Byrdie January 2, 2024



The 18 Best Hair Dryers for Curly Hair of 2024 We Tested and Adore for Bouncy Looks


For shiny, bouncy results.

Let's be clear: Curls aren't something that needs to be "tamed." And while virtually everyone with hair longer than a couple of inches could use a blow dryer at some time or another, the best one for you isn't necessarily the best one for the next person.

If you've got kinky or coily locks, a ceramic dryer with ionic technology is ideal. Ceramic heats quickly and generates infrared hot air to dry your mane fast but gently. "Negative ions smooth the cuticle, which, in turn, reduces frizz." says hairstylist Jenna Spino. If you're looking to accentuate your curls, a diffuser attachment will be your best friend. "This tool diffuses the airflow, which is crucial to drying curly hair," says celebrity colorist Mark DeBolt.

We conducted hours of research on the best hair dryers for curly hair. We also tried a few top-rated models firsthand (with the help of professional stylists), evaluating them based on power, settings, speed, technology, attachments, portability, standout features, and overall value. Our team then combined these results with our research of fan favorites and stylist-recommended picks to come up with this list of curly hair hero dryers.

Best Overall
Bed Head Curls in Check 1875 Watt Diffuser Hair Dryer

What We Like

  • Removable diffuser for easy cleaning
  • Hanging ring for quick storage
  • Reduces static and boosts shine

What We Don't Like

  • Not as effective on longer hair

When it comes to drying coily hair, the Bed Head Curls in Check Dryer isn't messing around. This straight-to-the-point gadget is a blow dryer and diffuser in one, effortlessly delivering definition and a silky-smooth finish with undeniable shine, rightfully earning its spot at the top of our list.

With 1875 watts of power and tourmaline ionic technology, it dries curly hair impressively fast, and the uniquely wide barrel allows you to dry larger sections of hair at once. The diffuser's fingers work within the twists and turns of your hair, enhancing its natural shape—though you can take it off and use it as a regular hairdryer to achieve a great blowout.

The removable diffuser also makes for easy cleaning (yes, you should be cleaning your hair dryers regularly), and the design features a hanging ring for storage. All things considered, the price is more than reasonable.

Features: Removable diffuser, tourmaline ionic heat, 2 speeds, cool shot | Heat Settings: 3

Best Diffuser
DevaCurl DevaDryer and DevaFuser

What We Like

  • Has both a precise concentrator and curl-enhancing diffuser  
  • Can handle texture
  • Cuts down on static

What We Don't Like

  • Somewhat bulky; not ideal for travel
  • Can be hard to manuever

DevaCurl products are made by people with curly hair for people with curly hair, so you can bet the brand's DevaDryer knows what it's doing. This nifty blow dryer comes with a finger-like diffuser attachment that does an excellent job of scrunching, lifting, and separating hair (curly-haired folks know that a delicate touch is the way to get those perfect ringlets). The result? Brilliantly defined curls with a sleek, bouncy finish. Spino says it also protects curly hair from damage. "The best thing about the diffuser is that it's heat-resistant, meaning you won't burn your hand or your hair," Spino tells Byrdie.

Features: Finger-like diffuser and concentrator, ionic technology | Heat Settings: 3

Best Splurge
Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

What We Like

  • Keeps temperature under control to prevent overheating
  • Dries hair fast
  • Comes with various magnetic attachments

What We Don't Like

  • Must register product to activate warranty
  • Most expensive on our list

The airflow on the famed Dyson model is subtle, and it doesn't get too hot, meaning it'll keep your hair cuticle more intact, resulting in less static. Hairstylist Sky Kim notes that while this hair dryer is expensive, it might be worth the investment for better control of heat and airflow. "It also comes with a variety of nozzles, so you can choose to be curly or straight, depending on your mood," she adds.

DeBolt is also a fan of the magnetic diffuser attachment. "It's brilliant and seamlessly clips into place," he says. "The bowl-shaped cradles curls without disrupting them while they dry." We appreciate that the dryer backed by a two-year warranty (you just have to remember to register your product to activate it).

Features: Adjustable airflow, cold shot, ionic technology, magnetic attachments | Heat Settings: 3

Best Budget
Revlon Essentials Volume Booster Hair Dryer

What We Like

  • Three heat setting and two speed settings
  • Minimizes static
  • Softens airflow to define natural curls

What We Don't Like

  • Inflexible nozzle

There are lots of excellent budget-friendly blow dryers that do wonders for curly hair. We're big fans of Revlon's Volume Booster on account of its 1875 watts of power, three heat settings, two speed settings, and curl-enhancing diffuser attachment. We love how the diffuser fingers help lift volume at the roots as well as keep curls intact. As the cherry on top, it uses negative ions to minimize static.

Features: Ionic technology, diffuser attachment | Heat Settings: 3

Best Drugstore
Conair InfinitiPro Rainbow Ion AC Dryer

What We Like

  • Evenly distributes heat
  • Cool metallic aesthetic
  • Ensures up to 75% less static

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn't get as hot as other models

This beaming, iridescent blow dryer from Conair doesn't just look cool. With an ultra-light AC (alternating current) motor, a ceramic-coated grill, and advanced ionic technology, the InfinitiPro Rainbow evenly distributes smoothing heat while the diffuser attachment helps your curls live their best life. It also includes a concentrator attachment in case you want to try a straighter style. Some reviewers said it didn't blow super hot hair so it might not dry as quickly as some other models, but that's also by design to protect your hair from damage.

Features: Concentrator and diffuser, ceramic-coated grill | Heat Settings: 3

Best Drugstore, Runner-Up
Kim Kimble Celebrity Series Ultra-light Hair Dryer

What We Like

  • Dries hair fast
  • Super light, ergonomic, and compact
  • Smooths static

What We Don't Like

  • Some reviewers note the cord is bulky

This drugstore pick from Kim Kimble might be one of the more expensive in the aisle, but it has three heat intensity settings and two speeds, along with a cold-air function to set your hairstyle into place. We also love that it features a high-powered AC motor and an ergonomic design to you can easily style from every angle. Reviewers note that it quickly dries hair, but the cord is a bit bulky.

Features: Lightweight design, 2 speeds, cool shot, AC motor | Heat Settings: 3

Best for Thick Hair
Drybar Buttercup Blow-Dryer

What We Like

  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver
  • Long power cord allows for all-over styling
  • Minimizes static

What We Don't Like

  • Motor may have short lifespand
  • Bounce attachment sold separately

Drybar is somewhat of an authority on drying hair. So when the blowout salon chain launched a line of styling tools in 2013, thick and curly-haired fans rejoiced. The Buttercup uses negative ions to seal hair cuticles while quickly drying your mane to its smoothest, shiniest state without causing damage. To accentuate your curls, consider getting the Bounce Diffuser attachment, which isn't included with the dryer.

Features: Negative ions seal hair, cool shot, lightweight design | Heat Settings: 3

Best for Static Control
BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Dryer

What We Like

  • Lightweight, ergonomic design
  • Dries hair quickly without damage
  • Ergonomic handle reduces hand fatigue

What We Don't Like

  • Some reviewers note a malfunctioning motor

"This one is the best for static control," says Spino. The BaBylissPRO Nano is a super-light, ergonomic hair dryer that leverages titanium ionic technology to dry curly hair quickly without damage while safeguarding it from the effects of humidity and extra dry, cold air. Plus, Spino mentions, it has multiple settings, allowing you to cater to your hair's specific needs.

Features: Ergonomic handle, titanium ionic technology | Heat Settings: 3

Best Smoothing
Hot Tools Ceramic Ionic Dryer

What We Like

  • Can set hairstyles for longer-lasting hold
  • Powerful airflow with four heat settings
  • Lightweight and quiet when in use

What We Don't Like

  • Could use more engineering

For those looking to straighten their hair or just smooth out their coily strands, the Hot Tools Turbo Ceramic will not disappoint. This professional-grade ionic blow dryer uses powerful airflow and negative ions to create noticeably smoother, beautiful-looking hair. It has four heat settings (including a cool-shot button to lock in shine) and two speeds, so you have full control when drying and styling your curls.

Features: Powerful airflow, ionic technology | Heat Settings: 6

Best Portable

T3 Featherweight Compact Folding Hair Dryer

What We Like

  • Featherweight and folds for portability
  • Adds shine
  • Dries fast

What We Don't Like

  • Loud when in use

When you're on the go, you can count on the T3 Featherweight to take care of your curls. This hair dryer isn't just small—it also folds up into a conveniently compact configuration. And if you think portability means you have to sacrifice power, we're happy to tell you this dual-voltage gadget is just as efficient as its full-sized counterparts. For accentuated curls anytime, anywhere, consider getting the diffuser attachment too. It does get loud when in use, so if you're trying to covertly get ready, this might not be the right compact dryer for you.

Features: Travel-friendly size, 2 speeds, cool shot | Heat Settings: 3

Best Ionic
Shark HyperAir Hair Dryer

What We Like

  • Makes curls sleeker
  • Adjustable based on hair's needs
  • Comparable to Dyson Supersonic

What We Don't Like

  • Not the most comfortable to hold

Anytime a vacuum manufacturer wants to start making blow dryers, we're here for it (cough, Dyson, cough). This one from Shark has a negative ion generator that promises to increase the sleekness of each curly strand and prevent flyaways. It also has auto-optimized settings that customize the heat and airflow based on your hair's needs. (You can adjust the settings manually, too.) What's more, this blow dryer has a curl-defining diffuser attachment with extendable prongs that help define your unique texture.

When we tried this one out, we found its performance comparable to the much pricier Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, which is saying a lot considering that dryer's high-level performance. It's just slightly less comfortable to hold over time.

Features: Negative ion generator, auto-optimized settings, 3 speeds, cool shot | Heat Settings: 3

Best Dryer-Brush Combo
Amika Hair Blow Dryer Brush

What We Like

  • Salon-level results
  • Easy to use
  • Good for sleeker styles

What We Don't Like

  • Not the most durable
  • Barrel might be too large for short hair

This tool from Amika is essentially a dryer-brush hybrid, allowing you to achieve salon-level blowouts at home without juggling two tools at once—it's a whole lot easier than trying to maneuver a hair dryer and a round brush at the same time. It'll help you create the smooth, wavy hair of your dreams in no time. Just a heads up, this blow dryer isn't the most durable and might need replacing every year or two. Also, the barrel may be too large for short hair.

Features: Round brush, 2 speeds, long power cord, 360-degree swivel | Heat Settings: 3

Best for Professionals
Olivia Garden High Performance Professional Hair Dryer

What We Like

  • Quiet and works fast
  • Sleek, lightweight, and compact
  • Seals in moisture to control static
  • Comes with three professional brushes

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn't dry faster than more affordable models

What first came to mind when testing the Olivia Garden High Performance Professional Hair Dryer was how it's strong but not harsh, hot but not burning, and provides a strong airflow. The ergonomic design is also very inviting to use. It's sleek and lightweight to not put too much stress on the arm doing the work—plus, it has a lock button for the settings and comes with two convenient extensions. It's not wonder it's designed for professional stylists.

It took about 36 minutes to fully blow dry really thick hair, and the results were sleek, silky, and smooth with no static. We can thank the 1875-watt motor and powerful ionic generator for this all-star performance.

Features: Lock button, ergonomic design, ionic generator, removable back filter, 2 cord extensions | Heat Settings: 3

Best Design
TYMO HighSpeed Hair Dryer

What We Like

  • Super quiet
  • Compact, lightweight design
  • Has a digital LCD display

What We Don't Like

  • Inconvenient button location
  • Not as powerful as other models

Right off the bat, we loved how lightweight and easy to use this hair dryer was. We can also get behind the lock button, self-cleaning function, and hanging loop. The biggest plus of all: It's one of the quietest dryers we tried.

While airflow was strong and even, we wish it was slightly more powerful to accommodate those with thicker, humidity-prone hair. This tool was able to eliminate static (shout out to the ionic generator), but it could have done so faster with stronger heat and power settings.

Features: Lock button, powerful ionic generator, self-cleaning feature, hanging loop | Heat Settings: 4

Best Compact
Revlon Airflow Control Dryer

What We Like

  • Powerful airflow without being too hot
  • Seals hair cuticle for smooth, shiny finish
  • Curl enhancing diffuser

What We Don't Like

  • Reviewers note longer hair may get stuck in barrel
  • Only two heat settings

We experienced pretty standard yet satisfying results with this compact hair dryer. The dual-position concentrator directs airflow to targeted sections, making hair smooth and shiny. We noticed that the air pressure was evenly strong but not too hot or overbearing. And the cool-shot button was great for sealing hair cuticles for a polished finish. We do wish it had more heat settings, and reviewers with longer hair did complain it sometimes got stuck in the barrel.

Features: Lock button, dual position concentrator, ceramic tourmaline technology, cool shot, curl-enhancing diffuser, removable end cap | Heat Settings: 2

Best for Travel
T3 Afar Travel Size Hair Dryer

What We Like

  • Dries gently and fast
  • Folding handle for compact storage
  • Dual voltage for traveling abroad

What We Don't Like

  • Didn't get as hot as we would have liked

Over-packers (ourselves included) will do anything to maximize luggage space—and the T3 Afar Travel Hair Dryer is one hack we had to share. The T3 Afar Dryer has a full-size handle that folds down to make it more compact and easy to squeeze into a suitcase. For fabulous trips abroad, it has dual voltage, so you don't need to purchase a separate converter. The icing on the cake: It comes in a fun, soft pink leather storage pouch, allowing you to pack it up before it cools down.

As for the actual hair-drying experience—we noticed a smooth result with more volume than we expected. Flyaways were mostly prevented, and no signs of heat damage were detected.

Features: Ionic technology, folding handle, auto dual voltage, ion generator, 2 speeds | Heat Settings: 3

Most Innovative
Bellissima Italia Diffon Supreme

What We Like

  • Compact; good for travel
  • Even airflow and gentle heat
  • Defines natural curl pattern

What We Don't Like

  • Can't be used as a regular hair dryer
  • Might be somewhat awkward to hold

Unlike traditional handled hair dryers, this one is essentially a jumbo curl diffuser with a built-in drying component. It's pretty compact, which makes it great for travel—as opposed to having to bring a blow dryer and separate diffuser attachment. We like that it shapes and defines your natural curl pattern with even airflow and gentle heat through the micro-perforated grid. It is a bit awkward to hold, but if you can get used to it, you'll have a super useful curl-activating tool that takes up very little space.

Features: Extra-large diffuser bowl, ionic technology | Heat Settings: 3

Best With Extra-Large Diffuser
Curlsmith De-Frizzion Dryer

What We Like

  • 8-inch jumbo diffuser
  • Adds volume and definition
  • Included stand for hands-free drying

What We Don't Like

  • Too bulky to travel with

We're also big fans of the Curlsmith De-Frizzion. Measuring eight inches in diameter, it comes with the biggest curl diffuser we've seen. Use it to scrunch your waves, stretch out your ringlets, or hover it over your kinks to preserve your natural texture. You can even attach it to the included stand for hands-free drying. The extra-long, nine-foot power cord is a nice bonus too. However, all the large stand and attachments make it a bit too bulky to travel with.

Features: 8-inch diffuser, long power cord, cool shot, 2 speeds, far-infrared heat | Heat Settings: 3

Where We Stand

Overall, our favorite hair dryer for curly hair is the Bed Head Curls in Check Ionic Diffuser Dryer. This brilliant tool combines a wide-barrel dryer with an expertly designed diffuser to help coily, kinky locks see their fullest potential. However, if you prefer something even more budget-friendly, the Revlon Essentials Volume Booster Hair Dryer handles well and is a reliable pick with impressive power.

What to Consider When Buying a Hair Dryer for Curly Hair

  • Curl Diffuser: To define your curls, you'll want to use a blow dryer with a curl diffuser. DeBolt explains that this attachment diffuses the airflow, which helps "reduce frizz and promote the best curl shape." Ultimately, it makes for fuller, bouncier, accentuated curls. "If you have coily hair and don't want to add any volume, a hand-shaped diffuser is the way to go," says Spino. Our favorite hair dryer with a hand-shaped diffuser is the DevaCurl DevaDryer, though the curl-defining diffuser that comes with the Shark HyperAir is pretty great too.
  • Ionic Technology: Many hair dryers feature ionic technology. This means negative ions (electrically charged particles) are released through the barrel, attracting the wet positive ions in your hair to dry it faster. Spino and DeBolt agree that by smoothing the hair cuticle, the ions help create shiny, healthy-looking hair. Your best bet for an ionic dryer is the Dyson Supersonic or the Bed Head Curls in Check Hair Dryer.
  • Heat and Power Settings: The best hair dryers for curly hair have multiple heat and power settings. "This is important for controlling the heat temperature and flow of air," says DeBolt. For instance, the Drybar Buttercup Blow-Dryer has three temperatures and two speed settings. When defining your curls, you'll want to use medium or low heat, as overheating can lead to breakage and unwanted flyaways. Also, hot air can change the shape and texture of your hair, so unless you want to dry it straight, opt for a lower temperature. Some dryers also have a cold-shot setting for locking in your style once it's dry.


Is a hair dryer good for curly hair?

Hair dryers are good for curly hair as long as you use them correctly and choose one that works with your hair to provide shape and shine without friction-causing flyaways. Diffuser attachments are made to work with natural curls and can be used with regular hair dryers.

How do you blow-dry curly hair without losing curls?

Use a blow dryer specifically designed for curly hair or one that comes with an attachment for this purpose. Don't use a brush when blow-drying—instead, use a dryer with fingers or prongs that separate and move over your curls to dry and shape them without causing friction and flyaways. It's also best to keep the heat medium-to-low temp.

Do diffusers really work for curly hair?

Diffusers work for curly hair by separating and moving with your natural curls to dry them without causing friction. They help provide even heat and curl definition so your curls aren't disrupted by the drying process.

What heat setting is best for blow-drying curls?

Spino advises against using your dryer on the highest setting the whole duration of your blow-dry, as this can cause frizz. "Some people prefer to start high to get the drying going, then switch to low, while others may start straight away at low/medium heat," she explains. What works best for you will depend on your hair type and how much time you're willing to spend on drying.

How We Researched & Tested

To compile this list, our editors and contributors spent hours researching and testing the best hair dryers for curly hair, evaluating each based on its heat and speed settings, ionic technology, diffuser, features, portability, and overall value. Our team also incorporated guidance from hair industry experts and their own experiences testing blow dryers in real-life settings. We then used these insights from our research and testing to award the winners that you see on this list.

Attributes we evaluated each hair dryer for curly hair on:

  • Heat and speed settings
  • Ionic technology
  • Curl diffuser
  • Notable features
  • Portability
  • Overall value

Why Trust Byrdie

Theresa Holland is a seasoned commerce writer and product reviewer specializing in cosmetics and at-home beauty treatments. She's well-versed in hot hair tools and knows the ins and outs of the latest hair-drying technologies. You can read more of her work on People and Travel + Leisure.

Sky Kim is an NYC-based hairstylist at Serge Normant at John Frieda.

Mark DeBolt is a celebrity colorist and the cofounder of Mark & Ryan Salon in New York City. 

Jenna Spino is a hairstylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago.