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Shark FlexStyle, or to give its full name Shark FlexStyle Air Styling & Hair Drying System, is the US version of home appliance giant Dyson Airwrap. At its core, the FlexStyle is a hair dryer, and a very effective one at that; but with a flick of the wrist, it also transforms into a versatile multi-styler.

To access the standard hair dryer function, rotate the top third of the barrel so that it is at right angles to the handle. Then there are six attachments, including two 1,25-inch curling irons, an oval brush, a flat brush, a diffuser, and a styling hub that can be attached to the tip of this barrel. Among them, the dryer and its accessories can curl, straighten, volumize, straighten and define curls, using the diffuser. A wide tooth comb attachment for curly and frizzy hair types will be available later this year.

The FlexStyle isn't Shark's first foray into beauty. The brand, which is probably best known for its vacuum cleaners, launched the HyperAir iQ hair dryer (or Style iQ hair dryer, outside the US) late last year. This was followed by two hair dryer attachments to help straighten hair or create waves. The FlexStyle builds on the technology of this dryer, bringing greater versatility to the Shark hair care collection.

To coincide with the launch of FlexStyle, Shark is launching its "For All Hair Types" campaign, which aims to "shine a light on the variety and beauty of all hair types." We mention it because it shows how much Shark insists that FlexStyle is for everyone. However, our experience does not match this expectation.

In the test, the styler was ideal for straightening and defining the natural curls of our fine and medium length hair. However, it was not as effective for curling hair with the Auto-Wrap curling irons. The volume we achieved was admirable, but fell short of other blow-dry brushes we reviewed, including the Revlon 2-in-1. Interestingly, these shortcomings are identical to what we heard about FlexStyle's closest rival, the Dyson Airwrap.

The versatility of the FlexStyle suggests that it will suit most people and most hair types, but in our opinion, people with longer, thicker hair and naturally wavy or curly hair will probably find it to be the best blow dryer for you. hair (opens in a new tab) and styler for them.

(Image credit: future)

  • Shark FlexStyle Air Styling & Hair Drying System at Best Buy for $269.99 (opens in a new tab)

Shark FlexStyle Price and Availability

  • List price: € 249.99 / € 299.99

Shark FlexStyle is available exclusively from Shark in the US (Opens in a new tab) and UK (Opens in a new tab).

In the United States, it is available in three packages. The cheapest, at €249.99, is the “Build Your Own Styler” package. This includes the dryer, in a silver design, and your choice of three accessories.

For €269.99, you can buy the Auto-Wrap dryer with curling irons, oval brush, concentrator and styling diffuser; or buy the dryer with the two rollers, the oval brush, the flat brush and the styling concentrator. The former is marketed as the best combination for curly hair types, while the latter will work better for straight and straight styles. You cannot currently purchase attachments separately.

In the UK, there's a single €299.99 option that comes with all five accessories and a storage case. This model is available in black.

In the broader multi-style market, the FlexStyle is priced at the higher end of the spectrum. That's double the price of the €6 Revamp Progloss Airstyle 1-in-129 (opens in a new tab) and the €110 Remington Pro Hot Air Multi-Styler (opens in a new tab). However, that's more than half the price of the Dyson at €600. In Dyson's defence, the Airwrap comes with nine accessories as standard and a carrying case for storage in all regions.

The main difference, and the reason for the higher prices of the Shark and Dyson multi-stylers, is that both devices use the Coanda effect. This uses a swirling current of air, blown from the slots in the removable barrels of both stylers, to attract and 'glue' the hair to the surface of the wand. It's designed to make curling easier and faster—once you get the hang of it, that is—and it's that convenience that's partly worth the expense.

Price and availability: 3/5

FlexStyle Shark

(Image credit: future)

Shark Flex Style Design

  • Easy to reach and use controls
  • Light and well balanced barrel.
  • Large, cheap accessories detract from the overall finish of the styler

While it's true that the Shark FlexStyle can replace a number of your existing hair tools, don't expect it to save you much space in the process. The main barrel is slim, but it's 11.5 inches long, and that's before you add any attachments. The longest accessory is the 6-inch Auto-Wrap hair curler, which when in use increases the overall length of the styler to a somewhat bulky 17.5 inches. In contrast, using the standard hair dryer with the barrel rotated reduces the length to 8,5 inches, which seems much more manageable.

The 8-foot cord is thick and has a large power block about a third of the way up, making it difficult to wrap or coil cleanly. Oval and paddle brushes are on the larger side, much larger than the size of a regular hairbrush. Just like the diffuser. Even the style center is bigger than expected.

As a result, the FlexStyle is a pain to keep in a drawer, and there are too many individual pieces to keep on your side/dresser at once. The UK version comes with a storage case, which will alleviate this problem somewhat, but this case is not currently available in the US. As a side note in favor of these accessories, their large dimensions are also what make make the styler more suitable for longer and thicker hair.

On the plus side, the FlexStyle's rotating barrel design reduces the need for a separate hair dryer. The barrel itself fits comfortably in the palm of your hand (with a 5,5-inch circumference) and remains well balanced no matter what accessory you use. It's no small feat considering its length, and when combined with its light weight of just 1,5 pounds, it makes even the longest and most intricate styles comfortable to complete. Our only complaint is that, again, the in-cord power supply adds what feels like an unnecessary amount of bulk when lifting the styler above and around your head.

Arrow indicators on the barrel help guide setup and use, both in terms of barrel rotation and adding and removing accessories. Then use the button at the base of the barrel to toggle between the three heat settings and the three airflow speed settings. A separate cold fire button sits above the main button.

The FlexStyle reviewed here has a silver base with off-white plastic fittings. While the dryer itself feels and looks premium, it's the accessories that make it more affordable than its price suggests. In addition, they get dirty relatively easily. The model our house editor tested at IFA Berlin was black with gold details, looking premium and elegant.

Design: 3 / 5

FlexStyle Shark

(Image credit: future)

Shark Flex Style Performance

  • Intuitive controls
  • Fast general drying speeds
  • Performance and finish vary greatly depending on accessory used

Despite the number of accessories and styling options offered with the FlexStyle, it's an easy-to-use device to get you started. To rotate the barrel, pull and hold the rotary switch on the barrel handle (represented by an arrow curved up) and use your other hand to rotate the top of the barrel toward you (if holding it in your right hand), or away from you (if you hold it in your left hand). To add accessories, twist and lock them in place, then use the release switch on the barrel, represented by a lock icon, to easily remove them.

Using a release switch may seem like an unnecessary step, but it prevents the attachments from twisting and shifting midway, a common complaint of other cheaper hair dryers and multi-stylers we've used in the past.

The settings button is conveniently located at the bottom of the barrel to allow you to make mid-style adjustments, should the need arise. A slight force is needed to operate this button, the advantage is that it is difficult to accidentally switch between settings. However, the adjustment knob is next to the motor vents, which can block airflow when changing modes.

The hair dryer alone is fast and efficient. It took us 2 minutes and 47 seconds to go from wet to dry, putting it on par with the Dyson Supersonic. Our hair was a little frizzy and it dried flat this way, but no more and no less than when drying with other hair dryers.

Using the oval brush or the flat brush took a bit longer this time – 3 minutes and 50 seconds and 4 minutes, respectively – but since both brushes style while they dry, it can save you time a largo plazo. Las tres options de peinado (el secador de pelo estándar, el cepillo ovalado y el cepillo plano) son relativamente intuitives de usar.

To get real volume with the oval brush, you'll need to spend some time working on the roots. Ultimately, this takes some time and involves keeping your hair straight (or at a right angle to your head), placing the brush at the bottom of your hair at the base, and going through each strand a few times. You can also hold the brush at the base while setting the volume, before straightening the rest of the hair, or twist it as you move it to create locks or big curls and waves.

While this method gave our fine hair decent volume to begin with, the style didn't hold; it collapsed in half an hour. To enhance volume and make it last longer, we use the Color Wow Volumizer. By comparison, the Revlon 2-in-1 offers almost too much volume at first, without having to use any…

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