I put Sydney Sweeney's favourite hair tool to the test

And it definitely lived up to the hype

BEAUTYcrew Beauty & Social Editor / September 06 2023

Is there any better feeling than a fresh-from-the-salon blowout? The answer is no – just ask Elle Woods or Sydney Sweeney. But for us mere mortals, recreating the feeling and those flawless blow-waves at home is near impossible to do at home, unless you have an in-house hairstylist of course. 

Enter: the Shark FlexStyle, a revolutionary hair tool that delivers a blowout Rachel Green would envy, with minimal effort. And it’s been hailed as the ultimate (if not better) Dyson Airwrap dupe. The tool is even responsible for Sweeney’s iconic Met Gala look, which is no surprise given her hairstylist Glen Oropeza is now an ambassador for Shark Beauty.

The chokehold that the Airwrap has (or had) on the TikTok beauty community was truly insane until the FlexStyle came along. And now the tool has finally landed in Australia. So obviously we had to put it to the test to find out what the hype was all about…

The product details

The Shark FlexStyle promises fast drying and effortless styling on all hair types with little to no heat damage. Just like its AirWrap counterpart, the FlexStyle transforms effortlessly from a hair dryer to a styling tool in one twist – but it’s almost half the price.

The tool also comes with six interchangeable attachments: an oval brush, a paddle brush, a diffuser, a styling concentrator nozzle and two auto-wrap curlers (one for the left, and one for the right).

$499 at Sephora

You can swap the FlexStyle attachments in and out at the push of a button, allowing you to dry, curl or straighten with a single tool. And although the storage box may be a tad bulky to fit all the accessories in it, the styler itself is sleek and lightweight, making it the perfect option for travelling.

As far as settings go, the FlexStyle features four temperature settings and three airflow settings, as well as a cool shot button to lock your style in place. So how exactly does it prevent heat damage? So glad you asked. Where other devices get hotter as they run, the FlexStyle measures and regulates temperature 1,000 times per second to ensure consistent air temperature.

So does it live up to the title of the Dyson Airwrap’s superior dupe? Scroll on to find out.

Shark FlexStyle review

As someone with thick, frizzy hair that has always struggled to hold a heat style, I must admit I didn’t have high hopes for the Shark FlexStyle. But of course I wanted to put it to the test – and boy was I proved wrong. Catch a quick recap here:

@beautycrewau PSA the Shark Flexstyle is 1000% worth the hype 🤩 And yes, it even works (and holds the perfect blowout) on long hair. #sharkflexstyletutorial #airwrapvsflexstyle #longhairstyling #flexstylereview #longhairblowout ♬ original sound - r & m <33

Starting with freshly washed hair, I applied my usual concoction of frizz-defying serums, oils and a heat protectant and clipped the styling concentrator into the FlexStyle. I always start drying with low to medium heat, so I switched the tool onto the second setting and began the process. I was truly surprised at just how fast my hair dried. Getting my hair to 70 per cent dry (which is when I swap out my hairdryer for a blow-dry brush) usually takes around 30 minutes, but with the FlexStyle it only took 10 minutes. The first green flag.

At this point, I added a styling mousse (highly recommended by the TikTok girlies for a longer lasting style) and combed through my hair. I then swapped the nozzle out for the paddle brush and clipped the top half of my hair up. I switched the tool onto the highest setting and ran the brush through my hair in small sections, focusing on the root to ensure it was completely dry. I repeated this through the rest of my hair until it was about 80 per cent dry. And then it was time for the main attraction: the auto-wrap curlers.

If you’ve ever seen a video of the FlexStyle in action, you’ll know that the curling attachments work kind of like magic, whipping the hair in and rolling it up in seconds. And trying it for the first time was just as easy as the influencers make it out to be. I followed the advice of the TikTokers before me, holding the hair in tight curls until it was hot to the touch then holding the cool shot button down until the hair was cool to the touch, switching the tool off and gently pulling it down.

I continued this in small sections – again, my hair was sectioned in half and I ended up with six little curls on the lower left section before swapping out for the right side auto-wrap curler. And I repeated the entire process on the entire right side of my head before finishing the top left section.

The entire curling process took around 25 minutes, and I was left with Goldilocks-style curls that I doused generously in the Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray ($46 at Sephora) – which smells as good as it locks my hair in place by the way – and left to set before raking my hands through to break up the curls.

The results? Stunning. My waves were bouncy, voluminous and super shiny. I did notice they had dropped a bit after a few hours, and the frizz started to show up, but that’s pretty normal for my hair. I must admit, I would have liked the waves to last a little longer than a day (they pretty much dropped out completely overnight), but maybe that comes down to technique.

After styling

After 5 hours

The verdict

Overall, I’m now a FlexStyle convert. The fact that I can achieve salon-worthy style using a single device is incredible in itself. The tool truly takes the hassle out of blow-drying with a round brush and ending up with a poufy, frizzy mess and damaged strands.

Yes the curling/waving process takes a while, but I’m going to put that down to being a beginner in the auto-wrap department. I’m solely using the FlexStyle to dry my locks now, and the paddle brush attachment is so convenient for when I want to dry and straighten my hair without it being completely flat. 

My auto-wrap technique definitely needs some improvement and I think I need to perfect my mix of hair oils and holding products to keep the frizz at bay. But it’s safe to say the FlexStyle has earned its place among my hairstyling arsenal. 

Main image: supplied

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Georgia Nelson is BEAUTYcrew's Beauty & Social Editor and resident Euphoria obsessee. You'll find her hard at work putting the latest TikTok beauty trends to the test or perfecting her skin care routine. Her latest obsession? Nailing the glazed donut aesthetic (move over, Hailey Bieber).