The right hair dryer can mean the difference between a frizzy dried out mess and a perfectly manicured mane. Since you can’t gamble with your luscious locks, you need to arm yourself with the best hair dryer possible. And that’s where we come in.
Whether you have a healthy budget and long curly locks or a meagre budget with thin straight hair, this guide will show you what to look for and what to avoid. And our list of the top 5 best hair dryers will ensure your hair stays healthy and those “bad hair day’s” are kept to a minimum.
1. GHD Helios Hair Dryer: Best Overall Winner
The new GHD Helios Hair Dryer an upgraded version of the super successful GHD Pro Air – now with more power, Aeroprecis technology, half the weight, less noise, and looks to die for – it brings salon-style performance to your home.
Most hair dryers are little more than a fan that blows air past a heating element, but the GHD Helios is specially designed with the help of top-rated physicists, engineers, and hair styling professionals. It’s powdered by a 2200-Watt brushless motor which produces higher air flow, a longer motor lifespan, and reduced mechanical noise.
The internals and nozzle have special aerodynamic shapes for precision airflow and heat distribution, giving optimal results, and at just 0.78kg this is now the best lightweight hair dryer out there. Of course, GHD’s new Helios features ionic technology, dramatically reducing frizz, and boosting shine by 30% for a shiny smooth finish every time.
GHD have some serious credentials in the hair care market – being best known for their superb hair straighteners. They’ve been making waves in the hair drying and styling space for a while now, and they’ve certainly lived up to their reputation with this enhanced Helios hair dryer.
If you’re looking for the best overall hair dryer to buy, your search ends with the GHD Helios. It’s powerful, has greater ionic technology, an extra-long 3-metre power cord, cool shot feature, variable temperature and power controls. There’s a special contoured nozzle, scientific air flow technology for fast, fizz free styling, luxurious ergonomic design, and available in some gorgeous colours – neo-mint, white and rose gold, matte black, plum, and blue.
2. Cloud Nine The Airshot Hairdryer
With 50 years of experience in professional hairdressing, the team at Cloud Nine spotted a problem in the industry – too many hair styling appliances that damage hair and produce mediocre results. So, they brough Smart Tech and Ceramic Technology to their range of hair styling produces to leave hair healthy, glossy, with easy styling.
This nicely balanced, powerful hair dryer runs on an Anti-Static 2,000 Watts motor that dries without leaving hair frizzy, by dampening negatively charged particles that can wreak havoc when drying hair. It also uses a unique ceramic heating element that’s infused with vitamins and a precious mineral called Tourmaline. When heated, tourmaline emits negative ions to leave hair smooth and shiny and helps to dry hair quicker.
You get a choice of three heat levels and a “Cool Shot” to help set hair styles, fast. A choice of two nozzle attachments (60 – 75mm) combined with the multiple air speed settings, you can dry and style with precision.
3. Dyson Supersonic
Better known for their game-changing vacuum cleaners, Dyson brought their expertise in aerodynamics and engineering to the beauty market with their stand-out Dyson Supersonic hair dryer. It’s a hair dryer like no other – looks a bit like Thor’s hammer side-on, but does it hold the same magic powers? You might expect so when you look at the price – it’s hella expensive.
Retailing at over £300, you get a hairdryer that’s insanely powerful, yet designed to protect hair. It’s high velocity V9 motor propels 13 litres of air every second, to create a whopping jet that helps separate strands of hair to remove more water, way faster than your average hair dryer.
The shape of the hair dryer head doesn’t just look cool, it’s engineered to amplify the air flow by three times, and an intelligent heat control system reads air temperature 40x per second, optimising temperature to avoid damage.
The Dyson Supersonic dries hair fast, without the use of extreme heat that can leave hair proteins damaged. The scientists at Dyson discovered that heat damaged hair has small pores that disperse light, dramatically reducing shine. The Dyson Supersonic hair dryer protects against overheating hair, leaving it shinny and healthy –
There’s a real premium feel to this hair dryer, even the way the nozzles attach magnetically for easy removal or to change to other accessories, like the diffuser.
4. BaByliss 3Q Professional Hair Dryer
Weighing just over 500g, it’s the lightest on the list – ideal for comfort and control. The BaByliss 3Q offers super-fast drying with a smooth finish through its intelligent digital precision airflow motor and ionic conditioning.
If you find your current hairdryer to be too loud, you might want to consider switching to this 3Q. It features a specially designed filter to dampens noise, so you can actually have a conversation with someone while you dry your hair, without shouting.
You get the choice of three heat setting ranging from a gentle 50°C to a higher 91°C for fast drying. Two speed setting and a 28°C cool shot button put you in complete control of styling.
With 2,200 watts of power and a superb ionic conditioning system, you can dry without the static. No frizzing hair, just a smooth shine as you dry, and the Slim Concentrator Nozzle keep the air directly on the hair you’re working on – it’s everything you need from a professional hair dryer.
5. Remington AC9140B Proluxe Ionic Hair Dryer: Best Affordable Hair Dryer
With an affordable price tag and outstanding results to boot, it’s without a doubt one of the best value hair dryers on the market today. It has a huge rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars from reviewers on Amazon, so I’m not being cheesy when I say users are “blown away” by results from this hair dryer.
The Remington Proluxe offers much of the same features found in premium hair dryers, but way cheaper. You get a powerful 2,400-watt high quality AC motor, ions to tame frizz, something called OPTIHeat technology, two concentration nozzles and a diffuser.
The Opti Heat technology is one of the features that makes this hair dryer so worth the investment. It uses heat processors to distribute heat exactly where you need it, leaving your hair voluminous, and locking in styles with a healthy, long lasting shine.
Finding the Best Hair Dryer for Your Type of Hair
In this guide, you’ll discover all you need to know about hair dryers and all of our insider tips for choosing the very best hair dryer for your budget and type of hair. When choosing the most suitable hair dryer for you, it’s important to consider your hair type as some hair dryers work better for certain types of hair. Therefore, let’s begin by taking a look at the most common types of hair and which hair dryer would produce the best results for that specific hair.
If you have straight hair, it’s important to choose a lightweight hair dryer that you can comfortably hold above your head for a long period of time, allowing you to blow it dry from root to tip for an absolutely perfect straight style. You may also want to consider a hair dryer with an ionic function as this feature can help give that soft, smooth, and shiny look.
Using a basic hair dryer with standard nozzle on curly hair often results in a loss of definition and unsatisfactory results. To avoid this and dry your hair quickly yet still achieve perfect curls, choose a hair dryer capable of drying hair nice and slowly with an excellent low-heat setting. Conversely, if you prefer to go the natural route and simply use a hair dryer to add volume, you’ll want to choose a model with a diffuser for voluminous curls.
For fine hair, a hair dryer should have a narrow concentrator nozzle for extra lift at the roots and a more voluminous appearance. Fine hair also dries best at lower temperatures as heat damage can dry it out quickly and cause it to break. You want to avoid blasting the hair with excessive heat, so the hair dryer for fine hair should have mild or “Smart” heat settings.
Frizzy hair also requires a hair dryer equipped with a narrow concentrator nozzle. This will allow you to dry your hair in sections and avoid over drying. It’s easy to over dry frizzy hair, so a hair dryer with a narrow concentration nozzle and excellent low heat settings is a must. An ionic function is another nice feature that would suit this hair types. Combined with a quality shampoo and conditioner, the ionic air should give a smooth and shiny finish.
How Much Does a Quality Hair Dryer Cost?
Now that you know a little about hair dryers and hair types, it’s time to get down to brass tax and discuss price. Luckily, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on a quality hair dryer. In fact, there are several effective yet affordable models, such as the Remington Proluxe, that are available for under £50.
There are even some basic models for sale for under £10. However, you shouldn’t expect much in terms of comfort, performance or results.
If money is less of a concern and you want the best possible results, there are a variety of professional-style hair dryers available in the £40-£100 range. These power-packed hair dryers are often easier to use, loaded with features, and designed to provide the very best performance for professional results.
What Makes for a Good Hair Dryer?
Weight, Comfort, and Ease of Use
If you have long hair or like complicated styles that take some time to perfect, chances are you’ll be holding your dryer for quite a while. Therefore, you need a lightweight model that won’t cause your arm to start aching after just a few minutes. Some hair dryers weigh as little as 500 grams, while others can weigh twice as much.
It’s also important for a hair dryer to be well-balanced and have a comfortable grip. If you’re shopping online and can’t physically hold one prior to purchase, rest assured weight and overall comfort are thoroughly discussed in each of our in-depth hair dryer reviews.
The more wattage a hair dryer has, the more heat it can generate and the quicker you can dry your hair. Also, it will have a wider heat setting range. Most people only require about 1,500-1,800 watts, but some professional hair dryers harness as much as 3,000 watts. On the opposite end of the spectrum, low-wattage models designed for travel are also available.
Power Cord Length
When it comes to hair dryers, the longer the cord, the better. Hair dryers have power cords that range in length from just under two metres to over three metres, so keep this in mind when shopping for the best one for you. Some hair dryers even have retractable cords for easy storage as well.
Many of today’s best hair dryers feature ionic technology, which conditions hair via negatively charged ions for reduced static and frizz. Some professional hair dryers have a permanent ionic function, while others have a switch. In either case, if you have frizzy hair or like to quickly blast it dry on high heat, you’ll definitely want a hair dryer with ionic technology.
Coming standard on most hair dryers, concentration nozzles concentrate heat and air flow and direct both towards the roots for added volume. When using a concentration nozzle, air flow may seem too hot and could potentially damage your hair, so it’s important to move it frequently and use a lower heat setting.
A diffuser lifts up sections of hair in order to increase volume at root level. Since it diffuses air flow, a diffuser can also be used to give curls added definition.
This useful feature allows you to quickly lower the air temperature of your hair dryer to set a hairstyle and hold its shape. Most hair dryers feature cool shot buttons that must be pressed for each cool shot of air, which can be tedious with stiff or poorly placed buttons.
Brand Reputation and Reliability
Last but certainly not least, brand reputation and reliability is another key factor to consider when shopping for a great, results producing hair dryer that will stand the test of time. It’s hard to go wrong with a brand that has a solid reputation and tons of positive reviews. this is one of our key metric when analysing products to recommend. When a particular hair dryer has hundreds of user reviews (positive and negative) spanning years, it’s easy to build a true picture of its performance and reliability.
Now that you know what to look for in a hair dryer, and have an insight into our rating system, you can truly appreciate and understand why our list of leading hair dryers have our full endorsement.
Making the Final Decision
If you’ve made it this far, you likely now know more about hair dryers than most professional stylists. All you have to do is pick out a great model for your hair and budget. Both of the models above are hard to beat, with many five star feedback rating and fully recommended by the beauty team at Picki Reviews.