The 8 Best Bonnet Dryers

Updated October 26, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

8 Best Bonnet Dryers
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 41 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Many of today's modern hood dryers use ionic technology to reduce static in your hair as well as control the shape and style. Whether your salon needs a professional bonnet dryer or you just want a unit at home to allow you to achieve professional results quickly, comfortably and conveniently, you'll find the perfect model in our comprehensive selection. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best bonnet dryer on Amazon.

8. Hair Flair Deluxe Softhood

The Hair Flair Deluxe Softhood is a relatively convenient way to dry your hair without breaking the bank. Simply place the hood over your head, adjust the chin strap, and attach the hose to your favorite hair dryer nozzle. Fastening the drawstring can be annoying, though.
  • hose stays firmly attached
  • easy to take traveling
  • takes a long time to dry thick hair
Brand Hair Flair
Model 473115
Weight 5 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Pro Versa JHBD100

The Pro Versa JHBD100 features an integrated tourmaline ionizer that delivers a high degree of shine, while limiting the amount of static produced. It also conveniently folds up for compact storage, but it doesn't have a lot of headroom.
  • gentle enough for daily use
  • moderate noise level
  • fan isn't super powerful
Brand Jerdon
Model JHBD100
Weight 8.3 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Babyliss Pro Rollabout

Whether you own a salon or just want salon-quality hair at home, the Babyliss Pro Rollabout is a suitable choice. It produces frizz-free hair using its three heat settings and the airflow automatically stops if you lift the visor.
  • heats up nearly instantaneously
  • lightweight and easy to reposition
  • doesn't have a timer
Brand BaBylissPRO
Weight 17.9 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

5. Conair Pro Style Collapsible

For professional drying results from a compact unit, the Conair Pro Style Collapsible is the solution. It surrounds your head with even heat at all times to ensure all of your hair dries, and you can adjust the height to make it comfortable with almost any chair.
  • has a gentle setting
  • convenient onboard cord storage
  • doesn't accommodate large rollers
Brand Conair
Model HH400R
Weight 9 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Ovente HDS11

With its 10.5 by 9.5-inch visor opening, the Ovente HDS11 is specifically designed for use with large hair rollers associated with elaborate and involved salon appointments. It features a multi-bladed fan that moves a large amount of air.
  • adjustable thermostat
  • available in black or white
  • requires hair to be pinned down
Brand Ovente
Model HDS
Weight 13 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Highland Venus Plus

The Highland Venus Plus features a chemical-resistant, powder-coating and a long-lasting steel construction, making it a good choice for salon use. Its 980-watt element is capable of reaching temperatures as high as 140 degrees, and it plugs into a standard 120V outlet.
  • doesn't take up a lot of floor space
  • surprisingly quiet while in use
  • works with most dryer chairs
Brand Highland
Model LSHD-005-C
Weight 29 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Laila Ali Ionic

The Laila Ali Ionic is suitable for a range of uses, from drying braids to setting curls to processing chemical treatments. Since it releases ions, it keeps hair moist and in good health, plus it comes in at a nice low price that fits into most people's budgets.
  • multiple heat and air speed settings
  • can also blow cool air
  • accommodates jumbo rollers
Brand Laila Ali
Model LADR5604
Weight 3.9 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. Pibbs Kwik Dri

Perfect for high-end salons, the Pibbs Kwik Dri is a professional-grade, Italian-made model that offers a height-adjustable stand, a flip-down visor, and 1,100 watts of power to provide the ultimate in high-efficiency hair drying operation.
  • 0 to 60-minutes timer
  • adjustable temperature control
  • casters for easy movement
Brand Pibbs
Model 514
Weight 30.2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

What Is A Bonnet Dryer And Why Do You Need One?

Many people have seen bonnet dryers in professional hair salons but didn't realize they could have the same device in their home. A bonnet dryer consists of a large hood that sits over the hair, covering the entire head so it can evenly distribute heat. One of the biggest differences between bonnet and hand-held dryers, though, is the fact that the former gently circulates air, while the latter sends out strong blasts of it. This is not only better for one's scalp, but also increases the longevity of the product.

Bonnet dryers are not only used to dry the hair, they can also be used to help certain treatments. They help the hair better absorb deep conditioners and oil treatments, leaving your locks extra healthy and shiny. They can also help the hair take up color enhancements, letting highlights appear brighter. Since these appliances can be put on lower heat settings, they can minimize hair damage from drying, too.

One study on hair cosmetics found that because the actual heating element of bonnet dryers sits a certain distance away from the scalp, it is one of the safer methods of drying. Unlike hand-held models, bonnet dryers leave the user with full use of their hands, so they can read, type on their laptop or do other tasks while waiting for their hair to be ready. Even if the user does nothing at all while sitting under their bonnet dryer, that is better than putting continuous strain on their arm, the way they would with a hand-held model. Bonnet dryers have also been shown to reduce hair frizz more effectively than hand-held varieties, and are gentler on chemically over-processed hair.

Additional Features To Look For

If you are using your bonnet dryer to help curls set, make sure the hood is large enough to fit the rollers, while still leaving space between the heating element and your head. It's also important that the unit has a highly flexible arm, so you can adjust it to different heights, allowing you to sit on almost any surface in your home.

Some bonnet dryers attach directly to your existing hand dryer; simply connect the hose of the bonnet model to the nozzle of the hand-held model, and the heat from the latter will be directed up into the hood. These will usually be soft bonnet dryers, in which the hood is made from non-slip silicone, and covers the entire head, staying in place via a chin strap. Soft varieties are also more compact than the plastic ones since they can compress to be nearly flat when not in use.

The thicker the hair one has, the higher the wattage they will need in their dryer so as to speed up the process. People who struggle with dry, frizzy or brittle hair know how damaging hair dryers can be. In 2000, one inventor made a hair dryer that used a negative ion generator and a corona discharger to reduce frizz. Many bonnet dryers utilize this same technology. For ultimate versatility, look for a long and flexible air hose, so you can plug your dryer in almost anywhere you like.

If you plan on using your dryer to help treatments set, make sure it's made from chemical-resistant materials; this is safer for both the dryer and the user. Another important safety feature is the timer; many bonnet dryers allow you to set a cycle from anywhere between zero and 60 minutes, to make sure you don't accidentally overheat the machine, or damage your hair.

The History Of The Hair Dryer

Before hair dryers were invented, women had to be quite inventive if they didn't have the patience for hair to dry. Some women took to attaching a hose to the exhaust of their vacuum cleaners and using the clean air that came from here to dry their hair. In 1888, the French inventor Alexandre-Ferdinand Godefroy created the most primitive version of a hair dryer. His instructions stated the device could be connected to any type of heater, and it would send heat through a pipe, into a dome that sat over a person's head. Godefroy's dryer had an escape valve that let steam out, too, so the user's head would not overheat.

Even though Armenian American inventor Gabriel Kazanjian invented a hand-held blow-dryer in 1911, between the 1920s and 1960s, hair salons everywhere were purchasing Godefroy's design. However, the first dryers were very large and noisy and could take up to an hour to fully dry hair. During the 1930s, some salons turned to gas dryers, but these created too many fumes and were very damaging to hair. Eventually, salon owner Robert Hoffman developed an electric hair drying system, which became the standard for salons until around the 1950s.

Bonnet hair dryers were some of the first models designed specifically for at-home use. The original models used a plastic cap that sat over the head and a hose that attached to a suitcase style machine, which generated the heat and air.

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Last updated on October 26, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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