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.
Adaptable, intelligent attachments
Heavier than some competitors
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It would be easy to look at the Shark Style iQ 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.
Added extras: Two intelligent attachments
Cord length: 2.5m
Warranty: 2 years
RRP: £179.99 - £249.99 (depending on attachments)
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, and Beauty Editor, Fiona McKim tested the model to bring you all the intel you need to decide.
Sarah Cooper-White is an established beauty journalist with nearly 20 years experience in the industry. She has written and edited for titles including Elle, InStyle and woman&home.
Fiona McKim has been part of the woman&home beauty team for more than a decade. During that time she has interviewed countless experts, reported backstage at Fashion Week and judged the woman&home Beauty Awards.
Our beauty team's Shark Style iQ hair dryer review
What's the Shark hair dryer design like?
Pros: Neat design, smaller than the Dyson Supersonic
Cons: Quite heavy
On first impression, the Shark Style iQ hair dryer has definitely been inspired by the shape of the Dyson Supersonic. It's got a small, compact. circular head and the motor contained in the handle. The way that the attachments magnetically attach to the dryer is similar too.
Despite weighing a relatively heavy 730g, we found that the neat design and smaller size of the Shark dryer made it very easy to manoeuvre. The black and rose gold colourway is stylish and there are three heat settings and three airflow settings, which allowed us to customise the speed and the heat to suit my hair type.
We did find a few key differences between this model and its main competitors. As soon as you pick the Shark up and start using it, you'll notice it does feel bulkier than expected. If like us, 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 tonne, like some of the more old-fashioned hair dryers on the market, so if you’re looking to replace an older, 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 Style iQ hair dryer perform?
Pros: Dries hair fast, eliminates frizz
Cons: May feel too gentle for some
We found the powerful motor and highly concentrated airflow of the Shark Style iQ hair dryer far better than many other models for drying and smoothing hair. It rough-dried the 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 the hair, but it did work quickly – around five minutes for a long, fine head of hair. It certainly feels gentle as you work with it but it was missing a bit of 'blast,' which some users may find anticlimactic if you like to feel the power of a dryer) But we can imagine some people won't miss that feeling at all, particularly if they have fragile or thinning hair.
We liked the long 2.5m cord, which helped us reach any mirror in any room. And while you can't really sense them working, we'll trust that the ions the dryer releases were helping us create a smooth and shiny finished style.
Does the Shark hair dryer come with extra attachments?
Pros: Nozzle and diffuser work well to enhance styling
Cons: Only two attachments are included with the basic bundle
This is probably the thing we loved most about the Shark Style iQ hair dryer. With the most basic bundle, you get a nozzle and a diffuser included, which are the two attachments that team w&h tested. The priciest bundle option includes an airwave waving tool and smoothing brush as well, which our beauty writer thoroughly tested for our Shark FlexStyle review.
All of the attachments are pretty smart. The precision 2-in-1 nozzle particularly gets top marks. 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. We'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 dry 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 Style iQ 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
Pros: Effective, modern hairdryer that's kind to hair
Cons: Still quite expensive, might not have enough oomph for some
If you’re looking for an upgrade to your existing hair dryer and want to customise your blow-dry experience to your hair type 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 or thereabouts 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, power isn't everything, and if you want an intelligent, kind-to-hair premium product this is a good investment.
Check out woman&home's latest Shark discount codes for even more money off your next purchase.
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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.
- Fiona McKimBeauty Editor, womanandhome.com
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