There are a lot of different hair dryers out there and we know it can be overwhelming to pick just one. Every individual needs a quality hair dryer in their arsenal to dry hair quickly, control frizz, or even just to use as a styling product.
We have tried to make it simpler for you as you navigate through the various buzzwords to find what is best for your hair type and your budget without getting distracted by the excessive marketing lingo out there.
We have picked five of our favourite hair dryers and listed them down below along with explanations of commonly used terms you will likely come across as you do your research.
Best hair dryers of 2020
- Best overall – Conair Infiniti Pro 1875 Watt
- Best for blowouts – Revlon One Step Hair Dryer
- Best for thick hair – Dyson Supersonic
- Best for frizzy hair – Panasonic Nanoe Moisture Infusion
- Best for curly hair – Remington Damage Control Ceramic
Hours of Research
Best hair dryers comparison
|Best for||Overall||Blowouts||Thick Hair||Frizzy Hair||Curly Hair|
|Power||1,875 watts||1,100 watts||1,600 watts||1,875 watts||1,875 watts|
|Weight||2.4lbs||1.8 lbs||1.8 lbs||1.28 lbs||1.53 lbs|
|Cord Length||6 ft.||6 ft.||9 ft.||9 ft.||5 ft.|
|Warranty||4 years||4 years||2 years||2 years||2 years|
Our pick for best overall – Conair Infiniti Pro 1875 Watt
- Wattage: 1,875 watts
- Weight: 2.4 lbs
- Cord Length: 6 ft.
- Warranty: 4 years
- Budget friendly with professional results
- Multiple heat and speed settings
- Powerful AC motor
- Quick drying
- Heavy compared to some other brands
- A little bulky, not ideal for travel
This hair dryer uses ionic and ceramic technology to dry hair quickly while simultaneously making it look healthier and shinier. Ceramic helps to evenly distribute the heat and makes sure that hair does not get damaged.
It is ergonomically designed to be well-balanced for ultimate comfort. It also has no slip bumpers on the side to keep the dryer from sliding when placed on a surface. The rear filter is removable in order to keep the hair dryer clean and running efficiently.
It has two different fan speeds and three different heat settings that give a maximum of six unique combinations. There is also a cold shot button which can be used to style hair as it prevents over-drying and helps create a long-lasting blow dry.
The Infiniti Pro comes with two attachments – a concentrator for versatile, pinpoint styling and a diffuser for added volume and reduced frizz. Given the professional results it creates at this price range, two attachments is a great deal.
This is a 1,875 watt professional hair dryer so it does pack a lot of power. As a result, the drying time is shorter with its powerful motor and high heat compared to other cheaper alternatives.
Best for blowouts – Revlon One Step Hot Air Brush
- Wattage: 1,100 watts
- Weight: 1.8 lbs
- Cord Length: 6 ft.
- Warranty: 4 years
- Less bulky in size than a typical hair dryer
- Gives a smooth finish
- Dual bristles
- Easy to give yourself a blowout
- Loud noise while in use
- Bristles can get hot
This hair dryer brush is designed with nylon pin and tufted boar bristles to add volume but also to keep hair detangled. The unique oval shape helps to smooth the hair while the round edges create more volume. It is built with an ion generator that dries hair fast and makes it shiny and healthier-looking. It has a ceramic coating which protects hair from over-styling because of the even heat distribution that dries hair from the inside out.
There are three different heat settings (cool, low, high) for styling flexibility and also depending on how much heat your hair can take. Unlike most hair dryers, this one can be placed closer to the scalp without any burning or irritation which adds a nice lift and prevents hair from getting too flat.
This device does not have any attachments. It would be interesting if in future versions, it had options for different barrel or brush sizes so users could have more control over the type of blowout they wanted.
It runs on 1,100 watts and is able to provide just the right amount of heat. Its wattage is definitely below average compared to the rest of hair dryers on our list but it is likely lower because it is a different type.
Best for thick hair – Dyson Supersonic
- Wattage: 1,600 watts
- Weight: 1.8 lbs
- Cord Length: 9 ft.
- Warranty: 2 years
- Hair dries fast
- Handheld portion (not including cord) of hair dryer is light and weighs less than 1 lb
- Comes with a lot of attachments
- Price is very high
- Thick cord
Compared to most other dryers that are top heavy with a long barrel, the Dyson Supersonic has a short top. The motor is located inside the handle in order to make the hair dryer more balanced and easier on the arm.
The motor rotates up to 110,000 times a minute creating a strong airflow that moves over 13 liters of air every second. It has a glass bead thermistor which measures the temperature 20 times every second and adjusts accordingly to ensure that it does not overheat and damage your hair. The dryer will notify you when it needs to be cleaned at which point, you can twist and release the removable filter which can be found at the bottom of the device.
The Dyson Supersonic has three different speed settings and four heat settings giving a total of 12 unique combinations. There is also a cold shot button which can be pressed the entire time as you dry your hair.
You get a number of additional items including a smoothing nozzle, a styling concentrator, a diffuser, a non-slip mat, and a storage hanger. The three attachments are engineered to be magnetic so they don’t fall off easily, which is a common problem for most hair dryers.
The smoothing nozzle uses smooth, wide air for a sleek finish. The styling concentrator is for precise styling to shape one hair section at a time. The diffuser disperses air evenly around curls to gently dry hair and add definition. The non-slip mat creates a safe surface to rest the hair dryer in between use while the storage hanger is for more permanent storage.
It runs on 1,600 watts of power with an ionizer to reduce static. This hits somewhat in the standard range of a solid hair dryer but considering the many features and the advanced technology it has, it utilizes the wattage efficiently to guarantee results.
Best for frizzy hair – Panasonic Nanoe Moisture Infusion
- Wattage: 1,875 watts
- Weight: 1.28 lbs
- Cord Length: 9 ft.
- Warranty: 2 years
- Reduces frizz tremendously
- Relatively quiet
- Uses moisture infusing technology
- Top heavy, harder to balance
- Not many settings compared to other high end dryers
This hair dryer uses nanoe technology that takes moisture in the air and turns it into small particles that penetrate the shaft of your hair and prevents hair from over drying and heat damage. It can infuse 1,000 times more moisture into the hair than typical ionic hair dryers making it ideal for frizzy, thick hair leaving it smoother, softer, and shinier.
It’s a little bulky but given that it dries hair pretty quickly, you won’t have to be holding on to it for long. It has a filter that can easily be removed with a slide switch to keep the hair dryer functioning at peak performance.
It doesn’t have as many settings as other hair dryers in this price range but it still manages to give some control with three different heat settings and two speed settings. It also has a cold shot button as per a standard hair dryer.
It comes with three different attachments — a unique nozzle for quick drying, a concentrator for precision styling, and a diffuser to add body to curly and wavy hair. The dual airflow quick dry nozzle uses strong and soft airflows for a quicker and more even drying process.
At 1,875 watts, this hair dryer will provide above average power and that power helps hair dry quickly. It uses that immense power to run the nanoe technology that removes frizz making this a holy grail dryer for those with thick and frizzy hair.
Best for curly hair – Remington Damage Control Ceramic
- Wattage: 1,875 watts
- Weight: 1.53 lbs
- Cord Length: 5 ft.
- Warranty: 2 years
- Comes with attachments despite low price
- Uses ceramic for even heating and less frizz
- Not too noisy
- Short cord length
- Airflow is not that strong regardless of high wattage
This hair dryer is designed to provide three times more protection compared to other dryers because the grill is infused with micro conditioners that are released into the airflow. The negative ions reduce frizz and the ceramic coating on the grill helps efficiently dry hair without putting it under heat for too long.
Along with the tourmaline technology, these features work together to prevent damage and maximize shine. To clean the hair dryer, there is a removable filter at its rear end.
It is a pretty basic hair dryer that comes with three heat and two speed settings that you can use to find the right heat and airflow for your hair type. There is also a cool shot button that can be used at the end to lock in your hair style all day.
Despite being an affordable drugstore brand hair dryer, it is surprising that it still comes with additional attachments like a concentrator that is great for styling straight hair and a diffuser that helps create flowing waves and curls. Most basic hair dryers will give a concentrator to channel airflow to smaller sections of the hair but not many will include a diffuser so that should be considered a bonus.
It runs on 1,875 watts which is on par with the Panasonic Nanoe however it has mixed reviews regarding the power it actually provides. Some find it is not powerful enough while others complain that it has too much power and heat. Since it is a budget hair dryer, it doesn’t have the same results as a hair dryer that has the same wattage but is significantly more expensive than this.
What to consider when looking for a hair dryer?
Now that you have a better idea of a range of moisturizers and their benefits, how do you go about choosing the right one for you? Here are a couple of factors to keep in mind.
Look for a dryer that is functional and doesn’t weigh too much. If it weighs too much, your arm will get tired before you are done. This is essential especially if you have thick hair that takes longer to dry. It may seem like a minor detail but it is so important to take into consideration for a product that will be used frequently.
Your hair dryer should be comfortable to use and you should be able to hold it with ease. Take a look at where the buttons are and whether they’re easy to reach without the possibility of accidentally turning them on or off mid-dry.
Most hair dryers come with nozzles so look for ones that have at least a concentrator and a diffuser. The concentrator helps control the air flow so it blows directly on the area you want to smooth and is ideal for straighter hair. If you wear your hair curly sometimes, it is helpful to have a diffuser which helps spread out the hair dryer’s air flow.
It is great to have an option of various settings depending on your hair type (for fine hair, low heat does the job with less damage to your hair) and how you want to style your hair. Adjustable heat and power controls are key in drying and styling.
High heat and high power do not need to be used all the time especially since they can cause damage if used continuously over extended periods of time. Pro Tip: Use a heat protectant whenever you use a hot tool on your hair and you will thank yourself later! A cool shot button is nice to have for a cool blast of air at the end of the blow dry to set everything in place and for added shine.
The higher the wattage, the more powerful the dryer and the quicker the drying time. It is wise to pick the wattage based on your hair type. If you have fine or thin hair, you should blow dry your hair at low heat and low power to prevent tangles and unnecessary damage so a hair dryer with around 1,300 watts will be great for you.
If you have thick hair, a hair dryer with over 1,800 watts or more is recommended for a quicker dry. That said, a high wattage dryer has a longer shelf life than that with low wattage because low wattage dryers are more likely to burn out, as too much stress is placed on the motor’s performance.
The cord length is an often overlooked factor when purchasing a hair dryer. It’s not an issue till it becomes an issue. A cord length between 6 to 9 feet is preferred. It should be able to reach you comfortably from any outlet you use. If the cord is too short, it can restrict your movement and cause unnecessary inconvenience.
Electronic items like hair dryers can be faulty and if you’re investing in a quality product, you want to make sure that you have a back up plan in case something breaks or stops working. A good warranty will put your mind at ease. If it is within the warranty timeline, most manufacturers will fix the issue or even give you a new blow dryer free of cost.
If you use a hair dryer often, it should be considered an investment and can be a single beauty purchase that you can spend more on. Pricier hair dryers are typically better at keeping your hair healthy while giving great results.
While cheaper alternatives may dry your hair, they are not necessarily great for long-term use because of the damage they do to your hair plus they usually don’t last as long either. Save that blowout money and invest in a quality hair dryer!
What kind of hair dryer is best for your hair type?
People with thin hair are usually looking to add volume but since their hair is delicate, the hair dryer should add volume without damaging the follicles. It is best to steer clear of ionic technology as it can take away bounce and volume from already flat hair. Ceramic or porcelain technology is better at providing gentle, non-damaging heat.
People with thin hair should consider diffuser attachments even though they are meant for curly hair, they can also add volume and texture to thin hair. A concentrator nozzle and a bristle brush used together can help to style hair and create volume at the roots.
Fine hair is easily damaged by heat and high speeds. Tourmaline dryers are the best choice for fine hair because they are gentle, non-damaging, and preserve the moisture that fine hair needs.
Adjustable heat settings are also key as people can customize it to a lower setting since fine hair doesn’t need heavy heat to fully dry. Dryers with ceramic, porcelain, or infrared technology also work well for fine hair as they produce less damage without reducing volume.
Drying thick hair is a long process so a hair dryer that speeds it up is ideal. Titanium hair dryers are great for providing a quick dry but are not ideal for hair that is easily damaged. The technology in these dryers creates even, consistent heat at a high temperature that only thick hair can withstand.
Titanium is also a lightweight material which makes all the difference when you’re drying hair that takes a while so it doesn’t ever feel heavy. Dryers that are made of titanium, use ionic technology, and have high wattage are the preferred combination for thick hair.
Natural hair with its tight curls and coils is prone to heat damage and often takes long to dry so a hair dryer with quick drying and non-damaging technology is the best fit. To prevent moisture loss, hair dryers with ceramic or porcelain technology are best.
To speed up the drying process, ionic technology helps to smooth and detangle coiled locks. Dryer attachments like a diffuser or a comb are also essential to achieve different looks.
People with natural hair should make use of adjustable heat settings and choose a moderate level when straightening and low level when diffusing. Lower heat settings can prolong the drying process but the addition of quick-dry features, like ionic and ceramic technology, help to compensate.
Frizzy hair lacks moisture due to genetics, humidity, hot showers, frequent shampooing, or even damage from heat tools. It is wise to identify the source of the frizz and if it has been caused by heat damage, shampooing or other modifiable factors, look for a dryer that helps compensate the issue.
High temperatures increases frizziness so use the coolest temperature setting. It will increase drying time but will cut down on frizz. Negative ions, infrared heat, and high wattage motors all help to reduce frizz. For thin frizzy hair, consider buying a dryer with an adjustable ionic function so you don’t have to compromise on volume.
Curly hair tends to become frizzy and unmanageable after hair dryer use. To combat this, use a diffuser attachment that will deliver 360-degree airflow which helps to enhance natural curls. A diffuser combined with ionic technology will add extra shine to thick curls.
Cool shot buttons are also great for people with curly hair as they seal in shine and help defrizz. That said, curly haired individuals should still expect drying time to be at least 10 minutes or more so they should look for lightweight ergonomic designs.
Already damaged hair shouldn’t be exposed to further heat so look for a dryer with multiple heat settings. Look for a high wattage dryer that creates high-power wind so high temperatures aren’t as important. Infrared technology is great for damaged hair as it is less damaging since it dries hair from the inside out.
High quality dryers often combine infrared technology with ceramic coating and ionic technology — ceramic features are a plus but ionic technology can be over-drying so it would be preferred if it came without ionic technology.
What is the difference between ionic and tourmaline technology?
Ionic dryers shoot negative ions or free electrons that break up the water molecules in your hair and leave behind some water particles that keep the hair hydrated which makes it less likely to tangle and frizz, adds sheen and can speed up the drying process.
Tourmaline dryers are made of or coated with tourmaline, a semi-precious mineral, that emits more negative ions into the air than ionic dryers, but as a result is more expensive.
What does it mean when buzzwords like ceramic, porcelain, infrared, or titanium are used to describe the hair dryer?
Dryers with these words are designed to distribute heat evenly and gently. Ceramic or porcelain is used to coat a dryer’s metal or plastic heating parts or any internal parts as well to make the heat even and temperature more consistent. They also emit negative ions to speed drying and smooth frizz.
Infrared technology uses longer energy wavelengths to dry the hair from inside out. Titanium is similar to ceramic but it tends to make the dryer very hot so it is not recommended for damaged hair but it does significantly speed up the drying process. Titanium is also lighter-weight than ceramic and is evidently reflected in the price as well.
How can I minimize hair damage when using a hair dryer?
- Lightly pat your hair with a towel first and only use a hair dryer once your hair is already 60% dry.
- Use a wide-tooth comb to gently detangle your hair. Wet hair is weaker and more prone to break. If you don’t comb your hair first, your hair will knot easily.
- Use a detangling spray to help reduce moisture loss during the blow-dry. Make sure it includes some type of heat protectant so there is a barrier between the hair cuticles and the heat. This step should never be skipped!
- Keep your hair dryer at a medium-to-low temperature. The lower the temperature, the better. If it is taking too long, increase the speed but not the heat.
- Keep moving the dryer so a single section doesn’t overheat and keep it at least 6-8 inches away from your head at all times.
- Don’t blow dry every day! Give your hair a break sometimes.
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Over to you
We’re interested to know – what kind of hair do you have and how do you currently dry your hair? What are your biggest hair concerns? Let us know by leaving a comment below!