Engineering Story

Rethinking the hair  dryer

We started with the problem

Hair dryers with big bulky motors have to put them in the head – it's the only place they will fit. That’s why hair dryer design hasn’t changed since the 1960s.

Then found a better way

The Dyson digital motor V9 propels 13 litres of air per second, but it’s no wider than 27 mm. Just small enough to turn conventional engineering on its head.
James Dyson comparing large, conventional motor with smaller Dyson digital motor V9
"But to truly rethink the hair dryer, we had to understand the science behind hair." Steve Courtney Senior Engineer

So we built our own hair lab

We started by constructing our own hair laboratory within our Research and Development facility in Malmesbury, England.
Invested in hair research
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Miles of natural hair tresses

Devised new test methods

The equipment we needed didn’t exist – so we designed and built it. Industry test methods didn’t go far enough – so we went further.
Natural hair tresses

And created a global hair tress shortage

We wanted to test on real hair, so we bought £40,000 worth of natural tresses – and created a global shortage in the process.

We called in professional help

When you're using your hair dryer on average XX minutes a day, it needs to be comfortable to use. The Dyson Supersonic
Akin Konizi,  British Hairdresser of the Year, pictured styling in the Dyson hair lab with Dyson engineer

Prototype followed prototype

We researched. We designed. We developed. We tested. We went back to the drawing board. Every improvement came through iteration.

It took 50 months and 103 engineers

But finally, we had it: the Dyson Supersonic™ hair dryer.
“With our digital motor, we changed vacuuming, and then hand drying. Now we’re changing hair care.”
James Dyson signature
James Dyson signature
James Dyson Inventor

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