Ask any honest hairstylist what the secret is to a salon-worthy hairstyle, and they’ll tell you that 99% of the time, it comes down to which shampoo and hairdryer you use. But which is the best hair dryer?
From cutting-edge models that use the latest haircare technology to affordable travel-friendly models perfect for packing for a weekend getaway, we’ve covered all types of hair dryers to suit all types of hair, with expert guidance to help us along the way.
The Recommended spoke to two top hair care experts to help us find the best hairdryers to suit all types of hair, with their own recommendations on which hairdryers they use when styling their clients. Based on their expert advice, which you can read at the bottom of this page, we pulled together our list of the best hairdryers below.
The best hair dryers at a glance:
- Best hair dryer for a salon finish: ghd Air Hair Dryer
- Best versatile hair dryer: Shark STYLE iQ Ionic Hair Dryer & Styler HD110UK
- Best professional hair dryer: Parlux 3200 Plus Hair Dryer Black
- Best basic hair dryer: Remington D3010 Power Dry Lightweight Hair Dryer
- Best smoothing hair dryer: TRESemme 5542DU 2200W Power Smooth and Shine Dryer
- Best range of attachments: Panasonic EH-NA65 Hair Dryer
- Best hair dryer for fast drying: BaByliss Super Power 2400 Hair Dryer
- Best hair dryer for conditioning: Toni & Guy Daily Conditioning Hair Dryer
- Best travel hair dryer: ghd Flight Hairdryer
- Best kids hair dryer: Deogra 1000W Children’s Hair Dryer
The best hair dryers
Best hair dryer for a salon finish: ghd Air Hair Dryer
Speedy drying and smooth results
This professional-level hair dryer comes recommended by our hair expert Laura Rugetti, who praised its super-fast drying and ionic technology.
This ghd drying has been created using enhanced ionic technology to reduce frizz and flyaways and give a smooth salon-style finish, and thanks to its 2100W of power, with variable speed and temperature controls, you can tailor your blow-dry to your hair type.
This intelligent hair dryer and styler automatically adjust to your hair type, helping to your strands strong and healthy while creating salon-worthy styles.
The Shark Style iQ Ionic Dryer and Styler offers a truly customisable drying experience that can be adapted to hair type and texture with ease. This hair dryer features a 1520-watt motor and three adjustable heat and airflow settings, as well as a ‘cool shot’ feature that helps to seal the hair cuticle and lock in styles. Its long power cord also makes it easy to use in a variety of spaces.
As well as the customisable drying settings, this hairdryer set comes equipped with two ‘intelligent styler’ attachments.
First up, we have the concentrator attachment, an adjustable dryer head that works to deliver smooth, precise styles that last. The attachment can be used on the wider setting for fast yet gentle drying, or you can create a more narrow flow of air by extending the nozzle for more precise styling.
The second attachment is the diffuser, which works to deliver definition and volume for curly and coily hair textures. The diffuser is made with an adjustable design made to suit different hair lengths and densities. The longer prongs are adapted to lift and define long and thick hair, while the shorter prongs are more suited to shorter styles and finer strands.
Something truly unique about this tool is the ‘intelligent styling’ aspect. The hair dryer automatically selects the optimum airflow and heat settings when either styler is attached, helping to minimize heat damage and frizz, these settings can be manually altered if desired.
The overall design of the Shark iQ Ionic Dryer and Styler is lightweight and easy to handle for a comfortable experience, designed to deliver salon-worthy results in the comfort of your own home.
Best professional hair dryer: Parlux 3200 Plus Hair Dryer Black
Salon-quality drying at home
This professional dryer from Parlux comes recommended by expert hair stylist Richard Ward, who uses Parlux dryers in his Chelsea salon, thanks to their longevity and performance.
Parlux is one of the biggest names in professional hair styling equipment, thanks to its excellent quality, powerful and durable motors. This dryer has been designed to provide over 2000 hours of drying, making it a great investment buy.
Best basic hair dryer: Remington D3010 Power Dry Lightweight Hair Dryer
Powerful and efficient
This hair dryer from Remington is a fast working, mid-sized dryer with three heat levels and two speed settings allowing you to customise the airspeed and temperature for your hair type.
With an impressive 2000W of power, this dryer is designed to dry hair quickly, while its ceramic Ionic grille promised to protect your hair from static and frizz. It also comes with a built-in Eco setting, that uses less power during use.
Best smoothing hair dryer: TRESemme 5542DU 2200W Power Smooth and Shine Dryer
Designed to give a glossy finish
The dryer from TRESemme has been designed to give you salon-quality results at home, thanks to its powerful fan and ionic conditioning technology.
Promising to deliver a constant stream of ionically balanced air and even heat distribution, this dryer has been designed to give a healthy, glossy finish after each use. It comes with a salon-style concentrator nozzle that has been specifically designed for fast, frizz-free results.
Best range of attachments: Panasonic EH-NA65 Hair Dryer
Maintains moisture while drying
This dryer from Panasonic has been designed to penetrate deep into hair while maintaining natural moisture while drying, reducing damage caused by brushing, and comes with two handy attachments.
The two attachments included with this dryer make it a stand out choice. The first is a unique quick-dry nozzle, which has been designed to emit strong and weak airflows to separate hair strands, drying hair rapidly and efficiently. The second is a more traditional diffuser attachment, which distributes airflow to dry hair with a soft finish, without losing waves or coils – ideal for curly hair.
Best hair dryer for fast drying: BaByliss Super Power 2400 Hair Dryer
Strong airflow for controlled styling
This BaByliss dryer is one of the most powerful on our list, with 2400 watts of power, and comes with a slim concentrator nozzle for controlled, precise styling.
Delivering a strong stream of ionic conditioned air to smooth hair, reduce frizz and boost shine. With three heat settings and two speed options, you can customise the level of power and set the temperature to suit your hair type.
Best hair dryer for conditioning: Toni & Guy Daily Conditioning Hair Dryer
Designed to protect while drying
This dryer from hairstyling super-brand Toni & Guy features ionic technology that protects hair during drying to give a conditioned, healthy-looking, frizz-free finish.
This dryer has been specially designed to give silky smooth results and uses a control concentrator allowing you additional precision when styling. This dryer is backed by the brand’s famous Salon Tested Professional Performance guarantee, with a two-year warranty.
Best travel hair dryer: ghd Flight Hairdryer
Compact and powerful
This dryer from ghd is lightweight and folds away, making it ideal for packing into your luggage for your next trip.
While compact and lightweight, this dryer still features the essential functions you need from a hair dryer, including powerful performance and built-in safety features designed to protect your hair from overheating and damage.
Best kids hair dryer: Deogra 1000W Children’s Hair Dryer
Gentle drying for kids
This colourful dryer from Deogra comes in two eye-catching designs and provides a gentle 1000W of drying power ideal for drying children’s hair.
With two power settings and two accessories – a concentrator nozzle and a diffuser – is ideal for all kinds of kids’ hair, and its cute and colourful design featuring captivating cartoon characters is guaranteed to keep little ones entertained.
Richard Ward and Laura Rugetti are two of the highest regarded names in the hair care and hairstyling industry, with decades of hairstyling experience between them and unrivalled knowledge about which hair care and hair styling products are the best to buy, including hair dryers.
Richard Ward is an award-winning hairstylist who has styled the hair of top celebrities, including Elizabeth Hurley, Kim Cattrall and Poppy Delevingne, and even British Royalty, with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, among his clients. From his award-winning eponymous salon in London’s Chelsea, he has created signature innovative yet wearable couture hairstyles and created the much sought-after Chelsea Blow Dry.
Laura Rugetti is one of the biggest names in celebrity hair in the US, styling the locks of some of the biggest celebrity names, like Paris Hilton, Kelly Osbourne and Amelia Gray Hamlin, as well as some of the biggest names in reality TV, including Selling Sunset’s Christine Quinn, The Hill’s Audrina Partridge and several cast members of the Real Housewives franchise.
We put three questions to both of them to understand precisely what you need to know when shopping for your new hair dryer, and got their expert recommendations of the best hair dryers to buy and why.
What should you look for when buying a hair dryer?
“Always get a dryer with a nozzle enabling you to directionally blow-dry and therefore flatten the cuticle to enhance shine, and a cool shot to help set the section”, advises Richard, who also advises that professional-level dryers, while sometimes costly, are well worth it; “A professional dryer will have a higher output than a regular shop-bought dryer, and although much more expensive, is designed to be used for long periods of time so is a worthwhile investment.”
While Laura’s advice comes down to four key factors: “Heat control levels, nozzles, cooling level and attachments for different hair textures” – all of which play an important role in crafting the perfect blow-dry.
What should you avoid when looking for a hair dryer?
“Cheap models will be less durable and if too hot can cause damage and increase porosity and sensitivity levels”, warns Richard. “If the dryer isn’t powerful enough in terms of air then heat may be a poor substitute which can cause greater damage.”
Laura agrees, underlining the importance of heat control, “avoid hair dryers that don’t have multiple heat settings” – one heat setting will not work for all hair, and while the default may work for most, you run the risk of frying delicate or thinner hair, causing hard-to-repair damage and frizz. “Also, dryers that don’t come with nozzles”, warns Laura, not having the ability to direct or diffuse airflow can ultimately limit what you can do with the dryer.
Which is the best hair dryer?
“We use and sell Parlux professional dryers in our salon”, says Richard, “which last for ages and deliver the right performance for professional hairdressers. Although expensive, they are worth it.”
“My favourite blow dryer is the ghd Air Hair Dryer”, says Laura, “it has super-fast drying and ionic technology, leaving the hair smooth and has attachments for every hair type.”
Want to read more expert-recommended hair care essential round-ups? Check out our Hair care page for a full list of recommendations, including our guide to the best hair straighteners, the best conditioners and the best hair curlers, all recommended by our hair care experts.