Hair dryers are at the heart of all of the best hairstyles, so we've collated the best to ensure you have a good hair day, every day.
They’re a tool that can make or break your hairstyle, so it’s important that the one you rely on for good hair days is one of the best hair dryers that money can buy.
Hold on: before you go anywhere near your hair dryer it’s essential that you prep your hair with heat protection, as heat damage is one of the biggest causes of hair breakage out there. Particularly good for damaged hair, or hair that tends to frizz up during styling, Bumble and Bumble’s innovative Invisible Oil Primer protects not only against heat from styling, but also UV damage from the sun. Think of it as your all-round hair shield to spritz liberally on your mane before blow drying (or heading outdoors).
So, now let’s talk dryers. Among the miracle workers we’ve featured on our list is the ghd hair dryer, which in just a few short years has become every bit as iconic and commonplace as their best hair straightener, the classic IV gold styler.
And of course, last year saw the arrival of the Supersonic Dyson Hairdryer, which has completely revolutionised the hair drying game. Using the very best Dyson technology to create a cool contraption, it’s essential you at least try one out in your nearest department store. It’s got a high price tag, but is one of those investments that will change your life – shop the Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer here.
How to blow dry hair according to an expert
First thing’s first, resist the temptation to reach for the brush before you dry, as you should never brush your hair while it’s wet.
Then once you’ve got your best hair dryer to hand, it’s time to master the at-home blow dry. Ghd’s Global Ambassador, Adam Reed, advises that your hair is actually 85% dry before you start styling it with your dryer.
‘Style your hair on a medium setting, and only use the hotter setting for the finishing touches,’ he advises. ‘Once you’re done styling, seal the hair using the cool setting for a super-smooth look.’
And, we hate to break it to you, but you’ve probably been drying your hair wrong your whole life. ‘Many women move the dryer back and forth, up and down each section of the hair, or just hold the dryer in one place – that’s wrong!’ says Adam.
‘Continually follow the brush, with the nozzle of the dryer facing in the direction of the brush.’ And the bigger the brush, the better the finish and bounce.
It’s high time you treat yourself and invest your pennies in one of the best hair dryers, we say. So whatever your hair type, read on as we talk you through the greatest hits of the hair drying world.
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BaByliss SalonLight 2100 Hair Dryer 5568BU, £30, Debenhams
Fine hair doesn’t require as much time to dry as other hair types, but if you’ve got a lot of it it can still be a bit of a task. You need a dryer that doesn’t turn your locks into a haystack, but dries ’em quick.
Enter BaByliss SalonLight 2100 dryer, the model that puts an end to arm-aching hair drying. It’s got a lighter body and longer cable to improve the practicalities of drying and, most importantly, dries hair faster for your convenience. Because who needs hair drying slowing them up in the mornings?
TRESemmé 5549U Travel Hair Dryer, £20, John Lewis
Granted you probably care less about your hair’s appearance on holiday, where you spend most of your time looking like a pineapple with it scrunched atop your head. A girl has more important things to worry about, like soaking up the local culture or getting bronzed up on the beach.
But while you’re not focused on the actual styling of your hair, you still want it dry before you leave your Airbnb. We’re all aware of how much space hair dryers take up, but TRESemmé’s travel dryer is the perfect suitcase space-saver thanks to its folding handle. It also comes with a paddle brush and wide nozzle, so you’re well equipped for that vacay.
BaByliss 5548U Dry & Curl Diffuser Hair Dryer, £23, Amazon
In all honesty, the best method of drying your hair to protect those curls is air drying (find out what happened to our Digital Features Editor’s hair when she gave up hair straightening for a week). But when it comes down to it, air drying isn’t always that practical if you’ve not got time to spare first thing in the morning – especially if you have thick hair and lots of it.
Sometimes you just need a bit of a boost from a trusty blow dry, and BaByliss’ Dry and Curl model was designed especially for ringlet-headed ladies. If you have thicker curls, using the accompanying diffuser will help to keep the curls’ shape and bounce while they dry.
Best hair dryers with diffuser
John Frieda Frizz Ease Salon Shine Dryer, £60, Very
If you have flatter hair, a diffuser is your one-way ticket for added natural volume and bounce. And who better to look to than the frizz experts themselves, John Frieda?
As well as being the go-to name in frizz-fighting, John Frieda’s Salon Shine Dryer lets you prolong the salon shine for longer. It creates smoothness, body and shine so you’ll think you’ve just walked out of the hairdressers every single morning. Winning.
T3 Featherweight 2 Dryer, £155, Fabled
Arguably the biggest bugbear if you have seriously thick locks is the amount of time it takes to dry them. As well as being a chore that requires endless sectioning and hair clips, the arm ache is often unbearable and a quick office poll tells us most thick-haired girls give up halfway through, or don’t bother with a dryer at all.
While a ‘regular’, powerful hair dryer takes an average of 30 minutes to dry your hair, T3’s Featherweight dryers will have your hair dry in just 7 (on average). Powered with T3 Tourmaline, the healthy infrared heat and negative ions are better for your hair, preventing excessive damage to your locks. So that lengthy drying time, and its damaging effects, are gone.
Nicky Clarke Frizz Control Dryer, £19.99, Amazon
The frizz ball look? Not so great. A hair dryer will either remedy your frizz or exacerbate it, so it’s important you use one that’s designed to do the former.
The Frizz Control Hair Dryer gives you maximum quality at a good price – and Nicky Clarke is a brand to trust when it comes to healthy-looking hair. The frizz control hair dryer blasts all of your hair styling gripes like frizz and flatness to create a perfect salon-worthy finish.
Cloud Nine The Airshot Hair Dryer, £99, Fabled
Diffusers are popular choice for smoother hair as they distribute the air and heat evenly around your locks. It’s ultimately better than. Most hair dryer brands now have the option of buying a separate diffuser, but Cloud Nine’s Airshot dryer comes with two separate nozzles, including a big ol’ diffuser.
ghd Air Hair Dryer, £99, Fabled
When it comes to the world of straightening, we can’t not mention ghd. They’re no doubt the first name that springs to mind when you think ‘straight hair experts’.
Ghd claim that the ‘Air’ is the ‘best blow-dry of your life’, and we’re not going to argue. Maintaining their incredible reputation for salon-worthy styling, they’ve built all of the power and ionic technology into their hair dryer to make sure you get the best results every time, alongside long-lasting healthy hair effects.
The secret to precise, sleek styling is the wide nozzle that comes with the dryer – don’t forget to angle the dryer downwards to maximise its straight styling power.
Moving on from the classic to the revolutionary – did you know you can now buy a hair dryer and straighteners all in one?
The genius beauty brains at Revlon have literally put the straighteners into the drying nozzle – so if you’re the kind of girl who’s always in a rush, this will.
So far it’s only launched in the US, but we reckon if we hassle them enough it’ll be available in the UK soon enough. Or, if you’re heading to the US any time soon, just pop into your nearest Target and grab one.
Toni & Guy Daily Conditioning Hair Dryer, £17, Amazon
If you truly want to repair your hair, we recommend going easy on the blow drying (or giving it up completely for a while) and working one of the best hair masks into your haircare routine.
Thanks to the ionic function, this hair dryer works to ensure your hair is silky smooth and conditioned once blow dried. With variable heat and speed settings, you can easily manipulate your styling session to your needs, but it’s best to keep the heat as low as possible when working with damaged hair. Use the ‘cool shot’ function at the end of styling to help your look last all day.
Whether you struggle with fine hair or frizz, damaged hair or curls, you’re now equipped with the right dryer for you.
Arm yourself with your heat protection spray and one of the best hair dryers from our round up, and you’ll never have a bad hair day again…