The Best Hair Dryers for Every Budget and Hair Type

by Caitlin White

The Best Hair Dryers for Every Budget and Hair Type
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Is that celeb-endorsed but pricey blow dryer really worth it? Will the drugstore dryer work just as well on your fine hair? Taking into account both your budget and your hair type, we’ve found the best hair dryer for your needs, according to beauty lovers and reviewers. We’ve looked at things like weight (your blow dry regimen shouldn’t be like another barre class), settings, time to dry, and so much more to really narrow down our choices, so scroll down to check out the top seven that made the cut. [Editor’s note: This post has been updated for 2018]


1 of 7 Image Credits: Ulta

Best Hair Dryer for Fine Hair: Elchim 3900 Healthy Ionic Dryer


The best hair dryers for fine hair don't get too hot, are ceramic for even distribution, are quick on the drying time (more drying = more damage on your delicate strands!), and have a wattage from 600 to 2,200 watts. The Elchim 3900 checks all of these boxes, and reviewers love it. "I have very fine hair that has been bleached," one Ulta reviewer writes. "My hair never felt so good before. I mean its silky, smooth, non frizzy and looks amazingly healthy. Now I will use this every time I wash my hair!" The ceramic, ionic blow dryer works to keep your hair hydrated while it dries, and it claims to cut drying time up to 30 percent. While not quite on the drugstore hair dryer level of affordability, at less than $200, this professional-grade tool does come with a lifetime warranty to protect your investment—the only blow dryer on the market that offers it.

2 of 7 Image Credits: Nordstrom

Best Blow Dryer for Curly Hair: DevaCurl DevaDryer and DevaFuser Set


I know what you're thinking: What is this crazy-looking contraption? Fellow curly-haired ladies, this is the blow dryer for you. DevaCurl has already taught us about NoPoo shampoo and other curly hair protection tips, and now it's bringing a hair dryer that won't damage or frizz up your bouncy strands. The Frankenstein hand-looking diffuser (ahem, DevaFuser) is meant to gently cradle curls all the way down to your scalp as you dry for definition. The shape may take some getting used to, but reviewers are hooked. "The DevaCurl DevaDryer enables me to quickly dry my curly hair and because of the unique shape of the diffuser I am able to create lift and volume on the top of my hair," one Nordstrom reviewer says. "I can say this helps my hair look the best, even better than when I visit a DevaCurl stylist!" Buy the blow dryer and diffuser as a set, and you'll save money overall.

3 of 7 Image Credits: Target

Best Hair Dryer on a Budget: Revlon 1875W Infrared Hair Dryer


This Revlon model is the best-selling hair dryer on Amazon, and for good reason! It's less than $20 (this is not a drill), but reviewers swear it gives a salon-quality blowout. "I was surprised to find it worked 10 times better than my old very expensive blow dryer," one Amazon reviewer says. "Dries my hair in half the time & the technology really does help to prevent frizzies & flyaways. My below the shoulders long hair looks smoother, healthier & has a wonderful bounce to it after drying." The super affordable hair dryer even comes with a diffuser, which is clear so you can really control and see what you're doing, and concentrator, making it a crazy good budget deal.

4 of 7 Image Credits: Sephora

Best Hair Dryer for Color-Treated Hair: Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer


This unique hair dryer has earned a top spot on both Sephora and Ulta, in terms of sales—and that's saying something, considering it's splurgey price tag. The light weight, quiet noise, and faster drying time (some reviewers claim it can take only about five to 10 minutes to dry long hair!), means this could be one of the best blow dryers for any hair type, but it's particularly a fave for color-treated hair. Overheating and overdrying your beautifully dyed hair can dry it out and even change the tone of the color treatment. (You signed up for lavender, not gray, right?) The Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer is designed not only for quicker drying time but with heat control that keeps hair healthy and shiny (and the right color!). "My thick, wavy, color treated hair dried about 60% faster. I timed it! No frizz, no hot scalp," writes one Sephora reviewer.

5 of 7 Image Credits: Sephora

Best Travel Hair Dryer: Drybar Baby Buttercup Hair Dryer


Drybar is known for its incredible blowouts, but now you can get that look at home and away with its travel version of its Buttercup hair dryer. Not only is it in an adorable yellow (find it easily in your suitcase!), it's perfect for on-the-go women. The blow dryer has two heat settings plus a cool shot button, it folds up easily and includes a travel bag (that's so cute; it says "I'm Full of Hot Air!), and most importantly, it's dual voltage. You can swap the settings so the Drybar hair dryer operates at 120/220-240 volts, so you can use it overseas on your vacation. "Powerful, lightweight. Blows my thick long hair out in no time and packs well," one Sephora reviewer says. "I also like that the cord isn’t skimpy. It’s long and strong. I travel for a living. This occupies a space in the corner of my bag." Other reviewers note that it gives the power of the full-size Buttercup, in a smaller package, so if you want to save money on one overall hair dryer that also works for travel, this is a great pick.

6 of 7 Image Credits: Ulta

Best Lightweight Hair Dryer: Rusk W8Less


Blow drying your hair shouldn't feel like you're enagaging in some crossfit activity. The Rusk W8Less lives up to its name by being one of the best blow dryers that clocks in at less than one pound. (So, you'd have to hold more than two in one hand to get that barre class arm workout.) One Ulta reviewer who lives with chronic pain notes just how important the lightweight Rusk hair dryer can be: " This is a great dryer for anyone but those living with arthritis, fibromyalgia, or any chronic pain/fatigue condition will appreciate the ease of use and lightweight design of this dryer!" But just because it's light, doesn't mean it doesn't pack a punch; it has an ionic generator and is infused with ceramic and tourmaline (meaning you can use a lower temperature to dry your hair, helping with damage and frizz). And at less than $100, it's a midrange to bargain blow dryer that feels more high end.

7 of 7 Image Credits: Dermstore

Best Overall Hair Dryer: Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Dryer 2000


Here are just a few things beauty reviewers on Dermstore have said about this Harry Josh hair dryer, "Literally the best hair dryer ever made," "Hair dryer of the CENTURY," and "Best blow dryer on the face of the Earth." It has caught the attention of celebrities too, with Gisele Bündchen and Karlie Kloss using it for their iconic tresses. The Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Dryer 2000 has a super unique feature: it allows you to toggle between ionic and non-ionic heat. In real life terms, that means, if you're looking to beat the frizz, switch to ionic. Want to boost fine hair's volume? Switch to non-ionic. Plus, it packs a power punch, delivering air at up to 80 miles per hour, reducing your drying time. And though it's not a travel hair dryer, it is more compact than most on the market, so you could definitely toss it into your weekender bag. Did we mention it comes in a super cute minty green color? This one is worth the investment.