Dyson Airwrap $499

Dyson promises new type of curling iron

High-end stylists say the Dyson Airwrap could be all the rage this holiday season, even with a high-end price tag.

It follows the introduction in spring 2016 of the Supersonic, the doughnut-shaped hair dryer with a $399.99 price tag that was Dyson's first foray into the beauty market. A Google search for Dyson Supersonic and "worth the hype" yields more than 9,000 results.

So one may expect the Airwrap to be met with a similar blend of curiosity and excitement. But unlike the Supersonic, whose features are familiar to anyone who has used a standard blow dryer, the Airwrap requires a certain measure of coaching. The product is shaped like a traditional curling iron but with a detachable head. There are 30- and 40-millimeter barrels for curling as well as a hair dryer attachment, a round brush and two kinds of smoothing brushes.

They are sold in various combinations: Volume & Shape (for straighter and thinner hair with the dryer, soft brush, round brush and 30-millimeter barrel); Smooth & Control (for curlier and thicker hair, with the dryer, firm brush and both 30- and 40-millimeter barrels). While the base is $499.99, there is a kit with all of the attachments for $549.99. All three come in a camel-color leather storage case that looks almost like something Hermès might produce.

While a large majority of curling irons or hot brushes sold on Amazon are under $50, Dyson promises benefits in exchange for the high cost. The Airwrap can be used on wet hair and, with heat at less than 300 degrees, is much less hot than the 360 to 450 degrees that other curling wands average, which is good for protecting hair from damage but also skin from injury.

The Supersonic launch was "historic," said Priya Venkatesh, the senior vice president of merchandising for skin and hair at the Sephora beauty chain. In fact, she said, it was one of Sephora's top-selling brands online and the first time a hair product hit the top five holiday sellers, which it did for the last two years.

Many are expecting the same results for Airwrap, which was tested by dropping it, knocking it on walls, smashing it on the ground. Then engineers were asked to try it. Then high-end hairstylists, who gave it positive reviews. But they note there might be some coaching needed because of the way it is built.

NEW YORK TIMES