Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll know that UK powerhouse Dyson has recently become the new beauty brand du jour.
Previously known for stick vacuums and those Air Blade hand dryers in mall bathrooms, the 'hot air' experts have released the super-popular Supersonic hairdryer, Airwrap curling tongs and now, the hotly (pardon the pun) anticipated Corrale hair straighteners.
Unlike previous Dyson tools, the Corrale - which Kiwis can get their hands on as of today - doesn't use patented air technology. Instead, Dyson says they spent a decade researching the "science of straightening", investing over £100m (NZ$190m) into hair laboratories across the globe and employing thousands of hair scientists, engineers and professionals.
The result is these "game-changing" straighteners with patented flexible copper plates and the attractive feature of being cord-free. Like many other beauty editors around the world, I was given a set to try.
It may be the biggest and flashiest new player in the hair realm, but is it really worth paying ten times what you would a cheap one from K-Mart?
Here are my thoughts.
In typical Dyson style, the Corrale is the sexiest set of hair straighteners on the market. Fitting with the look of the brand's other beauty tools, the Corrale comes in grey and pink - perfect if you're completing the set. It also sits prettily in its very snazzy dock, which is both very handy and aesthetically-pleasing on the bathroom counter.
Dyson has seriously hyped the Corrale's flexible copper manganese alloy plates, which indeed leave my hair silky-smooth and feeling much less 'fried' than other straighteners. A major part of this, of course, is the fact that you don't have to repeatedly run the straighteners over the same section - once or twice should leave you with a sleek but bouncy look, with much less damage.
Some online commentators and beauty bloggers have complained about the flexible plates "snagging" the hair, which I would have agreed with upon first use. But NZ stylist ambassador Michael Beel revealed in an online briefing that instead of clamping down the Corrale as you might with regular straighteners, instead you should let the hair run finely through. I tried it and yup, easily straightened my entire head of hair, snag-free.
The Corrale is also lightning fast, in every respect. Upon switching it on, the plates heat up to full in about 15 seconds - perfect if you're deep in a morning rush. In true Dyson style, they're also super efficient at straightening - I can do my full head (granted, a fine and wavy lob) in about 10 minutes flat.
This is of course, down in part, to the cordless nature of the Corrale, which will be the biggest drawcard for many enthusiasts. It's by no means the first cordless beauty tool but this is certainly the best of those available on the market. It's such a risky manoeuvre even hair tool giants GHD and Cloud 9 haven't attempted a cordless option.
The freedom to walk around with hair straighteners is not one I knew I needed but it sure is handy - no more being chained to the bathroom counter while yelling at my boyfriend to bring me a coffee, or accidentally throttling myself with a cord. It takes a little while to get used to it - upon first use, I stayed next to the dock out of sheer habit. But now you'll catch me making a cup of tea and peanut butter toast in the kitchen all while straightening my hair. Incredible!
There is no doubt the Corrale is one big mama. The presence of the four-cell lithium-ion battery in the styler means it's thiccc - much bigger than your standard straighteners. With my short, wavy bob that didn't matter too much, but I imagine if you have a full mane you might get a sore arm after a while. Permission to skip the gym that day, at least.
It also means it's tough to get the styler close to the roots - again not a big deal with my fine, wavy hair, as I usually end up straightening from the mid-lengths anyway. But if you had a tight curl and you wanted to take it to Gwyneth Paltrow-esque straight, you would need to blow it out with a barrel brush to begin. To test this theory, I attempted to straighten my friend Connor's hair last weekend - he has tight, dark curls and the Corrale struggled to get to the root. But in interests of full transparency, I was several wines deep at the time, so it's not exactly a salon-worthy attempt.
While the cordless option is a game-changer, it's worth noting the battery life is reasonably short. Dyson promises around 30 minutes but I used it for 43 before it went flat. Again with my fine, above-shoulder bob, it straightens my whole head with time to spare - in fact the thought of spending more than 30 minutes straightening my hair is the stuff of nightmares. But if you have a full, waist-length mane you might be racing against the clock, so I would advise against straying too far from a power socket.
Of course, the elephantine con in the room is the cost - something you simply can't brush over. The Corrale retails at a whopping NZ$749, which in scientific terms is a shitload of money. That's especially eye-watering when you can pick up what I think is the next best option, the Cloud 9, for well less than half the price at NZ$339. If you don't think that's a lot of money to spend on hair straighteners, let me DM you my bank details as you obviously have lots to spare.
Is the Dyson Corrale worth forking out $750 for? To answer, I need more information from you.
Is this a splurge that you can afford from a collection of savings, a small inheritance, or a collection of birthday vouchers? Then yes absolutely #treatyourself - I truly believe this straightener will see you through years to come. I'm becoming such a die-hard Dyson fan that I'm almost willing to shell out for the name alone, then of course there's the ease of having the cordless tool off the dock and hot in my hand in about 15 seconds flat.
If it's going to send you spiralling into credit card debt, give it a miss. There are other trusted, very good straightener brands on the market that retail for much less than what the Corrale will set you back, leaving you hundreds for other things like, yknow, paying rent or food bills.
But if you can afford it, it sure is nice using the Rolls Royce of straighteners.
The Dyson Corrale is available to purchase online in New Zealand from Tuesday.