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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 A hair's lifespan in years
  • 100 The number of strands we can lose each day
  • 150,000 Hairs on a human head


Science, not guesswork

At Dyson, we’re driven by a need to know. We're obsessed with the chemistry of hair and develop our haircare technology through our research into hair science. 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 structure and type can help you learn how to take proper care of your hair, alongside which technology is best for you. We can roughly categorise 'hair shapes' into four main groups. Each is then subcategorised into types 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 has a round cross-sectional area. This hair type can see more visible oil-builds ups and therefore require more frequent washing.

  • Line drawing of type 2 hair

    Type 2 A, B, C

    Wavy to curly hair. Type 2 hair structure is often described as having a wavy ’S’ shape with a round cross-sectional area, and 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 be prone to dryness, due to a lack of sebum (our natural oil) across the hair shaft. To support this hair structure, it’s important not to use excessive heat when styling, and to 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 has a flatter, more ellipsoid shape, which forms 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 shape isn’t the only factor that informs hair science. Thickness and Density also impact hair chemistry and which haircare technology supports it. 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


Avoiding exposure to excessive heat

  • Close up of a scalp

    Maintaining scalp health

    Dyson's Intelligent heat control helps protect scalp health barrier by regulating itself against excessive heat, maintaining 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 – down to the bonds. Losing strength and elasticity over time can make it 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 – giving it that shiny appearance.


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
  • Dyson Supersonic™ Nural hair dryer

    The Dyson Supersonic Nural™ hair dryer delivers fast, intelligent drying with no heat damage. Scalp protect mode auto-adapts heat to care for your scalp.

  • Dyson Airstrait™ straightener

    Wet to dry straightening with air. No hot plates. No heat damage.¹ The Dyson Airstrait™ straightener straightens from wet to dry, simplifying your routine.

  • Dyson Airwrap™ multi-styler and dryer

    Combining powerful airflow with Intelligent heat control, the Dyson Airwrap™ multi-styler and dryer can create multiple styles using the Coanda effect, not excessive heat.

  • 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, breaking down hair structure in the process. 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.


Owner support

  • Register your machine

  • Explore accessories

  • Find the right part

  • Expert support