The best hair dryer should dry your hair quickly and literally, but that’s exactly what a bad hair dryer will do. A device that gets rid of surface level moisture is needed without removing the cuticles and dehydrating the inside of each strand. (This is perhaps the fastest way to frizz, break and split ends.)
You want more than just hot air. Look for three specific, sometimes overlapping, technologies: ionic, ceramic, and tourmaline hair dryers.
Ionic hair dryers
Because there are positive ions in water, a device that generates negative ions helps disperse water droplets quickly and evenly. An ionic hair dryer generates these negative ions and allows the device to dry hair at a lower temperature and faster. Best of all, this means that the hair’s cuticle won’t open up as much as a high-heat dryer would. (Heat causes cuticles to open and lose moisture, and this moisture loss also causes frizz.)
The best ionic hair dryer
Ok, yes: price. However, like most Dyson products, it falls into the expensive but worth it category. If you’re serious about this shit, if that hair dryer. This motor is tucked into the handle of the dryer (rather than the back of the head), which makes the Supersonic more ergonomic – not as heavy as the competition. The microprocessor on the side of the dryer regulates the temperature and reduces heat damage to your hair, thus eliminating the greatest risk to its health. This dryer also has more accessories than the rest of the field: along with the gentle airhead, there’s a concentrator and diffuser as standard, as well as a fly tamer and a wide-toothed comb for creating waves and curls.
Ceramic hair dryers
Ceramic hair dryers, on the other hand, have a ceramic body. This material allows the air to heat evenly and in turn creates safe infrared heat for the hair that penetrates, helping to dry the hair safely and effectively. If you have fine or thin hair, ceramic is your best option as it is generally gentler.
The best ceramic hair dryer
Compact, collapsible, and travel-friendly, the Conair dryer is like a maker’s mark: a brand you trust, at a price point you like, and no one will guess your taste. You know what it’s got: In addition to three heat options, it also has a cool hold (to lock the style in after product is applied and combed into place), and for the traveler, it’s got double tension so you can carry it internationally. (Many other dryers would break the circuit. I’ve done it, and it’s embarrassing to tell everyone in your building that you, Airbnb trash, killed their power just to make yourself look good.) If you’re new. game or not sure which dryer to buy, start here. That’s a sure thing.
Tourmaline hair dryers
Tourmaline dryers have both the infrared features of ceramic dryers and the capabilities of a physicist-approved ion dryer. For this reason, tourmaline is more or less professional grade stuff. (However, there is a wide range of quality within each category, so a low-grade tourmaline may not be a high-grade tourmaline.)
The best tourmaline hair dryer
With this tourmaline gun in hand, you’ll feel like 007. The Sedu Revolution is lightweight, sleek, and cuts drying time in half—which, you know, means less time spent spraying your hair with high heat, which means less damage. It’s the device we return to the most for its ultimate frizz-free, manageable volume and healthy shine (as in brittle, dry hair). These things are essential, especially if you are growing your hair out or maintaining long hair. That’s why Revolution is the A-grade tourmaline choice, and should be your first upgrade as you move past first base.
Bonus: Best lightweight hair dryer
Scratch everything we said about ions, ceramics, and tourmaline this-and-that: one of the year’s coolest releases is the Zuvi ‘Halo’ blow dryer, which uses light to dry hair faster (much like leaving laundry in the sun helps speed things up). The Zuvi is softer, quieter, faster and more gentle than any of its competitors, although it’s truly unrivaled in this lightweight category. This halo of light gets the job done while maintaining a healthy glow, body and perfection. It has received our full approval.