Much adored by hairstylists and beauty editors, this sophisticated Italian hair dryer is proof good things come in small packages
Compact and extremely light
Reliable and durable
Limited bells and whistles
By Fiona McKim
Parlux Alyon could be the most well-known hair dryer you've never heard of. Cast your mind back to a time before a certain scene-stealing British brand came along and flipped the script on what it meant to be the best hair dryer money could buy. If, back then, you had asked any Beauty Editor or Hair Professional what dryer you should buy, there’s a very strong chance Parlux would have been the answer.
This Italian brand is renowned by those in the know for making powerful, stylish dryers that are built to withstand continuous use in professional environments – and the Parlux Alyon is a fine example of why that reputation is still thoroughly well deserved.
Everything about this compact and lightweight dryer is a pleasure, from the stylish and sleek design – in no less than ten colourways – to the intuitive controls and powerful, reliable motor. Heck, even the styling attachment nozzles look great and fit like a dream. You won’t find anything outside the norm here in terms of special settings, but honestly, for home blow dries (often followed by a going-over with the best hair straighteners) how many of those bells and whistles does the average person use anyway?
Put it this way: Walk into a fancy salon or on to a beauty photoshoot and you’re very likely to spot a Parlux in the hands of the stylist and there’s a good reason for that. This is an absolute workhorse packed into an agile Italian stallion body.
Parlux Alyon Design
Unusually lovely. If we’re sticking with the Italian theme, you could say it is the Lamborghini of the hair dryer world. This looks slick, nimble and somehow fast, with a curvy head, nippy little handle and glistening front and back vents. Even the styling attachments are pretty slick, which is a stark contrast to just about every other hair dryer’s flimsy plastic numbers.
You can choose from ten colours, which is a fun touch, and you know there’s not a naff tone amongst them: Classic black if you’re feeling safe, graphite, bronze, turquoise, night blue, pink, coral orange, jade, a pretty lemon yellow and a zippy margarita green. The slightly ridged texture of the outer casing creates a very pretty light reflection if you happen to catch the sunlight on it through the window. On testing, the jade model threw prism-like shards of light on to my bedroom wall.
Weight and size
Looks aren’t everything, of course, and the most pleasing thing about the design of the Parlux Alyon is how it feels in the hand. At just 425g, this is a true featherweight product, only a shade heavier than your average travel dryer, and yet it can match any of the big boys for power and speed. Size-wise, it’s a dainty little thing, too, around 18cm across and barely over 20cm down to the base of the cord.
It’s this diminutiveness that makes drying with the Alyon such a pleasure. It is so light and agile in the hand that arm ache is unlikely to bother anyone using it, even those with very long, thick or curly hair. If you are someone who likes to do the whole blow dry shebang with sectioning clips, round brushes et al, this would also be a perfect choice. That compact, lightweight body is supremely unstrenuous to flip around in the hand and hold at any angle while creating those perfect flicks and kicks. No doubt this is another reason it is so beloved by the pros – if you spend all day holding a piece of equipment, why not make it a light one?
Parlux Alyon Performance
This is a dryer that doesn’t mess around. Power-wise, it is on the higher end of the scale at a muscular 2250W. It certainly feels powerful when you are using it, particularly with one of the two smoothing nozzles included. It emits a fast and concentrated flow that my hair had no choice but to follow into smooth and frizz-free sheets.
This is also an ionic dryer, meaning it emits a flow of ions that counteract hair’s naturally positive charge to help prevent frizz. Ions can also help disperse water droplets for faster drying. The K-Advance Plus motor promises a healthy lifespan of at least 3,000 hours and powerful airflow, both signatures of the Parlux brand and another reason they are so popular with pros.
Controls and attachments
The controls are simple but effective and, once again, quite enjoyable. Two apiece for heat and speed settings is definitely lower than your average count of three (and significantly lower than some snazzy models like the Panasonic Nanoe & Double Mineral offering six-plus). But each has enough of a point of difference to hold its own, so the medium heat is significantly cooler than the max, and once you add in the cool-shot button you shouldn’t miss that extra option too much.
The position and feel of the controls are certainly pleasing. They are made of a tactile grippy material that flicks back and forth with a very pleasing click and are positioned on the side of the handle where your thumb would naturally rest. This proved handy for mid-dry temperature adjustments, which I could do intuitively instead of having to pull the dryer away to see which button I was pressing.
Parlux Alyon Specifications
Added extras: Two styling nozzles included
Warranty: 1 year
Cord length: 1.5m
As woman&home's Beauty Channel Editor, Fiona Mckim has tried more beauty products than she’s had hot dinners and nothing makes her happier than raving about a brilliant find on womanandhome.com or her instagram grid (@fionamckim if you like hair experiments and cute shih-tzus)
Fiona joined woman&home as Assistant Beauty Editor in 2013, working under industry legend Jo GB, who taught her everything she needed to know (clue: learn about ingredients and employ extreme cynicism).
In a previous life, Fiona studied journalism back home in bonnie Scotland and honed her skills as a features writer at publications including Junior and Prima Baby, with a brief and terrifying stint on the showbiz pages of a tabloid newspaper in between. She's a skincare fanatic who can’t resist adding an extra step to her routine, adores fragrance, has fun with makeup and never turns down the chance to test a new hair tool. Basically, she loves it all.
When not slathering herself in self tan or peering at a tiny ingredients list on a moisturiser, you’ll probably find Fiona enjoying something to do with food - cooking it, eating it, cajoling her friends into trekking across London to try a hyped pop-up in a dirty car park.
Come to think of it, the hot dinners and beauty products are probably about even.
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