Let’s face it: the best part about getting your hair styled is sitting back and watching that stylist work her magic on your hair with the greatest of ease. Finally, she swirls you around to look in the mirror, and you’re in love. Then comes one of the biggest letdowns of getting your hair professionally styled: the day after, when you’re faced with the Herculean feat of replicating that stylist’s magic.
Ladies, we’ve all been there, and, oftentimes, we fall short in our ability to get that fresh, professional look we were graced with the very first day of our new ‘do. But these days, with all the different hair dryers and endless features out there, it seems the dread of the day after your appointment is a thing of the past. However, after a billion hair dryer reviews on the internet and even more terms than we ever thought we’d need to know (ionic, tourmaline, and infrared, oh my!), can we make sense of all the information overload? Luckily, all the things you need to know for finding the perfect hair dryer for you are provided below.
- The Dyson Supersonic hair dryer ensures constant and controlled...
- You will dry your hair in less time with an air volume of 41 liters...
- Since it is acoustically tuned, the hair dryer does not vibrate as...
- Nanoe Technology is proven to give your hair a healthy, flawless...
- Nanoe hair dryer adds volume, minimises frizz and reduces damage to...
- Quick dry nozzle provides dual airflow for faster drying
- Gorgeously designed beauty tool with advanced airflow technology for...
- Frizz control Ionic system releases conditioning ions to smooth hair...
- 3 heat/ 2 speed settings plus a cool shot • Advanced airflow...
Ionic technology: Do I really need it?
It may just sound like a buzzword, but ionic hair dryers offer solid benefits for most hair types. The science behind it is simple and straightforward. Water is positively charged. Ionic hair dryers emit negative ions, which interact with the positive water molecules. Once they attach to them, they break them up into very small droplets, which get more evenly dispersed in your hair and take less time to evaporate. This makes your blow drying experience short and sweet and leads to less frying and frizz and more shine. Many of the best hair dryer models offer this technology, making it more accessible than ever. This is one buzzword you’ll want to get behind.
Important feature to choosing your hair dryer
There are several features that, depending on hair type, are considered the most important. I’ve found these key features to be the most crucial in determining which dryer is best for you and your hair.
- Wattage: The wattage is the heat and fan power emitted. The higher the wattage, the higher the heat and fan power. Most hair professionals agree that up to 1875 watts is ideal for your home blowouts, especially for those with thin or short hair. Some stylists, however, agree that especially thick and coarse hair will benefit from 2000 watts.
- Ionic/Tourmaline: Ionic hair dryers are offered in a wide variety of brands. It’s easier on your hair, promotes frizz control, and reduces your hair’s heat exposure. Tourmaline is a mineral that emits negative ions only, which even further enhances ionic hair dryers. However, not all ionic hair dryers are made of tourmaline; its parts may be composed of other materials. If it contains tourmaline, expect the price of the hair dryer to jump, since it’s quite an expensive mineral.
- Good heat distribution: Many hair dryers out there emit heat in different ways. No frills dryers just blast heat unabashedly, which can lead to heat damage and frizz. Infrared hair dryers are great for faster drying time. Infrared waves are longer than other energy waves, which means they’ll reach the roots first. Your hair then dries from the inside out, which helps help in preventing the surface of your hair from frying. Ceramic hair dryers evenly distribute heat, resulting in a softer, more controlled blowout. As a result, they’re great against frizz. They also emit far infrared heat, which is a plus. Titanium dryers are good in emitting more heat than other dryers and can reduce overall drying time. They’re also more lightweight than ceramic. They’re great for thick hair that will require more drying time but bad for thin or short hair.
- Lightweight: A lightweight hair dryer means your biceps don’t get exhausted from holding it up. Ladies with thick and long hair, I know you hear me!
- Cool shot: This feature may seem unimportant or more of a novelty, but it actually helps out your locks. The cool shot is known to “lock in” your look, so to speak. It’s used at the end to set your curls, waves, or overall style, give it shine, and seal hair cuticles.
- Attachments: Finding a hair dryer with the right ones can be a huge factor. Nozzles are a popular attachment in that they concentrate the heat for more localized drying. This prevents larger sections of your hair from being exposed to continuous heat. Diffusers are great, too, if you’re looking to add some oomph to your curls or waves. They help spread the heat out, too, reducing frizz.
- Travelable: This feature is important for those who love to travel but loathe the heat guns that hotels normally provide. Most travel hair dryers come with unique features that make packing a cinch, such as foldable handles and a retractable cord. For those of you who enjoy international jaunts, many travel hair dryers are dual voltage, which means they are compatible with electricity outlets from the States to Europe and beyond. Just make sure you have a travel adapter for this.
Best blow dryers for your hair type
Now that you’ve got a good handle on the most important features of your next hair dryer, here’s the rundown on which hair dryers work best for which hair types.
Best Hair Dryers for Curly and/or frizzy hair: An ionic ceramic hair dryer is your best bet. Ceramic hair dryers are known for better heat dispersal and less drying time, which combats frizz. The added bonus of ionic technology offers the same benefits. A hair dryer with a diffuser attachment also helps tame your curls and gives them bounce. A cool shot is helpful in locking in your curls and minimizing frizz. Plus, your locks will look shiny and new.
Best Hair Dryers for Fine or short hair: Fine and short hair can be especially prone to becoming brittle from heat damage. A ceramic, low-wattage hair dryer is your best option. The even heat dispersal from the ceramic, compounded by the controlled heat and fan settings of the low wattage, ensures your hair is protected from over-drying. A nozzle attachment is also pretty useful in order to help with more concentrated areas. Finish it off with a cool shot, and you’re good to go.
Best Hair Dryers for Long and/or thick hair: Titanium is your best option since it typically emits more heat, reducing your drying time. Having a lightweight hair dryer is super important here as well. Tackling your long mane takes time and maneuvering, which is why a lightweight hair dryer makes it just a little easier to hold up for long periods of time.
Best hair dryer brands
BaByliss: BaByliss has long been regarded as one of the best, most reliable hair dryer brands. Their 2100W Elegance model is considered one of the best BaByliss dryers, providing a lightweight body, ionic technology, three different temperature settings, and two power settings, making it versatile for any hair type.
Dyson: Their Supersonic hair dryer monitors its temperature constantly via sensors to prevent it from over-drying your hair. It also comes with magnetic attachments, making changing out each one a snap. Its high-powered fan makes drying time significantly shorter without adding more heat. Though pricey, customers state it’s worth the investment.
Remington: The Remington Power Dry Lightweight Hair Dryer is all the rage and has racked up fantastic reviews on Amazon. Its key features are its ceramic grille – which will combat frizz and promote shine – and an Eco setting, which helps you use significantly less energy when using the mid heat setting. This makes this one of the best hair dryers for thick or thin hair when you add in its variable heat and power settings. Based on its praise alone, this is arguably the best Remington hair dryer around.
TRESemme: The TRESemme Fast Dry 2000 is a 2000-watt dryer that comes with three heat settings and nozzle attachment. This model is also lauded by consumers for its performance for quite the bargain. The only downside: no ionic technology.
GHD: The GHD Air is sleek, ionic, easy to hold, comes with an easy-to-use cool shot, and offers three temperature settings. This dryer is touted as one of the best hair dryers for curly hair thanks to its added diffuser attachment.
How to blow dry your hair like an expert
So you’ve decided on the right hair dryer, and now you’re ready to put it to the test. Here’s how you can recreate that pro blowout look yourself without having to run to your stylist each time.
- Use the right heat setting: If you have fine or short hair, you’re going to want to start with warm heat. Blasting your hair with high heat right off the bat could fry your hair. If you have thicker or longer locks, higher heat is the way to go.
- Use the right hair dryer attachments: If you are looking to give your curls some life, use a diffuser attachment. If you simply wish to blow-dry your straight hair, a nozzle attachment will work wonders with applying the right amount of heat in the right places.
- Use the right brush: Not all brushes are created equal. Round brushes are best used for wavy/curly hair and to create more volume. Paddle brushes are best for drying straight hair.
- Pre-dry: Soaking wet hair will not dry sufficiently with a hair dryer but will instead frizz out. Air or towel dry first. If you towel dry, be sure to pat dry instead of rubbing dry to prevent frizz and hair breakage. If you have bangs, blow dry these first and foremost, as they’ll be harder to manage later.
- Hair product: Apply a heat protectant or any styling product you choose when hair is damp. Less is more here, so add modest amounts to avoid weighing your hair down.
- Use fingers for your roots: Once you begin to blow dry, use your fingers to tousle your hair to get to the roots. Gently pull up at them so the dryer can reach them.
- Dry in sections: Section off your hair into nape, middle, and crown sections. This ensures even drying throughout and prevents the rest of your hair from over-drying. In each section, pull out a portion with your brush and dry from root to tip, using your brush to pull your sections of hair tight. As any stylist will tell you, always pull hair in the same direction you are blow drying. This will guarantee softer, sleeker, frizz-free locks.
- Get the right angle: Point your hair dryer downward toward your roots and make gentle sweeping motions from root to tip. Don’t shake your dryer back and forth wildly; this just throws heat at your hair over and over again and doesn’t actually get it any dryer. Be steady and gentle in your hand.
- The 80% rule: Hair should be 80% dry before styling begins. Once you hit this mark, you can also use the cool shot to help dry your hair the rest of the way and lock in the look you want.
With so many fantastic brands to choose from, the world is your oyster. Whether you plan to make a significant investment in a top-notch hair dryer – such as the Dyson Supersonic – or are looking for the best bang for your buck – like the Remington Hair Dryer – your hair will thank you for it!