Byrdie March 24, 2023



The 15 Best Hair Dryers for Curly Hair of 2023


Our favorite is the Bed Head Curls in Check 1875 Watt Diffuser Hair Dryer

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 also help decrease your dry time while smoothing hair follicles to combat frizz and create a sleek, bouncy finish. Additionally, if you're looking to accentuate your curls, a diffuser attachment will be your best friend.

We conducted hours of research on the best hair dryers for curly hair. Our testers tried a few of the top-rated models, evaluating them on power and technology, how quickly they dry curly hair, extra features, and their overall value. Our team then combined these results with our own research of fan-favorites plus stylist-recommended picks to create this list.

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
  • Tames frizz and boosts shine

What We Don't Like

  • Not as effective on longer hair

When it comes to drying coily hair, Bed Head Curls in Check 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 their natural shape—though you can also take it off and use it as a regular hairdryer.

Also nice? The diffuser attachment is removable, allowing for easy cleaning (yes, you should be cleaning your hair dryers regularly), and the design features a hanging ring for easy storage. Additionally, it comes with an impressively affordable price point.

Price at time of publish: $35

Features: Removable diffuser, tourmaline ionic heat, three heat settings | Wireless: No

Best Budget
Revlon Essentials Volume Booster Hair Dryer

What We Like

  • Budget-friendly
  • Tames frizz
  • Softens airflow to define natural curls

What We Don't Like

  • Inflexible nozzle

There are lots of excellent budget-friendly blow dryers out there 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, and curl-enhancing diffuser attachment. As the cherry on top, it uses negative ions to minimize frizz.

Price at time of publish: $20

Features: Ionic technology, three heat settings, diffuser attachment | Wireless: No

Best Drugstore
Conair InfinitiPro Rainbow Ion AC Dryer

What We Like

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

What We Don't Like

  • Not enough heat

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.

Price at time of publish: $60

Features: Concentrator and diffuser, ceramic-coated grill | Wireless: No

Best Drugstore, Runner-Up
Kim Kimble Celebrity Series Ultra-light 1875W Pro Hair Dryer with Concentrator and Diffuser

What We Like

  • Dries fast
  • Three settings for extra control
  • Smooths frizz

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 its three heat intensity settings and two speeds, as well as a cooling option to set a hairdo make it worth the price. We also love that it features AC techology. Reviewers note that it works quickly to dry hair and is easy to handle, despite having a cord that might be a bit bulky.

Price at time of publish: $57

Features: Lightweight, three speed settings, cool shot | Wireless: No

Best Splurge
Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

What We Like

  • Keeps temperature under control to prevent overheating
  • Dries fast
  • Lightweight

What We Don't Like

  • Pricey

The airflow on the famed Dyson model is subtle, and the blow dryer is not too hot, meaning it will keep the cuticle more compact, resulting in less frizz. Another important feature that celebrity colorist Mark DeBolt loves is the magnetic diffuser attachment. “It’s brilliant and seamlessly clips into place,” he says. “The shape is brilliant too—the bowl shape cradles the curls without disrupting them while they dry.”

"It's expensive, but it comes with a diffuser and has all the settings to control how much heat and airflow you want," says hairstylist Sky Kim. "It also comes with a variety of nozzles, so you can choose to be curly or straight, depending on your mood."

Price at time of publish: $600

Features: Adjustable airflow, three heat settings, cold shot, ionic technology | Wireless: No

Best for Thick Hair
Drybar Buttercup Blow-Dryer

What We Like

  • Lightweight
  • Long power cord allows for all-over styling
  • Minimizes frizz

What We Don't Like

  • Pricey

Drybar is somewhat of an authority on drying hair. And when the blowout salon chain launched a line of styling tools in 2013, a celebration was in order. The Buttercup uses negative ions to seal hair cuticles while quickly drying your mane to its smoothest, shiniest state. To accentuate your curls, consider getting the Bounce Diffuser attachment, too.

Price at time of publish: $199

Features: Negative ions seal hair, three heat settings, cool shot, lightweight | Wireless: No

Best for Fine Hair
Remington Impact Resistant Hair Dryer

What We Like

  • Impact resistant
  • Dries fast
  • Has both a precise concentrator and curl-enhancing diffuser

What We Don't Liike

  • Could use more engineering

A common misconception about curly hair is that it's always thick. While it does have a bit more natural volume than straighter strands, plenty of coily-headed folks have fine hair.

Since ionic technology can make fine hair so sleek it becomes limp, we recommend getting a non-ionic option like the Remington Impact Resistant Hairy Dryer. The concentrator attachment can be used to smooth and straighten, while the diffuser works to give your curls more body.

Price at time of publish: $19

Features: Titanium and ceramic technology, diffuser, and concentrator | Wireless: No

Best for Natural Hair
Nozama Ionic Hair Dryer

What We Like

  • Travel-friendly
  • Dries fast
  • Reduces static while softening

What We Don't Like

  • Could use more engineering

Some people say the Nozama Ionic Hair Dryer is a budget-friendly dupe for the cult-loved Dyson—which is good news for anyone with naturally coily, kinky, or textured hair. Thanks to an AC motor and 1800 watts of power, it delivers ultra-strong wind to dry your locks efficiently. Plus, negative ions and bioceramic technology help keep your hair moist while protecting it from damage.

Price at time of publish: $60

Features: Ionic and bioceramic technology, small and lightweight | Wireless: No

Best for Frizz Control
BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Dryer

What We Like

  • Lightweight
  • Dries fast
  • Ergonomic handle reduces hand fatigue

What We Don't Like

  • Pricey

If you're looking to tame frizz, you can't go wrong with the BaBylissPRO Nano. "This one is the best for frizz control," says Jenna Spino, a hairstylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. This super-light, ergonomic hair dryer leverages titanium ionic technology to dry curly hair quickly without leaving frizz, static, or damage in its wake. Plus, Spino mentions, it has multiple settings, allowing you to cater to your hair's specific needs. 

Price at time of publish: $95

Features: Ergonomic handle, titanium ionic technology | Wireless: No

Best Smoothing
Hot Tools Turbo Ceramic Ionic Dryer

What We Like

  • Can set hairstyles for longer-lasting hold
  • Lightweight
  • 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 smooth, beautiful-looking hair. It has six heat and speed settings, plus a cold-shot button to lock in shine.

Price at time of publish: $55

Features: Six heat settings, powerful airflow, ionic technology | Wireless: No

Best Diffuser
DevaCurl DevaDryer and DevaFuser For All Curl Kind

What We Like

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

What We Don't Like

  • Pricey

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 coils. The result? Brilliantly defined curls with a sleek, bouncy finish.

"The best thing about the diffuser is that it’s heat-resistant, meaning you won’t burn your hand or your hair," says hairstylist Jenna Spino. "You can use this to achieve bouncy curls or smooth and elongate coils.”

Price at time of publish: $175

Features: Finger-like diffuser and concentrator, ionic technology | Wireless: No

Best Settings
InStyler TURBO MAX Ionic Dryer

What We Like

  • Tourmaline ceramic grill creates extra shine
  • Lightweight
  • Dries hair 35% faster than other dryers

What We Don't Like

  • Pricey

This gem of a hairdryer has three heat settings, plus a cool shot button to lock in your style. Not only that but its ion generator can be switched on and off to accommodate different hair types. Negative ions are ideal for thick, coarse strands, whereas folks with fine hair may want to keep it off to avoid an overly sleek 'do that lacks volume.

Price at time of publish: $100

Features: Adjustable airflow, turbo ionic settings, cold shot | Wireless: No

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.

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.

Price at time of publish: $150

Features: Travel-friendly size, two speed settings, cool shot | Wireless: No

Best Ionic
Shark HyperAIR Hair Blow Dryer

What We Like

  • Makes curls sleeker
  • Adjusts based on hair's needs
  • Curl-defining diffuser

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive
  • Not the most comfortable to hold

Anytime a vacuum manufacturer wants to start making blow dryers, we're here for it. 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 blowdryer has a curl-defining diffuser attachment with extendable prongs that helps define your unique texture. It's a bit pricey and may not be the most comfortable to hold for long periods, but otherwise, we have no complaints.

Price at time of publish: $200

Features: Negative ion generator, auto-optimized settings, cool shot | Wireless: No

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

If your hair is on the wavier side or you want to smooth out your curls for a sleeker style, this two-in-one tool is the way to go. It's essentially a dryer-brush hybrid, allowing you to get salon-level blowouts right at home—and it's a whole lot easier than trying to maneuver a hair dryer and a round brush at the same time. Just a heads up, this blow dryer isn't the most durable and might need replacing every year or two.

Price at time of publish: $100

Features: Round brush, two speed settings | Wireless: No

Final Verdict

Overall, the best option for defining and enhancing curly locks is the Bed Head Curls in Check 1875 Watt Diffuser Hair Dryer. This brilliant tool combines a wide-barrel dryer with an expertly designed diffuser to help coily, kinky tresses see their fullest potential. However, if you prefer something super budget-friendly, the Revlon Essentials Volume Booster Hair Dryer handles well and is a reliable pick with 1845 watts of power.


Caprice Hammon is a Portland-based hairstylist at Session Studio LLC.

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. 


What To Look For in Hair Dryers for Curly Hair


To define your curls, you'll definitely want to use a blow dryer with a curl diffuser. “This tool diffuses the airflow which is crucial to drying curly hair,” says DeBolt. “It reduces frizz and promotes the best curl shape.” Ultimately, it makes for fuller, bouncier, accentuated curls.

“For longer hair, a volume cup diffuser is the best choice,” says Spino. “If you have coily hair and don’t want to add any volume, a hand-shaped diffuser is the way to go.” 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 on the market today 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. “These negative ions smooth the cuticle, which in turn, reduce frizz,” says Spino. Not only that, but DeBolt adds that it’s great for creating a sleek, shiny finish.

Your best bet for an ionic dryer is the Shark HyperAir, the Dyson Supersonic, or our best overall pick, 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, two speed settings, and a cool-shot button.

When defining your curls, you’ll want to use medium or low heat, as overheating can lead to breakage and unwanted frizz. 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, which can be used to lock in your style once it’s dry.

When it comes to power settings, Spino doesn’t recommend 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, low blow.” What works best for you will depend on your hair type and how long you’re willing to blow dry your hair for.


Which hair dryer is best for curly hair?

The Bed Head Curlipops 1875 Watt Diffuser Dryer is the best hair dryer for curly hair, in our opinion. It provides shine while taming frizz and flyaways and comes apart for easy cleaning. It is also an affordable option.

Is a hair dryer good for curly hair?

Hairdryers 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 frizziness. Diffuser attachments are made to work with curly hair and can be used with regular hair dryers.

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

You can blow-dry curly hair without losing curls by using a blow dryer that is specifically designed for curly hair or comes with an attachment for this purpose. Don’t use a brush when blowdrying, but instead, use a dryer that has fingers or prongs that separate and move over your curls to dry and shape them without causing frizz. It’s also best to keep the heat medium to low.

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 frizz. They help provide even heat and curl definition, so your curls aren’t disrupted.

How We Researched & Tested

To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, shade range, or design—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. Our team also incorporated their own personal experiences testing products in their own lives. We then used these insights from our research and testing to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.