While rolling out of bed and walking out the door sounds great in theory, sometimes you want to add a little something extra to your hair routine. Drying your hair with a hairstyling tool can be time-consuming, frustrating and expensive– but not if you find the right hair dryer. Hair dryers have come a long way from their days of solely being a device to dry your hair, they now vary in size, design, efficiency and styling options. Finding the best hair dryer on the market can take out the stress of your everyday self-care routine and help you get ready and out the door in no time at all!
Depending on the specific hair dryer, it might even help you venture out of your comfort zone and take advantage of some of the styling features! A recent study found that millennials are much more willing to experiment with their hair than the generation that came before them. The poll of 1,000 millennial women (ages 25-40) and 1,000 Gen X women (ages 41-56), asked both groups about how their hairstyles have evolved over time. While the average Gen Xer has only tried six different hairstyles over the years, the average millennial has already tried eight new looks. One in four women say they wouldn’t want to wear the same hairstyle they did ten years ago in 2011.
While you may have heard that heat contact can cause damage to your hair, it can depend on how that heat is applied. A study from the National Institutes for Health actually found that, when done correctly, hair drying can be a healthier option than naturally drying.
“The study assessed changes in the ultra-structure, morphology, moisture content, and color of hair after repeated shampooing and drying with a hair dryer at a range of temperatures,” the authors of that study wrote. “Although using a hair dryer causes more surface damage than natural drying, using a hair dryer at a distance of 15 cm with continuous motion causes less damage than drying hair naturally.”
Taking quality, easy use and price-point into consideration – StudyFinds searched the web to find the best hair dryers to get you feeling like you just walked out of a salon, but at a fraction of the cost. For our findings, we visited 10 of the leading expert websites to see which hair dryers were rated the best. Our list is ranked based on the most-recommended dryers across these sites.
The List: Best Hair Dryers, According To Experts
1. Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
Sure, it’s hyped, but it’s hyped for a reason. If you’re looking for a hair dryer that will feel more like a luxury than a burden, the pricey, high-end Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer is hard to beat.
“The air comes out much more forcefully than it does from other hair dryers, which gives you more styling power, and it’s noticeably cooler too, which is healthier for your hair. Dyson’s unique magnetic attachments are genius because they are truly effortless to attach; they also just feel really satisfying to click into place. It’s very lightweight and the unusual design with the short barrel puts less strain on your arm,” Forbes writes.
Compact and sturdy with magnetic attachments, users rate this as one of the easiest devices available.
“The handle doesn’t vibrate at all, which wasn’t true of other “luxury” models we tested. It has a long, 9-foot cord, and it’s less grating noise-wise than other dryers. It also comes with two magnetically attaching concentrators and a diffuser, all of which are exceptionally easy to add or remove mid-blowout,” The New York Times writes.
2. T3 AireLuxe Hair Dryer
T3 is well-known in the beauty industry as making some of the most reliable and overall best hair dryers available, and its T3 AirLuxe model is great attestation of that.
“Lightweight, quiet, durable and attractive enough to leave out on display, the T3 Airluxe is our pick for the best hair dryer overall. It has features that rival those of models costing significantly ($100-plus) more, and it bests them for functionality. This blow dryer has the highest number of temperature settings—five versus the typical three so that you can fine-tune it to your hair’s texture—and its two included concentrator nozzles come with the clearest how-to instructions I’ve ever seen,” Forbes writes.
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A powerful ion generator infuses hair with 10mm negative ions per second to banish frizz and boost shine, according to the manufacturer.
“The T3 Aireluxe Hair Dryer is a sleek blow dryer that comes with all of the bells and whistles. It has five different heat settings, three different speed settings, a volume boost switch, a lock-in cool shot (more on that later), and an extra-long nine-foot cord. It’s basically the Cadillac of hair dryers. It also comes with two different attachments, so you can customise the amount of airflow and minimize heat exposure,” PopSugar writes.
3. Drybar Buttercup Blow-Dryer
A great mid-range option, the Drybar Buttercup Blow-Dryer is highly-rated for its quick dry time, settings and versatility.
“Drybar’s top-of-the-line dual voltage model delivers fast-drying power in a portable package. It scored perfectly in Lab evaluations for having easy-to-use controls, dried hair samples quickly and had strong airflow,” Good Housekeeping writes. “The tool was also easiest to maneuver and comfortable to hold.”
Hairstylists say this tool gives the perfect sleek finish with just the right amount of movement.
“Their name may have given it away but they started as salons that purely focused on blowdries before creating their own product line to achieve the ultimate home blow dry,” Cosmopolitan writes. “Their Buttercup Blow Dryer not only has the cutest name but thanks to their curly-haired founder, focuses on reducing flyaways and frizz by using iconic technology.”
4. Hot Tools Pro Artist Hair Dryer
Top-rated for its easy-use design, extensive power cord and picture-perfect results, the Hot Tools Pro Artist Hair Dryer is a great choice.
“The Hot Tools Pro Artist Black Gold 2000 earned perfect scores all around in terms of ease of use, features, drying performance, look and feel durability, and overall value,” Byrdie writes. “It was easy to maneuver, thanks to the ergonomic design, grooved control switches, easy-to-access turbo button, and extra-long power cord. In addition to the turbo boost, this blow dryer has three speeds, three temperature settings, and a cold-shot button. There’s also an ionizer switch for customizing how voluminous or smooth you want your hair.”
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The tool also features a detachable head for simple and compact storage.
“Instead of tiring out both arms with a separate round brush and blow-dryer, the Best of Beauty-winning Hot Tools One-Step Pro Blowout Styler does it all — drying, volumizing, and styling — in one go. It features 24-karat gold technology to ensure even heat distribution, three heat settings, as well as charcoal-infused bristles to refresh second-day (or third-day) hair,” Allure writes.
5. InfinitiPro by Conair SmoothWrap Hair Dryer
Coming in as the best budget pick is the InfinitiPro by Conair. While on the heavier size, the tool makes up for it with its speed and efficiency.
“Interested in something more budget-friendly? We highly recommend Conair’s InfinitiPRO SmoothWrap. Our tester liked the overall design, explaining that it’s sturdy and compact with a long cord and a velcro strap for securing it. It’s got two speeds, three heat settings, and a cold-shot button and comes with a concentrator attachment and a diffuser,” Allure writes.
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This dryer is also well-liked for minimizing frizz and giving a smooth look.
“Designed with dual ion therapy, the InfinitiPro by Conair SmoothWrap Hair Dryer emits both positive and negative ions to enhance shine and leave hair feeling extra smooth. Hear that, frizz? Your days are numbered. Ceramic technology ensures that heat damage is kept to a minimum as well,” Byrdie writes.
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.