The best hair dryer for expert styling at home – from top-rated brands like Dyson, Shark and GHD

Our beauty team's expert guide to the best hair dryer models for every hair type, texture, and budget

two of the best hair dryers by Dyson and Shark pictured on a lilac background
(Image credit: Future)

The best hair dryer is an essential beauty tool, and one that's used by almost everyone. So it follows that finding the best hair dryer for your needs will make day-to-day grooming a whole lot easier.

According to the Philips Global Beauty Index survey (opens in new tab) 76% of women use a hair dryer at home (from a study of 12,000 women across the globe), so unsurprisingly the range of options is huge – the only equivalent challenge is seeking out the best hair straighteners. Models range from simple, lightweight styles to powerful, high-spec options like the Dyson Supersonic. Consider this your expert guide to finding the right model for you. 

How we tested our best hair dryers

woman&home's beauty team extensively tested these best hair dryer picks, weighing up every aspect of the dryers, including:

  • How they feel in the hand
  • Usefulness of controls
  • Ease of cleaning
  • User experience
  • Technical information, including weight, power, and warranty

Several variants that we tested didn't make the final cut. We found that the cordless and bonnet hair dryers we tried did not live up to their promises, and therefore could not feature in our best hair dryer edit.

Want more information on the types of dryers, hair dryer power or if you need a cold shot? You'll find everything you need to know in our FAQs at the end of this best hair dryer guide. 

The best hair dryers, as reviewed by our beauty team

The Dyson Supersonic with flyaway attachment, the best hair dryer in our guide

(Image credit: Dyson)
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Best powerful hair dryer

Specifications

RRP: $399.99/£299
Weight: 1.5lb/659g
Power: 1600W
Warranty: 2 years

Reasons to buy

+
Nimble, stylish design
+
Fast, powerful and quiet
+
Reduced hair damage 
+
Customizable attachments

Reasons to avoid

-
High price  
-
Magnetic nozzles can be unstable  

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: not everyone has this much money in the budget, and you certainly don’t need to spend this much to buy a quality hair dryer (there are plenty of excellent lower-priced choices on this list). But, if you are planning to make a sizeable investment, it’s easy to see why the Dyson Supersonic has a devoted fan base.

As you’d expect from the brains that managed to turn vacuum cleaners into a bonafide status symbol, the spec is impressive. The main selling point is power, generated from a 13-blade digital motor, positioned not in the head of the dryer, as is the industry norm, but in the handle. Said motor sends 13 liters of air per second up to the head, which is then multiplied to 41 liters and checked 20 times per second to maintain a precise temperature. The aim is fast, controlled drying and styling without the damage of extreme heat. The dryer runs at a relatively low 1600W, proving bigger isn’t always better when it comes to power.

And what’s it like to use? Impressive. Considering how much technology the Dyson packs in, the experience is pleasingly pared back, with three speed controls and four heat, plus a cold-shot button. Tap the power button and it whooshes right to full speed, not a second wasted warming up, plus it’s noticeably quiet and a dream to control, thanks to that handle-based motor (why didn't anyone think of that before?). 

The dryer has also had an update with a new flyaway attachment designed to replicate the effect of a professional blow dry using a round brush. The curved shape of the attachment looks a little bizarre on our hair dryer stand (Gonzo from The Muppets' nose came to mind) but it delivered on performance, using the Coanda technology of the Dyson Airwrap to separate longer hairs from flyaways and delivering a smooth finish. Other attachments include a Smoothing Nozzle, Styling Concentrator, Diffuser, Wide Tooth Comb, and Gentle Air Attachment. They attach magnetically, which is handy when you snap them on, less so when they on occasion click back off of their own accord. We also managed to loosen the little vent at the base of the handle after a couple of months of continuous use, but needless to say, we're nitpicking. It's not easy finding negatives here. 

On balance, the Dyson Supersonic experience is pretty peerless – as to whether you have $400 to spend, we’ll leave that up to you. And the brand does occasionally throw Dyson hair dryer deals our way, too.

See our full Dyson Supersonic hair dryer review

best hair dryer GHD Helios Professional Hair Dryer

(Image credit: GHD)
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Best hair dryer for precise styling

Specifications

RRP: $249/£159
Weight: 1.72lb/780g
Power: 2200W
Warranty: 2 years

Reasons to buy

+
Sophisticated look and feel 
+
Powerful, highly concentrated airflow
+
Ionic technology for smoothness
+
User-friendly controls

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavier than others
-
Diffuser attachment sold separately 

When GHD launches a product, we pay attention. This brand seems to know our hair goals even before we do. 

The latest dryer launch from the innovative brand, the GHD Helios Professional Hair Dryer, certainly promises a lot. Namely, that it's the brand's lightest, fastest professional dryer and will bless your 'do with 30% more shine than whatever you're drying with at the moment. 

First impressions are good. It looks a little sleeker and sexier than previous ghd models and there are five colors to choose from – black, ink blue, powder pink, white, and, our personal favorite, plum with gold accents. The casing is matte with a nice velvety texture. And although at 1.72lb/780g, it isn't the lightest option we tested it feels nimble due to its ergonomic design with the weight balanced fairly equally between handle and head.

The Helios also includes user-friendly settings: two speeds, two heats, and one cool shot button. This might seem a little on the simple side, but honestly how many options do you really use? 

Beyond good looks, the GHD Helios offers solid performance from a light, brushless motor that boasts airflow of 120kph. You can certainly feel that power when you flick it on to full heat and speed. The dryer roars into action, albeit in a relatively low-key way, then releases negative ions to smooth as you dry (and what are ions, you ask? Check out the cheat sheet at the bottom of this article). Woman & Home Group Beauty Director Sarah Cooper-White says this dryer gives her the sleekest, fastest blow-dry she’s ever managed at home. 

Overall, the GHD Helios is a brilliant all-rounder. It features incremental improvements on previous models, but nothing that will alienate or annoy fans of the brand. This powerful tool makes for a satisfying and ultra-speedy – if not 100% silent – drying experience.

See our full GHD Helios hair dryer review

best hair dryer Remington Thermacare Pro 2400

(Image credit: Remington)
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3. Remington Thermacare Pro 2400

Best cheap hair dryer

Specifications

RRP: $39.99/£44.99
Weight: 1.6lb/724g
Power: 2400W
Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+
Good value 
+
Relatively light 
+
Grat heat and speed options 

Reasons to avoid

-
Not luxuriously built

Call it the tech takeover of beauty, call it pink tax – whatever’s happened, it’s fair to say the cost of all the best hair dryers has been on a steep incline for a few years now. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find something great at a price that doesn’t require a few deep breaths before you hit “add to cart.” Like the Remington Thermacare Pro 2400.

After testing many hair dryers costing north of a tonne, it’s tricky to approach a model at half the price without making assumptions about its comparative performance, but the Thermacare Pro 2400 blew those misconceptions away. 

It looks the part, with nice cream and metallic casing that feels a smidge plasticky, but pleasant enough in the hand. The technical spec matches up to its pricier counterparts in some ways; it’s got ionic technology and a ceramic grill for even heat. The motor sends out 90km/56mi of air per hour and boasts a quieter experience and twice the lifespan of the brand’s previous models.

As well as three heat and two speed options, there’s a cool shot and a booster button that ramps up the airflow for fast rough drying. This feature did make the dryer noisier, but it was nothing to warn the neighbors about. It comes with two styling nozzles and one diffuser, a generous offering at this price, and gave a nice daily blow-dry in as much time as you would expect from any dryer.

One minor gripe: It would be nice if the nozzles were white, not black, as they looked a tad out of place stuck on the end there, but as with any hair dryer aesthetics are far less important than performance and this performs very well indeed. If you want something decent-looking, fast, and reliable that doesn't require you to take out a second mortgage, this could be the best hair dryer for you.

best hair dryer Parlux Alyon

(Image credit: Parlux )
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Best salon hair dryer

Specifications

RRP: $279/£129.95
Weight: 1lb/456g
Power: 2250W
Warranty: 1 year

Reasons to buy

+
Compact and extremely light
+
Reliable and durable 
+
Stylish design 
+
Simple controls 

Reasons to avoid

-
No bells and whistles 

If you ask a room full of hairstylists to name their best hair dryer, expect Parlux to win the majority vote. This Italian brand has amassed a fierce cohort of professional fans, and, after testing its merits, we can certainly see why. Aesthetically, this is amongst the few dryers that could reasonably be described as sexy. It comes in 10 colors, from inky matte black to bright corals and yellows. (We tried the peacock-like jade.) 

Design-wise, it's small, sleek, and incredibly light. Despite its diminutive size, it boasts a muscular 2250W of power which you’ll notice right away, especially when drying thick hair – no achy arms. Looks and feel aside, the Parlux Alyon includes plenty of useful features. The heat and speed options are practical and uncomplicated – simply flick the switch on the side of the handle and off you go. This proved surprisingly handy for mid-dry temperature adjustments as we were able to intuitively use our thumbs instead of having to pull the dryer away to see which button we were pressing. Small things like that make a big difference when you use a tool every day.  

The Alyon also helps prevent frizz and damage with ionic technology, while the K-Advance Plus motor promises powerful airflow and a lifespan of at least 3,000 hours. Additional touches include two smoothing nozzles in the box, plus a tactile cool button that has a satisfying click. The dryer also features a patent-pending HFS “Hair Free System" – a tiny corkscrew within the back vent that catches and prevents hair from getting trapped in the dryer. Though it appears tricky, with a 10-step instruction booklet, this feature is actually quite simple to master. Still, we aren't convinced it deserves such fanfare compared to an ordinary twist-off vent.

See our full Parlux Alyon review

Nicky Clarke

(Image credit: Nicky Clarke)

5. Nicky Clarke Infra-red Pro Hair Dryer

The best kind hair dryer

Specifications

RRP: £129.99 (UK only)
Weight: 520g
Power: 1300W
Warranty: 1 year

Reasons to buy

+
Gentle infra-red technology
+
Saves energy 
+
Quiet and light 
+
Smooth blow dry

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the most exciting to look at

They say don't judge a book by its cover, we say don't judge a dryer by its casing. Because what appears to be a fairly generic, albeit sleek and pleasant-looking device from celeb stylist Nicky Clarke actually hides some pretty interesting technology and features. 

The first and most unique aspect of this dryer is infra-red technology. Here, along with a unique honeycomb-shaped element, it helps to disperse heat evenly. This makes for a kind, gentle hair drying experience without sacrificing blow dry performance, says Clarke. 

And what do we say? Mostly, we're sold. We tested it on fine hair and experienced a gentle and non-scorching feel, even at the highest heat, as well as enjoying the unusually low weight and nimbleness of the model. Our hair was left smooth and dried without static or flyaways, even after rough drying without too much care – perhaps this came down to the ion technology. Did we notice the infrared particularly? No, but we trust it was doing its job of caring for our scalp and hair. Drying time was probably bang on average for a hair dryer of this price, not noticeably quick or slow, but certainly, an impressive showing considering the energy efficiency of the device. 

Looks-wise, you won't get statement 'jazz hands' design from this dryer, and friends may not ask you where it is from if they see it in your bedroom, but it is attractive and contemporary-looking with a velvety black finish. The 3m cord is a welcome touch, as is the smoothing nozzle which did a great job of creating sleek sheets of hair when we tested it with round brushes and a bit more time. Overall this is a strong and thoughtful foray back into premium devices from Nicky Clarke – kind to our hair, kind to the planet, and not too unkind to the wallet. 

Chi Lava Pro Hair Dryer

(Image credit: CHI)
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6. CHI Lava Pro Hair Dryer

Best luxury hair dryer

Specifications

RRP : $337 (US only)
Weight: 10.5oz
Power: 1200W
Warranty: 2 years

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to remove magnetic attachments
+
Slim design
+
Strong variation in heat settings
+
Comfortable handle

Reasons to avoid

-
Very expensive 

CHI is always consistent in solving hair woes and has positioned itself as a leader in hair tools for decades. The Lava Pro Hair Dryer, though among the priciest on our list, is worth every penny. For one, we're a fan of its sleek long shape that makes throwing it into your weekend duffel a breeze. But its slim body isn't just for aesthetic's sake – it actually helps provide a straight shot of air, which speeds up drying time and uses less electricity all while maintaining a stronger airflow of up to 110,000 rpm/min.

This dryer isn't just a pretty face – it delivers on performance and quality, too. The casing is made from the brand's signature ceramic technology, which means it's able to maintain a consistent temperature and even heat distribution. For hair, this means smoother, more professional-looking results. What really makes this dryer worth the investment, though, is the fact that it's infused with volcanic lava derived from lava rocks. According to the brand, this makes for reduced drying time and the ability to style the hair at lower heat settings (which means less damage and heat exposure).

We didn't experience any frazzling while using this dryer and found that the cool air setting came in handy when it came time to lock in our style. Plus, the dryer comes with a ton of variety: Four heat settings and three speed settings mean you can customize based on your hair texture and desired style.

We also love that it comes with three attachments: a diffuser, a precision concentrator, and a smoothing nozzle. Like the Dyson Supersonic, these attachments are magnetic, which we found to be helpful to click on and off in a pinch. For instance, we liked using the diffuser to enhance our natural curl pattern but also having the option of being able to blow dry hair smooth using a precision concentrator. The fact that the attachments are magnetic makes swapping them out a no-fuss process.

See our full Chi Lava Pro hair dryer review

Remington Hydraluxe Pro

(Image credit: Remington Hydraluxe Pro)

7. Remington Hydraluxe Pro

Best fast hairdryer

Specifications

RRP : $129.99/£149.99
Weight: 800g
Power: 2200w
Warranty: 5 years

Reasons to buy

+
Very fast drying time
+
Kind to hair
+
Excellent cold shot
+
Three attachments included

Reasons to avoid

-
A little heavy

First and foremost, let's talk about how this dryer looks. This design team clearly broke free of the modern dryer mold, which usually either aim for ultra-sleek, slim and black, or as close to Dyson as they can without getting in trouble. This however is a chunky, curvy little number in a mix of gloss and matte greige. We love it. If your idea of the best hair dryer is one that's cute and vaguely retro-looking, this will tick your visual boxes like no other. 

Picking it up you'll probably notice what we would class as the only real downside – it's fairly heavy. Not the heaviest on this list but it certainly packs a surprisingly robust weight into its relatively squat form. That aside, this is a dryer that melds convenience and care with ease. The main USP is hydracare technology, which is a sensor that checks your hair as it dries and automatically switches the heat around to prevent damage. This really takes the guesswork away for anyone worried about the dangers of daily heat styling. You don't have to have that function switched on of course. If you prefer to choose your own heat adventure or just want to go full-throttle every time that's very much available to you – although with the power of this device you really shouldn't need to go full pelt. 

As well as a very serviceable 2200w of power, the Hydraluxe Pro's digital motor sends air out at a noticeably impressive rate. This was one of the fastest dryers on the whole list, and although a bit of noise came with that power it was worth it for a four-minute blow dry. Other notable mentions include the three metre cord, an extremely chilly cold shot that you don't have to hold down and three included nozzles (one diffuser and two concentrators) These attach not by the usual annoying click-around-the-edges mechanism but slip smoothly on like the last missing jigsaw piece via a little nub in the center of the attachment. It's little touches like this that really elevate this kind, fast dryer into being one of the best on the market today.   

Rusk W8less Professional Hair Dryer

(Image credit: Rusk)

8. Rusk W8less Professional Hair Dryer

Best mid-priced hair dryer

Specifications

RRP: $80 (US only)
Weight: 1.9lbs
Power: 2000W
Warranty: 2 years

Reasons to buy

+
Quieter than most dryers
+
Extremely lightweight
+
Produced frizz-free results

Reasons to avoid

-
Visually nothing special

Rusk's W8less Professional Hair Dryer is aptly named – at less than two pounds, it's perfect for those who are prone to getting tired arms while blow drying their hair. For our tester (who has extremely thick, long, and curly hair), this dryer's lightweight feel was a refreshing break from some of the heavier models on the market. As anyone with long hair knows, finding a device that's able to dry your hair in record time is a real gift.

But weight isn't the only thing this dryer has going for it. It's extremely impressive in terms of performance, too, boasting 2000 watts of power along with an ionic generator that emits negative ions and infrared light that dries hair from the inside out. The result: less frizz, more smoothness, and shine like you wouldn't believe. That's not surprising considering the dryer is made out of a fusion of ceramic and tourmaline technology.

During testing, we found that this dryer required very little effort to smooth out the hair. In fact, even on the lowest speed setting we were able to dry our hair in just a few minutes. It does come with a concentrator nozzle, which is great for precision styling. Using this dryer is an overall pleasant experience. Aside from being easy to hold, it's not excessively loud, making it a great choice if you don't live alone, if you're traveling with company, or if you're using it to dry down your pet. The handle and button placement also make it comfortable and ergonomic. Plus, we found that the cool shot button works great – it left our tester's hair looking and feeling buttery smooth after blow drying the hair straight.

One minor con: Visually, it's nothing to write home about. We would have liked to see it in a few different colors, or at the very least, a slimmer design.

See our full Rusk W8less Professional Hair Dryer review

best hair dryer Dyson Airwrap

(Image credit: Dyson )
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9. Dyson Smooth + Control Airwrap styler

Best hair dryer and styler in one

Specifications

RRP: $549.99/£399
Weight: 1.45lb/660g
Power: 1300W
Warranty: 2 years

Reasons to buy

+
Versatile styling
+
Kind to hair
+
Slick and enjoyable to use

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Tricky to master

The Dyson Airwrap isn’t going to be for everyone. To begin with, there is the obvious expense. It’s also a little bit trickier to get the hang of (our step-by-step guide to how to use the Dyson Airwrap can help with that) So it's probably not for anyone who just wants to blast their hair in the most fuss-free manner possible without creating any particular style. If you do like to experiment with your hair, blow drying smooth one day, curling in waves the next then volumizing with a hot brush the one after that, you will very likely try the Dyson Airwrap and wonder where it has been all of your life.

In fact, once you've got the knack using the Airwrap is so enjoyable you might actually start looking forward to your morning blow dry. If you go for the Airwrap Complete, you will get a total of six attachments that cover everything you can imagine doing with your 'do: A dryer attachment that essentially turns it into the Supersonic Dryer (minus the styling nozzles); 30mm and 40mm barrels to create waves of varying degrees of tightness; a round volumizing brush; plus firm and soft smoothing brushes. 

The technology hinges on a phenomenon called the Coanda effect, which creates a pressurized flow of air to attract hair towards the attachment, wrapping it around the barrel or holding it against the brush. Air is then pushed over the strands, combined with highly controlled heat, to dry and style hair without ever subjecting it to the searing temperatures of hot styling tools. You can set the hair using a cool-shot button or just flick it back off and out drops a shiny curl, bouncy wave, or perfectly smoothed section of hair. It really is very satisfying and positively mouse-like in volume compared with your average hair dryer.

Most of the attachments are novice-friendly, but there’s definitely a knack for using the waving barrels, which you probably won't master the first time. But we found the sleek sexiness of the device is more than enough motivation to keep trying, and we had nailed it by the third time – after our usual curling wand was starting to look outdated and more than a little damaging in our eyes. The Airwrap is ideal for travel as it’s essentially every styler plus your best hair dryer in one ultra-slim and lightweight package. As we said, the Dyson Airwrap isn’t for everyone, but if you can invest and are a heavy user of a variety of drying and styling tools, this could replace them all in spectacular style.

See our full Dyson Airwrap review 

Panasonic EH-NA67 Enrich + Family Care Hair Dryer

(Image credit: Panasonic)

10. Panasonic EH-NA67 Enrich Family Care Hair Dryer

The best hair dryer for families

Specifications

RRP: $149.99/£99.99
Weight: 547g
Power: 2000w
Warranty : 2 years

Reasons to buy

+
Very gentle drying
+
Nanoe technology hydrates 
+
Light
+
Three attachments included

Reasons to avoid

-
Could be easier to maneuver 

Ask any parent and they'll agree, drying your children's hair can be a tear-soaked, frustration-filled challenge. Cleverly, Panasonic EH-NA67 Enrich + Family Care aims to solve this issue by creating a light, ultra-gentle dryer that prevents painful, hair-damaging hotspots. 

How? Mainly a clever oscillating nozzle that spreads the heat around rather than directing it in one specific area. This means you can blast away at your loved one's hair free from worry about misjudging the distance or spending too long on one area and receiving a pained squeal in response. This hair dryer also incorporates Panasonic's signature Nanoe technology, which sends tiny moisture particles into the hair to hydrate as it dries. All this hair and scalp-loving tech means this isn't just the best hair dryer for families, it would also be excellent for anyone with over-processed, frazzled hair or a sensitive scalp. In terms of noise and blast, we would call this a solid middle-of-the-pack option – neither noticeably loud or mystifyingly quiet. 

Spec-wise, it's all here. A generous four temperature settings and three for speed. A cool shot, concentrator and diffuser nozzles plus a mighty 2000w of power. It's a little heavier than the brand's previous model the Panasonic Nanoe + Double Mineral. It also lacks the handy folding handle of its predecessor making it trickier to transport and slightly less nimble to maneuver when drying

Still, if you value your hair's health there's much to recommend this buy. It may not be the sexiest most show-it-off dryer on the list, but it's definitely the kindest. Smart girls know nice beats flash any day.

Shark Style iQ Hair Dryer & Styler

(Image credit: Shark)

11. Shark Style iQ Hair Dryer & Styler

Best hairdryer for shine

Specifications

RRP: £199.99/£229.99
Weight: 500g
Power: 1600w
Warranty : 2 years

Reasons to buy

+
Clever settings
+
Minimizes heat damage
+
Unique attachments 
+
Smooth, shiny blow dry

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Less power than other premium dryers

If you're thinking there's something familiar-looking about this vacuum company's first foray into the hair dryer market, you wouldn't be alone. Still, physical and pedigree similarities aside, the Shark Style iQ Hair Dryer & Styler is no dupe. This smart, high-spec hair tool has bags of unique attributes that help it stand firmly on its own two feet. 

The main schtick is this; the Shark Style IQ aims to merge drying and styling together into one session. It does this by including two clever attachments. One is an adjustable concentrator nozzle that you can use for both rough drying and focused styling with a brush, the other a diffuser with adjustable prongs that can cradle the hair from root to tip to create a curl pattern and dry in one. In testing we found these both uniquely useful for creating defined styles and leagues above the usual nozzles they throw in the hair dryer box. 

As for settings, you can go two very different ways with the Shark. Either use the handy switch on the side to adjust the dryer to your perfect airflow and heat from three options apiece. Or, snap on one of those clever attachments and allow the dryer to select the perfect settings for the hair type that attachment suits. Genius. 

Even when we turned the right up to the top, we didn't feel particularly blasted with heat or noise, yet our hair was dried quickly and smoothly with a lovely shine to boot. This comes down to ultra-powerful, concentrated airflow, which despite the relatively low wattage, allows for fast drying without extreme heat damage. Good old ionic technology helps smooth the finished look and combat frizz, as does a cool shot button. The 2.5m cord is easy to store and should be ample for anyone. 

While this is undoubtedly a luxuriously priced dryer, it repays that investment in luxury features, kindness to the hair and clever touches we're yet to see elsewhere.

See our full Shark hair dryer review 

Boujee Blow Dryer

(Image credit: Boujee Beauty)
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12. Boujee Beauty Blow Dryer

Best hair dryer for damaged hair

Specifications

RRP: $159 (US only)
Weight: 1.5lb
Power: 2200W
Warranty: 1 year

Reasons to buy

+
Good value
+
Quick drying time
+
Sleek results

Reasons to avoid

-
A little heavy

Whether you've put your hair through years of coloring or you frequently expose it to heat, the Boujee Beauty Boujee Blow Dryer aims to solve every hot tool user's dilemma: Dry and style your hair – but without the damage. We know that's not entirely possible, but this pick makes the task a tad easier, as it's designed with a unique infrared light that penetrates deep within the hair cuticle rather than sitting on the surface of the hair shaft. What does this mean for your hair? Less drying time (which means heat hits your hair for a shorter amount of time) and more even heat distribution (so less risk of hot spots and burns).

Beyond this, the dryer has anti-microbial qualities that make it stand out from the rest. Over time, your hair dryer gets everything from dirt and dust to dandruff and styling products clogged inside – all of which can affect your drying time as well as the overall performance of the tool. Thus, it's important to keep your dryer clean. The Boujee Blow Dryer has ultraviolet technology that kills bacteria build-up in the dryer, which is ideal for folks who don't take the time to clean their dryer. The dryer's self-cleaning and deodorizing qualities means it'll emit cleaner air for longer, allowing for better styling and, ultimately, better performance.

This dryer has straightforward features that are easy to navigate – three heat settings (low, medium, and high) to suit various hair types, lengths, and textures. Visually, the black and rose gold appears sleek on our bathroom vanity – we also appreciate the minimalistic, non-bulky design that fits nicely with the rest of our hair accessories. It's also moderately priced for the quality you get.

Using this hair dryer is foolproof for beginners. Though we found it to be a bit heavy, it packed a powerful punch. During testing, we found it gave ample volume at the roots and nixed the all-over frizz our tester usually experiences with dryers. The two concentrator nozzles were helpful when it came to blowing out our roots and ends – two areas we typically have trouble smoothing out. Hair was left exceptionally smooth after using, despite it having significant damage to start out with.

See our full Boujee Beauty Blow Dryer review


How to shop for a hair dryer – FAQs

Selecting the best hair dryer means assessing its features and how they will work for your hair. 

  • Heat and speed: Don't assume more is more. "A bad habit most of us have is to turn the dryer up to the fastest and hottest setting – that can cause damage, overheating the cuticle and frazzled, dry ends," says Syd Hayes Babyliss Ambassador and Session Stylist. If you have long or thick hair try to accelerate the styling process with more power, rather than heat. Cooler temperatures work best for color-treated or brittle hair  to minimize heat damage and frizz. 
  • Attachments: The key is selecting the right shape. "If you’re after a salon-worthy blow dry full of volume the narrow styling nozzle is the attachment for you," explains Dafydd Thomas, ghd global head of education. "The wide styling nozzle is great if you want to blow dry your hair smooth, quickly, as it covers a larger surface area. A comb styling nozzle is perfect for adding additional volume and shape whilst not disturbing natural movement. If you’re looking to enhance and define natural curls, the best diffusers for curly hair will allow you to cup your hair for a natural finish."
  • Practical features: Specs like cord length aren't seductive, but they are important. Think about your habits – if you dry thick hair into salon-style flicks every day, make sure your dryer is light and has a swivel cord you can turn without tangling. If your dryer will be in a drawer for half the week heavier is ok, but a robust dust filter is a good shout. Need the best hair dryer for the whole family? Look for gentle temperatures and a vent that comes off easily for cleaning. 

What are the types of hair dryers?

There are three main types of hair dryers. The best hair dryer type for your hair will depend on the condition of your locks and how long it takes to dry them.

  • Ionic hair dryers: One of the most popular features in modern dryers and with good reason. Our hair has a natural positive charge, which causes frizz and static. Ionic hair dryers release a stream of negative ions, which grab onto the positive ones and neutralize them for a smoothing effect. Ions can also help reduce drying time as they break down positive ions in the water in your hair, dispersing it so you can dry for less time on a lower heat, thus reducing damage.
  • Ceramic hair dryers: Essentially, hair dryers work by pushing concentrated air over something hot, then said heated air blasts your wet hair dry. The material of the “something hot” affects the efficiency of this process and, to many, ceramic is the gold-standard material. The reason for this is ceramic heats up extremely quickly and evenly, so every iota of air emitted from your dryer retains a consistent temperature and no one section of your hair is frazzling while a surrounding area is out in the cold.
  • Tourmaline hair dryers: Another material used for “the hot bit,” tourmaline is a gemstone that’s crushed into a powder then reformed to be used in dryers and other hot tools. The reason it’s so popular is that, when heated up, it generates infrared heat and an ionic charge, both of which help dry hair quickly – with less damage and good smoothing properties too.

How powerful does a hair dryer need to be?

In simple terms, the more powerful a dryer is, the hotter the element will get and the faster it can blow-dry your hair. However, this doesn't take into account technology, such as airflow concentrators and brushless motors, plus extreme heat causes damage, so bigger isn’t necessarily better when it comes to power. As a general guide, the best hair dryers have more than 1500W of power.

If you have low-maintenance hair and use a dryer every so often, go with a basic, low-power model, whereas if you have thick, unmanageable hair and spend hours creating a professional blow-dry most mornings, it’s worth investing in something with a few more bells and whistles, higher power as well as a higher price tag.

Do I need a diffuser or a cold shot button?

If you have curly hair, yes, a diffuser is a good idea (although some would argue that very curly hair types shouldn't go anywhere near a dryer.) Nonetheless, waiting to air-dry is neither practical nor enjoyable a lot of the time. Knowing how to use a diffuser will allow you to cradle hair as it gently blow dries, rather than forcing the cuticle this way and that, and destroying your lovely natural movement.

And what about the cold shot? For anyone who likes to dry their hair into a particular style, such as using tension to straighten it or a round brush to add in flicks or add root lift, a cold-shot button is essential. This is because the cooler air will set in place whatever style you have just used heat to create.

"When blow drying your hair, always finish with the cold shot, this seals the cuticle to reduce atmospheric damage to the hair and allows longevity with hair styling," says ghd Global Ambassador Adam Reed. "This will also add shine to ensure your hair is looking healthy and its best.”

What hair dryers do professionals use?

That really depends on the professional. Well-known salons often work with specific brands preferred by their big-name stylists, as well as the ones said stylists have relationships with – Dyson and GHD are brands we see a lot in a professional capacity. 

Then there are the hair dryer brands that are widely used in salons and by session stylists on location and shoots but aren't widely available in the places that we would look for beauty tools. These are brands like Elchim and Parlux, whose Alyon model we have named our best salon dryer. 

Ask a professional what they look for in a hair dryer and three themes will emerge: Power, reliability, and ergonomics. That last factor might sound strange, but even if your hair is seriously thick and takes what feels like an age to dry, the average hairstylist still spends ten times longer than you with a hair dryer in their hand on any given day, so the comfort of holding and movement is crucial. 

This is why we often see more compact models, such as the Dyson and Parlux, in the hands of the pros, over powerful but heavier options here.