Vacuum brand, Dyson unveils its first ‘quieter’ $400 hair dryer

Renowned for its bagless vacuum cleaners, U.K.-based Dyson is using its technical expertise to entice a whole new market: hair and personal care.

Billionaire inventor, Sir James Dyson, unveiled the company's first hair dryer on Wednesday: the "Dyson Supersonic", which is expected to be "significantly quieter", while trying to protect hair from extreme heat damage.

Fitted with a price tag starting from £299 for U.K. consumers, and $399.99 for the U.S., many may consider this as quite expensive in comparison to other products out there. A mechanical engineer at Dyson, however explained the "major ways" in which the Supersonic stands out from other competitors.

The "Dyson Supersonic" hair dryer
Courtesy of Dyson
The "Dyson Supersonic" hair dryer

"The ways that we've made big changes are first of all by properly controlling the heat of the air coming out of the product, making sure that the temperature isn't going to be causing extreme heat damage to a person's hair," Matt Kelly, mechanical engineer at Dyson, told CNBC via telephone.

"We've made it much lighter and better balanced in a person's hand, so it's a much more comfortable machine to use and it's also significantly quieter than anything else out there," Kelly said, adding that when testing the product with hair stylists and professionals, stylists found these factors, in particular the latter two, very beneficial.

The brand has invested close to £50 million ($73 million) and four years into the development of its latest product. In future technology overall, Dyson has committed to a £1.5 billion investment, and expects to launch 100 new products worldwide by 2020.

The Dyson Supersonic borrows similar technology from some of Dyson's hand dryers and cord-free vacuums, with the hair dryer being powered by the patented Dyson digital motor V9, along with patented Air Multiplier technology—used in the company's bladeless fans—which enables controlled styling and drying.

While this new announcement into personal hair care may surprise some, Kelly said Dyson has been working on enhancing air flow and heat technologies for several years now for its many product areas. He added that one of Dyson's key aims was to "make a real difference" to the personal care market and to what's available to today's consumer.

Dyson engineers studied hair from root to tip, understanding how it reacts to stresses, how to keep it healthy and how to style it.
Courtesy of Dyson
Dyson engineers studied hair from root to tip, understanding how it reacts to stresses, how to keep it healthy and how to style it.

Today, consumers—especially in developed markets—are choosing to spend a fair amount of money on products to make sure their hair is looked after properly and cater to their needs, Thidathip Tawichai, senior analyst at Euromonitor, explained in a statement emailed to CNBC. When commenting on Dyson's new price tag however, Tawichai said it was a lot to invest in, for the average consumer.

"£300 is very expensive and a lot to invest in a hair dryer, especially when other companies are selling this product for a fraction of Dyson's price. Those who like to follow fashions trends and keep up to date with latest technologies will spend a little more to try Dyson's new product."

Kelly however said that once people get their hands on the product and understand what Dyson's been doing to understand the "science of hair", people will see its value; as the importance of tackling heat damage is extremely important to the consumer.

The product is expected to launch first in Japan, with the Dyson Supersonic then being available to British consumers in June, before its rolled out to other markets worldwide.