Hair Dryer Ratings
After doing extensive research and talking to experts, Shannon Palus puts seven well-regarded hair dryers through a series of tests. All seven prove comparable in speed, heat, and noise level, and take about the same time to dry a test swatch of hair on its top setting. However, some are more convenient to use than others. Palus tests her four favorites on her own hair for two weeks and finds all do a capable job.
Three different staffers at Refinery29.com—each with a different hair length and type—test out blow dryers to see which work the best on their unique tresses. Each staffer offers a detailed review of her favorite pick, but the article doesn't say how many other models they tried before choosing a keeper.
Among the hundreds of products in InStyle's list of Best Beauty Buys for 2016 (and earlier) are a handful of blow dryers. Their picks appear to be based on recommendations from professional stylists, including Chuck Amos, stylist to actress and musician Uzo Aduba. Each model receives a brief write-up covering such points as speed, price, and features.
Editors at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute test 20 full-sized hair dryers and 13 travel models on different hair swatches to see how fast they work. They also evaluate weight and noise level. Then they pass the dryers on to home users who rate them based on comfort, ease of use, and how smooth and shiny their hair looks when it's dry. However, fFour of the seven recommended models are now discontinued.
Allure names the top ten blow dryers "approved by hairstylists and Allure editors" based on personal use. Writer Stephanie Saltzman sums up each dryer's specs, price, and noted celebrity users, but there's no indication that the dryers have gone through any rigorous, head-to-head testing.
TotalBeauty.com ranks the eight top blow dryers based on reviews from readers. Each blow dryer receives an overall user rating and a summary of what reviewers like best about it. The introduction says the readers "tested the full spectrum of blow-dryers," but it's not clear whether these users have actually compared multiple models or simply reported on their personal experiences. Also, many recommendations are based on only a handful of reviews.
Folica.com is a retail site specializing in all things hair-related. This "Top 10" page actually lists only eight blow dryers that earn strong overall reviews from the site's users. Moreover, it's not clear what algorithm the site used to find these top picks, since some of them have high ratings but not that many reviews. However, three of the eight earn at least 4 stars out of 5 from 50 reviewers or more.
Amazon.com sells thousands of hair dryers, but finding the top-rated picks is tricky. There's no way to sort the enormous list based on number of reviews, and it's not always easy to identify models based on their descriptions on the main review page. Thus, we have relied on Amazon only for additional feedback about hair dryers that are well rated elsewhere.
This beauty retailer offers about 90 hair dryers for sale, ranging from salon brands like Elchim and Farouk CHI to budget brands like Conair and Revlon. There's lots of user feedback here, with hundreds of reviews for some models. We found several hair dryers with 4.5-star ratings from 100 users or more. Reviews are short but informative, and the site provides a handy summary of pros and cons.
Drugstore.com sells fewer blow dryers than Amazon.com, and few receive more than a dozen reviews. However, a few models earn overall ratings of at least four stars from 50 users or more. Hair dryers sold here tend toward the low end of the price range, but a couple of pricier models have high ratings.
BestBuy.com is another good destination for user reviews of hair dryers. Most models only get a handful of reviews, but some get dozens and a couple have received a hundred or more. Individual comments tend to be brief, but you can sort them to find the ones that other users describe as most helpful.
Editors at Real Simple test more than 50 blow dryers and name their six top picks. Author Alexandra Gonzalez Repetto says these winners leave hair "the smoothest, shiniest, and most professionally polished," but she doesn't offer any details about testing methods. Also, most of the dryers recommended here aren't covered in other sources.