The Dyson Corrale hair straightener is the latest beauty product from the House of Dyson. As such, it is desirable, exquisitely over-engineered, beautifully made and requires you mortgage your firstborn.
Let’s get the Dyson Corrale hair straightener eye-watering $699 cost investment out of the way before we even start the review because it is the biggest hurdle. Yes, it is uber expensive. But then the $799 Dyson Airwrap styler and the $549 Dyson Supersonic hairdryer are not exactly cheap either and they sell well. Something is worth what you are willing to pay for it.
You must take a few things into account with the Dyson Corrale hair straightener (well any Dyson product really!)
Dyson employs >12,000 people and more than 5800 engineers and scientists. There is nothing #metoo about its products.
This product uses hair science developed at Dyson Hair Laboratories to solve real-world hair problems. So, there are no wild, marketing fuelled, snake-oil claims – it is scientifically proven.
Pretty well all straighteners will straighten hair! The number one hair science problem is using overly hot dryers, straighteners and stylers that toast your hair. Dyson does not.
Dyson tries to solve other issues, as well. For example
Battery for cordless use. This adds to the cost and the weight, so comparisons to other plug-in straighteners are invalid. But we think Dyson may have missed the mark by not offering a lighter, cheaper, plug-in version as well
It is aircraft cabin safe even to the extent of having a visible aircraft switch (jumper)
It is portable – use it at work for emergency touch-ups
Malaysian assembled by a British company with a Singapore HQ – not a cheap, mass-produced, Chinese hair ‘toaster’.
So the ideal buyer is a person that wants straight/styled hair, travels a lot, does emergency touch-ups and has the attitude, “If you have to ask the price, it is not for you.”
First a quick overview of Hair Straightening 101
Most hair straighteners have fat, finger-sized, flat ceramic, tourmaline or metal heating pads on a v-shaped ‘plastic’ clamp. Some have corrugated pads (crimping); add steam; have a revolving curl drum; and have curved plates for styling.
Heat (typically 185-230°) is from mains power and controlled by simple thermistors – the elements are on when the heat is below a set temperature and off when it reaches that. Let’s just say that there is control but not micro-control.
Hair straightening is akin to ironing your hair and applying a heavy clamp pressure to straighten it. A combination of too much heat and too much time can result in heat damage or even worse – burning. Who can stand that burnt hair smell?
Most straighteners aggravate the toasting issue by having to straighten the same hair bang multiple times to make it work
Throw away all your preconceptions with the Dyson Corrale Hair Straightener – it does not follow the rules.
Price: $699 including free delivery (will price match any retailer promotions)
Warranty: 2-year ACL compliant with a 45-day money-back guarantee
Country of manufacture: Malaysia
British engineer Sir James Dyson founded Dyson in 1991. It designs and manufactures household appliances such as vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, hand dryers, bladeless fans, heaters, beauty appliances, and lights.
We sought out two testers that were willing to share a personal beauty item in COVID times.
User 1 (GadgetGuy’s wife)
She has a Remington ceramic straightener – three heat settings to 230°. She also has an Instyler Revolving Styler (spins at 150 rpm with four heat settings to 220°). Hair type: Fine and reasonably naturally straight. Uses a straightener on occasions to tame it. Uses revolving styler to very occasionally get ‘pageboy’ look
Lovely box and travel wrap
It is bigger and heavier than I expected
A little intimidating at first – it is not plug and use!
Summary: I used it for about a week to give my straight hair some shape. It is gentler on the hair (heat and pressure) and did most of what I wanted in one pass. But it is too heavy and did not tame stray wispy hairs in one pass. Time saving – minimal for my limited use.
Cordless gives more flexibility
Exudes Dyson design and quality
Need to charge it, and the charge stand is too big for my limited bathroom space
Overkill for my needs
User 2 (GadgetGuy’s adult daughter)
She has an assortment of straighteners. She currently uses GHD Platinum costing around $300. Hair type: Dark, long, medium thickness, needs control. She uses a straightener every day.
I was so excited to open the box but a little confused at what everything does (charge stand, magnetic charge cord, airline plug…)
Everyone wants one until they see the price
It is impressive in design and looks
Far bigger and heavier than I expected
It has three heat settings. Which do I use?
The charging stand takes way too much space in a crowded ensuite bathroom
Extremely well made
Worked mostly with a single pass so reduces the time a little
Good for touch-ups on the go
My hair certainly felt better and less hot after straightening, but I need to use it longer to prove its worth
Heavy – my GHD is very light
Heavy – again to put it in your handbag or if you are travelling and need to pack the cord and charger
A steeper learning curve – but then I have been using a standard straightener for a long time
70 minutes charge for 30 minutes use, but you can use it with the magnetic charge cord
So on with the Dyson Corrale Hair Straightener review
We have combined both testers comments.
There is no such thing with a Dyson as ‘plug and go’. Charge it, worry about the right temperature, read the manual, and view the Dyson how-to videos. Has Dyson over-complicated the whole thing now many other brands have variable heat levels? And I found that GHD was 185° all along.
Less heat – does it work?
You can select 165°, 185° and 210°C. Initially, I used the highest heat but over a few days found that I could get similar, although slower results at 185°. The lowest heat is OK, but you may have to repeat the stroke a few more times. Dyson suggests that 210° is only for frizzy and hard to control hair.
While the grip area stays cool to touch the barrel does get toasty. It won’t burn your skin, but you need to remember to put it down on the heat resistant matt/roll that comes with it.
Update: After more use, I have gone back to 210° as that setting ensures the fastest straightening time. So, I am using more heat than th GHD! That said, it does straighten better than my GHD (it would want to for the price).
Overall, it takes me about 25 minutes with the Dyson on high heat and 30 minutes with the GHD.
Curved heating pads
Dyson has developed a .65-micron (about the width of a human hair) plate made from manganese copper that flexes, hence the name Corrale (meaning gather together and confine). A typical flat-plate straightener subjects the hair bang to uneven pressures, forcing the hair at the edge to move outwards. Dyson’s curved plates form a gentle corral that keeps hair together and applies a uniform clamping pressure.
Does it work? Well, for the most part, yes. But there are still wispy fly-away hairs after straightening. Perhaps not as many but I expect perfection for the price. And as a user, I don’t really get the need to monitor the temperature 100 times a second. Overkill perhaps?
Battery life and cordless
Dyson claims 30 minutes with a 70-minute charge. That is the worst-case at 210°, and I got around 15-minutes more on lower heat settings. At least you can use the straightener with the cord if you run out of battery. Heat up time is about 30 seconds – similar to other straighteners.
But the well-made charger dock is far too big for my tiny ensuite bathroom. With a normal straightener, you just unplug and put it away.
The cordless function is a nice idea – I can see how it might be good for a hairdresser. It is also helpful when you share a bathroom, and someone else needs to use the bathroom in a hurry.
My GHD is about 265g, and this is about 565g plus the charger, dock, and magnetic cable. To put that in context, the GHD is light and relatively effortless to use. The Dyson is little too heavy and awkward to hold – I struggle just to do the basic straighten. Your arms will get tired, and you’re going to need to take a break.
It has a removable plug that makes it airline safe. But the catch is that you must travel with it as cabin baggage (not in luggage) and you end up with nearly a kilogram of stuff.
GadgetWife and GadgetGirl’s take – Dyson Corrale hair straightener is certainly different
It seems Dyson went looking for an answer to a problem that may not have really existed. The unique selling propositions are lower heat (hair protection), less stray hair (curved flexible plates) and portability (battery).
In both our cases
The standard straighteners – especially those with variable heat settings – do the straightening job quite well. Dyson does it a little more efficiently.
Stray hair – all straighteners have issues with stray hair. Dyson has a little less.
Portability – if this is your need, then go for it.
GadgetGirl will use it for a few more weeks, and we will update this review if her findings change.
GadgetGirl, “Sorry, Mr Dyson – but a $200+ plug-in straightener with tourmaline ceramic plates and intelligent temperature control will continue to suit the majority of users”.
So, in rating this we
Add points for portability/battery – 30 minutes use on the go
Lose points for the added weight and overly long charge time
Add points for your scientifically based temperature hair care
Lose points because no matter how well designed it is others have variable temperature
Add points for the exquisite design – it is impressive
Lose points for the price – If you have to ask it is not for you
Add points for being Sir James Dyson and for trying to solve our problems (love your stick vacuum and Supersonic dryer)
Value for money
Ease of Use
Its a Dyson so you know it works
Battery operated hair straightener is great for travel
Too expensive if al you want is a hair straightener (and we don't usually comment on price)