You’re getting ready for a night out and you sit in front of your mirror. You switch on your hair dryer and it dies in your hand.


You know that letting hair dry naturally is the more healthy choice. It means you have fewer cracks along your hair cuticles, which means less breakage.

But you don’t really want to go out with wet hair.

Ever found yourself in a situation like this?

You probably didn’t give a lot of thought to the replacement dryer. You just knew you needed one.

And with the huge number available, maybe you checked a few reviews and just bought the one in your budget.

But is it the right hair dryer for you?

Using the wrong dryer could even cause brittle hair.

Read on to discover what you should look out for in your new dryer.

The best hair dryer for thick/long hair

A high-wattage model is a brilliant choice if you have a lot of hair.


Because it has more wind power, it’ll cut down how long you need to use the dryer. So you don’t need as much heat. Low-wattage models give more heat and less wind so you expose your hair to more damage. It’s like baking your hair instead of drying it.

You don’t want to end up cooking your hair or destroying the natural water in the hair. That’ll leave you with easily breakable hair and frizzy ends.

Look for a hair dryer that has 1800 – 2000 watts. Some professional dryers will go up to 3600. The beauty of high-watt models is they also don’t burn out as fast. So they’re a more long term investment.

Or you can look for a titanium hair dryer. They keep the temperature steady by using titanium as a construction material. The dryer ends up being a lot hotter. So don’t use them on hair that is prone to damage. But they can really speed up drying your hair.

The other advantage is that titanium is lighter than ceramic. That’s a real issue if you’re drying your hair for more than 20 minutes.

The best dryers for frizzy hair

You could try an ionic hair dryer. This is truly space age technology. Water ions carry a positive charge. But ionic dryers use negative ions.

So an ionic dryer bursts the droplets of water onto your hair. That means it can’t soak in and cause frizz. You’ll get a sleek finish because the ions remove moisture and close the cuticle.

It also speeds up the drying time. So it makes the ionic dryer a great choice for straight hair too. If you’ve got a lot of money to spend, try a tourmaline dryer. Tourmaline is a semi-precious mineral and these dryers have a coating inside.

That gives even more negative ions for your buck. But don’t use an ionic hair dryer if you have flat or oily hair. Looks that need volume are also a bad match for ionic dryers.

If you want a bit of variety, look for a dryer that lets you flip between the two modes.

Dryers for fine or dry hair

Look for ceramic or porcelain dryers. Their internal parts are coated with these materials which keep the temperature more consistent. They also emit a softer heat.

Ceramic dryers also give off negative ions which will make drying quicker. If your hair is prone to frizz, the negative ions will help smooth it out.

Combine a ceramic dryer with a concentrator nozzle to battle frizz. Concentrating the heat means you won’t blow the hair about while drying.

A concentrator nozzle is also a brilliant way to add volume and lift at the crown if you have fine hair.

An infrared hair dryer penetrates the hair with longer energy wavelengths. That dries hair from the inside so it’s great for dry hair.

If you’d like longer, thicker hair then check out our 5 expert tips.

Need a dryer for curly hair?

Ceramic or porcelain dryers are also a good choice for curly hair. Blasting curls with heat can make them lose definition.

So you want a slow and steady heat to keep them intact.

Too much heat can also damage naturally curly hair. Research shows that straight hair is much better at handling heat because it dissipates it differently.

So in addition, use a diffuser with your hair dryer. It’ll hold up your hair so you can build up the volume at the roots.

A diffuser also cuts down on the air flow, making the heat less fierce. That also helps with keeping the definition of your curls while avoiding as much damage.

It does take longer to dry your hair with a diffuser, but a porcelain dryer will still do the job.

Other bonus features that can help

You might wonder why you’d need a hair dryer with a cool button. But they’re great if you want to maintain your style because cooler air can seal the cuticle.

You can even switch to the cool setting when your hair is around 80% dry. That way you can dry your hair but avoid overheating it.

Look for adjustable heat settings, especially if you share your dryer with someone else.

And there’s no reason to use the highest temperature setting. Lower settings will still dry hair without damaging it as much. A cheap dryer might do the job. But they’re not designed to take care of your hair at the same time.

A professional level dryer will provide the accessories and settings that help you dry according to your hair type and style.

Ultimately, if you’re going to invest in a hair dryer then choose a model that won’t ruin your hair. You don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune. Just buy a model with the functions that your hair needs.

You should also invest in a routine that will care for your hair. Why not try these essential vitamins for hair growth? If you look after your hair and your dryer, then they will look after you.

Susan Ehlers

Susan Ehlers

Susan was born and raised in Seattle, where she studied Biology. Now she works as a health and nutrition coach. In her free time she enjoys canoeing and hiking together with her husband.
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