Waiting for your hair to dry can feel like watching paint dry, but investing in one of the best hair dryers available makes it easy to achieve a salon-quality blowout in minutes. Whether you have thick, bouncy curls, or hair that’s more on the fine side, there are a few important factors to consider when selecting a drying tool, apart from just its price. “Some of the main things I look for when purchasing a hair dryer are the reviews,” Sebastian Professional top artisttells BAZAAR.com. “Does it help to reduce frizz and have a strong airflow? What attachments does it come with, and is the dryer lightweight and ergonomic? I also consider how powerful the hair dryer is—the wattage is a good way to indicate that.”
Although many of the best hair dryers are made with a bevy of bells and whistles, ultimately professionals say that what’s considered the right hair dryer comes down to your individual hair needs. “Consider what the most important feature of a hair dryer is for you and how it will make your routine quick and easy,” Anna Kimble, director of events and education at drybar, said. “Having a customized temperature and speed settings with multiple attachment options allows for the perfect blowout experience for your hair type.” Concerned about frizz? “Look for a dryer with ionic technology that helps fight it while adding overall shine,” says Kimble. “For longer and thicker hair types, I recommend looking for dryers that are more lightweight to avoid arm fatigue, with a powerful engine to speed up their drying time.” And when it comes to the actual process of drying your hair, Kimble recommends spending the most time on your roots (as they usually take the longest to dry), less time on the mid-shaft section of the hair, and the least amount of time on your ends to minimize heat damage.
For a few recommendations on the most powerful hair dryers that are actually worth the buy, we consulted a few more experts on their favorite picks for the fastest, most efficient blow-dry yet. Scroll on for faves from brands like ghdDyson, and more.
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Professional Ionic Salon Hair Dryer
Amazon shoppers are raving about this grippy dryer that features ceramic tourmaline technology to leave your hair dry but not stripped of moisture, as it’s designed to only remove water from the surface.
Helios Professional Hair Dryer
Cardona swears by this quick-drying hair tool that’s whisper-quiet yet extremely powerful. “I also personally love where the buttons are on the Helios,” he explains, “which for me is a big deal. There’s nothing more frustrating to me than accidentally hitting the power-off switch throughout a blow-dry.”
Great for Curly or Textured Hair
Reverse Air Hair Dryer
Ideal for anyone with curls or textured hair, this unique dryer uses a suction method and around half the wattage power of most hair dryers to minimize heat exposure. It also channels its hot air in the direction of the hair cuticle for a smoother appearance.
Steel IFX Stainless Steel Hair Dryer
“I think the concentrator (or nozzle) is one of the most important things to consider when purchasing a blow dryer,” celebrity hairstylistsays. “The wider the nozzle the more air that can escape. I think you can achieve a much smoother finish with a narrow concentrator, like on my go-to, the BabylissPro Steel IFX dryer.”
InfinitiPRO by Conair Quick Styling Salon Hair Dryer
Here’s another quiet but powerful hair dryer that’s also extremely versatile, since it includes a concentrator nozzle, diffuser, and handy blowout brush for straight styles.
Great for Travel
Compact Hair Dryer with Folding Handle
With more than 15,000 customer reviews and close to a five-star rating, this handy compact dryer is a hit among Amazon shoppers. And because it weighs just a single pound and folds in half, it won’t take up too much real estate in your suitcase when you’re on the go.
BEST FOR SPEED
10X Pro Ultralight Speed Dryer
This lightweight tool is designed to dry hair in 10 minutes flat, and uses far infrared with adjustable heat and speed settings to cut down your styling time.
alexxi artistalways recommends this beloved dryer from Dyson to his clients with thicker or textured hair types, as it contains up to four heat and three airflow settings, plus a smoothing nozzle for a sleek finish.
You won’t have to worry about a frizzy blow-dry with this versatile dryer that contains two nozzle options—either wide or narrow—to seamlessly concentrate its hot air where you need it most.
BLU Turbo Ionic Dryer
Here’s another powerful, best-selling dryer that helps retain hair’s moisture; plus, this one includes a built-in dial that makes it easy to control and customize airflow.
$99 $95.20 (5% OFF)
You can choose between three different hair attachments with this in-demand dryer from Panasonic. It uses a combination of nanoe and ionic technology to draw moisture from the air which helps minimize the potential for heat damage.
Buttercup Blow Dryer
This top-rated hair dryer features three temperatures and two speed settings for a quality dry, plus a nine-foot cord for ample mobility.
Cura Professional Ionic Hair Dryer
This hair tool from T3 uses digitally controlled ionic technology to fight frizz and power its dry, and features a slanted, ergonomic handle that helps prevent any hand cramps for those with thicker or longer hair.
When it comes to beauty essentials for travel, Cardona reaches for this lightweight and highly portable dryer from ghd that easily packs away with the rest of his luggage. “This hair dryer contains at least 70 percent of the power of any full-size dryer, which is why I never use the ones in my hotel rooms anymore,” he says.
Perfect Heat Volumizing Turbo Hair Dryer
We spotted this small but mighty hair dryer that features two heat and three speed settings on rare sale at Target for 15 percent off its original price. And for those with curly hair, it even includes a handy diffuser attachment.
Since this ergonomic LED dryer includes built-in protection sensors, you won’t have to worry about the tool overheating while you use it. Plus, did we mention it’s also self-cleaning?
Ceramix Xtreme Hair Dryer
Over 8,000 Amazon shoppers swear by this BabylissPro dryer, which uses a powerful yet lightweight engine to provide even heat distribution.
Professional Turbo Ceramic + Ionic Lightweight Dryer
This ceramic and ionic hair dryer is an Ulta shopper favorite, with one writing about how the tool is an “all-around great hair dryer that works extremely fast.”
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