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Buying a hairdryer is not a decision you can take lightly. While your wallet will love you for buying a cheap hair dryer, your hair and scalp will think very differently, trust me.
Buying a good hairdryer can save you several precious minutes in the morning when you get ready to go out, increase the lifespan of your long hair, and also the health of your scalp in general. Make the right choice now and save yourself unnecessary frustration.
That is why I bothered to carry out these tests and try to find the best hair dryer on the market. There is a hairdryer suitable for every budget. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for a reliable budget option or for a great hairdryer worthy of the best beauty salons, that will last you for many years to come, in this list, you will definitely find what you are looking for.
If you are not sure about which features to look at when you are buying a hairdryer, and you need help orienting yourself in the fabulous and technological world of hair care, go directly to the end of the article to read my buying guide.
The best hair dryers on the market:
Parlux Advance Light: a great hairdryer
- Powerful, lightweight and quiet
- Dries your hair without burning them
- Great for styling
- Not recommended for super-professional finishes
Let’s start with an excellent product made in Italy. This hair dryer is very light and quiet, compact and very professional, ideal to take with you during trips.
The Parlux Advance (Check on Amazon.com) has a new K-ADVANCE® motor that guarantees superior performance by producing more power and granting a longer life span. The shape is ergonomic and the switches are arranged very intelligently; it is also great for those that have very long hair.
On Amazon it received enthusiastic reviews from many users, and this should be enough to prove its greatness. Equipped with Ionic & Ceramic technology, it dries your hair in no time but leaves them soft and beautiful.
Pro tip: Using it without the included nozzle, the airflow is still very powerful and the temperature is not too hot, and this is a safe way to start drying your hair without risking damaging them.
The Parlux Advance is undoubtedly the gold standard of modern medium to high-end hair dryers.
Elchim 3900 Healthy Ionic Hair Dryer: one of the best professional hair dryers
- Excellent construction
- Nozzle too wide for some
Another great Italian brand, the Elchim, manufactures wonderful products for hair care since 1945.
A truly timeless design. But the 3900 (Check on Amazon.com) is much more than a beautiful product. Its immense power goes hand in hand with really sturdy construction, a very comfortable grip, and excellent temperature selection. The result is a hairdryer that makes it very easy to quickly dry and model your hair with extreme precision. If you need more nozzles you can buy them separately.
Dyson Supersonic: unconventional, expensive but fantastic
- Top hairdryer
- Quiet and super fast
- Super professional results
- Lots of accessories included
- It’s really expensive
Dyson has made a name for itself by creating appliances and gadgets with an exotic and fascinating design, and now it entered the hairdryer segment. It has created a model with a truly futuristic design.
First, you have to get used to its unconventional form and to the peculiar way all the weight is concentrated in the handle, where the engine is housed.
It is an expensive hair dryer but is worth every penny and if you are serious about the care of your hair is a purchase that you should consider.
It features a very intelligent way of protecting your hair. An encapsulated thermistor allows it to constantly measure the temperature of the emitted air, which is then processed by a microprocessor that then regulates the flow continues to ensure optimized drying.
The Dyson Supersonic costs a lot (Check on Amazon.com), but you will not be able to go back to the ordinary hair dryers once you have tried it out. The internal fans reach 110 thousand rotations per minute, much more than traditional hair dryers, and this super speed ensures that the hairdryer in question is miraculously silent, since the frequencies it emits are so high that the human ear cannot capture them.
Using this hairdryer is like going to the hairdresser every time. It gives your hair a shiny effect because it doesn’t use extreme heat to dry them but a complex system of variable high intensity. The scalp is thus preserved and remains hydrated.
Damaged hair refracts light and looks dull. This is what happens when the hair is exposed to extreme temperatures for a long period. Undamaged hair reflects light in one direction and that makes them look brighter.
It is also a very light hairdryer, perhaps the lightest hairdryer on the market.
It also comes with two nozzles: a wide one to use at the beginning and a narrower one suitable for the finishing touches. The accessories included in the package can be magnetically mounted on the hairdryer, just put them on, no need to screw or fix anything.
Panasonic EH-NA65-K Smooth and Shiny: great for curly hair
- Lightweight and quiet
- Comes with many accessories
- Great for curly hair
- A little bulky
Panasonic’s EH-NA65-K (Check on Amazon.com) makes many promises in the name (“Smooth and Shiny”), and I must say it keeps them all. The Nanoe technology that it implements is better than Ion technology, directing micro nanoparticles of water directly into the hair as it dries them.
The effects of this technology are remarkable, the EH-NA65-K adds shine to the hair while minimizing fat. In the package, there is a nozzle to use specifically for curly hair. The hairdryer itself is a little bit, so it will take a lot of space in your suitcase, but it is surprisingly light and very quiet. The temperature and power selection is very rich and that makes this a great choice for any type of hair.
It is however particularly recommended for curly hair.
GHD Aura: the best hair dryer for $200
- Great value for money
- Super gentle Laminair technology
The GHD Aura is the result of a long 3 years of engineering and design research.
The Laminair technology creates a delicate jet of air that at first doesn’t convince you that it can dry your hair, but after a while, you will be surprised at how smooth your hair is.
The ceramic core never gets too hot, meaning you don’t need to worry about burning your hair. The hot air propelled by this device is surrounded by a ring of cold air, which allows you to shape the hair directly at the root without having to worry about damaging the scalp. The 4-meter cable is a welcome feature. The design is also beautiful to look at.
Remington AC5999: the budget option that gets the work done
- Budget product
- A little heavy
A budget ionic hair dryer that is very effective. Equipped with a good motor which is less powerful compared to others in this list, but for the price, it is difficult to ask for more.
It’s on the heavy side, and although very ergonomic to hold it is not recommended for prolonged use. It comes with 3 different nozzles included in the package.
All in all a great compromise for those who are after a budget option.
How to buy the best hair dryer, buying guide
Hair is so personal and variable that it is not possible to say with certainty which one device is best. The thickness, length and structure of the hair combined to the different hair products and different washing and drying techniques make for just to many variables to consider. Some types of hair, such as curly ones, usually require a special nozzle for example.
Do I have to buy a very powerful hairdryer?
In the past years, more watts ensured more power. But if this power is not calibrated and well-directed you risk burning your hair! So be careful when you buy certain products, and always avoid cheap hair dryers if you value your hair. The only way to make a thoughtful and conscious purchase is to check the reviews of other users, and this was the first thing I did.
What is ceramic drying technology?
The core element that warms up inside the hairdryer in order to produce warm air is often the one that makes the difference between an effective hairdryer and a Chinese knock off. Most hair dryers use a ceramic core, as this type of material allows you to take advantage of the infrared heat that is less harmful to your hair than the heat a metallic core produces. In addition, the ceramic core heats up faster and more evenly, resulting in a more effective jet of air.
In any case, those with stronger and thicker hair do not necessarily have to be so cautious. People that have gentle and thin hair, on the other hand, must use the hairdryer carefully to avoid overexposure and thus ruin both scalp and hair.
Some professionals recommend the use of a thermo-protective spray to prevent any kind of damage caused by heat. In fact, often this kind of damage is not immediately noticeable but is accrued in the months to come, making the hair more brittle.
Some hair dryers also have an excellent cold mode to finish off drying your hair when they are almost done, avoiding to use hot air even when you don’t need it anymore.
What is ion technology?
Manufacturers like to argue that this type of technology allows their hair dryers to create negatively charged ions that breakwater molecules present in the hair.
This should, in theory, allow the device to dry the hair faster and spread the moisture evenly throughout the head for a better finish. But does this work in practice? Well, some hairdryers are better than others at leveraging this technology, and they really make a difference in the look and feel of your hair. But this does not necessarily mean that is all thanks to ion technology, it is often thanks to a combination of a particularly powerful device with quality heating elements and correctly modulated air stream.
In short: Reading “Ion Technology” on the box doesn’t guarantee a good quality hairdryer.
What other features are important in a hairdryer?
One feature we always look past when buying a hairdryer is the length of the cable. Some cheap models are sold with very short cables, but the more expensive ones have cables of at least 4 meters, worthy of the most professional and popular beauty salon. It is good practice to always check the length of the cable.
Another aspect to consider are the included accessories. You have to be able to choose the way in which you want to direct the jet of air on your hair. Especially for those who have particular curly or wavy hair. This is essential to achieve the best results.
How to choose the hairdryer that suits you
First, the power range to consider when buying a good hairdryer is definitely one that starts from 1800W and goes up to 3000W. But, before purchasing a particular product it is good to make sure that it obeys at the most basic modern safety standards.
Then the nozzle. A tighter nozzle allows us to channel the airflow more accurately on the comb or the brush we use, which is ideal for those who want to straighten their hair. If you have curly hair, on the other hand, it is a good idea to purchase a product with a diffuser, which is a big round accessory.
Ceramic and tourmaline are the best core elements. These materials, due to their very particular natural characteristics, are able to provide a constant temperature without getting excessively hot, thus guaranteeing performance. To make it simple: by comparing two hairdryers, both at 2500W, the ceramic core one will heat up faster and more evenly and will be much safer than its counterpart because it will maintain the same heat level for extended use.
Ionic technology. A function that is based on negatively charged ions that break up water into much smaller particles allowing for quicker drying and softer hair. Good to have if combined with a good product. It doesn’t say much by itself.
The cold air button. This is a very useful button that when pressed drops the hair dryer’s air temperature. This function is generally used by hairdressers and is essential for those who want to straighten their hair.
The control buttons. They adjust the airspeed and air temperature. For proper drying of your hair is a good habit to know when to alternate between speeds and temperature to be able to treat the hair differently depending on their degree of dryness.
The weight of a hairdryer is important. A hairdryer that is too heavy will not only be very uncomfortable, risking to cause soreness in the arm after prolonged use. For many hairdressers, in fact, carpal tunnel syndrome is a real cross to bear that in some cases can totally compromise their career forcing them to premature retirement.
With the recent advancements on ion technology and other new proprietary technologies washing and drying your hair at home has become as satisfying as going to the hairdresser.