Shark hair dryer vs Dyson: our beauty editor compares the Supersonic and Style iQ

We put the Shark Style iQ hair dryer vs Dyson Supersonic in a head-to-head test to find out which is best

Collage of the Shark hair dryer vs Dyson Supersonic on a pink and blue background
(Image credit: Future)

For those on the market for a high-powered hair dryer, the decision often falls to Shark hair dryer vs Dyson Supersonic. The Shark STYLE iQ hair dryer, launched in 2021, launched five years after the famous Dyson Supersonic. However, when it comes to speedy results and hair health, the brands are pretty well-matched. 

Most interestingly, both Shark and Dyson are most commonly associated with creating great quality vacuum cleaners, but while this tech is all about suction, the pivot to hair care has created some of the best hair dryers for creating glamorous blow-drys. The Dyson Supersonic is pricier, although Cyber Monday Dyson hair dryer deals could help you find a good deal, and we're expecting to see the Shark STYLE iQ on sale with some of the top Cyber Monday beauty deals

The woman&home team is constantly reviewing the latest hair tech, but while both the Shark hair dryer and the Dyson hair dryer have been on the market for a few years, we still get questions asking if Dyson is worth the extra money, or if the Shark lives up to the hype. We have reviewed the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, and we also tested the Shark hair dryer for its range of attachments, for a selection of hair types. 

Both deliver excellent results, but which one is best? We’ve put them head-to-head to find out. If you want to know how the Dyson Airwrap and Shark Flexstyle match up as hair styling tools, you can also see a head-to-head in our Shark Flexstyle vs Dyson Airwrap comparison.

Shark STYLE iQ Ionic Hair Dryer & Styler:  was £179,

Shark STYLE iQ Ionic Hair Dryer & Styler: was £179, now £145.99 at Amazon (save 19%)
You may have noticed that the Shark hair dryer was down to £145.99 for Cyber Monday. A great deal! However, we can't see it in stock anywhere. Shark recently sold out of its hair dryer bundles, too, but you can still save when you shop on Amazon.

Dyson Supersonic Origin Hair Dryer, Black/Nickel:  was £329.99

Dyson Supersonic Origin Hair Dryer, Black/Nickel: was £329.99 now £279.99 at John Lewis (save £50)
The Dyson hair dryer deal of Black Friday comes from John Lewis. It's £30 off the Blue Blush colourway for a limited time. That's a rare saving! 

Head-to-head: Shark hair dryer vs Dyson

How we tested the Shark hair dryer vs Dyson

The Dyson Supersonic and Shark Style IQ hair dryer we tested for this piece

The Dyson Supersonic and Shark Style IQ hair dryer we tested for this piece 

(Image credit: Fiona McKim)

Between the team, we've got years of experience using both dryers. Our Acting Beauty Editor Aleesha owns the Dyson, and our Head of Shopping Millie owns the Shark Style iQ and has been testing it year-round since its launch. Fiona McKim, our Beauty Editor, has tried both and used this Dyson vs Shark hair dryer review as a chance to compare directly between both products. 

Specifications comparison

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Shark STYLE iQ Ionic Hair DryerDyson Supersonic
Speed settings33
Heat settings34
Cord length2.5m2.5m
Warranty2 years2 years
Available colorsBlack and rose goldIron and fuschia, black and nickel
Extras2 intelligent attachments5 styling attachments included

Shark vs Dyson design

The Shark STYLE iQ design dryer and Dyson Supersonic

(Image credit: Dyson/Shark)

Shark STYLE iQ design

The first thing we noticed about the Shark hair dryer vs Dyson are some visual similarities. The small barrel shape of the Shark resembles the Dyson and for both dryers the heat and airflow control settings are on the barrel, while the power switch is placed on the handle. There are three heat and airflow settings (low, medium, and high) that allowed us to customize the speed and heat to suit our hair type and desired home blow dry. 

The Shark style iQ comes with two attachments (a nozzle and a diffuser), which magnetically attach to the barrel – just like the Dyson. The big difference is that that the Shark's attachments are intelligent, meaning the dryer recognizes which is connected and alters the heat and speed settings accordingly to give you the best results. Clever, huh?  Weighing 730g, the Shark hair dryer is heavier than its competitor but lighter than most traditional models on the market. After giving it a whirl, we admit that we did notice the weight and expected it to feel less bulky. But it's easy to maneuver thanks to the small, compact design.

Dyson Supersonic design

Pre-Supersonic, hair dryers had large heads carrying bulky motors. Dyson changed this by engineering a small, powerful motor that they positioned in the handle resulting in a less top-heavy device weighing just 697g. This nimble design gives the Dyson more versatility - it could easily make one of the best travel hair dryers too. 

The Supersonic has a futuristic look that’s just one of the reasons Dyson hair dryer deals are as rare as hen's teeth. It's a beauty to behold and will elevate any dressing table. On the barrel, you’ll find three heat settings (60c, 80c, and 100c) and three airflow settings, while on the handle, there’s a power switch and cold shot setting that's activated with a tap. After testing, we can confirm that the Supersonic has the edge in the Shark hair dryer vs Dyson.

Attachments and styling

The shark hair dryer's attachments

The two intelligent attachments included with the Shark hair dryer

(Image credit: Fiona McKim)

Shark STYLE iQ attachments and styling

The Shark hair dryer comes with two attachments, a concentrator, and a diffuser – both of which can be customized to suit your hair type. For the concentrator, you can either pick pre-style mode, which opens the nozzle for an all-over rough-dry, or precision styling mode, which narrows the nozzle for a sleek result. Both are super useful when you want to customize your look. 

Then there’s the diffuser which features adjustable prongs which can be retracted for short hairstyles or extended for medium hairstyles or longer. Handily, the temperature automatically adjusts when you change the attachment. So if you have curly hair and go for the diffuser the heat is automatically gentler, making this one of the best diffusers for curly hair we've tried in ages. However, we did find that the diffuser is trickier to connect magnetically and doesn't stay in place as well as the concentrator does. To create perfect curls, follow hair stylist to the stars, Aaron Carlo's tips, "For extra volume, flip your head upside down and diffuse the hair, massaging the scalp with the prongs so the heat is well distributed."

Trio of original images showing the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

(Image credit: Lucy Abbersteen)

Dyson Supersonic attachments and styling

Ergonomic and compact, the Dyson Supersonic is a joy to use. As well as being comfortable to hold, we love that the Supersonic comes with six magnetic styling attachments to create various finishes. There’s a concentrator, smoothing nozzle, diffuser, wide-tooth comb, a flyaway attachment, and gentle air attachment for scalp care

The diffuser is a particular selling point, as it can be used on curly or straight hair. ''For fine or straight hair types where a natural curl pattern isn’t present, I recommend bending one-to-two-inch sections back and forth into an accordion pattern and placing them into the diffuser,” explains Dyson Styling Ambassador Jen Atkin. All connect magnetically and are easy to remove – often a little too easy when they knock off by accident – but we'll take it for less faff.

Shark vs Dyson hair dryer: Performance

Shark STYLE iQ technical performance

The Shark Style iQ gets to work quickly, drying hair in a matter of minutes. We found it was best to rough dry our hair with a towel before selecting an attachment (more on those later). As well as speed, the Shark scores well for noise – although we could hear it more than we could the Dyson, it’s impressively quiet, especially when you compare it to traditional hair dryers. 

In terms of results, our hair was left looking visibly sleek with a polished finish. The Shark is an ionic dryer, so it gives off negative ions to counteract water’s positive ions. As a result, heat is evenly distributed, closing the hairs’ cuticle and removing moisture for a smoother look. This would make it an excellent choice for anyone with frizzy hair or a curly hairstyle who likes to blow-dry it smooth. 

Dyson Supersonic technical performance

Super in name, super in nature – the Dyson Supersonic is powered by a motor that’s six times faster than that of the average hair dryer. This high speed produces a stream of controlled air that dries strands noticeably fast, without having to rely on extreme heat that ultimately damages hair. Anyone with a long hairstyle who usually spends ages drying will appreciate this.

When using the techy tool, we noticed that it didn't feel that powerful compared with other high-tech dryers like the ghd Helios. Rather, we got a steady stream of air at a targeted angle that smooths the cuticle without much noise (or heat). As well as cutting down drying time, this is one of the quietest hair dryers we've tried, and our hair always looks and feels healthy after using it. 

Shark hair dryer vs Dyson Supersonic: the w&h verdict

Crunch time: Compared to most traditional hair dryers, both the Dyson Supersonic and the Shark Style iQ are a cut above the rest. They deliver salon-worthy blow-dries using clever ionized technology to eliminate frizz and bolster shine – all while cutting down on drying time with powerful motors. 

There's really not that much in it, but if we had to choose between the two (which of course, is the reason we’re here), the Dyson Supersonic takes the lead. Why? Well, first of all, we’re completely obsessed with the sleek, light design and it offers significantly more attachments catering to a wider variety of hair types, with five stylers as opposed to Shark’s two. Plus, we have to give credit where it's due: this dryer got here first and really did change the game.

The downside? The Dyson is significantly more expensive and the attachments are not as smart. If you can spare the extra money, we’d recommend opting for the Dyson. If, however, you’re looking for a more affordable option – and one that takes the guesswork out of using diffusers and styling nozzles, the Shark dryer will not disappoint. Its easy handling and sleek design make it a very good choice. 

Emma Stoddart

Emma Stoddart is a freelance beauty journalist and self-confessed skincare aficionado with over five years’ industry experience. Emma has worked for some of the UK’s top women’s titles including Net-A-Porter, Stylist and Grazia. Her experience spans online and print as well as producing editorial shoots with some of the industry’s biggest artists, including Val Garland. Asides from working with them behind the scenes, she’s also had the chance to interview the likes of Patrick Ta, Pat McGrath, and Sam McKnight for all their insider tips and tricks.

With contributions from