The 18 Best Hair Dryers for Curly Hair That Leave Locks Shiny & Bouncy

·18 min read

If you’re a member of the curly hair club, you know that drying your coils takes some strategy. A super high speed dryer can blow your curls out of shape, while too much brushing can bring about unwanted frizz. “Curly hair has a totally different process of maintenance than other textures, which require a different set of tools,” says curl expert Nai’Vasha, who’s styled the likes of Simone Biles, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Serena Williams. But textured hair is no longer something that needs to be tamed — it’s something to be celebrated. Lucky for you, this means that the best curly hair products and tools for coily, curly, and wavy hair types are on the rise, so it’s easier than ever to craft a routine that keeps your hair bouncy with the best hair dryers for curly hair.

It’s equally important to start prepping curly hair from the very beginning by sudsing up with a shampoo for curly hair, followed by a conditioner for curly hair, and never, ever use a regular hairbrush — specifically designed brushes for curly hair are a must.

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“People with curly hair are often scared of a hair dryer, especially when they’re trying to embrace their natural texture,” explains Nylza Yepez, hair stylist at Jenna Perry Hair Studio. But you don’t have to be: The best modern hair dryers enhance your pattern, instead of flattening it. And the wide range of the best mousses, creams, gels, and other styling products will ensure your curls stay. Plus, if your hair falls a little flat, there’s always a curling iron or hot tool to kickstart the curl back into action.

Speaking of staying power — exactly how long until you need to replace your hair dryer? “They usually have a long lifespan, especially if you don’t have to use them every day,” says Yepez. Caring for the tool well — which includes cleaning the filter regularly — will help it hum along just like new. Most hair styling tools should last you two to five years, according to Nai’Vasha. But if your dryer starts to smell, make strange noises, or certain buttons stop working, it’s time for a replacement.

And one of the best aspects of this product category? We’re expecting prices to be majorly slashed for Amazon Prime Day, which starts on July 12th. In addition, you’ll find incredible deals on other beauty products, which are hardly ever on sale, as well as coveted fashion steals, too.

Top Hair Dryers for Curly Hair 2022

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Bed Head Curls in Check 1875 Watt Diffuser Dryer 

Best Diffuser Hair Dryer for Curly Hair

  • Diffuser type: Pronged

  • Prong size: Medium

  • Technology: Tourmaline and ionic

  • Number of heat settings: Three

If your diffuser attachment is the only way you’ll use your hair dryer, this one from Bed Head is for you — the dryer’s diffuser isn’t a separate piece to tack on, but rather it’s built into the tool’s design. It’s more compact than other options, so it’s easy to tuck into a suitcase or gym bag. And the tourmaline ceramic material keeps your strands looking healthy, not frazzled. 

Bed Head Curls
Bed Head Curls




Bed Head Curls in Check 1875 Watt Diffuser Dryer


$34.97



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Infiniti Pro by Conair 3Q Hair Dryer 

Best Hair Dryer for Frizz-Prone Hair

  • Diffuser type: Pronged

  • Prong size: Long

  • Technology: Ionic and infrared titanium ceramic 

  • Number of heat settings: Three

A budget pick that stands up to pricey alternatives? Say no more. Conair’s tool employs frizz-controlling ionic technology along with multiple speed and heat settings. It’s well-equipped for thicker hair, drying it quickly without blowing too much scorching heat. “It’s saved my hair from heat damage that ordinary hair dryers give me and it’s so lightweight,” says one reviewer.

INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR
INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR




Infiniti Pro by Conair 3Q Hair Dryer


$69.99



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Drybar Buttercup Hair Dryer 

Best Hair Dryer for Fine Curly Hair

  • Diffuser type: Pronged

  • Prong size: Medium

  • Technology: Ionic 

  • Number of heat settings: Three

“This dryer has been wonderful for the condition of my dry, frizzy, fine, Type 2B/C curls,” says one reviewer of this Drybar option. “It dries my hair quickly without using excess heat, and the results are much smoother and shinier than any dryer I’ve used.” Many dryers aren’t efficient on the lowest heat setting, but this one works extra well on low heat. Give your hair some time to air dry before powering it on to speed up the process. 

Buttercup Blow-Dryer
Buttercup Blow-Dryer




Drybar Buttercup Hair Dryer


$199



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Hot Tools Professional Turbo Ceramic + Ionic Lightweight Hair Dryer

Best Gentle Hair Dryer for Curly Hair

  • Diffuser type: Pronged

  • Prong size: Long

  • Technology: Ionic

  • Number of heat settings: Three

Over 500 five-star reviewers agree: This hair dryer will blow you away without breaking the bank. Unlike many of the high powered options on the market, this one has a super gentle low-heat setting that won’t damage fine hair. “I was able to dry my long hair on the lowest setting in a very short amount of time with almost no heat at all,” one reviewer explains. 

Hot Tools
Hot Tools




Hot Tools Professional Turbo Ceramic + Ionic Lightweight Hair Dryer


$57.84



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Gold ‘N Hot Professional Ionic Soft Bonnet Hair Dryer

Best Hooded Hair Dryer for Curly Hair

  • Diffuser type: Hood 

  • Technology: Ionic

  • Number of heat settings: Four

Hooded dryers offer a hands-free approach to drying your hair (and let’s be real, we all want that). This one earns high marks for its large bonnet that will fit even jumbo sized curlers. It also offers a wide range of heat settings. “I’m able to completely dry my thick hair with the medium setting in about 15 to 20 minutes,” one reviewer explains. If your hair feels parched, slather on a hydrating leave-in conditioner — the contained heat will help the moisturizing ingredients sink into your strands. 

Gold 'N Hot
Gold 'N Hot




Gold ‘N Hot Professional Ionic Soft Bonnet Hair Dryer


$49



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Elchim 8th Sense Run Hair Dryer

Best Long-Lasting Hair Dryer for Curly Hair

  • Diffuser type: Cup

  • Prong size: Short

  • Technology: Ionic and ceramic

  • Number of heat settings: Three

Yepez uses this luxury pick from Elchim at home and on the road (it’s incredibly lightweight). The ionic and ceramic features work together to prevent your hair from burning, and the airflow dries your strands from the inside out to boost overall shine.  The diffuser is sold separately so it’s pricey altogether, but the tool will last you ages — it promises 5,000 hours of drying time. 

Elchim 8th
Elchim 8th




Elchim 8th Sense Run Hair Dryer


$281



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BaBylissPro Rapido Dryer

Best Hair Dryer for Thick Curly Hair

  • Diffuser type: Cup

  • Prong size: Medium

  • Technology: Ionic 

  • Number of heat settings: Three

Many reviewers note that this lightweight dryer dries hair super quickly. “This hair dryer is worth every penny — it’s easy to use and the cool shot setting ensures my hair doesn’t fall flat or change shape after I dry it,” raves one reviewer. The diffuser isn’t included, however it’s an excellent addition for those with long or super thick hair, due to its deep bowl design. 

Rapido Dryer
Rapido Dryer




BaBylissPro Rapido Dryer


$199



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Paul Mitchell Pro Tools Express Ion Dry+ Hair Dryer

Best Hair Dryer for Long Curly Hair

  • Diffuser type: Pronged

  • Prong size: Long

  • Technology: Ionic and infrared 

  • Number of heat settings: Five

Paul Mitchell’s dryer is excellent for those who are particular about speed and heat settings — you can toggle between five options for both airflow and temperature. The included diffuser has long prongs that cater well to extra coily or thick curly hair. Reviewers note that their hair feels much less dry after using it, compared to other tools on the market. 

Paul Mitchell Express Ion
Paul Mitchell Express Ion




Paul Mitchell Pro Tools Express Ion Dry+ Hair Dryer


$134



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Ga.Ma Italy Professional IQ Perfetto

Best Lightweight Hair Dryer for Curly Hair

  • Diffuser type: Cup

  • Prong size: Medium

  • Technology: Auto clean 

  • Number of heat settings: Three

This sleek, tiny hair dryer packs a big punch: It’s beloved by hair stylists for its slim profile and high caliber drying power. Yes, it’s an investment, but the petite tool has all the high tech bells and whistles you could want. It even has an auto clean setting to keep the filter free of dust and debris, a memory function that keeps track of your most used speed and heat preferences. And the best part? It weighs just over 10 ounces. 

IQ Perfetto
IQ Perfetto




Ga.Ma Italy Professional IQ Perfetto


$399



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Shark HyperAir Hair Blow Dryer with IQ 2-in-1 Concentrator & Curl-Defining Diffuser

Best Smart Hair Dryer for Curly Hair

  • Diffuser type: Cup

  • Prong size: Adjustable 

  • Technology: Ionic and intelligent heat control 

  • Number of heat settings: Three

You’re probably familiar with Shark for their vacuum cleaners, but the brand debuted a fabulous new hair dryer last fall. The dryer packs loads of technology, but perhaps most impressively, you simply click the accompanying attachments into place, and it automatically adjusts the airflow and temperature accordingly to give you the best finish. It’s an amazing option for curly, wavy, and coily hair types, thanks to its diffuser attachment — you can adjust the length of the prongs to suit your desired style. 

Shark HD113BRN
Shark HD113BRN




Shark HyperAir Hair Blow Dryer with IQ 2-in-1 Concentrator & Curl-Defining Diffuser


$199



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Bio Ionic 10X UltraLight Speed Dryer

Best Fast-Drying Hair Dryer for Curly Hair

  • Diffuser type: Cup

  • Prong size: Long

  • Technology: Ionic 

  • Number of heat settings: Three

Impatient types, right this way. Bio Ionic’s dryer promises to get your hair dry in 10 minutes or less, (granted, you may need to factor in a few extra minutes if you’re opting for the diffuser attachment). We love the diffuser attachment because you can adjust the vents: Open them all for max airflow, or close a few to get a more targeted stream of air. And at just under a pound, it’s lightweight to boot.

10X Ultralight Speed Dryer
10X Ultralight Speed Dryer




Bio Ionic 10X UltraLight Speed Dryer


$295



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Moroccanoil Smart Styling Infrared Hair Dryer

Best Energy-Efficient Hair Dryer for Curly Hair

  • Diffuser type: Cup

  • Prong size: Medium

  • Technology: Infrared and ceramic 

  • Number of heat settings: Three

Many lower-wattage hair dryers take awhile to dry your locks, but this ceramic-coated option uses less energy without slowing down the process. A special ceramic honeycomb heating unit helps speed things up, reducing your drying time by 50 percent. “I have a lot of thick, curly hair that often takes 15 minutes to blow dry — this hair dryer dries the majority of my hair in less than 5 minutes,” says one reviewer. It also features far infrared light that warms your hair from the inside out, reducing heat damage and sealing in moisture. 

Smart Styling Infrared Hair Dryer
Smart Styling Infrared Hair Dryer




Moroccanoil Smart Styling Infrared Hair Dryer


$190



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T3 Cura Luxe Professional Ionic Hair Dryer

Best Hair Dryer for Color-Treated Curly Hair

  • Diffuser type: Pronged

  • Prong size: Medium

  • Technology: Ionic and auto-pause features

  • Number of heat settings: Five

With five heat settings, this innovative dryer tops the charts with temperature control. We love it for colored or processed hair because the airflow is extra gentle on over-treated ends. “I have thick, 3C/4A hair that usually takes me 45 minutes to dry, but with this tool I’m done in 25 minutes,” says one reviewer. The diffuser attachment is sold separately, but it’s vented prongs enhance the airflow as you go, so it’s a useful add. 

Cura Luxe Professional
Cura Luxe Professional




T3 Cura Luxe Professional Ionic Hair Dryer


$295



Buy Now

Ghd Helios 1875W Advanced Professional Hair Dryer 

Best Beginner Hair Dryer for Curly Hair

  • Diffuser type: Pronged

  • Prong size: Long

  • Technology: Ionic 

  • Number of heat settings: Three

A special aerodynamic design makes it easy to control the airflow from Ghd’s popular tool. “The controls are easy to operate while in use, and it’s lightweight — I don’t put a ton of product in my hair and I still got a great blowout,” says one reviewer. We give the dryer bonus points for its nine-foot power cord that makes it hassle-free to handle. 

Helios 1875W Advanced Professional Hair Dryer
Helios 1875W Advanced Professional Hair Dryer




Ghd Helios 1875W Advanced Professional Hair Dryer


$236



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Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer 

Best Overall Hair Dryer for Curly and Wavy Hair

  • Diffuser type: Pronged

  • Prong size: Short 

  • Technology: Ionic 

  • Heat settings: Four 

If you’ve been on the fence about the iconic Dyson Supersonic hair dryer, consider this your sign to give it a go. The viral favorite has won myriad awards and accolades, mostly due to its cutting edge ability to dry hair quickly without damage: It uses technology that regulates air temperature in real time to prevent frying your hair. But we love it for its diffuser’s ability to maintain curl shape without an ounce of frizz. Wavy hair types will love the new flyaway attachment, which tucks away unruly pieces for a polished look. 

dyson
dyson




Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer


$429



Buy Now

Harry Josh Pro Tools Ultra Light Pro Hair Dryer 

Best Travel Hair Dryer for Curly Hair

  • Diffuser type: Cup 

  • Prong size: Short 

  • Technology: Ionic 

  • Number of heat settings: Three

Weighing in at just under a pound, this hair stylist-developed dryer is easy on the arms. It’s also ultra quiet (you can still hold a conversation while using it) and extra fast — the air speed reaches an impressive 94 miles per hour. “It accomplishes everything I need in a small, compact package,” says Dueñas. The only downside is that the diffuser is sold separately, but it’s worth the purchase, hands down.  

Harry Josh Pro
Harry Josh Pro




BUY NOW:


$349



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Remington Pro Hair Dryer with Pearl Ceramic Technology

Best Budget Hair Dryer for Curly Hair

  • Diffuser type: Pronged

  • Prong size: Short

  • Technology: Ceramic

  • Number of heat settings: Three

Remington’s dryer is a not-so-secret hit: It’s earned over 4,000 five-star reviews. “I have naturally thick, curly hair, and this dries my hair enough for hot rollers within five minutes,” says one reviewer. Some commenters even tout that the tool’s lightweight profile is friendly to those who struggle with arthritis. And the tool promises conditioning benefits courtesy of the crushed pearl-infused ceramic coating. 

Remington AC2015
Remington AC2015




Remington Pro Hair Dryer with Pearl Ceramic Technology


$24



Buy Now

Amika Blow Dryer Brush 2.0

Best Round Brush Hair Dryer for Wavy Hair

  • Technology: Ionic and infrared 

  • Number of heat settings: Three

This unique round brush hair dryer is excellent for wavy hair types looking to smooth out their texture, or curly types wanting a sleeker look for the day. Brush it up through your roots and wind your curls around away from your face as you work through your hair — the short bristle length goes gentle while it detangles. A few passes will do the trick. 

Hair Blow Dryer Brush 2.0
Hair Blow Dryer Brush 2.0




Amika Blow Dryer Brush 2.0


$100



Buy Now

What Does a Diffuser Do?

Hair Diffusers are pronged attachments that snap onto the end of the hair dryer’s nozzle and are a secret weapon for all curl patterns. The best hair diffusers are designed to dry the hair in its natural state, according to Nai’Vasha. They distribute the dryer’s airflow over a larger surface area, so you get less direct heat, which tends to flatten out curls. They’re also an efficient way to dry even short, curly hairstyles, just be sure to use low heat to softly coax your hair into shape without creating excess frizz or flyaways, says Yepez. 

What To Look For In a Hair Blow Dryer For Curly Hair:

Ionic technology

This is a must, according to Yepez. Ionic technology helps decrease frizziness, as the negative ions reduce static electricity and promote shiny, bouncy strands, says celebrity hairstylist Michael Dueñas. And for the science nerds among us, it also helps dry hair faster: Water has a positive ionic charge, so the negative ions repel the water from your hair.

Heat settings

We all know that hot tools can damage your hair when used regularly. But a dryer with adjustable heat settings is paramount — it allows you to calibrate the air temperature before it has the chance to burn your locks. “Your dryer should get very warm, but never so hot that you feel it’s going to burn your scalp,” says Dueñas. A cool setting is the cherry on top as chilly air seals the cuticles of your strands for a shiny finish. 

Diffuser type

All diffusers work similarly, but you can find them in a few different shapes. Cup diffusers are common: These circular attachments have prongs around a shallow bowl shape that’s helpful for corralling longer locks. Pronged options are just like the cup diffusers, but without the bowl-like indentation, and they work like a charm to lift your mid-lengths and roots. If you’re not after more volume, try a hand-style diffuser (which looks exactly how it sounds). The unique shape dries curls without poofing up your roots. 

Prong size

The length of a diffuser’s prongs also impacts your final look. Longer prongs diffuse less heat on your hair, providing softer curl definition. Shorter ones give you more control over where exactly the heat is concentrated, making it a great choice for those who want tighter ringlets.

How To Use a Hair Dryer For Curly Hair

  1. Remove excess moisture: Once you step out of the shower, Yepez recommends wrapping your wet hair in a t-shirt or microfiber hair towel to soak up as much water as possible. 

  2. Prep with product: Opt for a mousse or gel that delivers light hold. Scrunch it onto your ends and up towards your roots — it’s important to avoid a brush or comb so you don’t disrupt your natural curl pattern. 

  3. Diffuse the roots: “Set your dryer to a low air setting on full heat, and focus your diffuser on the root area, moving slowly in a circular motion until it’s about 90 percent dry,” says Yepez. This gives your ends extra time to air-dry, and allows you to finesse your hairline once you’ve dried your strands. 

  4. Dry the ends: Delicately take your curls and place the ends in the diffuser, then lift the dryer up towards your head. Be patient here, this step can take awhile. “Do not move the dryer until that section is about 95 to 100 percent dry,” Dueñas says. “The more you move curly hair when wet, the more frizz you will get.” 

  5. Hydrate your hair: Once your hair is almost fully dry, spritz a hydrating leave-in conditioner onto your ends. Then, do your best to not touch those strands — excessing touching or brushing will disrupt the natural curl pattern.

  6. Reset as needed: If your curls fall flat between wash days, just mist your mid-lengths to ends with water to reset your look, says Yepez.

How To Keep Hair Curly With a Hair Dryer

A diffuser is your friend: Without the attachment, the blast of hot air will ruin the shape of your ringlets. Stay patient and practice what Nai’Vasha calls the “do not disturb” technique. Once your hair is settled in the diffuser attachment, don’t move it until you’re dry. 

Air Drying vs. Diffusing Curly Hair

Both techniques have benefits. “Air drying takes longer, but leaves your curls softer and more in their authentic form,” says Nai’Vasha. Yet, diffusing hair is quicker, and also gives you the opportunity to manipulate your curls for more definition, shine and bounce, she adds. Either way, you can touch up dry hair with a small curling iron to add tighter curls where you need it. 

How To Sleep with Curly Hair

“Hair wraps and silk pillowcases are super helpful,” says Yepez. Silk pillowcases or silk bonnets are excellent for maintaining your style. Unlike cotton, silky material won’t rough up your hair, meaning you’ll wake up without tangles, frizz, or clumps.

Meet the Experts

Michael Dueñas is a Los Angeles-based curly hair specialist. He’s worked with celebrity clients including Rachel Brosnahan, Noah Cyrus, and Padma Lakshmi, styled for runway shows, and shot editorials for numerous brands. 

Nai’Vasha is a celebrity curl expert. She founded Curl Queen in 2021 with the goal to empower every woman to love and honor every part of themselves, including every wave, every curl, every coil, every kink. 

Nylza Yepez is a hairstylist at Jenna Perry Hair Studio. Originally from California, she trained under hair experts Leo Manetti and Marco Santini. She’s worked on many NYFW shows, and specializes in textured haircuts and playing with shapes. 

Meet the Author 

Claire Sullivan is a freelance beauty writer based in New York City. She spent six years writing and editing on staff for Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings, most recently covering the beauty beat for both brands. Her background in food writing translates to a no-nonsense approach to skin care, hair care, and makeup: In her eyes, it’s all about technique and ingredients. Claire loves to turn expert advice into easy steps that inspire you to give your beauty routine a makeover. 

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