Skepticism is key when shopping online, especially when it comes to new names and viral trends, so Laifen has an uphill battle establishing itself in the fiercely competitive hair styling market. Thankfully, the Laifen Swift makes an immediate impact.
Launching its campaign on Indiegogo in 2020, Laifen Swift was met with enthusiasm by its backers. Having hit the market in 2022, all eyes are now fixed on its lofty promises and more affordable price tag compared to some of the best hair dryers.
This lightweight, powerful tool arrives with some impressive specs, packing 1600W of power in its slimline frame with a 110,000RPM brushless motor that generates 22m/s airflow. It offers three temperature and two airflow settings.
While it offers professional-grade specs and performance, there are a few missteps that make the Laifen Swift a little less spectacular than it could have been. It doesn’t have a separate cool shot button, nor does it have a hook for hanging – and, as of writing, it has a cord length of just 1.8m/5.9ft. The latter might be fine for home use, but in a professional setting the Laifen Swift’s cord might prove limiting.
Still, having used the Laifen Swift over the course of a week, we were impressed by how quickly it dried hair, keeping frizz to a minimum as a result of it generating and releasing negative ions into the airflow. With such a strong start in the market, Laifen is one to watch in the years to come.
Laifen Swift price and availability
- Laifen Swift: $199.99 / £175.11 / AU$297.83
- Laifen Swift Special: $239.99 / £210.14 / AU$357.40
We received the Laifen Swift Special for review, which is identical to the regular Laifen Swift hair dryer, but comes with three attachments – a diffuser, standard nozzle and quick styling nozzle – as opposed to the standard nozzle-only bundle. You can also buy the quick styling nozzle separately, but the diffuser is exclusive to the Swift Special.
Compared to its biggest rival, the Dyson Supersonic (which retails at $429 / £329 / AU$599 as of writing), the Laifen Swift presents a much more affordable option with much of the same technology.
Currently, the Laifen Swift is the only product available from Laifen, and you can buy it directly from Laifen or on Amazon.
Laifen Swift design
- Lightweight and compact
- Short cord and no hook
- Three heat settings and two speeds
Here are the specifications for the Laifen Swift:
Speed settings: Two
Heat settings: Three, plus autocycle
Hanging loop: No
Cord length: 1.8m
Cool shot: No
Attachments: One with regular package, three with the Special bundle
The Laifen Swift hair dryer is available in four colors – matte black, silver blue, pearl white and ruby red – and has a wonderfully luxe soft finish that makes it a joy to behold and, well, hold. It has a short, rounded barrel atop its long, straight handle; but it’s a shape that might not be for everyone. Personally, we’ve found this form to be far more storage-friendly.
Measuring 10.9 x 2.7 x 3.5in/ 27.7 x 7 x 8.9cm, the Laifen Swift is wonderfully light at 0.89lbs/407g without its cable, so you’re unlikely to feel much arm fatigue, especially given how quickly it dries hair – but more on that later. The attachments connect magnetically to the front of the barrel, snapping on and off easily.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Laifen Swift is its airflow design. Instead of channeling air through the rear of the barrel, it’s pulled through from the base of the handle. Here, users will also find the dust filter, the casing of which also attaches magnetically, clicking on and off quickly for maintenance.
As mentioned above, the hair dryer delivers 1600W of power across three temperature settings and two speed levels, the controls for which are situated at the top of the handle. If you press and hold the temperature button, you can also switch on its temperature autocycle mode. There’s no separate cool shot - you have to use the temperature button to cycle through the settings - which is a little disappointing, as was the omission of a hanging loop.
The biggest setback in the Laifen Swift’s design is its short cord length. While most home users may be content with its 1.8m/5.9ft length, with the professional potential of this hair dryer it’s a shame that Laifen didn’t opt to deliver its hair dryer with the longer cable lengths now commonly seen across the market. Plus, if you don’t have a well-situated mirror near a plug socket at home, you might find yourself reaching – or having to use an extension cord – with the Laifen Swift.
Laifen Swift performance
- Fast drying times
- Comfortable to use
- Ionic technology reduces frizz
Delivering high-powered jets of ionized air, the Laifen Swift makes swift work of drying hair. We tested it on damp, thick, medium-length hair on its highest setting, which dried completely in just under seven minutes. It isn’t quite as impressive as the Dyson Supersonic, which takes four and a half minutes to dry the same hair type, but it’s a whole lot faster than the 12-15 minutes of the Panasonic EH-NA65 – which is this writer’s current home use hair dryer. For less porous and thinner hair, we’d expect a drying time of about five and a half minutes with the Laifen Swift, which just about matches the manufacturer’s claims.
After drying, our hair was left feeling super-smooth with a gentle shine, and we actually noticed it didn’t become greasy as quickly as it does having used less powerful airflow dryers. Perhaps this is because we felt more confident getting stuck into drying our roots without fear of hair being caught in the rear of the barrel.
The attachments all worked well during use, and while they (and the barrel) were prone to getting a little hot, temperatures didn’t reach anything close to being dangerous or uncomfortable. Switching the attachments out mid-dry proved nice and easy, too, thanks to the magnetic fixture.
We’ve mentioned before just how well designed the Laifen Swift is, but the actual experience of blow drying hair really is a feat worth highlighting. The handle remains cool throughout use, the hair dryer is light enough to reduce arm strain (or even eliminate it, depending on how long your hair takes to dry), and switching out attachments is supremely easy.
The Laifen Swift claims to be incredibly quiet, emitting just 59db while in use. Unfortunately, this wasn’t our experience – unless those figures were achieved through very specific testing parameters of which we’re not aware.
In our test, from six inches away, on the fastest setting the Laifen Swift recorded 79db for noise. This figure is fairly middle of the road in comparison to other hair dryers; the Dyson Supersonic registered 74db on our decibel meter, while one of the noisiest hair dryers we’ve tested, the Remington Hydraluxe Pro EC9001, registered 82db. However, what we can say in defense of the Laifen Swift is that the sound it emits is far less aggressive and grating than other hair dryers we’ve tried.
A small, but notable issue we had with the Laifen Swift was its button placement. While the temperature and speed controls look and feel great, it’s far too easy to brush across or lightly press the temperature controls accidentally. If you’re not drying hair in front of a mirror, where you can see the temperature indicator on the rear of the barrel, you might not even notice that you’ve done it.
Laifen Swift score card
|Design||The design of the Laifen Swift, while not for everyone, means it's lightweight, compact and decidedly modern in looks, which we appreciate.||4.5/5|
|Performance||It doesn't live up to all of the manufacturer's claims, but it works well and we were happy with our results||4/5|
|Vaue||The Laifen Swift has a comparable price to other Dyson Supersonic alternatives, and delivers on most of its value-adding features.||4.5/5|
Should I buy?
Buy it if...
You want a more portable hair dryer
The Laifen Swift is super-lightweight, making it the perfect travel companion. Plus, the company even sells a carry case to keep the casing in tip-top condition.
You can’t afford a Dyson Supersonic
Aside from perhaps the Shark Style iQ, the Laifen Swift is one of the best Dyson Supersonic dupes we’ve seen in terms of design, power and capabilities, all at a cheaper price.
You like strikingly designed dryers
While the Laifen Swift design isn’t for everyone, it will definitely appeal to some. Its shape also lends itself to a much more comfortable user experience – and we’re all for that.
Don't buy it if...
You want a whisper-quiet dryer
Despite the manufacturer’s claims, the Laifen Swift isn’t as quiet as we’d hoped; but it remains quieter than many other models on the market.
You’ll miss the cool shot
Sure, you can cycle through to the cold setting, but we really missed having a separate cool shot button on the Laifen Swift to quickly set a style.
You want to be mobile while drying
To some, the short cable may not be an issue, but it will be a limitation for professional stylists and even home users without plug points near a mirror.