Hair dryers are one of the most underrated yet heavily relied on beauty tools out there. Those who swear by them may use them at least a couple times a week — if not every day — as part of a foundational beauty routine.
Since bad hair days can significantly impact our mood (in fact, there’s real science connecting how we feel to how well we take care of ourselves), it’s a good idea to replace any outdated hair dryers you own with the best hair dryers on the market today. Not only can older models feel weighty and take forever to dry hair, but they can also cause unnecessary damage to locks.
“Blow drying your hair should be quick and fun,” says Alex Osorio, a stylist at Sally Hershberger NoMad. “I hear complaints that dryers are too heavy, and what should be a fun thing to do is instead a battle when you’re just trying to do your own hair.”
“Using a really good blow dryer will allow you to dry your hair quickly, without overheating different sections which can cause heat damage with dry brittle strands,” adds salon owner and celebrity stylist Kee Taylor. “It will also prevent bacteria from growing on the scalp.”
But with so many hair dryer options available that have new, fancy features, it’s tricky to know what’s best for your specific hair type and texture. Luckily, there are a few general guidelines to get you started.
How to choose the best blow dryer for your needs
Choosing the right hair dryer for you, “depends on what hairstyle you’re looking for and what your routine is,” says The Beachwaver founder Sarah Potempa,. “You really have to evaluate your own hair, your routine and what you’re doing to make your hair look good.”
“Keep in mind, it’s not always the hair dryer, it’s the routine,” she adds. Did you do a cold rinse in the shower to help the frizz lay on your curls? Did you get out of the shower and use a regular towel, or one made of T-shirt material to protect the cuticle?”
What to look for in the best hair dryers
“It’s important that the hair dryer has at least three different heat settings with two speed options and a cool shot button,” says Kee, adding that that the dryer should come with attachments, like a concentrator and diffuser nozzle, because these additions “will give you enough versatility to create various hairstyles from the same blowdryer.”
Mastering your own blowout is an art —and not an easy one at that — but modern hair dryer models are lighter and stronger to keep hair protected and glossy, while giving your arm a break.
“I think the most important thing to consider is the weight of a hair dryer,” says Osorio. “It needs to be light and easy to handle in your hand. As a professional, I’m standing above the hair, so getting the angle right is easy, but when someone’s doing their own hair, it’s such an uncomfortable position. It’s a workout, basically.”
Some versions even come as hair-dryer brushes, so you can easily dry and style hair all in one go.
Although hair needs heat to be molded and formed into a specific style, you should try to avoid using the highest heat setting on your dryer, recommends Kee. “This can cause significant heat damage, especially if you’re doing it often and without any heat protectant,” she says.
Her solution? Use the medium heat setting at the highest speed to get your hair dry quickly and with less damage.
With the help of these stylists and brand founders, we’ve rounded up the best hair dryers for every hair type. We’ve also included insider tips and tricks to give yourself the blowout of dreams every time.
1. Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Dryer 2000
Best Classic Hair Dryer
The iconic shade of mint on this one is instantly recognizable, and unlike its since-retired counterparts, Harry Josh’s Pro Dryer 2000 has stood the test of time. Its short nose is easy to maneuver, especially if you’re using a high heat setting and need to move the nozzle around quickly.
“You want something short, easy and fun,” says Osorio, calling Harry Josh one of his all-time favorites. “Those hair dryers that have a long nose are not so easy to work with, but I recommend Harry Josh to all of my clients because it’s so easy to work with.”
2. Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
Best All-Around Blow Dryer
Dyson’s masterpiece is definitely one of the more expensive hair dryer options, but it’s sleek look and high-tech features live up to every bit of the hype. With four heat settings and three speed settings, it was designed to be used by a variety of hair types and textures.
“Thick, fine, coarse, processed and healthy hair can use this hair dryer,” says Osorio. “Also, it looks funky. I love that it looks kind of sexy and fun to use.”
3. DevaCurl DevaDryer + Devafuser
Best Hair Dryer for Curly Hair
“If you want to enhance your curls, you’re looking for a different type of blow dryer than someone who wants a smooth blowout with volume,” Potempa. “You’ll want something that will evenly send the airflow through the hair without disrupting the curl pattern.”
And DevaCurl is the brand for curly-haired folk, so it’s no wonder that its blow dryer and accompanying hand-shaped diffuser enhances every type of bend, from wavy to curly to coily.
“With curly hair, you want to make sure you’re going slowly in larger sections and that’s why you need a large diffuser,” says Potempa. “So you’re not concentrating the air in one small section, making it too hot too fast.”
4. Ghd Helios Professional Hairdryer
Best Blow Dryer for Shine
If you live by the ‘more is more’ philosophy, especially when it comes to shiny hair, add this Ghd dryer to your beauty routine. Its powerful, concentrated airflow travels at 75 mph, yet softly hums like a kitten, while its newly patented aerodynamic technology promises a 30% increase in shine. Add in a nozzle shaped to produce a consistent, even airflow, and voilá: You’ve got yourself a head of soft, smooth and shiny strands.
5. Moroccanoil Smart Styling Infrared Hair Dryer
Best Blow Dryer for Damaged Hair
To maintain ultra-healthy locks, try a hair dryer that uses infrared technology, like this one from Morocconoil. The tech gently warms up strands while reducing thermal exposure and sealing in moisture for maximum shine.
“What’s really important when you’re blow-drying is to lay the cuticle a little more flat and smooth so you get the shiniest version of your hair,” explains Potempa, who adds that to really give hair a full look, attach a concentrator attachment and aim it parallel to your hair to lift the root.
6. Remington Pro Hair Dryer with Pearl Ceramic
Best Hair Dryer for Fine Hair
While often great for thicker hair textures, blow dryers with all the bells and whistles can sometimes have an adverse effect on thin or fine hair — making it look flat, or worse, causing breakage or damage with a too-aggressive setting.
For those with finer strands, try Remington Pro’s hair dryer. Crafted with crushed pearls and ceramic, the hair dryer transfers micro-conditioners to locks throughout your styling session. This helps protect the hair strand and follicles, leaving you with a silky, smooth look.
7. T3 Blow Hair Dryer
Best Hair Dryer for Coily Hair
“If you have kinky textures, the hair needs more moisture, and using a heat protectant spray — such as Flawless by Gabrielle Union heat protectant spray — and a leave-in conditioner is a must,” says celebrity hairstylist Larry Sims, who never goes on set without his favorite T3 dryer.
Your heat setting will depend on how straight and smooth you want to make your hair. “For type 4 textures, you can use a higher setting for a smoother finish,” he says, adding that a good rule of thumb is “the looser the curl pattern you want to achieve, the lower the heat you should apply on the hair.”
8. Conair InfinitiPRO by Conair Quick Styling Salon Hair Dryer
Best Bargain Hair Dryer
You heard it here first: You can still get one of the best hair dryers without dropping a small fortune. “Price and quality are a big misconception when categorizing dryers,” says Sims. “it’s important instead to consider technology versus price, what the dryer does and how it reacts to the hair.”
And don’t let the price tag fool you on this one. It’s loaded with all the good stuff, like a pro-AC motor and gentle ceramic and ionic technologies to dry hair up to 50% faster with less damage, less frizz and more shine.
9. Sedu Revolution Pro Tourmaline Ionic 4000i Hair Dryer
Best Travel Hair Dryer
“Sedu is the absolute, in my opinion, best hair dryer on the market,” says Osorio. “The brand has two different versions: one that’s extremely light in power and weight, and a heavy-duty one (which I use) that dries hair super fast but is still lightweight, small and easy to store.”
Although it’s not a travel dryer per se, its compact design allows for super easy transport. “I travel a lot, so I can put the Sedu dryer in my backpack and it’s good to go,” says Osorio. It doesn’t take up too much space.”
10. Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer
Best for Big, Bouncy Blowouts
Although it can be tricky to get a salon-quality blowout at home, this one from the OG brand devoted exclusively to blowouts of all kinds gets you pretty close.
The lightweight design is equipped with ionic technology to control frizz while amping up shine and an ultra-powerful watt motor to cut drying time by 20%. Plus, the dryer comes with two concentrator nozzles to create a variety of styles.
“When it comes to volume, over-directing is a huge concept, and it’s actually pretty simple,” says Potempa. “Meaning, if I want my left side to have volume, I need to blow it over to the right side at the root because the hair follicle comes out of the head and wants to lay flat, so blowing it to the other side will sculpt and lift the root.”
11. Ga.Ma Italy Professional IQ Perfetto
Lightest Hair Dryer
Although this is the world’s lightest hair dryer, clocking in at just 10.3 ounces, it’s shockingly powerful — with the ability to dry hair 30% faster than others. It’s also the cleanest blow dryer we’ve ever seen, featuring Oxy Active Technology that emits active oxygen with antibacterial properties, a microfilter to block even the smallest lint particles from the motor and an auto-clean function for the filter — so you never have to be grossed out by looking at all the grime caught in your hair dryer’s motor.
12. The Beachwaver Co. Pro Dry Midnight Rose
Best Blow Dryer for Temperature Control
There are so many things to love about this lightweight and speedy hair dryer, but our favorite feature is the adjustable temperature and speed scroll. Just slide the center button up or down to find the perfect speed and temperature for your hair type and texture for a completely customized blow dry.
“The six-speed function is really cool, because as you’re scrolling up, it’s increasing the power output and the heat,” explains Potempa. ” Essentially, it’s doing the work for you, so you don’t have to think about it. With this scroll feature, you can change the settings as many times as you want during a blowout without having to stop what you’re doing.”
13. Bio Ionic 10x Ultralight Speed Dryer
Best Ionic Hair Dryer
“Ionic technology makes a big difference,” says Potempa, adding that more ions equal less frizz. “As the negative ions come through the airflow toward the water molecules, which have a positive charge, they’re split and scattered quickly. This reduces the drying time but also neutralizes the positive charge, which causes frizz. That ionic output is really meant to make it easy for you to get that polished, soft finish.”
14. BaBylissPro Volare V1 Dryer with Ferrari Designed Engine
Best Heavy-Duty Hair Dryer
Yes, you read that right. Ferrari, aka one of the world’s most luxurious car brands, designed this high-speed, turbo power engine with six different heat and speed settings. And it really is the Ferrari of hair dryers, complete with a nano titanium-infused grille for high intensity heat, a tri-port ionic generator to create magically glossy hair and, of course, a turbo button for a burst of extra powerful air for high-speed drying.
15. Elchim Milano Turbo Ceramic Dryer
Best Hair Dryer for Thick Hair
“If you have very thick or curly hair, it’s important that you look into blow dryers that have technology features such as ionic, ceramic and tourmaline,” explains Kee. “Ceramic heats up quickly and evenly across the surface and generates infrared heat, which helps prevent damage.”
16. Red by Kiss Ceramic 2500 Turbo Dryer
Best Hair Dryer for Frizzy Hair
“This dryer is affordable, but extremely good at its job,” says Kee. “I love that it gets to an ideal heat fast and comes with an air concentrator attachment, which allows me to concentrate the heat on sections of hair to prevent frizz without damaging the condition of type 3 and 4 hair.” To really prevent flyaways, the tourmaline ceramic technology locks in moisture and locks out frizz, exactly the way we like it.
17. Kristin Ess Iconic Style Professional Blow Dryer
Best Blow Dryer for Colored or Processed Hair
It’s no secret that heat tools can be damaging to hair, especially vulnerable hair that’s been compromised by a color process, relaxers or another chemical treatment. So, if you want your hair to stay as healthy as possible, it’s critical to choose a gentle hair dryer — like this one from Kristin Ess — to prevent further damage.
The trick here is to use a light power setting, says Osorio. “If you use a high heat or power setting on processed or bleached hair, you’d break your hair down.”
This tool dries large sections of hair fast, minimizing the amount and time your hair is exposed to heat, so strands stay healthy, hydrated and happy.
18. L’Ange Le Styliste Hair Dryer
Best Professional Hair Dryer
Powerful yet quiet and weighing less than a pound, L’Ange’s first-ever professional hair dryer, Le Styliste, is built with plenty of high-tech feature. In addition to drying hair four times faster than the average dryer, it also includes a heat and speed styling memory tool that allows you to pre-set the dryer for future use. Plus, its advanced ion engineering will leave strands satin-smooth and show your frizz who’s boss.
19. Revlon 1875W Lightweight + Compact Travel Hair Dryer
Best Amazon Pick, Based on Reviews
With nearly 30,000 positive reviews on Amazon, it’s safe to say this blow dryer is a winner, with one Amazon reviewer calling it “a great little dryer.” This Revlon compact travel dryer is a no frills, no fuss option, but with three temperature settings — warm, hot and cold — it gets the job done efficiently.
Osorio recommends starting every blowout with a rough dry on medium heat until hair is about 80% dry. “Toss the strands around side to side with your hands to wake up the roots, wake up the scalp and let the hair know we’re ready to rock and roll,” he adds.
Then, grab a round brush or flat pallet brush, amp up to a higher heat, but “don’t have too many seconds on one piece of hair,” he cautions. “Go through the strand a few times, then let it rest and don’t touch it. That’s when you blast it with the cold air to lock it in.”
20. Bio Ionic GrapheneMX Brushless Professional Hair Dryer
Best Blow Dryer for Sensitive Scalps
Making a second appearance on our list is Bio Ionic with its GrapheneMX dryer. It’s a godsend for people whose scalps tend to overheat during blowouts, as it’s designed to be used at lower, safer temperatures. That’s all thanks to the fact the dryer is made with graphene, the strongest material ever recorded at 200x stronger than steel. In practice, it disperses atoms quickly to evenly distribute heat and keep the dryer’s air temperature low — so you can achieve a dope blowout without breakage or hair damage. Bonus: The brand’s Moisturizing Heat technology infuses each strand with moisture to seal the cuticle, so hair is left looking and feeling healthy, hydrated and mega-glossy.