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- Your hair dryer can be the difference between a good hair day and a not-so-good hair day.
- The best blow dryer for your hair type is less about the dryer and more about the accessories.
- We spoke with many experts to gather the 13 hair dryers they’d recommend to anyone.
When it comes to hair care accessories that can be surprisingly expensive, blow dryers are pretty high on the list. It’s easy to assume that the most expensive tool will always be the best, or work the quickest, but as the experts will tell you, this isn’t always the case. And when it comes to different blow dryers for different hair types, most experts will tell you it’s actually not the blow dryer itself you should be considering – it’s the accessories.
If you’re not quite sure yet whether to prioritize speed, comfort, or luxury when choosing your new blow dryer, though, here are the five best, expert-approved picks to help you make your decision, no matter what budget you’re working with.
Click to jump to the 13 best hair dryers of 2021:
- The best hair dryers for curly, coily hair
- The best hair dryers for thick, coarse hair
- The best hair dryers for frizzy hair
- The best hair dryers for all hair types
Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
Yes, the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, which is almost silent when it turns on, is as good as everyone says. The attachments are just as important as the dryer itself, though. Matrix brand ambassador Rachel Bodt explains that the attachments help with how tight you want the air concentration. “The smaller the nozzle, the more direct or tighter the airflow,” she says. Ulta senior vice president of store and services operations, Matrix artistic director, and celebrity stylist Nick Stenson says the diffuser attachment is the best for drying curls without causing any frizz.
Praises for the Supersonic keep coming, as advanced stylist Adriana Papaleo also says the diffuser is ideal for use on curly and wavy hair types. “Spreading the air over a flatter, larger surface area allows you to dry the hair quickly without disturbing the curls.” Mane Addicts celebrity hair stylist Kathleen Riley says her favorite attachment is the diffuser because it helps define curls and add volume. “The hair dryer also comes with a smoothing nozzle and styling concentrator, which are both great for more refined looks,” she says.
Hairdresser and curl expert April Kayganich says the Supersonic‘s technology dries hair faster than any other hair dryer she has used. In fact, she rarely uses the highest heat setting. Kayganich makes sure to point out that if you invest in a quality hair dryer that you love, remember to actually take care of it. “The external filter should be cleaned once a week, and also, once a month, you should soak the filter in warm, soapy water,” she says.
Trademark Beauty Easy Blo
Though suitable for all hair types, Leigh Hardges, a hairstylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, loves using the Easy Blo for curly and coily hair. Blowing out these hair types is necessary before getting into the straightening process, which can be a time-consuming task. “I’ve been working with the Trademark Beauty Easy Blo, which has made this step easier, since the blow dryer and brush are combined,” Hardges says.
She also appreciates the two different bristle types in the brush head, as they provide even tension while heat stretching hair. This is a bonus for folks with curly or coily hair. When using this dryer, you want to start at the nape of your neck and work your way up, according to Hardges. She recommends beginning on the high heat setting and then switching to the cool setting during the final pass through the ends. “This will give the hair a high shine because the cool air helps to smooth the cuticle,” she says.
One Styling Beauty Epic Lite Pro Hair Dryer
If you’re searching for a super light hair dryer that won’t leave your hands aching, the Epic Lite Pro Hair Dryer is a worthy pick. It weighs in at less than one pound, making it one of the lightest options in this guide. “The ergonomics of the dryer have saved my hands over the years. It’s lightweight, yet very powerful. I also like this tool because it isn’t too loud,” says Shelly Aguirre, a hairstylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago.
“The air flow is concentrated to assist in laying the cuticle down to increase shine, so be sure not to remove the concentrator nozzle,” Aguirre says. The concentrator nozzle gives you shine, but you shouldn’t forget about the volumizing finger diffuser attachment. It’s great for achieving a tousled look or natural-looking waves.
BaBylissPRO Rapido Dryer
If you prioritize weight when looking for a hair dryer, this one from BaBylissPRO is one of the few in this guide that weigh less than one pound. However, the Rapido Dryer still performs with power. The hair dryer is made in Italy and has a Ferrari-designed, high performance engine that stays quiet when in use.
The Rapido Dryer is great for all hair types and textures, but the attachments are important for more specific needs. “The concentrator nozzle is an all around great tool for precise air flow and smoothing out the hair entirely,” says Matrix brand ambassador Sharon Spellman. BaBylissPRO also offers other dryer attachments, not included in this set, that can help you achieve different looks. In particular, the Rapido Dryer Diffuser gently lifts and separates your strands to give you frizz-free curls.
The best hair dryers for thick, coarse hair
BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Hair Dryer
The Dyson Supersonic might seem amazing in theory, but it isn’t necessarily a realistic purchase for people who are shopping on a budget. For an alternative, founder of Salon deZEN Maria Elizabeth suggests the BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Hair Dryer, especially for those who are trying to achieve a sleeker or smoother blowout.
“With 2000-watt performance, ergonomic handling, several heat and speed settings, and a cool shot button to help seal up cuticles, the BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Hair Dryer delivers less frizz and cuts down dry time,” Elizabeth says. “It is a great option for all hair types, but is specifically great for coarse and thick hair, as it assists in creating sleek styles.”
Elchim 2001 Classic Dryer
The Elchim 2001 Classic Dryer has its name for a reason — it’s a classic that can do no wrong. Made in Milan, it’s best for thick, coarse hair, and reduces drying time. Hairstylist and male groomer Matilde Campos has used this blow dryer for several years and still loves using it.
“If you have thick, curly hair and need to make it straight, shiny, and frizz-free, this will make it happen,” she says. “It has a cooling option that cools in seconds, and it can be placed back to its hot feature without skipping a beat.” You should know, however, that this hair dryer tends to get hot, so you’ll want to move quickly while doing your hair, Campos suggests.
The best hair dryers for frizzy hair
InStyler Mini Travel Dryer
For those who need a super simple, travel-sized hair dryer, look no further than the InStyler Mini. InStyler makes traveling easy, as the dryer measures in at 7.75 x 2.6 x 6.5 inches and only has high and low heat settings. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less effective.
“This mini blow-dryer is a diamond in the rough. It carries the same power as a normal sized blow dryer,” Campos says. “It’s compact and perfect for travel.” Plus, the concentrator nozzle keeps airflow focused in one direction and smooths the hair, adds shine, and gives you a frizz-free finish.
The Cura not only weighs just one pound, but also sports an ergonomic handle. Both of these elements mean your wrist won’t be aching while using this light blow dryer.
Most importantly, the dryer and its two attachments help to eliminate frizz thanks to T3 Digital IonAir Technology. The drying concentrator nozzle is perfect for rough drying, while the styling concentrator nozzle is good for styling one section at a time. Campos recommends moving your hair around from one side to the other when drying your hair, instead of turning your head upside down. “It will decrease the amount of flyaways,” she says.
The best hair dryers for all hair types
By now, most of us have seen brushes, styling tools, and blow dryers combined into one. But do they actually work? According to hairstylist Bianca Hillier, the Dyson Airwrap does, especially for those with fine to medium hair who are trying to add volume.
“You can adjust the heat settings and also adjust the tool to be used when creating a variety of styles,” Hillier says. “It’s lightweight, which makes it easy for traveling and daily use.” She also notes that you get the best results when using it on damp, rather than wet, hair.
“The Dyson Airwrap is the complete package,” Campos says. For a pro tip, “Use the cool shot at the end. This will hold your style for much longer.” She also appreciates the various attachment options. The barrels create curls and waves, while the brushes control the hair and add volume.
Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Dryer 2000
The Pro Dryer 2000 gives you luxury results with a reasonable price tag. As celebrity hairstylist Clariss Rubenstein says, there isn’t a blow dry this tool can’t handle. When buying a hair dryer, Rubenstein looks for strong heat and power for getting a quick and efficient blowout. The Pro Dryer 2000 has all that and more.
As Harry Josh himself explains, the best tip for getting a professional-looking blowout with this tool, or any tool, is to know your hair well and use a quality dryer. “Utilize a nozzle to direct air at a smaller space, then start at the roots and work your way to the ends, in the direction of the hair cuticle, which will add shine.” He also notes that heat settings, diffusers, and different types of brushes should all be considered when adjusting the experience for your specific hair type.
ghd Helios Hair Dryer
Serving up airflow that travels at 75 miles per hour, the Helios is light and quiet, yet powerful. “This blow dryer will cut your drying time in half. It’s durable and magically smooths your hair for the perfect finish,” Campos says. She also loves the chic look of the white and rose gold model.
“The contour nozzle works wonders. Use it while styling to concentrate on smoothness and shine,” Campos says. She also shares that you should remember to use the cooling feature to add some extra shine.
Bioprogramming Club Repronizer 4D Plus
One common cause of damaged hair is overusing heating tools. This is where the Repronizer 4D Plus comes in handy. “Not only will it not cause damage, it will improve the condition of your hair and scalp,” says master colorist and senior educator Hitomi Ikeda.
While this hair dryer works for all hair types, Ikeda says it’s especially effective for anyone with super damaged hair and who might be hesitant about using heat on their hair. She suggests switching between applying hot and cold air. This brings out the natural shine in each and every strand. As a pro tip, “It’s even more effective if you keep applying cold air to your scalp every day other than when you dry your hair.”
Sedu Revolution Hair Dryer 4000i
When it comes to a light-as-air blow dryer that’s also travel-friendly, Hillier recommends the Revolution Hair Dryer 4000i. “This blow dryer gets hot enough on even the low setting to smooth out any textured hair, whether it’s coarse or fine,” Hillier says. “There is a sneaky cool blow button that helps completely set the styled look and finish the job.”
“Regardless of hair type, you must always use a heat protectant,” Hillier says. This applies to each and every blow dryer and heat tool, regardless of how safe it may be for hair.