We Found the All-Time Best Hair Dryers to Get Salon-Looking Hair

We get it—not everyone is into blow-drying their hair. But if you're someone who does love a good blowout, the precise model of hair dryer you choose can make a huge difference in your end result. What's interesting, however, is that you don't always get what you pay for. Yes, certain iconic, very expensive hair dryers are definitely worth the investment if your funds allow and you're someone who regularly relies on a hair dryer, but if you're someone who dries your hair less frequently or simply don't want to spend more than $30 or $50 on a hair dryer, you can find an equally good option. 

This has been the year of the low-maintenance hair aesthetic. Many of us have been less inclined to wash, style, and primp our hair as often as we normally would thanks to quarantine, and many of us have also been cut off from regular salon visits or blowout appointments. Personally, I've been leaning into a less-dependent relationship with my hair dryer, but that doesn't mean I don't want a top-of-the-line model when the time does come to style my hair. Since everyone has different preferences, budget bandwidth, and hair types, we've rounded up 20 of the all-time best hair dryers for a variety of needs and price points. Below, we're highlighting the main talking points for each hair dryer and are including a helpful review of each. Keep scrolling!

Budget: $50 and Under

The hair perks: The peppy purple hair dryer gets down to business no matter how thick or thin your hair is. It has special damage protection to cut back on drying havoc and breakage, it's 1875 watts for an expedited dry time, and the grill is made with ceramic, ionic, and tourmaline to nix extra frizz.

Glowing review on Amazon: "Wow. Genuinely surprised at how well this blow-dryer works. I was able to use a coupon and get it for around $9, so I wasn't expecting much in terms of it being high quality. But after using it a few times on my thick, coarse, wavy/curly hair, I am very pleased with this purchase. I use it on medium heat, and it dries my hair quickly. Can't ask for much more for the price."

The hair perks: Not only is this affordable hair dryer from Revlon one of the highest rated on Amazon, but it's also one of the site's fastest sellers. It comes with handy sectioning clips along with diffuser and concentrator attachments, and thanks to the dynamic combination of tourmaline, ceramic, and infrared heat technology, your hair is stealthily spared from damage. (FYI: Infrared technology works to heat and dry the hair from the inside out, which helps strands retain balanced moisture levels and healthy shine.)

Glowing review on Amazon: "This dryer is my 1st venture into the ionic/infrared realm. Like most, I would notice my hair was much smoother after a salon blowout versus at home. Yes, pricey dryers can make a difference, but changing to ionic infrared will achieve smoother results at home. Believe it or not, it lives up to the smoother claims. The force of air isn't the powerful blast of scorching heat I'm used to but still dries hair quicker than regular dryers. Hair is smoother, and overall, the dryer is less harsh on hair. It's a basic model, with only two heat levels and high or medium blast options. Basic, but for the price, it's perfect."

The hair perks: This hair dryer has so many key features that it's hard to believe the $30 price point. According to the brand, this speedy dryer will cut your dry time in half, is significantly lighter than most dryers, and utilizes both ionic and ceramic technology to promote healthier strands and a glossier finish. 

Glowing review on Ulta: "It drys my hair so fast, and it doesn't frizz up my hair. I love it!"

The hair perks: Mini but mighty, this is one of the most affordable (yet effective) compact dryers on the market. It features dual-voltage technology so that you can use it anywhere you travel, it releases negative ions as you dry for a smoother finish, and you can customize your dry with two different heat settings. 

Glowing review on Sephora: "This blow-dryer takes up a minuscule amount of space when packing for travel but packs the power of a full-size blow-dryer."

The hair perks: Aside from its eye-catching rainbow exterior, this budget-friendly hair dryer packs a punch where bang for your buck is concerned—you'll get a salon-level AC motor, three heat settings and two different speed settings, a handy cold-shot button, and included concentrator and diffuser attachments. 

Glowing review on Ulta: "I have wild, frizzy, dry, curly hair, and I've always had issues with hair dryers. They just exemplify the frizz. After doing some research, I decided to purchase this hair dryer, and I am not disappointed! The Ionizer setting is amazing! My hair has never been this smooth after blow-drying. If you're on the fence, just get it. This thing is amazing!"

Budget: $50 to $100

The hair perks: Hot Tools is a classic brand and one that many pro stylists often recommend if you're looking for salon-level quality at a more wallet-friendly price. This model is a customer favorite. The direct ion technology helps dry hair up to 50% faster than most models, it utilizes ceramic and ionic airflow, and you can customize your drying session by choosing from six different heat and speed settings. 

Glowing review on Ulta: "I bought this hair dryer last year for my mother after hers broke, and she loves it so much. She uses hers every day and has had no problems with it breaking/not working. I decided to buy one for myself, and I love it as well. I am not someone who uses a blow-dryer every day, but when I do use this, my hair looks and feels so nice!"

The hair perks: To be honest, we'd be tempted to buy this best of the best hair dryer based on its pretty turquoise exterior alone, so the fact that it provides optimum heat distribution, 50% faster dry time, three heat and two speed settings, and radiance-promoting ionic energy is all just icing on the cake. 

Glowing review on Ulta: "This blow-dryer dries my hair really fast. Even though I have short hair, it's thick and usually takes a long time to dry. This dryer cuts the time in half. It cuts down on frizz, and my hair is really smooth. It comes with a variety of attachments as well. I highly recommend this blow-dryer."

The hair perks: The starring highlight of this dryer is how lightweight it is. That said, the benefits don't stop there—this best-selling model also utilizes ceramic, tourmaline, and ionic technology for a speedier, healthier drying session, and it boasts a cool-shot button, three heat settings, and two speed settings. 

Glowing review on Ulta: "I finally have found a hair dryer that works on my straight, gray hair without leaving any flyaways or frizzies. I have had more expensive as well as cheaper hair dryers, and none of them ever dried my hair quite like this Rusk W8Less, which may be because of the ceramic/tourmaline which leaves my hair feeling really healthy. The fact that it is lightweight is a definite plus, and I do not find it any noisier than any other hair dryer."

The hair perks: If you're looking for a super-fast dry time and a light, easy-to-maneuver dryer, this is a great option. Other key benefits include an impressive number of heat and speed settings (six, to be precise!), a cool-shot button, and a negative ion charge to really enhance your natural shine. 

Glowing review on Ulta: "I always hated blow-drying my hair because it would instantly turn into a frizzy mess. I wanted a salon-like blowout, and this one delivers!"

The hair perks: T3's prized dryer just might be the most iconic of the compact and folding variety. As the name suggests, it's insanely lightweight, has dual voltage, two heat/speed settings, a cool-shot button, and nifty advanced airflow technology, which essentially allows the dryer to dry a larger area of hair at a time to help reduce static, retain hair hydration, and increase shine. 

Glowing review on Ulta: "The dryer is light, fast, and does the job effectively. My hair is 2C/3A wavy/curly, thick and tends to take ages to air-dry, but using this dryer cuts that time down considerably. The diffuser attachment works great as well. Quite pleased with it overall and can't wait to take it on a trip!"

Budget: $100 to $200

The hair perks: Okay folks, this hair dryer is cool. First, there's a hands-free, auto-pause mode. Then, there are other brilliant additions like the magnetic concentrator nozzle, Tru Heat Technology for an ionic generator, an Infinity Airflow Dial, a nine-foot professional-length cord, four heat settings, and the beloved cool-shot button.

Glowing review on Ulta: "I am an African American female with natural kinky/curly hair, so I am always skeptical about products and tools that are not made specifically for my hair type. But this hair dryer did not disappoint me at all! It's actually very handy to use for several reasons. First, the concentrator attachment—I have had hair dryer attachments fall off, break off, or leak air because of the quality. This is the first dryer I have used that has a magnetic attachment, and I must say this is far above the rest in quality. For those who have hair like mine, having a good concentrator is important for when we want to blow-dry the roots of our twist-out or braid-out to create volume in the style, and this is perfect for that.

"Second, the smart auto-shutoff feature. At first, I thought this auto-shutoff was triggered by the position of the dryer, but it is actually triggered by where you hold it. So you can move your hand to the bottom of the handle to shut it off.  I love this because if you put it down it shuts off, but if you just want to pause for a second to grab another section of hair or switch hands, you can do that, too. Third, the control of airflow, genius!!! I love this. In my other blow-dryers, there is only one setting, high, medium, or low and then you can press for cool or not. With this one, you can control the temperature and the speed of the airflow, which is awesome if you are conscious about not using too much heat on your hair like many naturals are."

The hair perks: Coily, curly, wavy, straight, this hair dryer works equally well for all hair types and thicknesses. The technology lies in the far-infrared rays, which delicately heat strands to reduce breakage and damage. Plus, the brand's patented heating element features a ceramic core for salon-level styling, faster drying time, and a super-shiny end result.

Glowing review on Sephora: "I have fine curly/wavy hair but a head full of it. When it's humid, my hair gets frizzy, big, and hard to style. I invested in this dryer with the hopes of managing my hair in the heat and humidity. It is pricey, but I'm going on a week now and so far have concluded that it's worth the price for me. I've been using 'cheap' dryers my entire life, and this is the first time I've ever invested in a professional-grade dryer. I am quite pleased with this one, and I do recommend it. This particular product is especially important now that we're in quarantine and can't get to the salon as regularly. Taking care of my hair to prevent heat damage and split ends is more important than ever, and this dryer is part of this new regimen, for sure."

The hair perks: The next best thing to an actual trip to Drybar? Its beloved Buttercup Blow Dryer, which is considered to be one of the best money can buy. It's designed with all hair types in mind, from thin or fine to thick or coiled, and it features a professional-length nine-foot cord, three heat and two speed settings, and a cool-shot button to seal in your style and shine. 

Glowing review on Sephora: "I've had this dryer since about 2017 and have never had any issues with it. It far outperforms any other dryer I've had. I'm Asian and have thick hair, and it dries my hair in five to 10 minutes (I start with hot air then finish with a shot of cool air), depending on how wet my hair is at the time, and it makes my hair super smooth and easier to style."

The hair perks: You know you'll get a salon-caliber finish with this best-selling hair dryer because GHD partnered with some of the top stylists in the business during the design process. It's signature airflow results in less frizz and a noticeably fast dry time, and it uses advanced ionic technology to lock in the moisture that's essential for optimal hair health. 

Glowing review on Sephora: "Looking back at my Sephora purchases today, I realized I bought this dryer four years ago, and it’s still going strong! It’s been dropped, traveled with, used two to three times weekly on the highest heat and speed settings with no issue. It smooths my super-long hair into a manageable sleek style in about 15-20 min. Love it!"

The hair perks: I mean, how adorable is this dryer from Amika? Aesthetics aside, it's a top-performing hair dryer and one of the best money can buy. Despite its small and featherlight build, it delivers a salon-level job without the hassle. The magic lies in the strategic combination of both negative and positive ion generators and far-infrared heat, which seals in moisture for a professional-looking finale. Oh, and did we mention it's buttonless? 

Glowing review on Sephora: "The greatest blow-dryer! I was hesitant to spend this much money, but it is worth it. My hair no longer has so many flyaways and dry texture. It’s so soft and silky! I even notice a difference between the positive and negative ion settings. The weight is similar to a full-size dryer but packs a major kick in a smaller size. I even turn it down from the highest heat setting at times. Recommend 100%. It’s super cute, too."

Budget: $200 and Over

The hair perks: A great option for all hair textures and hair types, this top-rated hair dryer is a best seller thanks to its unique aerodynamic technology (think smooth, fast, glossy results!) and a steadfast motor that's designed with a longer life span in mind.

Glowing review on Sephora: "I have long, fine, wavy, naturally blonde hair with some grays that I dye to cover the gray. I wanted a dryer that made my hair straight, shiny, and smooth so I wouldn't have to use a straightener afterward. This dryer passed the test! After blow-drying, I have sleek hair that holds its body with very minimal frizz. I no longer have to use a straightener."

The hair perks: The fact that this iconic mint green hair dryer maintains a solid five-star review with nearly 500 reviews speaks for itself, but here are a few extra details: an A/C motor that will last you somewhere around 2,000 hours and significantly speeds up your dry time, a cutting-edge filtration system that cuts back on energy consumption, eight different speeds and ion settings, and a light, easy-to-hold design. (Believe it or not, we could go on!) 

Glowing review on Dermstore: "I wasn't prepared for how efficient this hair dryer would be. Easy to use, feels good in my hand, has all the settings I want, and it dries my hair in no time. I think it is worth the price because it's an investment—why would I want to use something else… ever?!"

The hair perks: This hair dryer is an editor and pro stylist favorite. It has five different heat settings, so you can dry your hair with speed and efficiency, regardless of your length or texture. The auto-pause sensor stops airflow when you release the handle for easy at-home styling. Plus, there's even a volume-booster switch to enhance body and texture sans product. 

Glowing review on Sephora: "I don’t often write reviews, but this blow-dryer is amazing! My hair—which tends to be on the dry side with ends that are overprocessed—looks soooo good… like I just came back from the salon! Definitely happy with this purchase."

The hair perks: As this hair dryer's name would suggest, its drying magic is largely attributed to the brand's trademark GrapheneMX technology—a proprietary complex of natural minerals and graphene that is strategically infused into the dryer coils and which gives you exceptional style, shine, and out-the-door dry time. 

Glowing review on Sephora: "I purchased this dryer after looking at a wide variety of hair dryers. I've had it for six months now, and I couldn't be happier with this purchase! I have a lot of thick, dry hair, and it sits several inches below my shoulders. This dryer dries my hair on the medium/low setting in just seven minutes. It leaves my hair silky and smooth and never burns my hair during the drying process!!! I was concerned with the price, but it's worth every penny!"

The hair perks: When it comes to the hair dryer Hall of Fame, Dyson's Supersonic is at the top of the podium. It might be one of the, if not the, most expensive models on the market, but the technology and results are unparalleled. It comes with magnetic styling attachments; it uses negative ions; it's cool to the touch (meaning, it will never overheat on you); it's specifically engineered to style a variety of hair types; it promotes shine and prevents damage; and despite its light and balanced weight, it will dry your hair with superhero speed. 

The glowing review on Sephora: "I have very long, very thick, very curly mixed-girl hair. I’ve had my eye on this dryer for two years but couldn’t justify the $400 price tag. Finally, I decided to try it, assuming I would end up returning it, but this thing is amazing! I think if you have average or fine hair that is straight and/or on the thinner side, this dryer would not do anything more for you than a cheaper option. But if you have unique hair that is either curly or thick and requires at least three different hair products to tame your strands, then this dryer is 100% worth the money! I never would have thought a dryer could make such a difference in my curl pattern, but this thing not only dried my curly hair in 1/3 of the time (12 minutes instead of 40), but it also left all my curls intact, with no frizz, and somehow, they look shinier, too."

Up next, Celebrity Hairstylists Never Travel Without These 39 Essentials

Related Stories