Looking for a salon finish or simply want to shave a few minutes off your morning routine? Read the Verum guide to choose the best hair dryer for you. Avoid the duds and start 2021 with healthier hair that looks and feels amazing.
What to look for when buying a hair dryer
- Separate controls for temperature & airflow are super important. Too much heat will leave your hair looking dull & lifeless. Whatever your hair type, you need control of the settings for a fast effective blow dry.
- Power rating gives an indication of maximum airflow & temperature. However, a high wattage doesn’t necessarily translate to a good hair dryer. Some are more efficient than others.
- A cool shot button is essential for locking in a style.
- A lightweight design is much easier to use. Unless you’re looking for a morning workout!
- Get the right attachments for your hair type. A concentrator nozzle is a must for straight hair, while a diffuser is best for curly locks.
Cord length, non-slip design, hanging loop, noise and how long it will last, should also be considered when choosing the best hair dryer.
What is the best hair dryer to buy?
Verum has compared 100s of blow dryers, checked specifications, consumed user reviews, watched videos, spoken to experts and scrutinised endless opinions and views. We have dismissed the duds & mediocre to give you a shortlist of the best 6 hair dryers you can buy, right now. Whatever your hair type and budget, read-on to find the right model for you…
Best Cheap Hair Dryer:
The TRESemme 5542DU is a no-fuss, lightweight hairdryer that’s good value for money. Surprising at this price, Ionic technology (info below) is built-in. Plus, this hairdryer only weighs around 500g, it’s one of the lightest full-size models available.
The controls are limited to a single sliding switch that adjusts power and heat together. Plus there’s no cool shot button. Critics of this model suggest that it lacks power output and feels a little flimsy. That said, this model has a good history and with 1000s of very happy owners.
If you want a cheap, light, no-fuss hairdryer the TRESemme 5542DU is the one for you.
POWER 2200w | AIR FLOW & TEMP SETTINGS 3 | COOL SHOT No | CONCENTRATOR/NOZZLE Yes | DIFFUSER No | IONIC Yes | WEIGHT 0.5kg | CORD LENGTH 2.4m | REMOVABLE FILTER Yes | WARRANTY 1 Year
TRESemme 5542DU | Verdict price £19 | Check best price on Amazon
Best Hair Dryer for Curly Hair:
BaByliss Curl Dry
This hair dryer is perfect for curly hair. Plus, it comes with a diffuser and nozzle attachment making it a great choice for straight hair too. This hair dryer is excellent value and ticks all the boxes – importantly it has separate heat & power controls.
Choose a hair dryer with separate heat & power controls
With three heat settings and two for power, the BaByliss Curl Dry gives you decent and most importantly, separate controls. Also, there’s a cool shot button, for locking in shape and curl.
There’s a lot to like about the Babyliss although the cord is on the short side, at only 1.8m. If your mirror is a long way from the wall socket or if you dry your hair standing up, then this maybe a stretch. Take a look at the models below, they have longer cords.
If you’re looking for a great hair dryer for around £25, with separate heat and power controls – choose the Babyliss Curl Dry.
POWER 2100w | AIR FLOW SETTINGS 2 | TEMP RANGE 3 | COOL SHOT Yes | CONCENTRATOR/NOZZLE Yes | DIFFUSER Yes | IONIC Yes | WEIGHT 0.65kg | CORD LENGTH 1.8m | REMOVABLE FILTER Yes | WARRANTY 3 Year
BaByliss Curl Dry | Verdict price £24 | Check best price on Amazon
Best Hair Dryer:
Panasonic EH-NA65 Nanoe Ion
There’s a lot to like about the Panasonic EH-NA65 Nanoe Ion Hair Dryer. With four temperature settings, three air-flow and a cool shot trigger, it’s featured packed. Buy this blow dryer and you’ll have all the control you need.
It comes with three nozzles – concentrator, quick-dry and diffuser. It’s a top choice for all hair types, straight out of the box. However, it’s the technology that makes this blow dryer stand out.
What’s the best hair dryer for shiny hair?
Panasonic claims that Nanoe technology gives your hair additional shine. And Proderm, a German testing lab that specialises in skin and hair care products, back this up. Plus, numerous users confirm that their hair is smoother and shinier for using the Panasonic EH-NA65 Nanoe hairdryer.
Lightweight with a long cord
This hair dryer is reasonably lightweight, it has a removable filter & the cord is a good length at 2.7m. The Panasonic brand has a good heritage, suggesting that this blow dryer is built to last.
Beyond the specification, the user consensus is that this hair dryer keeps you locks healthier with more shine – making every day a good hair day. Available in pink & rose gold, the Panasonic Nanoe comes highly recommended.
POWER 2000w | AIR FLOW SETTINGS 3 | TEMP RANGE 4 | COOL SHOT Yes | CONCENTRATOR/NOZZLE Yes | DIFFUSER Yes | IONIC Yes | WEIGHT 0.6kg | CORD LENGTH 2.7m | REMOVABLE FILTER Yes | WARRANTY 1 Year
Panasonic Nanoe |
RRP £110 – Verdict price £60
Check best price on Amazon
Best Professional Hair Dryer:
ghd Air owners love this hairdryer. Many describe it as the best blow dryer they’ve ever owned. It has three settings for heat, two for power and a cool shot button to lock in style & shape. It’s super powerful and dries hair quickly. Although it’s a little heavier than some, the ghd hairdryer feels well made.
The 3m cord and a wide nozzle attachment, add to the great specification. Furthermore, if you’re buying this model as a gift, it comes in a stylish box. The ghd Air feels like a hairdryer you’d find in a top salon. And it’s owners rate it as one of the top-rated blow dryers on the market.
Everyone wants healthy shiny hair and by choosing is pro rated ghd Air, you’re one step closer.
POWER 2100w | AIR FLOW SETTINGS 2 | TEMP RANGE 2 | COOL SHOT yes | CONCENTRATOR/NOZZLE Yes | DIFFUSER No | IONIC Yes | WEIGHT 0.71kg | CORD LENGTH 3m | REMOVABLE FILTER Yes | WARRANTY 1 Year
ghd Air | Verdict price £100 | Check best price on Amazon
Blow the Budget Hair Dryer:
According to Dyson, no other hairdryer is faster at drying your hair. It avoids extreme heat and it’s engineered to suit different hair types. Plus, the powerful motor which is built into the handle rather than the body is super quiet. It’s the right choice for every hair type, with a smoothing nozzle, styling concentrator and diffuser all included. Plus the 2.8m power cord should be long enough. However, it’s crazy expensive!
There are three power settings, three for heat and a cool shot button for locking in your style. This blow dryer won’t frazzle your locks, as it has clever electronics to constantly monitor and control the temperature. Plus, most users confirm, its powerful output will dry your hair quickly. It does this at a lower temperature than most hairdryers, promising healthier glossy hair.
Dyson investing in hair dryer technology has lifted the whole market. And while the Supersonic is unquestionably a great option, at around £300, it costs ten times more than most hair dryers – at this price, it doesn’t make the recommended list.
POWER 1600w | AIR FLOW SETTINGS 3 | TEMP RANGE 4 | COOL SHOT Yes | CONCENTRATOR/NOZZLE Yes | DIFFUSER Yes | IONIC Yes | WEIGHT 0.66kg | CORD LENGTH 2.8m | REMOVABLE FILTER Yes | WARRANTY 2 Year
Dyson Supersonic | £300
Best Portable Hairdryer:
Beurer Style Pro HC25UK
A travel hair dryer must be light, small and work anywhere in the world. Plus, it must be great at drying your hair! The Beurer Style weighs under 450grams. It’s super light & measures less than 22cm in length. The folding handle means it will easily fit in most handbags. Plus, with dual voltage, it will work anywhere in the world. A single slider switch on the handle changes airflow and temperature together which is a small compromise. But if you’re only using this device on your travels, rather than every day, it’s not a big problem. Happily, there’s a cool shot button.
It’s powerful for its size and weight. But don’t be surprised that the output is less than full size, more expensive models. If you’re looking for a low cost, light, compact hair dryer to take anywhere, then the Beurer Style Pro HC25UK is the right model for you.
POWER 1600w | AIR FLOW SETTINGS 2 | TEMP RANGE 2 | COOL SHOT Yes | CONCENTRATOR/NOZZLE Yes | DIFFUSER No | IONIC Yes | WEIGHT 0.43kg | CORD LENGTH 1.8m | REMOVABLE FILTER Yes | WARRANTY 3 Year
Beurer Style Pro | Verdict price £22 | Check price on Amazon
Choosing & using the right hair dryer for your hair type
What’s the best hair dryer for fine hair?
Heat damages your hair. To dry fine hair, choose a model with a narrow nozzle and good controls. This allows you to dry your hair on a low heat setting. Cranking up the temperature will suck out all the moisture leaving your hair dry and brittle. Plus, keep the hairdryer moving, taking care, not to over-dry your hair – especially the finest strands close to your face.
What’s the best hair dryer for curly hair?
Ideally, the longer you can leave your hair to dry naturally, the better. Then use a final blast on high settings, if you want to add volume. However, this isn’t always practical. For those days where you need to look great, quickly, it’s definitely worth buying a hair dryer with a diffuser.
What’s the best hair dryer for thick hair?
If you’re reading this, it will come as no surprise that drying thick hair takes a long time. Buy a powerful blow dryer and crank up the power. However, look to keep the heat on a low or medium setting. Only use high heat only for the final set.
What’s an ‘Ionic’ Hair Dryer?
The use of Ionic technology in hairdryers is claimed by manufacturers and stylists to reduce static and improves shine. The idea is that blasting your hair with negatively charged ions will do this. While there does seem to be some consensus that the immediate effects of an Ionic hairdryer are preferable to a standard model, there is a lack of scientific evidence to back up the claims. Therefore some debate over the technology continues. However, most hair dryers are Ionic and there is no downside to the technology. It therefore seems sensible to buy a hairdryer with Ionic technology rather than without.
Recommended Hair Dryers
Lightweight no-fuss hairdryer
TRESemme 5542DU | Verdict price £19
See price on Amazon
Separate heat & power controls
BaByliss Curl Dry | Verdict price £24
See price on Amazon
Clever technology for glossy hair
Panasonic Nanoe Ion | Verdict Price £60
See price on Amazon
Pro blow dryer for great results
ghd Air | Verdict price £100
See price on Amazon
Why spend more?
The TRESemme at around £20 is a great buy, but spending more for separate heat & power controls does make sense.
Separate, heat and power controls allow you to choose the right settings for your hair. While you want to keep the heat high enough to work quickly, it must be moderated so as not to damage your hair. Power, measured in Watts (W) gives an indication of the maximum blow and heat settings. However, it doesn’t tell the complete story and two models with the same power rating can deliver very different performances. Generally, the more expensive models give more precise settings. Plus they tend to deliver more ‘blow’ for the same number of Watts.
Spend more for extra blow, less noise, greater control and a hairdryer that will last. However, if you want a great hairdryer and don’t want to flash the cash, the BaByliss is a great option.
The overall recommendation for the best hair dryer that’s also exceptional value is the Panasonic Nanoe.