Big, bombshell blowouts à la Victoria’s Secret circa 1990s have taken over our TikTok FYP, and I believe we have the rise of the blow-dryer brush to thank for that. Now that these nifty dryer-styler hybrids are available in different shapes and sizes, long gone are the days of painstakingly balancing hot tools and round brushes for bouncy and polished hair. Sure, there are quite a few to choose from, but the Shark SmoothStyle is currently blowing me away for its ease and ability to comb through my thick, knotty strands.
In case you weren’t aware, this tool, which Shark refers to as a heated comb straightener and smoother, is one of the latest drops from the popular hair tool brand. It debuted in August 2023 alongside Shark’s ultra-light SpeedStyle blow-dryer with none other than hairstylist Chris Appleton, a Kardashian-Jenner favorite, heading its campaign. I tried both within their first few days on the market, and as much as I love a great hair dryer, this hot brush impresses me time and time again for its smoothing and polishing abilities.
What makes the SmoothStyle stand out is its Wet and Dry Hair Modes. The former is kind of like your usual blow-dryer brush: the device uses heated air and its mix of pins, synthetic bristles, and boar bristles to dry hair while smoothing, detangling, and polishing strands. This mode has three heat settings to choose from depending on your hair type, but none of them reach temperatures beyond 212 degrees Fahrenheit, so rest assured your hair won’t fry from these gentle yet effective settings.
Since I have very thick, wavy hair, I stuck with the highest heat setting in Wet Hair Mode to smooth my strands. Before I got to using the SmoothStyle, I prepped my hair with my heat protectant of choice, the Rahua Heat Protectant Shield, and rough-dried my hair with my usual blow-dryer until it was 70% dry, which Shark suggests doing. After, I sectioned my hair as per a styling recommendation from Clariss Rubenstein, a hairstylist based in Los Angeles. “When using a blow-dry brush make sure to create very clean sections,” she says. “Drop a section out and clip the rest of the hair away this way you get the most thorough blow-dry without having curly or frizzy sections lost in the mix.”
The beauty of the SmoothStyle is its large barrel and tangle-busting bristles, which make styling in Wet Hair Mode a total breeze. I divvied my hair into six larger sections (which is half the amount that I’d usually do with a straightener), and went to work on my strands. It took about 15 minutes total to get through my entire head — a particularly surprising feat for me, considering that my hair usually takes 20 minutes to blow-dry alone. Though frizz, flyaways, and my naturally wavy texture were smoothed to perfection, I noticed my hair could use a glossy effect — that’s where the Dry Hair Mode steps in.