Parlux Advanced Light Review: Hands on with the new Parlux hair dryer

This month sees the release of the latest offering from Parlux with the release of their new flagship dryer, the Parlux Advance Light. Following up from the fantastic 385 Power Light (which I reviewed here), they’ve once again pushed the boat out, with claims of the new model being even lighter than before and several other tweaks both big and small. For those that don’t know the brand, Parlux are an Italian company that have been making blow dryers since the 1970’s, which is basically forever and have won multiple awards over the last handful of years for their products. Personally, I’ve been a fan of their dryers since my first one, several years ago, so I’m very excited to get my hands on and review the Parlux Advance Light. So let’s get going with the dryer!  First up, the price tag. The latest dryer from Parlux will run you £110 at retail price, though it can be found online for around the £100 price mark. It is then, a professional product, in the premium price range. For some this might seem steep, but it’s about average for the high end of the professional market. Parlux throw out some bullet points to justify the price and some of the interesting selling points of the new model include a heat proof body, which stays cool whilst in use, ionic and ceramic technology, a very light weight and last but not least, a new motor, dubbed the K-ADVANCE, which promises longer lifespan. We’ll take a closer look at these features in the review, but for now, lets talk colours! Parlux have followed suit with what I presume was a success in the 385 Power Light by releasing the new dryer in a plethora of colours. You can pick them up in black, white, gold, ice, orange, red, green, violet, fuchsia and blue. Enough choice there then for even the most garish of us out there. The red is no longer the metallic of the 385 models, with the only two metallic colours now being ice and gold. The model in my photos and that I am using in the review is the new ice colour for anyone interested and it has to be said, it look glorious. A very cool, grey-blue, as someone who usually sticks to black I find it really subtle and it retains the class of the simple black and red that I’m more used to picking up. For those of us who like more glam and glitz, Parlux seem to have you covered also, check out the photo below for images of each colour, quite a few of them I’d be more than happy to wave around all day long and I think they’ve struck a general balance of keeping things classy whilst still offering a fair bit of personalisation.

parlux-advance-light-review-box

The packaging is lean, Parlux don’t tend to go overboard with gift boxes and the like, as they push a very hard line as an eco-friendly company. This extended to parts of the old 385 actually being made from recycled plastics, which I would imagine is repeated in the Advance Light. What you get then is a simple cardboard box, inside you’ll find the dryer, two different sized nozzles and a tri-fold leaflet for warranty information. It’s as minimal as can be and some people might feel a little deflated by that, but for me I don’t mind it and feel that it shows confidence in the product and a commitment to being eco-friendly. More important is the dryer itself; On the outside, aside from a few minor aesthetic choices (the rubber bumper on the side is now a geometric shape, rather than circular) Parlux haven’t changed a winning formula. Aesthetically, the Advance Light is almost exactly the same design as the 385 Power Light, the body itself is exactly the same dimensions with the handle around a cm longer. The cool shot button on the Advance Light is very slightly less pronounced and sits into the handle slightly more, which will make pressing it without intention more or less impossible. One notable difference is the way the funnel attachments now fit onto the body. On the Advance Light, there is now an indent running around the front of the dryer which the attachments clip into. This requires more force to clip an attachment onto the dryer, but in turn holds them to the dryer convincingly. On occasion I’ve had the funnel attachments pop off of my 385 Power Light, so this is a reassuring little change. The controls are the same as we’ve come to expect from Parlux, sitting on the side of the handle with simple, three way switches that click from left to right. On top is a temperature selector, with options for cool, medium and hot. Below that is an identical switch used as an airflow selector that slides from off, medium and maximum. The control placement has always been one of the main selling points for me, they sit in just a position as to make changing on the fly very easy whilst changing setting or turning the dryer off through accidental knocking is pretty much inconceivable (and I’ve never actually done so). They clunk into position from left to right satisfyingly and it’s very easy to select the middle setting without overshooting. One of the bullet points for the new Advance Light was ‘soft switches’ and I was concerned that the controls were in for a larger overhaul. As it happens, I needn’t have worried as I’m yet to figure out what ‘soft switches’ actually mean. When selecting the temperature or speed controls they do have a slightly less plastic-y feel compared with my 385 Power Light, but I couldn’t tell if this was the soft switches coming into play or just that it was a new dryer and having no wear, felt a little better. Regardless, the controls are much the same as they have been on other previous, Parlux models and function as good as they ever did here on the new Advance Light.

So far, it seems as if Parlux are sticking with the adage ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. There are however, some key updates in the new Parlux dryer which might not jump out just by looking, but in use play a big role where it counts. Hiding behind the familiar face of the Advanced Light, is Parlux’ new K-ADVANCE motor, which is a 2200 watt motor, putting out 83 cubic meters of airflow per hour. So what does this mean in practical terms and how does it perform? Firstly, let’s talk about volume levels. Parlux always boast quiet dryers and this remains true in the new model. In my completely unscientific sound level tests, the Advanced Light was averaging sound levels around 1-2Db quieter than my 385 Power Light, that might not sound like much but it’s nothing to be sniffed at during prolonged use and sits it up there as one of the quietest dryers I’ve used out of the box. This can of course be further reduced using the Parlux Melody Silencer (you can check out my review here) which fits onto the new dryer just the same as previous models. One other bullet point on the box is that the Advance Light also has a heat proof body. In practice this is impressive and even when running the dryer at the highest heat setting for prolonged periods, the body remained completely cool to the touch, right up to the nozzle, which is welcome news for anyone that holds the body of the dryer when drying and also helpful for storing the dryer immediately after use.

parlux-advance-light-review-body-1

Of course, this is called the Advanced LIGHT and true to name, it is an impeccably light and well balanced dryer. My old 385 Power Light was a light dryer, in my review I wrote that it could be easily confused for a non functioning display model with no guts. My impression here is just as shining, as the Advanced Light is without doubt the lightest dryer I’ve ever used. In truth the difference feels very slight over the previous 385 model, but I put that down to the fantastic balance of the Parlux ergonomics and the fact that at this weight, they are shaving slight margins off of already lean pickings. It appears then, that the new K-ADVANCE motor is an excellent upgrade, as it is not only slightly quieter, cooler and lighter, but it is managing all that whilst being more powerful to boot. To top it all off, Parlux claim it also has a longer life. I’ve never once run a Parlux dryer into the ground, so I’m going to take their word for that one and as long as it holds it’s ground with every other Parlux offering I’ve owned, then we’re laughing. So okay, all this technical gubbins about motors and watts sounds great, but how about results? I’ve been using the Advance Light as my main dryer during work for about 10 days now and I can’t put it down. My 385 has been resigned to the drawer and I can’t see any reason to get it back out for now. The Advance Light dries at a blistering rate, making hair easy to control and leaves all my blow-dry work looking smooth and rich. I found that alternating between the medium and maximum speed setting really helps control the frizz and smooth down hair nicely, as I can blast the hair on maximum until it’s almost dry in rapid time, then the medium setting is just perfect to finish it off. The ergonomics and weight are spot on and it’s pipped the spot for most comfortable dryer I’ve ever used from my old 385. When you’re using dryers for a long time, comfort is so often overlooked until it’s too late, but here Parlux have nailed it and its light weight really comes into a league of its own.  Oh, and hey, the ice colour just looks straight cool.

In conclusion there is not much more to say, other than to confirm that the new Parlux Advance Light is just a fantastic dryer. I’ll be continuing to use it daily from now on. In the past, whenever clients would ask me about my tools and ask for recommendations, I’d always recommend Parlux, however at the price, the recommendation would always have to be followed up with “If you can justify the high price” etc. These days however, with the likes of GHD selling their GHD AIR dryer at a similar price point and being eaten up by the public, I feel it’s easier to recommend the Parlux. People are becoming more accustomed to buying professional tools for personal use and paying the steeper price that comes with the extra build quality. At this price point, the Parlux is definitely in the premium market, but I have no problems saying that for me, it sits on top of the pile. Most dryers at £100+ all float around the same price, the Parlux however is, for my money, the lightest, most comfortable and all round best performing of the pack. If you’re looking to upgrade from a 385 Power Light, that’s a difficult question, it would undoubtedly be an upgrade, but you’re looking at diminishing returns, if your 385 is on the way out or you can afford it, go for it. If not, you might be better waiting for now. If you’re looking for a professional dryer for the first time or you need to buy a new dryer to replace a dying older model, you simply cannot go wrong with the Advance Light and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it both to other professionals and to the general public alike. It is potentially more money than some have spent on a dryer before and stepping up into the premium price point can feel a little risky, but like most things, you do tend to get what you pay for. Parlux are a very ‘no nonsense’ brand and that’s partly what drew me to them in the first place, so spending the money here, you can be sure that every penny of it is going into the product. No fluff, no waste, just quality design and build. Final words, simply, top marks for Parlux. Again.

The unit in this review was sent to me for review. At LEMON/SODA I’ll always give my honest opinion no matter the manner of acquisition, as well as taking cost into consideration whilst writing any review.

2017-10-25T03:35:19+00:00 May 21st, 2016|Reviews, Videos|4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Jeff Nov 23, 2016 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    Thanks for a very very good review Ben. I’m looking for a top class HD as a present for my wife (currently using a Babyliss Keratin, so heavy you could stun an ox with it). With a few more months use now in the bank, would you recommend this over the 385 (there’s only a £10 difference in price at the moment), or is there another dryer in the same price bracket that’s a Parlux beater?
    Cheers
    Jeff

  2. Patrice Hamilton Jan 24, 2017 at 11:23 pm - Reply

    Hi,

    Thanks for all the detail, however recent programme on hair drying suggesting not hotter than 185 degrees, what temp does this dry you hair at??

    Thanks. p

  3. sian murray Jun 6, 2017 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    What a comprehensive and well-written review. Can you tell us exactly how much the Advance light weights including the plug and cable?

  4. Christina Jan 24, 2018 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    Thank you for addressing all the important issues! I am convinced it is worth a try.

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