Shark FlexStyle vs. Dyson Airwrap Complete: Which Hair Tool Is Better for Travelers?

An in-depth comparison of these viral hair tools' attachments, ease of use, packability, and $300 price difference.
Shark FlexStyle vs Dyson Airwrap Complete Which Hair Tool Is Better for Travelers

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I'm always looking for ways to trim down my packing list. One way I've been able to do that is by leaving my hair dryer, curling wand, flat iron, and other hair tools at home and instead opting for an all-in-one styling tool. I've been using the mega-popular Dyson Airwrap Complete for over six months now and it's been a game changer for destination weddings, weeklong vacations, and special events. 

Not too long after falling in love with the Dyson Airwrap Complete, I heard about a similar tool, the Shark FlexStyle—a drying and styling system that came with multiple attachments, too. I wasn't too interested in this new similar multi-styler tool—until I heard that the Shark FlexStyle is half the price of the $600 Dyson Airwrap. Suddenly, I was very intrigued: I decided to test the viral styling tools from Dyson and Shark, two major vacuum brands, and see for myself just how well they stack up.

Dyson Airwrap Multi-Styler Complete Long

Weight: 1.5 pounds 

Dimensions: 1.6" L x 1.9" W x  10.7" H

Cable length: 8.5 feet 

Heat settings: 3 including the cool shot

Included attachments: 6

Shark FlexStyle Air Drying and Styling System

Weight: 1.54 pounds

Dimensions: 1.8" L x 1.8" W x  13.5" H

Cable length: 8 feet

Heat settings: 4 including the cool shot

Included attachments: 5 (there are two additional attachment options, depending on what system you purchase)

What is the Dyson Airwrap Complete? 

The Dyson Airwrap Complete is a slim styling tool that includes six attachments, each offering your hair a unique benefit. These attachments can dry, smooth, wave, and curl your hair, all while adding volume and shine. You can twist on a new attachment in just a few seconds, making it easier than ever to give your hair a professional blowout at home. The two curling barrels attract your hair through Dyson's airflow technology automatically, so there's no fancy technique needed. When it's time to travel with the Dyson, I simply pack the attachments I know I'll need and leave the rest at home, which saves me some room in my carry-on. I can dry and style my hair with this tool in under 30 minutes and the results last for days—I've never received more compliments than when I've used the Dyson. For more details on the Dyson Airwrap Complete, read our full review here.


  • Easy to change the direction of your curls—simply toggle one button 
  • Two different size barrels for different curl options 
  • Arrives in a durable storage case 


  • Quite expensive at $600
  • Some may find the long, slim design difficult to hold and dry with at first

What is the Shark FlexStyle Air Drying and Styling System? 

The Shark FlexStyle Air Drying and Styling System is a multi-styler that can be twisted into an L shape to resemble a classic hair dryer, which is easier to hold and use than one long tool. Like the Dyson, it comes with several attachments that each perform a different function for your hair, including drying, smoothing, waving, and curling while leaving your hair frizz-free. It made its debut last September and has received a lot of buzz since for delivering similar results to the coveted Airwrap for half the price. I was skeptical that a hair tool could be as effective at a much lower price point, but overall, I was impressed with the results. 

Shoppers can choose from two different system options, one designed for straight and wavy hair and one designed for curly and coily hair. While both options include two 1.25 inch auto-wrap curlers, an oval brush for smoothing, and a styling concentrator for drying, there's one tool that's different between the two systems: The one designed for straight and wavy hair features a paddle brush, while the system designed for curly and coily hair features a curl-defining diffuser. 


  • Easier to dry hair thanks to adjustable shape
  • Different systems available for different hair types
  • More affordable at $300


  • To change the direction of your curls, you need to twist on a new curling attachment 

How are these tools similar?

Both tools are sleek, lightweight, and powerful. They both replace the need to pack several hot tools and make customizing your hair routine a whole lot easier. The Dyson Airwrap Complete and the Shark FlexStyle are both less damaging to your hair than classic curling irons and hair dryers, too, since they can measure airflow temperature constantly and use advanced technology. Both styling tools have a cool shot feature, which helps lock in the style after using heat on your hair. I have long hair and both tools can dry my hair in 5 to 10 minutes and give me an at-home blow-out comparable to the salon. However, there are a few differences between the tools that I noticed while testing them out. 

What's the difference between these tools? 

While they're nearly the same size (the Shark is about 3 inches taller), I found the Shark FlexStyle to feel a lot longer and a little harder to hold while styling my hair. Luckily, unlike the Dyson, the Shark can be rotated to transform its shape, which makes it a lot easier to dry my hair with. When it comes to hair drying, the Shark FlexStyle is the winner in my book. I was so impressed with how quickly it dries my long hair—faster than any tool ever has. When it comes to smoothing, I'd say both tools performed pretty similarly. 

The Dyson Airwrap Complete's round brush is a lot slimmer, which helps create a nice curl at the ends of my hair while blowing it out. The Shark FlexStyle's oval brush is significantly thicker, which creates a little more volume and bounce. Both do a great job at creating that just-left-the-salon blow-out, but I do notice that the results I get with the Dyson typically last longer, staying put for multiple days.

Now let's talk about the curling barrels—an attachment where I noticed the biggest differences. The Dyson Airwrap Complete features two different sizes of curling barrels, a 1.2-inch long barrel that creates creates tighter, voluminous curls or waves and a 1.6-inch long barrel that is best for longer hair to create bouncy curls. There's a small arrow on each barrel that can be toggled to change the direction of your curls in just a second. The Shark FlexStyle features two different curling barrels (both are 1.25 inches long) that curl your hair in different directions. I found it to be a bit of a hassle to change the curling attachment each time I wanted to curl a new section of my hair in a different direction—especially because I was used to a simple toggle of a button on the Dyson. While it's not a dealbreaker by any means, the extra step definitely didn't go unnoticed while I was curling my hair. Both systems' barrels automatically wrap your hair using airflow technology, so they're both easy to use and create beautiful, voluminous curls. While both do the trick, my curls with the Dyson tend to last longer and require slightly less effort to complete. 

What's the verdict? 

After testing out both the Dyson Airwrap Complete and the Shark FlexStyle, I've concluded that both styling tools are incredibly effective at quickly and easily delivering salon-approved hair. These all-in-one tools have made my haircare and packing routines a lot easier. Not to mention, the results last for days—a big plus for a weekend trip when I'd rather not waste time touching up my hair too much. The Shark FlexStyle really impressed me with its elite hair drying capabilities and reasonable price point, but the results I get with the Dyson Airwrap Complete outlast those with the Shark. If you're willing to splurge, get the Dyson Airwrap—it's worth it. If you're looking for a more budget-friendly option, the Shark FlexStyle is a great addition to your hair routine. It has just as many cool features and works just as quickly as the more expensive Dyson. Either of these multi-stylers would be a life saver to travel with—especially for special occasions like weddings, bachelorette parties, and long vacations.

A more affordable alternative: 

Revlon One-Step Volumizer Plus 2.0 hot air brush

We can't talk about viral hair tools without mentioning the Revlon One-Step Volumizer Plus. While it doesn't have nearly as many attachments or capabilities as the Shark or the Dyson, the $40 price tag earns it a place in the conversation. This hot air brush dries and styles damp hair, giving a shiny, bouncy blow-out for a fraction of the price. The oval brush with a 2.4-inch head size allows you to easily dry and flip the ends of your hair using the same simple technique you would to brush it. It features a few different settings: low, medium, high, and cool. If you're looking for something to simply add some bounce to your hair or just a more affordable alternative to the Dyson or Shark, this is a great intro to at-home blow-outs. 


  • Easy to use—my mom typically steers clear of most hair tools, but this has been her go-to for years. She uses it every morning before work and travels with it, too.
  • It works well—dries damp hair quickly and gives my hair a nice flip at the ends 
  • Much less expensive than other styling tools on the market


  • Fewer styling options—no capability to curl or wave hair
  • Bulkier to pack, as there are no removable attachments 
  • Not as long lasting: My mom and I both have had to purchase more than one of these over the years. After a lot of use, the bristles begin to break or bend and the heat settings become a bit unreliable. While I didn't mind buying a new one when it was time to retire my original Revlon tool because it's fairly inexpensive, it would ideally last longer.