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There's no better feeling than leaving the salon looking like a million bucks after a blowout. And, there’s no worse feeling than not knowing how to recreate said look sans stylist. But, before you cancel every sweat-inducing activity and resign yourself to a life of shower caps, scrunchies, and dry shampoo, we're here to tell you that with the right hair tool, it is possible to master your mane in the comfort of your home.
The Spruce team rounded up the best hair dryers on the market and ranked each based on a few crucial considerations including heat, speed, style, and hair type. So, whether you’re attempting voluminous waves, bouncy curls, or a sleek and straight coif, we’ve got the perfect hair dryer for you.
Best Overall: Elchim 2001 Classic Hair Dryer
When a product comes with a lifetime warranty, that’s when you know it’s a keeper. As a salon favorite, Elchim’s 2001 Classic Hair Dryer has proven is can stand the test of time. With 1700 watts of drying power and a reliable, high-quality AC motor, this hair dryer does not disappoint. While the Elchim may not be the lightest option on the market, the 2.6-pound tool is extremely durable and a great option for anyone who's hard on their hair tools.
Suitable for all hair types, Elchim’s Classic 2001 Hair Dryer features two speeds and three heat settings, including a cool shot. It has a 9-foot professional-length cord and a concentrator attachment for ultimate smoothing. Overall, the Elchim features the perfect balance of heat, air flow, and air pressure which combined, achieve a salon-worthy, bouncy blowout.
Best Budget: Conair INFINITIPRO 1875 Watt Salon Performance AC Motor Hair Dryer
Conair's products aren't just sturdily built, they're also very affordable and can often be found at your nearest drugstore. The Infiniti Pro is a prime example of Conair's M.O.—the budget-friendly hair dryer is outfitted with an 1875-watt salon-power motor that delivers faster drying times and professional results. It also comes with a diffuser attachment that works wonders on curly and wavy styles and a concentrator nozzle which helps smooth hair.
The tool uses ion technology to cut back on frizz by up to 75 percent and ceramic technology provides uniform heat so you can count on less damage to your hair. With three heat settings, two speeds, and a cool shot to set your style, most hair types will be supremely satisfied with this budget-friendly find.
Best Splurge: Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
This splurge-worthy hair dryer comes from a best-selling vacuum brand you already know and trust. Yes, Dyson’s done it again—created an outrageously expensive appliance that’s actually worth your money. The Dyson Supersonic claims to increase smoothness by 75 percent, increase shine by up to 132 percent, and decrease frizz and flyaways by up to 61 percent.
The lightweight, nozzle-less design houses a motor (inside the handle) that’s six times faster than standard motors and it has a sensor that measures temperature over 40 times a second. Another innovative design feature? The dryer's three available attachments—two concentrators and one diffuser—attach via magnets, so you don't have to fuss with screwing or squeezing them on.
While those with fine or relatively “easy” hair could get away with a cheaper option, it's a game-changer for those with frizz-prone, unruly hair. Yes, upfront the Dyson may seem like a splurge, but if you usually get a blowout or two per month, it'll easily pay for itself in a matter of weeks.
Best Brush: Revlon One-Step Paddle Dryer
Revlon's One-Step Paddle Dryer is easy, efficient, and affordable. If you're looking for an all-in-one dryer/brush that can deliver shinier, smoother hair in a matter of minutes, it's definitely our top pick.
The paddle brush naturally smooths hair as it works and since it covers a large area, it's quick to dry your entire head. The brush is suitable for most hair types, but since it straightens hair a bit, it's not the best pick for those looking to maintain their natural curls. The flexible, tangle-free bristles massage the scalp while ionic heating technology helps condition and smooth as well as reduce frizz. This model comes with two heat settings, two speeds, and a cool shot so you can customize and style your blowout any way you like.
Best for Curly Hair: xtava Pro Hair Dryer with Diffuser
If you have super curly hair then you likely know that a standard hair dryer won't be able to transform your locks into the luscious, bouncy curls you desire. To do this, you’ll need a diffuser like the one included in Xtava’s Ionic Blow Dryer Voluminous Tool Kit.
Whether you have short and wavy or long and heavy curls, Xtava's Black Orchid Diffuser is up for the job. The diffuser attachment—which measures 1.8 inches in diameter—is vented in order to provide 360-degree airflow that simultaneously dries your hair from root to tip. Ionic technology tames frizz and can be turned on and off so you can add lots of volume and texture to your look. Of course, the tool also offers all the features of a standard dryer including an 1875-watt motor, two heat settings, a cool shot button, and an 8-foot, 2-inch cord which provides plenty of length for you to move as you work.
Best for Fine Hair: REVLON One-Step Hair Dryer And Volumizer Hot Air Brush
When it comes to amping up limp locks, the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer is our go-to tool. The easy-to-use dryer/round brush combo has a lightweight, elliptical shape that won’t tire out your arms. Plus, the root-boosting comb is made from a mix of both nylon and boar bristles which detangle and smooth hair while also pumping up volume.
The Revlon One-Step can be used to style wet or dry hair and while the 1100-watt dryer is a great option for those with fine hair, its three heat and speed settings really make it suitable for all hair types. The ion generator promotes faster drying time plus, its ceramic coating offers even heat distribution from the inside out to protect hair from damage.
Best for Travel: amika Mighty Mini Drye
Most hotels offer complimentary hair dryers, but their performance is usually subpar. While we wouldn't suggest traveling with your full-size dryer instead, we do love Amika’s Mighty Mini Ionic Dryer. The tiny, 6 x 5-inch tool packs 1000 watts of power and includes dual voltage for overseas travel, ensuring you always get the look you love regardless of location.
Amika's Mighty Mini heats from the inside out using tourmaline-infused ceramic components which emit far-infrared heat which can cut down on your drying time down by about 70 percent. The Amika is lightweight and features a cute array of prints to choose from, as well as a colorful carrying case, mini diffuser, and a concentrator nozzle.
Best Professional: Drybar Buttercup Blow-Dryer
When you want the best, you go to the source, and for blowouts, that’s Drybar. The brand's Buttercup Blow Dryer weighs just 1 pound and is outfitted with custom settings that make it great for all hair types. The ultra-powerful, 1875-watt motor allows for faster drying time and users claim they can get the job done in 20-percent less time than it takes with other hair dryers.
With ionic technology, the Buttercup uses a negative ion generator to blow billions of negative ions into the hair which seal cuticles and reduce frizz while drying. It also has a wave heater for even heat distribution and faster drying time. The three different heat settings, two speed settings, two concentrator nozzles, and 9-foot professional-length cord also mean you can customize your blowout to your specific hair type. If price is an issue, Drybar's travel-sized, Baby Buttercup is substantially cheaper.
Power in Watts Most hair dryers will clearly state how much power they provide (in watts). The higher the power, the faster and more efficiently the tool will dry your hair. Professional-grade blow dryers can have as much as 3,500 watts or more, but they will be significantly more expensive. Low-end dryers will be cheaper and have around 1,500 watts, but they’ll take longer to dry your hair.
Features for Your Hair Type Your hair type should be a key consideration when shopping for a hair dryer. For instance, those with frizzy hair should look for a product with ceramic and tourmaline technology, which will help give you a smooth finish. People with thick hair often benefit from dryers with more power, and those with curly locks should look for a product that comes with a diffuser.
Size and Weight The size of your hair dryer is important for two reasons. First, a heavy hair dryer can be quite tiring to use, as you have to hold it up as you style your hair. Secondly, bigger hair dryers can be tricky to store and are more challenging to travel with, as they take up a lot of room.