IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

18 best hair dryers for every hair type, according to experts

Hairstylists recommend the best blow dryers for a salon-worthy finish right at home.
Hairstylists and salon owners weigh in on how to shop for a blow dryer and reveal the key differences between ceramic, tourmaline, titanium and ionic models.
Hairstylists and salon owners weigh in on how to shop for a blow dryer and reveal the key differences between ceramic, tourmaline, titanium and ionic models.Kara Birnbaum for NBC News

Achieving a salon-style blowout at home has its challenges: The effort to section your hair and hold a brush and hair dryer at the same time usually takes a lot of patience, not to mention strength and coordination. 

Thankfully, mastering the art of blow drying your hair like a pro is much easier today: Good quality hair dryers come with multiple settings and attachments to help add volume and shine to your hair. Plus, “hair dryers are smaller with much more power,” says celebrity hairstylist Courtney Foster

To find out which hair dryers are worth considering, we consulted hairstylists about the difference between ceramic, tourmaline, titanium and ionic technologies and which factors are most important to consider when shopping for a quality hair dryer. We also rounded up their recommendations for the best ones to buy.

SKIP AHEAD How we picked the best hair dryers | The best hair dryers in 2024 | How to shop for a hair dryer | What are the different types of hair dryers?

Selected.Our top picks

How we picked the best hair dryers

With variables like the number of power levels, attachments and heat controls, it can be difficult to know which hair dryer will give you the best results for your specific hair type. Regardless of whether your hair is thick, straight, wavy, curly or coily, the following key elements are most important to keep in mind when exploring your options, according to our experts:

  • Wattage: Hair dryer wattage is a key measure of performance, our experts told us. “The higher the better,” says Jenna Lothrop, master stylist at Samantha’s Hair Studio in Chatham, Massachusetts. That’s because the higher the wattage, the more powerful the airflow, so your hair dries quicker, she says. Plus, you’ll need less heat, which reduces the risk of damaging your hair.
  • Speed settings: It is important for hair dryers to have at least three speed settings — low, medium and high — that you can easily adjust, says Lothrop. 
  • Heat settings: Three heat settings — cool, warm and hot — is ideal, says Lothrop. Too high a heat can cause damage, so our experts recommend reducing the temperature once your hair is about 75% dry.
  • Attachments: Look for a hair dryer that comes with attachments like a diffuser and concentrator nozzle for your styling needs, according to our experts.
  • Technology: All of the hair dryers we researched have tourmaline, ceramic, ionic and titanium (or a combination of two) internally, but can also be on the coating of your dryer. Each type of technology is designed to distribute heat more effectively.
  • Cool shot button: Most professional hair dryers have a cool shot button, which provides a burst of cool air that seals the cuticle so your hairstyle stays in place, experts say.

The best hair dryers in 2024

Below, we rounded up expert-recommended hair dryers, as well as ones we have tried ourselves and highly rated options that align with our experts’ guidance. The following blow dryers all have a number of settings for airflow and temperature control, and they’re good for a variety of hair types, including straight, wavy, curly and coily (defined ringlets that are springy and dense).

Best overall hair dryers

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

The Supersonic has all the key factors our stylists say are most important, so it’s not surprising Dyson’s unique-looking machine tops our list. It comes with five styling attachments, including a diffuser, styling concentrator, flyaway attachment, gentle air attachment and a wide-tooth comb, which makes it ideal for all hair types, according to the brand. “It prevents heat damage by [self-regulating] direct heat on the hair strands, eliminating frizz and providing high shine, which is crucial when it comes to getting the perfect blowout,” says Foster. In fact, the Supersonic checks the temperature over 40 times a second to prevent damage to your hair, according to the brand.

Wattage: 1600 | No. of speed settings: 3 | No. of heat settings: 4 | Technology: Ionizer | Attachments: 5 | Cool Shot Button: Yes | Hair type: All

Shark HyperAIR Fast-Drying with IQ 2-in-1 Concentrator

This hair dryer’s dual optical sensors recognize hair thickness and texture and automatically set the appropriate airflow and temperature settings for you, according to Shark. Otherwise, you can manually shift between its three heat and three airflow settings, based on your preference. By combining high-velocity heated air with ionized air, the HyperAir is fast-drying and achieves smoothness and shine without the frizz and flyaways, according to the brand. It comes with three attachments: HyperAir’s IQ 2-in-1 Concentrator to focus airflow in a targeted area; an IQ Styling Brush, which has both detangling and smoothing bristles; and an IQ Curl Defining Diffuser for even drying from root to tip. The Shark has a 4.3-star average rating from over 1,600 reviews on Amazon.

Wattage: 1680 | No. of speed settings: 3 | No. of heat settings: 3 | Removable filter: Yes | Technology: Ionizer | Attachments: 3 | Cool Shot Button: Yes | Hair type: All

T3 AireLuxe

This T3 AirLuxe comes recommended by Foster because it’s great for all hair types and has a compact, sleek design. There’s a Volume Boost button that adds volume and texture, and inside the T3 is a smart microchip that digitally controls 15 heat and speed combinations. It comes with a paddle brush, a round brush, a drying concentrator that provides a wide airflow to help your hair dry faster, and a styling concentrator to focus air on one section at a time. If you want a diffuser or smoothing comb, you’ll need to purchase it separately. 

Wattage: 1875 | No. of speed settings: Monitored by smart chip | No. of heat settings: Monitored by smart chip | Removable filter: No | Technology: Ionic | Cool Shot Button: Yes | Hair type: All, but especially curly hair

Best 2-in-1 hair dryers

Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer

Brush dryers have gained popularity because they simplify the drying process by simultaneously brushing and styling your strands, says Foster. This highly rated Revlon tool has nylon and tufted bristles designed to detangle and get close to the roots to create volume, according to the brand. Revlon’s One-Step has three heat settings and three speed settings, along with a cooling feature to help your style last longer. It has both ionic technology to dry your hair quickly, as well as ceramic to distribute heat evenly, according to the brand. 

“It’s the ease of using it that makes it attractive, and it gives you that salon finish,” says Karla Marabello, owner of K’Bello Organic Hair in New Jersey. The Revlon One-Step is also great even for those with thick and curly hair, she says.

Wattage: 1100 | No. of speed settings: 3 | No. of heat settings: 3 | Removable filter: No | Technology: Ionic and Ceramic | Attachments: None | Cool Shot Button: Yes | Hair types: All, but especially thick or curly hair

Shark Smoothstyle

Last year, Shark expanded its lineup with the Speedstyle (a traditional hair dryer) and the Smoothstyle, a 2-in-1 hot tool. This is a great option if you’re looking for a lightweight dryer that’s easy to use and can give you both straight and bouncy hair, says NBC Select editor Lindsay Schneider in her review of both products after receiving them from the brand. You can use the Smoothstyle on wet hair mode to dry it off, or on dry hair mode, which activates the heated ceramic plates to style your strands, according to the brand. 

Wattage: 900 | No. of speed settings: n/a, but does have a wet hair and dry hair mode | No. of heat settings: 3 preset air temperature settings and 1 preset heated smoothing comb setting | Removable filter: Yes |Technology: Ceramic | Attachments: None | | Cool Shot Button: n/a | Hair types: All

InfinitiPRO by Conair Frizz-Free Hot Air Brush

This Conair tool is a favorite of Foster’s because of its powerful ion generator that reduces frizz. This model has a 1.5-inch titanium ceramic-coated barrel that distributes heat evenly, and its ionic technology ensures a no-frizz blowout, according to the brand. 

Wattage: 500 | No. of speed settings: 1 | No. of heat settings: 2, plus a cool setting | Removable filter: n/a |Technology: Ionic | Attachments: 0 | Cool Shot Button: No | Hair type: All

Best for thick, coarse hair

Babyliss Nano Titanium Portofino

At 2000 watts, this hair dryer is one of the more powerful ones on our list, making it a good option for people with thick, coarse hair, according to our experts. Foster uses this hair dryer in her salon and recommends it to her clients because it dries hair faster, resulting in less damage, she says. The Babyliss is also one of Marabello’s favorites, too: “I love it because it is super lightweight and I can go all day blowing out and [won’t] have an ache in my shoulder,” she says. The ionic dryer comes with two concentrator nozzles, and you can purchase the diffuser separately.

Wattage: 2000 | No. of speed settings: 3 | No. of heat settings: 3 | Removable filter: Yes | Technology: Nano titanium ionic | Attachments: 2 | Cool Shot Button: Yes | Hair type: All, especially thick and coarse hair

ghd Helios hair dryer

The Ghd Helios uses ionic technology, which means it can dry long, thick hair quickly without damaging it, according to our experts. It’s also lightweight at just 1.7 pounds, and has an ergonomic design, making it easier to style your hair, according to the brand. 

Marabello says a lighter, smaller dryer like this one is best for clients to use on their own because they can more easily maneuver the brush. One caveat, though, is that it comes with only one attachment — a contouring nozzle — but the brand has a compatible diffuser, which is available for purchase separately.

Wattage: 1875 | No. of speed settings: 2 | No. of heat settings: 3 | Removable filter: n/a | Technology: Ionic | Attachments: 1 | Cool Shot Button: Yes | Hair type: All, but especially good for long, thick hair

Best lightweight hair dryers

T3 Afar Lightweight Travel Size Hair dryer 

If you’re on the go and need to bring your hair dryer with you, consider adding this tool to your packing list because it’s compact, foldable and has a 4.8-star rating from 200 reviews. Weighing less than one pound, it’s suitable for all hair types and helps dry your hair while also minimizing frizz because of its ionic technology, according to the brand. The dryer has auto dual voltage to automatically adapt to your new surroundings to minimize the worry of something going wrong while traveling and styling your hair. It also has a stowaway folding handle and comes with a bag for your packing needs. Although it comes with a concentrator to focus on specific areas while blow drying, you can also use a diffuser, which is available separately. 

Wattage: 11500  | No. of speed settings: 2 | No. of heat settings: 3 | Technology: Ionic | Attachments: 1 | Cool Shot Button: Yes | Hair type: All

Harry Josh Pro Tools Ultra Light Pro Dryer (Out of Stock)

Foster says this lightweight professional-grade hair dryer packs a powerful punch. “As soon as you turn it on, [your hair] dries quickly,” says Foster, adding that it also stores very easily. It weighs less than a pound, so it’s lightweight enough to hold when you’re drying your hair at home, says Foster. If you want a slightly more affordable option, opt for the Pro Dryer 2000 from the brand.

Wattage: 1600 | No. of speed settings: 3 | No. of heat settings: 4 | Removable filter: Yes | Technology: Ionic | Attachments: 5 | Cool Shot Button: Yes | Hair type: All

Drybar Baby Buttercup Travel Blow-Dryer

Weighing less than a pound, this travel blow dryer is a favorite of Schneider’s when she wants to dry her 2b/2c, sometimes 3a, curly hair straight. It’s also easy to store because it comes with a dust bag, can fold in half, takes up less space than traditional dryers and has a detachable nozzle, says Schneider. If you plan on fitting this in your luggage, the dryer also has dual voltage for overseas travel, according to the brand. 

Wattage: 1200 | No. of speed settings: n/a | No. of heat settings: 2 | Removable filter: n/a | Technology: Ionic | Attachments: 1 | Cool Shot Button: Yes | Hair type: All

Best affordable hair dryers

Red by Kiss Ceramic 3200 Turbo Dryer

Ideal for both straight and curly hair, this dryer is lightweight at just 1 pound and comes with an air concentrator attachment, which allows you to concentrate the heat on sections of hair without damaging the integrity of your curls, according to the brand. Its tourmaline ceramic technology helps seal in moisture and prevent frizzy hair, experts told us. Other attachments include the brand’s Double-Layered Detangler Pik and Single-Layered Detangler Pik that help smooth and straighten hair, according to Kiss. It also comes with a removable filter, which Lothrop says is important to clean regularly. 

Wattage: 1875 | No. of speed settings: 2 | No. of heat settings: 3 | Removable filter: Yes | Technology: Tourmaline ceramic | Attachments: 3 | Cool Shot Button: Yes | Hair type: Straight and curly hair

Conair Infinitipro Smoothwrap Hair Dryer

If you don’t need many attachments, this hair dryer is the one for you. Suitable for all hair types, this tool can add more volume with less frizz and more shine, according to the brand. Reviewers say that this lightweight option, which has a 4.5-star average rating from over 2,800 reviews on Amazon, dries their hair (no matter the type and texture) faster than other alternatives they previously tried. Also, if you notice your airflow isn’t as powerful, all you have to do is remove the rear filter to remove any buildup, making it easy to clean, according to Conair. 

Wattage: 1875 | No. of speed settings: 2 | No. of heat settings: 3 | Removable filter: Yes |  Technology: Ceramic ionic  | Attachments: 2 | Cool Shot Button: Yes | Hair type: All

Wavytalk Ionic Hair Dryer

This ceramic ionic hair dryer is designed for all hair types and has nearly all of the features our experts recommend for a smooth finish without the high price tag. It also has a 4.5-star average rating from over 10,000 reviews on Amazon. It comes with a diffuser to straighten hair, a concentrator to maintain curly hair, a straightening comb to manage frizziness and a holder for easy storage, according to the brand. Weighing just 1.45 pounds, it’s also easy to take on the go, and it has a removable filter for easy cleaning.

Wattage: 1875 | No. of speed settings: 2 | No. of heat settings: 3 | Removable filter: Yes | Technology: Ceramic ionic | Attachments: 3 | Cool Shot Button: Yes | Hair type: All

Best hair dryers for curly hair

Bed Head Curls-in-Check Hair Dryer

For those with curly hair who want a high-quality hair dryer without breaking the bank, consider this Select staff favorite. “After towel drying my hair to remove excess water, I diffuse it with this tool, which dries my curls while giving them volume and shape in 10 minutes or less,” says Select associate updates editor Zoe Malin, who has 3a/3b curls. Using the heat settings, she uses the hot air to dry and then uses the cool shot button to help set her curls right after. “I’ve owned it for about a year, and it’s still in perfect condition,” says Malin.

Wattage: 1875 | No. of speed settings: 2 | No. of heat settings: 3 | Removable filter: n/a | Technology: Tourmaline ceramic | Attachments: 1 | Cool Shot Button: Yes | Hair type: All, but specifically curly hair

Pattern The Blow Dryer 

This lightweight dryer weighs a little over a pound and has a 4.7-star average rating from 100 reviews at Pattern Beauty. A great option for those who have curly, coily or tight hair textures, the diffuser attachment works to define curls and set styles like bantu knots, braids and waves, while the brush attachment detangles the hair while keeping curls intact, according to the brand. If you want to add volume, consider using the wide tooth comb attachment, or use the concentrator nozzle attachment to focus on the roots and small sections. To keep your dryer in good condition, don’t forget to clean the filter and wipe away any product residue, like leave-in conditioner or a heat protectant, according to the brand. 

Wattage: 1875 | No. of speed settings: 2 | No. of heat settings: 3 | Removable filter: n/a | Technology: Ceramic ionic | Attachments: 4 | Cool Shot Button: Yes | Hair type: All, but specifically curly and coily hair

Turbo Power Twin Turbo 3200

NBC Select newsletter editor McKenna Moore says this blow dryer and diffuser combo has been her most consistently used option after it was recommended to her by her hairstylist. After removing excess water from her hair and letting her curls air dry as long as possible, Moore, who has fine, 3a curly hair, uses the dryer to add shine and volume without adding frizz. The dryer allows her to adjust the temperature and intensity settings to meet the needs of her hair each day. “I absolutely love how easy this combo is to use, especially for a girl who’s never styled her hair much before,” she says.

Wattage: 1700 | No. of speed settings: 2 | No. of heat settings: 4 | Removable filter: n/a | Technology: Ionic | Attachments: 2 | Cool Shot Button: No | Hair type: All

How to shop for a hair dryer

When shopping for a hair dryer, our experts recommend looking at certain factors including your hair type, technology and settings to help you safely dry your hair with the help of these devices. Below, we break down how to determine which hair dryer is best for you. 

  • Hair type: Is your hair thick? Curly? Prone to frizz? While some blow dryers say they are suitable for all hair types, other factors that play a key role include things like materials, heating technology, attachments and wattage. Understanding your hair type is key to choosing the best hair dryer for your needs, according to our experts.
  • Wattage: The higher the wattage, the hotter and more powerful the dryer, which means your hair dries quicker and will be less prone to damage. Hair dryer wattage ranges from about 800 watts (typical for a compact, travel hair dryer) to 3,500 watts for a professional blow dryer, according to our experts. The average hair dryer falls somewhere in the middle, at about 1800 watts. Lower wattage hair dryers (around 1,600 watts) are best suited for those with medium-to-fine hair; those with thick or coarse hair should look for blow dryers equipped with 2,000 watts or more.
  • Heat settings: Most dryers have three heat settings to help you customize your hair-drying experience. By having more than one setting, you are able to change the amount of heat and, therefore, can reduce the amount of damage. If you have more excess moisture in your hair, consider starting at a higher heat setting to help dry your hair faster, according to experts. If you have less moisture, you don’t have to use such a high setting and can reduce the amount of heat you apply.  
  • Speed settings: Most dryers come with two or three speed settings, with three being ideal, says Lothrop. Less speed allows more control when styling. Start with a higher speed on wet hair, then adjust down as your hair dries.
  • Cool shot button: Most dryers come with a cool shot button, which sends a burst of cool air after heat styling to seal the cuticle so your hair stays in place, experts told us. 
  • Attachments: “Attachments are always something you want to have,” says Lothrop. Concentrator nozzles, for example, will protect your hair from the heat and improve the airflow to help dry and style your hair, she says Other helpful attachments include a comb and a diffuser. Some come included, and others you can purchase separately.

What are the different types of hair dryers?

With many different hair dryers on the market, these hot tools are divided into categories based on their materials and technology, which influences how fast your hair dries, how it dries and the aesthetic benefits of it depending on your hair type. The main four include ceramic, titanium, ionic and tourmaline. Here’s a look at the science behind each:

  • Ceramic is a coating on the interior parts of a hair dryer that is excellent at distributing heat evenly without any “hot spots,” which means it’s more gentle on the hair — too much heat can cause damage, says Marabello. Ceramic dryers are great for all hair types but especially for fine, thin hair, experts told us.
  • Titanium is also an effective heat conductor, which tends to be lighter in weight than ceramic models. However, titanium dryers tend to get a lot hotter than ceramic dryers, so there’s more chance of damaging the hair than with a ceramic dryer, especially if your hair is fine, according to Marabello. Consequently, titanium is better suited for thicker hair.
  • Ionic is a technology that is all about preserving the health of the hair, says Marabello. Ionic hair dryers emit negative ions, which causes water on the hair to quickly disperse, allowing the hair to dry quickly. “Less heat means there’s less risk of damaging the hair,” she says. Ionic is ideal for thick, frizzy-prone hair, experts say.
  • Tourmaline is a technology that is rapidly gaining momentum over ionic and ceramic hair dryers, according to the 2022 hair dryer research report by Technavio. Tourmaline dryers are lighter in weight and while they emit negative ions like ionic dryers, they also use infrared heat to seal the hair cuticles, which makes your hair shinier. Tourmaline dryers are great if you want to combat frizz and style curly, coily and wavy hair.

Meet our experts

At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

  • Courtney Foster is a certified trichologist and owner of Courtney Foster Beauty, a hair salon in New York City. Her specialties include cutting, coloring, styling and scalp health.
  • Graham Nation is a Los Angeles-based hairstylist and educator. His work has been featured in publications such as Vogue UK, W, Bustle and Schon.
  • Karla Marabello is the owner of K’Bello Organic Salon in northern New Jersey. She is a master organic hairstylist focused on health and well-being.
  • Jenna Lothrop is the master hairstylist at Samantha’s Hair Studio in Chatham, Massachusetts.

Why trust NBC Select?

Barbara Booth is a former editor at Select who has published several guides on self care and beauty products. For this article, Barbara interviewed celebrity hairstylists and salon owners to get expert-recommended tips on best hair dryers and researched dozens of top-rated options on the market to recommend other options to consider.

Catch up on Select’s in-depth coverage of personal finance, tech and tools, wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok to stay up to date.