Dyson explains science behind SuperSonic

Reveals hair care research.

It has been almost two years since Dyson released its “game-changing” Supersonic hair dryer after six years in development. This week, Dyson held an exclusive media event to reveal its hair care research findings and the serious consequences of heat damage to hair.

The Dyson study found most Australian women (89%) say they are either ‘concerned’ or ‘very concerned’ about heat damage, but more than a third (35%) still use their hair dryer on full heat. Further, 68% of Australian women are unaware that using a hair dryer on full heat can cause irreparable damage, including breakage, excessive dryness, split ends, shedding, reduced elasticity, dullness and rough texture.

Appliance Retailer sat down with Dyson design engineer, Fred Howe, who was in Sydney for the event, to understand the science behind Supersonic and how Dyson has revolutionised the hair dryer market.

“We have a hundreds of engineers that specifically work on motors specific to our products. When you look at the hair dryer market, it has remained the same since the 1960s and the reason for that is the bottleneck in technology. They only have two motors to choose from, one is small and weak, designed for the inexpensive models, and the other is a bulky and heavy motor. It is not easy to optimise the motor as we have done.

“Essentially our V9 motor and our expertise in air flow and motors facilitated us being able to enter a market that has remained relatively the same for such a long time. We are all about solving problems that others seem to ignore. It just seemed wide open for us.

“We invest 8 million Pounds into research and development every week and the reason why, is to give our engineers complete freedom. I jumped on the Supersonic project as soon as it moved from NPI (new product innovation) to NPD (new product development) and was involved in the prototyping and the challenge to make it a reality. I believe there were about 366 prototypes of the Supersonic but what do you class as a prototype?

“Dyson is moving into a number of categories now and we are transitioning from development of a single product to being able to build a platform technology that can be transferred between different products. We are no longer just a hardware company, but also a software company.

“The foundation of the Supersonic is hair science and what we learn is that healthy hair is naturally shiny, strong, elastic and easy to style and will hold its style but is a dead cell so its health needs to be maintained. One of the key types of damages is heat. Therefore, we created a purpose-built digital motor that is completely revolutionary. It is small enough to fit in the handle of the hair dryer, it spins eight times faster and is half the weight of traditional motors, which results in high pressure and controlled but high velocity air flow to dry hair quickly. We constantly regulate and measure the hair flow (20 times per second) to ensure the air flow coming out is healthy for the hair and is below 150 degrees Celsius.”

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