A trip to the hair salon gives you an instant confidence boost. A healthy haircut, a brand new color, and a gorgeous blowout will make anyone feel like their best self. You might not be able to give yourself a perfect trim or highlights at home, but you can create big, bouncy hair at home, as long as you have the right hair dryer. "There are four questions I ask myself when purchasing a hair dryer," says Devin Toth, a hairstylist at Salon SCK in New York City. Those include: "Does it get hot enough? Is the concentrator nozzle thin and narrow? Does it have a 'cold shot' button? Are the buttons located in a convenient place that I won't accidentally press while using the dryer?" "To sum up these questions: Does the blow-dryer feel like it was designed by a hairdresser or by someone who has never used a hair dryer," Toth adds.
The Best Hair Dryers, According to Stylists
Best Lightweight Hair Dryer: Turbo Power Twinturbo 3900 Dryer Light Ceramic Ionic 333 ($195, Amazon)
A few more words you should be looking for when you purchase your hair dyer are ionic (to prevent frizz and speed up drying time), ceramic (helps preserve your tresses and prevent heat damage), and tourmaline (to close the cuticle on each strand to create smoother hair), says Shelly Aguirre, a stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. "Today, most dryers offer ceramic, tourmaline, and ionic benefits," Aguirre explains. (Which is the good news!) "I inform my clients that if the dryer they are using at home was purchased more than five years ago, it's time to invest in a new one as the technology will be greatly improved from the prior. With that being said, the investment in this tool will last you years to come."
To help you choose your new blow dryer, stylists offer their expert advice and top picks to get healthy, beautiful hair at home.
Best Hair Dryer for Curly Hair
You've likely heard of this hair dryer for two reasons: the technology and the price tag. But according to several stylists, this piece is worth it. "I love using this dryer behind the chair and behind the scenes, because it gives me so much control and versatility with the heat and speed settings, not to mention the diffuser attachment is an absolute dream for drying curls with no frizz," says Nick Stenson, celebrity stylist and artistic director of L'Oréal/Matrix and senior vice president for store and service operations at Ulta Beauty. Jawara Wauchope, a global styling ambassador for Dyson, adds that the dryer also creates less damage for your tresses. "[The hair] dryer has intelligent heat control, which measures air temperature over 40 times a second, and regulates the heat, Wauchope explains. "This prevents extreme heat damage to help protect your hair's shine." The tool comes with five attachments, including a styling concentrator, smoothing nozzle, diffuser, wide-tooth comb, and a gentle dryer that you can change out easily. It also features multiple speed and heat settings and comes in two colors: iron/fuschia and white/silver.
Best Lightweight Hair Dryer
Toth is a fan of Twinturbo blow-dryers due to the design. "My hand grips this blow-dryer's handle perfectly because the handle has the perfect curvature in its design," he says. "The second thing I like about the Twinturbo is its thin, narrow concentrator nozzle. It condenses the heat and airflow, so it doesn't leave the dryer sideways and cause frizz." The hot tool has ceramic and ionic technology and four temperature settings. Ashley White, a stylist at Sola Salon Studios who owns an eponymous studio in Granger, Indiana, says this is her top pick. "I use the TwinTurbo both in my studio on my clients and on my own hair at home," she says.
Buy It: Turbo Power Twinturbo 3900 Dryer Light Ceramic Ionic 333 ($195, Amazon)
Best Long-Lasting Hair Dryer
If you're working on your hairstyling skills, this option offers step-by-step guidelines on how to perfectly dry your hair on the Dermstore website. The pastel dryer has 8 heat, speed, and ion settings and comes with two nozzles. "It's great for creating any hairstyle," Toth says.
Best Hair Dryer for Travel
Once it's safe to go abroad, you'll want to add this blow-dryer to your hair tools collection; Toth notes that it works in both the United States and in Europe, which is rare for any appliance. It has an ergonomic design, ionic technology, and several power and temperature controls, including a cool shot button. "It [also] has a great concentrator nozzle," Toth adds.
Best Hair Dryer for Fast Drying
No one wants to spend a long time with their arm above their head, waiting for their strands to dry. This lightweight, ceramic version is a favorite of White's. It has two speeds and three temperature settings, including a cold shot option. The blow-dryer also comes with two precision nozzles. One pleased buyer gives the tool a perfect five-star rating and writes, "[I] love it! My hair is dry in no time."
Best Hair Dryer for Power
I can personally attest to the power of this choice because my stylist, Maria Wheeler, who owns her own salon, uses the Sam Villa blow dryer on me and all of her clients. "[It's] my favorite," she says. "It's really lightweight, and small in size, but also more powerful than any I've tried." The blow dryer weighs less than a pound and has three heat settings, two speed settings, and a cold shot. It comes with a rotating nozzle and a removable filter. The tool also features a ceramic and tourmaline ion generator to tame frizz and leave your hair super shiny. One five-star buyer calls themself a "hair dryer snob" raves about how powerful this one is. "It is much quieter than my old dryer, and it weighs next to nothing."
Best Hair Dryer for Dry Hair
For a lower price that still yields gorgeous results, check out this one that White and Aguirre like. The hair dryer has both ceramic and ionic technology with six heat and speed settings and a cold shot button. Plus, a narrow concentrator for precise styling. One five-star buyer calls it a "salon quality" hair dryer. "My naturally wavy/curly hair is so smooth, soft, and straight when using Carrera2. [I] did not even need to use a curling iron after blow out. Incredible."
Best Hair Dryer for Affordability
Yes, you read the price right. This ultra-affordable choice is the most budget-friendly on the list, and it has all the same features as the pricey options. (Which is why it's one of Aguirre's favorites.) The colorful blow-dryer has ionic, ceramic, and tourmaline technology with three heat settings, two speed settings, and a cool shot. Plus, it comes with a concentrator and a diffuser.
Best Hair Dryer for Ergonomics Handling:
I can also confirm that this T3 blow dryer is an excellent choice because I own it. It's also the top recommendation from Jordan, a cosmetologist and owner of Jordan Artistry LLC, a makeup and hair company. As someone with tendinitis in both elbows, gripping anything can cause pain, and this dryer is so lightweight and easy to handle, it doesn't bother me. It has an ion generator, three heat settings, and two cool settings. The hair dryer also includes a drying concentrator and styling concentrator. Plus, this expensive option is on sale for $180, and if you have a coupon or if you're a Beyond+ rewards member, you'll save an extra 16% percent, knocking the price down to $144.