How to Choose a Good Hair Dryer

A good hair dryer can make the difference between brittle, frazzled strands and glossy, sleek blowouts. But how do you know you’ve found the right one for your tresses?

This sleek model earned top marks in GH Beauty Lab testing for its quick drying time, powerful airflow, and quiet operation. Plus, it’s lightweight and foldable.

  1. Power

The right amount of power is crucial to achieving a professional-grade blowout at home. Hairstylists recommend a minimum of 1,500 watts for thin strands and higher for those with thicker, curly hair.

If you’re looking for a lightweight, easy-to-hold dryer with strong airflow and a diffuser attachment, this one has been the top pick of Sephora and Ulta reviewers. It also boasts a special feature that promises to infuse your strands with 1,000 times more moisture, leaving them smoother and less frizzy.

This sleek, compact dryer ranked high in GH Beauty Lab testing for its powerful airflow and fast drying speed. It’s also comfortable to hold and the controls are well-placed, making it easy to maneuver. It’s also the least noisy of the top performers in our sound evaluations.

  1. Speed

When you’re drying your hair, it can help to have a quick and powerful machine. The fastest models we’ve tested can dry your locks in a fraction of the time it takes for an ordinary dryer.

The Dyson Supersonic is one of the most-talked-about beauty innovations of recent years, with fans including celebrity stylists and beauty editor Katy Olson. The dryer is a best seller on Amazon, has multiple attachments (including a smoothing nozzle and a concentrator), and offers a variety of heat and speed settings.

Harry Josh, the celebrity hairstylist whose clients include Gisele Bundchen and Rose Byrne, designed this pretty mint green pro tool. It’s the third-fastest dryer in our tests, has a variety of settings (including a unique ion on/off button that helps tame frizz or add volume), and weighs less than a pound.

  1. Heat

A good hair dryer should emit enough heat to dry the hair, but not so much that it damages the cuticle. The ideal hair dryer will also offer a variety of temperature settings. Using the right settings will help your hair retain moisture and avoid frizz.

This lightweight, travel-friendly hair dryer has an impressive list of features: it folds, is dual voltage, and comes in a cute color. It’s a favorite of one of Strategist’s beauty writers and is recommended by many stylists for its ability to create a smooth, French-girl blowout.

This mid-priced hair dryer had a high amount of heat and strong airflow during testing, making it a great choice for thick or coarse hair. It’s also lightweight and has a slim nozzle.

  1. Noise

From blenders to vacuum cleaners, there are many noisemakers in a household—but none quite as loud as hair dryers. They can be a major distraction and annoyance to those around you.

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the amount of noise your hair dryer makes. One simple way is to clean the air intake regularly. This will help the hair dryer work more efficiently and reduce rattling noises.

You can also try insulating the motor with sound dampening materials. This can be an easy DIY project and will significantly reduce the amount of noise your hair dryer makes.

  1. Comfort

Nothing gives you that just-stepped-out-of-the-salon look like a fresh blowout. But it’s not easy to achieve salon-level hair at home if your dryer is heavy, noisy, or uncomfortable.

This ionic hair dryer from Cricket was a standout in our Beauty Lab tests, earning top marks for its strong airflow and powerful heat. It also comes with rare-to-find attachments: a diffuser and concentrator, both simple to attach.

While Parlux isn’t super-popular Stateside, you’ll see it backstage at fashion shows. This light and compact model is comfortable to hold and features a durable cord that’s long enough to reach outlets in inconvenient places. It’s also a best seller on Amazon with excellent reviews.

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