hair dryer 101

Hair Dryer 101: A Comprehensive Guide to Finding Your Perfect Match

A good hair dryer can be your best friend when achieving the perfect hairstyle. A hairdryer can help you dry your hair quickly and give you more control over your styling, adding volume, smoothing frizz, and creating texture. But with so many hair dryers on the market, it can take time to figure out which one is right for you. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the key factors to consider when choosing a hair dryer and provide tips for finding your perfect match.

Consider Your Hair Type

The first factor to consider when choosing a hair dryer is your hair type. Different hair types require different levels of heat and airflow to achieve optimal results. For example, if you have thin or fine hair, look for a hair dryer with lower heat and speed settings to avoid causing damage. On the other hand, if you have thick or curly hair, look for a hair dryer with a more powerful motor and multiple heat and speed settings to achieve the desired level of control.


If you have thick hair, you know the struggles of waiting hours for your hair to air dry or wrestling with your hair dryer for half an hour or more! Cut the hair drying time down by option for an ionic hair dryer. Ionic hair dryers use negative ions to dry hair (which dries the positively charged water ions). This fast method for drying thick and curly hair helps prevent frizz.

Best Ionic Hair Dryer
ghd Air 1600w Professional Hair Dryer

Powerful Professional Strength Blow Dryer, Ionic Portable Hair Dryer, Black

  • The award-winning ghd hair dryer with a powerful 1600W professional strength blow dryer motor and advanced ionic technology to deliver speedy drying and styling while reducing frizz for a soft, silky finish.
  • Advanced ionic technology creates a salon finish in half the time—ergonomic design for maximum control.

  • Dries hair quickly
  • Smooths hair
  • Comfortable to hold and use
  • Quiet
  • Diffuser is not included
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03/26/2023 05:31 pm GMT


If your hair is flat and thin, you are likely looking to add volume and thickness when blow-drying and styling your hair. Therefore, you likely do not need the added benefits of smoothness and shine that come with an ionic hair dryer. A common misconception is that high heat is necessary to dry hair; however, extreme heat cannot only damage fine, thin hair but does nothing for your hair in the style and bounce department. When styling flat, thin hair, it is best to use a ceramic hair dryer, which regulates heat levels to prevent damage to fragile hair while creating lift-in strands that are otherwise limp and lifeless.

Best Ergonomic Hold
RUSK Engineering W8less Professional 2000 Watt Dryer
  • An extremely powerful yet lightweight, 2000-watt ceramic and tourmaline dryer.
  • The far-infrared rays penetrate the hair's outer cuticle, drying it from the inside out.
  • Lightweight
  • Tangle-free long cord
  • Travel-friendly
  • Budget-friendly
  • None
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03/26/2023 12:29 pm GMT


If you’re looking to embrace your natural hair’s texture, a diffuser is an essential attachment for your hair dryer. Curly hair has a pattern that must be protected at all times, and a diffuser will help smoothen and lock in curls while blow drying. Be sure to look for a diffuser with thicker separators to preserve the shape of your curls.  

Pro-quality attachments
Panasonic Nanoe Salon Hair Dryer with Oscillating QuickDry Nozzle, Diffuser and Concentrator Attachments

3 Speed Heat Settings for Easy Styling and Healthy Hair (White)

  • Hydrating hair dryer with oscillating quick dry nozzle: Innovative, back-and-forth moving nozzle dries hair quickly and gently with no hot spots, keeping your head cool and saving You time and effort
  • Salon-quality styling every day: Style Hair soon in the comfort of your home, with professional-level results; But it's so easy to use, It's a great everyday choice for your whole family
  • Nozzle prevents damage to hair and scalp: Oscillating head makes sure that your hair and scalp stay healthy by never getting too hot

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03/26/2023 09:29 am GMT


Some specialty hair dryers deliver hair conditioning ions to your strands, restoring shine to the hair and eliminating frizz, making it look smoother and healthier. Similarly, the negatively charged ions in ionic hair dryers are key for a sleek, shiny blowout.

Best for shine enhancing
REVLON Infrared Hair Dryer | 1875 Watts

Maximum Shine, Softness, and Control (White)

  • INFRARED TECHNOLOGY: Penetrates the cortex of the hair, heating it from the inside out. Maintains natural moisture balance to avoid over-drying.
  • CERAMIC COATING: Helps reduce heat damage from over-styling with even heat distribution for smooth and shiny results.
  • TOURMALINE TECHNOLOGY: Maintain neutral charge on hair's surface, leaving it looking conditioned and smooth while helping reduce frizz and static for healthy, shiny hair.

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03/26/2023 08:29 am GMT


A hairdryer with an adjustable heat setting is crucial for fine hair strands, as they soak in the heat much quicker than thicker hair strands. Find a good balance between settings to achieve a quick drying time with as little heat as possible. If you need to increase the heat, increase the airflow instead.

50% Faster Dry
BaBylissPRO Rapido Professional Hair Dryer, 2000 Watt Blow Dryer, Black
  • Internal construction engineered to reduce dryer weight. Italian craftsmanship makes it supremely durable.
  • Nano TitaniumTM heat & ionic technologies combine to produce smooth, shiny hair
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03/26/2023 07:29 am GMT

Look for Key Features

Once you understand your hair type and what you need from a hair dryer, looking for key features to help you achieve the best results is essential. Some features to consider the following:


Wattage is essential for hair dryers because it determines the device’s power, efficiency, and performance. It has a direct impact on various aspects of the hair dryer, including:

  1. Drying time: Higher-wattage hair dryers generate more heat and airflow, which results in faster drying times. Drying time is particularly important for individuals with thick or lengthy hair, who might otherwise spend a long time drying it.
  2. Heat control: Hair dryers with higher wattage usually offer better heat control, allowing users to choose between different temperature settings. Different temperature setting helps accommodate various hair types and styling needs, ensuring that hair is not exposed to excessive heat, which can cause damage.
  3. Motor life: Hair dryers with higher wattage typically have more powerful motors that can handle daily use more effectively, leading to a longer lifespan for the device.
  4. Professional results: Higher-wattage hair dryers are often preferred by professional hairstylists, as they provide the power and control necessary to achieve salon-quality results.
  5. Energy efficiency: While higher-wattage hair dryers consume more power, they also tend to dry hair more quickly, which could result in reduced overall energy consumption compared to using a low-wattage device for a more extended period.

It’s essential to choose a hair dryer with the appropriate wattage for your hair type, and styling needs to achieve the best results without causing damage to your hair.

The higher the wattage, the hotter and faster the blow-dryer. I recommend using dryers with at least 1800 to 1850 watts for the speediest results.
Steve – Hair Stylist, LocoBeauty product finder expert

Ionic or Non-Ionic

An ionic hair dryer offers several benefits compared to traditional non-ionic hair dryers. These benefits are mainly due to the release of negative ions during the drying process, which interacts with the hair to provide a variety of advantages:

  1. Faster drying time: Negative ions help break down water molecules on the hair surface, allowing hair to dry more quickly. Negative ion reduces the time your hair is exposed to heat, lowering the risk of heat damage.
  2. Reduced frizz: Negative ions neutralize the positive charge of static electricity that can cause frizz in hair. By emitting negative ions, an ionic hair dryer helps to smooth the hair cuticle, resulting in smoother, less frizzy hair.
  3. Increased shine: Ionic hair dryers can help lock in moisture and close the hair cuticle, leading to a smoother, shinier appearance. The ionic feature also helps protect hair from environmental factors that can cause dullness and damage.
  4. Enhanced hair condition: Negative ions released by the ionic hair dryer can help to reduce the stress on hair strands caused by heat styling, resulting in less damage, breakage, and split ends. Negative ion contributes to healthier-looking hair overall.
  5. Enhanced manageability: By minimizing frizz and encouraging sleeker hair, ionic hair dryers can boost the ease of managing hair, simplifying the styling process and hair maintenance.

While ionic hair dryers offer many benefits, it’s important to note that they may not be suitable for everyone. For example, those with very fine or thin hair might find that an ionic hair dryer can make their hair appear too flat or limp. However, as with any styling tool, it’s essential to consider your hair type and needs when choosing a hair dryer.

The concept involves utilizing negatively charged ions to facilitate water evaporation from the hair during the drying process, eliminating the need for extremely high temperatures. By employing lower heat levels, potential hair damage is also minimized.
Steve – Hair Stylist, LocoBeauty product finder expert

Weight and Ergonomics

Weight and ergonomics are essential when choosing a hair dryer because they can significantly impact the user’s comfort, ease of use, and overall styling experience. 

Here are some reasons why these factors matter:

  1. User comfort: A lightweight hair dryer is generally more comfortable to hold and use, especially during longer styling sessions. A heavy hair dryer can cause strain on the user’s arm, wrist, and shoulder, leading to fatigue and discomfort.
  2. Maneuverability: A lightweight and ergonomically designed hair dryer is easier to maneuver around the head, which allows for better control and more precise styling. This can be particularly beneficial when trying to achieve specific hairstyles or using the hair dryer to style the hair of others.
  3. Reduced muscle strain: Ergonomically designed hair dryers often feature a balanced weight distribution and comfortable grip, which can help minimize muscle strain and discomfort during use. This is especially important for professional hairstylists who use hair dryers for extended periods each day.
  4. Accessibility: Weight and ergonomics can also impact the accessibility of the hair dryer for individuals with limited strength, mobility, or agility. A lightweight and ergonomic hair dryer can make the styling process more manageable and enjoyable for users with these limitations.
  5. Efficiency: A hairdryer that is comfortable to hold and easy to use can help improve styling efficiency, as the user is less likely to need frequent breaks to rest their arm or adjust their grip.

By considering the weight and ergonomics of a hair dryer, you can select a device that will provide a more comfortable and enjoyable styling experience, potentially leading to better results and reduced risk of strain or injury.

Heat and Speed Settings

Heat and speed settings are essential features of a hair dryer because they provide greater control and versatility for users, allowing them to achieve optimal results while minimizing the risk of hair damage. The significance of these settings can be attributed to the following factors:

  1. Different hair types: People have different hair types, such as fine, thick, curly, or straight hair, which may require additional heat and speed settings for effective and safe drying. Multiple options allow users to customize their drying experience according to their hair type and needs.
  2. Styling purposes: Various hairstyles and styling techniques may require different levels of heat and airflow. For example, a cooler setting with low airflow is suitable for setting curls, while a higher heat setting might be needed to straighten wavy or curly hair.
  3. Hair health: Excessive heat can cause damage to the hair, leading to dryness, split ends, and breakage. Adjusting heat settings enables users to minimize potential damage by selecting the appropriate hair type and condition temperature.
  4. Drying time: Speed settings can influence the drying time, with higher speed settings providing faster drying. Adjusting the airflow can reduce the time the hair is exposed to heat, thus reducing the risk of heat damage.
  5. Precision: Different heat and speed settings can help users achieve more precise results when styling their hair, as they can better control the airflow and temperature to target specific areas or sections of the hair.
  6. Energy efficiency: By choosing the most suitable heat and speed settings for a specific task, users can optimize energy consumption and potentially reduce overall energy usage.

By offering multiple heat and speed settings, a hair dryer becomes more versatile and user-friendly, catering to a broader range of hair types and styling needs while helping to maintain hair health.

Cool Shot Button

The cool shot button is an essential feature on hair dryers because it provides a burst of cool air, which offers several benefits for the hair styling process and overall hair health:

  1. Setting the hairstyle: When hair is heated during drying, the hydrogen bonds within the hair shaft temporarily break, allowing the hair to be reshaped. The cool shot button helps to cool down the hair quickly, which helps to reform the hydrogen bonds and set the hair in the desired shape. This is particularly useful when creating curls, waves or maintaining volume.
  2. Reducing frizz: The cool air from the cool shot button can help to smooth the hair cuticle, minimizing frizz and flyaways. This leads to a smoother, shinier, and more polished finish.
  3. Minimizing heat damage: Using the cool shot button after drying hair with heat helps to lower the temperature of the hair quickly, reducing the time hair is exposed to heat and, consequently, minimizing the risk of heat damage.
  4. Enhancing shine: By closing the hair cuticle, the cool shot button can help to lock in moisture and improve the hair’s natural shine.
  5. Improved manageability: The cool shot button can help control the hair during styling, making it easier to manage and style.
  6. Longer-lasting results: By setting the hair in place, the cool shot button can help extend your hairstyle’s longevity, keeping it fresh and well-styled for longer periods.

In summary, the cool shot button is an essential feature of hair dryers because it provides various benefits for hair health, styling, and maintenance. It allows users to achieve salon-quality results and maintain their desired hairstyle throughout the day.

Attachments and Accessories

Next, let’s discuss the attachments and accessories that can make your hair-drying experience even better:

A concentrator nozzle and a diffuser are two different attachments for hair dryers, each serving distinct purposes and catering to different hair types and styling needs. Here are the primary differences between these two attachments:

Concentrator nozzle:

hair dryer concentrator nozzle
  • Purpose: The concentrator nozzle focuses the airflow from the hair dryer into a narrow stream, allowing for more precision during the drying and styling process.
  • Hair types: This attachment suits most hair types, including straight, wavy, and slightly curly.
  • Styling: The concentrator nozzle is ideal for straightening hair, creating sleek and smooth styles, adding volume at the roots, or using a round brush for blowouts. It can also help to reduce frizz and flyaways, as it directs the airflow downwards, smoothing the hair cuticle.
  • Control: This attachment allows for better control and precision when targeting specific sections of the hair, making it easier to achieve desired results.


hair dryer diffuser
  • Purpose: The diffuser attachment is designed to disperse the airflow from the hair dryer over a larger surface area, creating a gentler and more even distribution of heat and air. This helps to maintain the hair’s natural texture while minimizing frizz and damage.
  • Hair types: The diffuser is best suited for curly or wavy hair, as it helps define and enhance its natural curls and waves.
  • Styling: This attachment creates volume, enhances curls and waves, and reduces frizz. The diffuser’s prongs can lift the hair at the roots, adding volume and bounce. It’s beneficial for maintaining and defining curls without causing them to lose their shape.
  • Control: The diffuser provides a more gentle drying experience, which can help to protect delicate, curly, or wavy hair from damage caused by direct, concentrated heat.

In summary, the concentrator nozzle and diffuser serve different hair-drying and styling purposes. The concentrator nozzle is ideal for precision styling and straightening, while the diffuser enhances and protects curls and waves. Choosing the appropriate attachment depends on your hair type and desired results.

Consider Your Budget

Hair dryers can range in price from under $20 to several hundred dollars. While it’s tempting to opt for a less expensive model, remember that investing in a high-quality hair dryer can help you achieve better results and reduce damage to your hair over time. So, rather than solely focusing on price, think about your budget and search for hair dryer models that provide the required features at a cost that suits your needs.

Try Before You Buy

Try out a hair dryer before making a purchase. Some salons may have hair dryers available for use, or you can ask a friend who owns a hair dryer you’re interested in if you can test it out. Trying before buying can give you a better sense of how the hair dryer feels in your hand, how well it works on your hair, and whether it’s the right fit for you.

Top Hair Dryers on the Market

Here are five top hair dryers on the market to consider:

The Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer is a high-end model with a digital motor for fast and efficient drying and magnetic attachments for versatile styling. It also has intelligent heat control technology that helps prevent damage to your hair. While it is a more expensive option, many users swear by its performance and results. This hair dryer is the best hair dryer for me so far.

A Powerful Yet Quieter Motor
The Easiest To Use Attachments
A Heat Control System That Protects Your Hair
A little expensive but If you want the best
Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, Iron/Fuchsia
  • Temperature options: 4
  • Speed options: 3
  • Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Power: 1,600 watts
  • Height: 9.6 inches
  • Width: 3.1 inches
  • Length: 3.8 inches
  • Warranty: 2 years

Best for:
  • Quick, efficient drying
  • Smoothing and polishing
  • Protection from excessive heat
Skip if:
  • You don’t regularly use a hair dryer—it’s an investment
  • You have very curly hair, since diffuser attachments may not evenly style hair
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03/25/2023 10:29 pm GMT

This unique hair dryer combines a brush and dryer in one, making it easy to achieve a salon-quality blowout at home. It has multiple heat and speed settings and can help reduce frizz and add volume to your hair.

The Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer Hot Air Brush reduced your hair drying time and gave me a sleek, lustrous, and healthy-looking mane with a generous volume. Moreover, it was effortless to operate.

REVLON One-Step Volumizer Enhanced 1.0

Hair Dryer and Hot Air Brush | Now with Improved Motor (Black)

  • Heats up and dries fast
  • Soft, flexible bristles
  • It doesn’t cause static
  • Priced lower than similar products
  • Loud
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03/25/2023 06:29 pm GMT

This budget-friendly hair dryer features a powerful motor and ionic technology to help reduce frizz and enhance shine. It also has multiple heat and speed settings and a cold shot button for setting styles in place.

Unique is the best word for this hair dryer with a rainbow chrome finish. In addition to its colorful exterior, this model has some powerful perks. It has three heat and two-speed settings come with a diffuser and concentrator attachment and can dry hair 50% faster.

INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Hair Dryer, 1875W Ion Choice Hair Dryer

Turn Ions ON for Smooth, Shiny Hair and OFF for More Fullness and Volume

  • This dryer has ion technology that you can turn on or off depending on your desired drying efforts.
  • The two-speed settings are separate from the three heat settings plus the cold shot button.
  • The hair dryer can turn ions on to smooth and moisturize your hair. That helps when you’re trying to get a sleek, straight style.
  • It has a great 1875w high-end AC motor, which delivers uniform heat faster and prolongs the lifespan of the dryer.
  • Buttons to control are positioned wrong.
  • On the heavier side at 2.3 pounds.
  • The dryer can be very loud at the highest speed, too.
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03/26/2023 03:29 am GMT

The BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Hair Dryer features a 2,000-watt motor and nano titanium technology that helps distribute heat evenly and reduce damage to your hair. It also has a concentrator nozzle and a diffuser attachment for added styling options.

Compared with the other blow dryers I tested, the BaBylissPro Nano Titanium has the best features for a budget dryer. It has a better build quality and more options than the less expensive Remington and Conair models I used. It also has slightly higher wattage, which can help dry hair faster if you have coarser strands. 

BabylissPRO Nano Titanium Hair Dryer, Professional 2000-Watt Blow Dryer

Ionic Technology Dries Hair Faster With Less Frizz

  • Temperature options: 3
  • Speed options: 2
  • Controls: Front of handle
  • Attachments: 1 concentrator
  • Ions: Yes
  • Warranty: 4 years

Best for:
  • Budget shoppers—it’s under $100
  • Super smooth results
  • Sleek blowouts, thanks to its easy-to-use concentrator attachment
Skip if:
  • You want a dryer that comes with a diffuser for curly or textured hair; this one includes a concentrator attachment only
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03/26/2023 04:29 am GMT

T3 AireLuxe Digital Ionic Professional Blow Hair Dryer has a powerful 1,800-watt motor and ion-generating technology that helps reduce frizz and enhance shine. It also has multiple heat and speed settings and a cool shot button for setting styles in place.

T3 AireLuxe Digital Ionic Professional Blow Hair Dryer

Fast Drying, Lightweight and Ergonomic, Volume Boosting, Frizz Smoothing, Multiple Heat and Speed Combinations. 1875 Watts

  • Temperature options: 5
  • Speed options: 3
  • Controls: Back of handle, excellent shot in front
  • Attachments: 2 concentrators
  • Ions: Yes
  • Warranty: 2 years, 3 with registration
Best for:
  • All hair types, since it has the most heat settings of any competitors in our testing
  • Beginners, since it has super clear instructions and intuitive button controls
  • Someone who wants a longer than average warranty
Skip if:
  • You want the most ergonomic controls—these are located on the back of the handle
  • You don’t like snap-on attachments
  • You want a model that comes with a diffuser
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03/26/2023 06:20 pm GMT

At first glance, one may view the Shark hair dryer as another vacuum cleaner brand attempting to venture into the blow dryer market. However, the Shark Style IQ Ionic Hair Dryer & Styler, introduced towards the end of 2021, has gained a loyal following from beauty enthusiasts and professionals. What sets the Shark apart and has caused such a stir?

Powerful and intelligent with a sleek design and clever tech. The Shark hair dryer is expensive at 1600 watts, but you won’t find some unique features it offers anywhere else.

Shark Blow Dryer HyperAIR Fast-Drying with IQ

2-in-1 Concentrator, Styling Brush, and Curl-Defining Deep Diffuser Attachments, Ionic, No Heat Damage, for All Hair Types, Stone

  • ULTRA-FAST DRYING: HyperAIR IQ Technology intelligently combines high-velocity heated air and ionized air for ultra-fast drying with no heat damage.
  • NO HEAT DAMAGE: Intelligent heat control measures outlet heat up to 1,000 times per second, ensuring consistent temperature and air distribution for quick, even drying so you never have to worry about extreme heat damage.
  • STYLES THAT LAST: Auto-optimized heat and airflow settings from HyperAIR ensure the best results. HyperAir includes dual optical sensors that automatically recognize styles and intelligently set heat and airflow.
  • NEGATIVE ION GENERATOR: Increases smoothness and shine while decreasing frizz and flyaways (vs. air drying).
  • Compact design
  • Powerful motor
  • Adaptable, intelligent attachments
  • Sleek look
  • High price
  • Heavier than some competitors
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03/27/2023 08:29 am GMT

FAQ about Hair Dryer


Choosing a suitable hair dryer can make all the difference in your styling routine. By considering factors like your hair type, key features, budget, and reviews, you can find a hair dryer that works best for you. Whether you’re looking for a high-end model with advanced technology or a budget-friendly option that gets the job done, a hair dryer can help you achieve the perfect hairstyle.

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