When it comes to achieving an at-home blowout, a good hair dryer is essential. As hairstylist Aaron Grenia previously told Cosmo, a dryer with a concentrator nozzle “concentrates the airflow and encourages the cuticle to lay flat,” resulting in frizz-free, shinier locks.
Our top pick has standard features like heat and speed settings and a cool-shot button, but it also has unique features that pros love, including ionic technology.
Adjustable Heat & Speed Settings
A great hair dryer will offer a range of heat and speed settings, as well as special features that allow you to customize your blowout. For instance, if you have curly or textured hair that tends to be more compromised by heat damage than straight strands, a dryer with lower heat temperatures is a must. “It’s really important that the hair doesn’t get too hot, so it doesn’t fry and break,” celebrity stylist Justine Marjan, who works with Khloe Kardashian and Ashley Graham, previously told Cosmopolitan.
For those with limp, fine hair that can’t withstand too much heat damage, the Good Housekeeping Beauty Award winner Bio Ionic Graphene MX is a gentler option with some of the lowest temperature settings in our testing. This model also comes with a long cord and boasts rounded concentrator nozzles for a streamlined blowout with less of the tornado effect. Plus, it’s incredibly lightweight and quiet. (We can’t forget about its pretty mint green color, either.)
The best ionic hair dryers blast your locks with negative ions. This counteracts the positive ions that build up in your hair as it dries, which causes it to lose moisture and cause damage. The result is hair that’s smoother, faster drying and shinier.
This ionic dryer is foldable, dual voltage and comes with a range of attachments, so it’s the perfect travel blow-dryer for bouncy curls. It also scored high marks in GH Beauty Lab tests for its strong airflow and ease of use. And Sephora and Ulta reviewers love how quiet it is, especially in comparison to other travel blow-dryers.
Many hair dryers tout special technologies like ceramic/ceramic-tourmaline or ionic on their packaging, but these aren’t necessary for an effective, quality blow dryer, GH Beauty Lab testing has found. Instead, focus on looking for a safe seal of approval from a safety organization, such as UL or TUV, to ensure that your new tool isn’t overheating and damaging your hair.
a built-in diffuser
A blow dryer with a diffuser is one of the best options for those with curly hair. The diffuser helps shape, define and add volume to curls while also minimizing frizz and flyaways. It can be difficult to find a good hair dryer with a diffuser, but this one from Sam Villa comes highly recommended by many reviewers. It’s a bit more expensive than some drugstore picks, but it has everything you need for a salon-quality blowout at home: a diffuser attachment, a ceramic-coated grill and ionic technology that supposedly smooths the cuticle to minimize damage.
This hair dryer is comfortable to hold and has easy-to-use buttons. It also has a long cord, which is important for those with wavy or curly hair to avoid having to constantly move the blow dryer around. In addition to a diffuser, it comes with other useful attachments like a wide tooth comb and a concentrator nozzle. It was a winner in our Beauty Lab tests for its strong airflow, lightweight design and easy-to-use attachments.best blow dryer