The 7 Best Blow Dryers for All Hair Types
A good blow dryer is an essential part of hair maintenance, no matter what your hair type is. When shopping for a blow dryer, it's important to take both hair type and dryer performance into consideration before you buy.
We researched dozens of blow dryers, looking at versatility, power, and range of settings to narrow down the best choices. We also spoke with Rodney Cutler, owner of Cutler Salons and brand ambassador for Redken, to find out how to avoid heat damage and how to correctly use a diffuser. Our top pick is the ghd Helios 1875W Advanced Professional Hair Dryer, which stands out for its versatility, lighter weight, and fast results.
Check out all of our top picks below, plus tips on how to determine which blow dryer will be best for your hair type and other advice.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall Blow Dryer: ghd Helios 1875W Advanced Professional Hair Dryer
- Best Budget Blow Dryer: Hot Tools Pro Signature Salon 1875 Watt Turbo Ionic Dryer
- Best Splurge Blow Dryer: Dyson Airwrap Multi-Styler Complete
- Best Blow Dryer Brush: Revlon One-Step Volumizer Plus
- Best Blow Dryer for Natural or Curly Hair: Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
- Best Blow Dryer for Fine Hair: CHI Nano Hair Dryer
- Best Travel Blow Dryer: T3 Afar Travel Hair Dryer
Best Overall Blow Dryer: ghd Helios 1875W Advanced Professional Hair Dryer
Best Budget Blow Dryer: Hot Tools Pro Signature Salon 1875 Watt Turbo Ionic Dryer
Best Splurge Blow Dryer: Dyson Airwrap Styler
Best Blow Dryer Brush: Revlon One-Step Volumizer Plus
Best Blow Dryer for Natural or Curly Hair: Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
Best Blow Dryer for Fine Hair: CHI Nano Hair Dryer
Best Travel Blow Dryer: T3 Afar Travel Hair Dryer
Overall, we recommend the ghd Helios 1875W Advanced Professional Hair Dryer. Not only is it extremely versatile, but it provides plenty of power and is lightweight, quiet, and fast. It's expensive though, so if you're looking for something more budget-friendly we recommend the Hot Tools Pro Signature Salon 1875 Watt Turbo Ionic Dryer. It's super lightweight, features ionic technology that's good for the hair, and is incredibly powerful.
How to Shop for Blow Dryers Like a Pro
While heat settings shouldn't be the determining factor when choosing a blow dryer, definitely make sure that your dryer goes up to at least 80 degrees. Then, focus on speed settings so that you can lower the heat and avoid damage. Most blow dryers come with three heat settings and three power settings, plus a button that provides a blast of cool air.
You'll also want to consider your hair type when searching for a blow dryer or blow dryer brush. If you have curly hair, make sure you choose a hair dryer with a good diffuser attachment. If you have frizzy hair, opt for a brush dryer or a dryer with a great concentrator nozzle.
Many, if not most, blow dryers come with at least a concentrator attachment that provides controlled air flow for drying specific sections. If you have curly hair, be sure to get a blow dryer with a diffuser attachment—this will disperse air evenly, helping to reduce frizz. High-end blow dryers and blow dryer brushes might come with extra attachments, but concentrators and diffusers are the two most popular.
Questions You Might Ask
How do you use a blow dryer diffuser?
It's best to brush out any tangles before or during your shower. After getting out, make sure you wrap the hair in a smooth towel or t-shirt so that you don't break up the curls. After letting it dry a bit, apply any oils or cream products that you typically put in your hair. Then, form the curls with your fingers, especially around your face. Gently drop the curls onto your diffuser and move the blow dryer up and down until the hair is about 80 percent dry. Cutler recommends starting with the ends of each curl and then moving upwards toward the root as the hair dries. "You can always flip your head over to reach the back and achieve extra volume," says Cutler.
Are blow dryers bad for your hair?
Sustained exposure to heat isn't good for anyone's hair; however, the addition of ionic technology and range of power settings decrease the risk. In general, you'll want to look for blow dryers that are more powerful and dry hair faster to make up for the fact that they emit less heat. To combat any negative side effects from heat, Cutler recommends "trying to limit using heat on your hair to only a few times per week and make sure your hot tools are on a low to medium heat setting." He also emphasizes the importance of using a heat protector.
How hot does a blow dryer get?
This question is dependent on the exact blow dryer, but generally the answer is between 80 and 140 degrees. That said, the temperature shouldn't be your determining factor when looking for a blow dryer. Many blow dryers dry faster using lower temperatures thanks to even air distribution and speed.
Take Our Word for It
This article was written by Brittany Loggins, a freelance writer who specializes in beauty, home, and lifestyle content. To write this article, she considered dozens of blow dryers, taking into consideration each one's power, range of features, and attachments. She also interviewed Rodney Cutler, owner of Cutler Salons and brand ambassador for Redken, for expert advice on hair care.