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Shark Style iQ hair dryer review: This time, it’s personal haircare

Lise Smith
26 Oct 2021
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Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
230
inc VAT

Shark dives into haircare and the result is a smart and capable high-end hairdrying rival to Dyson and GHD

Pros 
Powerful performance
Flexible settings
Quick drying times
Cons 
Expensive
Useful accessory sold separately
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Move over, Dyson – there’s a new vacuum-cleaner-turned-beauty-manufacturer in town. Homecare brand Shark, best known until now for its cordless vacuum cleaners, has just launched its premium-priced Style iQ hairdryer. Like Dyson, Shark is taking the tech developed in its 18 years of floorcare innovation to create a haircare product that can rival the biggest brands. The question is whether it’s bitten off more than it can chew.

Without wishing to spoil the surprise, it hasn’t. The results in our testing were impressive – the dryer dried our hair efficiently and consistently for soft and glossy results. At £230, it’s the price that may prove particularly difficult to swallow, but there are plenty of reasons why you should strongly consider paying the premium.

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Shark Style iQ hair dryer review: What do you get for the money?

Shark’s Style iQ comes in a neat matte black finish; at present, there are no other colour options, but the matte black looks smart and modern.

The motor inside provides a comparatively modest-sounding 1,520 watts of styling power: that’s a decent enough motor for the home market, if a little lower-powered than the 2000+ watts boasted by its main rivals, the GHD Helios and the Dyson Supersonic.

The dryer features 3 heat and 3 airspeed settings which are independently adjustable, so it’s easy to switch from a quick rough-dry to a cooler setting for precision blowing. There’s also a handy cool shot setting, to seal the cuticle and set your style when you’ve finished drying.

The Style iQ comes with two styling attachments in the box – an adjustable concentrator nozzle for smooth, shiny styling, and a diffuser attachment for curls. The concentrator nozzle can be adjusted from a wider opening for fast drying to a narrower airpath that smooths the cuticle and shapes hair precisely for a sleek blowout. The diffuser attachment has clever extendable prongs to reach deeper into the roots of curly hair and provide great volume and lift - the first example of adjustable prongs we’ve seen on a diffuser attachment.

The attachments clip and twist onto the dryer, triggering recommended smart heat and airflow settings as they snap into place; these settings can then be manually adjusted if you don’t agree with the manufacturer’s recommendations. A third brush accessory, designed to make glamorous red-carpet style blowouts simple to achieve at home, can be purchased separately for £30.

As with many modern hairdryers, the Style IQ uses ionic technology to charge air particles with negative ions in order to break up water molecules in your hair. This helps reduce heat damage by drying the hair more quickly and evenly, while at the same time distributing moisture through the hair for shiny and hydrated locks.

The Style iQ weighs 500g, similar to other premium hairdryers, and has a good-length 2.5m cord to allow easy movement of the dryer around your head.

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Shark Style iQ hair dryer review: What’s the dryer like to use?

The Shark Style iQ feels comfortable to hold and use, with a nicely balanced, compact design.

The speed and temperature controls are easy to switch between – simply flick the switch on the side of the dryer to independently choose the heat and airflow that best suits your hair type. Even at the highest airflow settings, it isn’t particularly noisy in use.

The two attachments that come with the dryer feel solid and click smartly into place. The intelligent controls that are triggered by the accessories are a neat touch; we found that the smart-selected air and heat settings worked well without needing to adjust manually, but if for any reason you prefer a different setting it’s easy enough to flick the switches to your preferred settings.

Results from our testing were positive for both speed and condition: our tester's shoulder-length hair went from freshly-washed to fully styled in around 25 minutes and felt soft and smooth after drying, with no frizz or the slightly “toasted” smell that can sometimes arise from heat styling.

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Shark Style iQ hair dryer review: Are there any downsides?

The major downside of Shark’s dryer is its price. At £230, the Style iQ sits squarely between its two most obvious competitors, the Dyson Supersonic at £300 and the GHD Helios at £160. That’s a fair sum to be spending on a hairdryer, and the Style iQ is clearly marketed at professionals and people who take their home styling seriously.

READ NEXT: These are the best hair straighteners to suit all budgets

Shark Style iQ hair dryer review: Should I buy it?

The Style iQ’s performance goes a long way to justifying the price. Powerful airflow dries hair efficiently without the need for excessive heat, and the combination of ionic technology and smart heat/speed settings make light work of its drying duties.

In short, this is a powerful, salon-style hair dryer that dries hair quickly, and the flexible settings make it easy to get great results. It is a premium product at a premium price, but if you blowdry often then the quality of the results on offer here make this a good long-term investment.

Buy now from John Lewis


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