Since the 1900’s people have been trying to dry their hair faster and do it with flare. You may have seen old photos of women sitting in a salon with their head under a hair dryer that looked like a large lamp shade.

Those days are pretty much behind us since the advent several decades ago of the portable hair or blow dryer.

Are Hair Dryers Bad for Your Hair?

Some purists will still tell you that air drying is better for your mane than blow drying. There may be some debate about that, but for those of us that want to style our hair, give it some extra body, or want to get out of the house in a hurry (without looking like we just came out of the shower), then a hair dryer or blow dryer is the ticket.

In order to do the job correctly, you need the right tools. We’ll take a look at some of the most popular dryers on the market and provide you with pricing, reviews, and the upside and downside of each. So, put away the lamp shade and find the nearest power outlet.

RELATED: 15 Best Hair Dryers for Men

What to Look for in a Hair Dryer

Before you purchase a blow dryer, you’ll want to check for one that best suits your type of hair (curly, straight, thin, thick, etc.) and combine that with how much you’re willing to spend. You’ll also want to choose one that has enough power to get the job done, but not do any damage. Make sure you investigate the attachments you’ll need to get your hair the way you want it styled. There are dozens upon dozens of hair dryers available and thousands of reviews that can help you with your decision.

What should you look for in a portable or handheld hair dryer?

  • You need a dryer that can provide the power you need to dry your hair. This means one that has at least 1,875 watts. The more wattage, the less time you’ll need to dry your hair.
  • A dryer that has a minimum of 2 speeds and 3 heat settings. Heat is important to remove the moisture from your hair and a cool setting helps you to style it.
  • Nozzle attachments that can concentrate air flow on the areas you want to smooth. And a diffuser to spread out the air flow if you want to wear your hair curly.
  • Dryers that have ceramic and tourmaline technology. Ceramic dryers discharge non-damaging infrared heat, drying the hair gently for added protection. Tourmaline hair dryers emit infrared heat and negative ions, causing the heat to be gentler on the hair during styling for a shinier and less frizzy finish.

Most dryers featured below come with 1,500 – 2,000 watts; 2 or 3 blowing speeds; and, 3 or more heat settings. Prices range from as little as $20 all the way to $400.

Which Hair Dryers Are the Best?

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

The hair dryer that stands apart from all other hair dryers: the Dyson Supersonic. This dryer is notable for its ultra-modern appearance and powerful V9 digital motor. By measuring air temperature twenty times per second, the Dyson Supersonic goes above and beyond to protect your hair from heat damage. It also comes with a magnetic concentrator and diffuser to ensure the right care for every hair type.

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Pros
  • Dyson is a brand name for vacuums, portable heating units and fans
  • 1,600 watts of power; works on all types of hair
  • Easy to maneuver; comes with 9-foot cord, diffuser, and concentrator
  • 3 speeds and 4 heat settings; motor is in handle
  • Not many negative reviews
Cons
  • Most expensive unit in category

MHU Professional Salon Grade 1875 Watt Hair Dryer

MHU Professional Salon Grade 1875 Watt Hair Dryer

The MHU Professional hair dryer comes with an airflow concentrator and a diffuser, which makes it a great choice for people with thick hair or who style their hair daily. Utilizing far infrared heat, this hair dryer heats only the core of the cuticle, not the surface like most other hair dryers. This technology protects your hair from unnecessary damage.

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Pros
  • Works well on thick and curly hair
  • 1,875 watts of power, yet blower is relatively quiet
  • 2 speeds and 3 heat settings; far-infrared heat and negative ion technology
  • 9-foot cord; additional attachments allow for pinpoint drying
Cons
  • Some online complaints about durability and weight of dryer
  • Size may be an issue when traveling

Andis 1875 Watt Tourmaline Ceramic Ionic Styling Dryer

Andis 1875 Watt Tourmaline Ceramic Ionic Styling Dryer

Combining ionic, ceramic, and tourmaline technology, this hair dryer from Andis provides a number of benefits to your hair. The ions break up molecules faster which reduces drying time, and the ceramic penetrates hair to lock in moisture. The tourmaline seal cuticles also works to prevent frizziness.

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Pros
  • 1,875 watts of power that provides high levels of air flow
  • 2 speeds and 3 heat settings
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with attachments to style different hair
  • Ceramic technology preserves moisture; tourmaline crystals emit negative ions to seal hair and reduce frizz
Cons
  • Online complaints about durability and overheating

Remington AC 2015 T Ceramic Hair Dryer

Remington AC2015 T Ceramic Hair Dryer

Remington’s Pro Hair Dryer features a ceramic barrel infused with real crushed pearls that works to keep hair smooth and conditioned. This hair dryer has a 40% higher airflow than standard hair dryers to give you a speedy dry without using too much heat.

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Pros
  • Brand name known for grooming products
  • 1,875 watts provides ample drying power and constant air flow
  • 2 speeds and 3 heat settings; works well on frizzy and curly hair
  • Ceramic technology
  • Low price; thousands of reviews online
Cons
  • Some complaints about drop in quality from previous model
  • Issues with durability and attachments
  • Heavier than other products in the category

Conair 1875 Watt Tourmaline Ceramic

Conair 1875 Watt Tourmaline Ceramic

This budget friendly hair dryer from Conair has a powerful high-torque DC motor. This provides a level of drying that is hard to find in other low-cost models. This Conair hair dryer also has multiple heat settings that can be combined and customized for your specific hair type. The tourmaline ceramic infused into this dryer prevents frizz and boost shine. Overall, this is a well-rounded model that is worth the price.

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Pros
  • Brand name for grooming products
  • 1,875 watts of power
  • 2 speeds and 3 heat settings
  • Features tourmaline ceramic technology to help prevent heat damage; ionic conditioning shinier hair and less frizz
  • Works best on frizzy and curly hair
  • Low price
Cons
  • Tends to be a bit bulky, although travel models are available
  • Online complaints about airflow quality and durability

Drybar Buttercup

Drybar Buttercup

Used by the professionals at Drybar—the pioneer of blowout-only salons—this brightly-colored hair dryer leaves hair smooth and shiny. Its thin nozzle can be used to style hair with a precision that other dryers cannot match. Nanoionic technology also works to seal and smooth hair cuticles for more hydrated-looking hair.

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Pros
  • Lesser known brand used by stylists at Drybar salons
  • Works on thin and thick hair
  • Manufacturer claims nanolonic technology helps break up water quickly for reduced drying time, while reducing frizz and increasing shine
  • 2 speeds and 3 heat settings
Cons
  • More expensive than others in category
  • Not a well-known product; less online reviews than other major brands

HAI Beauty Concepts STYLSET

HAI Beauty Concepts STYLSET

For men and women who are concerned about scalp care, the HAI hair dryer is an excellent choice. Featuring blue UV light that works to condition the scalp, this hair dryer helps to provide healthy hair growth. Its use of negative ions also helps to reduce static and dullness for all hair types.

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Pros
  • HAI manufactures a line of hair products for men and women
  • 1,875 watts
  • 9-foot cord
  • Claims to eliminate static and boost shine
  • Use of ionic technology helps dry hair quicker and deeper
  • 2 speeds and 3 heat settings
Cons
  • Not a brand name like others in the category
  • Limited reviews compared to others; some complaints about product durability

BaByliss PRO Ceramix Xtreme Dryer

BaByliss PRO Ceramix Xtreme Dryer

If you have thick hair that takes a long time to dry, the BaByliss Pro can help cut down on your time spent drying. With its extra-high wattage motor and high-heat capabilities, this hair dryer is powerful enough to easily dry super thick and coarse hair. In fact, it is so strong that you’ll have to learn how to point the nozzle carefully to avoid tangling your hair. It also comes with a cool-shot button to dry hair at a high speed and low temperature.

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Pros
  • 2,000 watt ceramic dryer
  • Comes with various nozzles/attachments
  • 2 speeds and 3 heat settings
  • Lightweight feel and solid grip control
  • Has thousands of reviews
Cons
  • Some online complaints about durability and excessive heat
  • Control switches in inconvenient place

T3 Featherweight Luxe 2i Dryer

T3 Featherweight Luxe 2i Dryer

The T3 Featherweight Luxe 21 dryer prides itself on being healthier for your hair than air drying. It utilizes proprietary SoftAire technology to prevent hair damage and breakage. The specially designed nozzle dries hair in large sections to get things done faster and with better-looking results.

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Pros
  • 1,800 watts
  • 2 speeds and 3 heat settings
  • Weighs a little over one pound (18.5 ounces)
  • Has tourmaline ceramic barrel brush for body and shine
  • Good for all types of hair
Cons
  • Some complaints about product durability and excessive heat
  • More expensive than others in category

Berta 1875 Watt Ceramic Hair Dryer

Berta 1875 Watt Ceramic Hair Dryer

Simple yet powerful, this hair dryer from Berta releases air at a constant temperature to protect hair from breakage. It also uses far infrared light to dry your hair as fast as possible – in fact, thin or short hair can be dried in just five minutes. On top of these features, the bright red body of this hair dryer will make a nice addition to any bathroom.

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Pros
  • 1,875 watts
  • 2 speeds and 2 heat settings
  • Use of ionic technology helps dry hair quicker and deeper
  • 2 speeds and 3 heat settings
  • 6-foot power cord
Cons
  • Some complaints about product durability and lack of power
  • Not many reviews compared to others in category

Cortex Professional Supro Ionic 5000 Hair Dryer

Cortex Professional Supro Ionic 5000 Hair Dryer

If you’re looking for a salon-quality blowout at home, the Cortex Professional Supro is for you. Its tourmaline technology keeps hair looking healthy and frizz-free, while its multiple heat and airflow settings ensure you get the right blowdry for your hair type. The Supro is powerful enough to dry even thick hair quickly.

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Pros
  • 1,875 watts
  • 2 speeds and 3 heat settings
  • Ceramic/ionic heating element to provide even distribution of heat on the hair shaft; negative ion tech to eliminate frizz
  • 11-foot cord
Cons
  • Not many online reviews to gauge customer satisfaction

Centrix Q-Zone Drye

Centrix Q-Zone Dryer

Clocking in at just 70 decibels, the Centrix Q-Zone is one of the quietest hair dryers on the market. However, it doesn’t sacrifice speed for silence, the Q-Zone features ionic technology to keep drying times to a minimum. That said, its motor is only 1500 watts. This makes it a better choice for those with thin or fine hair.

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Pros
  • 1,500 watts; quiet compared to other brands
  • Good for thin or fine hair
  • 8-foot cord; weighs less than one pound
  • 2 speeds and 3 heat settings
  • Tourmaline tech maximizes negative ion output to close cuticle layer, creating smooth hair
Cons
  • Some complaints about durability
  • Higher priced than others in category

JOHN Blast 6900 Tourmaline Ceramic Professional Hair Dryer 2200W

JOHN Blast 6900 Tourmaline Ceramic Professional Hair Dryer 2200W

This hair dryer from JOHN has one of the most powerful motors available and is great if you want to dry your hair quickly. This dryer’s barrel is infused with tourmaline ceramic protection to ensure that the strong blast of air flow this machine provides doesn’t damage your hair.

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Pros
  • 2,200 watts
  • Comes with 2 nozzles
  • Works well on coarse and thick hair
  • 2 speeds and 3 heat settings
  • Ceramic tourmaline for healthier looking hair, shine and moisture
  • 9-foot cord; removable filter
Cons
  • Some complaints about durability

Revlon 1875W Quick Dry Lightweight Hair Dryer

Revlon 1875W Quick Dry Lightweight Hair Dryer

One of the most inexpensive hair dryer options out there, Revlon’s Quick Dry hair dryer gives users a ton of control over their styling process with its six different settings. It’ll also easily fit any lifestyle with its hanging ring, anti-slip edges, and removable end cap. For quick and easy hair dying, this one’s all you need.

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Pros
  • Brand name for beauty products and grooming
  • 3 speeds and 3 heat settings
  • Inexpensive and lightweight
  • Also comes in smaller version for travel
Cons
  • Some complaints about durability and overheating

Wazor Hair 1874W Ceramic Ionic Blo Dryer

Wazor Hair 1874W Ceramic Ionic Blow Dryer

Wazor Hair’s dryer is another great budget option. It comes with all of the features typically only seen in higher-end products, for a fraction of their price. It also has negative ion technology and a ceramic tourmaline air outlet grill to make the air blow more focused and gently. Unlike some lower-priced hair dryers, this one is low-weight and comes with a 2-year warranty.

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Pros
  • 1,875 watts
  • 2 speeds and 3 heat settings
  • Works best with thick hair
  • Ceramic tourmaline air outlet grill, far-infrared and negative ion tech to help make your hair more smooth
Cons
  • Several complaints about durability

Rusk Super Freak Professional 2000 Watt

Rusk Super Freak Professional 2000 Watt

Rusk Super Freak hair dryer is great for thick and curly hair because it is made with ceramic and tourmaline. It uses an extra-strong 2000 watt Italian motor for faster and more thorough drying. It also emits negative ions while drying to keep hair feeling soft and healthy.

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Pros
  • 2,000 watts of power
  • Lightweight
  • Ceramic and tourmaline construction to reduce drying time
  • Emits far-infrared heat to dry hair more quickly, eliminating static and frizz
  • Best for people with curly and frizzy hair
Cons
  • Higher price than others in category
  • Some complaints about durability and lack of heat

Harry Josh Pro Tools Ultra-Light Pro Dryer

Harry Josh Pro Tools Ultra-Light Pro Dryer

From celebrity hairstylist Harry Josh, this hair dryer is designed to quickly dry and smooth unruly hair. As a luxury blow dryer, it is great for those times when you want to give yourself a sleek blowout or a cool updo. It uses whisper-soft technology to keep the noise level down and features ion functionality to reduce frizz and promote shine.

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Pros
  • 1,875 watts
  • Lightweight (less than 1 pound)
  • 12 heat and speed settings
  • 9-foot cord
  • Works best on frizzy hair
  • Can be purchased on sale
Cons
  • Higher priced than others in category
  • Some complaints about durability
  • Not as well-known as others in category

Elchim Classic 2001 Dryer

Elchim Classic 2001 Dryer

This Italian-made hair dryer is ultra-light and has a colorful, modern appearance. It is made with a high-end AC motor for extra durability. In fact, the Eichim Classic lasts for up to 2,000 hours of drying. While pricey, this is a great choice for a long-lasting, lightweight, and compact hair dryer.

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Pros
  • 1,875 watts
  • Narrow front nozzle available to increase pressure
  • Works on all types of hair
  • 2 speeds and 5 heat settings
  • Ion technology for shinier, less frizzy hair
Cons
  • Higher priced than others in category
  • Some complaints about durability and excessive heat

JINRI 1875W Professional Salon Hair Dryer With Diffuser

JINRI 1875W Professional Salon Hair Dryer With Diffuser

Jinri’s Professional blow dryer will give hair of all types a salon-quality finish. Featuring three heat and two speed settings as well as a cooling button to lock in styles, this hair dryer allows you to customize airflow based on your hair texture, length, and style. At 5 inches wide, it’s diffuser is extra-large, making it great for giving curly hair its bounce and shape.

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Pros
  • 1,875 watts
  • Comes with concentrator attachments
  • 2 speeds and 3 heat settings
  • Direct ION technology to help reduce frizz
  • Concentrator and diffusor included
Cons
  • Some complaints that product is heavy (1.5 pounds)

ghd Air Dryer

ghd Air Dryer

Famed salon brand ghd isn’t messing around with this hair dryer. It promises a salon-level finish in half the time of a normal at-home blowout. While it’s heavier than other options, it delivers on its promise of quality with a professional-grade motor and advanced ionic technology.

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Pros
  • 1,600 watts
  • Ionic technology helps reduce frizz
  • 2 speeds and 3 heat settings
  • 9-foot cord
  • Can be purchased on sale
Cons
  • Some complaints about durability and weight
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About The Author

Articles by

Laura is a contributing health and wellness writer for Zwivel. She is based in Quebec, Canada.

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