Straightening my curly, poofy hair is an arduous, two-day affair. I would do almost anything to make the process faster and easier, but I never quite pictured myself loading locks of my hair into the nozzle of a vacuum-like device in my bathroom. There was no way this would work. But it did.
The RevAir, or reverse air dryer, is incredible. It dries and straightens hair in one step. Mileage may vary—depending on your hair texture and the style you prefer, you could have perfectly straight hair with no follow-up. But at the very least, it will greatly reduce the overall time spent on your styling.
If you’ve ever gotten a blowout or done one yourself, you know it’s quite a process, especially the thicker and wilder your hair is. You hold a brush with one hand and the blow dryer with the other, painstakingly smoothing out each section one by one. With my hair, the only person who has done this successfully without a flat iron was a Manhattan hairdresser who can only be described as a very expensive magician. Left to my own devices, I look like Monica Gellar on vacation.
I’ve wanted to try the RevAir since I saw it on YouTube a few years ago. It’s the perfect internet product, given its size and design—it literally looks like you’re funneling your hair into the hose of a shop vac. What if it doesn’t work? What if it pulls and tangles my hair inside it, or even worse, gets it stuck or yanks my hair out? But it doesn’t.
I started with clean, wet hair and applied a generous amount of the company’s hair primer—you’re not supposed to use sticky products, like oils, gel, or mousse, but the company says you don’t need product for it to work. Then I sectioned my hair and started feeding each into the wand. Once it’s fed all the way to the roots, you slowly pull the wand back until your now-straight hair is free to lie against your neck.
You’ll probably screw up the first few sections as you figure out exactly how much hair you can do at once and what heat and speed settings are right for you. With my thick, extremely curly hair, I can crank the RevAir up to 6 or 7, and in about 30 seconds the hair comes out dry and straight. The company says you’ll need 30 to 90 seconds, and I found that to be accurate. The bottom layer of my hair, which is coarser and curlier than the rest, needed smaller sections and a bit more time; the top layer of my hair was quick.
It took all the curl out of my hair, but I still needed to smooth out some of the puff with a flat iron. With my hair type, that’s not uncommon, but I’ve seen videos of the coiliest curls being elongated into a perfectly stretched style that looked beautiful.
I wanted to try it on easier-to-manage hair too, so I enlisted the help of a friend with fine, waist-length curls. She doesn’t need much heat to straighten her hair, but its length still makes it a process, especially if it needs to be dried first. Each section of her hair needed barely 30 seconds in the wand to come out dry and silky straight. We didn’t need a flat iron to touch up any sections, either. It did get slightly tangled at the ends when I cranked up the speed, but nothing a quick comb couldn’t fix. Keeping the speed setting on low and not wiggling the wand helped.
In 20 minutes, her wet, curly hair transformed into dry, straight hair. To get my hair completely straight, even with a flat iron, took just under an hour. That’s unheard of speed for both of us.
Price of Luxury
The wand works by pushing air down in the direction of the hair to avoid frizz, while openings at the very top blow air toward the scalp to dry that area as well. The RevAir has three temperature settings, including cold. Even at its hottest, it ranges from 176 degrees Fahrenheit to 220 degrees Fahrenheit. When I use a flat iron, it’s usually cranked up to 400 degrees or higher.
The RevAir also has seven speed/tension settings. Most hair dryers have two, maybe three speeds, so it’s nice to see a range here that can accommodate many hair types.
But at $414 (or $500, for the package that includes a continuous mist spray bottle, a holder, hair sectioning clips, and a microfiber towel), it’s expensive. And it’s enormous—it barely fits under a sink. However, if you’re someone who pays for regular blowouts, you will make up the cost in a few weeks. Or, if you are always clamping your hair in between two burning hot plates, you might want to consider investing in a product that will reduce time and damage.
Unfortunately, I don’t straighten my hair enough to justify the space this will take up in my small apartment. But of all the hair products I’ve tested, the insanely luxurious Dyson products included, this is the one I’d love to keep and may even decide to purchase in the future, especially since we often see it on sale for $100 off.