It is a sad day. Your old and trusty hair dryer has seen it’s last day. Or maybe you are looking for an upgrade. You now find yourself staring at all the options for a new dryer.
Which one is best? What do the negative ions mean? Will this damage my hair? These are all questions that come up when looking for a new hairdryer.
Our guide will explain the history, features and most importantly give you some recommendations for your new appliance that will hopefully leave you confident in choosing the best dryer for you!
Best Blow Dryers That are not Expensive
Remington Hair Dryer with Ionic + Ceramic + Tourmaline Technology : Editor’s Pick
This Remington hair dryer made our list for the best dryer, but it could have easily fit into the most affordable. It has ionic, ceramic and tourmaline technology in a dryer and can be purchased at a big box store. There are three heat settings, a cool shot, and two-speed settings. The buttons are on the handle and have a “click” to them so you can change the setting easily without having to stop what you are doing.
Included with the dryer is also a diffuser and a concentrator making this suitable for many hair types. The combination of ceramic, ionic and tourmaline make this a frizz buster. This could also fall into our best dryer for frizz. But, the price point keeps it here.
- Ionic, ceramic and tourmaline combination
- Good for multiple types of hair
- The cord is short.
- The attachments, while we love they are included, can easily detach themselves. If the barrel was just a little longer they would be perfect.
Panasonic EH-NA65-K Nanoe Dryer: Best Overall
The Panasonic Nanoe dryer is our runner up for the best overall hair dryer. The only reason that it isn’t our top pick is because of the price is about double what our winner cost. It is still not expensive for an appliance that you use daily, but some might find it out of their budget.
This dryer uses nanoe technology which is a kicked up version ionic technology to help dry hair quicker and leave it healthier by sealing in moisture up to 1,000 times more than a basic ionic dryer. This dryer will produce shiny hair and minimize frizz. It is good for all hair types.
The controls on this dryer are different than most. It isn’t a click button, but rather a slide. The plus side of this is that you can’t switch the speed by accidentally pushing it while it is in use. But, you might have to stop for a second to switch it to a lower setting.
This dryer has two fan speeds and three levels of heat. It comes with a diffuser, a concentrator and a quick dry nozzle that adjusts the airflow. It also has a 9’ cord.
- Nanoe technology is good for reducing damage.
- The air flow is strong but not too strong.
- It is quieter than most dryers.
- It is a little top heavy, but not so much that it is uncomfortable for the consumer. A professional might find it is too heavy to use all day.
Red by Kiss 1875 Pro Watt Ceramic Tourmaline Hair Dryer
The Red by Kiss has ceramic tourmaline ionic technology to prevent frizz and damage to your hair.
There are three heat settings and two air speeds to adjust this for multiple hair types. Those with fine hair will be able to use a lower heat and fan speed and those with thick hair can use the higher heat and speed to safely dry hair quickly.
There are four accessories included. There is a diffuser, concentrator, and two types of combs for straightening and detangling while you dry. The cool shot button will finish off your hairstyle.
The buttons are on the side of the handle, which is good if you often switch your setting unintentionally. There is also a removable filter for easy cleaning.
- The affordable price tag.
- The included attachments that actually stay on.
- Works quickly on all hair types.
- The cord it a little short
- It is a little bit loud.
Remington Pro Hair Dryer with Pearl Ceramic Technology
Remington Pro Hair Dryer with Pearl Ceramic Technology is the runner up for most affordable. This dryer uses pearl ceramic technology, which means that the grill has been coated in ceramic with crushed pearls. Like the Remington dryer that won most affordable, this dryer has three heat settings, a cool shot and two air speeds for your perfect style.
The motor is comparable to a one you would find in a salon quality hairdryer. This motor delivers airflow 40% faster than a typical hair dryer. The diffuser and concentrator attach and are included, making it good for multiple types of hair.
Ceramic is good for consistent heat distribution and the ionic generator will keep hair soft. This is also great for minimizing frizz. It is a little heavier than some of the other models on the list, still a great appliance.
- The new technology with ceramic and pearl.
- Manages frizz
- The cord is short
- It can be a little heavy if using it for more than a few minutes.
Best Professional Hair Dryers
The RUSK Engineering Super Freak Professional 2000 Watt Dryer
The RUSK Super Freak Professional Dryer is the winner for the best professional hair dryer. The motor is Italian in this dryer, so we like to liken it to the Ferrari of hair dryers. The airflow on this dryer can’t be beaten. It is very powerful.
Infused with ceramic, tourmaline and infrared heat for super fast drying time. This dryer gets very hot and should be used with caution if you have fine hair or hair with a lot of damage. But, if you have super thick hair, you will be shocked at how fast your hair is dried.
Ergonomically designed with balanced weight so it is comfortable to use. The buttons are different than us Americans are used to. There isn’t any wrong with them. This is just a heads up there might a bit of a learning curve when you want to switch the speed or the heat setting.
- Superior air flow and pressure
- Cool shot button
- Reduced dry time
- This dryer gets very hot and it might be best to leave this one to the professional if you are new to styling your hair with a dryer.
- The instructions are in Italian. Not a problem if you speak Italian.
JINRI 1875W Professional, Negative Ionic, Low Noise Hair Blow Dryer with Diffuser & Concentrator & Comb
This is a long name for our runner up for the best professional dryer. This dryer has three infrared heat settings and two wind speed settings, so you can really customize it for your hair type and style. The infrared heat provides consistent heat and will prevent damage to your hair. This type of heat mixed with the negative ions will really help to fight frizz and boost your hair’s shine.
This dryer is quiet. You would think with 1875 watts it would be loud, but you are not going to wake the entire house up using this before work in the morning. Also, professionals who use a dryer all day long will appreciate not having a loud motor in their ear all day long.
There are three accessories that are included. There is a diffuser for curly hair, a concentrator for straightening or straight hair and a comb that can help detangle hair while it is drying.
Some reviewers mention that the heat does not get hot enough to dry their hair. This is just a handful out of the mostly positive reviews. But, if you have super thick or super coarse hair this might not be the best fit for you.
- Low price for a professional dryer
- Tourmaline and negative ionic
- Cool Shot
- Multiple heat and fan settings
- Removable air filter
- Long nine-foot cord
- The buttons are positioned in a way you could accidentally change the settings while you are using it.
Best Travel Hair Dryers
BaByllis Pro BABNT053T Nano Titanium Travel Dryer
This hairdryer is part of the BaByllis Nano Titanium product line. The titanium helps keep the weight of this dryer low and allows for high-temperature heat which helps with fast styling time. It also naturally produces ions which will help reduce frizz and leave your hair shiny and smooth.
The dryer handle folds for travel and it weighs only 8 ounces. Another nice feature is you can remove the filter to keep it clean. Dual voltage allows you to use it in other countries.
Keep in mind if you have the full size or medium size dryer at home this isn’t going to be the exact same dryer. This much smaller and the fan isn’t going to blow as much as a full-size dryer.
- We can get a great style while traveling and not have to use the hotel dryer.
- It is powerful for its size.
- Won’t take up room and weight in your bag.
- There is no cool shot option.
Conair Vagabond Compact 1600 Watt Folding Handle Hair Dryer
This travel hair by Conair is our runner up because of its size and its price tag. It is about the size of a 16 oz. water bottle when unfolded and weights in under a pound. The 1600 watts make this dryer pretty powerful.
There is an option to change the voltage the dryer uses, i.e. 120 volts for the US and 250 for other countries. A screwdriver is required to make the change in voltage.
- It’s small in size and even smaller when folded.
- Very lightweight which helps when you need your suitcase to be under a certain weight.
- High and Low setting.
- Can be used outside of the US.
- This dryer is what it is, a cheap travel option. It is not ionic, ceramic or infrared.
- It might take a long time if your hair is long or thick.
- The cord is a short (five feet).
Best Hair Dryers for frizzy Hair
INFINITIPRO by CONAIR 1875 Watt Salon Performance AC Motor Styling Tool/Hair Dryer
INFINITIPRO by CONAIR Dryer is our choice for the best dryer for frizz. The combination of ceramic and ionic technology can reduce frizz by 75%. Included are the concentrator and a diffuser and the filer is removable for easy cleaning.
The customizable settings include three heat settings, high and low fan speeds, and a true cool button. This dryer is good for all types of hair. Use it on a lower setting with low heat for fine hair and on a higher heat and higher fan power for thicker hair. But, most importantly, this dryer reduces frizz.
The blow dryer is lightweight and has an ergonomic handle so it is comfortable to use. It is a little loud, but that is to be expected.
This is one of our only dryers that come in different colors. It comes in burgundy, orange, aqua, purple and black.
- 75% less frizz!
- Temperature settings mean it can be used for all hair types.
- The fan power is almost too much and can even tangle hair.
Revlon 1875W Frizz Control Lightweight IONIC Hair Dryer
Revlon makes the list for runner up for the best hair dryer for frizz. Not only does this fight frizz, but it is also a cheap hair dryer and pink. On Wednesdays we wear pink.
Ionic technology fights frizz and the cool shot button seals your style. There are three heat/speed controls, but you cannot control these things individually. Meaning you get high speed with heat, a low fan with heat or a cool shot. This dryer is very lightweight at around a pound and it comes with a concentrator.
This dryer is a great option if you need a cheap hair dryer and want to fight frizz. If you are looking for bells and whistles, then this might not be your first choice.
- The bright pink color makes us smile
- Extremely affordable
- Only high and low and no option for temperature.
- If you have thick hair you might need something with a little more power.
Best Hair Dryers for Fine hair
MHU Professional Salon Grade 1875w Low Noise Ionic Ceramic Ac Infrared Heat Hair Dryer
This MHU dryer is a great choice for fine hair because it uses infrared heat and negative ions to dry hair quickly which can reduce the chance of damage to fine hair.
There are three fan speed options and three options for heat control and a cool shot button. Included with the dryer are a diffuser and a concentrator. This also has an 1875 watt motor and a 9-foot cord.
- The infrared heat quickly dries hair.
- It is a low noise dryer.
- Negative ions fight frizz.
- It is a little heavy.
John Frieda Frizz Ease Full Volume Hair Dryer
Our runner up hair dryer for fine hair will give you a boost of volume and shine. The titanium ceramic coating on the grill blasts your hair with ions. There are two concentrators included and a diffuser.
This dryer has 1875 watts, three heat settings, and two fan settings. The cool shot button locks into place to finish your style without having to hold the button down.
This dryer comes in full size and also a medium size. The medium size comes with only one concentrator and one diffuser, but it a little bit smaller or compact in size.
If you are looking for major volume in your hair flip your head over while using this dryer. When your hair is completely dry flip you head back over and give it a brush. You should have tons of volume and shine.
- Good volume and lift achieved
- The titanium ceramic coated grill
- The locking cool shot button
- Two sizes for your most comfortable fit.
- The control buttons are in a weird spot.
Best Hair Dryer for Thick Hair
Revlon 1875 Infrared Hair Dryer
This Revlon is our pick for a great dryer for thick hair. The infrared heat helps to dry hair faster by drying from the inside out but it also helps prevent damage by locking in moisture. While the tourmaline ionic technology helps with drying time.
There is a ceramic coating that helps reduce heat damage. The infrared heat combined with the ions, tourmaline, and ceramic coating is great for thick hair because it takes longer for your hair to dry.
There is a concentrator and a diffuser included, along with three hair sectioning clips which are invaluable when you have a ton of hair to dry. There are two heat and two fan settings and a cool shot button.
This is a very affordable dryer for all the features it has and it will dry your hair quickly and reduce dreaded frizz.
- 75% less frizz!
- Temperature settings mean it can be used for all hair types.
- A few reviewers have said that the fan power is almost too much and can even tangle hair.
HOT TOOLS Signature Series 1875W Salon Turbo Ionic Dryer
The HOT TOOLS Turbo dryer is our runner up dryer for thick hair. The turbo motor’s airflow lessens drying time by up to 40%. The ionic feature helps to dry hair quicker and reducing frizz and static.
Two speed and six heat combinations will work on all hair types. The removable end cap so you can easily clean the filter prolonging the life of your dryer.
It is very lightweight weighing about a pound and it has a soft-touch comfort grip, which is priceless when you have to spend a lot of time drying thick hair. The cool shot button will help set your style. Included is a concentrator and a diffuser.
- It is lightweight.
- Quick drying time
- The buttons are large and are easily bumped while in use.
Best Luxury Hair Dryers
Elchim Classic 2001 Hair Dryer
This Elchim dryer is an award-winning blow dryer. This is a luxury hair dryer so the price is a bit higher than most of the dryers on this list. But, the features make this dryer worth the price tag.
This is another dryer who was designed in Italy. It has a high-end motor that was built to last for over 2,000 hours of use. There are two speeds and five temperatures make this a good choice for all types of hair including fine and course.
This dryer has a balance of airflow and heat that helps to reduce drying time and reduce heat damage. The ionic technology reduces frizz.
The one nozzle that is included is a concentrator and the company guarantees maximum effectiveness with the precision of this nozzle. A diffuser can be purchased separately. There are six color choices: white, red, black, pink, black with white, and black with red.
There is not a cool shot button; rather there is a cool setting. It is one of the temperatures, so you don’t have to hold it down to get cool air and finish off your style.
It is lightweight and quieter than most dryers are. This is great if you are using this as a professional.
- Long life span
- Reduced drying time
- Good for all types of hair
- The nozzle tends to get a little hot.
Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer Iron
Dyson has been a household name when it comes to vacuum cleaners, well now they have put their technology team to work on perfecting hair dryers. This is an award-winning luxury hair dryer that costs a few hundred dollars. If you can afford it, this dryer packs a lot of punch.
The motor has been designed to have almost no sound and the high-velocity fan will dry your hair quickly. This is also cool to the touch, meaning the attachment surfaces stay cool. Speaking of attachments, this dryer has three that attach by a magnet.
There are four heat temperatures. Fast drying, regular drying, gentle drying, and constant cold. The temperature is measured multiple times every second. This keeps the heat consistent and protects hair from damage.
The motor of this dryer is in the handle making the weight balanced and it feels lightweight compared to the other style of dryers. There is also a reduction system to reduce the vibrations caused by the motor.
This dryer doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles, i.e. ceramic, ionic or tourmaline. This is really about the engineering of the air flow and velocity. The even airflow will help reduce frizz.
- There is almost no noise.
- You will not be hot when you are finished.
- Cool to the touch
- The price tag
- There is a learning curve to use it.
- Pretty new to the market and some of the quirks might not be worked out.
A Brief History of the Hair Dryer
The first hair dryer was invented in France in 1890. Inventor Alexander Godefroy was a French stylist. He used a chimney pipe and along with a gas stove and a bonnet to create the first hairdryer. Yikes, can you imagine putting on a bonnet that was attached to a gas stove?
The handheld hair dryer came to the market in the United States around 1915. These dryers while they were small enough to hold in your hand, they were very heavy and weighed about two pounds. Unfortunately, they also overheated and in a few cases caused electrocution.
The next thirty years or so the industry worked on making the dryer more efficient. Back then hair dryers were only able to use 100 watts of power. Now they use up to 2000 watts. This helped cut down on the time needed to actually dry the hair. The invention of plastics was a game changer in making the dryer much lighter in weight.
In the 1990s, guidelines required that all dryers use a ground fault circuit interrupter. This means that you cannot get electrocuted if it gets wet. There were still many cases of electrocution, but that number fell to less than 4 in the early 2000s. This article provides a little more in-depth article of the history for you to read if you are so inclined.
Different Types of Hair Dryers
In ceramic hair dryer, the heating elements are coated in a ceramic compound. This creates a gentler heat and can help prevent damage to the hair. Ceramic also prevents overheating or burning because of thermal conductivity properties.
This type of dryer can be used every day and is good for almost all hair types. Keep in mind, if frizz is your main concern this might not be your first choice for a type of dryer. The dryer does release some negative ions, but you will see better results with a different type of dryer.
Ionic Hair dryer creates negative ions that help break down the water molecules in your hair. So, not only are you using heat and air to dry the hair, you are actually breaking down the water to make the hair dry faster.
In addition, the negative ions, the dryer will also help to seal moisture into the cuticles of your hair trapping in moisture. This helps the hair to be shiny and have less frizz.
Tourmaline dryers are the bee’s knees of hair dryers. Tourmaline is a semiprecious stone that is crushed to a fine powder and added to the components of the hair dryer.
When the powder generates infrared heat along with negative ions. This makes the heat much more gentle on the hair during styling and also cuts down the time it takes the hair to dry by almost half. It also makes the hair shiny and cuts down on frizz, by sealing in the hair’s moisture.
The beauty of a titanium hair dryer is its weight. Now, it still provides consistent temperature and helps to dry hair quickly, but the weight makes this one a winner. These dryers can be 40% lighter than a ceramic dryer. This is great if you like to use your dryer one-handed for a do it yourself blow out or if you have a thick hair that takes a long time to dry since your arms are less likely to get tired.
The Features You need in a Hair Dryer
Cool Shot Setting
Lots of people ignore this little button, but it a great way to finish off your style. When your hair is about 80% dry switching over to cooler air helps set the hair ensuring a longer-lasting blow dry. It can also help prevent damage to the hair. Many people over dry their hair by switching over to cooler air the hair less time under the damaging heat.
The wattage for a typical hair dryer is typically 800 to 1800 watts. Higher wattage makes more wind power and will cut down your time it takes to style your hair. The higher wattage can also help with damage to the hair since you don’t have to use it as long as a lower wattage one. Depending on your circumstances, you might need to use a lower wattage dryer, especially if you keep tripping your circuit breaker.
This one is pretty simple. Most dryers have a high and low setting. You can decide which setting is best for styling your hair type and style.
There are many combs, diffuser and other attachments you can put on your dryer that can come with the dryer or you can purchase separately. If purchased separately, be sure using the attachment will not void the manufacturer’s warranty.
Diffusers are added to the hair dryer for curly hair. They help cut down on frizz, add volume and dry your hair without disturbing your natural curl pattern. When using the diffuser you lean your head to the side and “plop” the hair into the diffuser. Then move the diffuser toward your head. It takes a little time to get the hang of how to do it. Check this video out for a great how to.
Combs can be attached to your dryer to help detangle your hair and style it at the same time. This can also be helpful when straightening hair.
A concentrator nozzle can be attached to direct the heat through a smaller opening make it more powerful in a smaller area.
Bonnet hood turns your regular hair dryer into a salon style dryer. You place the bonnet on your head and attach the tube to your blow dryer. These can be used to set your hair with curlers, to deep condition or dry a customize hairstyle without ruining it.
Choosing the Best Dryer for Your Hair Type
If your hair is thick, you know that it can take forever to dry it. A tourmaline dryer is going to be the best for cutting down your drying time. The infrared heat mixed with the negative ions that will break down the water molecules packs a double punch. Check out the Revlon Infrared Dryer with Clips.
Ionic blow dryers are good if frizz is your issue. The negative ions they produce helps to fight frizz. You could also use the tourmaline type. The infrared heat helps seal the cuticles in the hair shaft sealing moisture and preventing frizz. We like the INFINITIPRO by CONAIR for this hair type.
Ceramic hair dryers are a great type of hair dryer for frizzy hair, but they should not be your first choice. Something that provides the negative ions is a better fit for frizz.
A ceramic hair dryer is great for someone with thin or fine hair. The ceramic keeps the temperature consistent and will help prevent damage to your hair. Ceramic can also add a little bit of volume and the appearance of thickness to your hair. An adjustable heat setting is good for fine hair too. You have more flexibility to control how much heat you are using because you can start off with it on high to dry your hair but then put it on low to style it.
Try to avoid a dryer that has high heat as it can easily damage fine hair. Our pick: John Frieda Frizz Ease Full Volume Hair Dryer.
Infrared, ionic and tourmaline dryers are the best choice when it comes to curly hair. Hair that has a natural curl to it needs more moisture. The infrared dryer dries hair from the inside out and that helps to keep moisture in the hair. The ionic dryer will lock in moisture to your hair and preserves the natural oils in your hair. The tourmaline dryer has both of these features making it a great choice for curly hair. Check out the Panasonic EH-NA65-K Nanoe Dryer.
Before You Start
Let your hair air dry until it is about 50% dry. If you don’t have time for that. Blow dry while using your fingers until it is about 60% dry and then grab the brush.
Add a heat protectant to your hair.
Have your tools ready, including the right hair brush for your hair type and style, clips for sectioning off hair, and your blow dryer accessories if you use them.
Common Mistakes You Might be Making
If you are not seeing the results you want, check out these “what not to dos”.
Spending too long with that towel on your head
It is easy to do… you get out of the shower, wrap your hair up and start to get ready. Next thing you know it has been half an hour and your hair is still in the towel. This can damage your hair as can cotton based towels. Try using a microfiber towel and only leave it on for ten minutes, max. It is much better to let your hair air dry for a bit and then begin to dry and style it with your blow dryer.
You Forgot to use a heat protectant
Using a product before you start drying your hair can help not only by protecting your hair from damaging heat, but it can also reduce frizz, detangle, strengthen, add shine and more. There are tons of different products that will address your specific hair needs. Just be sure not to use too much product. You could end up weighing the hair down making it look flat or worse greasy.
You are using the wrong brush
If you are looking for volume and bounce you need to use a round brush.
Lots of wisps or flyaways? Avoid the brushes that have the metal in the middle. They don’t have as many bristles.
Coarse or damaged hair should avoid the metal cored brushes too. They heat up like a flat iron and create more heat on your already sensitive hair.
Thin or fine hair should use boar bristles as they straighten hair without volume.
You start at the back and work forward
It makes sense, you don’t want to mess up the front of your hair while you try to finish the back. But, what can happen is your hair can start to dry and it will be harder to smooth or style the way you like. If you have cowlicks, new growth or wisp, and bangs, you need to be doing this part of your hair first. Period. It is so hard to work those things out when your hair is already getting dry. Start at the front of your hair near your hairline and work your way back.
Protect Your Investment
Now that you have made the time and financial investment choosing your dryer, you are going to want to take proper care of it. Just be sure to unplug it before you start.
Keep the vent and filter clean by using a small brush or even a toothbrush to remove dust. Once the dust is loosened use a vacuum or a little canned air to get the dust away. This will help the dryer from overheating.
Store your dryer in a drawer so it doesn’t get dusty or dirty.
Don’t pull on the cord when you are unplugging it. Grab by the base and give it a gentle tug.
Who knew there was so much information to be found about hair dryers? Hopefully, we have given you some ideas to picking out the best dryer to make you look like you just left the salon.