Best hair dryers…doesn’t every company claim to have the best these days?
We all know hair management can be an energy, time and money draining fact of life.
This potential nightmare can be made much easier with a great hair dryer.
We’ve looked at 67 hair dryers and racked up over 96 hours of research and testing to create this review which leads me to recommend that the JINRI Professional Compact Hair Dryer is the best hair dryer to buy for most people.
- Top Pick:
- Why Buy A Hair Dryer?
1. JINRI Professional Compact Hair Dryer 1875W
This JINRI hair dryer is the best for most people, and it is still under 50 dollars.
This is a straightforward lightweight, comfortable model (the second lightest of all tested) and looks and works as good as hair dryers twice the price.
It features three different heat settings and two speeds to combine with the concentration nozzle and Cool Shot button to help you get unbeatable control over your style.
Whether you have thick or fine, curl or straight hair, you can expertly style it with this blow dryer. The JINRI is lightweight, easy to use and very comfortable to hold. It has the most comfortable handle out of everything we tested and a great finish. We absolutely love using this hair dryer!
Why our reviews are trustworthy
In that time, I have logged over 96 of hours of research and testing on hair dryers this year alone.
Did you know, the first hair dryer was created by Alexander F. “Beau” Godefroy in his salon in France in 1890?
We looked nearly at nearly a hundred hair dryers of all types and consulted experts, such as senior beauty buyers to keep up this review.
We also keep up with reviews from other noteworthy companies that also test or review products, such as, Reevoo, Amazon and Good Housekeeping though we do find that the coverage is not as comprehensive as it could be in some categories.
Then we do our own testing of hair dryers and also look at what other people have to say about them after they have product tested them at home. Much of this is conducted with our own consumer product testers, who provide their feedback through our product testing panels.
This review covers the best hair dryers before and since the last time we created this guide. We’ve covered this category extensively.
Our Other Top Picks:
Who should get these
The most compelling reason to buy a hair dryer is to dry your hair quickly. Despite what consumer magazines will have you believe—hair dryers for thin hair, hair dryers for dry hair etc— its all rubbish, hair dryers are for all hair types.
No blow dryer will make your hair more marvelously voluminous and glossy than any another. That’s down to the characteristics of your hair and the techniques you use.
You’ll need one if you are using other hair styling products such as a curling iron or flat iron on your hair. You need to make sure you’re hair is dry if you are going to take a curling iron or flat iron to it.
Heating your hair between a flat iron is not good for it, if it is still wet to the touch, according to expert dermatologists. But even if you air dry your hair, starting to blow dry it could help to protect it from breakage and split ends in the future.
How we began the test selection process
We began the selection process by finding all of the best hair dryers for sale online or in stores. We ended up with 67 models listed for this category.
We wanted to find hair dryers that were easy to use, had a simple design and were able to, for the price, consistently provide a hot stream of air at the flick of a switch at a fast speed.
The latest hair dryer advertising is awash with a whole host of industry buzzwords and specifications. Most of them are worthless at best and outright lies at worst.
There have been no clinical studies at all ever done, that shows one type of hair dryer is any better for hair. Trust us, we have searched for them and consulted with a range of experts.
“there’s not a single shred of evidence anywhere to support any claim that they they make a hair dryer better for your hair”
For all the words and phrases associated with hair dryers through advertisement like “ionic,” “tourmaline” and “nanobeads” there’s not a single shred of evidence anywhere to support any claim that they they make a hair dryer better for your hair.
This is where we arrive at the real truth about hair dryers: They don’t really differ that much based on the advertised specifications.
The speed and heat of a hair dryer are connected to wattage: So in theory, a high wattage hair dryer will produce more heat than a lower wattage one, but that doesn’t mean that it actually will in most cases. Most hair dryers are about 1,800 watts these days anyway, so the difference is marginal at best.
There are a few requirements that helped us narrow down the large number of hair dryers we had researched, before we chose which ones to test. We looked at:
- Heat settings
- Nozzle compatible with attachments
- Removable intake filter
- Cool-shot button
Multiple heat settings allow you to select how hot to have the dryer running, so you can use less heat as your hair drys which will minimize the damage once it’s mostly dry.
The best blow dryers will have included a diffuser to help dry textured hair, whether its wavy or curly. If you have naturally straight hair then you won’t need one.
A hair dryer with a removable filter is much easier to clean. Without a removable filter, cleaning can turn into a real pain you don’t need, unless your happy and able to dismantle your blow dryer to clean it.
Then there’s the cool shot button, according to countless expert opinions we read, will help seal your hair cuticle. The cool shot button is such a common feature these days.
Make sure you pick a hair dryer with a cord that reaches from the plug socket you plug it into to the spot where you want to dry your hair. Many rooms have an socket near to the mirror that a short cord won’t matter. But if your mirror is more than six feet from an socket go for a 9 foot cord.
You shouldn’t find the blow dryers sound annoying either. Most hair dryers are at or about the same decibel level, but some we found can be a lot louder or make annoying whiny sounds, so these were not included.
A curved handle is easy to hold, than a straighter one and usually the buttons are placed either on the back of the dryer or on the front so they don’t get hit accidentally. The lighter they are, the easier it is to hold for a long period of time. The main thing that separated the dryers we loved from the ones we didn’t, is how they feel in our hands while we were using them.
From all of the hair dryers left after the exclusions and ranked by the best reviews from our research from other product testing and review companies such as, Good Housekeeping, Consumer Reports, Reevoo and Amazon.
We selected the 13 hair dryer finalists to test.
How we tested them
We started buy selecting a cross section of our consumer panelists, in terms of age, lifestyle and hair type and then sent out the dryers and instructions for them to test at home, and also got them ready for our ourselves.
Once everyone had their hair dryers and instructions, each panelist took some time to get the basic stats for each blow dryer. So we timed how long they took to provide heat, checked the temperature settings and cool shot buttons, then weighed them, measured the button placements on the grip and the cord length.
The final selection of 13 we chose were the tested by us using a weather meter app to measure the speed and heat they produced and another app to test the volume of the dryers in decibels.
We found that on the top setting at a distance of a 4 inches, all dryers provided heat at around 124°F and blew air at about 38 mph and clocked in at about 91 decibels. Next, we timed drying we hair with 10 grams of water with the hair dryer on their respective highest setting.
“Basically we found that there are a number of features, like button placement, size, weight, and cord length that are the really important to our overall positive experience of using a hair dryer.”
Then we tested the blow dryers over a period of two months, incorporating them into our daily routines the same as the people that were product testing them at home for us and then swapping them around so each of us got to use each hair dryer for a week or more.
We all noted down the time it took to dry our hair and if we could style properly with them. We tested the hair dryers like this so that we could see how they worked on different hair textures, thick, long, curly, thin and short, you name it.
Basically we found that there are a number of features, like button placement, size, weight, and cord length that are the really important to our overall positive experience of using a hair dryer. After the two months were up and we had finished testing all of the hair dryers.
We looked at the current prices and were presently surprised to find that our favorite models were not always the most expensive ones. If fact, with hair dryers there are many exceptions to the rule, especially with this years results.
Other Top Picks:
2. Babyliss Pro TT Tourmaline Titanium Travel Dryer
This is a perfect travel hair dryer for anyone on the go, since it is small and fits perfectly into your luggage. It is one of the most powerful small hair dryers we have ever used and comes with two settings for heat and two for speed. This dryer is ecomfortable and easy to use in preventing that frizz. This small hair dryer is uniquely non slip and comes with a short five foot cable.
3. GHD Air Hair Dryer
This GHD hair dyer holds a constant stream of heat though your hair and has Cool Shot built in to cool your hair quickly sealing the follicle. It also comes in a vintage pink and rose gold color which we liked a lot. With various heat and speed settings you can style your hair while controlling the fizz. The hair dryers motor ensures a smooth performance and constant heat when you need it.
4. CHI Digital Touch Screen Hair Dryer
The CHI Digital Touch Screen Hair Dryer has a trendy touch screen that makes it perfect for those of us that like tech. Ion production, temperature, and speed are all controlled the touch screen with a variety of settings for both heat and speed.
It also comes with a cooling and a convenient function. These can all be operated while styling your hair. It is the best touch screen lightweight hair dryer we have tested. If style, tech and trend define you, this is one of best hair dryers you can get.
5. Hot Tools Tempest 2000 Salon Turbo Ionic Dryer
This is an environmentaly friendly Hot Tools hair dryer. While it executes well and does not compromise on the functionality, it also saves on energy at the same time. This hair dryer helps curb frizzing of your hair before it happens.
It is a lightweight and small hair dryer, that feels good to hold and use with a great amount of power. It comes with three heat and three speed settings, along with a decent length cord. All in all it scored well in our tests.
6. Revlon Pro Collection Salon 1875
The Revlon hair dryer ensures that your hair is dried fast and so it is better protected, plus it is priced at less than $20,so scored well. There are 2 speed and 3 heat settings to ensure the airflow and temperature are just right.
The Revlon hair dryer came with a narrow concentration nozzle which helped create precision styling and a decent lengh cord. This was the choice for the best budget hair dryer to buy in this years review.
7. t3 ‘Featherweight Luxe 2i Dryer
T3 Featherweight Luxe 2i Hair Dryer comes with SoftAire and Tourmaline technologies to create beautiful and healthy results. Just as the name suggests that it’s very light and creates a high volume of warm airflow at a slow speeds.
It has two speed settings and three heat settings and a Cool Shot button, so you can control the flow of air easily. It also has a whopping 9ft cord with a cord wrap which we found useful.
8. Bio Ionic Ultralight 10X Dryer
The Bio Ionic Ultralight 10X Dryer has a patented EcoDrive system and comes with a 10 year warranty which is the longest of all the hair dryers we have reviewed.
The technology used enables it to hasten the drying process by up to 57 percent, or so they say. It’s a well made product that has a great warranty but does not speed up hair drying. This dryer has three heat settings and a cool shot button that can be adjusted to suit the need at any given time.
9. Revlon Fast Dry Hair Dryer
This Revlon 1875 Watt Lightweight Fast Dry is the most inexpensive hair dryer we reviewed. The lightweight design is lighter than most of models we tested. The hair dryer comes with a cold shot button, hinged endcap and 2 speed and heat settings. What sets the best dryer apart from the rest is how it feels in your hand.
This Revlon hair dryer is light, not bulky. The long cord meant we didn’t have to worry about having an outlet close to the mirror. It uses Ionic Technology and has a ion indicator light, so you know its on.
Its dimensions are a little slimmer than those of most dryers we looked at, so it’s easy to throw in a weekend bag, and it doesn’t sacrifice any of the wind speed and air temperature. It includes a concentration nozzle and a diffuser attachment which is a great bonus we loved.
10. Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer
The Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer is the official blow dryer of Drybar. It will leave your hair smooth and healthy thanks to the nanobeads that condition the hair and seal cuticles quickly. This blow dryer delivers powerful airflow at slow speeds to make it gentle on your hair.
The Drybar is used by the professionals in Drybar stores all across the US every day to help reduce frizz, increase the shine and trap moisture inside to give you healthy, hydrated hair. It comes with a concentration nozzle attachment, which was great for those of us that need one.
11. xtava Verona Advanced Heat Professional Hair Dryer
xtava Verona Advanced Heat Professional Hair Dryer is one of the best hair dryers under 100 dollars that seems a lot of people have missed out on so far. Its only 1200w but easily compares to high wattage hair dryers and due to that is also healthier for your hair.
Featuring a lightweight design at just 1.3lbs it still has two speed and two heat settings to give you the control you need. It also comes with two concentration nozzles and a diffuser and a handy little storage hook, which we all though were great bonuses.
12. Kadori Professional LIA 2500X Compact Hair Dryer
LIA 2500X professional hair Dryer is a newcomer to the best hair dryers list. It is a powerful 1875w dryer with proprietary leveled ionic air technology that produces great conditioning for an amazing shine while reducing frizz.
Variable power comes from two speed and three heat settings along with an added cool shot button for when you need it. It is lightweight and has a great ergonomic design for right and left handed people making it easy for us to use.
13. Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Dryer 2000
Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Dryer 2000 is a functional and beautiful combination. This blow dryer meets beauty with function as it blows air at over 80 mph which expedites the drying of the hair. The motor lasts over 2,000 hours while reducing energy by 70% making it better for the environment.
It is lightweight and there are eight speed and heat settings to give maximum styling versatility plus a cool shot button. There is also a switch to turn the ion on and off for a sleek or voluminous look whenever needed. The only reason this scored badly was down to the price, unless your a professional hair dresser, you don’t need to use this.
Why Buy A Hair Dryer?
All of us are not gifted with soft smooth and silky hair. Some of us have frizzy hair; some have dry and dull hair, therefore these days we have to rely on technology like usage of hair dryers or hair straighteners. A small hair dryer is a best friend to women which acts like a secret weapon for daily usage.
Due to its high demand and popularity among all the women there has been an abundance of various types of brands, hair dryer models, manufacturing companies etc. It has now become a difficulty to choose the best affordable hair dryer, like the jinri jr-021 hair dryer.
Before you start using a hair dryer it is very essential to take proper care of your hair so that your hair does not gets damaged by using a hair dryer.
Make sure your hair is towel dry, so that it takes lesser time to blow dry and manage your hair. A hair dryer is an essential must-have tool and no longer a preserve for the stylist or hair specialists. They come in different price ranges, makes and quality.
How to decide which hairdryer is the best for you?
With so many varieties of hair dryers present in the market, it’s difficult to decide which one would be good for you. Different styles, functions, features, will probably confuse you. Therefore you will have to consider few factors while selecting the right one.
Firstly you will have to check what’s your hair type, what’s your hair length, is it long, short, thick, curly, damaged etc. Secondly are you going to use the home hair dryer or for travel purposes?
Also with this decide your budget for the hair dryer. Then consider the hair dryer wattage, which ranges from 250 to 2000 watts of power.
With the hair dryers you will also find some attachment or ad on accessories like brushes attached, which actually helps you to style your hair easily.
Some come up wall mounted, hard and soft hair dryer or the customary grip type hair dryers. The wattage is made keeping the heat and speed in mind that is included with the dryer. Lastly the budget is a concern.
Well you need not worry about this issue because there are so many good quality hair dryers available in the market with all price ranges.
But then if you the best compact hair dryer then expect to pay a little more and you will be glad that you did. To find the best inexpensive hair dryer, do a little bit of research, check the online sites and get the best one out of the lot.
How do hair dryers work?
Once you have answers to all of these questions, it will makes things much easier and you will be able to shortlist your best hair dryer. Be certain that if you have dry or damaged hair then use a ceramic with ionic technology. Reason being, these technologies are important for the drying process and it helps the water to evaporate quickly from the hair.
The heat is distributed across the scalp which eliminates damaging the spots while using a hair dryer. The ions created break down the water drops into tiny drops which are later absorbed by the hair follicle and ultimately the time taken to dry the hair is decreased, resulting in shiny, healthy and smooth hair.
Earlier people use to complain about the weight of the hair dryer because it takes time to bow dry your hair and holding the hair dryer for so long was a trouble. Fortunately now the manufacturers of the hair dryers have come up with light weighted hair dryers, who have ergonomic handles, are also well balanced.
The motor place in this hair dryer is placed on between so that its weight is distributed on either sides of the dryer, which is less stressful in whatever position you’re holding the dryer.
Most of us like to carry our small hair dryer with us, when we are traveling. The desire is to solve the purpose wherever we go. In this case you will have to see that you have a dual voltage dryer because that will be useful when you are traveling to other countries, also the adapter plug should be designed accordingly.
Here again the weight and size of the hair dryer is an issue. To solve this problem you can opt for a foldable travel hair dryer which is light weighted and compact.
Suitable hair dryer for types of hair
Short, thin and damaged hair – For this type of hair one needs a hot air brush. This range somewhere from 250 to 1000 watts and the barrel size is ¾’ to ½’ .This dryer has two settings like a low and high for cold, warm or hot.
The cool button is mostly used on professional dryers who are of great benefit when you are done drying a particular section. A compact hair dryer would be suitable for this type of hair
Straight or textured hair – This type of hair requires any wattage of hair dryer but the best would be 1600 to 1900 watts. Find a best hair dryer which has higher wattage scale and has multiple heat and speed settings so that it can be easily adjusted according to the needs.
Thick or wavy hair – Thick hair takes time to dry, therefore a minimum of 1875 watts with higher heat and speed settings is must buy.
Consider the accessories
Last and most important consideration to be made while purchasing a hair dryer is the accessories or attachments that you will need for the hair dryer. A professional hair dryer should come with a concentrator which is used for drying a particular spot or area on the scalp. Second is to check the number of heat settings on the hair dryer, it should at least have a two heat settings.
For thick hair used full heat settings, and for thin or fine hair use slower sleep settings. To find the best hair dryer under $50 check our hair dryer reviews and find the best brand giving a good deal. Shopping for one can be confusing.
However, if you read the hair dryer reviews based on our users, you are likely to spot one that is suitable for your hair. You may need to dry out your hair after washing at home or straighten the strands to give yourself a finer look. With hair care, getting the right products is the key.
- Lot of Hot Air The New York Times. Mar 01 2018
- Real Talk About Heat Damage Essence. Jan 29 2018
- How do “ionic” hair dryers affect the hair ScienceLine. Mar 03 2018
- How To Avoid Hair Damage from Blow Dryers Louise Chang & Kathleen Doheny. 01 Mar 2018
- TheOriginOf.com Hair Dryer 28 Feb 2018
- Win The Static Hair War Ellie Krupnick, Huffington Post. 26 Feb 2018
- Jessika Toothman How Hair Dryers Work 23 Feb 2018