If you've got curly hair, then you know how precarious it can be to dry it. Whether you're looking to keep your curls intact or blow your tresses straight and sleek, it takes a developed skill set to get it right. And at the center of that technique is the right hair dryer. Unfortunately, any old option simply won't do.
When you think of drying curly hair, a diffuser might be the first, if not only, kind of hair dryer that comes to mind. But never forget that curly hair types are among the most versatile! As such, there are a number of different kinds of hair dryers that can be used to achieve any given style you're looking to execute. The possibilities are endless, sis!
But the question still remains: Which are the best hair dryers for curly hair? To get the answer, we took to the review sections on some of our favorite e-commerce sites to scope out what the curly and coily gals in the comments had to say. Ahead, check out the 20 hair dryers that earned the highest marks.
Rating: 4.3/5 stars, 14,296 reviews on Amazon
This innovative diffuser employs tourmaline ceramic technology to tame frizz and boost shine without extreme heat. If you need a faster dry time, you can even detach the diffuser attachment for a traditional air blast from any of the three heat levels and two speed settings.
A glowing review: "This is the most amazing blow-dryer for people with curly or somewhat curly hair! I've been using this for years and I get compliments all the time on how pretty my curls are. A normal diffuser doesn't even compare to this dryer."
Rating: 4.4/5 stars, 688 reviews on Amazon
This ionic hair dryer is likely one of the first that comes to mind for countless curlies and coilies out there. This could be due to the whimsical look of the thing (the hand-shaped DevaFuser that delivers 360-degree airflow looks like something out of a cartoon), but it's more likely due to the fact that it's been a top choice among the curly community for a long time.
A glowing review: "I've been wanting to get my hands on one of these for a while now. My husband bought it for me for my birthday and I use it all the time. It's a lot different than my Sally's blow-dryer. I feel like it doesn't get as hot but that's fine for me because I'm trying to stay away from a lot of heat nowadays. Love the attachment!The only thing I didn't like was that the buttons rubbed off after like my 3rd use of it. Other than that I love it and I love how the cord is super flexible and durable."
Rating: 4.3/5 stars, 2760 reviews on Amazon
Celebrity hairstylist Ro Morgan called out this unconventional diffuser attachment as a must-have for those with damaged hair since it massively cuts down on any direct heat applied to the hair. If length retention is your goal, this is something to consider.
A glowing review: "I have short curly hair and don't want it blowing around while drying and this does the trick. Better than a big clunky one, in my opinion. Unless you need it to get under long hair and lift, this works well. I did have to replace it after about 5 years of daily use, cuz it will eventually break down and get holes in it from the heat. But, c'mon! I got 5 years out of it! Ha!"
Rating: 4.6/5 stars, 46,990 reviews on Amazon
Priced just north of $20, this popular dryer and its diffuser attachment get rave reviews from the curly community. It uses infrared heat technology and tourmaline ionic technology to turn out shiny, frizz-free curls.
A glowing review: "This is the best blow-dryer money can buy. I have very long curly hair and the adjustment to dry my type of hair is perfect. I actually laid [it] right on my head and it does not burn my scalp. The kids take the piece off to use as a regular blow-dryer safely. I love that it will not burn you unless you put it directly on your scalp. It’s lightweight but it’s kind of big so I don’t know that it would do well for traveling. It’s actually quite beautiful and I love the LED. It's quite powerful, too—dried [my] hair faster than other blow-dryers! I LOVE IT!"
Rating: 4.7/5 stars, 18,541 reviews on Amazon
Conair hair tools are among the most beloved drugstore options and for good reason. They're good. According to countless reviews, this dryer is best used with its diffuser attachment to hep preserve gorgeous, frizz-free curls. It uses ionic technology for smooth, titanium ceramic technology, and infrared heat that cuts way down on dry time.
A glowing review: "I bought this for the diffuser and I cannot believe I waited 33 years of my curly hair life to try one of these. I usually straighten my hair and have been looking for alternatives to stop all the heat damage I put my hair through every day. I chose to go with the Conair Infiniti because I’ve been using the straightener for the past 15+ years. (Despite numerous high-end straighteners I purchased that never mounted up to the Conair Infiniti.) I love it. Just some of the right products and about 10-15 minutes with the diffuser and my curls are amazing! I didn’t know they could look this good. I’m so happy with this purchase!"
Rating: 4.7/5 stars, 4097 reviews on Nordstrom
You'd be hard-pressed to find a professional hairstylist who doesn't have this dryer in their kit. Yes, it's pricey, but according to reviews and firsthand testimonials, it truly is the Rolls-Royce of blow-dryers. Besides its lightweight feel, powerful burst, and eerily quiet motor, it can also be enhanced with magnetic attachments that are so easy to connect for all your diffusing, concentrating, and combing needs.
A glowing review: "My life is changed due to this hair dryer. I have thick curly hair and used to spend an hour blowing my hair dry than flat iron. Used this for the first time today-took me 15 min no need to flat iron, etc. love it!"
Rating: 4.7/5 stars, 68 reviews on Dermstore
This hairstylist-developed tool is yet another lightweight dryer for those with curly hair. It has a whopping 12 heat, speed, and ion settings so you can customize it to carry out a perfect, personalized blowout.
A glowing review: "I have thick curly hair that takes about 45 minutes to achieve a salon-quality blowout. This blow-dryer cut the time almost in half. It gets very hot and smooths all the frizz out. I would only recommend for thick hair, curly hair, or frizzy hair as I imagine that it would damage more delicate hair. I am obsessed and it's worth every penny."
Rating: 4.7/5 stars, 7089 reviews on Amazon
This classic dryer gets awesome reviews, too. It's offered at a great price point considering its direct ionic technology, powerful airflow, ceramic technology, and far-infrared heat. It also has six heat and speed settings for plenty of styling versatility suitable for even the curliest hair types.
A glowing review: "I have thick curly hair and hated drying my hair because of how long it takes but this dryer got it done in less than 10 minutes! So far, this is the best blow-dryer I have ever used!"
Rating: 4.6/5 stars, 529 reviews on Neiman Marcus
Whether you're looking to roughly dry wavy or curly hair or seeking a sleek blowout, this advanced, professional-approved dryer is a great option. It comes with a contoured nozzle that helps to create a powerful concentrated airflow that travels up to 75 miles per hour. That means smoothed-out curls can be yours in mere minutes and with less heat.
A glowing review: "LOVE this hair dryer. I have a whole lot of pretty thick, wavy hair and it usually takes quite a while to dry my hair. It only took me 20 minutes to completely dry my hair. It was pretty wet before I started, just slightly towel-dried but it still got through my hair in that short amount of time. I like that there is a no-heat option and a cool shot button as well. The only thing that would have improved this is that it didn't come with a defuser for when I wear my hair curly. I love the color and the rose gold accents."
Rating: 4.6/5 stars, 326 reviews on Amazon
Aside from being absolutely gorgeous, this hair dryer is also super-effective at drying curls. It's a completely digital experience, from heat control to speed settings and even has sensors that auto-pause the dryer when you put it down to grab new sections of hair. Genius!
A glowing review: "It doesn’t necessarily dry my hair faster than my other dryer (I have curly 3b hair) but it’s lighter weight and the pause feature is awesome to allow for sectioning and not have the dryer blow off the counter when I set it down. The white and rose gold color is an added bonus!"
Rating: 4.6/5 stars, 487,419 reviews on Amazon
This viral hair dryer brush is one of the most-wanted tools out there right now. All you have to do is choose from one of its three heat settings and roll it through separated sections to create a salon-quality at-home blowout. It works for every single hair type you can imagine, including curly hair—check out our in-depth review for proof here. One thing to note? This thing is larger than it looks, so be prepared for that.
A glowing review: "For background: I do not have hairstyling experience, [nor] have I blow-dried my hair, and my hair looks like I went to the hair salon. Like many people I read the comments before buying, however after trying it, the comments honestly don’t give this product enough justice. I have curly hair and I’ve seen professionals mess up when blow-drying my hair, but with this product I was shocked!"
Rating: 4.5/5 stars, 64,216 reviews on Amazon
This lesser-known paddle-brush version of the aforementioned famous styler deserves way more attention than it gets. Like it's round counterpart, it works well on all hair types but is particularly useful when smoothing type 4 curl patterns. It's much easier to use in that it's flat and doesn't require that quintessential blowout motion needed with the round version.
A glowing review: "This brush makes drying thick natural hair so much easier. It has 3 settings and it detangles as you brush. My granddaughter usually complains about how painful it is to detangle and dry her hair. I didn't hear one ouch! I sometimes have the job of doing her hair so I purchased this for myself. It makes my life easier. See for yourself!"
Rating: 4.5/5 stars, 627 reviews on Nordstrom
If you've been missing your weekly Drybar appointments, this brush was created to bring those salon results to your home. It's equipped with strategically placed vents to maximize airflow and cut down on dry time and a combination of nylon and tufted bristles for the perfect balance of tension and control.
A glowing review: "This thing is amazing. My hair is naturally super curly and before I would have to shower, blow-dry, straighten, then curl my hair. Now, I can just shower then towel dry, put in products, and use the double shot and it gives me amazing Duchess of Cambridge hair in less than 20 minutes. I would highly recommend this to ANYONE and already have."
Rating: 4.4/5 stars, 1124 reviews on Amazon
This dryer can smooth out even the tightest curl patterns with ease. Its three attachments can take on any texture from loose waves to kinky coils and effectively straighten from roots to ends in a single pass. The key here is thoroughly detangling the hair beforehand and working in small sections.
A glowing review: "I love this hair dryer because it has a wide grip handle, and the heat settings, and the extra attachments are great features. My favorite is the brush feature, which I find helps me add the needed extra body to my thin hair. I love it, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend this product to anyone looking for a new hair dryer/styler."
Rating: 4.6/5 stars, 22,891 reviews on Amazon
Similar to other blow-dryer brushes mentioned here, this once can be used to take curly hair from a collection of corkscrews to smooth and blown-out strands super fast. What sets it apart is its charcoal-infused bristles that can help to refresh second-day hair and the additional speed setting for further customization. It also delivers more even heat distribution thanks to its 24-karat gold styling surface.
A glowing review: "I wanna start by saying I’ve always been super skeptical of these types of products. Ones I’ve tried in the past don’t eliminate the frizz and dry my hair but never fully smooth it. With this product, I don’t even have to run through with a straightener after. I can style it with curls or make it straight. It really feels like I just got a blowout. Absolutely incredible! It used to take me 1.5 hours to dry and straighten my hair and this product has cut that time down to 30 minutes."
Hooded and Reverse-Air Dryers
Rating: 4.3/5 stars, 205 reviews on Amazon
Before you scoff at the price tag, hear me out. This is a truly revolutionary dryer in that it uses suction and reverse-air flow to simultaneously dry and smooth the curliest strands. Choose your own speed and heat (you can even go heatless!), and let this contraption suck your hair straight and dry without the threat of mechanical damage or moisture depletion.
A glowing review: "I was so skeptical that this would work. But it does! I am so impressed with this. I have super curly hair, not coily hair though. It goes to about mid-back. This blow-dried my hair and straightened it within 15 minutes. Normally blow-drying my hair takes 45 minutes and straightening takes an hour. I started off with sectioning my hair like I would if I was going to straighten it. I turned it on the level that I like, five, and heat setting 2, which was not hot. Mine took about a minute each section. My hair is incredibly soft and smooth [and] all my flyaway hairs that I normally have when I straighten my hair are not there. It flattened them!"
Rating: 4.3/5 stars, 7101 reviews on Amazon
Sitting under this dryer will make you feel like you're at the hair salon. It's a traditional hooded dryer you can roll around and set up over any chair in your home to gently and evenly dry your curls.
A glowing review: "I bought this for my wife [who] has natural 4c hair. She loves using this to deep condition her hair. She also does the same on our daughter's hair. She loves the variable temperature controls. It was easy to put together. It's been close to seven months now and the unit has held up well. The quality is decent and the performance is great. If taken care of it should last a long time."
Rating: 4.5/5 stars, 15,893 reviews on Amazon
This compact hooded dryer is a better option for those with limited space who prefer to fold up and store their hair tools when not in use. Despite its compact size, it still offers professional drying at home via strong and even airflow that can navigate through curly manes.
A glowing review: "I am pleased with this purchase. This dryer works well for drying curly hair. A photo of how I set mine up for use. Folds up and packs away very easily."
Rating: 4.1/5 stars, 12,002 reviews on Amazon
Keep it in the Conair family with this even more compact hooded dryer option. Instead of a hard hood, this one is a soft bonnet that inflates when air is flowing to create a cap that fits right over your hair. It's perfect for gently drying delicate curls.
A glowing review: "I use this all the time because my hair doesn't look good just blown out. I need to put it up in curlers. I can watch TV while I dry my hair. The motor is not silent but not real loud either and it dries the hair quickly."
Rating: 4.4/5 stars, 747 reviews on Amazon
Whether you're deep-conditioning your curls or setting them with your choice of curl formers or rollers, this inflatable bonnet is an excellent portable and compact option. It attaches your handheld blow-dryer to upgrade it to a salon-worthy allover hair dryer.
A glowing review: "I love my bonnet hood hair dryer. It comes with a little bag to keep it in and 10 rollers. There's a strap that u can tighten around your head for a secure fit and theirs also a chin snap strap. My main reason for buying this was so that I can start deep conditioning my hair and I didn't want a big bulky sit-under hair dryer. This bonnet hood dryer is awesome. I also tried it with my big rollers for a roller set and my curls came out beautifully."
Courtney Higgs is a Cancer sun, Libra rising beauty enthusiast with about six years of experience in the editorial space. She was previously Who What Wear's associate beauty editor after spending many years working on the West Coast edit team at InStyle Magazine. She graduated from California State University, Northridge, with a BA in communication studies and pivoted to editorial after spending her college years working in the legal field. Her beauty philosophy is simple: She believes there are no wrong answers and that discovering our favorite beauty products and rituals is a journey, not a sprint. When she's not geeking out over products, she can be found adventuring around L.A. with her fiancé; watching reality TV with their French bulldog, Bernie Mac; or relating way too hard to astrology memes.
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