Here’s everything you need to know about one of the most anticipated launches of 2020: Dysonâs cordless hair straightener, Corrale.
When mechanical engineer Rory Fisher describes the Dyson headquarters in the United Kingdom as akin to a James Bond spy village, despite never stepping foot in the place I can kind of understand. For the last few weeks Iâve started to feel like a secret agent myself. Iâm allowed to talk â it was actually more of a whisper â to one colleague about the imminent launch thatâs to be referred to by a code name.
At this point, I know little else about what Dyson might be revealing in the coming weeks. Invent and innovate is what Dyson does best, therefore, itâs not hard to understand the secrecy that comes hand-in-hand with creating some of the worldâs most game-changing devices. Fisher â one of the almost 6000-strong workforce of Dyson engineers around the globe â is part of the New Product Innovation team, in other words: where the magic happens.
âItâs where every product starts,â explains Fisher. âItâs where all of the technology is realised and developed.â And surprise, surprise, itâs also the most secretive department in the company. It wasnât long ago that Dyson revolutionised the hair tool market with the sought-after Supersonic hairdryer and Airwrap styler. This winter theyâre pushing the boundaries of innovation once again with Corrale â the highly anticipated cordless hair straightener that promises to minimise damage while delivering unprecedented styling prowess.
The straightener, which is bound to be a game-changer for many, was Fisherâs first project when he started at Dyson just over two years ago. The project was already well underway. In fact, it was seven years in the making. âA big part of what weâve been doing is user trials,â explains Australia and New Zealand communications lead for Dyson, Tom Cherrill. âWe wanted to understand hair first and foremost,â he says. Those first two to three years, says Cherril, were a deep-dive into hair and the frustrations that hair-straightener users experience. Because at the end of the day, Fisher says, the innovation that makes it into the tool is really all down to what the user needs.
It turns out Iâm not the only one that often hesitates when reaching for my hair straightener due to concerns over the damage itâs doing to my tresses. Fortunately, Fisher was the man enlisted to make such a concern a thing of the past with Corrale.
The Corrale is the first straightener to feature never-seen-before flexing plates that flex to shape and gather hair. Fisherâs first task was to develop a piece of test equipment â the tension testing machine â that would ensure the plate design applied the right amount of tension while being comfortable to use. âThis machine monitors the pulling force that is applied to hair over 10 points. You can see which strands are being clamped and which areas are being heated,â he explains.
Fisher says with conventional straighteners tension is not even across the section of hair being styled. âItâs like trying to brush out knots in your hair with a brush that has a load of bristles missing,â he says. Using the Corrale, on the other hand, is like using a brand-new brush. âIt means you donât have to put your hair through the straightener as many times which equates to much less damage,â he adds.
More tension equals less need for heat, explains Cherrill. âIf youâre applying tension precisely and efficiently you require less heat.â Fisherâs tension test was just one that Corrale prototypes went through. There are robot arms that take the human error out of straightening; the device that opens and closes the straightener around 4.8 million times and then there are the more obscure tests. âThereâs the âcareless drop testâ which drops the device 448 times. Thatâs a yearâs worth of drops to make sure they can withstand any type of usage,â says Cherrill.
Then thereâs what weâll call the stiletto test. âOne of our biggest engineers stature-wise, heâs 6â4, we ensure that he can stand on the battery pack with stilettos and it wonât break,â explains Fisher. And then there are the numerous prototypes which are something of legend â it took James Dyson 5127 prototypes before he was happy with the worldâs first bagless vacuum cleaner. According to Fisher, for Corrale there were around 3800 prototypes. âItâs the Dyson difference,â says Cherrill. Fisher explains that James Dysonâs philosophy of embracing failure is still at the heart of everything they do. âIt doesnât matter if it doesnât work, itâs just important that you learn from it and move onto the next iteration. We always want to push boundaries. Weâre never going to launch any product unless we are absolutely sure itâs going to deliver.â
Tired of straightening hair on the one built-in temperature setting? Dyson created Corrale with three heat settings â 165Â°C, 185Â°C and 210Â°C. Corraleâs platinum sensor then monitors the temperature 100 times a second to ensure heat is evenly applied to hair. âDifferent hair types require different heat,â says Fisher. âIf you have really thick hair youâll need extra heat, but with our plates, you can achieve your desired style on a lower setting in less time, so youâre reducing the damage youâre doing to your hair.â Cherrill says it was important for people to have the flexibility to use the right setting for their unique hair type, hairstyle, hair length and styling needs. âTraditional straighteners havenât offered the ability to personalise straightening.â
And of course, the Corrale doesnât just straighten hair â if youâre skilled enough, with a flick of the wrist you can create waves and curls too. âThe fact that itâs cord-free gives it way more flexibility â where you can use it, how you can use, the positions you can put it in and therefore create a style a lot more easily,â explains Fisher. In just 70 minutes the Corrale is fully charged to provide 30 minutes of cord-free styling but if you need more time simply pop it into the charging dock or attach the magnetic 360Â° charging cable. âAnd because you can use it at a lower heat, it kind of gives the same effect as the Supersonic. Itâs a very shiny, sleek look to the hair, thereâs no dullness and thereâs much less damage,â Fisher adds.
The Dyson Corrale is available now from dyson.co.nz for $749