12 best hair dryers for all hair types

That feeling of strolling out of a salon with perfectly blow-dried hair is one of life’s little luxuries.

Whether you’re after a voluminous bouncy ‘do straight out of Dynasty or you’re channelling poker straight panels of glass-smooth hair, it’s hard to recreate the same look at home as the one you had in the salon chair.

While the perfect blow dry is best left to the pros, there are ways you can change your technique to get smooth, glossy locks on your own.

How to perfect a home blow-dry

Sonia Ground, senior stylist at the House of Charles Worthington in Covent Garden, gives her top At-Home Blow Dry tips:

  • Take your time. There’s no way you’ll get perfect hair on a weekday morning when you have 10min max before you’re out of the door. If possible, dry your hair the night before - if done right, it should hold up the morning after.

  • When drying wet hair, be religious about using a heat-protecting product to minimise damage to your locks. Then wait until it’s at least 60 per cent dry before you start styling with a hairdryer.

  • Section your hair so that you’re drying your whole head thoroughly. When drying the back (the hardest part), section to the side and dry out behind your ears with your brush. Even if you have super short hair and gymnastic-levels of bendiness, you won’t be able to pull back sections of hair away straight up.

  • Use the right brushes for your hair as well as the look you want to achieve. Big round brushes for volume, paddle brushes for glossy smoothness.

While technique is important, so too is the kit you use. There have been huge changes in hair dryer technology recently, with everything from ion-infused devices to give shinier results to bladeless models that are so quiet you can still hear your radio breakfast show when it's switched on.

How often can you use a hair dryer without damage

Going too hard with heat tools on your head has obvious consequences: dryness, brittleness and a sea of dreaded split ends. Most experts recommend giving your tresses a break and allowing hair to air dry naturally a few times a week. Try products like JVN Complete Air Dry Cream (£21) which add body and reduce frizz without heat.

How to use hair dryer diffuser

Made for curly haired gals, a diffuser helps define and add volume to your curls. It can be used on wet or damp hair; simply crunch up the section to your head and hold the diffuser by it, at the root. Straight haired people can also use the transformative tool to add extra volume, texture and movement.

Can you take hair dryer in hand luggage?

Hotel-quality hair dryers are renowned for poor power and low heat. If you want to fly with your hair tools, both hair dryers and straightening irons are allowed in your cabin bag, although the size of a traditional model may well eat into your luggage space. Opt for a travel hair dryer instead and save space for future souvenirs.

Best hair dryers at a glance

  • Best overall - GHD Air Hair Dryer, £88.54, Amazon

  • Best quiet hair dryer - Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, £330, Argos

  • Best flexible use hair drying tool - Shark Style IQ Hair Dryer and Styler, £229, John Lewis

  • Best for high shine hair in a flash - Cloud Nine The Airshot Hairdryer, £89, Cloudninehair

  • Best for heat-damaged hair and frizz - Panasonic EH-NA98 Nanoe and Double Mineral Advanced Hair Dryer, £129.99, Boots

  • Best for salon-worthy results - BaByliss Super Power 2400 dryer, £34.99, Amazon

  • Best for simplicity - Toni & Guy label.m Tourmaline Hairdryer, £67.95, Toni & Guy

  • Best for a blow-fry on a budget - BaByliss Diamond Radiance Hair Dryer, £29.99, Amazon

  • Best for bouncy Kardashian blowouts - FORMAWELL Beauty X Kendall Jenner Pro Hair Dryer, £69.99, Currys

  • Best for thick hair - Panasonic Nanoe hair dryer EH-NA67, £149.99, Boots

  • Best for anyone fed up with frizz - T3 Cura Hair Dryer, £199.99, Lookfantastic

  • Best for damage-free volume - Zuvi Halo hair dryer, £359, Selfridges

See what we thought of the top models below.

ghd Air Hair Dryer

Best for: all-round winner for using at home and on short trips

This hairdryer roars. You can really feel its power in your hand when it’s at full throttle, which is great when you’re in a hurry but not so wonderful if you’re styling first thing in the morning and the rest of your household is sound asleep.

A shorter nozzle makes it easier to handle and direct heat all over your head. The cool shot button is helpfully at the ‘trigger’ part of the dryer, perfectly positioned so you don’t have to manoeuvre fingers back to the main heat settings when you’re in the middle of drying.

The design is great, and it feels small enough to take on trips away - although the handle doesn’t fold back so you should factor this in if you’re taking a weekend bag.

Available at ghd, Lookfantastic, John Lewis, and Next.

Buy now £88.54, Amazon

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

Best for: a sound(less) investment piece + using around small, slumbering children

Dyson has used the bladeless technology used in its fans and transplanted it into this unconventional-looking grey and fuchsia hair dryer.

The designers have also cleverly moved the motor from the head to the handle, taking the strain off your arms and making it far more comfortable to hold while drying sections of hair. Airflow is fast and even thanks to the V9 motor which propels at an astonishing 110,000 times a minute, pushing out 41 litres a second. More air equals a faster dry.

The motor design also means that the Supersonic is so quiet you can hold a conversation while using it; something of a game changer in itself. It comes with smoothing and diffusing attachments that connect magnetically while a microprocessor monitors air temperature every 40 seconds to ensure you’re not damaging your strands with excess heat. It takes getting used to when making the switch from traditional looking dryers, but once you’ve mastered the new way to hold the machine for maximum drying power, you’ll be converted.

The gold standard for hair dryers (which incidentally now comes in very fetching a limited edition Prussian Blue), the only downside is the cost which admittedly is far more than the average. But if you’re one for regular salon blow dries anyway, you should quickly recover the cost of Dyson’s Supersonic within weeks. What cost to keep the gleam on your crowning glory?

Buy now £330.00, Argos

Shark Style IQ Hair Dryer & Styler

Best for: a flexible use hair-drying tool

If you know your home electricals, you’ll know that Shark is normally a brand associated with powerful vacuum cleaners. Now they’ve taken that technology and transplanted it into their first foray into personal tech. Shark’s hair dryer comes with a range of intelligent stylers (a diffuser, a concentrator and one that transforms it into a hot brush) that help push high-velocity heated ionised air over your locks, drying while styling at the same time. Heat damage is zero, despite such high air-flow.

Also available at Argos, but John Lewis includes a two year guarantee on the product.

Buy now £229.00, John Lewis

Cloud Nine The Airshot Hairdryer

Best for: high-shine hair in a flash

Cloud Nine tames frizz and coaxes hair into a salon-shine finish all while protecting it from over-heating thanks to the tourmaline and ceramic heating elements that have been infused with vitamins.

In terms of comfort, it’s light to hold and the buttons are placed intuitively right by your thumb, which makes it easier to switch between heat and speed levels. The cold shot button meanwhile, is positioned right by your index finger sits, so if you feel like your hair is getting too hot you can remedy the issue instantly. It’s the hairdryer of choice for many chain salons, and it’s easy to why the professionals give it their stamp of approval.

Used with the nozzle, it delivers precise heat without frazzling strands and it works quickly so you’re not spending ages in front of the mirror with it.

Buy now £139.00, Cloud Nine

Panasonic EH-NA98 Nanoe and Double Mineral Advanced Hair Dryer

Best for: heat-frazzled locks and frizz

If your hair resembles a dry bale of hay most mornings, this could be your saviour. Thanks to the Nanoe and Double Mineral tech, it’s proven to reduce hair damage from heat and over-brushing (which can lead to split ends).

What exactly is nanoe technology? Simply put, it's a hydra-charged version of a regular old ion, containing around 1000 times more moisture to smooth and hydrate at the same time. Rather than stressing strands, Panasonic's nanoeTM technology keeps them quenched, resulting in more bounce and shine for hair you'll want to flip all day long.

Design-wise, the fold down handle, gold accents and matte finish set it head and shoulders above the crowd. While it’s nice to be able to switch between heats, this dryer is a bit different in that there’s just one control.

But don’t worry, it’s not a design flaw – more that Panasonic have included heat-reading tech that ensures the EH-NA98 automatically adjusts itself according to what your hair needs. This means you should always be at the right temperature, cutting the chances of damage due to blasting it with heat. Bonus points for being quieter than most of the other dryers on our list.

Buy now £129.99, Boots

BaByliss Super Power 2400 dryer

Best for: single-dwellers with a penchant for salon-worthy locks

Promising salon-worthy results, this is a step up from BaByliss’ Diamond Radiance model – and it comes with a small jump in price too. Whether that’s down to the slicker design or more powerful motor we don’t know, but the difference is noticeable.

Although it’s a bit heavier, it’s one of the nicest-looking dryers we tried. It also does the job adequately, drying hair quickly without frazzling it.

Unfortunately the super-sized power also means super-sized noise. You won’t need to warn your neighbours before using it, but it’s probably not the wisest thing to turn on first thing in the morning if you share a bedroom.

Buy now £34.99, Amazon

Toni & Guy label.m Tourmaline Hairdryer

Best for: blissfully simple functionality

The first noticeable thing about this hair dryer comes from unpacking – it’s got the least amount of plastic of the lot with just a plastic plug guard and a see-through window on the front of the box.

It’s great for those looking for a simple design; just two heat settings and speeds to choose from, all backed by a 2200w motor. This does mean it can get very hot, very fast during prolonged use so it’s wise to blast your hair with the cool shot button once you’ve done each section rather than right at the very end. Comes with two nozzles.

Buy now £67.95, Toni & Guy

BaByliss Diamond Radiance Hair Dryer

Best for: blow-dries without blowing the budget

Want hair with the gloss of a diamond? BaByliss promises this and more with this hair dryer which uses fancy diamond-infused ceramics and active ionic conditioners to give hair its greatest ever shine.

It certainly is powerful, meaning a much faster overall dry time. Its light weight too, so I didn’t get achy arms from holding it over my head – always a plus. There are two speed and three temperature settings, although the switches go in a reverse direction to the other models which admittedly does feel a bit odd.

All in all, Diamond Radiance is a decent dryer at a price that won’t break the bank – but it probably won’t give you that easy salon-finish easily either.

Buy now £29.99, Amazon

FORMAWELL Beauty X Kendall Jenner Pro Hair Dryer - White & Rose Gold

Best for: bouncy Kardashian blowouts

I’ve never heard of Formawell until now, but fronted by one of the youngest members of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, it immediately caught my eye. If it could give me hair as smooth and polished as supermodel Kendall, surely it was worth a shot.

The packaging is probably the most attractive of all the dryers I tested, lots of white and gold with a transparent window so you can see the hairdryer nestled inside. There’s also a lovely picture on the front of Kendall serenely holding the hairdryer while wielding a brush around her raven locks. Predictably, her hair looks phenomenal. This lights a flame of hope; could it work for me too?

Pros: it comes with an extra-long cable so you can move the dryer around your head without being limited to the immediate area around the plug socket. There’s also a cool shot button so you can blast hair with cold hair to help curls last longer. It’s lightweight and relatively quiet too.

Cons: only comes with one smoothing attachment so not one for curly Sues.

Buy now £69.99, Currys

Panasonic Nanoe hair dryer EH-NA67

Best for: thick haired beauties

No need to dread the thought of washing your hair because of the hours it takes to try it afterwards: Panasonic's Nanoe dryer gets the job done in seriously impressive time.

The main feature that aids this is the oscillating function, which covers a larger area while ensuring no strands get too much heat, averting damage. Meanwhile the ionization smooths hair so that you end up with a frizz-free result.

With three speed settings and four temperature levels packed into the elegant black and gold design, it pairs function alongside style in equal measure.

Buy now £149.99, Boots

T3 Cura Hair Dryer - White

Best for: anyone fed up with frizz

For hair that’s frazzled even in low humidity, it’s time to call in the big guns - courtesy of haircare experts T3. The brand’s Cura Hair Dryer uses the double action of digitally-controlled heat with a wide, gentle airstream to smooth cuticles and dry hair quickly, while boosting body and shine.

It uses ion technology to smooth strands through three heat and two speed settings and there’s a cool shot button to help your style set and last for longer.

Buy now £199.99, Lookfantastic

Zuvi Halo hair dryer

Best for: damage-free volume

Using patented LightCare Technology instead of intense heat, the Zuvi Halo dries hair in the same way as the elements (wind and sun) would, but with infrared light. It also offers far more control with a choice of four modes to best suit your hair type (soft, style, fast and care), and there are an array of attachments to help finesse different kinds of hair.

While it's on the pricier end of the spectrum, if you're someone who regularly dries their hair and are starting to become conscious of the damage it's causing, the Zuvi Halo could make all the difference to your getting ready routine and scalp health.

Read the full review here.

Buy now £359.00, Selfridges


If money is no expense, the quiet-as-a-mouse Dyson is the most souped-up of the lot. While the Supersonic is an expert piece of engineering, we found it did take longer to dry hair. The price tag also means we would have to survive on beans on toast for a few months; not a sacrifice we’re readily willing to make, even if it is for our crowning glory.

At a third of the price, ghd’s Air Hair Dryer is far more affordable, but still luxe enough to leave on display, giving it the deserving top pick.