And the results might surprise you.
I’ve recently found giving myself a Dry Bar-inspired blow out in the comfort of my own bathroom gives me great joy. Not only does it make me feel great, glam, and gorgeous, it also saves me quite a bit of dough. The only downside to this little luxury is that it’s time-consuming (around 30 minutes to perfectly style my nearly shoulder-length hair). This detail does not jibe at all with my habit of waking up 20 minutes before I have to be on the train—most days I settle for approximately seven minutes of aiming the blow dryer at my hair, shrugging, and then putting it up in a pony tail. That said, I’m always looking for ways to speed up my routine: So far, I’ve found a life-saving helper (a suction-cup mount) and a miraculous product (Dry Bar’s Hot Toddy Heat & UV Protectant), but I still haven’t found anything that helps me get the half-hour hair I love in the time I have when running late.
Recently, Revlon’s new 360 Surround styler caught some buzz for being a new take on an old standard. Not only could it work as a standard “horizontal” blow dryer (one that blows out at your hair), but it also had a nozzle that would twist to a “vertical” position, allowing you to place your hair in between heated, blowing vents. For those having trouble picturing it, it’s sort of like those expensive Dyson hand dryers at fancy restaurants where you place your hands in between the two blades of air. As someone always looking for a shortcut, I was excited by the idea that I could potentially just slip my hair through the slit and—ta-da!—have beautiful hair.
And once I got my hands on a dryer, I found out that it was like that—kind of. It’s recommended that when using the hair dryer, you start drying your roots with the classic function, and then turn the nozzle to the 360-degree function to dry the rest of your strands. When doing this, I noticed that the one thing the hair dryer is really good at is tackling the front of your hair. It was remarkably easy to maneuver a round brush on the front sections of my hair. It gave me a really sleek and straight style, as if I had used a flat iron. However, it did not have the bounce or volume I get when I use my other blow dryer and a round brush.
Once I got to the back portion of my head, the whole experienced changed. It was a total mess. The blow dryer is chunky, so it was difficult trying to maneuver my head and the tool so I could insert my hair at the correct angle. Eventually, I found it so frustrating that I ended up switching the nozzle back to the classic function and just doing it that way. The dryer is noticeably less powerful than the one I usually use (my beloved Theorie Saga Airshine dryer—a trusty beauty tool that has, sadly, been discontinued!), and therefore took a little longer to dry. In all, the process took maybe 15-20 minutes to get a sleek style, leaving me somewhere between my running late style and my professional-looking 30 minute process.
The bottom line? If you’re game to accept that learning how to maneuver the hair dryer will be a process, then go for it. I guarantee people more coordinated (or with longer hair) than I can do amazing things with this. But if you’re impatient like me, I think it’s better to invest in a higher power blow dryer that takes less arm work.