In a sea of hair dryers, the Beauty Works Aeris Lightweight Digital Hair Dryer manages to stand out with its unusual design, its digital display and impressive performance. It combines fast drying speeds and a smooth finish, both without sacrificing hair volume or health. However, it’s an expensive piece of kit that falls a little short of the brand’s claims – and its price will make it out of reach for a lot of people.
One of the fastest dryers we’ve ever tested
Ionic technology and attachments help to create smooth, healthy-looking styles
Lightweight, well-balanced design makes it comfortable to use, and travel with
Industrial shape will not suit everyone’s tastes
Performance doesn’t quite live up to Beauty Works’ claims
Digital display feels gimmicky
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Beauty Works has become synonymous for its styling wands, wavers and curlers, but with the launch of the Aeris, the British brand takes its first foray into the hair dryer market. Getting its name from the Latin for “air”, the Aeris promises fast drying speeds as a result of a “precise high-velocity airflow”, coupled with advanced ionic technology that’s said to deliver a smooth, frizz-free finish with minimal breakage, and a digital temperature display.
In our tests, the dryer didn’t quite live up to the performance claims cited by Beauty Works. Nevertheless, it still impressed for fast drying speeds that didn’t strip the hair of volume or bounce, leaving it looking smooth. We wouldn’t go as far to say it created an entirely frizz-free finish, but there was a noticeable reduction in flyaways – which for our naturally curly hair is a rarity.
This model also stands out for the inclusion of a digital display, which, although a nice gimmick, feels a little redundant. While it’s interesting to view the temperatures being reached under the different settings, it isn’t possible to customize them – certainly not in the way that Beauty Works’ marketing would have you believe. As such, following the first couple of uses of the hair dryer, we barely paid this feature any attention.
We don’t love the look of the Aeris – its industrial shape clashes somewhat with its elegant white and gold finish – but it’s a lightweight and well-balanced dryer. This makes it comfortable to use, and also well-suited for travelling.
The magnetic attachments that come as standard with the Aeris dryer – the Styling Concentrator and the Smoothing Nozzle – are a doddle to attach and remove, and help bring some variety to the styles that you can create with the Aeris. The diffuser, which is sold separately, works well; but its overall shape and position when attached to the dryer makes it awkward in use.
The Aeris is best suited to people who are short on time and looking to achieve a salon-grade finish with minimum effort. It will bring the most benefits to people with unruly hair, who typically struggle to achieve smooth finishes with regular hair dryers.
Beauty Works Aeris Lightweight Digital Hair Dryer price and availability
- List price: £180/$260/AU$315
Despite being a new launch, which can often limit availability, the Beauty Works Aeris hair dryer is sold globally through Beauty Works’ own website as well as a number of third-party retailers. In fact, due to Beauty Works offering international shipping, the Aeris can be bought directly in more than 190 countries. It’s also available at a number of third-party retailers in the UK including Lookfantastic, ASOS and Feelunique.
At £180/$260/AU$315, the Aeris isn’t only the most expensive hair tool sold by Beauty Works, but it’s also one of the more expensive hair dryers on the market. It’s three times the price of mid-range dryers from the likes of BaByliss, particularly its PRO range, and it’s on a par with some of the higher-priced models in our best hair dryers guide. Namely, the £179/$279/AU$330 GHD Helios; but it’s around half the price of Dyson’s £349.99/$429.99/AU$599.99 Supersonic dryer.
To warrant this relatively high price, Beauty Works points to the fact the Aeris’ 1200W brushless digital motor dries hair six times faster than traditional hair dryers, and it produces 10x the amount of ions as an ordinary ionic dryer. The faster drying time promises to limit the amount of heat damage to which the hair is subjected, while the increase in ions helps smooth hair and reduce frizz.
In addition, the Beauty Works Aeris features a digital display that claims to offer customized temperature control – although we soon found this display to be little more than a gimmick. Elsewhere, the Aeris is lightweight and manages to cram a lot of advanced technology into an appliance that weighs just 300g.
Currently, the Aeris is available in only one color option – white and gold. It comes with two magnetic attachments: a Smoothing Nozzle, and a Styling Concentrator; you can buy a diffuser separately for £25/$37/AU$44.
Price and availability score: 3 / 5
Beauty Works Aeris Lightweight Digital Hair Dryer design
- Lightweight and well-balanced barrel makes it comfortable to use
- Industrial shape clashes with the elegant finish
- Digital display shows the precise temperature of each setting
The design of the Beauty Works Aeris is more industrial-looking than many of its rivals, in that it swaps traditionally large curves for straight, sleek lines. Our first impression was that it more closely resembled a power drill than a hair dryer, and the open-motor design – on the rear of the barrel – accentuates this industrial aesthetic. This sits in contrast with the elegant white and gold colorway, for quite a clash in styles. The two attachments come with heat shield technology, which means you can easily swap them out without having to wait for them to cool down.
Size-wise, the Aeris is compact. It comes with an 8ft (3m) cable, which is standard for most stylers today. The barrel itself measures 7.5 inches (19cm), which extends to 9.5 inches (24cm) with the nozzles magnetically attached, and the handle is 4.75 inches (10.5cm) long. We’d expected this ratio of barrel to handle size to throw the dryer off balance while styling, but the opposite was true. The Aeris is well balanced, and at 10.5oz (300g) it’s noticeably lighter than other dryers we’ve tested – namely the 1lb 11oz (780g) GHD Helios, and the 1lb 3oz (560g) Dyson Supersonic. This leads to the Aeris being both a comfortable dryer to use, and suitable to take on your travels.
A circumference of 4.5 inches (10.5cm) makes the slim handle easy to grip and move around, and on its side you’ll find a power button, a speed and temperature control button. You have to press and hold the power button for around three seconds to turn on the Aeris. You can then toggle between the three speed settings of gentle, medium and fast, and the four temperature settings of Cool, Low, Medium and High.
These buttons are well positioned for you to be able to switch between settings as you style, while avoiding any accidental knocks mid-dry. Also present is a cool shot button; it’s on the underside of the handle, close to where the handle meets the barrel. This takes the total temperature settings to five. You can check the exact temperature of the setting you’re using by glancing at the digital display, which you’ll find on the top of the barrel. However, while this may be interesting to see, it feels like a slight gimmick.
In use, it can take a bit of experimenting to find the speed and temperature that best suits your individual hair type and the style you wish to create. Happily, though, the Aeris’ Intelligent Memory feature means the dryer will remember your previous settings each time you switch on the dryer. Beauty Works advises that people with fine and fragile hair types should stick to the Low, 140°F / 60℃ setting. Normal-fine hair types are best suited to the Medium, 194°F / 90℃ setting and coarse/resistant hair types will see better results on the High, 248°F / 120℃ setting. The Cool setting operates at room temperature and can be used for all hair types.
The brushless motor on the rear of the barrel is covered by a detachable vent. Beauty Works claims that the motor is self-cleaning, but since it’s removable, you can also manually clear any dust or hair that becomes caught up, because it could potentially impact the dryer’s performance.
The main difference between the brushed motors found on older, cheaper hair dryers and the brushless motor found on the Aeris is that brushless versions are electronically driven, rather than mechanically driven. This makes them more energy efficient, powerful, and quiet in use, while also less likely to wear out as quickly as brushed models. In fact, the Aeris is one of the quietest hair dryers we’ve used; we could even hear our music playing while we styled our hair, which is incredibly rare.
Elsewhere, to generate the promised ionic benefits, the front of the Aeris barrel is coated with a circular metal netting that generates between 30 and 50 million negative ions as it heats. These ions are then blown onto the hair where they naturally cling to the positive charge coming from each follicle to reduce static and frizz.
Design score: 3 /5
Beauty Works Aeris Lightweight Digital Hair Dryer performance
- Fast drying speeds without sacrificing volume
- Creates smooth, reduced frizz finishes
- Diffuser is awkward to use
Given the number of promises made by Beauty Works in terms of drying speed, personalized temperature controls, and advanced ionic technology, our expectations were high. Thankfully, we weren’t too disappointed.
When rough drying our fine, shoulder-length hair straight from the shower, it went from wet to dry in an average of 2 minutes and 3 seconds. This is three seconds faster than the average drying time with the Dyson Supersonic. It’s also almost a minute faster than the GHD Air; but was 16 seconds slower than the GHD Helios. Of course, if you have longer, thicker hair, then this drying time will likely increase.
The speed increases are more notable when you compare the Aeris to the drying times of cheaper models, which in our experience can range anywhere between 4 minutes and 7 minutes, depending on the model. This isn’t quite the 6x faster drying speed promised by Beauty Works; however, we can confirm that the Aeris is a rapid dryer – and, if you’re coming to this dryer only having used cheaper models, you’ll see a noticeable time-saving when using the Aeris.
Using the Aeris’ Styling Concentrator and Smoothing Nozzles to style as we dried hair, this total drying time increased to an average of 3 minutes 8 seconds – not a huge increase but one that’s worth noting.
Another point to consider is that while the drying times aren’t leagues ahead of its rivals, the Aeris does live up to its claims of smoother, frizz-free hair – especially when using the Smoothing Nozzle. Our hair is naturally curly, yet we wear it straight the majority of the time. It’s rare for us to be able to rough dry our hair and not have to run over it with a straightener to kick out the frizz. The Aeris hair dryer not only gave us a smoother finish – it wasn’t entirely frizz-free, but it was noticeably improved – but it retained our hair’s volume and bounce. The latter has been a common complaint when using other fast-drying stylers, but wasn’t an issue with the Aeris.
The Styling Concentrator is best used to create more targeted and direct airflows. This is particularly useful when creating bouncy blow-dries, as opposed to rough drying the hair. The Smoothing Nozzle can be used to dry the hair, in a similar way to the Styling Concentrator, but we achieved the best results from this attachment when we set the Aeris to cold (using the cool shot button) and used the Smoothing Nozzle to tame flyaways once the hair was already dry.
The diffuser is the most difficult attachment to use. It looks cheap, too. Its long prongs allow for more precision and control when defining and setting curls, but the size of the barrel and the angle at which the diffuser attaches to the main unit makes it a little awkward to use – despite the hair dryer’s diminutive size.
As mentioned, while the digital display is a nice touch, we don’t feel it brings all that much to the Aeris dryer. It’s interesting to know the temperature at which each setting runs, but as a rule we always dry hair on the mid-temperature setting – and this was no different on the Aeris. If anything, the digital number display served to confuse more than it helped.
Performance score: 4/5
Beauty Works Aeris Lightweight Digital Hair Dryer score card
|Price and availability||Next to the Dyson Supersonic, the Beauty Works Aeris looks almost cheap in comparison yet at £180 it’s far from affordable. The faster drying speeds and ionic technology go someway towards justifying this price, but neither will warrant this investment for most people.||3/5|
|Design||The well-balanced, lightweight design is let down by its industrial, power-drill shape and gimmicky digital display.||3/5|
|Performance||The Aeris doesn’t quite live up to Beauty Works’ claims, but it’s still a powerful, highly effective styler that creates a smooth, reduced-frizz finish||4/5|
Should I buy the Beauty Works Aeris Lightweight Digital Hair Dryer?
Buy it if...
You’re looking to upgrade from a mid-range dryer
The Aeris delivers a sufficient performance boost to warrant upgrading from a mid-range dryer.
You want maximum impact with minimum effort
The fast drying speeds allow you to create styles quickly and effortlessly.
Your hair is frizzy and unruly
The Aeris creates smooth, sleek styles with ease, making it ideal if regular dryers usually leave your hair looking and feeling out of control
Don't buy it if...
You’re short on money
While the Aeris brings a number of performance benefits, it doesn’t offer a huge amount extra to warrant the higher price.
You’re buying it solely for diffusing your hair
The Aeris’s diffuser, while providing decent results, can be awkward and cumbersome to use.
You want a traditional-looking dryer
The industrial shape of the Aeris is in stark contrast to the typically curved and softer designs of its rivals; it won’t be to everyone’s tastes.
- First reviewed: October 2022
Victoria Woollaston is a freelance science and technology journalist with more than a decade’s experience writing for Wired UK, Alphr, Expert Reviews, TechRadar, Shortlist and the Sunday Times. She has a keen interest in next-generation technology and its potential to revolutionise how we live and work.