The best hair dryers for the perfect blowout every time

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  • Have a good hair day, every single day

    It’s an at-home device that can make or break a hairstyle, and this year we have had to rely on our hair dryers more than ever. So if yours isn’t cutting it then let us help you find the best hair dryer that you can put your trust in.

    Our best hair dryers for 2020 are:

    1. Best hair dryer for curly hair Remington Shine Therapy Hair Dryer

    2. Best travel hair dryer BaByliss Travel Pro Dryer

    3. Best hair dryer for frizzy hair T3 Cura Luxe Dryer

    4. Best hair dryer for fine hair ghd Helios Dryer

    5. Best hair dryer for thick hair Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

    6. Best hair dryer that professionals use Parlux Advance Light Ceramic Ionic Hair Dryer 

    7. Best hair dryer for damaged hair Cloud Nine the Airshot Hair Dryer

    8. Best lightweight hair dryer T3 Featherweight Compact Dryer

    9. Best budget hair dryer Tresemmé 2000 W Fast Hair Dryer

    First things first, are you using your hair dryer correctly? Stay with us, there is a right way. Hair stylists will know, as soon as you sit in their chair, how best to blow dry your hair – which settings, heat and attachments.

    Before we continue, let’s recap the basics of drying and heat styling. We spoke to ghd’s Global Ambassador, Adam Reed to ask: ‘how do you blow dry your hair properly?’

    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 shouldn’t brush your hair while it’s wet. Adam 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 says. ‘Once you’re done styling, seal the hair using the cool setting for a super-smooth look.’

    We hate to break it to you, but you’ve probably been drying your hair wrong your whole life. ‘So 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 of course, the bigger the brush, the better the finish and bounce.

    Best hair dryers

    Credit: Getty Images

    How do I choose a good hair dryer?

    The truth is that while most hair dryers look very similar, they weren’t all created equal, and some will be better suited to your hair type and particular needs. What should you look for before buying a new hair dryer? The things that we keep an eye out for are the following:

    Power 

    If you have particularly challenging hair, then you want to know that your dryer is going to be able to deal with it.

    Speed

    It’s important that your hair dryer can dry hair quickly, with a high speed setting, but have the ability to slow down for controlled styling.

    Ionic technology

    The water in your hair, post hair wash, is positively charged, the ionic technology creates negative ions to counteract the moisture. Fancy words for anti-frizz and smoothing science.

    Cool shot

    You might have spotted the cool setting on your dryer and never bothered using it, because maybe it didn’t make sense to you. But the cool shot is actually like popping the cherry on top of the cake – it seals the hair cuticle, leaving hair looking shiny.

    Cord length

    Such an overlooked feature. You might not have a plug by your mirror, you might have to plug it in the hallway but do your hair in the bathroom. It matters.

    Best hair dryer for curly hair

    Remington Shine Therapy Hair Dryer, £29.98, Amazon

    Remington Shine Therapy Hair Dryer - best hair dryers

    The key with curly hair is knowing how to take care of it. It tends to be drier than it’s wavy counterparts, so direct high temperatures can frazzle. Diffusers (and nourishing styling creams) are curly hair’s best friend. The way the diffuser works is that rather than blasting heat in one direction it, you guessed it, diffuses. This helps to reduce frizz and keeps the curls natural shape. This is also the best hair dryer for curly hair because of it’s ionic generator that helps to break down water molecules on the hair, leaving curls shiny.

    POWER 2300 W

    SPEED SETTINGS 2x

    IONIC TECHNOLOGY No,

    COOL SHOT Yes

    CORD LENGTH 1.8 M

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    Best travel hair dryer

    BaByliss Travel Pro Dryer, £40, Feel Unique

    best hair dryers Babyliss Travel pro

    Let’s be honest, when looking for the best travel hair dryer, you don’t want it to take up too much space in your luggage, you don’t want to spend much on it, but you do want it to give you one heck of a blow-dry. You can rely on Babyliss. This travel version is just as good as it’s full-sized dryers, because it doesn’t compromise on it’s power, it folds neatly down and comes in under £50. Perfect.

    POWER 1600 W

    SPEED SETTINGS 2x

    IONIC TECHNOLOGY Yes

    COOL SHOT Yes

    CORD LENGTH 2.5 M

    Buy now

     

    Best hair dryer for frizzy hair

    T3 Cura Luxe Dryer, £164, CurrentBody

    best hair dryers T3

    The innovation in this  T3 hair dryer is a bit of a masterpiece, featuring five heat settings, an auto-stop function and the ‘cool shot’ function for locking in your style. It’s quick drying without fluffing and frizzing your hair into oblivion, and surprisingly lightweight for such a technologically advanced tool; the digital IonAir technology helps boost shine and minimise frizz levels for much smoother hair overall. If drying your hair easily results in a frizz-bomb situation, this one is for you.

    POWER 1900 W

    SPEED SETTINGS 2x

    IONIC TECHNOLOGY Yes

    COOL SHOT Yes

    CORD LENGTH 2.7 M

    Buy now

     

    Best hair dryer for fine hair

    ghd Helios Dryer in Ink Blue, £159, ghdhair.com

    best hair dryers for fine hair ghd

    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 flat, unimpressive haystack, but that dries ’em quick. When it comes to the best hair dryers, we can’t not mention ghd; they’re probably the first name that springs to mind in the world of heat tools. This is the newest hair dryer from ghd – it’s an amalgamation of their much-loved Air and their most recently discontinued Aura. Most hairdryers use carbon brushes that wear out over time, causing the motor to stop working. But brushless motors like the ghd Helios dryer use magnets and electronics to drive the motor, which in turn extends the life of your dryer. This motor type is also lightweight, super quiet and delivers a strong airflow for fast, frizz-free results. Helios also features the brand’s ‘Aeroprecis Technology’ – an aerodynamic design with a special contoured nozzle that guarantees even airflow and concentrated temperature. Fine hair, be styled!

    POWER 2200 W

    SPEED SETTINGS 2X

    IONIC TECHNOLOGY Yes

    COOL SHOT Yes

    CORD LENGTH 3 M

    If you’re happy to wait, we recommend you hold off on buying this just yet. The ghd Black Friday deals are just around the corner and we predict discounts that will make you (and your bank account) very happy.

    Buy now

     

    Best hair dryer for thick hair

    Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, £299.99, John Lewis

     

    Dyson Supersonic - best hair dryers

    Thick hair takes longer to dry, which is a pain (and not just for your arm), What you need is a smart hair dryer that speeds the process up, whilst still being kind to you strands and your biceps. Enter the Dyson Supersonic. No doubt you’ve heard of the Supersonic – arguably the most famous hair dryer in the world. Yes, it’s expensive, but it is beyond clever. Not only has it been designed so that the motor sits in the handle, rather than the head (thus redistributing the weight), but it’s also a super speedy motor, which speeds up your blow-dry time. If you are prepared to part with the money it really is worth it. Professionals, experts and beauty editors are obsessed with it and there’s now a curler, the Dyson Airwrap, too.

    POWER 1600 W

    SPEED SETTINGS 3X

    IONIC TECHNOLOGY No

    COOL SHOT Yes

    CORD LENGTH 2.8 M

    We know that £300 is a lot for a hair dryer. Do we think it’s worth it? Yes. But do we think you can get it cheaper? Also, yes. The Dyson Black Friday sale is not too far away and their reductions are pretty spectacular.

    Buy now

    Best hair dryer that professionals use 

    Parlux Advanced Light Ionic and CeramicHair Dryer, £109, Lookfantastic

    Parlux Advanced Light Ionic and Ceramic Hair Dryer - best hair dryers

    Parlux was always the professional stylist’s first choice of hair dryer brand, because the professional grade dryers are considerably less weighty than others. Soon, brands like Dyson made their way into salons, but you can still find Parlux in many a stylist’s hand because they’re that good. You can even buy a ‘Melody Silencer’ add-on to keep the noise of your dryer to a minimum.

    POWER 2200 W

    SPEED SETTINGS 2X

    IONIC TECHNOLOGY Yes

    COOL SHOT Yes

    CORD LENGTH 3 M

    Buy now

     

    Best hair dryer for damaged hair

    There are so many things that can damage your hair – heat, colour, sun and, of course, heat styling. Cloud Nine’s Airshot however, takes away some of that risk. With tourmaline and vitamin-infused heating elements, the Airshot literally takes care of your hair while you blow dry. It’s also got anti-static technology to keep flyaways to a minimum and leave your hair smooth and shiny. How clever.

    POWER 2000 W

    SPEED 3 X

    IONIC TECHNOLOGY No

    COOL SHOT Yes

    CORD LENGTH 2.7 M

    Buy now

     

    Best lightweight hair dryer

    T3 Featherweight Compact Dryer, £107, Lookfantastic

    T3 Featherweight Compact Folding Dryer - best hair dryers

    If you’re someone who washes and blowdries their hair every morning, and really all you want is something that does’t weigh a tonne, then this is the best hair dryer for you. It has all of T3’s technology in a compact, foldable model that gives a smooth, fast blow dry and keeps your hair healthier over time.

    POWER 1200 W

    SPEED SETTINGS 2X

    IONIC TECHNOLOGY Yes

    COOL SHOT Yes

    CORD LENGTH 2.7 M

    Buy now

     

    Best budget hair dryer

    Tresemmé 2000 W Fast Hair Dryer, £14.68, Amazon

    Tresemme 2000 W Fast Hair Dryer - best hair dryers

    On the other end of the spectrum, you might like leaving your hair to dry naturally and really only need one for that odd occasion when you decide to style your hair. You don’t want a dryer that costs the earth, but you do want one that you trust. This is that hair dryer. Coming in at under £20 (you are very welcome), this Tresemmé wonder is powerful, quick and has that brilliant cold shot that will set your style.

    POWER 2000 W

    SPEED SETTINGS 3X

    IONIC TECHNOLOGY Yes

    COOL SHOT Yes

    CORD LENGTH 1.8 M

    Buy now

     

    How did we do? Did you find the best hair dryer for your hair type of hair needs?

    Happy shopping.

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