I think it's important to preface this story by saying that I used to be a total hair dryer fiend. Back when I was heat-styling my hair every day (it was a dark time), it became my obsession to find one for my thick, curly hair that would dry it in record time. Oh right, and we can't forget about the fact that I was a broke college student who wanted a quality one on a slim budget. With those parameters in mind and help from generous dormmates who would lend me theirs to try, I managed to find a rotation of solid options.
Now, I don't heat-style nearly as much as I used to, but I do still consider myself somewhat of an affordable hair dryer aficionado. Whether you have thick curls, damaged strands, or fine, wavy hair, I've found a few options that suit every hair type (and most budgets). Keep scrolling and add to cart.
If your locks are sporting a bit of damage, fear not. This $27 option from Revlon has infrared technology which heats hair from the inside out but also helps it maintain its natural moisture balance to avoid further damage. The ceramic-coated plates also help reduce frizz, evenly distribute heat to the hair, and reduce heat damage.
2. Conair InfinitiPro Quick Styling Salon Hair Dryer
Armed with a powerful AC motor, this Conair dryer gives incredible volume and ensures a fast drying time so there's less heat exposure for your hair. It also comes with a sleek concentrator that helps focus the airflow for precise drying.
This hair dryer has so much going for it. For starters, you can't beat that sleek rose gold color along with the compact design and foldable handle. It's also great for curly hair because it comes with its own diffuser and has ionic technology that helps provide heat protection.
4. Kim Kimble Celebrity Series Ultra-Light 1875W Pro Hair Dryer
As far as budget-friendly hair dryers go, this option from Kim Kimble is a bit on the higher side of the price range, but let me tell you why it's worth it. It's super light, compact, and has 1875 watts of styling power. Additionally, it comes with two attachments, a concentrator and diffuser to style your hair with ease.
This is hands-down the cutest travel=-sized hair dryer out there. Not only is it pretty affordable, it has a turbine fan with thinner and lighter blades that create a compressed airflow. This allows it to dry your strands faster while helping hair maintain its natural moisture. I would say that makes it another great find for those with stressed out strands who want to avoid further damage.
I honestly can't believe this dryer boasts 1875 watts of power and comes with four attachments. Priced at just $20, it makes styling a breeze and the ceramic tourmaline technology in it gives off negative ions to help hair look shinier, healthier, and more moisturized.
This cult-favorite dryer creates a sleek, smooth, shiny finish in record time. I will say though, it's definitely not suited for those with super thick, curly hair. I've tried it myself and it did not work at all for me, but it's still a great option for those with finer hair types.
9. Hot Tools Pro Signature Ionic Ceramic Hair Dryer
Equipped with negative ionic technology, this dryer can spray negative ions to protect the hair, help it dry quicker, reduce static, and keep strands moisturized. The various heat modes make it great for those with thick or thin hair. Not to mention that $30 price tag—can't beat that either.
Another fantastic option if you travel a lot, this is one of the best affordable hair dryers for its constant temperature control. It distributes heat more evenly on the hair's surface while only removing water. This leaves your strands healthy and more hydrated.
With an almost perfect five-star rating on Amazon and four attachments, it's hard to believe this dryer is only $44. It has 2000 watts of power, advanced tourmaline-ionization technology, and plenty of attachments to help style any hair type with ease.