The first instance in recorded history of hair straightening dates back to ancient Egypt, where both women and men used hot iron plates to flatten their strands. The technology has come a long way since then, but the basic mechanism has not—we still use some version of hot plates to straighten our locks. In today’s hectic world, we’re looking to straighten our hair faster, better, and with less damage. Dyson’s newest beauty gadget, the Corrale flat iron, promises to edge out the competition in every category.
I purchased the limited edition gift set which included the straightener, charger, travel wrap, plus the bonus comb and brush. The comb was a definite bust with extremely brittle prongs that snap on the first hair snag. The brush, however, was a surprising win as it has longer-than-average bristles that detangle my dense hair in one pass without sectioning.
As always, Dyson makes an effort to combine function with style. The packaging and the tools have a luxury feel with a slight industrial touch, reminding us of Dyson’s massive $43 million R&D expenditure on the Corrale. Although I was tempted by the signature fuschia and gunmetal version, I chose the electric purple so that this tool would stand out in the drawer amongst my many other hair tools. The hairbrush’s purple handle is real, grooved metal with a nice weighty feel.
The straightener can be used cordless or wired, and has a mini digital screen interface on the shaft of the handle that beeps when you press the buttons and beeps when it’s fully charged. I really appreciated that the heat controls are completely out of reach of my fingers during use—a common pain point in most straighteners (ever accidentally turn off your straightener in mid-pass?). The major functional disappointment is that the charge only lasts approximately 30 minutes, which isn’t enough time for us long-haired gals to complete a full session. The charger is a bit of an eyesore and unstable, therefore it’s not something I’d want to keep out on the counter because I’d hate looking at it and I’d be afraid of knocking this $500 gadget off its perch.
But how and how well does it work on actual hair? To be fair, the main reason I bought it was not for looks but on the hope that its unique “flexing plates” would straighten my hair faster than ever before. On that front, I can say that, yes, it does straighten faster and with fewer passes than my FHI, Hot Tools, and CHI irons. However, I wouldn’t say that it’s a one-pass wonder unless I separate my hair into itty-bitty sections. My fine but dense hair (in other words, fine strands but a lot of them) has always required a great deal of time sectioning. The Corrale is the fastest on the market, to be sure, but it still can’t straighten a big group of hair in one go. If you don’t have dense hair, it seems that it would save much more time for you than it did for me.
And lest we forget, let’s talk traveling with the Dyson Corrale. The included travel wrap is sumptuous velvet, but not very practical with its ribbon-tie design. The ribbons are short and slick, so they won’t hold a knot and are likely to fray with repeated use. It seems that the straightener would easily fall out of the wrap in a jumbled suitcase. And because of the inner technology, the Corrale is treated as a mini-computer at TSA checkpoints. That’s right, you have to engage an air-safety pin and take the Corrale out for individual scanning at the airport. As much as I love the Corrale at home, I’ll stick with my reliable BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Mini on trips.