With a good shampoo, conditioner and mousse, the humble hair dryer can be your styling ally. But a lousy one can make a blowout feel like a bicep workout.
Some brands tout ionic or ceramic-tourmaline technology on their packaging, but these aren’t necessary for an effective hair dryer, GH Beauty Lab tests found. Instead, look for models with a great airflow that are comfortable to hold and easy to navigate.
- IQ Perfetto
The GAMA IQ Perfetto is the most advanced professional hair dryer in the world. It is extremely light and compact, and it delivers unparalleled performance without compromising on aesthetics. It dries your hair 30% faster than any other professional hair dryer, and it is super quiet with only 78 decibels.
It also has a number of useful features that set it apart from other lightweight models, including a standby mode to prevent overuse, and a high-tech self-diagnosis system. Its antibacterial feature helps protect your scalp and hair, and its Venturi Effect multiplies air flow from the engine without consuming extra power. This dryer is a favorite of professional stylists and is ideal for jet-setters, as it works worldwide (just bring your adapter). This model also has two washable filters, allowing you to clean the machine daily and extend its lifespan.
- Bio Ionic
While it might look a bit like a Dyson Supersonic dupe, this beauty-buff favorite from celebrity hairstylist Kim Kimble is actually an affordable and effective ionic dryer. It comes with a rare five attachments, including two concentrators and a diffuser, to suit different hair types and textures. And it’s incredibly lightweight, coming in at just under a pound.
Ionic technologies reduce static electricity by blasting negative ions that counteract the positive ones in your wet hair. While this is helpful for those with frizzy hair, it can leave fine hair looking limp and flat if you’re not careful.
- Harry Josh Ultra Light Hair Dryer
Designed by celebrity hairstylist and eponymous brand founder Harry Josh, this sleek mint green blow dryer is already one of the most shared hair tools on Instagram. The original version also nabbed Allure’s Best of Beauty award three years in a row, making it the hair tool of choice for everyone from models and actresses to fashion editors.
But when fans threw their support behind requests for a lighter and quieter model, Josh heard them and created this updated version. The new Ultra Light weighs less than a pound, is quieter and blasts air at 94 miles per hour.
It also offers 12 heat, speed and ion settings and a longer nozzle concentrator (so that pros can rest their supporting hand on it while blowing out Kate Middleton-inspired curls). If all of that isn’t reason enough to scoop up the upgrade, online beauty e-tailer Dermstore has Harry Josh Pro Tools on sale 25 percent off right now.
- Revlon One-Step
A favorite of celebrities, the Revlon One-Step is a hair tool that dries and styles in one. It has a large oval-shaped brush with different lengths of bristles to polish and volumize strands at the same time.
It’s an Internet sensation thanks to its cult-following and low cost (it’s less than $60). It’s available online and in stores, including Target and Walmart.
This dryer delivers on its lofty claims of a smooth, voluminous blowout, with multiple digitally controlled heat settings, a lock-in cool shot, an extra-long nine-foot cord, and more. But using any kind of hot tool on your hair every day isn’t the healthiest thing, so be sure to protect your strands with a heat-protectant spray or cream before you start drying. It also doesn’t come with fancy nozzles or diffusers, so you’ll need to add those yourself.best hairdryers