The best hair dryer – for a professional blow dry at home

If you want to know what the best hair dryer is, you’re not alone. Regardless of where you sit on the low to high maintenance scale, this is one beauty tool that just about everyone uses.

In fact the latest Phillips Global Beauty Index found that 79% of women used a hair dryer at home in 2017, up from 70% in 2015 making hair dryers the most popular beauty tool amongst 11,000 women surveyed.

And, with countless models available, ranging from simple lightweight dryers to super covetable high-tech models like the Dyson Supersonic, it makes sense to seek guidance when looking for the best hair dryer to create salon worthy hairstyles at home.

How we selected and tested the best hair dryers

We looked at hundreds and tested dozens of hair dyers in order to whittle down the list you see here and to select the overall best hair dryer. Beauty Editor Fiona McKim tested the hair dryers repeatedly over several months. She weighed up every aspect of the dryers, from the way they feel in the hand, weight, ease of controls and cleaning, as well as a rundown of special technical features and how well they actually work in practice. With this in mind there were a few variants that didn’t make the final cut, namely cordless hair dryers, which after research and testing did not live up to their promises in terms of performance, so we sadly couldn’t include any model of this type in our best hair dryer edit.

When looking at how driers perform across the board, power, speed and heat are all important, but not the end of the story. As well as drying hair efficiently, Fiona looked for a device that cared for hair in the process with damage-preventing features as well as those that make light work of styling.

In this best hair dryer guide, as well a review of what each hair dryer is genuinely like to use, and summary of how you can expect it to blow out your hair, you will also find technical information, including the weight, power and warranty for each blow dryer, because we believe these details are just as important when it comes to making a purchasing decision.

Which is the best hair dryer for me?

The three most important considerations you need to make when picking the best hair dryer for you, are your hair type, styling behaviour and of course budget.

If you have low maintenance hair and use a blow dryer every now and then you can easily rub along with a basic, lightweight model, whereas if you have thick unmanageable hair and spend hours creating a professional blowout most mornings, it’s worth investing in something with a few more bells and whistles as well as a higher price tag.

Noise levels are best considered if you use your dryer on others, perhaps in a professional hairdressing environment or on children, whereas the weight of a dryer becomes more important the longer your hair takes to dry. If you have curly or textured hair avoiding arm ache is essential and so heaviness needs to be factored in when selecting the best hair dryer.

Finally think about the condition of your hair, if damage is an issue look for even heat distribution and a number of heat and speed settings, if your hair’s in good nick, lots of power, an effective cool button and plenty of attachments for styling may be more of a priority.

As well as our best hair dryer reviews, we’ll also provide information on the different types of hair dryers from ionic to salon professional (and what that actually means!), as well as the answers to frequently asked questions, such as do I need a cold shot or a diffuser, and how powerful does a hair dryer need to be? You’ll find these details towards the bottom of this best hair dryer article.

But let’s start with the list of best hair dryers:

The best hair dryers you can buy

Here are the 11 best hair dryers you can buy in 2019:

  1. Dyson Supersonic Dryer, £269: best powerful hair dryer

  2. GHD Flight, £49: best travel hair dyer

  3. Babyliss 3Q, £59.99: best hair dryer for frizzy hair

  4. Revlon Salon 360 Surround Hair Dryer, £106: best hair dryer for thick hair

  5. Parlux Alyon, £114.95: best salon hair dryer

  6. Remington Thermacare Pro 2400, £44.99: best cheap hair dryer

  7. T3 Cura Luxe, £235: best quiet hair dryer

  8. TRESemmé Power Dryer 2200, £14.99: best lightweight hair dryer

  9. Hershesons Ionic Professional Hair Dryer, £110: best hair dryer for fine hair

  10. Cloud Nine Airshot, £103: best ionic hair dryer

  11. Panasonic Nanoe EH-NA 65, £57.99: best hair dryer for curly hair

We’ve handily included which hair dryer is best for what in this list summary, but read on to find very detailed reviews of each model, and to find out why we rate each so highly…

Best hair dryer reviews

1. Dyson Supersonic Dryer, £269 – best powerful hair dryer

Best hair dryer guide: Dyson Supersonic Dryer, £299 – best powerful hairdryer

Dyson Supersonic Dryer, £269 – best powerful hairdryer

Lets get the obvious out of the way first: not everyone has hundreds of pounds to budget for beauty, and you certainly don’t need to spend that much to buy a quality hair dryer (there are plenty of excellent budget-friendly choices in this list). But, if you are planning to make a sizeable investment, it’s easy to see why the Dyson Supersonic has such a devoted fan base, and why we had to write up a Dyson hair dryer review in our best hair dryer guide.

As you’d expect from the brain who managed to turn vacuum cleaners into a bonafide status symbol, the spec is impressive. The main USP 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 litres of air per second up to the head, which is then multiplied to 41 litres and checked 40 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 1600 watts proving bigger isn’t always better when it comes to power.

So, what’s it actually like to use? In a word, impressive. Considering how much technology the Dyson packs in, the experience is pleasingly pared back, three speed controls and three heat, plus a cold shot button. Tap the power button and it whooshes right to full speed, not a second wasted warming up, it’s noticeably quiet and a dream to control thanks to that handle-based motor (why didn’t anyone think of that before?) When tested with the styling concentrator and smoothing nozzles it left a lovely shine on my fine hair without flattening it down and there’s a third diffuser attachment for curls too. A rough dry without any of the nozzles did leave my hair a bit fluffy so I’d recommend using one of the three. They attach magnetically, which is handy when you snap them on, less so when they on occasion click back off of their own accord. I 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 these are minor gripes in this Dyson hair dryer review. I’m nitpicking because overall the Dyson Supersonic experience is pretty peerless, as to whether you have £300 to spend, I’ll leave that up to you.

Weight: 659g

Power: 1600 watts

Warranty: 2 years

Star rating out of 5: 4.5

SHOP NOW: Dyson Supersonic Dryer, £269, Amazon.co.uk

2. GHD Flight, £49 – best travel hair dyer

Best hair dryer guide: GHD Flight, £59 – best travel hair dyer

GHD Flight, £49 – best travel hair dyer

Despite creating a styler that is essentially the iPhone of the hair world (pioneering, ever-improving, desired by everyone from your niece to your nan), GHD never rest on their laurels. Instead, the British-born megabrand has a vast output that includes styling products, hot tools of every variety and some of the most well-regarded hair dryers on the market.

The GHD Flight aims to solve a universal holiday hair dilemma: do you use valuable baggage allowance on your powerful but clunky dryer, or take something smaller but accept a substandard drying experience? The answer, says GHD, is neither. The Flight weighs in at 422g, around half the weight of the GHD Air (a dryer raved about by W&H Beauty Editor Annie Vischer, incidentally) yet packs in 70% of the power of the larger model. Handily you can adjust the voltage between 120 for the US and Canada and 240 for Europe by sticking a coin in a little groove and flicking it around. The controls are fairly simple, two hot settings, one cool and that’s your lot. The hottest it’ll ever get is 65 degrees, which is plenty if you’re holidaying somewhere balmy, and although the cool setting could be a little colder, it still has a decent de-frazzling effect if you use it to finish your blow dry.

Probably the best thing about the Flight is its physical form – it’s made of a lightweight plastic but still looks the part. The handle folds inwards to make it less awkward to pack, and the quoted 422 grams is including the nozzle and cord, so it feels incredibly light. Of course, no travel dryer will ever quite match the power of a full-sized model, but this comes pretty darn close. My hair is of the classic ‘fine but you’ve got lots of it’ variety and I didn’t notice too much difference in drying time or styling effect from my usual dryer. If you’ve got extremely thick or curly hair it might be a different story, although anecdotally I’d suggest that you probably wouldn’t want to go near very curly hair with a dryer at the best of times let alone in hot and humid conditions. You’ll find it easy to store the GHD Flight away thanks to its sleek black carry case, although I didn’t bother using it on holiday as it’s far chunkier than the dryer itself and I never have space to spare. If you’re not the sort of person who has to sit on their suitcase to get it closed then you might find it a useful extra layer of protection.

Weight: 422g

Power: 1000 or 1400 watts

Warranty: 2 years

Star rating out of 5: 3.5

SHOP NOW: GHD Flight, £49, Amazon.co.uk

3. Babyliss 3Q, £59.99 – best hair dryer for frizzy hair

Best hair dryer guide: Babyliss 3Q, £120 – best hair dryer for frizzy hair

Babyliss 3Q, £59.99 – best hair dryer for frizzy hair

Another relatively pricey option, especially as most Babyliss hair dryers ring in around the £30-50 mark, but I make no apologies for including it in this best hair dryer list as the 3Q offers plenty of bang to justify that considerable buck.

Even at first glance it’s easy to see why the Babyliss 3Q is popular with professionals – it’s clearly designed with salon-standard blow dries in mind. The motor is digital and ‘brushless’ meaning the airflow is ultra fast, which cuts drying time as well as the amount of time your hair’s being blasted with heat. Generally speaking brushless motors also generate less friction and vibrations for a quieter drying experience and can last far longer than the average motor (this one comes with a 10 year guarantee) This is also an ionic dryer, meaning it sends out negatively charged ions that interact with frizz-causing positive charges in your hair and break down water molecules so you can expect a smoother, sleeker blow dry overall.

The settings are about as customizable as you could wish for; three heat and two speed, as well as a cold shot switch rather than the usual hold-down button, a handy little touch. The salon-friendly gizmos extend to a 3 metre cord and hanging loop, both of which I found very useful at home, while the filter is easily and smoothly clicked off for cleaning out hairs and other floatsam and jetsam. In fact, smooth is a word I’d use to describe the overall experience of using this dryer, from the velvety matte casing to the muscular airflow that shifts to precise temperatures in a millisecond and the ultra-skinny nozzle that creates a super smooth blow dry using the cooler settings. The hottest temperature is pretty hot, and erred on uncomfortable when I blow dried my whole head on full heat, but that sort of behavior isn’t advised. The instructions booklet contains a handy table with suggested heat and speed combinations depending on your hair type, as well as styling tips for various looks.

While this is at the top end of the price spectrum for Babyliss, you can see where that money goes. If you only use a dryer occasionally and really just like to point and blast some of the features might be a little lost on you. If you’re looking for a high performance, supremely reliable dryer in order to create specific styles, smooth and care for your hair in the process, step right this way.

Weight: 567g

Power: 2200 watts

Warranty: 10 years for Motor, 5 years parts

Star rating out of 5: 4

SHOP NOW: Babyliss 3Q, £59.99, Amazon.co.uk

4. Revlon Salon 360 Surround Hair Dryer, £106 – best hair dryer for thick hair

Best hair dryer guide: Revlon Salon 360 Surround Hair Dryer, £59.99 – best dryer for thick hair

Revlon Salon 360 Surround Hair Dryer, £106 – best dryer for thick hair

Most hair dryers are essentially a combination of the same sorts of things; heat, speed, airflow and a long nozzle from which they blow, but the Revlon Salon 360 Surround is something a bit different. The nozzle has two modes, classic which is just as it sounds, then 360 Surround, whereby you slide the outer casing around to open out a central vent. By placing sections of hair within the gap and running the dryer up and down as you go, hair is blasted with air from both sides rather then just the top, resulting in a sleeker, smoother look and a promise to cut drying time by 60%.

Leaving the nozzle aside for a moment, the other features are bang on for a dryer of this price, three heat and two speed settings plus a cool shot button for that all-important final style. The filter at the back clicks off easily for cleaning and the cord is a decent 2.5 metres so you won’t have any issues stretching from plug to mirror.

Of course, what you really want to know about is that innovative 360 mode, but it would be impossible to start without mentioning that this dryer is definitely on the heavier side and a little noisier than some of the others I tested. I assume that’s down to all the technology crammed into the nozzle. Regardless of its weight the dryer is easy to control in classic mode, which the instructions suggest you use to rough dry before switching for the last bit of the process. I was concerned that the nozzle would get untouchably hot but needn’t have been, it stays cool and comfortable to click around after ten minutes drying at full heat. Feeding large sections of hair through the gap is easy around the front, where they dried speedily and smoothly. Around the back is a different story where it’s tricky to see exactly what’s going on, and also to angle the gap correctly. I’m sure its something you’d get the knack of after a few goes, and after seeing the difference in smoothness the front of my hair to the back (which I gave up and dried in classic mode) for some it would be worth persevering.

Its fair to say this isn’t the dryer for everyone, but could be an attractive option if you are looking for the best hair dryer for long, thick, straight hair that takes an age to dry the traditional way, or needs a thorough going over with straighteners to de-puff after blow drying.

Weight: 900g

Power: 1800 watts

Warranty: 4 years

Star rating out of 5: 3

SHOP NOW: Revlon 360 surround hair dryer, £106, Amazon.co.uk

5. Parlux Alyon, £114.95 – best salon hair dryer

Best hair dryer guide: Parlux Alyon, £129.95 – best salon hair dryer

Parlux Alyon, £114.95 – best salon hair dryer

If you ask a room full of hairdressers their top professional dryer, expect Parlux to win the majority vote. This Italian brand has been a cult favourite for those in the know for years, many top salons will use nothing else and after trying the latest model, the Alyon, it’s not hard to see why.

On a superficial note, this dryer’s appearance could reasonably be described as sexy. It comes in nine colours, from inky matte black to bright corals and yellows (I tried peacock-like Jade) and thanks to prism exterior throws out an array of lovely shades depending on the light. It’s small, sleek and incredibly light, coming in at just 34 grams heavier than the GHD Flight, a travel dryer, but boasts a muscular 2250 watts of power. The heat and speed options are good, two of each adjusted with a unique flick switch on the side of the handle. This proved surprisingly handy for mid-dry temperature adjustments, which I could do intuitively using my thumb instead of having to pull the dryer away to see which button I was pressing.

Look and feel aside, the Parlux Alyon packs in a fair number of useful features, which make it truly worthy of inclusion in this best hair dryer guide. It’s ionic, so helps prevent frizz and damage, the K-Advance Plus motor promises a robust lifespan of at least 3,000 hours and powerful airflow, both signatures of the Parlux brand hence their popularity with pros. You’ll notice the power right away, especially considering how little the hair dryer weighs, making it a dream to dry even thick hair with – no achy arms. The nice touches continue with two smoothing nozzles in the box, as well as a tactile cool button with a satisfying click. There is also a patent pending HFS “Hair Free System” essentially a little corkscrew within the back vent that catches hair to stop it getting trapped in the dryer. This looked tricky with its 10-step instruction booklet but was actually quite simple, although I wasn’t convinced it deserved such fanfare compared to an ordinary twist-off vent.

As a combination of form and function there’s little to knock about the Parlux, and while it couldn’t be described as a budget option, you’d never need a travel dryer with something this light, and it would be sure to earn its keep over years of use.

Weight: 456g

Power: 2250 watts

Warranty: 1 year

Star rating out of 5: 5

SHOP NOW: Parlux Alyon, £114, Amazon.co.uk

6. Remington Thermacare Pro 2400, £44.99 – best cheap hair dryer

Best hair dryer guide: Remington Thermacare Pro 2400, £44.99 – Best cheap hair dryer

Remington Thermacare Pro 2400, £22.95 – Best cheap hair dryer

Call it the tech takeover of beauty, call it pink tax, whatever’s happened it’s fair to say the cost of a decent hair dryer 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 sharp intake of breath before you hit add to basket. Enter the Remington Thermacare 2400.

After testing many hair dryers costing north of £100, it’s tricky to approach a sub £50 model without making assumptions about it’s comparative performance, but the Thermacare 2400 blew those misconceptions away (ahem). It looks the part, with nice creamy white and muted gold casing that did feel a smidge plasticky, but pleasant enough to hold. The technical spec matches up to its pricier counterparts in many ways, it’s got ionic technology and a ceramic grille for evenly spread heat. The motor sends out 90km of air per hour, and boasts double the lifespan and lower noise than the brand’s previous models.

As well as two heat and two speed controls there’s a cool shot and a booster button that ramps up the airflow, rough drying roots in doubletime. This feature did make the dryer noisier, but nothing intolerable. It comes with two styling nozzles and one diffuser, more than the usual offering at this price and gave me a nice everyday blow dry in as much time as I would expect from any dryer.

As a minor gripe It would be nice if the nozzles were white, not black, as they looked a little incongruous stuck on the end, but aesthetics are secondary to performance, and this performs very well indeed. If you want something nice-looking, powerful and reliable to give your hair a day to day blast without requiring you to sell your first born, this could be the best hair dryer for you.

Weight: 724g

Power: 2400 watts

Warranty: 3 years, plus 1 year extra if you register online

Star rating out of 5: 3.5

SHOP NOW: Remington Thermacare, £22.95, Amazon.co.uk

7. T3 Cura Luxe, £235 – best quiet hair dryer

Best hair dryer guiide: T3 Cura Luxe, £235 - best quiet hair dryer

T3 Cura Luxe, £235 – best quiet hair dryer

Of every model tested for this best hair dryer feature, I came to the T3 Cura Luxe with some of the highest expectations, not least because it gives the Dyson Supersonic a run for its money on price. Within the beauty industry T3 has a reputation for innovation and, incidentally, make my favourite curling wand (the customizable Whirl Trio) So how did their latest luxury hair dryer measure up?

From the minute you slip it out of its box, the Cura Luxe makes a good impression, all sleek glossy and black with copper detail, there’s a white version too if that’s your thing. It looks a tad large compared to some of the others I tried (it’s about 25cm long, compared to 21cm for the Remington and Parlux) but doesn’t feel clunky in hand. The display is digital, which feels very swish – click one button to flit up and down five heat settings or two speeds, and the cool shot button is lockable too, making life easier if you need to set a head of thick hair, no sore thumb from holding it down.

As I said, this is a brand known for pushing technology forward, and there’s plenty of that going on in the Cura Luxe. The most unique feature is the auto pause – take your fingers off the handle and put the dryer down and it automatically stops airflow, resuming only when you pick it back up again. You can imagine how useful this proved when attempting a big bouncy blow dry with various round brushes. It does take a couple of seconds to notice it’s been dropped and self-pause, but in several weeks of testing it never failed to kick in. The power to noise ratio is impressive, even on full heat and speed it’s noticeably quieter than the other high end models. There’s also ionic technology, plus a volume boost switch, which temporarily stops the smoothing ions – T3 recommends you use that while rough drying roots. All the little mod cons you would want from a high end dryer are present, two smoothing attachments, a nice long cable with handy little velcro tidier and easy click-off vent at the back.

This was one the dryers I continued using long after testing was over, and while I want to avoid using the D word, it must be said that the T3 Cura Luxe is the closest thing I tested to the Supersonic in terms of features and performance. It’s a little more traditional in looks and spec but has plenty of it’s own unique selling points and rings in £65 cheaper than its rival, even less in some online retailers. As I said of the dryer than shall not be named, this is an exceptional bit of kit, but whether you have £200+ to spend is between you and your credit card.

Weight: 709g

Power: 1875 watts

Warranty: 3 years, plus 1 year extra if you register online

Star rating out of 5: 4.5

SHOP NOW: T3 Cura Luxe, £235, lookfantastic.com

8. TRESemmé Power Dryer 2200, £14.99 – best lightweight hair dryer

Best hair dryer guide: TRESemmé Power Dryer 2200, £20 - best lightweight hair dryer

TRESemmé Power Dryer 2200, £14.99 – best lightweight hair dryer

Comparing hair dryers for every budget isn’t apples to apples. Of course a £200 model will have features that a £20 one lacks, and a budget buy will never inspire breathless fandom the way a sexy ‘game-changer’ with a million pound marketing budget can. It’s crucial to judge every model with an eye on price, like this TRESemmé Power Dryer 2200, a very good dryer indeed for a very minimal investment, which measures up to others at the top of it’s sub-£50 price bracket, which is why we’ve included it in our best hair dryer guide.

The first thing you’ll notice about the dryer is its weight, or lack thereof. It’s made of a smooth slippery plastic and feels incredibly light, making it easy to flip this way and that as you dry. The settings are simple, a chunky switch in the handle that slides between three modes; two ascending levels of combined heat and speed, then one cool which I would note is closer to mild than properly cold. Power-wise this measures up well to the others and sits mid-table for noisiness. The higher pitch of the motor made it seem louder, but who’s trying to have a conversation while drying their hair anyway? Without the concentrator nozzle the airflow did feel a tad disparate, leaving my hair a little fluffy after a rough drying session. As I said, using the concentrator nozzle sorted that out, and gave decent smoothness without flattening out my roots. There’s also an ion generator and a ceramic grille which heats up quickly and evenly and prevents damaging hotspots during drying, while the clip-off vent at the back is a nice touch for easy cleaning.

Overall this dryer feels like a pleasant surprise. It’s sleek, ultra lightweight and a breeze to operate, and gives a nice blow dry when used with the concentrator nozzle. The extra thought given to preventing damage is impressive too, making it a solid choice for low maintenance hair types and everyday blow drying.

Weight: 500g

Power: 2200 watts

Warranty: 3 years

Star rating out of 5: 3.5

SHOP NOW: TRESemme Powerdryer 2200, £14.99, Amazon.co.uk

9. Hershesons Ionic Professional Hair Dryer, £110 – best hair dryer for fine hair

Best hair dryer guide: Hershesons Ionic Professional Hair Dryer, £110 – best dryer for fine hair

Hershesons Ionic Professional Hair Dryer, £110 – best dryer for fine hair

Hershesons are a big name in the professional world, and are renowned amongst us beauty hacks for ‘cool girl’ cuts and high-concept salon spaces. Their styling tools fly a little further under the radar than some of the big mass brands on this list, but definitely have a strong following with those in the know including this Ionic Professional Hair Dryer.

Starting with aesthetics (because if you’re spending £100+ that’s important too) this is as slick as they come, all glossy white casing and chic grey attachments. It certainly has the feel of a professional bit of kit with it’s long 3 metre cord, large hanging hook, designer travel bag and full compliment of speed and heat settings – two apiece plus a properly cold cool shot button. This was technically one of the heaviest models tested, although you really wouldn’t know it when drying your hair, the design feels ergonomic, comfy in the hand and easy to control. This weight probably makes it more suited for short and fine hair than thick or very long styles. Its not super quiet, but not loud either, and comes with two smoothing nozzles of varying widths, the narrower of which was particularly good add adding volume into the roots of my fine hair when drying upside down. You do need to use a bit of elbow grease to get the nozzles on and off at first, but I’d rather a sturdy fit than flimsy and flying off mid-dry.

The best thing about this dryer is how it makes hair look and feel, which is noticeably soft and frizz free. There’s no immediately obvious reason for this, so I’ll go with some very effective ionic technology, which sends out negative ions to smooth positively charged frizz and break down water in the hair to cut down damaging drying time. The heat settings likely play their part too, even at their highest they don’t feel outrageously hot and damaging but still a offer a rapid blow dry. Whatever the reason this is a results driven yet kind dryer that has plenty of style to boot. As a side note Hersheson’s Tourmaline Professional Curling Tongs are also worthy of very high praise indeed, but that’s a different review for a different guide.

Weight: 900g

Power: 2200 watts

Warranty: 180 days

Star rating out of 5: 4

SHOP NOW: Hershesons Ionic Professional Dryer, £110, Hershesons.com

10. Cloud Nine Airshot, £103 – best ionic hair dryer

Best hair dryer guide: Cloud Nine Airshot, £109 – best ionic hair dryer

Cloud Nine Airshot, £103 – best ionic hair dryer

Cloud Nine are better known for their straighteners than hair dryers, which might be why this is the only available model in the brand’s stable thus far. Still, if you’re only going to make one dryer, it’s not a bad plan to make one like this, which ticks just about every box in my research criteria for the best hair dryer and then some

This has a similar look and controls to a few other professional dryers in the pack – namely Parlux and Hershesons – but inside is a step up in some respects. The main draw is heating element that combines ceramic and vitamin-infused tourmaline, so not only do you get even heat distribution but a major ionic boost and infra-red heat (scroll to the end of this article for a quick guide to ceramic, tourmaline and ionic dryers) The combination of these features gave my hair noticeable shine even after one use, which is not easily achieved on blonde hair, and I don’t doubt it would work wonders on thicker, frizzier hair types too. Smoothing powers aside, the Airshot is easy on the eye, matte black and compact with satisfyingly robust switches between three heat and two speed levels, and two nozzles included. A diffuser can be bought separately for £15, which feels a touch unfair for curly haired customers, why not include one concentrator nozzle and one diffuser instead?

This was far from the heaviest dryer I tried but for some reason it did feel slightly more unwieldly than, say, the T3, but was still easy enough to control and sounded good thanks to a low-pitched motor noise. The cool button is properly cold and gets down to temperature instantaneously, there is also an LED Indicator on the back of the handle which lights up, although if you’re drying your own hair I can’t imagine why you’d use that feature often. These small gripes are just that however – small – overall, this is an excellent dryer that’s very pleasant to use and pays more attention to hair health and than others within its price category

Weight: 625g

Power: 2000 watts

Warranty: Two years

Star rating out of 5: 4.5

SHOP NOW: Cloud 9 airshot, £103, Amazon.co.uk

11. Panasonic Nanoe EH-NA 65, £57.99 – best hair dryer for curly hair

Best hair dryer guide: Panasonic Nanoe EH-NA 65, £69.99 - Best hair dryer for curly hair

Panasonic Nanoe EH-NA 65, £57.99 – Best hair dryer for curly hair

As technology companies go, Panasonic is one of the big boys and this dryer certainly comes with some big technological claims, namely that instead of over-drying strands and causing damage it maintains 1000 times more moisture in the hair, while still drying it. Confused? I was until I did a deep dive into the patented Nanoe technology. Essentially, this dryer takes micro droplets of water from the air, splits them into even tinier particles and sends them out into your hair along with an ionic charge. These ions and tiny particles then penetrate the hair cuticle to hydrate it from within as well as moisturizing your scalp.

Nanoe tech aside, this dryer has plenty of other features to recommend it, particularly for those with thick, curly or textured hair. The airflow is powerful, and can be customized using one of three nozzles: A traditional concentrator, a sturdy and generously sized diffuser for cradling curls and a unique quick dry nozzle that splits the air into both fast and slow streams. The upshot of this is a blast that at once separates strands but still gives it some welly speed-wise for super efficient drying. I found the traditional nozzle best on my fine, straight hair, but a wavy haired colleague was in raptures over the quick dry node, reporting it knocked at least five minutes off her drying time without any frazzling effect. Even on its highest heat and speed this isn’t scarily scorching, a good thing in my book for condition, although if you’re in a huge rush and just want a fast blow dry you might disagree. Cosmetically speaking this is not the sexiest looking dryer of the bunch, it’s fairly chunky and squat with harsh lines rather than curves, although the rose gold accents do soften up the overall look. Despite a slightly clunky appearance it isn’t heavy to hold, the two sliding switches on the handle are easy to operate and offer a generous four heat settings, three speed plus the cool shot.

This isn’t a dryer you buy for its blistering good looks – it’s all about the technology and performance, which it does very well indeed. It’s quiet and kind, and by drawing those little moisture particles into the hair it bring a lovely softness and shine particularly to naturally coarser hair types.

Weight: 600g

Power: 2000 watts

Warranty: Two years

Star rating out of 5: 4

SHOP NOW: Panasonic Nanoe, £57.99, Amazon.co.uk

Overall best hair dryer: w&h’s verdict

W&H’s best buy: Parlux Alyon, £114

Of the dozens of hair dryers we tried, and the 11 that made the edit, only one was awarded 5 stars in our best hair dryer guide: the Parlux Alyon. Worthy of the insider hype, and an excellent alternative to the Dyson hair dryer at a fraction of the price. We loved this model – you’ll never prise it from our beauty editor’s hands!

Best hair dryer guide: Parlux Alyon, £129.95 – best salon hair dryer

w&h’s best hair dryer recommendation: Parlux Alyon, £114

SHOP NOW: Parlux Alyon, £114, Amazon.co.uk

W&H’s savvy buy: Panasonic Nanoe EH-NA 65, £57.99

If you are looking for good value, then the Panasonic Nanoe is the best hair dryer for you. We’ve named this model woman&home’s savvy buy. It’s not the cheapest, but at under £60 for a plethora of high-tech features and nozzles, we think it presents the best value for money. It’s especially fabulous for curly hair, but is a solid option for all hair types.

Best hair dryer guide: Panasonic Nanoe EH-NA 65, £69.99 - Best hair dryer for curly hair

w&h’s savvy buy: Panasonic Nanoe EH-NA 65, £57.99

SHOP NOW: Panasonic Nanoe, £57.99, Amazon.co.uk

Phew, that concludes our best hair dryer reviews! If you need more information before you can chose the best hair dryer for you then read on for our answers to frequently asked questions about hair dryers…

What are the types of hair dryers?

There are three main types of hair dryer. 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 hairdryers 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 that’s 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 smoothing properties it 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 over 1500 watts of power.

Do I need a diffuser on my hair dryer?

If you have curly hair, yes. Although some would argue that very curly hair types shouldn’t go anywhere near a dryer, but waiting to air dry is neither practical nor enjoyable a lot of the time. A diffuser attachment will simply cradle hair as it gently dries, rather than force the cuticle this way and that and destroy lovely natural movement.

Do I need a cold shot button on my hair dryer?

For anyone who likes to dry their hair into a particular style, e.g using tension to straighten it, a round brush to add in flicks or to 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. If you only use your blow dryer to give your hair a general blast and rough dry, a cool shot button is probably negligible.