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We tested this affordable alternative to the Dyson Airwrap.
I’ve tried various hair styling tools over the years, from hair dryers to straighteners to curling tongs, with many of these leaving my hair scorched after regular use. The Revamp Progloss Airstyle 6-in-1 promises to do all of these styles, and with hot air instead of 200ºC metal plates.
What’s more, this hair styler is billed as an alternative to the Dyson Airwrap, but at a much, much more affordable price. So is it really up to all that? I tested it to find out. You can also read my Dyson Airwrap review here.
The Progloss Airstyle 6-in-1 comes, as the name suggests, with six attachments. There are three designed for curling: a 19mm air curl tong, a 32mm bristle round air brush and a 38mm rotating round air brush. Then, there’s a cushioned paddle air brush for straightening, a diffuser head for bringing out natural curls and a drying nozzle to bring your hair halfway damp for styling.
The air styler itself has two speeds, plus three temperature settings and a button for a shot of cool air to set hair in a style.
Meanwhile, the box is large, but each attachment has a dedicated space in a moulded plastic tray where it sits snugly. Combined with the flip-top lid, the box is a nice way to store the air styler: while it’s a bit too big to take away with me anywhere, it feels like a box that’s designed to be kept.
In terms of design, the Progloss Airstyle feels reasonably high-quality. The handle tapers slightly towards the top, making it a more comfortable size to hold in my (small) hands than the flared base. It feels relatively sturdy, too, but the attachments don’t always click on smoothly.
The Progloss Airstyle is generally quite intuitive to use, with controls much like those of a normal hair dryer. However, the cool shot button is right next to the button that releases the attachment, so I often find myself pressing the wrong one when I’m not looking – say, because it’s wrapped in my hair.
I was concerned to notice that some of the bristles on the bristle brush and even a few on the paddle brush seemed to be slightly out of place after a few uses. My hair is on the thicker side, but I’m no brush-breaking Mia Thermopolis, so I wouldn’t expect to see any damage so soon. None have broken off, but with them pointing in odd directions, I wonder whether it’s only a matter of time. Replacements of each attachment are available on the Revamp website.
I also noticed that the highest heat setting is very hot. After using it for an extended period, my hair is noticeably hot to the touch. Plus, the heat from the styler can get quite uncomfortable on the scalp and ears if it’s held too close – I sometimes found myself trying to shield them from the heat with my hand while setting a curl, or alternating between hot and cold blasts. I think the heat level is still well below what a hair straightener would provide, but I can’t be sure that this air styler wouldn’t do some level of damage to my hair over time.
With the drying nozzle, the air styler dries my hair quickly. However, with the cable coming out of the bottom of the air styler and the nozzle pointing directly upwards, the most natural way to use it seems to be blowing upwards into your hair – and, in fact, that’s what they seem to do on the Revamp YouTube video demonstrations.
Blow-drying against the grain of the hair is liable to add in frizz and flyaways, so I don’t recommend using this nozzle to dry your hair completely – unless you’re willing to hold it upside down the whole time. For me, it’s easier just to use either the paddle brush or the diffuser.
The diffuser is a pretty standard cup diffuser, and it did a good job of defining my curls without adding too much frizz.
The paddle brush did a good job of drying my hair into a straight style. It’s easy to use, and if I started from damp, my hair was dried after a few passes. The brush left it smooth and incredibly soft, and shinier than normal. I had a few flyaways, but overall, I was still happy with the results.
I found that it was straighter if I started with the brush straight away than if I dried it halfway with the drying nozzle. However, either way, I struggled to get it evenly straightened throughout. Since the paddle is so wide, I found it tricky to get to the underside of my hair, which left me with a few waves on the bottom layer. That said, the top layer was consistent, so it wasn’t a big issue.
As previously mentioned, there are three different attachments dedicated to curling on the Progloss Airstyle. I started with the 19mm curl tong. It’s a lot like a traditional curling tong, with a thin barrel and a clip to hold hair in place. But instead of heating up the metal, it simply blows hot air through it.
This was easy to use and I was pleased with the tight, voluminous curls that resulted. I probably wouldn’t use it often, though. Since the barrel is so narrow, I could only do a thin segment of hair at any one time, and as a result, it took a very long time.
Next, I tried the rotating brush. Once you’ve attached the brush to the styler, you can then pull the end outwards, allowing it to rotate, and push it back inwards to fix in place. You take a strand of hair and brush the styler through it (brush fixed in place) to the ends. Then, you unlock the brush and rotate it towards your head to wrap the hair. Then, lock it in place again and turn on the air styler to dry the strand into the curl shape.
This gave me much looser, gentler curls than the narrow tong, and a more relaxed look overall. I was pleased with the results, and I’d be more likely to use this attachment regularly – not least because it was significantly faster.
The bristle brush was the hardest to use, for me. I found it quite tricky to remove my hair from the bristles without upsetting the curl pattern. However, when I managed it, the strand was mostly straight with a soft, loose curl towards the end. I like the way it looked, but I found that overall the results were quite inconsistent, so I’d need more practice to figure out the best technique.
All in all, the Progloss Airstyle isn’t the most refined hair styler, and there are a few places I think it could be improved. I think the highest heat setting is a bit too hot for a styler that often sits close to your scalp and ears; the paddle brush would be a lot more effective of the bottom layers of hair if it were narrower; the softer bristles on the bristle and paddle brushes seem easily damaged.
Nonetheless, I would definitely recommend it for the price. With a bit of practice, I could get curls that I was happy with, and I liked the smooth, shiny results with the paddle brush. Plus, the addition of a diffuser is great for my natural curls.
Between the diffuser and the paddle brush, it’s more than enough to replace my regular hair dryer. And with the three different curling tools, it’s a versatile all-in-one tool at an affordable price.
The Dyson Airwrap is the iconic air styler – but it comes with a price to match. It uses the Coandă effect, a phenomenon that causes a jet of air to ‘stick’ to a surface, to attach hair to its attachments, and then blasts it with carefully temperature-controlled air to style.
You can choose which attachments you get, with different ones available for long and short hair. The complete set comes with two widths of curling barrel, a firm and a soft paddle brush, and a bristle brush.
This air styler from BaByliss comes with four attachments: a nozzle for partially drying your hair for styling; a paddle brush for blow-drying; a conical barrel for curling; and a bristle brush for volumising.
It also comes with a heat-proof glove to protect your fingers from the hot air and metal, particularly useful when using the curling barrel.
Online staff writer, BBC Science Focus
Sara is the online staff writer at BBC Science Focus. She has an MPhys in mathematical physics and loves all things space, dinosaurs and dogs.
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