If technology has brought us one blessing, it’s that neither a salon or stylist is necessary to achieve the perfect blow dry.
We’re spoiled for choice with hair dryers that promise to defrizz, volumise and protect our hair, with varying results.
To find the perfect hair dryer, we took a few things into account. With so many options, anything that might remotely damage our hair was out.
Everybody’s hair is unique, requiring different temperatures and nozzles, so variety is a must. Ionic technology is also the new normal nowadays, neutralising any frizz-inducing atoms.
But at the same time as boasting powerful motors and multiple features, we wanted something that was portable, light and easy to use.
With all this in mind, we also needed our styles to hold their own against the autumn weather.
Cold weather is the enemy of frizzy hair and rain doesn’t help. Our tester tried out a variety of hairstyles – from slick blow dries to big, bouncy curls – to get to grips with each hair dryer’s full capabilities.
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Remington keratin protect hair dryer: £36.65, Boots
Big, bouncy blow dries don’t need to empty your pockets. Remington’s keratin protect hair dryer combines damage defensive ceramic grilles with keratin and almond oil, both of which are common ingredients in hair strengthening products. It also uses 90 per cent more ions than your average hair dryer, which diffuses the frizz at the scalp. Our tester was pleasantly surprised by how much healthier her hair felt after just one use.
ghd flight travel hair dryer: £59, ghd
Ghd is synonymous with great hair, so we had no doubts over the capability of this hairdryer. Small but mighty, it doesn’t compromise on safety – it still uses the brand’s trademark safeguard technology, which switches off the hair dryer if it comes too close to your hair so as to prevent overheating. It also has several speed and temperature settings to give you more control. What’s even more impressive is that it weighs just 422g, making it perfect for travelling.
Mark Hill salon professional hair dryer: £59.99, Boots
Our tester is a big fan of Mark Hill’s haircare range so was happy to discover that the brand’s technology is more than its match. The dryer is infused with argan oil and keratin protein, reducing any potential damage, and has five different airflow and heat combinations to suit varying hair thickness. We were particularly impressed by the super-slim concentrator, which easily boosts the lift at the roots of your hair for the rest of the day.
Dyson supersonic hair dryer: £299.99, John Lewis & Partners
The celebrity of the hair technology world, Dyson’s hair dryer is the result of years of combined efforts from hair stylists and engineers alike. It’s the only hair dryer to place the motor inside the handle, meaning no arm ache a few minutes into your styling routine (a blessing you only appreciate once you have it). It exceeded all of our expectations, drying hair quickly and leaving our tester with significantly less frizz. Each one comes with three different nozzles, designed for diffusion, volume and precise drying. As sleek in technology as it is in appearance, it also regulates its temperature 40 times per second to prevent heat damage. While it will set you back a hefty amount, those who take their pampering routine seriously will see this as an investment.
Phil Smith lightweight travel hair dryer: £9.99, Argos
You never know when to expect a hair emergency (particularly in the colder, wetter months) but Phil Smith has you covered with their uber-lightweight dryer. Coming up at just over 300g, it folds up to slip into your handbag, luggage or gym bag at no inconvenience. While it doesn’t dry your hair at an overly fast rate, it’s quicker than average and well worth the price. It also includes international voltage, meaning you can use it anywhere in the world (a surprisingly rare feature).
BaByliss rose blush 2200 hair dryer: £45, BaByliss
If its cuteness alone doesn’t draw you in, the BaByliss hair dryer was one of the easiest to use on this list. Straightforward and fuss-free, our hair dried quickly and felt bouncy and smooth thanks to its super ionic frizz-control feature. A lot of hair dryers can let you down with their cool shot button, which either shoots too gently or too warm to actually be useful. However, we were really impressed by its power and ability to set every style tried out by our tester.
Panasonic nanoe + double mineral advanced hair dryer: £129.99, Boots
We were definitely unprepared for the amount of features on this hair dryer. Not only does it offer the usual variety of temperatures, but it utilises double mineral technology and electrostatically atomised water molecules to infuse your hair with moisture. If that’s not enough, it also has four different modes to tackle your hair, scalp and even your skin – those with dry complexions can put the nano technology to use for up to a minute after your drying session. Despite the complex features, it’s easy to use and feels like a salon treatment every time.
Cloud Nine the airshot: £109, Cloud Nine Hair
A cult classic in the beauty community, the Airshot boasts the best anti-static technology around. By reducing the amount of negatively charged particles in your hair, frizz is lessened (if not completely eradicated). As the name suggests, it’s extremely powerful but somehow also gentle on your hair, which soon feels silky smooth. It also looks very professional and was one of the quietest dryers we tried.
Toni&Guy wild instinct hair dryer: £29.99, Boots
If you’re looking to make a statement, this is the hair dryer for you. While it may look bold, it’s surprisingly lightweight and compact, folding up for ease of transportation. Thanks to a maximum setting of 1800W performance, it gets the job done in no time at all for short or fine hair, but those with longer, thicker hair might struggle with only two temperature and power settings.
Jose Eber HST professional ionic hair dryer: £74.99, Selfridges
Despite using less heat, this product promises to dry your hair in half the time. We were dubious at first but soon impressed – the AC motor is powerful without splitting your hair and has four different adjustable speeds. One feature we never considered before was the length of the power cord, but this hair dryer’s three-metre wire surprised us with the newfound ease of use and ability to plug it in anywhere around the house.
The verdict: Hair dryers
An all-rounder in everything from power to cost, we loved the Remington keratin protect hair dryer. However, for those looking to invest in a speedy, luxurious haircare routine, you can’t go wrong with the Dyson supersonic hair dryer.
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