What the best hair dryer does

  • Distributes heat evenly. Ceramic and tourmaline dryers are less damaging because they distribute heat evenly, leaving hair smooth and shiny.
  • Dries quickly. Tourmaline and ionic dryers emit negative ions, which make water droplets smaller and, in turn, shorten drying time. A powerful motor will produce more air, which can cut down drying time, too.
  • Doesn't weigh a lot. Sleek, lightweight dryer can make styling hair significantly easier by not weighing down your styling arm.
  • Allows for versatile styling. Different hair types require different heat settings. Multiple heat settings help when creating different styles that require low or high heat and speed settings; a cool-shot button is a must for setting the style.

Know before you go

What's your hair type and what results do you want? Generally, making curly hair straight or vice versa requires the most time and power from your dryer. If you create these styles frequently, investing in a powerful, quick hair dryer that reduces frizz and damage is essential. Ionic technology is especially important for creating frizz-free, straight styles.

Do you care about noise? Generally, professional dryers are a bit quieter than cheap hair dryers. Consider where and when you'll be using your dryer.

Will you travel with your dryer? If you travel frequently or need to maximize packing space, you may want to invest in a dryer that is compact, lightweight and offers dual voltage. Travel dryers can be just as powerful as standard dryers with less bulk.

How strong are your arms? It may sound silly, but your upper-body strength will determine whether you really need a lightweight dryer. Long or thick hair makes such a dryer a priority.

Do you need styling attachments? A diffuser is a must-have for curly hair, while a concentrator nozzle is useful for styling straight hair. While it's possible to buy a diffuser attachment to fit multiple dryers, most concentrator attachments must be purchased with the dryer.

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