Forbes March 29, 2021

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


The Best Hair Dryers For Perfect Blowouts At Home—And On The Go


Blow drying your hair is a chore—it’s time consuming, requires you to hold your arms in awkward positions and can result in scalp burns if you’re not careful. Since the pandemic (and the end of regular salon visits) many of us have spent more time wielding our blow-dryers and perfecting our nozzle techniques. What constitutes the best hair dryer depends on who you ask—everyone has an opinion and there’s no shortage of impassioned reviews on sites like Amazon and Ulta.

Thanks to constantly improving technology, certain features—including heat-perfecting ceramic coils, frizz-defeating ionic generators and shine-enhancing tourmaline coatings—now come standard with most models. What separates the just-ok from the truly great then comes down to motor speed, intensity of heat, and totally subjective but worthy personal preferences, such as the placement of switches, cord length and weight (a blow-out is a triceps workout you didn’t plan for). You might also want to spring for the latest tech upgrades—such as heat-adjusting smart sensors—if they keep your hair healthier.  

Stylists, who spend the bulk of their day in the hair-dryer trenches, have little patience for anything less than a stellar workhorse. With that in mind, we consulted the pros to whittle down the list of top-rated models. Most picks are not cheap: Sure, you can find a hair dryer that gets the job done for less than $50 but if you want to keep it for a while and protect your hair, you’ll need to invest more. Here, 6 of the best hair dryers for every hair need.

  • The Best for Thick Hair or Anyone in a Hurry: BaByliss Pro Volare V1 Dryer with Ferrari Designed Engine
  • The One Designed for Comfort and Shine: ghd Helios Professional Hair Dryer
  • The Reliable One that Will Last Forever: Turbo Power Twin Turbo 3200 Professional Hair Dryer
  • The Investment for All Hair Types That’s Worth It: Dyson Supersonic
  • The Luxury Pick You Can Travel With: Harry Josh Pro Tools Ultra Light Pro Dryer
  • The Under-the-Radar Sensation: Hot Tools Professional 24k Gold One Step Blowout
  • The Best Splurge for the Whole Family: TineCo Moda One Smart Ionic Hair Dryer


The Best for Thick Hair or Anyone in a Hurry

It’s the zippy sportscar of hair dryers. This one’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. 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 for curly styles separately.  

The One Designed for Comfort and Shine

Celebrity hairstylist Adir Abergel is obsessed with this ergonomically-shaped model for its lightness (it’s 1.7 pounds, 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 flatiron. 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.”

The Reliable One that Will Last Forever

If you tend to be hard on your dryer, New York City hair salon owner Eliut Riveria has put many through crash-like tests and calls this pick “incredibly durable.” The Italian-made model generates 1,900 watts of power for high speed and, unlike your iPhone, is designed to last—2,000 hours at a minimum. It’s moderately priced and comes with a removable, cleanable filter (debris and dirt can reduce airflow) and four temperature settings so you can get things hot but not too hot. (Note: This model may be temporarily sold out. Riveria likes the Elchim 3900 as a sturdy alternative).

The Investment for All Hair Types That’s Worth It

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 downside: the sticker price (it’s rarely discounted) and production issues—but this cult-ish pick sells out so if you really want it, grab it.

The Luxury Pick You Can Travel With

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’s lighter than a pound, compact enough for travel, has a long 9-foot cord, 12 settings (including an ion button you can turn on to reduce frizz and off to add volume), 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.   

The Under-the-Radar Sensation

The internet loves the Revlon One Touch—a multi-tasking hairdryer and round brush in one for $60. But for $15 more, Abramite greatly prefers this salon-level tool, which she finds is more durable, has boar bristles to reduce frizz (Revlon’s are nylon) and gold-plated hardware for better heat distribution. And the cord—Abramite is very picky about it: “Professional tools always have longer and stronger cords. It helps the wiring to remain intact for years to come.” It’s a little thing that really matters. “The cord is usually the component that breaks down first in hot tools. Hair stylist hate wasting their money on products that break—that’s a major reason I’d buy Hot Tools over Revlon.”

The Best Splurge for the Whole Family   

A rival to the Dyson, this just-launched hair dryer 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).