Hair Dryer Buying Guide

A hair dryer is an essential appliance for anyone who wants effective blow-drying results quickly and with minimum effort. There are an increasing number of features on modern hair dryers that allow you to style your hair as it dries, meaning you can achieve a new look without visiting a professional salon. This buying guide will help you buy a suitable hair dryer for your specific needs, including information on available attachments and the latest features.

1. Different types of hair dryers

Retail Hairdryers

While retail hair dryers are often targeted to domestic users, you may find that purchasing a high-end salon model is a good investment if you intend to get a lot of use from your purchase.

Professional Hair Dryers

Salon-grade hair dryers typically run with an AC (alternating current) motor, meaning they boast more heat and less RPM.



More affordable than professional dryers
Lighter in weight
Easier to handle
Approximately 500 hours working life


Dries hair faster
Stronger airflow
Greater attention to features and design
Longer working life – approximately 2,000 hours

Other hair dryer types include:

Travel hair dryers: Lighter and with foldable parts for better portability.

Dryer hoods: A dryer hood is placed over the head and helps to keep your style in place.

Wall-mounted dryer: Similar to hand-held models but mountable on walls, which can save space.

For most people, a barrel of between one and 1.5 inches is preferred for mid-length and longer curls.

2. Wattage

The higher the wattage of a hair dryer, the more heat it produces and the quicker it will dry your hair.

For most hair types, a dryer between 1,300 and 1,800 wattage should be sufficient, with higher levels only required if you have really thick, curly hair.

Those with frail or damaged hair should opt for towel drying and the lowest heat settings.

3. Technologies

Aside from power, there are a number of technologies on the market that can help your hair dry faster and create any style you desire.

Fast drying: Hair dryers with technology that produces high velocity airflow dries hair faster.

Temperature control: Regularly measures the air temperature and makes adjustments to keep it under control and protect hair from heat damage.

Touch cool: Technology that ensures the surface of the hair dryer attachments stay cool so hands and heads are kept safe.

Noise reduction: Technology that reduces noise so hair can be dried quietly at any time.

Ceramic: Ceramic hair dryers provide even heat distribution and the heat is very mild so that it doesn’t damage hair.

Ionic: These break down water molecules for faster drying, but also retain moisture in the hair for healthier long-term outcomes.

By helping to neutralise positively charged ions in the hair, ionic dryers also condition your hair and reduce frizz.

Infrared: Provides consistent heat that dries hair evenly throughout, while also preventing sections of your scalp from overheating or drying out.

Tourmaline: Tourmaline is a semi-precious gemstone and is considered the world’s best ionic and infrared generator.

This gemstone coating contains minerals that target negatively charged sections of hair, as well as breaking down larger molecules of water so that they evaporate more quickly.

Not only does this dry hair faster, it seals in important moisture to ensure hair remains healthy and shiny.

4. Features and Accessories

There are a variety of different features, settings, attachments and accessories available for modern hair dryers.

  • Diffusers: Help lift and separate hair to boost its natural texture. Dries hair quickly without ruining its style. Helps to reduce frizz and improve curl definition.
  • Dryer brush: Built-in brush for handy styling and drying needs
  • Swivel cord: Prevents the cord from tangling
  • Nozzle: Focuses airflow for more precise styling
  • Cool shot: Provides a blast of cold air to help styles set
  • Auto shut-off: Turns the appliance off when it is put down and turns it on again when lifted
  • Steam dryers: Softens the hair for less tangling and helps deep conditioners penetrate faster
  • Magnetic attachments: The dryer nozzle and diffuser attaches to the dryer magnetically so the attachments can be changed really quickly and easily.
  • Pre-set heat settings: Takes the guesswork out of how hot the drying temperature should be for fast, regular and gentle drying.

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