The Dyson Corrale is the company's third hair care product following thehair dryer and styler. Like its predecessors, the Corrale is expensive and technologically innovative, but if you follow Dyson products, you probably already knew that.
- Battery-powered portability
- Digital display
- Three heat settings
- Half-hour battery life
- Thick and heavy design
The $500 Corrale is cordless, powered by a lithium-ion battery and it includes a charging dock. The ironing plates are flexible, intended to grab hair more accurately for fewer passes over your locks with high heat. Is it five times better than your trusty, corded $100 model? No. It's not. While there's much to like about Dyson's newest hair care product, I can't recommend the Corrale to anyone without hundreds of spare dollars to throw around. It just isn't that much better.
The Corrale will take some getting used to if you're swapping over from a conventional, corded straightener. I noticed a few things right off the bat. The Corrale is heavy -- significantly heavier than my own straightener, a corded model I bought in 2017. The Corrale weighs in at just 1.23 pounds (0.56 kg), but just holding the two in my hand I could tell a big difference. That added weight comes from the battery built into the Corrale's base. You can roam your house while you style your hair, but it might make your arms tired.
The straightener comes with a charging base. That charging base connects to your wall outlet via a cord with a magnetic end, like the Apple MacBook chargers of old. I shifted the base around a bit on my bathroom countertop, and more than once that magnetic cord detached from the base. That's certainly something to be careful about if you're near say, a sink with water in it and the other end of the cord is still plugged into the wall.
Overall, the Corrale's design is pleasant enough. Like many other Dyson products, it feels luxurious and fully featured. Dedicated power, and the plus and minus buttons for temperature control are clear and easy to understand. An LED screen prompts you through charging, powering up and setting a temperature in a way that's informative yet minimalistic. Polite chirps indicate changes in status like low battery, connection to charging and when the Corrale reaches the desired temperature.
The Corrale has 1-inch-wide plates, measures 12 inches long and 5.25 inches around the barrel. The curved edges make curling hair or creating waves easy and kink-free. The wide barrel measurement means you'll be able to get larger curls if you use the straightener to curl your hair, something I do regularly since my hair is naturally straight.
Of course, the cordless aspect of the Corrale is by far the most appealing feature. Dyson thoughtfully included a "flight mode" clip you simply unclip in order to deactivate the battery and make it safe for packing in your carry-on luggage. You won't need to find an open outlet in an airport bathroom or waiting area. Let's say you're the passenger on a road trip and you need to style your hair before arrival. You won't need to pull over and find a bathroom. Those are very specific use cases, I'll admit. Still, I'm fond of the innovative way Dyson approached going cord-free.
Let's get this straight
I've covered all the basics, but does the Corrale work? Yes! It's a good straightener. Here's how my test drive went.
I charged up the Corrale the first day and got three hair stylings out of one battery charge. Granted, it doesn't take me long to style my thin, mostly straight hair. Dyson says you can expect 30-40 minutes per charge, and I found that to be true.
You can choose from 330, 365 or 410 degrees Fahrenheit. The Dyson Corrale took 47 seconds to go from room temperature to its hottest 410-degree setting. Compare that to my old, corded model which got up to 410 in just 25 seconds and has the option to go as high as 450. At the lowest setting, the Corrale took just 22 seconds to reach 330 degrees. Less than a minute to go from turned off to ready to go is plenty quick for me. No disappointment there.
Now, let's talk about those flex plates. They don't flex as much as you'd expect. The idea is that the plates form around your hair rather than squashing it to the outside of the iron, providing a more even heat distribution and more efficient straightening. My hair did feel slightly more secure, but I still needed to place it very carefully and keep and eye on it all the way through. I didn't feel like I was doing any less work to keep it in the right place.
I didn't notice much flexing while I styled. I do have thin hair, so I'd imagine that someone with thick tresses might see more movement. I stuck my finger between the plates (while it was off) and could just barely see the plates flexing.
The weight and size of the Corrale makes it feel a bit clumsy. I'm so used to the thin profile of my own straightener that the Corrale felt like my hands were far away from my hair. I didn't have a good feel for what was going on between the plates. However, the wider barrel is better for getting wider waves and curls, and it's easy to turn hair over the sides of the device. I didn't have any issues with snags or tangles.
With the temperature set at 330, it took me around 10 minutes to complete my look for both straight and curly styles. I did see some static during my styling, something the Corrale's manganese copper alloy plates are supposed to minimize. I also saw smoke, which is to be expected when you're styling you hair at a temperature hotter than what'd you would use to bake cookies or roast a chicken.
My own corded straightener heats up to 450, while Dyson sets the cap at 410. Even though Dyson advertises this as a straightener that uses less heat, don't expect the Corrale to solve heat damage issues. Putting your hair through 410-degree metal plates is still going to be less than healthy. Style at the lowest temperature you can while still getting effective results for your hair type, and consider using a protective spray or cream before you begin.
My lovely colleague Megan Wollerton's hair has more volume and natural curl than mine, providing a more challenging test of the Corrale's styling power. Here's what Megan had to say:
"I like the Dyson Corrale hair straightener, but, personally, I'd never buy it. That mainly comes down to price -- $500 is a lot to spend on any hair styling tool. But if I were to spend that much on one, I'd expect it to do more than the Corrale: blow dry, curl, straighten,-- and everything in between.
"It did work quickly to straighten my naturally wavy (and sometimes curly and frizzy) hair more quickly than my $50 Ultra Chi straightener. I like that it's battery-powered so you don't have to be stuck near an outlet. I also like its adjustable temperatures and the built-in display that shows when it reaches the right temperature, as well as the status of the battery.
"But, for me, this is a product best reserved for professional hair stylists – or someone particularly passionate about hair styling tools. I also happen to like my naturally wavy/curly/frizzy hair and only use my Chi straightener a few times a year, so the Corrale is a no-go for me."
Would I pay $150 or 200 for it? Yes, on a splurge. I could even see the argument for upward of $300. Like Dyson's previous two hair-care products, however, the Corrale feels unjustifiably expensive. If I were going to pay $500 for the Corrale, I would want better battery life, a more secure charging cord and perhaps a few more temperature settings to choose from.
Chances are you've already got a straightener at home that can style as well as the Corrale. If you're a professional stylist or someone who is often styling on the go and you can afford it, you'll be pleased with the Dyson's portability and design. If you're an average at-home beauty enthusiast, Dyson's Corrale is just a bit too pricey to be persuasive.