New York Post March 1, 2023

New York Post


We reviewed 10 blow dryers — here are the best for all hair types in 2023


A crucial component of rendering your luscious locks to look like you just stepped out of a salon is, of course, a quality blow dryer.

After using some of the best shampoos and hair conditioners on the market — oh, and wrapping yourself up in a plush robe to ignite all of the resort hotel vibes you can muster — selecting the appropriate hair-styling tools makes a world of difference to your hair. (Related: best hair straighteners we reviewed).

“Begin blow drying five minutes after stepping out of the shower,” Amy Abramite, creative director and hairstylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, told the New York Post. “Hair is easier to manipulate when it’s wet. Hydrogen bonds, or the type used to style hair, are temporarily changed with water and heat, so letting hair air dry too much before starting the blow dry can hinder the process.”

We turned to Abramite for a full-on FAQ on blow-drying etiquette after our comprehensive review to provide in-depth hair-styling routines for your specific type and texture, too.

How we tested blow dryers

Though I’ve been using blow-dryers for years — I learned that I’ve been using mine incorrectly — I tested each model for at least one month before writing this review. However, I’ve been testing many of these — like the amika Hair Blow Dryer Brush 2.0 and Dyson Airwrap — for more than a year.

Before diving into the review criteria New York Post Shopping set in place when testing and trying all the top models on the market, l’ll begin by detailing my hair type. Naturally, I have wavy to curly hair that’s sometimes prone to frizz (though, it has its oily moments at times if I go longer than two days without a wash). My hair blow dries straight when styling, too.

Simply put, my mane is a mutt of different types and textures — making my hair one of the best to review a wide set of blow dryers.

Ahead, here’s what I looked for when trying out each blow dryer:

  • Ease of use: Above all else, selecting a blow dryer that takes the complexity out of styling is of utmost importance. I’m no cosmetologist or professional hair-styler, so this attribute is one of the most practical to consider.
  • Volume: When blow-drying your hair, you want it to look like you just stepped out of a salon. When styling my hair — either with a blow-dryer brush or traditional dryer with a nozzle — I assessed the finished result and how much volume each model brought to my hair.
  • Even heat retention: After applying a heat protectant to my hair, I assessed each model’s temperature levels and settings, along with how the heat transmitted from the dryer to my hair, looking for signs of over-drying or a ‘frying’ look and feel, if any.
  • Frizz-taming: While everyone’s hair may not be frizzy, it’s important for a blow dryer to smooth any baby hairs and flyaways and help mitigate frizz to the best extent.
  • Versatility: Some blow dryers come with attachments while others are more basic. I kept track of any unique, noteworthy and time-saving features for each model.

Best Blow Dryer Overall
amika Hair Blow Dryer Brush 2.0, $100


  • Easiest to use, helps tame frizz, brush doesn’t get caught in coarse hair


  • Doesn’t have a variety of customized heat settings, though not a dealbreaker

And, the award goes to…the amika Hair Blow Dryer Brush 2.0! After reviewing it and using it for more than a year now, I can confidently say that this is the blow-dryer option I reach for the most.

What’s truly remarkable about this model is its wider, almost rectangular, brush. Because it isn’t a true round brush, it won’t get stuck onto your strands as easily and is a breeze to twirl upwards. If you buy anything from this guide, let it be this winner.

Best Blow Dryer for Volume
Drybar The Double Shot Oval Blow-Dryer Brush, $155


  • Provides effortless volume (especially to bangs and front pieces), leaves ends bouncy


  • A bit noisy, but not a dealbreaker

I went on vacation last year with my friend who owns Drybar’s The Double Shot Oval Blow-Dryer Brush, and it made her short hair tame to perfection. After using it, it’s similar to the amika one, but provides a bit more volume. However, while it’s not as ergonomic as the amika model, it’s a close contender — especially if bouncy hair is what you’re after.

Best Blow Dryer for Curly & Wavy Hair
T3 AireBrush Duo, $190


  • Interchangeable round brush and frizz-taming smoothing brush, ideal for gathering small sections of hair for customized styling


  • The tips on the brush may bend over time; to avoid, store safely (preferably not in a bin with other heavy hair products)

The T3 AireBrush Duo was the first blow-dryer brush I ever tried and was blown away by its effects — pun totally intended. Because my hair is wavy-borderline-curly, I appreciate the smoothing brush that can almost double as a hair straightener (though won’t make your hair pin-straight).

While it’s designed well, be careful about how you store it as its bristles are fragile. I recommend laying it flat in your cabinet or drawer.

Best Affordable Blow Dryer
Revlon One-Step Volumizer 1.0 Hair Dryer, $34 to $65


  • Easily accessible, does the job, great for all hair types


  • Doesn’t have the best even heat retention

This guide certainly would be incomplete without a mention of the Amazon best-selling Revlon One-Step Volumizer 1.0 Hair Dryer. Though the brand recently launched its Plus 2.0 model ($45), I surprisingly liked this one better, thanks to its fat brush head.

Though it’s not the best on heat, it does the job well and made my hair look smooth (read our full review). Overall, it’s not the absolute best, but I recommend it more than the average dryer — especially for the price.

Best Blow Dryer for Frizzy Hair
amika The Alpha 360 Dryer, $300


  • Has one of the best nozzles, features incredible heat retention


  • Isn’t widely acessible

Snatch up amika’s The Alpha 360 Dryer while you can on Amazon. Though a splurge, I love this nozzle more than my iced coffee sometimes (and that’s saying something). Though it’s not widely accessible, it’s a hidden gem in the pack, for sure, especially for frizzy hair.

Best Blow Dryer with Even Heat Retention
Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, $380 to $430


  • Doesn’t over-heat my hair, perfect for a true salon blowout, boasts customizable heat settings


  • None to speak of

While the Dyson Airwrap is capturing everyone (and their mother’s) attention — but more on that below — the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer is what’s truly your state-of-the-art blow dryer. If its customizable heat settings and amazing heat retention isn’t enough to sell you, take our word for it: it’s a quality, easy-to-use product that even my hairdresser uses.

Best Blow Dryer for Versatile Styling
Dyson Airwrap Multi-Styler, $600


  • Comes with a variety of attachments to target every hair type, boasts wonderful heat retention and even heat distribution


  • Some styles on some hair types may not last as long as others, though you can always re-curl your hair as it becomes a bit flatter

The Dyson Airwrap is said to be the best thing since slice bread (read our full review), and it is, to a certain extent — the attachment variety is second to none, and it does leave your hair looking virtually flawless. However, some styles don’t last as long, but it wasn’t a huge dealbreaker for me.

If you’re looking for a one-size-fits-all product (in other words, one where you wouldn’t have to purchase a curling iron and other styling tools), this is the splurge worth making.

Best Blow Dryer for Quick & Easy Styling
GHD Helios Advanced Professional Hair Dryer, $209 to $279


  • Easy to use, comes with a smoothing nozzle, doesn’t over-heat your hair


  • Not the best for ultra-frizzy hair

I’ve been using the GHD Helios Advanced Professional Hair Dryer for years now, and it was one of the first to truly make a tangible difference on the end result of my hair. Its heat retention is great, it comes with versatile speed and heat settings alike and has an effective nozzle, though not as powerful as the one on the amika dryer. Overall, it’s a hit, and worth every penny.

An FAQ on Hair-Styling

Ahead, we interviewed Amy Abramite, creative director and hairstylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, on some key considerations when it comes to blow dryers.

What makes a good blow dryer/blow dryer brush? 

“For both types of dryers, I look for a variety of air pressure and temperature choices to control the style without damaging the hair,” Abramite says.

Do you recommend using the blow dryer nozzle attachment? How does it alter the look of hair (if at all) for different hair types?

“The nozzle is useful because it concentrates the air flow into a more focused steam of pressure to tame flyaways for shinier smoother hair, especially when straightening frizzy texture,” she notes.

How does a blow dryer brush differ from a traditional blow dryer, both in function/style and in end result? 

“For starters, the shape and the wattage is different,” Abramite begins. “In comparison, a blow dryer is more powerful and results in more styling options with more accessories, but requires more skill to use.”

A blow dryer brush, on the flip-side, has gentler air flow, is easier to handle, but is limited to round brush styles only. 

To elaborate, a blow dryer has more air pressure for more power and has a gun-like barrel shape where heated air freely passes through an opening in a stream. “It can be used to tousle dry hair with fingers or any type of brush, flat or round, which is held in the other hand to manually change texture,” she adds. “A diffuser attachment can also be connected to enhance curly textures. These options result in a variety looks but skill is required for coordination to hold a brush and a blow dryer simultaneously.”

A blow dryer brush is a combination tool with a round brush attachment connected to a wand where heated air gently passes through holes near the bristles. Hair wraps around the brush portion of the tool to dry and shape the hair in one easy motion. It’s simple to use and requires less skill to achieve a classic blowout finish. 

Is there a specific wattage a blow dryer/blow dryer brush should have? 

Abramite recommends an average of 1100 watts for a blow dryer brush and 2000 for a blow dryer. 

What speed setting do you recommend? 

“I recommend the setting on high speed and high heat for rough drying hair with fingers to quickly remove water with a blow dryer,” Abramite advises. “For controlled styling with a blow dryer coupled with a hand held brush, the recommended speed and heat is medium or low. This will protect hair from heat damage and control strands while styling.”

For a blow dryer brush, Abramite recommends using the high speed and temperature setting unless the hair is fine and fragile which should be used on a low speed and temperature to preserve the health of the hair. 

What does it mean for a blow dryer to be ionic?

According to Abramite, these blow dryers cut down on drying time by using ions to break down water molecules at lower temperatures preventing frizz, static and damage for smoother healthier hair. 

Hair routines for every hair type, according to a hair-stylist

For curly, coily, wavy, and straight textures (all textures) using a blow dryer with a nozzle for pin straight silky hair: Add an oil with heat protection from roots to ends on damp hair. In small sections, blow dry downward with the nozzle parallel to the hair to push down and control flyaways on high heat/high speed. Use a natural bristle paddle brush to grip hair and stretch out texture by gliding the brush from roots to ends with maximum tension to add shine and straighten for glossy hair. 

For curly, coily and wavy textures using a blow dryer and diffuser to enhance natural texture: On damp hair, add a hydrating styling cream/balm with heat protection from roots to ends. Use a diffuser attachment on a blow dryer and circulate while orbiting the head on low heat/low speed. For a natural air-dried look, leave waves/curls/coils stationary and undisturbed to minimize frizz by not allowing the diffuser to touch the hair strands while drying. To add additional lift at the roots, tilt head forward, backward, and from side to side while diffusing. For maximum volume and bouncier waves/curls/coils, tilt head and gently place hair into the diffuser attachment while lifting upward for tighter springier texture. For all above hair types, when the hair is 80% dry, turn the dryer off and allow the remaining moisture to dry naturally. This will cut down on the frizz factor. 

For curly, coily, wavy and straight hair (all hair types) with a blow dry brush for a classic blowout finish: For a frizz-free blowout using a blow dryer brush, on damp hair, add a hydrating styling cream with heat protection on curly, coily and wavy hair and a volumizing spray on straight hair from roots to ends. Securely wrap sections of hair around the bristles. Starting at the root area, use equal tension and glide brush through to the ends and roll under, flip up, or curl for style choice. For more volume at the root area, pull the brush upward, and for less volume pull downward while rolling the lengths and ends. The bristles will grip the hair with tension to tame frizz and reshape texture for a silky finish with volume, movement and bounce. For coarser thick hair, use the high setting and for fine fragile hair, use low. To lock in the shape, use the cool setting for a long-lasting style.