Make sure you’re using one of the best hair dryers for your hair type from our top 12 list – featuring expert-approved picks for every price point.
Buying a hair dryer is a serious investment in you and your locks. A Philips Beauty 2019 study showed that 76% of women use a hair dryer at home. So it’s really an essential part of most peoples’ routine. With so many options out there, it’s hard to narrow down the best hair dryers for your hair type, budget and styling style. Mastering your hair routine can be a bit of a journey. Whether you’re trying to figure out how often to wash your hair or perfecting how to get rid of frizz, it takes some time to really find out what works best for you.
“There are lots to consider when you’re buying a hair dryer,” says hair restoration surgeon Dr Munir Somji, who has over 15 years of experience in hair health. “The first is wattage, the higher the wattage the more wind power it will give, which means less heat exposure to the hair.” In addition to power we’ve considered award-winning options, the best-reviewed hair dryers, and price points to suit every budget. Plus consulted a few more wise words from the hair experts so you know you’re selecting the very best for you and your mane.
What to consider when looking for the best hairdryer:
The best hair dryers for every hair type
Best big-budget hair dryer
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Wattage: 1600W | Temperature settings: 4 | Cord length: 2.8M
|✅ 5 attachments✅ High tech✅ For every hair type||❌ Expensive|
The much-hyped and often sold-out Dyson hair dryer is often touted as the one of the best hair dryers on the market, but is it really worth the big spend? Is Dyson really king?
The brand is best known for their high-end vacuum cleaners, so it makes sense that tech is at the forefront of this design. The powerful motor means drying is speedy, cutting time out of your routine. Cleverly, the motor is in the handle, not the barrel, meaning it’s better balanced and easier to hold. It’s also impressively lightweight at just 660g. Hair health is a priority – it measures air temperature 40 times per second to regulate the heat to prevent it getting too hot and stop hair damage.
According to our Group Beauty Director Charley Williams-Howitt, it’s a worthy investment. “A hair dryer is just a hair dryer, right? Wrong. You obviously haven’t used the Dyson. It’s the Beyonce of the tool world. It’s sexy, dynamic and super powerful. Expensive? Yes, but when it speeds up hair drying time when you’re time-starved it’s the dream. It also prevents frizz, makes flat hair full and increases shine all with zero damage. It’s 100% worth the splurge in my book.”
With a focus on hair health, and speedy styling, the Dyson hair dryer is worth if if you’re a regular hair dryer user.
Best hairdryer for dry hair
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Wattage: 2100w | Temperature settings: 3 | Cord length: 2.5m
|✅ Affordable✅ 3 year guarantee✅ Included diffuser||❌ Slightly noisy❌ Big|
With a focus on hydrating and nourishing hair – this is one of the best hair dryers to try if your hair is naturally dry. Or, if it’s been damaged by heat styling or bleaching. As the name suggests, it has a powerful 2100W motor, which means it dries hair quickly. It uses a dual ionic system to hydrate the hair and help prevent frizz, leaving hair glossy and smooth. It comes with a diffuser too, so it’s a great buy for detangling curly hair.
One enthusiastic 5 star Amazon review summed it up nicely. “I read the good reviews. I never spend a lot on hair dryers, but my current dryer has a short cord and buttons in the wrong place. I got this cheaper on offer, and it’s really good! It’s light to hold, has a long cord and buttons in the right place. The main thing I noticed is the condition of my hair. It’s super smooth and shiny. It’s worth the money – I highly recommend this.”
Best hair dryer for gloss and long hair
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Wattage: 1875W | Temperature settings: 3 | Cord length: 3m
|✅ 6 colours available✅ Hairdressers love it✅ Long cord||❌ No diffuser included❌ Quite loud|
This swish buy has 1000 5 star reviews on Amazon UK alone. ghd hair dryers are a go-to favourite of many hair stylists and celebrities, and it’s stylish too. Using 120kmh air flow, styling is speedy. ghd are the true experts when it comes to hair tools – so there’s a reason they’re a global best selling brand, with helios one of the best hair dryers in their range. It’s designed to boost shine, with a concentrated nozzle included to help give you that perfect blow dry at home. We also love that it’s available in 6 colours, so you’re not stuck with a boring black one.
Our Senior Beauty Writer Emma North swears by this model. She says, “My waist length hair can take forever to dry with a subpar hairdryer, but all that changed when I tried the GHD Helios.” She explains, “Its powerful, controlled airflow dries my hair in just a few minutes while simultaneously smoothing frizz and taming flyaways. It’s my holy-grail when I need glossy, smooth locks in a bit of a rush.”
Best hair dryer for heat damaged hair
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Wattage: 2200W | Temperature settings: 10 | Cord length: 3m
|✅ Feels high tech✅ 10 heat settings✅ Energy saving||❌ Only 2 attachments❌ Potentially overcomplicated|
No matter how careful we are, heat styling can still damage hair. It’s important to cut down on hair dryer use if you notice hair starts to get frazzled. But what’s the next best thing to air drying? This hair dryer. It’s a new launch that really impressed me. I have curly hair so I’m always conscious of overdoing heat styling. This doesn’t feel like it’s frying my hair and left it looking sleek and shiny.
But how does it work? Cleverly, it uses infrared lights to penetrate the hair shaft, helping to repair damage and even preventing hair loss in early stages. The infrared technology also helps speed up drying time by 50%, which will minimise the exposure to heat and help lessen any future damage. It’s a double-pronged attack to prevent hair from getting frazzled. The nozzle uses a clever honeycomb-shaped front, which helps evenly distribute heat for a more balanced blow-dry. It’s also really lightweight—just over 500 grams, which is incredibly rare for such a powerful pick.
The lightness is a huge bonus, and I did notice my hair looking extra shiny and glossy after the first use. Ok, so maybe it won’t actually reverse years of blow dries. I think a healthy dose of cynicism is always sensible when it comes to those big promises. But it certainly puts hair health at the forefront of its priorities, which you really do notice when you’re using it.
Best bargain hair dryer
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐ | Wattage: 2200W | Temperature settings: 3 | Cord length: 1.5m
|✅ Incredibly affordable✅ Smoothing nozzle✅ Lightweight||❌ Have to go in-store❌ Temperature too high❌ Shorter cord|
We were seriously curious about this one. How good can a £10 hair dryer really be? But we were genuinely impressed. Group Beauty Director Sarah Cooper-White explains.
“I’m used to using the GHD Helios hairdryer, which I love – so I was dubious. On first impression this Primark one looks very similar in shape to the Helios. But it’s much lighter. I liked the nozzle – I never dry my hair without one so this is an important factor for me. This nozzle was sturdy and attached well to the dryer without falling off (some pricier numbers have terrible nozzles!). The first thing I noticed is that the cord is short. Pricier dryers give you a much longer flex that makes it easier to manoeuvre the dryer. But – for a tenner you can’t complain so I just moved nearer my plug socket!”
Sarah continues, “It’s not as powerful as pricier dryers but gives good welly when turned on full whack. The hottest setting was VERY hot and it would frazzle your hair if you used it at this temp for a whole blow dry so I settled with the middle heat and this was good for smoothing my hair after rough drying. All in all I was really impressed. I didn’t expect much for £10 but actually it works really well, dried my hair nicely and didn’t leave it frizzy or feeling frazzled. A good buy if you don’t want to spend a fortune!”
VIEW NOW – £10 | PRIMARK
Best travel hair dryer
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Wattage: 1200W | Temperature settings: 2 | Cord length: 2.75m
|✅ Foldable and compact✅ Smooth finish✅ 4 colour available||❌ Slower styling|
We love going on holiday, but the packing can be a real nightmare – especially when it comes to hair tools. Do you lug your hair dryer across the globe, taking up valuable weight and space? Or do you go without and grapple with whatever flimsy option they have at the hotel? This is the perfect solution.
This folds up and takes up minimal space in your hand luggage . Small but mighty, it will still give you that perfect salon-style blow dry. It leaves hair perfectly smooth – which is ideal if you’re holidaying in a hot, humid country.
One enthusiastic reviewer commented. “Never thought I’d spend such a ridiculous amount of money on a hairdryer but I don’t regret it for a single moment. I read a lot of reviews to find a compact yet efficient hairdryer and decided to give the T3 Featherweight Compact Hair Dryer a chance. It did not disappoint: I cut down the time I take to completely dry my fine, shoulder-length hair by half (10 minutes as opposed to 20). The cool shot button is brilliant and the 2 drying speeds surprisingly effective. It is relatively quiet and does not use as much power as traditional hairdryers.”
Best designer double hair dryer.
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Wattage: 2000W | Temperature settings: 4 | Cord length: 3m
|✅ Comes with a case✅ 2 magnetic attachments✅ Stylish – looks designer||❌ A bit loud❌ Not as evenly weighted as Dyson|
Look familiar? Ahem. We won’t say which brand this styler was ‘inspired’ by but we bet you can guess. It’s not all about looks though. This luxurious looking purple hair dryer impressed us far beyond appearances. It comes with two nozzles and a diffuser, making this one of the best hair dryers for all hair types.
I liked that it comes with a matching case to give it that extra luxe feel, and I appreciated how easy it was to swap the magnetic attachments. This made it all-round very pleasing – borderline fun. It comes with a UK and a EU adaptor so it’s great for travel, and it also promises a 2 year guarantee.
Whats more, it has an impressive average rating on Argos.com of 4.8 stars. This really shows how easy it is to use and pleasing people find the experience of using it. “To be honest, I wasn’t holding out much hope that this would be good when it arrived and how small it was. Well, I was wrong!” wrote one Argos reviewer. “It’s so powerful, it usually takes me 30+ mins to dry my hair. This takes 10!! The heat settings are great too as it means I can use it on my daughters without burning their scalp. It’s also small enough to take on holiday and doesn’t need an adapter as it has a euro plug underneath the uk one!!!”
Coming in at less than half the price of its lookalike, it’s a worthy contender.
VIEW NOW – £80 | ARGOS
Best hair dryer for curly hair
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Wattage: 700W | Temperature settings: 2 | Cord length: 2.2m
|✅ Puts curls first✅ Gentle✅ Clever, innovative design||❌ Not versatile❌ Slow|
If you have curly hair, like I do – you know the military precision and planning that goes into washing your curls and coils. It’s not as simple as a hair wash and go. The curly hair routine is seriously high maintenance. There’s a lot of debate about whether you should use heat on your curls at all. Letting hair air dry is said to be better for curls, but let’s be honest—we don’t always want to wait around for hours after washing our locks.
Chances are if you dry your hair, it’s through a diffuser attachment onto your existing hairdryer. But this clever little gadget cuts out the middleman entirely, working as a standalone, specialized diffuser.
The focus here isn’t on the highest wattage or quickest setting. So there’s less focus on the motor that can make some models heavy and clunky. This is pleasingly simple— just place your curls into the diffuser, switch it onto one of the four heat and speed combinations and they’ll gently dry. Curly girls know that patience is key, and this is especially important when it comes to drying and detangling your curls. Speedy styling this is not but if you’re looking for an easy, gentle diffuser to make your wash days easier and quicker, this is ideal.
Salon favourite hair dryer
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Wattage: 1900W | Temperature settings: 4 | Cord length: 3m
|✅ Professionals’ choice✅ Powerful✅ Will last years||❌ Basic design❌ Not very exciting|
Chances are if you’re in a hair salon, you’ll see a Parlux hair dryer. The Italian brand is known to be one of the best hair dryers money can buy by those in the know. Ok, so they don’t look particularly high tech or sexy – but this is substance over style. 4 temperature settings and 2 speed settings gives you ultimate control to personalise your blow-dry. It’s weighty but not too heavy, and you really feel like you’re using something of substance – not something flimsy that’ll conk out after a year or two.
They’re noticeably built to last, as Freelance Beauty Director SJ Corfield-Smith explains. “I have had this hairdryer for over 15 years and it’s still going as strong as ever. It’s lightweight, super powerful and is the brand that you will spot most hairdresser’s use….probably because it’s so long-lasting!”
15 years of service. That’s admirable for any tool, let alone a frequently-used hair dryer. This is a great hair dryer if you want a no-frills, brilliant buy.
Best Shine Boosting Hair Dryer
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Wattage: 2000W | Temperature settings: 3 | Cord length: 2.7m
|✅ Adds instant shine✅ Versatile attachments✅ Modern design||❌ Heavy to hold|
Another tech brand getting in on the hair tool action. Panasonic have put technology at the heart of their creation. The high-tech promises can be a bit overwhelming when considering it for your hair, so let’s break it down.
This buy uses Nanoe technology. Nanoe technology helps hair retain moisture which will lead to healthier, shinier hair. It helps hair maintain 1,000 times more moisture than an average hair dryer. That’s impressive. This basically means hair is better moisturised and is less likely to dry out.
Celebrity hairdresser Michael Douglas is also a fan. He particularly flags the technology as a key plus. “What I like about this Nanoe technology is that it pumps back in just the right level of moisture, not to break down the style, but just to make the hair feel soft, supple and shiny.” With over 25 years of experience, Michael has styled the hair of stars from Kate Moss to Sienna Miller – so you can trust his review for his best hair dryer.
We like the shape of the dryer, but sometimes it felt a bit heavy on the body which made it feel harder and more awkward to hold and style. But, this is a very minor gripe. We do like that you can select a ‘healthy mode’. It’s a clearer way of setting a lower temperature to keep your hair protected and healthy.
Best hair dryer for speedy styling
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Wattage: 1600W | Temperature settings: 3 | Cord length: 2.5m
|✅ Clever nozzles✅ Super fast✅ LED controls||❌ Heavy❌ Complicated to begin with|
Our Beauty Editor Stephanie Maylor gives us her verdict on this hyped-up buy. It boasts a powerful wattage, a good cord length and 3 temperature settings to give varying heat levels. And it’s safe to say Stephanie was impressed with it’s sleek matte design, compact build and how it left her hair afterwards.
“When I first took this out of the box, I couldn’t see any heat or speed settings. They are positioned on the back of the hairdryer, near the fan with handy LED lights that alert you to your current setting. Their back-of-the-dryer positioning doesn’t feel quite as intuitive as a bog standard dryer. I struggled to change the settings with one hand and had to momentarily pause my hair styling until I had changed the settings but I’m sure with a bit of practice it will become second nature.
It comes with a concentrator nozzle and a diffuser, both of which are excellent. The diffuser has customisable prongs that you can shorten or extend to suit your hair length – genius. I used it on my daughter’s curly hair and her curls have never looked springier.
This is an efficient hair dryer, with a powerful motor and concentrated air flow. I was able to dry my hair in 10 minutes. It also ended up looking a lot smoother than it usually does after blow-drying, probably down to the smart ionic technology. It is pricey, no question, but if you blow-dry your hair a couple of times a week, this is a solid investment that will give you high-velocity drying power with no heat damage.”
Best hair dryer for dry hair
Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Wattage: 2200W | Temperature settings: 3 | Cord length: 3m
|✅ Protects hair✅ Compact✅ Sleek design||❌ Heavy|
Remington are a brilliant, reliable brand when it comes to hair tools. Most of us probably have had a tool by them at some point. They’re a classic company – but that doesn’t mean they should be underestimated. This new launch really impressed us, and packs a punch. Specially designed to prevent hair drying out, this uses ion technology to keep hair moisturised and stops hair getting frazzled. It’s ideal if you struggle with frizzy or flyway hair. A good, middle-ground price point means that this works as a brilliant all-rounder, and an ideal crowd pleaser.
TOWIE favourite Lucy Mecklenburgh is a fan. “I have always tried to seek out styling tools which cause the least amount of damage to my hair as possible”. She continues, “The Hydraluxe Pro products are perfect as they let you style without the risk of heat damage, something I’ve struggled with over the years due to being involved in regular events and photoshoots.”
How do I choose a good hair dryer for my hair type?
Are expensive hair dryers really worth it?
The short answer is yes, but that doesn’t mean that the cheaper options aren’t as good. If you have a bigger budget and you use a hair dryer after every hair wash, it’s definitely worth spending as much as you can afford. You’ll get the highest possible quality and technology-backed innovation, and your hair will look healthier.
Stéphane Ferreira Senior Colourist at Live True London agrees. “Yes, expensive hairdryers are worth it. They are made to professional standard and will give you years of use. So they are worth the investment. The more expensive hairdryers tend to have multiple heat and power settings which helps to protect your hair, minimise the heat damage and allows you to style your hair in multiple ways.”
Cheaper, more affordable hair dryers are still brilliant. You don’t have to overstretch yourself to get the hottest, most expensive model. It’s all about using them in the best way to keep your hair healthy. Don’t use the hottest possible setting – go for a middle level for a gentler, healthier dry. And always, always use heat protection before even picking up your hair dryer. We recommend the ghd Bodyguard Heat Protect Spray which impressed us and made it into our best products for frizzy hair round-up.
Whatever your budget, when picking between these best hair dryers it’s most important to find one that works best for you. Take some time to really consider what your hairs’ needs are. Is is dry? Is it frizz-prone? Is it curly? Really think about what you need out of your hair dryer and read through our guide thoroughly before committing to buying.
How to prevent hair from heat damage when drying:
The general consensus is a low heat setting and continued movement won’t damage hair when drying it. Experts also recommend allowing about 15cm or 4-5 inches between the dryer and your hair to prevent hair getting too hot.
According to top Trichologist Tony Maleedy, who has 25 years of experience specialising in hair health, we need to go gently with heat styling. “Any type of intense heat can damage hair. If a hairdryer is used to dry damp hair on a moderate setting and is constantly moved, then it won’t usually damage the hair,” he assures. “But if it is used at a hot setting and held in one place for too long or moved too slowly over the hair, damage can occur.”
This is again why it’s important to use a heat protection spray to prevent hair damage before picking up your hair dryer.
Hair restoration surgeon Dr Munir Somj has another tip to keep your hair healthy. “Use a microfiber towel to retrieve as much moisture from the hair as possible – then use a hairdryer.” He continues, “Doing this means that you will be using the hairdryer for a much shorter amount of time, therefore reducing the risk of extensive heat damage.”
Adding moisture back in to damaged locks is another way to beat the heat. Consider a fortnightly treatment using one of the best hair masks for your hair type. The results will speak for themselves.