Forbes June 16, 2022

Maxine Salon's Creative Director Amy Abramite featured in The Oprah Magazine August 2008FORBES


10 Of The Best Hair Dryers, According To The Pros


What constitutes the best hair dryer depends on who you ask—everyone has an opinion, and there’s no shortage of impassioned reviews across the internet. “All blow dryers are not equal,” says Matrix artist director Michelle O’Connor. “Each provides a benefit that you want to align with your hair’s characteristics and needs.” Naturally, your hair type matters, along other factors like your styling preferences and frequency of use. It’s also important to consider features on the tool itself, like wattage, settings, materials and attachments.

Sure, most of these hot tools will take your hair from wet to dry, but if you want an option that will also protect it and hold up over time, you may want to invest in one with more tech upgrades, such as heat-adjusting smart sensors or magnetic attachments. “As with any other industry, ingenuity and innovation are going to give improved performance, as well as better results,” says O’Connor. To help us whittle down the top options out there, we consulted O’Connor and other professionals who use the gadgets regularly. Ahead, find the best hair dryers on the market, according to experts and hairstylists.

Best Hair Dryer Overall

A High-Tech Tool That Lives Up To Its Hype


Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

Wattage: 1,600 watts
Attachments: gentle air attachment, wide tooth comb, styling concentrator, flyaway attachment, diffuser
Heat settings: 4
Weight: 1.8 pounds

Almost every stylist we talked to raved about this intelligent hair dryer, which has been an internet sensation since 2016. The beauty is in the details: the magnetic attachments that click on and allow you to achieve multiple styles (smoothing nozzle, curl-drying diffuser, shaping comb), the minimal weight and the v9 motor that generates heat without drying out strands. The downsides include the sticker price (it’s rarely discounted) and production issues—this cult-ish pick sells out, so if you really want it, grab it.


  • Quick-drying
  • Suitable for every hair type
  • Sleek design


  • Expensive

What our editors say:

“The Dyson Supersonic is like the Rolls Royce of the hairdryer world. Unboxing my fuschia and nickel model, I was immediately struck by the high quality of the materials and how good it feels in hand. When I first tried it out, I was surprised by the air power and impressed with all the different heat settings, plus the fact that it's lightweight (so my arm doesn't fall asleep mid-blow dry). I like it just as much after a few months of occasional use. The Supersonic also comes with a bunch of attachments, as well as a hairbrush, comb and case which is a nice extra even if I won’t use them all,” —Cory Baldwin, director of content & strategy

Best Ionic Hair Dryer

The Zippy Sports Car Of Blow Dryers


BaByliss Pro Volare V1 Dryer

Wattage: 2,000 watts
Attachments: 2 concentrator nozzles
Heat Settings: 6
Weight: 15 ounces

This option’s robust engine is built by Ferrari and packs 2,000 watts of power for high-speed drying and a turbo button if you really want to rev up things, says Chicago hairstylist Amy Abramite. “I have really thick hair and it often takes me a long time to dry it, but with this blow dryer it was completely dry within 20 minutes,” says one fan of the product. Reviewers also praise the cold shot setting, which closes the cuticle for shiny results. It comes with two concentrator nozzles, but you’ll have to purchase a diffuser separately.


  • Quick drying
  • 4 year manufacturer warranty
  • Very lightweight (just under a pound)


  • Diffuser not included

Best Hair Dryer For Curly Hair

A Hair Tool That Quickly Delivers An Air Dry Effect


DevaCurl DevaDryer And DevaFuser

Wattage: 1,800 watts
Attachments: concentrated nozzle, diffuser
Heat Settings: 3
Weight: 1 pound

This device’s 1,600-watt/AC motor and diffuser emit a gentle airflow, enabling you to efficiently dry your hair without making it crunchy or frizzy. It keeps curls and waves full of definition and body, using three heat levels, two-speed settings and a nifty cool shot feature for sealing in your favorite leave-in products and setting styles in place. The model has a lightweight feel, ergonomic-friendly design and durable cord to boot. One reviewer says, “This is good for my hair. Because the air is spread so widely, it dries quickly. And since it circulates so efficiently, air is infused into the curls.”


  • Ionic technology
  • Features a diffuser and concentrated nozzle
  • 360-degree airflow


  • No warranty listed

Best Hair Dryer For Fine Hair

A Small But Mighty Option


Harry Josh Pro Tools Ultra Light Pro Dryer

Wattage: 1,875 watts
Attachments: traditional nozzle concentrator, long nozzle concentrator
Heat Settings: 8
Weight: 2.15 pounds

Designed by celebrity hairstylist Harry Josh, hair pro to Gisele, this dryer generates so much buzz you’d assume it’s all hype. Nope, it’s really that good. This update to the original model is flawless: It weigh less than a pound, is compact enough for travel and has 12 settings (including an ion button you can turn on to reduce frizz and off to add volume). Plus it has tons of power to speed up your dry time, a built in “silencer” (you can have a conversation and not shout) and a minty green color, if that’s your thing. As one reviewer says, “It cuts down my dry time significantly and leaves me with the best blowout.”


  • Lightweight
  • Quiet
  • Ergonomic design


  • Expensive
  • Cord can twist or tangle easily

Best Hair Dryer For Frizzy Hair

The Smooth Operator


Drybar Reserve Ultralight Anti-Frizz Blow Dryer

Wattage: 1,875 watts
Attachments: concentrated nozzzle
Heat Settings: 3
Weight: 1 pound

The Reserve Ultralight Anti-Frizz Blow Dryer—the first tool in Dry Bar’s premium collection—is a good option to consider if you want to dry your hair and eliminate frizz fast. It’s powered by a high torque fan and 1,875-watt motor that distributes air at 100mph. The air passes through custom designed heater coils to deliver the perfect amount of heat for giving hair a smooth and shiny finish. One fan of the product says it cut down on drying time: “Blow dry done in 10 minutes, super lightweight, and leaves hair silky smooth. Worth every penny, just be sure to use a heat protectant.” The device offers 3 speeds, two different heat settings and the beloved cool shot feature for easy styling.


  • Great for all hair types
  • Quick drying
  • Very lightweight


  • Odd placement of controls

Best Hair Dryer With A Diffuser

A Powerful And Smart Blow Dryer


TineCo Moda One Smart Ionic Hair Dryer

Wattage: 1,400 watts
Attachments: concentrator nozzle, diffuser, smoothing nozzle
Heat Settings: None (automated)
Weight: 1.43 pounds

A rival to Dyson’s hair dryer, this option is also from a company known for making high-tech vacuums. The big selling point is the iLoop Smart Sensor, which senses your hair’s moisture and automatically adjusts the heat and airflow to avoid damage—a halo light changes from red to blue to indicate when strands are dry. Instead of fumbling with heat and speed switches, the futuristic unit is controlled by the app—you can flip through pre-set modes for yourself, your kids and even pets (yes, really).


  • Easy-to-use magnetic attachments (including diffuser)
  • On the quieter side
  • 2 year manufacturer’s warranty


  • Can be hard to maneuver and operate

Best Hair Dryer Brush

A Pro-Favorite Styling Brush


Amika Hair Blow Dryer Brush 2.0

Forbes Vetted’s top pick for best hair dryer brush, Amika’s best-selling tool has been revamped and clinically proven to deliver twice the shine. The 2.0 version has a large oval-shaped tourmaline coated barrel that creates more volume and is easier to maneuver (compared to its competitors), a mix of long and short nylon bristles for smoothing and detangling hair, three heat/speed settings (with a stylist-approved max of 240 degrees F) and some internal upgrades to improve the product’s longevity. It’s been dubbed “the best blow dryer brush out there,” by professional stylists like Shayna Gertman, a hairstylist based in Delray Beach, Florida, who says, “It’s great for all hair types. It gets hot, brush is sturdy, it’s good quality, and it’s lightweight.” 


  • Affordable
  • Good for all hair types


  • Tip can get hot
  • Can have a shorter lifespan

What our editors say:

“Whenever I used to blow dry my hair, I’d end up with a frizzy, puffy result. Then, I tried the Amika Blow Dry Brush and everything changed. It allows me to create the sleek, straight result I want without any flyaways. Plus, the heat isn’t too harsh on my hair, which is a rarity with hair dryer brushes.” —Kara Cuzzone, deals editor

Best Hair Dryer For Thick Hair

A Superior Design


GHD Helios Professional Hair Dryer

Wattage: 1,875 watts
Attachments: concentrator nozzle
Heat Settings: 2
Weight: 1.7 pounds

Celebrity hairstylist Adir Abergel is obsessed with this ergonomically-shaped model for its lightness (at 1.7 pounds, it weighs less than a MacBook Air) and contoured nozzle that directs airflow very precisely. It leaves hair straight and shiny enough that you might be able to skip the flat iron. And the “bespoke acoustic system” reduces sound levels, a claim that’s backed up by many Amazon reviewers who hail its “power without a very loud sound.”


  • Quick drying
  • Ergonomic, sleek design


  • Additional attachments sold separately

Best Hair Dryer For Travel

A Compact Option With A Foldable Handle


T3 Afar Lightweight Travel Size Hair Dryer

Wattage: 1,500 watts
Attachments: concentrator nozzle
Heat Settings: 3
Weight: 12.2 ounces

Looks can be deceiving—this compact hair dryer is small but powerful. Like the standard model, it uses an ion-infused airstream to dry hair and reduce frizz quickly, and it features three heat settings and a cold shot button to create a sleek and smooth finish. Whats more, it has a collapsible handle that makes it easier to travel with and store in small spaces.


  • Compact design
  • Folds down for travel


  • Only two speeds

Best Affordable Hair Dryer

A Top-Rated Blow Dryer With A Salon-Worthy Performance


Conair InfinitiPro

Wattage: 1,875 watts
Attachments: concentrator nozzle, diffuser
Heat Settings: 3
Weight: 2.4 pounds

The salon-worthy performance, gentle infrared heat and powerful airflow are all reasons why this affordable hairdryer has racked up thousands of five-star reviews. Plus, it comes with a concentrated nozzle and diffuser to help you dry hair with even more precision. But let’s not beat around the bush—the biggest draw is that it’s affordable.


  • Uses gentle, infrared heat
  • Good value


  • Long cord (approximately 8 feet)
  • Heavy

What To Consider When Buying A Hair Dryer

Looking to upgrade your hair dryer? There are a few subjective but worthy considerations to keep in mind for separating the just-ok blow dryers from the truly great options.

Hair Type

A hair dryer that gets too hot could cause damage to the scalp or hair, especially when it’s thin. “Think about [your hair type] and choose accordingly,” says O’Connor. “If your hair is fine, you can use a blow dryer with less wattage or turn down the heat setting and power. If you have thick or curly hair, look for a more powerful dryer.”


This refers to the motor speed and intensity of the heat; the greater the power, the hotter it gets. If you want a blow dryer that will do its job without causing heat damage, experts suggest selecting an option with 1500-1800 watts of power—a safe and effective output for thick and thin hair.


There’s one setting that tends to stand out when it comes to hair dryers: the cool button. While it’s useful for setting hair, some don’t get cold enough. The ideal option allows you to flick through multiple heat settings including a true cool temperature.


“Thanks to constantly improving technology, certain features—heat-perfecting ceramic coils, frizz-defeating ionic generators and shine-enhancing tourmaline coatings—now come standard with most models,” says O’Connor. When it comes to materials, it’s worth knowing the basics. “Ceramic hair dryers distribute heat evenly and tend to be gentle on the hair. Titanium also distributes evenly but gets hotter,” she says, so it’s great for smoothing out thick curly hair quickly. There are also tourmaline dryers that use an electrical charge to keep water molecules out, making them a good option for smoothing frizz.


The sky’s the limit when it comes to attachment options for hair dryers, so it’s best to match them to your hair needs. Some examples include a diffuser for defining curls or a wide-tooth comb for straightening hair as it dries.

Are Hair Dryers Good For Hair?

When it comes to using any type of heat tool, it’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution. But blow dryers, when selected and used correctly, can be great styling tools. “It’s only damaging if you are overdoing it, have the temperature too high (depending on your texture) or are using it on dry hair,” says Matrix ambassador Takisha Sturdivant-Drew. And prepping hair with a protectant can also prevent the heat from blow dryers from damaging your hair since it seals in moisture and creates a barrier between your strands and heat stylers.

How Do You Blow Dry Hair Like A Professional?

“Make sure the hair is damp, meaning towel-dried,” says Sturdivant-Drew, who recommends massaging a lightweight oil from roots to the ends of hair. “Then you can section off your hair or blow it dry (at medium or high temperature) until it’s completely dry. If you’re using a blow dry brush try not to hit the scalp directly, and if using a comb attachment, take your time doing it so the hair is evenly dried. Once it’s dried, not only will it feel soft and manageable, it will have a beautiful shine.”

Is It Okay To Blow Dry Hair Every Day?

Ideally, you want to give your hair some breaks from this styling tool. “If you want to [avoid] heat damage, don’t blow it dry every day,” says Sturdivant-Drew. And if you have coarse or curly hair, she suggests using a hair dryer every two to four days.

Which Is Better: Tourmaline Or Ceramic?

Tourmaline generates more negative ions when heated, so blow dryers made with the material do a better job at smoothing down frizz and flyaways and keeping hair straighter longer. On the other hand, ceramic blow dyers are less likely to singe your strands since they disperse heat more evenly.

Are Expensive Hair Dryers Worth It?

High price tags don’t necessarily equate to better quality. There are affordable options that perform just great as high-end models and last just as long, too. But more expensive blow dryers may feature additional technology and specs that users deem worth the money, such as an ergonomic design, efficient power and smart sensors.

Are Ionic Hair Dryers Better?

This depends on the look you’re going for. If the goal is to achieve a sleek, silky straight blowout, an ionic hair dryer is the best tool for the job, since it repels moisture that could lead to flyaways and frizzy hair. It also speeds up drying time. But if you want a more bouncy, voluminous blowout, a regular hair dryer is your best bet.