Shark hair dryer review – w&h beauty director's verdict on the disruptive dryer

The Shark hair dryer is making waves, but how does it measure up against high-tech competitors?

A collage of the shark hair dryer review model and a woman using the shark hair dryer with the diffuser attachment
(Image credit: Future/Shark)
Woman & Home Verdict

Powerful and intelligent with a sleek design and clever tech. The Shark hair dryer is pricy for 1600 watts but you won't find some of the unique features it offers anywhere else.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Compact design

  • +

    Powerful motor

  • +

    Adaptable, intelligent attachments

  • +

    Sleek look

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    High price

  • -

    Heavier than some competitors

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It would be easy to look at the Shark hair dryer as another vacuum cleaner brand jumping on the blow dryer bandwagon. But, since its launch in late 2021 the Shark Style IQ Ionic Hair Dryer & Styler has been steadily growing a fanbase of beauty consumers and experts alike – so what is it about the Shark that's made such a splash?

If you’re in the market for the best hair dryer you might have heard about the Shark blow dryer, or to use its full name the Shark STYLE iQ Ionic Hair Dryer & Styler. There's no denying the shape and style of this hair dryer are distinctly reminiscent of the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, but while it is still priced at the top end of the market the Shark is still significantly cheaper than its main rival.

Leaving the Shark vs Dyson hair dryer debate to one side for a moment, the Style IQ boasts many of its own unique features such as intelligent attachments, a compact design and concentrated airflow. But is it the dryer for you? woman&home's Group Beauty Director, Sarah Cooper-White tested the model to bring you all the intel you need to decide.

Specifications

Added extras: Two intelligent attachments
Weight: 730g
Watts: 1600W
Cord length: 2.5m
Warranty: 2 years
RRP: £229.99

Our beauty team's Shark hair dryer review

Shark hair dryer on a pink bedspread

The Shark hair dryer we tested for this review 

(Image credit: Future)

What's the Shark hair dryer design like?

On first impression, the Shark hair dryer has definitely been inspired by the shape of the Dyson Supersonic. You get a nozzle and a diffuser included and the way that the attachments magnetically attach to the dryer is similar too. 

Despite weighing a relatively heavy 730g, I found that the neat design and smaller size of the Shark dryer made it very easy to maneuver. The black and rose gold colorway is stylish and there are three heat settings and three airflow settings, which allowed me to customize the speed and the heat to suit my hair type.

I did find a few key differences between this model and its main competitors. As soon as I picked the Shark up and start using it, I noticed it did feel bulkier than expected. If like me, you prefer your hair dryer to have a bit of weight whilst you style, that won’t be a bad thing. It doesn’t weigh a ton, like some of the more old-fashioned hair dryers on the market, so if you’re looking to replace a very old, heavy dryer with this then you’ll be happy. But if you’re used to the lightweight feel of, say, the GHD Helios then you’ll notice a difference.

How well does the Shark hair dryer perform?

Personally, I found the powerful motor and highly concentrated airflow of the Shark dryer far better than many other models for drying and smoothing hair. It rough-dries hair very speedily and did a great job of eliminating frizz. 

Even with the heat and airflow both at their maximum levels, it didn't feel overly hot or like it would damage my hair. It certainly feels gentle as you work with it but it was missing a bit of 'blast,' which some users may find anticlimactic (I like to feel the power of a dryer) but some people won't miss feeling blasted at all. This doesn't affect drying time, which is quick and efficient. 

I liked the long 2.5m cord, which helped me reach any mirror in my bedroom. And while you can't really sense them working, I trust that the ions the dryer releases were helping me create a smooth finished style. 

Does the Shark hair dryer come with extra attachments?

The Shark hair dryer attachments

The Shark hair dryer diffuser and precision attachments

(Image credit: Future)

This is probably the thing I loved most about the Shark. The dryer comes with two attachments and both are pretty smart. The precision 2-in-1 nozzle particularly gets top marks from me. There’s a little lever to change the depth of the nozzle from being fully open for rough drying to much narrower when you want to direct heat down the hair for a sleek result. I've never encountered another model offering this besides the Shark hair dryer, and it was extremely useful not to have to mess around with different attachments when trying to get to grips with how to blow out hair

There is also a diffuser, with unique adjustable prongs to hold hair all the way from root to tip. Another clever feature is heat that's automatically adjusted when you change the styling attachment, to suit the hair type it works best for. So if you have curly hair and add the diffuser the heat will be gentler than if you use the precision 2-in-1 nozzle. 

What’s not good about the Shark hair dryer?

Noise-wise the Shark blow dryer is slightly louder than its rivals the GHD Helios and Dyson Supersonic. Although in all fairness, that's mostly because the Dyson is so unusually quiet that if you’re used to it you’ll find almost any blow dryer fairly loud in comparison. But then again, compared to most cheaper, older hair dryers on the market the Shark will still feel lightyears ahead in terms of noise. 

The W&H Verdict

If you’re looking for an upgrade to your existing hair dryer then you’ll love the Shark Style IQ Ionic Hair Dryer & Styler. It feels modern and the powerful motor dries hair quickly. Intelligent stylers are a big selling point. And if you want a high-end, technically advanced dryer but are not sure you can afford the Dyson this is a good compromise. 

The sleek design is attractive enough to sit out on any hair dryer stand and makes it portable if you need a dryer for travel. With that said, £200+ is still a big outlay for a hair dryer. In fact, the Shark hair dryer does seem very pricy for 1600 watts when there are other more powerful dryers on the market at a cheaper price point. But if you want a premium product that is gentle on your hair this is a good investment. 

Group Beauty Director Sarah Cooper-White has almost 20 years experience as a beauty journalist. She has written for many well known national magazines, newspapers and brands including Woman & Home, Woman, Woman's Own, Woman's Weekly, Boots, Tesco, ELLE, InStyle, The Mirror, The Sun, Prima and Top Sante. 


The power of beauty, whether it be make-up, haircare, skincare or fragrance, to make someone feel more confident, happier and generally better about themselves fascinates Sarah and she's a strong believer that beauty and self care is not a frivolous thing but essential to better mental health, empowerment and confidence.