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Dyson vs Primark hairdryer: Does the budget buy rival Dyson’s £299 model?

·7-min read
Both tools have dedicated fan bases on TikTok – but which one performs best? (iStock/The Independent)
Both tools have dedicated fan bases on TikTok – but which one performs best? (iStock/The Independent)

If you’ve ever wanted hair like a Kardashian, your time has come. Andrew Fitzpatrick – hairstylist to the stars, including Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, Kendall and Kylie – launched a whole line of hair products with Primark in 2020, but it’s the hair dryer that was hailed as the jewel of the collection.

With over 15 years of experience in the industry, of course Fitzpatrick knows his stuff. But even before we tried it, we fell in love with its pink and white cutesy aesthetic, not to mention its affordable price tag.

The real question is, how does it stack up against the current best in the business? The Dyson supersonic has ruled the industry ever since its launch in 2016. Revolutionising the game of just how high-tech hair gadgets could be, it’s renowned for its powerful, healthier approach to drying hair – and the fact it’ll set you back £299.

Despite being on opposite ends of the spectrum cost-wise, both tools have dedicated fan bases on TikTok. Intrigued to see whether Fitzpatrick and Primark could really live up to the power and efficiency of a hair dryer over 20 times the price, we got busy styling.

Read more:

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Andrew Fitzpatrick x Primark hair dryer

Available in store £12, Primark.com

As we said, this hair dryer is cute. Really cute. Its pink and white casing looks like it was designed specifically to blend into an Instagram set-up, and is definitely more aesthetically-pleasing than other tools in this price range.

Functionally, it offers all the basic settings you’d expect from a hair dryer. There are three settings each for power and heat, as well as the usual cool shot to set your style. Attachment-wise, it is slightly lacking. You only get a precision-drying nozzle, which gets the job done, but anyone with curly hair will lament the absence of a diffuser.

The moment we plugged it in, our first impression was the noise. We found it considerably noisier than a lot of dryers we’d tried in the past, but you get used to it after a while.

Of course, the most important question is: how well does it dry your hair? We were taken aback by how quickly this got through a whole head of towel-dried hair. Our tester has very thick, wavy hair, and this took care of it at a speed few devices have ever achieved.

After first using the dryer attachment-free to rough dry our hair, we slipped on the precision nozzle and followed a barrel brush through our hair to smooth out frizz. Soon enough we had a big, bouncy blow-dry. Hair felt soft, voluminous and held its style throughout the day.

Read more: 10 best hair curlers for salon-worthy hair at home

Not only was it easy to use, but its design was very practical. As it’s so compact, it’s also lightweight and easy to manoeuvre into hard-to-reach spots while also being easy to store. However, because it’s plastic it does feel a bit flimsy and like it wouldn’t hold up in the long-run.

We were really impressed considering the price, but did have a few qualms. Despite the short time it took to dry our hair, the barrel of the dryer felt like it was getting too hot and was uncomfortable on our hands. This would probably be less noticeable for someone with thinner or shorter hair, but our tester did end up leaving her scalp to air dry the rest of the way when it reached an unbearable temperature. Also, the cord was shorter than we’re used to, making it tricky to style at times.

The Andrew Fitzpatrick x Primark collaboration is available in Primark stores.

Buy now £12.00, Primark.com

Dyson supersonic hair dryer

Buy now £299, Dyson.co.uk

After years of developing vacuum cleaners, air purifiers and desk fans, Dyson raised more than a few eyebrows when it stepped onto the beauty scene in 2016 – thankfully, for a good reason.

Four years and $71 million worth of research produced the supersonic, a groundbreaking addition to the then stagnant hair dryer market. Everything about it was unique, from the relocation of the motor from the barrel to the handle to the use of ionic technology.

Redistributing the weight sounds relatively inconsequential, but you really feel the difference. Because the heaviest part of the dryer rests in your hand, it sits far more comfortably for long periods of styling and reduces tension in your wrist. Moving the motor also has the added benefit of shifting the vent to the base of the handle, so there’s no risk of accidentally sucking in your hair.

While it looks very futuristic, the controls are as simple as any other hair dryer. It features three speed settings, four different heat settings, and intelligent heat control that regulates the temperature up to 20 times per second. This isn’t just good news for your hair, but your hands too as you can forget about any accidental scorching.

Read more: 9 best hair oils that lock in moisture

Drying your hair is straightforward. Thanks to Dyson’s patented “air multiplier” technology, it produces a concentrated, high-velocity jet of air that drastically reduces drying time and leaves hair feeling much healthier than it usually does after heat styling. This also means it’s a lot quieter than other hair dryers.

It comes equipped with four different magnetic attachments – a diffuser, styling concentrator, smoothing nozzle, and a gentle hair attachment that targets fine hair and the scalp – all of which live up to expectations. We particularly love the latter, which eased an already gentle drying experience for our tester’s sensitive scalp. No matter which we used, our hair felt soft and sleek, not to mention frizz-free thanks to the use of negative ions.

It isn’t the most compact dryer in the world, but it’s surprisingly light and easy to use on the go. It also comes with a roomy storage case, complete with a cooling mat to avoid any accidental burns, and is available in three colour combinations – iron and fuchsia, black and nickel, and black and purple.

Buy now £299.00, Dyson.co.uk

The verdict: Andrew Fitzpatrick x Primark hair dryer vs Dyson supersonic

By no means is Andrew Fitzpatrick x Primark’s offering a bad hair dryer. It improves upon plenty of devices with scarier price tags, and achieved everything we could want from styling our hair – reduced frizz, softer strands, and extra volume.

That being said, it isn’t the nicest drying experience we’ve ever had. It heats up much more than we’d like considering it’s used so close to our face. It’s loud, unversatile and while the results outperform the price tag, the same can’t be said for the design.

In contrast, the Dyson offers additional attachments, a quicker and quieter blow dry, and healthier-feeling hair. Then again, you’d expect nothing less from a gadget that costs £299.

While the Dyson supersonic is our top choice for anyone wanting to splurge or take extra care of their hair, those who blow dry less frequently or have shorter, finer hair will still make good use of the Andrew Fitzpatrick x Primark hair dryer.

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