Drybar says the hair tool is good for wavy, curly, straight, and all hair types. But I’d say “all hair types” is a stretch. I have Type 2 hair—wavy, fine, frizzy, and coarse—which fits the type this tool is designed for. But it gives me more of a voluminous blowout than pin-straight hair, despite being part flat iron. And that’s on the highest temperature setting.
You’ll have the choice between cool, medium, and high temperature settings. But in an effort to reduce heat damage, it only goes up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. I crank upto high and my flat iron to 450 degrees, so I was skeptical this would work. But it’s just hot enough. If your hair is similar to mine, or even thicker, you should keep it on high. Otherwise, you might not see any results at all, or it will take an eternity to dry.
It also packs Ionic Technology—which is meant to reduce frizz and shine while styling—and nylon tufted bristles around each plate that the company says “provide the perfect amount of tension to create an enhanced straightening effect.” I still need my flat iron to smooth over the puffiness and flyaways (depending on the look I want to achieve), and I’m not sure the tufted bristles do much other than snag my hair. And OK, I know that bristles are supposed to lift dead hair and skin cells off my scalp, but it’s still gross to watch it build up.
I do, however, feel like my hair looks and feels healthier. This could be because I’m washing it regularly, since it doesn’t take me as long. With damp hair, I’m done styling in about 10 to 15 minutes. With towel-dried hair, it takes me a little over 20 minutes. So it does cut my styling time in half. But it could also be because I’m not applying nearly as much heat to it.
Weigh Your Options
If your hair is really thick, the RevAir Reverse-Air Dryer () is a better alternative. It’s more expensive, at $399, but the vacuum-style machine packs features that might be more suitable for you—including seven tension settings and two heat settings (158 and 220 degrees Fahrenheit). It also has small openings to dry your scalp and dries the rest of your hair with air downwards to prevent frizz.
There’s also the Dyson Airstrait () for $500. It has no hot plates and dries only with hot air, so it’s a great option if you’re worried about heat damage. It also comes with a wet and dry mode, so you can use it as a blow-dryer and flat iron simultaneously with wet hair or dry hair. It works a lot better on my thicker hair, and the ability to switch to dry mode has completely eliminated the need for my straightener. But it’s very expensive.
If you’re still leaning toward the Straight Shot, it’s worth reiterating that unless you have thinner hair, it most likely won’t give you the same stick-straight look as a flat iron. It did, however, give me the same blowout I get with a round brush and hairdryer in about half the time. If you go with this option, I’d still hold on to your flat iron. But at least you’ll be able to part ways with your blow dryer.