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The science behind hair

Solving real hair problems with innovative engineering.

Female model with type 4 hair looking in front

The hair lifecycle

  • 7 The Lifespan of a hair in years
  • 100 Strands which may fall out each day
  • 150,000 The number of hairs on a human head

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Science, not guesswork

At Dyson, we want to know everything there is to know about hair - down to its chemistry. We're obsessed with hair science and use our research to engineer our haircare technology. No guesswork, no gimmicks, just tried and tested science.

Male model with type 1 hair looking infront

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What your hair type means for you

To know your hair’s needs and look after it properly, it can help to understand your hair structure and type. Hair shape is categorised into four broad groups, with each then being split into three subtypes – A, B, C – to describe the intensity of the curl pattern.

  • Line drawing of type 1 hair

    Type 1 A, B, C

    Straight to wavy hair. Straighter hair shapes have a round cross-sectional area. This hair type can require more regular washing than other types of hair, in to avoid a build-up of oils.

  • Line drawing of type 2 hair

    Type 2 A, B, C

    Wavy to curly hair. Type 2 hair has a wavy ’S’ shape with a round cross-sectional area and is flatter than type 1 hair. This hair structure also requires regular washing as oil can progress down the hair strand more easily.

  • Line drawing of type 3 hair

    Type 3 A, B, C

    Curly hair with tighter ringlets. Curly hair can experience dryness due to a lack of sebum (our natural oil) across the hair shaft. It’s important not to use excessive heat when styling, to try and retain as much natural oil as possible.

  • Line drawing of type 4 hair

    Type 4 A, B, C

    Curly to coily hair. Type 4 hair structure has a flatter, more ellipsoid shape to form tight coils. These can tangle more easily and be fragile when exposed to excessive heat. Type 4 hair can also be washed less regularly.

Hair density vs hair thickness

Hair science doesn’t only come down to shape. Thickness and density also impact the hair chemistry of a strand and the way that hair should be styled. Density is the number of strands you have, while thickness refers to the width of the strand.

If you're not sure what strand width your hair is, take a piece and rub between two fingers. If it feels like cotton, your hair is coarse. If you can barely feel it, your hair is fine.

Close up of hair strands growing from the scalp barrier

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Avoiding exposure to excessive heat

  • Close up of a scalp

    Maintaining scalp health

    Dyson's Intelligent heat control helps protect scalp health by reducing exposure to excessive heat. Helping to maintain your scalp's moisture levels when styling.

  • Close up of a hair cortex coated in water

    Retaining moisture

    Excessive heat can make hair more porous – meaning it can gain or lose water easily. The imbalance can weaken hair and reduce style retention.

  • Close up of hair cortex breaking

    Preventing breakage

    Overexposure to excessive temperatures can weaken the chemistry of hair - no matter the hair type. Losing strength and elasticity over time can make it more prone to breakage.

  • Close up of a healthy hair cortex coated which looks smooth and shiny

    Maintaining shine

    Hair can look dull, if damaged, as a result of cuticles lifting and scattering light. But when hair is healthy and aligned, it reflects light evenly – appearing shiny.

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What is a healthy scalp?

A close animation of the scalp barrier

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The Dyson Solution

At Dyson we strive to create machines which avoid excessive heat. By precisely engineering technology for your hair type, we can create the great styles while avoiding damage.

Models using the Dyson hair care range to dry or style their hair
  • The Dyson Airwrap multi-styler in Nickel Copper

    Dyson Airwrap™ multi-styler

    Combining powerful airflow with Intelligent heat control, the Dyson Airwrap™ multi-styler can create multiple styles using the Coanda effect. Hair tools backed by hair science, not excessive heat.

  • The Dyson Supersonic hair dryer in Nickel Copper

    Dyson Supersonic™ hair dryer

    The Dyson Supersonic™ hair dryer protects scalp health by quickly drying with no excessive heat. Precision styling with controlled airflow, to support the chemistry of hair and embrace its natural shape.

  • The Dyson Corrale hair straightener in Nickel Copper

    Dyson Corrale™ straightener

    The cord-free Dyson Corrale™ straightener features flexing manganese copper alloy plates, for enhanced styling. Designed for more control and reduced reliance on heat, for healthy strands that hold shape for longer.

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Avoiding mechanical damage

Using abrasive, physical tools on your hair can roughen cuticles and cause strand friction, affecting hair structure at a deep level. Dyson has invested £100m into global hair laboratories to create devices which are specifically designed to avoid breakage.

Model with type 1 hair brushing wet hair with the Dyson Paddle brush while drying with the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer
  • The Dyson Vented Barrel brush being used when drying the hair with the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer

    Specifically engineered accessories

    Improve your hair styling routine and support hair structure with our range of accessories. Thoroughly researched, each accessory has been prototyped numerous times until we’re completely satisfied with the performance and endurance.

  • Model showing Dyson Supersonic Flyaway attachment

    Research-led attachments

    Engineered to upgrade and enhance your styling routine, create versatile styles and finish your look while avoiding excessive heat. Created with your hair health in mind, they have been designed to be comfortable to use on your hair and scalp.

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Owner support

  • Register your machine


  • Explore accessories


  • Find the right part


  • Expert support

1Thermal damage measured by hair strength, when creating an equivalent straight style using minimal heat. Tested on Corrale with flexing plates vs Corrale with solid plates.

2For use on dry or straightened hair.