A beauty writer tries out a new gadget taking the world by storm: the Shark FlexStyle

If you haven’t heard of it yet, you soon will, because the Shark FlexStyle™ Air Drying and Styling System is currently the worst-kept beauty secret of the year!

And no wonder.

It’s offering an awful lot in one compact gadget, being both a powerful and fast dryer and multistyler. What’s more, Shark says that it’s suitable for all skill sets and all hair types, from straight to coily, fine to thick, and every possible permutation in between.

Three everyday women gave the Shark FlexStyle Air Drying and Styling System a go... here's how they found it

Beauty editor Alice puts the Shark FlexStyle Air Drying and Styling System through its paces

As a beauty writer of many years, I have tried countless hair gadgets promising to make me look salon fresh.

But the only time my limp, frizzy and flyaway locks look salon sleek is when I’ve splashed out on a professional blow dry, or spent a lot of time and a gallon of hair spray trying to curl it.

I’m just too busy to try and make every day a happy hair day. My default look is, as you can see from my previous picture, best described as ‘unkempt’.

Before: Alice describes her hair as 'unkempt'

After: Alice was thrilled with the salon-level finish

Quite the transformation: Alice describes her look before (L) as ‘unkempt’ but was thrilled with what she achieved with the Shark FlexStyle – a look worthy of a professional salon (R)

I have a bathroom cupboard stuffed with crimpers, heated brushes, hairdryers and straighteners, none of which work the miracles they promised. Do I really need another gadget?

Apparently so. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve seen beauty reviews raving about the Shark FlexStyle and its transformative powers. This revolutionary product apparently saves on time, space and the stress of bad hair.

It’s said to create more smoothness and shine, and less frizz and fly-away versus air drying. It sounds exactly what I need, and has become such a beauty must-have that now I’ve got my hands on one I’m tempted to hold onto it rather than investing in a pension.

The Shark FlexStyle comes in a neat black storage case and has five attachments, which allow you to curl, straighten, volumise, smooth and define. The main body is a compact and light metallic wand. Flick a little switch halfway up, and the top section rotates to become a powerful and fast-drying hair dryer with three heat and three airflow settings, as well as a Cool Shot for setting your style.

Light and easy to use: To change the Shark FlexStyle from a wand to a hairdryer, flick a switch

Light and easy to use: To change the Shark FlexStyle from a wand to a hairdryer, flick a switch

To attach the styling components, flick the switch again to twist it back into a wand and then slot in the attachment of your choice. It’s phenomenally straightforward, and I say that as someone who is very much against reading instructions, although there is a comprehensive style guide included, and it’s well worth watching the videos on the Shark website for extra tips.

Select your attachment according to your styling requirements. The Auto-Wrap Curlers consist of two slender barrels, one for the right and one for the left side of your hair. They use what’s called Coanda Technology, where the airflow pulls hair towards the barrel and automatically wraps it around, which sounds like it’s going to save an awful lot of fiddling.

The Paddle Brush straightens hair while you dry. The Oval Brush detangles, smoothes and creates volume. A Styling Concentrator smooths and dries hair, with a rotating nozzle for styling at any angle, and the Curl-Defining Diffuser lifts and defines natural curls, with extendable prongs reaching the roots.

I wonder about heat damage, but the Shark FlexStyle measures heat 1,000 times per second, which means that it does not overheat and create damage.

Curls galore!

Smooth blow dry

Alice was able to style her hair in so many different ways with the Shark FlexStyle, from glorious curls (L) to a sleek and smooth blow dry (R)

The dryer is VERY efficient. It is recommended that you rough dry hair first to remove excess moisture, and then style using an attachment. I initially underestimated how quickly it works – from drenched to dry in just a couple of minutes. Then I realize – very cheerfully – that I’m going to get a few extra minutes in bed every morning!

I decided to attempt a blow dry using the Oval Brush. I rough dry my hair and then section it, so that I’m working on the underneath layers first.

Next, I rotate the wand up to styler mode, click in the Oval Brush, and set the heat and strength to the second setting. It’s recommended that you reduce airflow for fine hair like mine. Placing the brush under my hair and close to the roots, I brush through from roots to ends to create volume all the way around. I press the cool shot button to set the style.

It takes minutes to create a smooth and bouncy barnet – which is most unlike my usual Sunday frizz. I look altogether far smarter, to the confusion of my three teenagers. ‘Are you going out?’ asks my daughter as I load up the washing machine with games kit.

The most exciting attachment for me is the Auto-Wrap Curler. Can it really give me sleek waves and curls? Again, I section my hair, pinning up the top layers. There are two barrels, labeled R and L, so that the curls are created away from your face on either side.

The Auto-Wrap Curler has a wand for the right and the left side to create curls away from your face

The Auto-Wrap Curler has a wand for the right and the left side to create curls away from your face

The Auto-Wrap Curler has a wand for the right and the left side to create curls away from your face

I attach the right barrel to the styling wand. Holding a lock of hair in the middle, I put the barrel behind the dangling ends. The air gently captures them and winds my hair around the barrel without me having to do anything.

It is quite extraordinary.

I bring the barrel gently up to my roots and hold it for ten seconds, then press the Cool Shot for another ten seconds. To my amazement, when I gently slide the barrel from my hair, I’ve created a perfect ringlet.

The final look is one that I’d normally expect after a good hour at a top salon, and what’s more, it lasts all day rather than falling out after half an hour.

To be honest, it’s tempting not to share how brilliant the Shark FlexStyle is, but for the sake of all our hair, I suppose I must.

Find out more about the Shark FlexStyle – and where to buy it – here

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