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Shark has launched its first-ever hair dryer, but how does it compare to Dyson’s supersonic?

Find out how we got on when we put the leading brands head to head... on our heads

Eva Waite-Taylor
Wednesday 20 October 2021 12:34
<p>Both tools promise excellent results, but how do they perform?</p>

Both tools promise excellent results, but how do they perform?

When you think of Shark, chances are the first thing that comes to mind is its vast range of hardworking vacuum cleaners – much-loved by everyone’s favourite queen of clean, Mrs Hinch.

But now the brand has added another string to its bow. It’s on a mission to disrupt the haircare industry by launching a brand new hair dryer: the style iQ (£229,

Yes, you read that right. Shark has used its expertise in airflow technology to develop a futuristic model that promises to dry hair quickly, with, it says, minimal heat damage, thanks to the high-velocity heated ionised air.

It’s also unveiled a range of different accessories for the style iQ, including a diffuser and concentrator. Better still, the dryer automatically adjusts the heat and airflow settings based on what you attach.

It’s a move that clearly sets the brand up to rival the Dyson supersonic (£299.99,, and with the designs proving strikingly similar, we just had to put the two gadgets head to head.

Read more:

How we tested

When putting the two devices head to head, we first assessed their packaging and design before paying attention to performance – how fast each hair dryer took to dry the hair, as well as how the different attachments worked. Of course, both promised to give a salon-quality blowout out at home, so we assessed whether they really did this too. Unsure which one to invest in? Read on for our full review.

Shark style iQ

Buy now £229,

  • Attachments: Diffuser, concentrator
  • Number of heat settings: 3
  • Number of air flow settings: 3
  • Cool shot: Yes
  • Cord length: 2.5m
  • Weight: 730g
  • Wattage: 1,600W
  • Rating: 8/10

Branching out to the haircare industry with a bang, Shark has launched its all-new hair dryer. And we were one of the first to get our hands on it. As an ionic tool, it promises to dry hair with minimal damage by distributing the heat in a more even way.


On first impressions, the packaging of the Shark style iQ was similar to what you’d expect from a more budget-friendly tool, and considering the price tag, we were a little disappointed. Within the box, you’ll find the dryer and two attachments (diffuser and concentrator), but unlike the Dyson, you won’t receive a storage box.


The hair tool is compact and ergonomic. It fits comfortably into the hand, and at just 730g it is one of the lightest hair dryers we’ve used, rivalled only by Dyson’s supersonic.

Much like the Dyson, the heat and airflow buttons are situated on the barrel, while the power switch is on the handle – this means you’re unlikely to accidentally switch buttons mid-way through a blow-dry. A definite bonus.

Read more: 10 best hair straighteners for achieving stylish locks

The easy-to-use tool has three different heat and airflow settings – low, medium and high – which can easily be changed, with an LED light illuminating the setting you’re using.

The feature that gives the Shark style iQ the edge over the Dyson is the way the attachments work with the dryer. It recognises which attachment you’re using and automatically adjusts the temperature and airflow settings accordingly for the best results.

When using the concentrator, for example, you’ll notice the dryer changes to high airflow and high temperature, while the diffuser alters these settings to low. This takes the guesswork out of blowdrying your hair, which we found to be really useful. But if you do want to experiment with the different options, you can manually adjust the settings too. A nice touch.


Both attachments are magnetic – the concentrator attached without any problems, but we did find the diffuser a little more temperamental. For best results when testing both hair tools, we towel-dried our hair and loosely blowdried before starting.

Another standout feature is that you can adjust the airflow of the concentrator attachment. You can choose between two modes: pre-styling, which opens up the nozzle for a wider airpath and a more gentle all-over dry; and a precision styling mode that makes for a narrower, more targeted airpath for a sleeker, straightened look.

Read more: 7 best scalp massagers that promote hair growth

The concentrator did a great job of giving us a bouncy blow-dry, particularly when we used the pre-style mode to begin before following with the precision styling option. We also used the Boots tufted bristle radial brush (£8, to help give it extra volume.

When compared to when we leave our hair to air dry or use a more budget-friendly dryer, the style iQ did make our hair visibly more smooth and shiny. This is down to the fact it is an ionic tool, which means it gives off a negative ionic charge that counters the positive ionic charges in your damaged cuticles. Essentially, this means the heat is distributed more evenly and seals the strands of hair to help retain moisture.

Similarly to the concentrator attachment, you can customise the diffuser for your hair type – the prongs can be retracted for shorter hair and extended for longer, thicker hair. This design means you have greater control over how you style your locks and is a feature that not many other diffusers have.

But unfortunately, during testing, we found that the diffuser didn’t attach very easily. This meant we had to hold the accessory in place. However, it did still do a good job of drying our thick, curly hair from root to tip, and really helped keep our curls looking more defined.

We were most impressed with was how quickly it managed to dry our hair, and how quiet it was.

Dyson supersonic

Buy now £299.99,

  • Attachments: Diffuser, styling concentrator, gentle air attachment, wide-tooth comb, flyaway attachment
  • Number of heat settings: 3
  • Number of air flow settings: 3
  • Cool shot: Yes
  • Cord length: 2.8m
  • Weight: 697g
  • Wattage: 1,600W
  • Rating: 10/10

The Dyson supersonic needs little introduction: it’s featured in our review of the best hair dryers and has been praised countless times thanks to its design and innovative technology. Four years in the making, it’s a lightweight tool that dries hair in next to no time.


The brand is known for its sleek look and this is clear from the moment you open the box – you’re greeted with a chic storage case for your hair dryer, along with the attachments (of which there are five) and a hairbrush and comb, both of which are stored in separate cardboard boxes.

Admittedly this was a lot for our recycling box, but we did appreciate the extra attention to detail and the additional attachments and tools, especially when compared to Shark’s more simple approach.


There’s no denying that the Dyson supersonic is well-designed and easy on the eye. Unlike regular hair dryers, Dyson chose to place most of its technology (including the impeller and motor) in the handle to make it less top-heavy and easier to manoeuvre – something you can instantly notice when you pick it up.

Read more: 8 best cordless hair straighteners for sleek locks wherever you go

What’s more, the tool is just 697g. It’s both lighter and smaller than the Shark style iQ, making it that bit easier to use – a particular plus for those with thicker hair or who tend to have longer styling sessions.

As for the settings, they’re just as innovative. Where temperature is concerned, there are three heat options – 60C, 80C and 100C – and one cool shot to create a more long-lasting hold, post-blow-dry. There’s also a nifty internal thermometer that measures the air temperature more than 40 times per second to regulate the heat and prevent damage to the hair. In terms of airflow, there are three settings – high, medium and low – and there’s no denying it is powerful. When on high, it drys the hair extremely quickly.


There are five attachments to play with depending on the hairdo you’re after – from straight, sleek locks to beachy waves – all of which are easy to attach to the dryer. The different options add to the tool’s versatility and work to justify the high price tag.

Much like with the Shark style iQ, we found that it was better to lightly blow-dry or towel dry our hair before getting started with one of the styling attachments.

Unlike the style iQ, the supersonic doesn’t recognise the attachment you’re using. This is a slight bugbear as you have to play around with the heat and airflow settings to assess which one works best for your hair. This aside, each attachment did perform excellently.

The gentle air attachment worked great when we tested it on someone with thinner, finer hair, while the larger diffuser worked its magic on our tester with thicker, longer hair. It effectively dried the hair from root to tip and created a natural curly look in no time at all.

Read more: 9 best silk pillowcases that prevent frizzy hair

In order to make a fair comparison, when testing the styling concentrator we used the Dyson supersonic to dry and style on one side of the head and Shark’s on the other. While both performed well, the Dyson attachment ever so slightly pipped Shark’s in that it created a sleeker and softer look.

As for the all-new flyaway attachment, we were very impressed with how quickly it transformed our day two bed-head hair, taming our frizzy locks and bringing back that newly blow-dried look. It gets a big thumbs up from us.

Other standout features include the noise, or lack thereof – the Dyson supersonic has the edge over Shark in that it’s even quieter. And, when compared to an average dryer, it almost halved our blowdrying time, making it ideal for those who don’t like to spend too long in front of the mirror in the morning.

The verdict: Shark style iQ vs Dyson supersonic

Both hair dryers offer a seriously good blow-dry at home, with impressive ionised air technology that means your hair will be left looking glossy and less frizzy.

“But, which one is best?” we hear you ask. Well, the Shark style iQ is an impressive start for the brand’s first foray into haircare – it’s a lightweight and quiet tool that makes drying hair a breeze, whether that’s creating a frizz-free straightened look or a defined curly do. So it has certainly achieved its stated goal.

But, the Dyson supersonic just pips the Shark. For starters, the packaging is first class. And, unfortunately, when compared to Dyson’s offering (five attachments, hairbrush and comb), which provides more versatility when it comes to your hairstyle, Shark has missed a trick by not including more accessories with the device, especially considering the price.

As for its performance, when comparing the two blow-dries quite literally side by side, the Dyson supersonic gave a slightly more sleek finish, with fewer stray hairs and less frizz. Similarly, the Dyson flyaway attachment worked wonders and revived our day-two and day-three hair.

While the Shark style iQ is a high-quality tool, with both dryers priced at the top end of the market, we’d recommend opting for the Dyson supersonic. It’s powerful, leaves hair looking less frizzy and noticeably reduced our drying time. What’s more, it also allows for more options when it comes to styling.

Voucher codes

For the latest discounts on hairdryers and other offers on beauty tech, try the links below:

Looking for more hair recommendations? We’ve reviewed Drybar’s brand new hairstyling collection

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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