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Have a good hair day, every single day
Your hair dryer is an at-home device that can make or break a hairstyle. (Much like the best hair straighteners and the best curling wands). They’re essential. So if yours isn’t cutting it then let us help you find the best hair dryers worth putting your trust in.
Best hair dryers: QuickLinks
- Best for curly hair: Remington’s Shine Therapy Pro Hair Dryer, £27 | Argos
- Best for travel: BaByliss Travel Pro Dryer, £45 | Babyliss
- Best for frizzy hair: T3 Cura Luxe Dryer, £245 | Current Body
- Best for fine hair: ghd Helios Dryer, £179 | ghdhair.com
- Best for thick hair: Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, £329.99 | dyson.co.uk
- The ones the professionals love: Parlux Advance Light Ceramic Ionic Hair Dryer, £145 | Amazon
- Best for damaged hair: Cloud Nine the Airshot Hair Dryer, £119 | Very
- Best budget-friendly: Tresemmé 2000 W Fast Hair Dryer, £14 | Argos
- Best for ease: Bio:Ionic Volcanic MX 10X UltraLight Speed Dryer, £139 | Current Body
- Best for thinning hair: Nicky Clarke Infrared Pro Hair Dryer, £129.99 | Amazon
- Best energy-saving: Zuvi Halo, £329
How do I choose the best 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. ‘I am old school when it comes to the shape of a dryer,’ says Adam Reed, celebrated hairdresser and founder of Adam Reed London and Arkive Headcare. ‘But I love all of the tech to sit inside. I also like a bit of weight, a long barrel and a good wide nozzle. For me, the most important part is the way the air meets the air. A controlled stream of air allows control of the hair.’ Syd Hayes, Session Stylist to the stars and Babyliss Ambassador, looks for a few things when choosing a hair dryer. ‘Firstly it has to be powerful, there are lots on the market that just don’t have enough power to get through every different hair type. Secondly, heat is also important. I don’t want to overheat hair, but you need to know its there. And thirdly the weight of the hairdryer is key. I go to the gym for heavy weights I don’t want to be lifting them all day with my dryer.’
What should you look for before buying a new hair dryer? Whether you’re looking for the best ionic hair dryer or you’ve your eye on one of the best T3 hair dryers, here’s what to keep an eye out for:
If you have particularly challenging hair, then you want to know that your dryer is going to be able to deal with it. Hayes says that the important thing when drying your hair at home is to actually turn down the power, so as not to overdry the hair.
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. Reed recommends using the medium settings of both heat and airflow to allow for a really great finish.
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. You find the same technology is some of the best hair straighteners too.
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. ‘A cold button is absolutely essential for finishing and setting the hair,’ says Reed.
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 dryers in 2022:
The Marie Claire beauty team put many hair dryers to the test to find the very best for your hair type and needs. We took into consideration how quickly our hair dried, how many settings there were, whether we were able to tackle frizz easily, the weight of the tool and how easy it was to blow dry our hair.
Best hair dryer for curly hair
Power 2300 W | Speed Settings 2x | Ionic Technology No | Cool Shot Yes | Cord Length 1.8 M
The key to curly hair is knowing how to take care of it. It tends to be drier than its wavy counterparts, so direct high temperatures can frazzle. Diffusers (and nourishing styling creams) are curly hair’s best friend.
The way the diffuser works on Remington’s Shine Therapy Pro Hair Dryer – and the reason why we think it’s one of the best for curls – 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 its ionic generator that helps to break down water molecules on the hair, leaving curls shiny.
Best travel hair dryer
Power 1600 W | Speed Settings 2x | Ionic Technology Yes | Cool shot Yes | Cord Length 2.5 M
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 its full-sized dryers, because it doesn’t compromise on its power, it folds neatly down and comes in under £50. Perfect.
Best hair dryer for frizzy hair
Power 1900 W | Speed Settings 2x | Ionic Technology Yes | Cool Shot Yes | Cord Length 2.7 M
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.
Best hair dryer for fine hair
Power 2200 W | Speed Settings 2X | Ionic Technology Yes | Cool Shot Yes | Cord Length 3 M
Fine hair doesn’t require as much drying time as other hair types, but if you’ve got a lot of it it can still be a task. You need a dryer that doesn’t turn your locks into a flat, unimpressive haystack. When it comes to the best hair dryers, we can’t not mention ghd; it’s probably the first name that springs to mind in the world of heat tools. Helios is an amalgamation of its much-loved Air and the discontinued Aura. Most hair dryers 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.
Power 1600 W | Speed Settings 3X | Ionic Technology Yes | Cool Shot Yes | Cord Length 2.8 M
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 your 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. Oh, and did you know there’s also a curler, the Dyson Airwrap, too? We’ve rated it one of the best curling wands on the market.
Power 2200 W | Speed Settings 2X | Ionic Technology Yes | Cool Shot Yes | Cord Length 3 M
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 its 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 2000 W | Speed Settings 3 X | Ionic Technology No | Cool Shot Yes | Cord Length 2.7 M
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.
Best budget hair dryer
Power 2000 W | Speed Settings 3X | Ionic Technology Yes | Cool Shot Yes | Cord Length 1.8 M
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 well under £20 (you are very welcome), this Tresemmé wonder is powerful, quick and has that brilliant cold shot that will set your style.
Best hair dryer for beginners
Power 1800 W | Speed Settings 3x | Ionic Technology Yes | Cool Shot Yes | Cord Length 2.7M
While most of us love how bouncy a good blow-dry can make our hair look and feel, let’s be honest, between arm ache and the sheer length of time it can take, it sometimes feels more hassle than it’s worth. Not with Bio:Ionic’s ultra-light, ultra-quick dryer – the perfect pick for reluctant blow-dryers and absolute beginners alike. Not only does it weigh less than one pound, but takes less than ten minutes to dry your mop from root to tip. Oh, and it’s kinder to the planet than your typical dryer, as it uses 75% less energy. Dream dryer for lazy days? We certainly think so.
Best hair dryer for thinning hair
Power 1300 W | Speed Settings 2X | Ionic Technology Yes | Cool Shot Yes | Cord Length 3 M
Nicky Clarke is back! The eponymous hair care brand of the iconic British hairstylist Nicky Clarke has been given a revamp, launching its new professional-grade range of Infrared styling tools. What does an infrared hair dryer do that your bog-standard one doesn’t, you ask? It increases blood circulation to the scalp, promote hair growth and strengthen hair, reduce hair loss and prevent hair loss at an early stage. Huzzah!
11. Zuvi Halo, £329
Best energy-saving hair dryer
Power 680 W | Speed Settings 2X | Ionic Technology Yes | Cool Shot Yes (If you press and hold the ‘mode’ button) | Cord Length 1.8 M
This is the latest hair dryer to hit the market and it’s doing things differently. Rather than excessive drying, it uses light energy to dry the water on the hair’s surface. This in turn boosts shine, keeps hair smooth, retains internal hair moisture and actually helps to prevent hair dye fade. Not only that, but it’s also far more energy-efficient than other hair dryers. It uses 60% less energy than your typical hair dryer, which makes this the perfect choice if you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint and be kinder to the planet. According to the brand, if everyone around the world used a Zuvi Halo, it would be the equivalent of taking 9 million cars off the roads.
How did we do? Did you find the best hair dryer for your hair type of hair needs?