Dyson has launched its third haircare product as it continues its commitment to disrupting the women's beauty industry.
he 'Corrale' hair straightener is an ergonomically designed cord-free styling device, seven years in the making. Dyson's foray into the haircare market began in 2016 when it launched the Supersonic hair dryer, a now-cult product with stylists and consumers, a move they made after identifying the opportunity for growth and duality of technological capabilities already present in their hoover range.
"We had a lot of knowledge on motors at Dyson, we had air flow technology understanding from our vacuums and environmental control. All of this together fit so well in an area that hasn’t had much innovation," Sandra Lup, advanced designer engineer at Dyson told the Irish Independent.
Following on from the Supersonic's success, they leaned into their popularity with the Airwrap (which had 100,000 people on its waiting list as recently as December 2019) and have expressed their commitment as major players in the haircare game with the launch of the Corrale. Each launch attracts a frenzy of attention, not only because of the novelty excitement synonymous with a Dyson launch, but its price tag.
The Corrale is priced at €499, a mid-priced product in their personal care range, but still a few steps above the average price of a hair straightener on the wider market.
Production of the Corrale cost €25m in total, accounting for research, development and testing, but is still a drop in the bucket of the €100m they are investing in their personal care laboratories around the world.
Ms Lup said it's their mission to "solve the problems that others ignore", namely minimising heat damage that comes with traditional haircare devices, as the brand intends on overtaking the haircare market in the same way they transformed the hoover industry for decades.
"We were working on the straightener in parallel with the Airwrap. It’s all about looking at what are the current solutions for styling hair and understanding the frustration consumers have. Our goal is to protect the natural health of hair, other devices that create style, straighteners were the obvious choice and create damage to hair because conventional straighteners use extreme heat to style hair and that was an area where we figured we could use new technology to solve the problem."
James Dyson, founder and chief engineer, said they have spent the last number of years exploring "the science of style, seeking to understand what makes hair smooth, shiny and glossy, and what makes it dull, damaged and lifeless. We have been worried about the style results and heat damage from flat plate straighteners."
The Corrale's unique selling point is its plate-flexing technology, allowing the same effect at a lower temperature (165 degrees in comparison to the average 185 degrees), and they claim it reduces damage by 50%. Its cordless design was ergonomically tested to reflect the main behaviours of users in different markets around the world and it charges in 70 minutes for 30 minutes of styling on-the-go.
During its seven-year analysis, they developed a manganese copper alloy plate using six metals "to provide the optimum flexibility, strength and thermal conduction."
"We look at the hair science: how do you use heat and other aspects to create the style? The different types of damage, analyse our competitors and implement changes," Ms Lup explained.
"We started fundamental testing at what do the current products do. You have three elements that are providing style: the heat and when applied to hair, the hydrogen bond breaks; then you have tension, when you apply tension into hair that is hot, you are able to compress it and re-shape it; then the third aspect which the competitor products don’t do so much is control. If you’re able to apply control, you’re able to apply heat and tension in a uniform way."
'Robust testing' includes sending all Dyson engineers on a hairstyling course to ascertain a nuanced understanding of the subject, and other unconventional methods like asking male engineers to grow their own hair for testing, or straightening their beards.
The Corrale is currently using technology exclusively through 12 patents, with an additional 23 patents pending and "robustness testing" which involves putting new products through the proverbial - and literal - ringer before launch means Dyson employees were given home trials of the products to test it in its intended environment.
It is available to buy in the following Dyson Mall Demo Zones: Dundrum Town Centre, Swords Pavilions, Liffey Valley shopping centre and Stephen's Green Shopping centre.