After Weeks of Testing, We Found the 5 Best Hair Dryers for Every Hair Type

Welcome to Deep Reviews—your one-stop destination to discover the absolute best products and brands the beauty industry has to offer. The Who What Wear staffers you already know and trust will research, test, and review the market's most sought-after and buzzed-about products to see which formulas (of the hundreds up for consideration) are truly worth your hard-earned money and attention. You can expect honest, completely uncensored feedback and no-BS recommendations our hard-to-please testers endorse without reservations.

Deep Reviews: Hair Dryers


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Beauty editors are notoriously picky, but when it comes to heat tools, we reach a whole new level. Blame it on the traumatic experience of burning our hair with a non-temperature-controlled curling iron or our many run-ins with bad hotel hair dryers, but yeah, we're choosy. 

That's not a bad thing. After all, with the technology we have available to us today, we don't think we have to settle for singed, burnt, or damaged hair. The right tools will accomplish exactly what we want—smooth, shiny, and perfectly styled strands—without causing roughness, dullness, or breakage and split ends

While all heat tools can be hit-or-miss, hair dryers deserve a special award for being unreliable. If you choose the right one, your hair is dry in a matter of minutes without compromising shine and strength. If you choose the wrong one, your hair will be weak, rough, and still wet. Clearly, choosing a hair dryer is a high-stakes gamble, so how can you rest assured you're investing in the right one? 

To answer that question, we took it upon ourselves to find and test the best hair dryers on the market. And we mean "best," regardless of hair type. We spent hours researching different dryers and organizing them in a color-coded spreadsheet. Then, we chose the five "best" ones for our beauty editors to test. We wanted to cut through the noise and provide a conclusive decision on what we consider to be the premier hair dryers. Ahead, learn more about our review process, meet our consulting expert, and see which hair dryers made the cut across every price point.

Celebrity Hairstylist Expert Alex Osorio


Alex Osorio/Miranda McDonald

Alex Osorio is a celebrity hairstylist who works between New York, Los Angeles, and Antwerp. Thanks to his expertise and years of experience, we knew he'd be the perfect person to reach out to for a hair-dryer recommendation. His pick? An iconic hair dryer, the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer ($429). "It's powerful, it's not noisy, and it just looks cool," he says. "It's also very packable and easy to store in a small bag because of the shape." 

Then, there's the matter of attachments. Because the Dyson comes with a diffuser, a concentrator, a wide-tooth comb, and more, Osorio says it's suitable and convenient for all hair types. Obviously, this one was a must-try. We were ready to test its mettle along with the four other hair dryers that made our list. 

Deep Reviews: Hair Dryer Editor Testers


Who What Wear

Our very own editors stepped in to trial each dryer. Each one of us has different hair lengths, types, and textures, which is perfectly demonstrated by the pictures of our air-dried hair above.

Katie Berohn, Beauty Editor: "I have 2C waves and verrry thick hair (I always have to book extra time at the salon), so I'm looking for anything that dries my hair fast and doesn't leave it a frizzy mess. Also, since it takes so long for me to dry my hair, I really prioritize anything lightweight so that I don't end up with an arm workout. I hate drying my hair, so for me, the faster the better. I also prioritize anything that doesn't feel like it's frying my hair while I dry it—dryers that go up to super-high heat settings often leave me looking like I just got electrocuted."

Shawna Hudson, Associate Beauty Editor: "I have pretty dry, frizzy, thick 3C curls. Honestly, I'm not a big hair-dryer gal just because curls don't fare well with extra/unnecessary heat most of the time, but for the sake of this experiment, I was willing to try!"

Kaitlyn McLintock, Associate Beauty Editor: "I have 2B hair, meaning I have long, fine, and slightly wavy hair. While I love my naturally beachy texture, I struggle with dullness, dryness, and split ends, so choosing a hair dryer that won't inflict more damage is of the utmost importance. However, I also want my hair dryer to, you know, actually dry my hair. Basically, I'm looking for one that walks a fine line between working efficiently and maintaining my hair health."

Tiff Soga, Managing Editor: "My hair is type 1A, so it's normally superfine and extremely straight. I have a lot of hair, so it gets quite heavy. Every time I ask a new hairdresser to thin out my hair, they're shocked at how much hair I actually have once they get into it. Yet despite the muchness, I've never had volume a day in my straight-hair life, so I usually curl it with a hot tool, which holds for about a day before it goes back to straight, regardless of hair spray or other products. I was sick of adding heat damage to my hair on a weekly basis, so I ended up getting a Japanese perm a week prior to testing out these hair dryers for my wedding (yay!). I wanted a consistent, voluminous, and wavy look without completely heat-damaging my very virgin hair, so imagine a lot of superfine but now wavy hair with a whole lot of baby hairs, and that's me now!" 

Best Overall Hair Dryer: Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

Hair Dryer Test on Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer: Best Overall


Dyson; Who What Wear

Average rating: 5/5

Average drying time: 8.39 minutes

Despite its steep price tag, this is one of the most popular hair dryers on the market, and it also happened to come recommended by our expert. It's no surprise that we loved it enough to name it as our overall favorite. 

As Osorio mentioned, it comes with a diverse set of attachments that are easy to clip onto the main dryer. These include a diffuser, concentrator, flyaway attachment, wide-tooth comb, and gentle air attachment. This makes it suitable and convenient for all hair types and textures, and we love a universal product.  It also boasts a powerful motor that dries hair quickly without inflicting damage. In fact, it has intelligent heat control to help protect hair health and shine. 

What we liked: 

"Firstly, I love that it comes with five attachments, including a diffuser, which all attach magnetically so that I don't have to fight to take them off like I do a few of the others. Secondly, the airflow on the lowest setting is perfectly comfortable and gentle enough to my liking. Thirdly, this one gave me a perfect balance of 'styled but casually messy,' which is very much my vibe. My hair wasn't too poofy, and every wave felt intentionally styled. Heck, even my baby hairs danced as if by deliberate design. I really wanted to be able to say it was underwhelming, but I can't lie. The results live up to the review hype." — Tiff

"I love how many attachments this one has and how lightweight it feels! I've been obsessed with my Dyson Airwrap for years (it's the only thing I use to style my hair), so I had high expectations. This hair dryer delivered! It feels like it's really powerful, so even though it has lower heat than many hair dryers, it still worked quickly and didn't damage my hair! The lower heat left my hair feeling silkier than usual, and I also think it really helped me get defined waves using the diffuser. When I'm blowing it out smooth, I think the flyaway attachment is so innovative. It's also very light and easy to maneuver." — Katie

What we didn't like:

"The price. It's expensive! But I also think this is one of those beauty tools that you can consider an investment piece." — Katie

Best Affordable Hair Dryer: InfinitiPro by Conair SmoothWrap Hair Dryer

Best Affordable Hair Dryer: Conair InfinitiPro SmoothWrap Hair Dryer


Conair; Who What Wear

Average rating: 4/5

Average drying time: 10.28 minutes

With the Dyson having such a steep price tag, we wanted to make sure to include a hair dryer at a lower price point. However, just because a hair dryer is affordable doesn't mean it's not effective. This one boasts a powerful yet lightweight motor, a removable rear filter to maximize airflow and remove lint buildup, and positive and negative ion technology to reduce flyaways and boost shine. In total, it offers six different heat and speed combinations. 

What we liked: 

"As a person who prefers low-maintenance hairstyling, I appreciate a straightforward tool, and this hair dryer delivers! The lowest speed setting was a perfect amount of airflow, and even the lowest heat setting was gentle enough that I felt comfortable using it on my hair. What's more, the Conair InfinitiPro Smooth Wrap features ionic technology and actually delivers! This was my absolute favorite result—the waves are still defined enough (even better than my Dyson results), and it's the perfect tousled-hair look, which is my vibe." — Tiff

"This was also one of the faster-working hair dryers for me. I mostly only use a hair dryer when I need to dry my hair quickly before I straighten it. Otherwise, I like to just let my curls air-dry before doing so. If I were in need of a fast hair dryer that doesn't overdo it, I'd definitely use this one before busting out a straightener. It gets the job done." — Shawna

What we didn't like: 

"It didn't feel as luxe as the others, and the attachments were a little clunky. Even though it exceeded my expectations for smoothness, I still had to follow up with a flat iron to get even more smoothness and shine." — Kaitlyn

Best Hair Dryer for Thick Hair: BaBylissPro Nano Titanium Hair Dryer

Hair Dryer Test on BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Hair Dryer, Best for Thick Hair


BaBylissPro; Who What Wear

Average rating: 4/5

Average drying time: 8.1 minutes

Thick hair requires a powerful hair dryer that doesn't cause damage, which is tricky, to say the least. This one works some kind of magic, offering super-powerful airflow that cuts drying time without making hair feel dry, rough, or damaged. It's all thanks to a high-torque motor, nano titanium heat technology, and six heat and speed settings. It also features a removable filter and a nine-foot power cord. To put it simply, it's legit.

What we liked:

"This dryer exceeded all expectations. It's small and incredibly powerful to the point where I was instantly surprised at the intensity of the airstream. The attachments clipped on easily, and it's the perfect size for packing in a suitcase or carry-on." — Kaitlyn

"I loved how fast this dryer worked on my hair—even with the diffuser attachment. It also seemed to create the least amount of frizz when drying. I think this was one of my favorite hair dryers of the bunch actually." — Shawna

What we didn't like: 

"Even on its lowest setting, this hair dryer felt like a compressed air duster to the head. The speed was far too strong, even with the diffuser. I tried to twist my waves and rest my hair in the diffuser like I'd been instructed by my stylist, but the lowest setting was so strong that it pushed my hair back out." — Tiff

The Data

Price vs. Average Drying Time Data on Hair Dryers Tested


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Our Feedback on the Other Hair Dryers We Tested

Deep Reviews: Hair Dryer Test on T3 Featherweight Stylemax Hair Dryer


T3; Who What Wear

Average rating: 4/5

Average drying time: 8.8 minutes

What we liked:

"This sounds so superficial, but I love the clean look of white and rose gold. This is also the most customizable hair-drying experience and is genuinely fun to play with for those who style their hair differently routinely. It gave me clean, voluminous, polished waves that I can only describe as 'Disney princess–like' with the least amount of wild, unattended baby hairs. If I were attending a formal event, this would be my go-to styling tool for that very put-together 'just out of a salon' look versus my usual 'deliberately messy' aesthetic. Also—and this is such a tiny detail—I absolutely loved that the cable came with one of those Velcro cord-management straps attached to it so that I can neatly store my hair dryer instead of a twist tie. For the price point, yes, those details absolutely matter, and I deeply appreciated it!" — Tiff

"This one is definitely easy to use. I pulled it out of the box, attached the diffuser, and immediately got to work—no fuss! It dried a little bit slower than some of the others, but I wasn't totally unhappy with that. Like I said above, curls don't usually do well with too much extra heat, so the slower, more controlled airflow might help prevent damage." — Shawna

What we didn't like: 

"Because it's high-tech, it wasn't super intuitive to use at first. I had to fiddle with it to understand what the buttons did and when to use which one. However, after some trial and error, I got it." — Kaitlyn

Deep Reviews: Hair Dryer Test on GHD 1875W Advanced Professional Hair Dryer


GHD; Who What Wear

Average rating: 3/5

Average drying time: 7.46 minutes

What we liked: 

"It looks very sleek, which means I had no qualms about leaving it out on my bathroom counter for days on end. I like that it has different settings for different hair thicknesses and textures. It also made my hair really shiny!" — Kaitlyn

"This dryer actually seemed to make my hair a bit smoother! My hair is honestly frizzy by nature, but it didn't create quite as much fuzz and static as some of the other dryers. Definitely made it a favorite of mine." — Shawna

What we didn't like: 

"Even at its lowest speed setting, this blow-dryer was too strong for my very fine, permed hair. My Asian hair is so straight I can never hold a curl, and after spending a decent amount of money on a perm, I'm unreasonably and extremely sensitive to any force that's too strong and will force it back to its ruler-straight form. I need a very gentle amount of airflow when I style my hair, and the force of this was too strong without a diffuser. On that note, the second miss is that there was no diffuser. Now, I will say that when my perm fades and I'm back to my normal type 1A hair, the contoured nozzle and speed might be good for my hair then, but at this price point, I expect variability and customization." — Tiff

Our Deep Reviews Research and Testing Process for Hair Dryers

This installment of Deep Reviews, like all others, took weeks to complete. Not only do we conduct a lot of research, but we also put products through rigorous testing, conducted by our very own editors.

Here's how it went down. We started by looking to other publications—VogueCosmopolitanAllureElle, and others—making a master list of all the hair dryers they recommend. From there, we compared the lists, color-coding each hair dryer and counting the number of times it was mentioned as well as taking overall ratings into account, as listed on major beauty retailer sites. 

We also wanted to consult an expert. When we say expert, we mean a celebrity hairstylist who has years of experience working with these tools on a daily basis. So we did, asking them to crown what they consider to be the best of the best. 

After all of this, we had our list of five hair dryers. All that was left was our own personal testing. We judged them by aesthetics, efficiency (literally timing how long each one took to dry our hair), and ease of use, among other things. By the end, we had crowned our overall favorite.

This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.