The 10 Best Hair Dryers

Updated December 11, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Hair Dryers
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 37 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. You may have thought a hair dryer simply blew hot air, but think again.Today's models feature ion technology that reduces frizziness and split ends, helps hair to retain moisture, and delivers beautiful and softer results. And they do all of that quicker, too, to get you out the door in no time. You'll wonder why you spent all that money on salon blowouts after trying one of these. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best hair dryer on Amazon.

10. Conair Soft Touch

The Conair Soft Touch has a high-torque DC motor to dry your hair faster, and tourmaline ceramic technology to help reduce the possibility of heat damage. It also features an easy to clean hinged filter, but the diffuser is hard to attach.
  • fits comfortably in the hand
  • convenient 63-inch power cord
  • matte coating tends to flake off
Brand Conair
Model 225NP
Weight 1.9 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. Supersolano Professional

The Supersolano Professional is creatively designed to dry hair from the inside out. It has a high velocity motor that delivers a powerful stream of air and a ceramic grill that helps to distribute the heat evenly. It is ideal for use with a round brush.
  • quality made in italy
  • gives locks an incredible shine
  • feels very heavy
Brand Solano
Model 201232BLK
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

8. John Frieda Full Volume

The John Frieda Full Volume has a durable titanium ceramic coating on the outlet grill, professional rocker switches, and advanced ionic conditioning. Guests will think you're a trained hair stylist when they see this in your home.
  • evenly distributes high-powered heat
  • feels solid but not too heavy
  • cannot handle thick or coarse hair
Brand John Frieda
Model JF1R
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Elchim 3900

The Elchim 3900 moisturizes the hair as it dries, thereby eliminating any potential static. It is perfect for even the frizziest of locks and has a quality build with advanced Italian engineering. Plus, it boasts a quiet operation that won't bother your roommates.
  • textured anti-slip grip
  • compact housing is easy to store
  • motor is a bit weak
Brand Elchim
Model 249790008
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. Panasonic EH-NA65-K

Built to infuse natural hair with up to 1,000 times more moisture than usual ion hair dryers, the Panasonic EH-NA65-K is both innovative and stylish. It includes a quick-dry nozzle, a set nozzle, and a diffuser, so you shouldn't have trouble achieving any hair style.
  • can add volume to fine hair
  • integrated hanging loop
  • creates an odor on high heat
Brand Panasonic
Model EH-NA65-K
Weight pending
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Rusk Engineering CTC

The Rusk Engineering CTC is infused with both ceramic and titanium to give it maximum heat transfer capabilities. It dries hair quickly and can even make thick, curly hair smooth and manageable to give you more styling options.
  • eliminates the need for flat irons
  • easy to adjust settings in-use
  • attachments are flimsy
Brand RUSK
Model IREB5587
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. BabylissPro Nano

The durable BabylissPro Nano features six heat and speed settings, so almost no style or hair type is off limits. Its cool-shot button gives your hair a quick blast of cold air, while its housing doesn't overheat and burn your fingers.
  • works well on a-line bob haircuts
  • easy to maneuver when styling
  • dries totally wet hair in 10 minutes
Brand BaBylissPRO
Model BABNT5548
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Rusk Engineering W8less

Boasting a 60 MPH air flow and reaching 130 degrees Fahrenheit, the Rusk Engineering W8less will never be the reason you're late for a party. It's particularly effective on thick and stubborn hair that's typically hard to do a blowout on.
  • holds up well to daily use
  • leaves hair extra shiny
  • very durable housing
Brand RUSK
Model W8less
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Conair Infiniti Pro

The Conair Infiniti Pro may be a budget option, but it will help you create high-end looks. It features easy-to-use controls on the handle and a true cold shot button that secures those voluminous styles, like beach waves or tight curls.
  • includes diffuser and a concentrator
  • motor has a removable filter
  • backed by a four-year warranty
Brand Conair
Model 259Y
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Featherweight Luxe 2I

Unlike traditional options, which can cause frizziness and split ends, the Featherweight Luxe 2I is ion generator-enhanced to deliver beautiful and softer results, making it a smart and healthy alternative that won't damage your hair.
  • blows air in a wide cone shape
  • helps hair retain its moisture
  • cuts drying time in half
Brand T3 Micro
Model 73840
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Dryers: Where They've Come From

The hair dryer has a long and storied history. For more than a century, people have been looking for ways to get results in less time and with less fuss.

In the 1890s, a French hair stylist named Alexander Godefroy took the first stab at controlling the speed and efficiency with which to dry hair. His invention was awkward, certainly, consisting of an outsize hood that was attached to a long tube. You’d hook the tube to the heat source of your choice -- typically a gas stove or heater. The heat from the chosen source would --- eventually -- end up drying your hair. The apparatus included a power cord and a hand crank.

Of course, this early design attempt was cumbersome to say the least, and dangerous, to say the most. Between the hose, the heat source and the power source, there were so many avenues to injury, it was hard to count them. Despite the risks, some employed the contraption. But where did this idea come from? The answer may surprise you.

Women were still determined to get their hair to dry faster prior to Alexander's invention. Their method of choice? -- a vacuum cleaner. It’s true. In early vacuums, the hose drew air in from one end and expelled it on the other. Women used the side where air was expelled to dry their coifs, albeit without much heat. Still, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

Fast-forward to the 1920s when a passel of industrious inventors vied to come up with a dryer you could hold in one hand. Some inventors were way ahead of the times. One early design included headphones for a user’s listening pleasure.

Still, these early handheld dryer designs were not much for convenience, and because wattage was as low as 100, drying time probably took half the day, as we like to imagine.

By the 1960s, however, design improvements began to develop at a steady pace. The introduction of plastic housing made the units much lighter, while changes to the motors made them both safer and quieter, and wattage improved to reduce use time.

These days, as you’ll note from our recommendations, dryer technology is ever-advancing. What with faster drying times, reduced damage to hair and enhanced motor efficiency, we’re practically living in a golden age for the trusted tool.

Materials and Technologies: For Beginners

If you've so much as browsed a single shelf of blow dryers -- even in a discount store -- you've witnessed a dizzying array of claims about materials and technologies. There are ceramic, tourmaline, and ceramic-tourmaline elements. Ionic and nano technology are also on the menu. To make sense of it all, you need patience, to start. So grab a soothing drink and a comfy chair, and let us fill you in. You might be surprised to discover there's actual science behind the hype.

Ionic technology simply means negative ions are created to help break up water molecules. When molecules are busted up like this, they'll evaporate more easily. Which translates to faster drying time for you. It also closes the cuticle which reduces frizz.

Far Infrared heat is known to penetrate the shaft of the hair. Some say it "dries hair from the inside out." The upshot is it helps keep moisture in the hair.

Nano technology has to do with super-small particle size. Nano titanium remains stable at extremely high temperatures and emits negative ions. Nano silver aids in keeping a blow dryer free of germs.

Tourmaline is, yup, the gemstone that is ground for industrial use. In hair dryers, it is typically the heating element, or other internal part that is coated with tourmaline. Some higher-end units may include parts of solid tourmaline. When tourmaline is heated, it gives off negative ions. Which explode water molecules, as mentioned above.

Ceramic is a material that's made of clay. It exudes far infrared heat. It may be found in the body of a dryer, in the heating element, or as a coating elsewhere inside the dryer.

So that's the scoop. Now that you're fully informed, you can brave the retail jungle -- and emerge with a tool that's just right for you.

Which Dryer Is Best For You?

The range of hair types is extensive. First, there's texture: Straight, curly, coil-y. Then, there's moisture level: Dry, normal, oily. Of course, damage can turn straight or curly hair frizzy. And over time, strong, thick strands can become thin and weak due to over-stripping, over-processing, over-drying or internal physiological changes.

Choosing a hair dryer means being realistic about your hair type and needs. What's ideal for someone with thin, straight hair might be completely useless for massive waves or curly locks.

Higher heat is for folks whose hair is harder to straighten or harder to dry. If your hair is very thick, highly textured, or both, you'll benefit from higher temps. You'll still have to be careful to keep the dryer moving and not apply too much heat to a single spot. But if you want to buy a 2,000-watt dryer and use it on a high heat setting, you should be OK.

Folks with fragile or thin hair need to take greater care. Stick with lower heat settings, and even lower airflow when necessary. The last thing you want is to damage already-weak strands. After all, there's only so much a good conditioner can do.

If your hair is frizzy, either due to damage or by nature, take advantage of smoothing ionic technology. Far infrared heat can also help by reducing dryer time, and thereby possible further damage.

Both the fine and frizzy-haired should make sure to use the cool shot button once hair is about 80% dry. It will help to close frayed cuticles to create a smoother look and feel.

When it comes to attachments, diffusers help the curly and wavy-haired achieve dryness without tangles. Concentrators lend focus to airflow, the better to straighten effectively.

Finally, whatever the nifty technology, heat is by nature damaging to hair. So use a heat protectant -- serum, spray, or gel -- whenever you dry or heat-style your hair.



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Last updated on December 11, 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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