* Prices may differ from that shown
My last two hairdryers have been from Boots own range (the Boots Essentials 2000W hairdryer) and they've served me fairly well. However, they have a habit of becoming unusable after two or so years. The first one blew up mid blow-dry which scared the life out of me, and the second one just stopped working mainly due to the extremely twisted cord I suspect. As their lifespan appears to be fairly limited, I decided that buying a third Boots hairdryer was a false economy even though they retail at £12.99 apiece. This time around I decided to try a different and more expensive model in the hope it would make it past the two year mark. Enter stage right my brand new hairdryer from Vidal Sassoon. The official name of my new hairdryer is the Daily Hydration Dryer and the model number is the VSDR5825UK. I purchased my new hairdryer from Boots for £19.99.
*** FEATURES ***
The Vidal Sassoon Daily Hydration Dryer comes packaged in a stylish looking white box with purple and grey accents. Inside you get a rather brief instruction leaflet. The instruction leaflet is tiny - there's a diagram of the hairdryer showing you what each switch is for, some safety instructions and the contact details in case of problems. The instruction booklet is also your guarantee as this hairdryer comes with a two year guarantee (provided you keep the receipt from where you purchased it too).
So, onto the hairdryer itself. The hairdryer is a lovely shade of purple matched with grey. That's really why I bought it. I love purple - it's my favourite colour and it will match our bedroom, which is painted lilac and mauve. After I'd seen the wondrous purpleness of the dryer, everything else was just details. I suspect I would still have bought the dryer if it had a speed of 600w and it took me an hour to blow-dry my hair every morning such was the loveliness of the colour. Luckily, this dryer is not all about the looks, and it does have all the necessary bells, whistles and buttons to give me a quick blow dry. The dryer has two switches side by side on the handle which give you three different heat and two different speed settings of up to 2200 watts. Further up the handle you have the cool shot button, which I've just found out is what you are supposed to use on your hair once you've achieved your desired style. Evidently your style can be set with a flow of cool air. I can honestly say I had no idea that's what this button was for on this or any other dryer I've ever owned. I've always used it when my head or hair feels a bit hot! You live and learn.
The back of the dryer has an easily removed air inlet which you can take off to clean the dryer if it gets furred up with fluff etc. The dryer also comes with a concentrator nozzle which needs to be firmly pushed into place and is used for "precision styling and smoothing of hair follicles". I just pushed mine onto the end of my dryer on the day I unpacked it and that's where it will stay until the day it goes to the great hairdryer graveyard in the sky. I always find my head and hair get far too hot too quickly if I try and dry my hair without a concentrator nozzle on the end of my dryer. Hence my wedging it straight into position.
The dryer comes with a 1.8m swivel cord which is long enough for me, as it reaches quite easily to the nearest plug socket behind my dressing table. However, many reviewers on Amazon, Boots and Argos have complained that the 1.8m cord is simply not long enough and it could do with additional length. My biggest concern with any hairdryer cord is keeping it straight. My previous two Boots hairdryer cords both became unbelievably twisted and snarled, which is rather dangerous after a while. Indeed my last Boots hairdryer stopped working altogether as the cord had twisted so badly. Its early days for my Vidal Sassoon model but I'm hoping that the fact the cord on this model swivels may prevent it twisting quite so badly. Failing that, had anyone got any good tips on how to prevent it?
This model also has a hang up loop in the handle, but it's rather rubbish to be honest. The hole is so tiny you'd need a small metal hook to hang it up, so I just ignore the Hang Up Loop on this model and leave the dryer resting on my dressing table. The hanging loop on this model may be rubbish, but I'm pretty impressed with the folding handle on my new dryer. With a quick twist to the handle you can fold the dryer up into a much more ergonomical shape. Whilst this dryer is never going to be as small as a travel hairdryer, with the handle folded away it's pretty damn close and would definitely be a contender for my suitcase when I next go on my holidays.
Finally the science bit about Ionic Technology which I'll let Vidal Sassoon tell you about, as it all sounds like hairdresserly marketing techno babble to me - "Featuring an innovative on board Ionic generator this dryer produces four times more Ions than a standard hair dryer meaning that the natural moisture of your hair is protected". Good to know you've getting your four a day in Ions with this hairdryer Vidal! That's me sorted with my five a day in the kitchen and four a day in the bedroom :o)
*** OPERATING ***
The dryer has a pistol grip handle and it's made with good sturdy ridged plastic so it grips well when you are manoeuvring it around your head. Although the dryer feels much bulkier and bigger than my previous Boots one, it's still easy to lift and hold in position as I style my hair.
As the dryer has 2200 watts so it's pretty powerful and fast to dry one's hair. I use mine with the Concentrator Nozzle on the end as it makes it easier to control the flow of hot air, and it also keeps things a little cooler for my head. If things do get a little too hot, it's easy enough to reach the heat and speed settings on the dryer which are positioned half way down the handle. With a quick flick to the switch on the left hand side you can push the button down a notch to a lower heat setting and right next to it is the switch to turn the speed down a tad too. The dryer is fairly noisy so by reducing the speed you can also quieten the dryer down a bit too.
If things are still a little too hot on your head, the cool shot button is located just at the top of the handle and you can flick that switch for a blast of cooler air. I must say that this button is not too reachable mid-dry, and you need to hold it away from your head a tiny bit to operate it.
*** WASH AND GO ***
I have shoulder length hair in a flicked bob short of shape. My hair is fairly easy to maintain, but it is incredibly thick so it takes some time to get it dry. I cannot be doing with washing my hair in the mornings as it just takes too long to dry it as it's so thick. I therefore wash my hair every night when I have a bath and then leave it to dry naturally during the evening. However, as my hair is so thick, it's rarely completely dry when I go to bed three to four hours after my bath. I therefore use my hairdryer to give it a quick blast to get the roots dry before I go to bed. If I go to bed with damp hair I wake up looking truly frightful the next day and it takes an age to sort out in the morning! My hairdryer gets more use in the mornings when I use it to shape and style my hair for the day ahead. I inevitably spray my hair with a fine misting of water and then add a quick application of either mousse or styling gel. By dampening it with water and squirting on styling gloop, I can then blow dry my hair into an acceptable shape in about five to seven minutes. Job done.
I must say that my new dryer does dry my hair pretty damn quickly if I have it on the highest heat seating and the fastest speed. It takes roughly five to seven minutes of blow drying and styling to get it into shape after I've dampened it and applied mousse or styling gel. However, I cannot tolerate the highest heat setting on this dryer for more than two minutes as it gets pretty darn hot far too quickly. I therefore tend to flick it down a notch to the second highest heat setting for the remainder of my morning blow dry. In the past I would have held my finger on the cool button on my Boots hairdryer when the heat got a little too unbearable, but on my new Vidal Sassoon dryer the cool button is quite awkward to reach with my finger mid-style. You really need to move the dryer away from your head to reach the switch and that just slows you down on a busy morning when you're in a rush to get ready.
My hair has never suffered from a frizz problem as its more or less dead straight. I therefore cannot really comment on how effective the Ionic generator is on this dryer. I must say that the dryer has not made my hair look dry or straw like so the claims of it keeping one's hair silky and smooth are true. My hair still looks to be in tip-top condition and is always glossy and smooth looking after using the hair dryer. Maybe the Ionic control level of this dryer is doing wonders for my moisture levels in my hair, or maybe it's the products I use on it. Who knows?
*** WHAT'S NOT SO GOOD? ***
The hairdryer is quite a bit bulkier than I expected it to be. It does have that foldable handle which reduces the size if you're travelling, but it's still a fairly large dryer. On the plus side, its largish size does not equate to heaviness in weight and this dryer is easy to lift and manoeuvre being just over half a kilogramme in weight. Do bear in mind that if you prefer a quiet and purring dryer then this one is not going to bit the bill. On its highest heat and fastest speed setting this dryer is none too quiet. That doesn't really bother me as I want speed and quickness of drying above all else, but my partner did complain it was incredibly noisy* when I barged into the bedroom and switched it on at 7am last week (*or maybe he meant me rather than the dryer....).
Whilst I love the rather funky looking purple and grey colours of my dryer, it's actually made out of a matte plastic rather than a shiny one. This means it shows up every single greasy mark going. If you've just put some wax or styling lotion in your hair you're going to have to remember to wash your hands thoroughly before you pick up the dryer otherwise you could easily get mucky marks or greasy smears on the dryer.
Looking at the customer reviews on Argos, Amazon and Boots there are as many negative as there are positive reviews on this model. Most of them complain that the cord is too short, but all tend to agree that it dries hair quite quickly. However, there are a rather alarming number of reviews complaining that their dryer stopped working after a few months or that it simply blew up. With this in mind, do remember to keep your receipt as the dryer does have that two year guarantee with it. If mine does blow up or stop working I'll be straight into Boots for a refund.
*** AND FINALLY... ***
I'm more than happy with my new dryer as it does the job I need it to do. It dries my hair quickly and easily and I am able to achieve the hair style I want in about five minutes. My hair looks glossy and shiny and holds its shape well throughout the day.
I will admit that this dryer is noisy, but I'm happy to put up with the noise as I prefer speed over tranquillity when I'm in a rush to get ready for the day ahead. The dryer is little bulkier than I expected it to be, but it's still lightweight enough to make styling one's hair easy enough. And I love the fact that the handle can be folded away to make it more compact for travel.
Recommended with four stars. It loses a star for the poor positioning of the cool shot button, the fact that the matte plastic is going to show every single greasy mark going and its noisiness. However, these are only minor issues for me, and the fact it dries my hair so quickly and easily gives it more than a good recommendation in my book.
*** PRICE AND AVAILABILITY ***
I bought my hairdryer at Boots for £19.99. The link can be viewed at http://www.boots.com/en/Vidal-Sassoon-Purple-Daily-Hydration-Hairdryer_1236086/. However, since I purchased my dryer at the beginning of August, Boots have reduced this model from £19.99 to £14.99 (most irritating that I purchased it a month too early...). Argos currently have the dryer on sale at £14.99 too but Tesco is out of the running by offering it at £20.76. Amazon are selling it for £16.49, but it has the rather ominous message against it saying "Item Under Review. This product is not currently offered by Amazon.co.uk because a customer recently told us that the item he or she received was not as described".
*** THE TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS ***
* 2200 watts
* Compact and lightweight model at 0.52 kilogram
* Folding handle for easy storage and packing
* Variable temperature with 2 x speed settings and 3 x heat settings
* Cool shot button
* Ionic conditioning locks in moisture to keep hair healthy and frizz-free
* Concentrator nozzle for controlled styling
* 1.8m swivel cord
* Removable filter for easy cleaning
* Hanging loop for easy storage
* Manufacturer's 2 year guarantee
* Size is 21.5cm (H) x 28cm (W) x 6.2cm (D)
Having short hair and being male, I only use a hair dryer (literally) once a flood (perhaps if I need to go out somewhere, its freezing outside and I've just had a shower). However my beloved who has longish and very thick hair (horsehair as I often tease her) uses her hair dryer almost every day.
A hair dryer isn't something my beloved thinks much about and it usually sits plugged in (with with switch off) until she uses it again. The other day however I noticed that with all the twisting of the wire caused by use, that the electric cable had badly bent and cracked exposing raw copper to the elements. Given that my beloved wasn't in my best books at that particular moment I was vaguely tempted to do a Ken Barlow (sadly I should expand: have a wife that dies of electrocution via a dodgy hairdryer, rather than anything the actor that plays dependable Ken has been arrested for recently), but I thought I'd better mention it so as to avoid any award questions down at the yard.
So it was that muggings here got the job of buying my beloved a new hairdryer as I work in the centre of town and she doesn't.
The purchasing process
My 2 female admin officers both looked up in shock when I told them I had to nip out to buy my wife a hair dryer. They told me afterwards that their respective partners would never dream of walking into a vipers den like that, negotiate with a pushy sales assistant and then risk the wrath of a disappointed partner. I left a little admiration in their eyes as I didn't tell them that my beloved really isn't too interested in hairdryers (which is why she was at risk of a near death experience in the first place).
At the shop I did indeed find a rather bewildering array of hairdryers, but in the end my choice was fairly easy. I didn't want to spend a bomb and I knew my beloved would only put her foot down with handling a mock leopard skin or zebra look plastic hairdryer.
If you have read many of my reviews you will know that I detest meaningless marketing and I did have some trouble with this product as it is called the Daily Hydration. Great I'm about to purchase a hairdryer that adds water! I can imagine a room of marketers struggling with selling the concept of a wet hairdryer. In a bit of fake pseudo science it seems that my "hydrating" hairdryer generates ions so to not leave your hair frizzy and brittle.
The hairdryer is quite attractive looking being a matt purple plastic, and fairly solidly built. That "matt" bit seems brave as if I was using it, my matt plastic would be smeared with unsightly finger marks from the hair product I use.
The handle snaps back if you want it to so it will more easily fit into a travel bag. This seems quite a snazzy idea and the handle is quite firm and fixed in the open position.
The hairdryer has 3 heat settings and 2 speed settings. To paraphrase Rhod Gilbert, I guess it allows you the choice of lingering over your hairdrying rather than getting the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible by putting it on max.
My beloved was initially suspicious of that handle as she wondered whether it would be loose as it is flexible, but this wasn't so. She was less impressed with the ion creating facility in the hairdryer as our fire alarm which sits in the hallway has an ionising detecting system (rather than be a simple smoke alarm) so of course on first use she set off the fire alarm which put her in fantastic mood.
The following day she had moved around the corner a little out of the fire alarms way, and all has been well since. She confirms it dries her hair just as well as her old one did, and hasn't noticed any great shakes with the ionising generating capacity of her new hair dryer.
I listen to it every day and can confirm it has the noise of a hairdryer fan. It's not shy at making itself heard, but it's probably no louder or quieter than any other hairdryer. It's a 2200w power, and has a two year guarantee (assuming you are going to keep the receipt of a product costing £20 kicking around in a safe place for 2 years).
Old Vidal died 12 months ago at the age of 84 (the son of a Greek immigrant), so it is stirring to think that one of his last acts was to design an ion generating hairdryer. What's that... he didn't? He was a British hairdresser, although he spent much of his time in the US.
My hairdryer was made in China, and in hairdryer terms the brand is owned by Helen of Troy Limited a Bermuda based company. You can bet they pay a lot of tax.