It’s a cool November morning at Dyson’s headquarters in Malmesbury, England, and the secrecy and security around its next launch feels especially heightened. Beauty editors from as far away as New Zealand have flown in, but if we want to share on social media what we’re up to, we are strictly forbidden from even hinting that anything new is being previewed. Instead, we are instructed to say that we are simply getting a behind-the-scenes look at its HQ , nothing more. The company is notoriously protective of its technology, and, as such, we all have to wear armbands that say “PRESS” so that it’s clear to employees that we are not there to…spy? Even in the cafeteria, the cooks eye us suspiciously.
In truth, we are there to be introduced to the Corrale, Dyson’s take on the flatiron, which, after seven years in development, is finally ready to be revealed. Like all of the brand’s previous innovations, it is the result of addressing common frustrations by creating forward-thinking technologies. After doing a global survey centred on how people style their hair, the company discovered that most consumers’ issues were related to heat, such as “drying out the hair or that dull look caused by heat damage,” says Sandra Lup, design engineer. There were also “concerns about safety, burning smells, the feeling that your hair is being damaged by the heat.”
But as anyone who has wrestled with a hot tool knows, searing temperatures are what make styling hair possible. “What heat does basically is break the hydrogen bonds in the hair,” says Lup. “When you apply tension to the hair, you are compressing [it], which means that you’re reshaping those hydrogen bonds into a new shape and building a certain amount of control.” The problem with conventional flatirons is that when the plates come together, it’s the hair in the middle that gets the most heat exposure. The hair at the edges tends to fall out, so it doesn’t get compressed, which often means going over the same area numerous times. Dyson’s solution was to create flexing plates, which allow for more control. Made from a manganese-copper alloy that’s a combination of six metals, “they’re keeping all the hair strands in between the plates, which means that tension and heat are applied a lot more equally to the section that you’re styling,” says Lup. As a result, lower temperatures can get the job done. “We can use 20 ̊C to 40 ̊C less heat for achieving the same style,” she adds.
And that temperature is kept in check using what the company calls “intelligent heat control.” “What we’re doing is measuring the temperature of the plates a hundred times a second,” says Lup. This ensures that it’s accurate to what the sensor is saying, which Dyson claims most competitors fail at. There are also three temperature settings – 165 ̊C, 185 ̊C and 210 ̊C – to be used according to your hair type and style. Oh, it’s also cordless and has the smallest battery pack the company has ever created.
TL;DR: A Quick Review of the Dyson Corrale
– The Dyson Corrale is Dyson’s take on a hair straightener.
– It’s cordless. It takes 70 minutes to fully charge, then provides 30 minutes of styling time. (It also comes with a cord, should you just want to plug it in.)
– It has fancy flexible plates for better, more precise styling with less heat – Dyson says this will reduce heat damage on hair up to 50 percent.
– It has three heat settings – 165 ̊C, 185 ̊C and 210 ̊C. A sensor measures the temperature 100 times a second (!!) to ensure consistency.
– It’s $650 Canadian.
A version of this article originally appeared in the April 2020 issue of ELLE Canada. Subscribe here.
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