If there was ever a time to invest in a quality blow dryer, it’s now when you’re less likely to visit your hairstylist for a quick blow out due to, you know, the fact that we’re in a f*cking pandemic. Even when your go-to salon does open up, you’ll probably be limiting your appointments to the bare necessities: cut and color (unless you’re DIYing your hair color at home).
Recently the Governor of Connecticut, Ned Lamont, actually recommended that salons that have reopened not use blow dryers for fear that it could spread the virus. While the jury is still out in the scientific community as to whether or not blow dryers up the spread ante, it’s safe to say that the recommendation across the board is to blow your hair at home.
So, if you’re going to be blow drying your own hair for the foreseeable future, you might as well invest in a quality hair dryer—one that not only cuts down on the time you spend styling your hair, but also helps protect the integrity and health of your hair, according to Irving Ramirez, hair stylist at LRN BEAUTY in New York City.
The amount of watts is also important. In fact, Annagjid “Kee” Taylor, celebrity hairstylist who’s worked with the likes of Keke Palmer, Tiffany Haddish, Nafessa Williams and Tika Sumpter, suggests going with blow dryers that have at least 1500 watts. “This tells you how powerful the dryer is, so the higher the watts, the faster the dry,” she says.
If you have thick, curly or frizzy hair, you’ll want to look for a dryer that has ionic or tourmaline technology. This, Taylor explains, means that the dryer gives off negative ions, which helps to break up the water droplets on your hair for faster drying, which will make your hair less frizzy. If you have very fine hair, it’s best to shop for dryers made with ceramic or porcelain technology. “These dryers distribute heat in a less harsh way, which is perfect for fine hair that can dehydrate easily,” she says.
Ready to shop quality dryers? Here are the best ones in every price range— from the coveted Dyson hair dryer to the instagram favorite Revlon One Step Hair Dryer.
Best Hair Dryer for Under $100
Finding a high quality blow dryer that will last you longer than a year tops for less than 50 bucks is pretty close to impossible—let alone one for $35! Well, we introduce you to the impossible: the InfinitiPRO by Conair 1875 Watt AC Pro Hair Dryer, which takes your regular hotel blow dryer and ups it several notches without overdoing it on the price tag (which is refreshing to say the least). It’s lightweight (just 2 pounds!), yet it packs a powerful punch, with an AC motor that makes styling a breeze—literally. It’s fast drying without causing unnecessary frizz thanks to dual ionic and ceramic technology that protects strands from heat damage (something we especially appreciate during the summer months). We’re also super into the black color with rose gold accents that makes this blow dryer feel like it should just belong in your vanity or under your bathroom sink.
Chances are, you have heard about this new-to-market hair dryer that everyone has been raving about (over 43,ooo reviews on Amazon). It’s not your average blow dryer, that’s for sure, in fact it’s different in a few ways. First thing first: It’s a brush and a hair dryer all in one. Yep, no need to use a brush while styling with this product, which is designed with nylon pins and tufted bristles to help detangle while you blow dry and add major volume for that fresh-out-of-the-salon look. It packs decent power (1100 watts), has three different heat settings and is built with an ion generator to help speed up the drying process (so you can get out the door faster). The ceramic coating helps prevent hair from breakage and ensure even distribution of heat while you’re drying. At just $57 a pop, we think it’s pretty impressive that the brand offers a 4-year limited warranty!
For a reasonable price, you get a high quality blow dryer that is easy to use, is equipped with 1,800 watts of serious power and is ultra lightweight. That last part is important so you are not lifting 5+ lb in the air for the duration of your blow dry. In fact, one reviewer who has arthritis in her shoulder found it to be particularly helpful. Other fun features include that It is ceramic, so you can expect the heat to feel evenly distributed throughout your hair, as well as tourmaline, which helps boost shine and reduce those pesky flyaways. The infrared heat feature helps prevent breakage and the ionic technology helps cut down on static so that your hair dries faster without the frizz. The sleek look is also a plus, as well as the standard blow dryer buttons that facilitate ease of use.
Best Hair Dryer for Under $200
As one Amazon reviewer puts it, “this blow dryer puts the rest to shame”—and at a fraction of the price of some of its competitors. Some of its best features include its four different temperature settings to help prevent damage to dry, brittle strands, that it comes with a lifespan of 2000 hours “guaranteed,” according to their website, and two separate attachment nozzles. It also comes with a 9-foot-long cable cord so that you’re not tied to your vanity or bathroom sink (this especially comes in handy when you have little ones to check on) and has a 65 m³/h air flow, which means it’s powerful. It is also ultra lightweight, clocking in at just 1.3 pounds. Reviewers with thick, coarse and even long hair attest to its impressive ability to yield straight, sleek hair without having to go over it with a hair straightener.
It’s not every day that you come across a hair dryer meant for curly hair—but anyone with curly hair understands the need for a blow dryer that caters to their strands specifically. The DevaCurl does—and then some. It’s not only built to uphold your beautiful curls in all their glory, but it’s also ionic, which means it cuts down on pesky frizz (which is a major plus in the summer time humidity). Its greatest asset without question, however, is the diffuser that comes with it (included in the price), called the DevaFuser. Unlike a regular diffuser, this one looks straight-up like a hand. It has five, finger-like prongs and 50 air vents that disperse hot air throughout your head of hair evenly so that your curls fall beautifully, as they should. It’s 1600 watt with an AC motor, has two speed settings as well as three temperature settings.
This well-respected Italian hair care brand just released their 8th sense line, which features this innovative and ultra lightweight hair dryer that promises to cut your normal hair-drying time in half. It has a heat control system that prevents it from burning the hair, making it an ideal choice even for those with dry, brittle strands as well as fine hair. The motor is tested for over 5,000 hours of use (compared to the usual 2,000 hours for most hair dryers), which is why it is a favorite among hair stylists who pretty much spend their entire day with a dryer in hand. It’s both ionic and ceramic, which in and of itself helps prevent hair from overheating and also increases natural shine. Even if you don’t use a round brush for your blowouts, this blow dryer will leave your hair looking like you had it professionally done.
Best Hair Dryer for Under $300
This dryer is built to last you years, if not decades, making its expensive price tag well worth the money. It dries your hair super fast without burning the crap out of it thanks to five heat settings and two varying speeds that you can choose from, depending on your hair type and its needs. It also has a sensor that automatically stops the flow of air when you release the ergonomically slanted handle so your hair doesn’t get caught—one of Taylor’s favorite features. Looking for even more volume? Simply flick on the volume booster switch on the Cura Luxe and you will have blow out-worthy height in no time. Another great quality is its 9-foot cord and cord wrap that gives you that much appreciated ability to walk across the room to grab something mid-blow dry. You also get a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty with your purchase—another huge plus!
There is a good reason this goes by the name “ultralight” and that’s because it hovers just over 1 pound (1.1 to be exact), which is super light for a blow dryer. This means you won’t have to deal with dreaded arm cramps mid blow dry (while your obnoxious child tries to pants you). In addition to being lightweight, it is also super fast drying, which also comes in handy when you have a toddler attempting to climb every dangerous object in your home. But perhaps the best perk of this promising hair appliance is the fact that it comes with a 10-year warranty. That’s right—they built this puppy to last you a full decade to be exact. We think that is definitely worth the $300 you have to pay upfront. For people who hate math, that comes out to 30 bucks a year. Your hair is worth it, Mama!
Best Really High End Hair Dryer
This might seem like an exorbitant amount for a hair dryer (albeit it a product you will use almost every day), but there’s a good reason top salons and stylists swear by it—and why it has 1700+ 4.5-star reviews on Amazon. For starters, some of its best features include the fact that it’s lightweight (just under two pounds), super compact (which is great for traveling, whenever we’re able to do that again), has four different heat settings and it’s incredibly powerful—that’s why reviewers say it gives them the quickest blow dry they’ve ever had. That last one is a major plus, because not having to spend upwards of 20 minutes blow drying your hair means you can tackle more of the hundred or so other things on your to-do list for the day. “Because it’s a supersonic dryer, it pre dries the hair quickly leaving little-to-no space to damage the hair during styling,” says Ramirez. “Not only that, but it’s also very safe to use at home because it won’t suck your hair through the back of the dryer like older dryer models do.”
Now that you have a blow dryer you can rely on, be sure to stock up on more of our favorite beauty must-haves!