The best hair dryers of 2021 | CNN

Nothing modifications a lady’s angle — or confidence — like a contemporary blowout. However the days of popping into your favourite blow-dry bar or salon might really feel like historic historical past within the time of Covid, making hair dryers all of the extra necessary. So to get that just-stepped-out-of-the-salon take a look at dwelling, we got down to check 9 of the market’s top-rated fashions and have been, properly…blown away by how a lot magic a brand new hair dryer can work.

We spent hours testing the dryers, ranging in value from $25 to $399, on 4 totally different hair textures: superb and straight-to-wavy; thick and curly; 4b curls with extensions; and thick and wavy-to-curly. We checked out apparent components, similar to dry time, warmth and airflow velocity, but additionally different necessary parts starting from attachments and distinctive options to twine size and weight.

By the top of the method, we’re fairly certain we at the least doubled our higher arm power (completely satisfied profit) and located three winners that left our hair trying wholesome, silky easy, frizz- and flyaway-free:

Greatest inexpensive hair dryer

Our price vote goes to the Revlon One-Step. If you happen to’ve by no means been capable of get the hold of holding a hair dryer in a single hand and a spherical brush within the different concurrently, this mannequin mashes the 2 collectively, leading to ultra-shiny, frizz-free hair.

Greatest mid-range hair dryer

The Drybar Buttercup, from the favored blow-dry bar chain, is available in a enjoyable, cheery shiny yellow. At $199, it’s dear, however aside from the Dyson, it merely outperformed its rivals in dry time, settings and flexibility, working properly on numerous hair varieties.

Greatest high-end hair dryer

The Dyson Supersonic is pricey. Like, $400 costly. However, man, does it stay as much as its hype. It dries hair at warp velocity, blasts out warmth at a whopping 70 mph, is far, a lot quieter than different fashions we examined, and is simply futuristic and funky throughout.

Natasha Hatendi/CNN

A best-seller on Amazon, this much-beloved brush-style hair dryer had us curious. Would it not stay as much as the hype? Can 150,000 Amazon reviewers be improper? Nicely, not solely have been our testers impressed by how briskly the One-Step dries hair at its highest setting, however the blowout outcomes it produced proper up there with the Dyson. “I liked, liked, liked the way in which this instrument made my hair look — straight, shiny and like I simply left the salon,” stated one tester. “Actually, I liked this factor for its potential to go away my hair shiny and frizz-free,” raved one other.

The One-Step dryer is exclusive in that it features a non-detachable brush head with nylon pin bristles, permitting you to each dry and brush by means of your hair on the similar time, easing the awkwardness of utilizing each a brush in a single hand and a dryer within the different, which supplies many of us bother.

At 1.8 kilos, it’s on the heavier facet of the dryers we examined, however its design nonetheless manages to really feel mild in your hand. Because it was a bristled brush, we have been unnecessarily apprehensive about points with tangling (there was none in any respect), and the 4.25-inch oval barrel design enables you to get near the foundation, permitting for a quantity enhance, whereas you can even bend or calmly curl the ends.

Different nice options embrace ionic and ceramic know-how (which you’ll be able to learn extra about beneath), three warmth/velocity settings and a cool choice, plus a four-year guarantee. The buttons, although, are on the backside of the deal with, so you have to to cease what you’re doing to vary settings.

Be warned: This sucker’s highest setting will get actually, actually sizzling. As in we have been beginning to sweat by the point we have been executed.

It’s main flaw, after all, is that in case you don’t need a smooth and glossy blowout and wish your hair to dry curly or wavy, or you’ve got time just for a tough dry, this isn’t the instrument to make use of and also you’ll want a further hair dryer. However in case you solely straighten your hair throughout a blowout? That is all you’ll want.

Natasha Hatendi/CNN

Followers of Drybar will immediately acknowledge this high-end hair dryer by its shiny yellow hue. And so they in all probability gained’t be too stunned to be taught that this retail model, the identical fashion used within the blow-dry salons, delivers shiny, bouncy hair even with out a skilled stylist on the helm.

Weighing 1 pound, 2 ounces (solely two dryers, one in all which is journey dimension, have been lighter), it nonetheless packs so much. It options ionic know-how (which you’ll be able to learn extra about beneath), a robust 1,875-watt motor and a protracted, 9-foot twine. It has six settings, and there’s a fantastic warmth vary with a particular distinction between low, medium and excessive, together with a really cool cool-shot button.

In use, it was one of many quietest of the fashions we examined with minimal vibration. It really works properly on a wide range of hair varieties and comes with two nozzle attachments: a smoother and a concentrator. Buttons, positioned on the within of the deal with (which itself was actually comfy and makes the dryer simple to govern), make it simple to toggle between settings along with your thumb whereas it’s in use. Total, it resulted in our testers’ hair trying wholesome, shiny and tremendous straight, all with out an excessive amount of bicep pressure to get it there.

Subsequent to the Dyson, the Buttercup gave the quickest end time for our testers with superb, straight-to-wavy hair, 4b curls and thick, curly hair, and tamed even our most cussed waves and curls with out a lot effort.

Drawbacks? A curly-haired tester notes that with no included diffuser attachment, the Buttercup’s focus is on tough dries or straightening hair, so these embracing their curls might want one other mannequin. It’s additionally costly (and solely has a two-year guarantee).

After we contemplate a single journey to a Drybar salon units you again $50, shelling out $200 for numerous blowouts seems like a cut price.

Natasha Hatendi/CNN

Dyson’s Supersonic has acquired so many accolades and awards that we nearly needed it to be a flop. As a result of $400 for a hair dryer? Who’s prepared to pay that? However after placing this costly, high-tech equipment by means of a number of assessments, we will firmly say: we’re.

With a robust V9 digital motor that’s cleverly housed within the deal with, giving it a singular and even steadiness, the Supersonic options clever warmth management that measures its air temp 40-plus occasions per second — so it gained’t overheat and also you get injury management. Air is sucked in by means of the underside of the ergonomic, comfortable-to-hold deal with (in contrast to most hair dryers, the place it is available in in the back of the barrel), making it much less possible for lengthy hair to get pulled into the filter.

It additionally comes with three magnetic attachments — a diffuser, smoothing nozzle and concentrator nozzle — that stick on tremendous simply and securely. The attachments are additionally engineered in order that they don’t get sizzling, which implies you may swap them out or rotate them with out lacking a beat — or burning your fingers. Eight settings — three for velocity (quick, common, light), 4 for warmth (together with a chilly setting) and chilly shot (which you’ll be able to learn extra about beneath) — can be found and it has the most effective distinct warmth vary examined (that’s, you may actually inform a distinction between excessive, medium and low warmth).

Different highlights: This mannequin creates just about no vibration, which implies it’s extra comfy to make use of. It has a 9-foot twine, so you may transfer about freely. And whereas we don’t know of any hair dryer that’s silent, this mannequin is far quieter than others we examined. The truth is, it’s quiet sufficient you may comply with together with a TV present or FaceTime a good friend whereas utilizing it (a bonus for these attempting to keep away from waking small youngsters or sleeping companions). It isn’t the lightest hair dryer we examined, however its sturdy, distinct design makes holding it really feel slightly easy. It additionally comes with a non-slip mat and storage hanger, and its compartmentalized packaging is, er, head and shoulders, above the remainder. (Plus, in case you select the “gift edition,” a red-and-nickel model, your Supersonic will arrive together with a flowery faux-leather carrying case.)

As for essentially the most crucial components (the time it takes to dry hair and its outcomes), the Supersonic is lightning quick: It dried testers’ hair in half the time it took most different fashions. “This hair dryer is solely the best of all time,” one tester remarked. “Completely wonderful,” stated one other. “Everybody on my work Zoom calls thought I’d simply been to the salon,” raved one other.

After a full blow dry, testers noticed superior shine and smoothness, with even the curliest hair mendacity completely straight, however whereas retaining salon-worthy quantity. Ends have been smooth and frizz-free. And flyaways? What flyaways? One key to wholesome, shiny hair is protecting warmth publicity to a minimal, and, once more, with its extremely quick dry time, there’s much less alternative to trigger injury.

If we now have to nitpick, we should admit after we first used the dryer on excessive energy it almost blew our doorways off and took a minute to determine the way to keep away from capturing the air straight into our ear. And the most popular setting is unquestionably sizzling, which can be an excessive amount of for delicate scalps. It additionally has a restricted two-year guarantee, the identical as nearly all of the dryers examined, however not precisely wonderful for such an expensive merchandise.

Finally, this beast is definitely worth the funding as it really works wonders on numerous hair varieties, comes with helpful attachments, is quick, quick, quick and leaves hair so shiny, so wholesome and so frizz-free. Dyson Supersonic? You are able to do no improper. A lot in order that our testers summed it up with some variant of: “I can’t think about switching to the rest after utilizing it.”

All three hair dryers resulted in professional-looking blowouts carried out in a minimal period of time and topped their rivals based mostly on a wide range of standards. However in case you’re questioning what a number of the phrases imply and what parts are supposed to do, right here’s a fast explainer:

Attachments: Diffusers — you realize, these spherical, bowl-like add-ons with plastic spikes — are used to disperse air over a big space, serving to to outline curls or maintain waves intact and add quantity, however not frizz. Concentrator and smoothing nozzles enable air to be directed by means of a slender, flat vent and are particularly useful for drying lengthy hair sooner as you’re capable of level the warmth proper the place you need it. These work very well for smoothing hair on the again of the top and hard-to-reach spots.

Twine size: When you have a small rest room, this is probably not a problem, however for these working in rooms with inconveniently positioned retailers, having the ability to transfer round — to see in a mirror, for instance — is vital. Due to this fact, hair dryers with longer cords have been ranked greater (lengths diverse from 5 to 9 ft).

Weight: At a look, all of the dryers we examined possible could be thought of light-weight — all weighed in at lower than 2 kilos. However once you’re holding one thing up over your head, even for simply 10 to fifteen minutes, your arm will get drained rapidly, which means even a number of ounces can add to fatigue. And the extra drained your arm will get, the extra possible you’ll be to surrender early earlier than ending drying your entire head.

Cool shot button: This little gizmo is included in lots of hair dryers and does simply what you’d assume: It blasts cool air. So, why would you like cool air? Professionals say it helps seal the fashion into place and retains ends from frizzing, leading to a longer-lasting blowout. (Confession: Generally we intention it down our shirt after a protracted, sizzling drying sesh for a bit DIY AC, particularly in the course of the summer time months.)

Ionic and ceramic know-how: Many hair dryers now tout know-how that indicators the discharge of detrimental ions, stated to hurry dry time, scale back static and stop frizz (that is typically advisable for these with textured or curly hair). Ceramic coils, in the meantime, end in extra even warmth distribution than their steel counterparts. So, what does this imply? Whereas ionic dryers might scale back static electrical energy, in response to scientists on the University of California Santa Barbara, that doesn’t quantity to a lot, as frizz brought on by static solely tends to final a couple of minutes. And, sure, ceramic warmth is environment friendly, which means much less dry time and, theoretically, much less warmth injury. However as all of the hair dryers we examined boasted both ion or ceramic know-how (most supplied each), neither made a lot of a distinction in our scores.

After some severe hair dryer market analysis, we narrowed our check group all the way down to 9 extremely rated, bestselling and critically lauded fashions. From there, we rigorously examined every dryer, taking detailed notes and evaluating every one based mostly on each efficiency and construct.

Every hair dryer was examined at the least 3 times, together with a full blowout, tough dry and combo of the 2. We spent a number of weeks testing these dryers, and testing was carried out on a number of hair varieties: superb and straight-to-wavy; thick and curly; 4b curls with extensions; and thick and wavy-to-curly. Along with total efficiency, we additionally used the beneath standards breakdowns in making our ultimate evaluations.


  • Time to dry hair: For every dryer, we set a timer and recorded how lengthy it took to go from just-out-of-the-shower towel-dried hair to fully dry. The shorter the time, the upper the rating.
  • Settings: Fashions acquired greater scores for extra settings, similar to a number of airflow speeds, warmth choices and a chilly shot button.
  • Versatility: We assessed how every hair dryer labored on 4 totally different hair textures, noting whether or not longer hair was sucked into the fan, and assessing how properly it labored for a full blowout, a fast air dry and a mix fast dry/blowout.
  • Distinction in warmth settings: For dryers with a number of warmth settings, we took notes on all the pieces from a noticeable distinction in excessive, medium and low warmth and whether or not settings have been too excessive — both too exhausting or too mushy, for instance.
  • Cool-shot button: Most fashions included cool-shot buttons, meant to assist lock within the completed hair fashion. We assessed whether or not the cool shot was really cool, even after prolonged use on excessive warmth.
  • Frizz/flyaway management: Throughout testing, we took notes on the hair’s look after drying, searching for any frizz or flyaways, in addition to shine and an total wholesome look.


  • Twine size: For this class, we checked out how lengthy every twine was — an extended twine permits for extra flexibility and room to maneuver, so longer cords acquired greater scores.
  • Weight: We weighed every mannequin on a scale, giving greater marks to lighter hair dryers, as lighter fashions are simpler to carry for prolonged intervals of time. That is particularly necessary for these with lengthy or thick hair.
  • Upkeep/sturdiness: We examined every dryer to check how simple it was to take away and/or clear the filter, seemed for indicators of scuffs or scratches and carried out a “drop” check, dropping it to the ground whereas in use to see the way it stood as much as regular put on and tear.
  • Attachments/distinctive options: Many hair dryers include totally different nozzles (similar to smoothing, concentrator or diffuser), whereas others have a built-in brush, ionic know-how or ceramic construct. We famous such options and add-ons, which resulted in greater scores.
  • Button placement: Along with the variety of button controls, we additionally rated simply the place the buttons have been positioned. The flexibility to vary warmth settings with out having to cease the drying course of to fumble with the buttons, for instance, earned extra factors, whereas placement that allowed you to unintentionally swap from excessive to low warmth or airflow resulted in decrease factors.
  • Deal with consolation: While you’re holding a hair dryer above your head for an prolonged time period, consolation is vital. We seemed on the grip, form and ergonomics of every deal with, assessing the way it felt in our arms.
  • Noise stage: If there’s a silent hair dryer in the marketplace, we haven’t discovered it. However, particularly for these drying their hair early within the morning whereas the remainder of the household remains to be quick asleep, a loud mannequin could also be a deal-breaker. We in contrast every mannequin, noting how a lot noise it made, and doling out extra factors to quieter dryers.
  • Vibration ranges: Once more, once you’re holding a hair dryer for a very long time, consolation is a large bonus, and a machine that vibrates annoyingly is much from best. So we assessed vibration ranges, giving extra factors to dryers that stayed nonetheless in our arms.
  • Guarantee: We checked the variety of years of guarantee for every instrument.

Utilizing the above standards, we assigned scores in every subcategory to every hair dryer, mixed these numbers for a complete rating in every subcategory, after which added the scores for an total whole. The scores have been damaged down as follows:

  • Efficiency had a most of fifty factors: time to dry hair (10); settings (10); versatility (10); distinction in warmth settings (5); cool-shot button (5); and frizz/flyaways (10).
  • Construct had a most of 55 factors: twine size (10); weight (10); upkeep/sturdiness (10); attachments/options (5); button placement (5); deal with consolation (5); noise (5); and vibration (5).
  • Guarantee had a most of 5 factors: lifetime (5), two to 5 years (2), lower than two years (0).

Harry Josh Professional Instruments Professional Dryer 2000 ($329.99;


So much impressed us when it got here to this beautiful mint inexperienced, high-end hair dryer designed by the celeb hairstylist whose shoppers embrace Gisele Bundchen, Rose Byrne and Ellen Pompeo. Third-fastest in dry time, it has a fantastic number of settings, together with a singular ion off/on button (flip it on to tame frizz, off to extend quantity), and is sweet and lightweight, weighing in at simply over a pound.

It comes with two nozzle attachments — one for styling and one for concentrated warmth — and has a robust 1,875-watt motor. We additionally admire its compactness and the way in which its barely contoured deal with that simply matches your hand, makes it simple to manage. The brief nozzle, the truth is, makes this dryer good for journey. However whereas it was amongst our favorites, it was nudged out of the winner’s circle for its noise stage — it was one of many louder fashions we examined — and for the tangles it left in lengthy hair, particularly throughout tough dries.

Rusk Engineering CTC Lite ($94.95;


For a just-under-$100 mannequin, this hair dryer acquired excessive marks from testers for its comparatively quick dry time, a number of settings and talent to go away hair shiny and easy.

The Rusk is infused with ceramic and titanium for a better warmth switch (and belief us, this one does get sizzling — the best warmth was famous as “excessive” by a number of reviewers). It’s light-weight, which makes it simple to maneuver, however the plastic appears slightly flimsy — though it did survive our drop check — and fewer sturdy than our winners. Button placement can also be a problem, with some reviewers noting they unintentionally modified settings whereas utilizing the dryer, which could be annoying.

This dryer comes with two attachments — a diffuser and concentrator nozzle — making it a good selection for many who largely do fast dries or are looking for a wavy/curly end result. Nevertheless, these with coarse, curly or coily hair say it wasn’t as efficient because the successful fashions when it got here to blowing out pure hair with out leaving frizz.

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium ($89.99;


Constructed with nano titanium ionic know-how designed to dry sooner with much less frizz and even warmth, this hair dryer landed proper in the midst of the pack of those we examined. That includes six warmth and velocity settings, it comes with a concentrator nozzle, is light-weight and the toggle buttons are simple to govern whereas in use.

So far as dry time, loudness, deal with consolation and flexibility? All proper down the center compared to different dryers examined. It doesn’t appear to get as sizzling as different fashions, however does a strong job in creating largely straight and glossy hair, though the ends weren’t as easy as with different variations. If you happen to’re searching for a reliable hair dryer that doesn’t break the bank, it is a good decide. If you happen to’re prepared to spend extra, you are able to do higher.

Bio Ionic Goldpro Journey Dryer ($99;


You is probably not doing an entire lot of touring today, however when issues get again to regular, those that discover themselves staying in lodges ceaselessly ought to contemplate buying this helpful journey mannequin. Made with a ceramic barrel infused with 24K gold MX, the model’s proprietary mineral advanced, it’s stated to situation the hair and lock in moisture for added shine.

And from our testing, that declare appears to be extra than simply, properly, sizzling air. One tester famous the GoldPro beat out 4 full-size dryers when it got here to dry time and it resulted in a shiny, wholesome blowout with only a few flyaways and no frizzy ends. Though it’s super-small, weighing in at a scant .85 kilos, and that includes a folding deal with to make it further compact in your suitcase or keep on, it nonetheless manages to dry hair swiftly and with few flyaways (it does take some further muscle to get the waviest hair straight, nevertheless).

The Goldpro comes with a journey bag, concentrator nozzle and really cheap-looking plastic journey brush. And, as you may count on in a journey mannequin, it’s fairly naked bones in terms of settings: simply two speeds — excessive and low energy — and its twine is shorter than almost all different fashions examined. However compared to the same old resort dryer hooked up the toilet wall? This may simply be your favourite new journey companion.

Infinitipro by Conair ($24.94, usually $34.99;


A prime vendor on Amazon with a 4.7-star ranking, we had excessive hopes for this low-cost hair dryer that makes use of ceramic and ion know-how to up shine and stop frizz and injury. Issues we like: the ergonomic deal with design, its mild 1-pound weight, the truth that it encompasses a chilly shot plus three warmth settings and two speeds, and that it comes with a concentrator nozzle and diffuser.

However whereas the Infinitipro might be ample for these with straight, superb hair, it merely lacks the efficiency capabilities of the opposite hair dryers we reviewed. First, the 5-foot twine — the shortest of all fashions examined — is a matter for many who require extra room. It additionally feels cheaply made (the plastic is mild, and doesn’t appear sturdy like higher-end fashions we examined), is among the many loudest hair dryers evaluated and has one of many longest dry occasions. And whereas the maybe overly robust fan didn’t suck lengthy hair into the again fan, we did should cease repeatedly to brush out tangles throughout a tough dry and it left frizz in wavier sections of our hair.

Gold ‘n Sizzling Skilled One-Step Sizzling Air Brush ($45.53, initially $59.99;


For individuals who have bother working a hair dryer and a spherical brush on the similar time, this drying brush is a helpful choice. The oval-shaped styling instrument options airflow vents and nylon bristles and works properly on all hair varieties, together with textured. This mannequin can also be constructed with an ion generator for sooner drying and has a ceramic coating to assist defend hair from injury and provides even warmth distribution. The comb did end in a just-stepped-out-of-the-salon fashion with no frizz and wholesome, shiny tresses and was light-weight and simple to grip.

That half was nice. But it surely took longer than another mannequin we examined to get our hair fully dry, has minimal settings (cool, low, excessive) and in addition takes some getting used to — we clunked ourselves within the head with the exhausting brush a number of occasions (ouch!) and burned our finger after we unintentionally touched the recent brush. It additionally has a comparatively brief 6-foot twine and whereas there’s no filter entry, customers are suggested to wash the air vents day by day — which we discover impractical.

Learn extra from CNN Underscored’s hands-on testing:

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