The Flowbee, a Haircutting Device From the '80s, Is Making a Comeback
Why go to the salon when you can suction your way to a perfect trim?
The '80s were known for extreme fashions and big hair, and one of the most iconic hair devices of that time was the Flowbee. (If you don't recall, here's the advertisement to jog your memory.) According to the website, the world-famous haircutting system works by cutting hair with a blade attachment that connects to a vacuum, and the secret to success is "proper suction." Although it sounds and looks pretty ridiculous, the Flowbee is making a comeback. It's actually so sought after that it's currently out of stock on the Flowbee site and through every other retailer we could locate. So why is everyone desperate to get their hands on a self haircutter? It's all because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It feels like just yesterday, but about nine months ago, coronavirus cases were ticking up and non-essential businesses, including salons and barbershops, shut down. During this time, Google searches for "Flowbee" surged, and the product sold out. The Flowbee isn't inexpensive; the priciest option retails for $140. It includes with Flowbee System, which is the head with blades and hose, hair spacers, hair guards, oil, as well as a miniature vacuum. There is also another package that comes with just the Flowbee System for $99, and the mini vacuum by itself costs $55.
You'll have to purchase an instructional DVD for expert help on using the Flowbee, but basically, you attach the hose to a vacuum. (Nearly every type of vacuum works, it just needs a round hose where you can attach the Flowbee and 700 watts of power.) Then, turn on the device, and run the blade across your hair. It simultaneously sucks hair and trims your tresses. You can cut hair lengths from .5-inch to 6 inches long at .25-inch increments. You can also buy attachments to cut longer hair.
According to testimonials, the device works as well as the marketing claims say it does. Reviewers say it works just as well as some professional stylists, and cleanup is super easy. One of Flowbee's biggest fans is none other than George Clooney, who's been using the system for years and says his haircuts take just two minutes.
The Flowbee website notes that out of stock items usually come back within weeks of selling out, so you can check back to see when the haircutter will become available again. If you're not comfortable going to the salon with a mask on, you can check out a similar device from Aircut ($150, Amazon). Or, learn how to cut your hair the old fashioned way with the help of a pro.