Dyson makes 23.75-karat magic in the hair

The British appliance brand launches a “gilty” pleasure in its gold-leafed Supersonic hair dryer.

By Shab Khaliqi 06/09/2018

We’re fairly confident in saying there’s never been a hairdryer quite like it. Conceived by British billionaire inventor James Dyson, the Dyson Supersonic 23.75 karat gold hair dryer uses a traditional hand-gilding process to apply pure gold to its signature “ring” component.


Robb Report’s Shab Khaliqi seizes her golden opportunity to test the Dyson Supersonic
“Gold has been used in design, sculpture and architecture for centuries. As an element, I’m fascinated by its properties. Like the engineering process we pride ourselves on, gilding is a true example of meticulous craftsmanship,” said Dyson, whose team of 103 engineers went through some 600 prototypes in refining the gilding process.


Five gold leaves, each a fraction of the thickness of a human hair, go into the gilding of each Dyson dryer
After exploring mainstream industrial processes and techniques, the engineers determined that the gold coating – comprised of five gold leaves, each just 333 atoms thick – was best performed by hand, by a skilled craftsman. The gold leaf is sourced from Florence, Italy, where it has for centuries been used in gilding artworks, furniture and picture frames.


Dyson’s engineers discovered there was no substitute for traditional gilding by hand
“We aren’t afraid to take on a new challenge”, said head engineer Britta Stockinger. “We weren’t experts in gold or gold leafing, but we broke down the technique into individual steps to understand how each parameter affects the finish and how we could best apply it to our hair dryer. We managed to learn a very traditional skill and translate it to a 21st century application.”


Aside from its hand-applied elegance and rarity, the Dyson Supersonic has many practical features, including an intelligent heat control system, light weight, fast and efficient drying and quiet operation. The Dyson Supersonic gold edition is priced at $699 and is only available online, at https://www.dyson.com.au/haircare/supersonic/supersonic-blue-gold

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