Shark Style iQ hair dryer review – the w&h beauty team's verdict on the disruptive dryer

The Shark Style iQ 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 Style iQ 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 Style iQ Hair Dryer as another vacuum cleaner brand jumping on the hair tool bandwagon. But since its launch in late 2021, the Shark Style iQ Ionic Hair Dryer & Styler has steadily grown a fanbase of beauty consumers and experts alike. So what is it about Shark's tool that's made such a splash?

If you’re in the market for the best hair dryer, you may have already 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 coveted Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, however, while its price tag sits it at the top end of the market, Shark's iteration is significantly cheaper – appealing to those with smaller budgets for a new hair tool. 


Added extras: Diffuse, concentrator nozzle and style brush (Editor's note: We tested the bundle which comes with the first two attachments)
Weight: 730g
Watts: 1600W
Cord length: 2.5m
Warranty: 2 years
RRP: £179.99 (2 attachments), £199.99 (3 attachments), £249.97 (3 attachments plus the AirWave)

Putting the Shark Hair Dryer vs Dyson Supersonic debate to one side, 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 make a decision.

Sarah Cooper-White
Sarah Cooper-White

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
Fiona McKim

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

The shark hair dryer on a pink bedspread

The Shark hair dryer we tested for this review 

(Image credit: Fiona McKim)

What's the Shark hair dryer design like?

Pros: Neat design, smaller than the Dyson Supersonic

Cons: Quite heavy 

On first impression, the shape of the Shark Style iQ Hair Dryer feels inspired by the Dyson Supersonic. It's got a small, compact and circular head while the motor is contained in the handle. That the attachments attach to the dryer magnetically is another similar feature. 

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 allow us to customise the speed and the heat to suit our hair types.

We did notice a few key differences between this model and its main competitors, however. As soon as we picked the Shark up and started using it, we noticed it feels bulkier than we expected. If, like us, you prefer your hair dryer to have a bit of weight whilst you style, then 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. If, however, you’re used to the lightweight feel of, say, the ghd Helios, then you will notice a difference.

How well does the Shark Style iQ hair dryer perform?

Beauty editor Fiona with air dried hair (l) and after blow drying with the shark hair dryer (r)

Beauty editor Fiona with air dried hair (L) and after blow drying with the Shark Hair Dryer (R)

(Image credit: Fiona McKim)

Pros: Dries hair fast, eliminates frizz 

Cons: May feel too gentle for some 

In terms of the actual user experience and results, we found the powerful motor and highly concentrated airflow of the Shark Style iQ Hair Dryer to be far better than many other models in terms of 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 set at their maximum levels, it didn't feel overly hot or like it would damage the hair. But it did work quickly – taking around five minutes to dry a head of long, fine 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 they like to feel the power of a dryer. That said, 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 we found was enough to cover the distance to any mirror in any room. And while you can't really sense them working, we trusted that the ions released by the dryer were helping us create a smooth and shiny 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)

Pros: Nozzle and diffuser work well to enhance styling 

Cons: Only two attachments are included with the basic bundle 

This is probably the factor 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 woman&home tested. For £20 more than this bundle, you also get a smoothing brush attachment in the box. The priciest bundle option also includes this third attachment and the AirWave waving tool, which our beauty writer has thoroughly tested as part of our Shark FlexStyle review.

All of the attachments are pretty smart. In particular, the precision 2-in-1 nozzle 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. In our years of hair tool testing experience, we've never encountered another model that offers this and it was extremely useful not to have to mess around with different attachments when getting to grips with how to blow dry hair with Shark's dryer.

There is also a diffuser that features adjustable prongs so you can adapt the tool to suit your hair and, cleverly, the heat is automatically adjusted when you change the styling attachment. So if you have curly hair and add use the diffuser to dry, the airflow and 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 compared to many cheaper and older hair dryers on the market, the Shark still feels light years 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 to upgrade your existing hair dryer and want to tailor your blow-dry experience to your hair type then, in our opinion, you’ll love the Shark Style iQ Ionic Hair Dryer & Styler. It feels modern, the powerful motor dries hair quickly and the intelligent stylers are a big selling point. If you want a high-end, technically advanced dryer but aren't sure if you can afford the Dyson, this is a good compromise. 

The sleek design is attractive enough to display on any hair dryer stand and also makes it portable, lending itself well to travel. That said, £200 or thereabouts is still a big investment for a hair dryer. In fact, the Shark hair dryer does seem very pricey for 1600 watts when there are more powerful dryers on the market that have cheaper price tags. But power isn't everything and if you want an intelligent, kind-to-hair and premium product, this is a good investment. 

Check out woman&home's latest Shark discount codes for even more money off your next purchase.

Sarah Cooper-White

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. 

With contributions from