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One-minute review

Hot brushes and air stylers are far from new – we have fond memories of using our Mum’s in the early 1990s – yet the arrival and popularity of the Dyson Airwrap

has seen the trend return with a bang in recent years. At £449.99 / $549, though, the Airwrap is out of reach for many and extremely difficult to get your hands on right now – you can find out where to buy a Dyson Airwrap in our article. 

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So, rival brands are finding various ways to offer Airwrap features without the high Dyson price. This is certainly the case with the Remington Curl and Straight Confidence Airstyler AS8606, which is known as the Remington Pro Rotating Hot Air Styler AS8606 in the US. For a relatively low £64.99 / $79.99, it’s among the best Dyson Airwrap alternatives we’ve tested. 

It comes with four attachments – a concentrator nozzle, a 40mm rounded, soft bristle hot air brush, a hot paddle brush, and a 30mm cylindrical hot air tong. Each can be rotated through the hair using two rotation buttons located on the side of the styler. There are three heat settings to choose from – low, high and cool – and a 2.7m cord.  

You can use this styler as a standard hair dryer, with the nozzle attached. For sleek, straight looks, the paddle brush will calm frizz and smooth the hair as it dries, while the hot brush creates a bouncy, volumized blow-dry finish. The hot tong is then used to create loose and tight curls, or waves. 

For the majority of looks, this styler is easy to use and highly versatile. Using the hot tong attachment takes a bit of practice, and because of the bulky design of the styler itself, it can be a bit unwieldy. Despite this large size, however, it’s a lightweight styler and because it comes with a carry case as standard, it’s easy to store the styler with its attachments when not in use. 

The biggest draw of the Remington Airstyler is how similar it is to the Dyson Airwrap, in terms of attachments, versatility and results, while coming in at a staggering £385 / $469 cheaper.  

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Remington Curl and Straight Confidence Airstyler AS8606 price and availability

The Remington Curl and Straight Confidence Airstyler AS8606, which is known as the Remington Pro Rotating Hot Air Styler AS8606 in the US, is priced at £64.99 / $79.99.  

It’s part of the wider Remington Curl and Straight Confidence range, which also features a hair dryer

and a twisted hair straightener

.

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Design

  • Choice of attachments
  • Three heat settings 
  • Carry case makes it easy to store

The Remington Curl and Straight Confidence Airstyler AS8606 comes in a black fabric carry case and inside are elasticated slots for the styler itself as well as its four attachments – a concentrator nozzle, a 40mm rounded, soft bristle hot air brush, a hot paddle brush, and a 30mm cylindrical hot air tong – all which come as standard. 

Although the small size of the carry case would suggest the mains-powered Remington Airstyler is a compact appliance, it’s far from it. The main part of the styler is bulky, measuring 23 x 7 x 5cm / 9 x 2.8 x 2in (h x w x d) with a circumference of 14cm / 5.5in. It’s similar in size to the Dyson, which itself is bulky at 27 x 8 x 5cm (10.5 x 3 x 5) with the same circumference. However, this bulk combined with the position of the buttons on the side of the Remington model make it difficult to grip comfortably, especially without accidently knocking these buttons.  Thankfully, though, it’s a lightweight styler at 315g / 0.7lbs, even when you add the various attachments. For comparison, the Dyson Airwrap comes in at 415g / 0.9lbs.

Two rotation buttons are located below the top of this barrel, and sit above a slide switch that lets you control the Airstyler’s three heat settings – low, high and cool. Its 2.7m cord then extends from the bottom. 

Each of the four attachments slot into the top of the barrel and are secured by twisting and locking them in place. They’re easy to fit, swap and remove but make sure you wait for each one to cool down before twisting them off as they take a small amount of force to move, and could burn. 

 The nozzle is curved, and made of smooth black plastic, as is the paddle brush which additionally has stiff plastic bristles. Both the 40mm round brush and the 30mm hot tong are made from rose-gold coloured metal. The brush features rows of soft nylon bristles, while the tong has large air slots positioned across the barrel with a manual hinged clip at the bottom. When stored in the case, the hot brush comes with a plastic cover to protect the bristles’ shape.   

The nozzle is designed to be used every time, to blast the majority of water from wet hair. You can also use the paddle brush to get the same effect. Once the hair is around 80% dry – this is when it looks dry from a distance but still feels slightly cold and damp to the touch – you can add your desired styling attachment. The attachments, and the order in which they’re used, will then depend on what look and finish you’re after. 

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Performance

  • Brush can rotate to mimic a curl and smoothing action 
  • Quiet in use
  • Tong takes time and patience to master 

To put the Airstyler to the ultimate test, we spent a month using it exclusively. We styled our hair for everyday events, for meetings and for nights out. Some days we went big and bouncy, others we opted for straight and sleek. We also styled our hair with waves, and curls. 

The easiest look to create with the Remington Airstyler is straight and sleek. To achieve this finish, run the paddle brush down and through your hair in sections until each is dry and smooth. If you want to add volume, you can place the brush at your roots and run it up the underside of your hair, before smoothing it out by running it down the outer side. 

It doesn’t quite create the same finish as a pair of straighteners would, but then it also doesn’t subject your hair to as much heat exposure and potential damage. It also gives you more control over how much volume you want.

If you’re looking for a big and bouncy blow-dry; the kind you get at a salon, opt for the rounded bristle brush. You can use this attachment from wet to dry if you want maximum volume. This method is also great if you have thin and flat hair and want a style that will last all day. That said, we prefer to smooth and dry the hair to 80% with the paddle brush to smooth the hair before using the rounded brush to add volume at the roots, and bounce at the ends. 

You can either use this brush as a standard hot brush, or you can use the rotating buttons to mimic the curl and smoothing action that hairdressers make look so easy. In reality, this takes a bit of practice but once you nail it, the finish is almost indistinguishable from what we get from the salon. 

The downside is that the 40mm barrel of the brush is on the large side. We have mid-length hair which means this large size, while giving us the volume we desired, lacks versatility. We imagine people with longer hair would have more options. Namely, they could use the brush to wrap the ends more tightly to create large curls or flicks, for instance. 

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The attachment we were most excited to use, and the one that takes this styler from a standard hot brush to a Dyson Airwrap dupe, was the hot tong. After drying our hair to 80% and dividing it into four large sections, we methodically moved around the head, curling small strips of hair one at a time. 

It is possible to do the curling step manually, by holding the grip open and wrapping the hair around the tong with your hand, however, to get the most out of this styler, we recommend you take advantage of the rotating barrel and tong clip. To do this, clip the end of the hair to the barrel before pressing the rotation buttons to turn your hair clockwise, or anti-clockwise. 

If you want loose curls, apply the lowest heat setting to larger pieces of hair and rotate each piece in alternate directions. For instance, if you curl the first strip towards your face (anticlockwise), curl the next away from your face (clockwise). For tighter, more defined curls – or if you have thicker hair – turn the heat setting up to high and curl smaller strips of hair, in alternating directions. 

For waves, repeat the above using the highest heat setting (to help make sure the wavy style holds) but this time rotate each curl in the same direction – either all towards your face, or all away from your face. These will create curls but if you wait for the curls to cool down and then brush them through with a wide-tooth comb, you’ll get smooth, uniform waves.  

For all three styles, we held the tong in place for around 10 seconds at a time but this will depend on your hair type, how well it holds curls and how damp it is. 

Of course, all of this is easier said than done. While the paddle brush and the hot brush were both intuitive to use, the hot tong took more practice. For all the manual control the Remington’s hinged clip gives, unless you grab the very ends of the hair and wrap them around the barrel first, you’re left with kinks at the bottom. These kinks become even more apparent if your hair is too wet. 

What’s more, if you haven’t clipped enough of the hair to begin with, as soon as you start rotating the barrel, the hair flies free. We got round this by making sure the ends of our hair were completely dry, even if the rest wasn’t, and manually turning the barrel around the end of the clipped hair before pressing the rotating buttons. 

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The bulky design of the barrel makes it difficult to hold the styler and open the clip at the same time. Meanwhile, the high positioning of the rotation controls means it’s easy to accidentally knock these buttons and send the styler spinning various ways. 

We managed to achieve volume and bounce on our first attempt, but the curls were all over the place. On our second attempt, we experimented with how to angle the styler. 

When positioned facing north, with the hair and the hinged tong clip at the bottom, the hot air blows up the hair shaft which creates frizz and fuzz. However, it’s easier to control the rotating buttons when held in this more natural position. Plus it minimises arm movements and thus reduces how much your arms ache.

When positioned facing south, the rotating buttons are a little harder to navigate and you lose some of the lift and volume. You’ll also find your arms aching more because you’re holding them above your head. On the plus side, you get smoother curls as the hot air is blowing down the shaft. 

By the third use, we felt more confident in what we were doing and created large bouncy curls that lasted hours. 

It should be noted that the rotation is quite fast and this makes it a little too easy to wrap the hair too tight and pull on the roots. The key to controlling this is to press the rotating button multiple times until it reaches the desired height on your hair. You can then unroll it, by rotating in the opposite direction, or release the hinged clip and pull the tong down.  

You also can’t rotate the styler unless it’s turned on. If you choose to switch it off between curls, you may not get the same level of heat and hold on the barrel as you do when you leave it on throughout. Yet leaving it switched on can cause hair to fly off in different directions and increases the chances of you accidentally burning yourself when trying to secure the hair in place. Thankfully, the styler is quiet – achieving an average decibel level of 68db. This is within the ‘normal conversation’ range of sound, meaning you can talk while using this and people will be able to easily hear you. 

(Image credit: TechRadar)

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First reviewed: February 2022