Best Choice Overall
GHD Pro Hair Dryer
Best on a Budget
Nicky Clarke Hair Dryer
A quality hair dryer can mean the difference between a frizzy dried out mess and a perfectly manicured mane. Since you can’t gamble with your luscious locks, you need to arm yourself with the best hair dryer possible. That’s where we come in.
In this guide, you’ll discover all you need to know about hair dryers and all of our insider tips for choosing the very best hair dryer for your budget and type of hair. Whether you have a healthy budget and long curly locks or a meagre budget with thin straight hair, this guide will show you what to look for and what to avoid, ensuring your hair stays healthy and keep those “bad hair day’s” to a minimum.
Finding the Best Hair Dryer for Your Type of Hair
When choosing the most suitable hair dryer for you, it’s important to consider your hair type as some hair dryers work better for certain types of hair. Therefore, let’s begin by taking a look at the most common types of hair and which hair dryer would produce the best results for that specific hair:
If you have straight hair, it’s important to choose a lightweight hair dryer that you can comfortably hold above your head for a long period of time, allowing you to blow it dry from root to tip for an absolutely perfect straight style. You may also want to consider a hair dryer with an ionic function as this feature can help give that soft, smooth, and shiny look.
Using a basic hair dryer with standard nozzle on curly hair often results in a loss of definition and unsatisfactory results. To avoid this and dry your hair quickly yet still achieve perfect curls, choose a hair dryer capable of drying hair nice and slowly with an excellent low-heat setting. Conversely, if you prefer to go the natural route and simply use a hair dryer to add volume, you’ll want to choose a model with a diffuser for voluminous curls.
For fine hair, a hair dryer should have a narrow concentrator nozzle for extra lift at the roots and a more voluminous appearance. Fine hair also dries best at lower temperatures as heat damage can dry it out quickly and cause it to break. You want to avoid blasting the hair with excessive heat, so it’s best to use a hair dryer with mild heat settings.
Frizzy hair also requires a hair dryer equipped with a narrow concentrator nozzle. This will allow you to dry your hair in sections and avoid over drying. It’s easy to over dry frizzy hair, so a hair dryer with a narrow concentrator nozzle and excellent low heat settings is a must. An ionic function is another nice feature that would suit this hair types. Combined with a quality shampoo and conditioner, the ionic air should give a smooth and shiny finish.
How Much Does a Quality Hair Dryer Cost?
Now that you know a little about hair dryers and hair types, it’s time to get down to brass tax and discuss price. Luckily, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on a quality hair dryer. In fact, there are several effective yet affordable models, such as the Nicky Clarke NHD093 Mayfair, that are available for under £30 (we’ll talk more about this product in just a minute).
There are even some basic models for sale for under £10. However, you shouldn’t expect much in terms of comfort, performance or results.
If money is less of a concern and you want the best possible results, there are a variety of professional-style hair dryers available in the £40-£100 range. These power-packed hair dryers are often easier to use, loaded with features, and designed to provide the very best performance for professional results.
What Makes for a Good Hair Dryer?
Weight, Comfort, and Ease of Use
If you have long hair or like complicated styles that take some time to perfect, chances are you’ll be holding your dryer for quite a while. Therefore, you need a lightweight model that won’t cause your arm to start aching after just a few minutes. Some hair dryers weigh as little as 500 grams, while others can weigh twice as much.
It’s also important for a hair dryer to be well-balanced and have a comfortable grip. If you’re shopping online and can’t physically hold one prior to purchase, rest assured weight and overall comfort are thoroughly discussed in each of our in-depth hair dryer reviews.
The more wattage a hair dryer has, the more heat it can generate and the quicker you can dry your hair. Also, it will have a wider heat setting range. Most people only require about 1,500-1,800 watts, but some professional hair dryers harness as much as 3,000 watts. On the opposite end of the spectrum, low-wattage models designed for travel are also available.
Power Cord Length
When it comes to hair dryers, the longer the cord, the better. Hair dryers have power cords that range in length from just under two metres to over three metres, so keep this in mind when shopping for the best one for you. Some hair dryers even have retractable cords for easy storage as well.
Many of today’s best hair dryers feature ionic technology, which conditions hair via negatively charged ions for reduced static and frizz. Some professional hair dryers have a permanent ionic function, while others have a switch. In either case, if you have frizzy hair or like to quickly blast it dry on high heat, you’ll definitely want a hair dryer with ionic technology.
Coming standard on most hair dryers, concentration nozzles concentrate heat and air flow and direct both towards the roots for added volume. When using a concentration nozzle, air flow may seem too hot and could potentially damage your hair, so it’s important to move it frequently and use a lower heat setting.
A diffuser lifts up sections of hair in order to increase volume at root level. Since it diffuses air flow, a diffuser can also be used to give curls added definition.
This useful feature allows you to quickly lower the air temperature of your hair dryer to set a hairstyle and hold its shape. Most hair dryers feature cool shot buttons that must be pressed for each cool shot of air, which can be tedious with stiff or poorly placed buttons.
Brand Reputation and Reliability
Last but certainly not least, brand reputation and reliability is another key factor to consider when shopping for a great, results producing hair dryer that will stand the test of time. It’s hard to go wrong with a brand that has a solid reputation and tons of positive reviews. this is one of our key metric when analysing products to recommend. When a particular hair dryer has hundreds of user reviews (positive and negative) spanning years, it’s easy to build a true picture of its performance and reliability.
… and on that note, lets take a look at our top two recommended hair dryers:
Best Hair Dryer Overall – GHD Air Hair Dryer
Now that you know what to look for in a hair dryer, and have an insight into our rating system, you can truly appreciate the GHD Air Hair Dryer and understand why it gets our full endorsement.
With 2,100 watts of power, ionic technology, an extra-long 3-metre power cord, cool shot feature, variable temperature and power controls, two nozzle choices, and a sleek ergonomic design, it brings salon-style performance to any home. If you’re looking for the best overall hair dryer to buy, you can’t go wrong with this attractive, easy to use, high performance GHD.
Best Value Hair Dryer – Nicky Clarke NHD093 Mayfair
Nicky Clarke is a top stylist who also happens to make some excellent hair dryers. The Nicky Clarke NHD093 Mayfair Hair Dryer is no exception. It features 2,500 watts of power, an ionic function, concentrator nozzle, variable temperature and power controls, and a hinged end cap for easy cleaning.
With an affordable price tag and outstanding results to boot, it’s without a doubt one of the best value hair dryers on the market today.
Making the Final Decision
If you’ve made it this far, you likely now know more about hair dryers than most professional stylists. All you have to do is pick out a great model for your hair and budget. Both of the models above are hard to beat, with many five star feedback rating and fully recommended by Appliance Box.
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