it could be operated wirelessly for 30 minutes so "even the most fussy people can get their session done".
"You can straighten your hair wherever you are; in a taxi, in the office, in the loo, wherever you want to do it," he said.
"And you can do it anywhere you like in your home."
Sir James said the Corrale could also straighten hair faster as the company's testing showed users only needed to treat their locks once or twice to dry and straighten it, rather than taking "at least five goes" with other devices.
The redesigned, cordless hair iron will come at a significantly higher price, though. The Dyson Corrale will cost $699 when it launches in Sydney's QVB on April 24 before becoming available at other stores on May 1.
By comparison, GHD's top-of-the-range Platinum+ Styler costs $345 and the latest version of the company's original hair straightener costs $210.
The beauty products are big business, with the worldwide market for hair straighteners valued at more than $900 million in 2018, according to Allied Market Research, and expected to grow to more than $1.3 billion by 2026.
Sir James said he hoped his company's new product would improve hair health and change the industry.
"We'll look back on damaged hair and say, 'why were we so stupid?'" he said.
"We've got to get rid of overheating hair. It takes such a long time to grow out if you damage it."