You can go through years of your life with a subpar blow-dryer and be just fine—if a little frizzy. But the second you try one of these ten tools approved by hairstylists and Allure editors, you’ll realize just how much you’ve been missing. Trust us: Quality makes all the difference when it comes to speed, durability, and yes, frizz reduction.
By Stephanie Saltzman with reporting by Kristin Perrotta, Sophia Panych and Christiana Molina
Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Dryer 2000
Sure, this is a $300 blow-dryer. But it’s so. Worth. It. (It didn’t win a 2014 Best of Beauty Award for nothing!) Created by the celebrity stylist behind Gisele’s perennially lust-worthy waves, it has some pretty impressive specs: 1,875 watts of power, a cool-shot button that actually blows cool air, and most important, the ability to toggle between ionic and nonionic heat, depending on the style you’re going for (use ionic for sleek styles and nonionic if you’re after volume). Plus, though it’s not technically a travel dryer, it’s compact enough that one editor has been known to toss it in her suitcase anyway—because after using this tool, the ones stuck to hotel bathroom walls might as well be called hair-static electrocution machines.
T3 Featherweight Luxe 2i
A favorite of hairstylist Jen Atkin (whose celeb client list includes Jessica Alba, Chrissy Teigen, and multiple Kardashians), this tool won a Best of Beauty Award and Breakthrough Award in 2013. The superpowerful engine gets hair dry in minutes—in fact, it’s so speedy, your hair doesn’t sustain damage. Yep, you read that correctly: Using it is actually healthier for your hair than air-drying is. “This dryer is a game changer,” says cosmetic chemist Jim Hammer."Because there is so much more heat in the air that is being pushed out of the dryer than other models I’ve seen, the smoothness and shine should last longer than if you use a regular dryer."
DevaCurl Dryer & DevaFuser
Curly-haired girls, this one’s for you. The dryer itself is built to cut down on frizz (it’s ionic), but what really sets it apart is the undeniably weird-looking diffuser (sorry, “DevaFuser”) attachment that comes with it. It’s shaped like a hand, with five prongs and 50 air vents that direct the air to targeted curls.
Conair Infiniti Pro 1875 Watt Salon Performance Dryer
One editor swears by this drugstore dryer—even after having tested a host of far more expensive models. It has an AC motor, which means it dries hair quickly without singeing it, and it’s also one of the most affordable quality ionic options out there.
Sedu Icon Privé blow dryer
We’ve already shown you one superaffordable option. Now’s time for the opposite end of the spectrum: This professional-grade 2,300-watt ionic dryer costs a whopping $700. But according to the pros, it’s worth it. “I love this. It dries hair in half the time and really changes how the hair feels,” says hairstylist Tommy Buckett. It slashes drying time by about 85 percent (!), has a durable motor (so you’re making a long-term investment in your hair), uses 70 percent less electricity than most other dryers (eco-friendly), and is incredibly lightweight (1.05 pounds, to be exact).
Solano SuperSolano 3500Lite 1800 Watt Professional Dryer
A favorite of hairstylist Nathaniel Hawkins, this lightweight blow-dryer (it’s no heavier than a paddle brush) uses a combination of ceramics and infrared heat to dry hair in minutes. It’s also jet-black and sleek, if you’re a sucker for design.
Coolway Go Pro Dryer
Heat isn’t great for the health of your hair—maybe you’ve heard that, oh, about a hundred times before. That’s why Coolway’s scientists developed this tool to get hair dry quickly using less heat. It has an 1,875-watt AC motor but only goes up to 299 degrees to avoid causing damage, dryness, and frizz.
Chi Touch 2 Touch Screen Hair Dryer
If Apple made a blow-dryer (don’t worry, they’ve probably got a team working on it), we’re guessing this is what it’d be like. A touch-screen panel allows you to control speed, temperature, and ionic output. But that’s not the only high-tech thing about it; the ion generator is also superadvanced, emitting up to three times more ions than other dryers. Frizz, you’ve met your match: technology.
Paul Mitchell Neuro Dry
This dryer has a fancy LED display to show heat and power settings, but that’s not even the most impressive thing about it. One tester with a medium-thick lob was able to dry her hair in five minutes and 40 seconds. Another loved that even the highest heat setting didn’t scorch her fine hair. The icing on the blowout cake? It has a rubbery matte finish that doesn’t just look cool—it’s also functional, protecting the dryer if you drop it.
Elchim 3900 Healthy Ionic blow-dryer
This 2,000-watt ceramic dryer uses far-infrared heat (a uniform type of heat that penetrates strands) to dry hair quickly and evenly, while the comfortable ergonomic handle makes it easy to maneuver. “I like it because it tends to blow hard air, which I prefer over many of the new tourmaline dryers, which blow softer air,” says hairstylist Adir Abergel."The Elchim makes hair look fuller and sexier." Considering he’s the man behind many of Reese Witherspoon’s, Diane Kruger’s, and Kristen Stewart’s best red-carpet looks, we’ll take his word for it.
(Photos: Courtesy of Harry Josh, David Cook, Courtesy of DevaCurl, Conair, Roger Cabello, David Cook, Courtesy of Coolway, Chi, Paul Mitchell, Elchim)
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