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The science behind hair

Solving real hair problems with innovative engineering.

A row of hair samples in a science lab

The hair lifecycle

  • 7 Lifespan of a hair in years
  • 100 Up to 100 hair strands are lost each day
  • 150,000 There can be as many as 150,000 hairs on a human head


Science, not guesswork

At Dyson, we want to know everything there is to know about hair. We're obsessed with the science behind hair and use it to engineer our technology. No guesswork, no gimmicks, just tried and tested science.

Male model with type 1 hair looking infront


What your hair type means for you

Understanding your hair type can help you learn how to define and take care of your hair – and choose the best technology for you. We can roughly categorise 'hair shape' into four main groups. Each is then split into three subtypes – A, B, C – to describe the intensity of the curl pattern, with ‘A’ being the looser shape.

  • Line drawing of type 1 hair

    Type 1 A, B, C

    Straight to wavy hair. Straighter hair has a round cross-sectional area. This hair type can require washing more regularly than other types of hair 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 is often described as a wavy ’S’ shape with a round cross-sectional area, but is flatter than type 1 hair. This hair type 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 suffer from dryness due to a lack of sebum across the hair shaft. It’s important not to use excessive heat when styling, and retaining as much natural oil as possible is crucial.

  • Line drawing of type 4 hair

    Type 4 A, B, C

    Curly to coily hair. Type 4 hair 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 thickness can be made up of two factors – density and strand width. Density is the amount of strands you have, while width is the thickness 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


Avoiding exposure to excessive heat

  • Close up of a scalp

    Maintaining scalp health

    Dyson's Intelligent heat control helps protect the scalp barrier from 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 bonds in the hair. 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.


What is a healthy scalp?

A close animation of the scalp barrier


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, not excessive heat.

  • The Dyson Supersonic hair dryer in Nickel Copper

    Dyson Supersonic™ hair dryer

    The Dyson Supersonic™ hair dryer is fast drying with no excessive heat. For precision styling with controlled airflow, to embrace hair's 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.


Avoiding mechanical damage

Using abrasive, physical tools on your hair can roughen cuticles and cause strand friction. 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 or keep your machine protected 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.


Care, from the people who made it.

MyDyson logo

Get more from your Dyson with the MyDyson™ app

Styling masterclasses, expert guides and priority owner access.

Phone with MyDyson app showing what's inside a Dyson Supersonic hair dryer.

Owner support

  • Register your machine

  • Explore accessories

  • Find the right part

  • Expert support

1Stats from Dyson's Global Hair Survey 29th November 2021 - 21st December 2021. 23,000 Respondents from 23 Markets (US, C, UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Russia, Turkey, Australia, Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Taiwan region, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam)