Dyson enters the beauty business by reinventing the hair dryer

27 Apr 2016

Dyson's new Supersonic hair dryer

Inventor James Dyson has set himself a new challenge – the beauty business – and has reinvented the hair dryer with the new Dyson Supersonic.

James Dyson has pretty much reinvented the vacuum cleaner, the fan, the air humidifier and the air purifier and now he has set his fine engineering mind to rethinking the traditionally loud and energy inefficient hair dryer.

The result is the Dyson Supersonic, which runs on the same digital motors that Dyson uses to power its vacuum cleaners.

Dyson claims that the Supersonic has a more powerful airflow than any other hair dryer and is actually quieter too.

‘I challenged Dyson engineers to really understand the science of hair and develop our version of a hair dryer’

“Hair dryers can be heavy, inefficient and make a racket,” James Dyson said.

“By looking at them further, we realised that they can also cause extreme heat damage to hair.

“I challenged Dyson engineers to really understand the science of hair and develop our version of a hair dryer, which we think solves these problems.”

The Dyson Supersonic is powered by the patented Dyson digital motor V9, created in-house by a team of more than 15 motor engineers, culminating in Dyson’s lightest and most advanced digital motor.

As a result, Dyson claims the Supersonic is eight times faster than other hair dryers and half the weight.

The dryer has an intelligent heat control that helps to ensure hair isn’t exposed to excessive temperatures.

A glass bead thermistor measures the temperature 20 times a second and transmits the data to a microprocessor, which intelligently controls the system.

The sound of silence


The hair dryer is made more powerful using Dyson’s patented Air Multiplier technology, which means the volume of air drawn into the motor is amplified by a factor of three, resulting in a high-pressure, high velocity of air.

Angled at 20-degrees, users will be able to control drying and styling in a precise way.

Noise reduction has been achieved by Dyson acoustic engineers who managed to push the tone within the motor to a sound frequency beyond the audible range of humans by putting in 13 blades instead of the usual 11 found in most hair dryers.

The sound is further reduced by embedding the motor in the handle and surrounding it by acoustic silencers.

The hair dryer required an R&D investment of £50m and more than 1,010 miles of human hair was used to test the machine. More than 600 prototypes were built and there are over 100 patents pending for the machine.

The new hair dryer could be a lucrative move for Dyson insofar as the haircare industry is worth $1bn in the US, $1bn in the EU, $483m in China and $452m in China.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years