This Shark hair styler is a great holiday beauty buy, and it costs less than half the price of a Dyson Airwrap

Robert Hundley


Multi-use heat styling tools are trending, and it’s easy to see why. These hair tools can straighten, curl, blow-dry and diffuse hair for a salon-quality style at home. These multi-styling tools are a most-wanted holiday gift this year. But they can get pretty expensive — are they worth it? 

I tried the Shark FlexStyle air styling and drying system on my long, wavy hair. The results were dramatic.

Top products in this article:

Shark FlexStyle air styling and drying system, $270

Dyson Airwrap multi-styler Complete Long in Vinca blue/rosé, $600

Coco & Eve Silky Hair set, $60 (regularly $68)

I consider myself a heat styling expert. Like many Jewish girls from the San Fernando Valley, I have been straightening my naturally thick, wavy hair since I was 11 years old. I now have 18-years of blow-drying and flat-ironing experience (plus hair damage!) from Conair, BaByliss Pro, ghd and more under my belt. 

When Shark offered me the opportunity to test out a Shark FlexStyle air styling and drying system, I jumped at the chance. Ever since the TikTok-famous Dyson Airwrap appeared, vacuum-powered styling tools have been all the rage. But I’m a writer. I don’t have the budget for an ultra-trendy, $600 hair tool. 

At $270, the Shark FlexStyle is less than half the price of the Dyson hair tool. I figured if I tried the Shark system and loved it, I could recommend it to friends, family and readers who can afford it.

What it’s like to dry your hair with the Shark FlexStyle system

I started the process with freshly showered hair. My hair is pretty long, and it’s porous, meaning it absorbs and holds on to water. Drying my hair with a regular hair dryer typically takes about 20 minutes — and that’s without any styling. What I really like about the Shark device is that I can style my hair from different angles. The tool can be held like a wand, which is ideal for curling, and it can bend 90-degrees, which I prefer for drying and round brushing.

The hair tool in both positions.

Lily Rose

I decided to see how long it would take to dry my hair using an accessory that wasn’t just the drying nozzle. I opted for the oval brush. The Shark FlexStyle sounds like a vacuum when it’s turned on. This makes sense, since the device is made by Shark, a brand that makes top-rated vacuums.  

It took about 15 minutes to dry my hair using the oval brush, which is faster than any hair dryer I’ve ever used. The oval brush did a good job of straightening my strands, but my hair dried puffy. I think that if I had taken the time to go more slowly, I would have had sleeker results.

However, the puffiness didn’t matter too much. I was about to use the curling attachments, and social media had given me high expectations. 

What it’s like to curl your hair with the Shark FlexStyle system

This was the big moment. 

I had seen enough TikToks hyping the experience of curling hair with vacuum suction to feel like I sort of knew what I was doing. The Shark hair tool has two curling attachments. Each curling attachment curls its own direction. For more natural-looking curls, I’d advise swapping attachments every so often, just because no one’s hair curls in all the same way. 

As I said, my hair is long. Learning to pick it up with the Shark FlexStyle tool was a little bit of a process. It took more than a few tries to get it right. 


Lily Rose

My best advice: start with a small section of hair, and hold the curling tool at a slight angle. Place it near the lower half of your hair section. Move the tool closer towards your mirror (assuming you’re doing your hair in front of a mirror) and then back towards you. The Shark tool will suck up your hair and twist it around the curling rod of its own accord.  

Once I mastered the process, this hair tool created super bouncy, salon-worthy curls in seconds. Pardon the pun, but I was blown away.

I made this curl using the Shark FlexStyle. I finger-combed through it afterwards. I’m not trying to have ringlets!

Lily Rose

The Shark FlexStyle device also features a cool shot button to set your curls. After using heat to create the curl, I pressed the cool shot button and held my hair on the rod for another 10 to 15 seconds to really lock it in.

Shark FlexStyle air styling and drying system



This versatile multi-styling tool can dry wet hair, curl, volumize and smooth hair for the the perfect blowout. It includes four heat and three airflow settings that can be increased or decreased manually based on your preference, plus a cool shot button to lock in your style.

According to the brand, the Shark FlexStyle air styling and drying system minimizes heat damage during use. The tool measures and regulates temperatures 1,000 times per second to ensure consistent air temperature. The device comes with an oval brush, a paddle brush, a styling concentrator with rotatable nozzle and curling attachments.

I really like using the auto-wrap curlers to frame my face and create tousled curls in seconds. 

Shark FlexStyle air styling and drying system, $270

Shark FlexStyle air styling and drying system, $270

How does the Shark FlexStyle compare to other heat stylers?

I’ve tried countless heat stylers over the years, including the Revlon one-step volumizer hair dryer and hot air brush, the DryBar Double Shot blow-dryer and many curling and flat irons. 

If you’re looking for a multi-tool that will give you the most bang for your buck, go with the Shark FlexStyle. 

In both my professional and personal opinion, it’s a no-brainer. This styling tool can be used so many ways to create whatever hair style you’re after. It’s user-friendly. Snapping the styling attachments in and out of the device takes all of three seconds. Plus, at just $270, you can’t beat the price. 

Shark FlexStyle air styling and drying system, $270

Shark FlexStyle air styling and drying system, $270

My only critique? I’m a sucker for a flat iron. The Shark FlexStyle won’t give you the same pin-straight effect that a flat iron will. The Shark device is an excellent tool for drying and smoothing naturally wavy locks, but if you’re going for a totally straight look, stick with a flat iron. 

More top-rated hair tools and gift ideas

Does someone on your list want a trendy hair dryer, flat iron, heated hair styler or haircare gift set for the holidays? Start here. We’ve found the top-rated hair tools and haircare gift ideas for the holiday season. 

Some of these items are on sale during Black Friday.

Dyson Airwrap styler

Special edition Dyson Airwrap™ multi-styler Complete Long in Vinca Blue/Rosé


The Dyson Airwrap styler is designed to help you dry and style your hair with minimal heat. It has grown popular thanks to its ease of use, versatile styling options and ability to style hair while minimizing heat damage.

This summer, a new generation of the Airwrap was released. The new version of the Dyson Airwrap has a couple of improvements. The curler attachment has been updated to accommodate clockwise and counterclockwise curling. It also includes a new flyaway-reducing tool that smooths hair.

It’s always difficult to find the styler in stores or online thanks to high demand. But the Dyson Airwrap multi-styler Complete Long (for long hair) is available now on the Dyson site in a special edition Vinca blue/rosé hue. The Airwrap with the latest technology is also available for all hair lengths in a nickel/copper color.

Dyson Airwrap multi-styler Complete Long in Vinca blue/rosé, $600

Revlon one-step volumizer hair dryer and hot air brush



The Revlon one-step hair dryer and hot-air brush, a CBS Essentials bestseller, can dry and style your hair in one step. It has rave reviews on Amazon, where it boasts a 4.6-star rating. Verified buyers say it’s an ideal budget choice for people with curly, straight and wavy hair.

Revlon one-step volumizer hair dryer and hot air brush, $37 (regularly $40)

Dyson SuperSonic Hair Dryer



If you can’t get your hands on the Airwrap, try this other popular styling tool from Dyson. The Dyson SuperSonic Hair Dryer comes with five styling attachments to help you get your ideal look. This popular fast-drying gadget is suitable for all hair types. It offers fast drying and precision styling, allowing you to create stunning hairstyles quickly.

Dyson SuperSonic Hair Dryer, $430

T3 Edge heated smoothing and styling brush



This versatile, all-in-one styling brush from T3 can give your hair a smooth, shiny look with the stroke of a brush. It has three heat settings and can be used to straighten, wave or curl your hair.

T3 Edge heated smoothing and styling brush, $150 

Amika hair blow dryer brush



The Amika hair blow-dryer brush is a great mid-range alternative to the Dyson Airwrap. It’s designed to add volume, increase shine and eliminate frizz. This dryer brush is designed for all hair types.

Amika hair blow dryer brush, $100

Coco & Eve Silky Hair set


CoCo & Eve

I have wavy, dehydrated and damaged hair. The Coco & Eve Silky Hair set turned my strands from straw to silk. Both the mask and hair serum are made with coconut and fig — a good source of fatty acids that help strengthen and repair hair. I really like that the mask is made with argan oil. I have found that the ingredient is helpful for adding shine.

The real M.V.P. of the haircare set is the Miracle Hair Elixir. I apply a lot of heat to my hair, and usually my ends look and feel fried. This lightweight serum not only made my hair feel incredibly soft, it erased the look of my frazzled ends. Even my friends agree. A pal recently brushed against my ponytail and commented on how soft it felt and healthy it looked.

Plus, the hair mask and serum smell amazing.

Coco & Eve Silky Hair set, $60 (regularly $68)

Oribe Gold Lust Collection hair set

Oribe Gold Lust Collection Hair Set


For the most luxurious hair wash routine imaginable, go for Oribe. These splurge-worthy hair products have a scent that can be described as nothing short of expensive. This gift set includes the Gold Lust Repair and Restore shampoo, Gold Lust Repair and Restore conditioner and Gold Lust nourishing hair oil. 

The stunning box features original artwork by Japanese modern artist Kohei Kyomori.

Oribe Gold Lust Collection hair set, $115

Holiday gift guides

As always, check back to CBS Essentials for holiday gift guides for every special someone in your life. Check back for more throughout the season.

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