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Best hair dryer 2023: Get salon-fresh results for less this Prime Day

We've tested the best hair dryers for all hair types and budgets to take your hair from so-so to stunning

A good hair day can really lift your mood and confidence – the best hair dryers can shave precious time off your morning routine, smooth out frizz, and prevent heat damage with gentler heat settings. So, if your crowning glory is important to you, it makes sense to invest in a good hair dryer, too.

In addition to blowing hot air, the best modern dryers use ceramic and ionic technology to promote hair health by speeding up drying times, distributing heat evenly and sealing in moisture, giving hair a healthier and glossier finish.

We’ve taken the time to test a whole range of hair dryers to find the best you can buy at every price point. In our buyer’s guide, we will explain the key features different hair dryers provide and the performance you should expect from a decent dryer – and below we round up our top picks for home drying.

Whether you’re looking for a budget option that won’t damage your hair, or a salon-quality hair dryer that will keep going for years and years, you will find your new favourite among the dryers we’ve tested below.

Get a FABULOUS saving on the Remington Keratin Protect hair dryer

During Amazon Prime Day, the Remington Keratin Protect Ionic Hair Dryer is available at just £30, a substantial £20 less than its typical website average. That means you can elevate your hair care routine without straining your budget. But hurry – this exclusive offer ends on Wednesday 11 October.

Amazon Was £50 Now £30 View deal

GHD Helios is a Prime Day BARGAIN

If you want to get your hands on our favourite hair dryer but are usually put off by its price tag, you’re in luck. Right now you can pick one up for £135, which is a generous £44 saving. You’ll need to act fast if you want superfast styling on a budget, though because this deal ends at midnight on Wednesday 11th October.

Amazon Was £179 Now £135 View deal
best hair dryer babyliss 3q

The BaByliss 3Q hair dryer is AMAZINGLY cheap this Prime Day

The BaByliss 3Q hair dryer boasts incredible power, a lightweight design, and a stylish appearance. If you’ve been considering it, now is the ideal moment to buy one, as it’s available at a 50% discount during the Amazon Prime Day sale. This reduces the price to a mere £65, making it a fantastic mid-range option.

Amazon Was £125 Now £65 View deal

Best hair dryers: At a glance

How we test hair dryers

At Expert Reviews we know that hands-on testing gives us the best and most complete information about a product. We personally test all the hair dryers we review, drying hair using the different heat and speed settings each hairdryer offers and (where applicable) the attachments each dryer is supplied with. Where dryers are recommended for a particular hair type or usage, we test on that hair type to be sure of making an accurate recommendation.

When testing, we time the speed of drying from freshly washed hair to fully dry (noting the hair length and texture we test on); and evaluate the overall ease of use, noise, and the finish and feel of the hair after drying. Using equipment such as anemometers, infrared heat sensors and sound level meters allows us to directly compare the speed, heat and noise levels of different dryers. We also note how well curls, waves and straight styles last in a typical day of wear. Finally, we confirm the weight and dimensions of the tool.

How to choose the best hair dryer for you

What are the different kinds of dryer available?

All hair dryers use a fan to direct air through a heating element and out through a nozzle to the hair. A basic hair dryer may not do much more than switch on and off, but more sophisticated hair dryers will have a variety of heat and air speed settings. Lower temperatures are less damaging for fine hair, while higher heat settings will help thicker and more densely textured hair dry quickly.

Basic hair dryers also tend to use a metallic heating element, whereas more expensive modern hair dryers often use ceramic, which distributes heat evenly to prevent damaging hotspots, and generates infrared heat that dries quickly and seals the hair cuticle, giving a soft and shiny finish. The mineral tourmaline is also used in some high-end hair dryers, and has many of the same hair-health benefits as ceramic.

Many modern hair dryers also include ionic technology in which, put simply, negatively charged ions are generated when the air passes through an electric current in the heating element. These ions break up the water molecules in your hair, allowing ionic hair dryers to dry your hair more quickly and spread moisture more evenly throughout your hair for a smooth and glossy finish.

What difference does power rating make?

In general, a higher wattage indicates a more powerful and effective dryer. Hair salons will typically use dryers with 2,000W motors and above, allowing experienced stylists to blow-dry efficiently. However, like many salon products, these powerful tools are best left in the hands of professionals who know how to wield them safely. At-home hair dryers usually fall in the 1,000W-1,600W range.

Wattage isn’t the only measure of power, however. The latest “digital motors” (EC or Electronically Commutated motors, if you want to be fancy) allow increased air velocity with reduced heat, for amazingly efficient results without the damage associated with higher heat.

READ NEXT: The best hair wavers for every hair type

What other features should I look out for?

One of the easiest things to overlook when buying a hair dryer is how long the cable is. Some cheaper models come with relatively short cables, while pricier models often boast “salon-length” mains cables, which are as long as 4m.

Some models come with a concentrator nozzle, designed to make it easier to direct the airflow accurately onto a section of hair. These nozzles are great if you blow-dry around a round brush for a salon-style blowout.

It’s also common to find a diffuser nozzle. These are cones with internal fingers that are often used for drying curly hair. You can also use a diffuser on the roots of straight hair to give it more volume. Diffusers can be purchased separately, but an attachment made to fit your particular hair dryer is likely to give the best results.

Editor’s pick: GHD Helios

Best hair dryer for superfast styling

Quieter, lighter and more powerful than ever, the GHD Helios is a simply phenomenal hair dryer. Thanks to a beefy 2,200W motor and included concentrator nozzle, the Helios is unparalleled in its ability to offer a rapid, frizz-free dry.

Price when reviewed: £179 Check Price

The best hair dryers you can buy in 2023

1. Remington Keratin Protect: Best hair dryer for shine

Price when reviewed: £47 | Check price at Amazon Designed to add shine and protect your hair from heat damage, thanks to keratin and almond oils infused into the drying grille, Remington’s Keratin Protect is a great mid-range hair dryer. For the price, it comes with some excellent accessories and an impressive number of settings, including three heat and two power buttons plus a cold shot to set your chosen style. It ships in the box with a slim nozzle for styling, a wide nozzle for fast drying, as well as a diffuser.

The Keratin Protect is a slim, sleek-looking dryer that doesn’t weigh an awful lot, and its cable is long enough for even the largest of bedrooms.

Read our full Remington Keratin Protect review

Key specs – Heating element: Ceramic/ionic; Temperature settings: 3; Power: 2,200W; Speed settings: 2; Cable length: 2.5m; Cold shot button: Yes; Accessories: Concentrator nozzle; Weight: 665g

2. Remington Shine Therapy: Best budget hair dryer

Price when reviewed: £29 | Check price at Amazon This powerful and well-built hair dryer claims to emit 90% more ions than Remington’s standard non-ionic hair dryers. It’s rare to find ionic technology at such an affordable price, so we were curious to see if the dryer lives up to its name. In our testing, it performed incredibly well, drying the hair quickly due to its impressive 2,300W power and left hair shiny and smooth once blow-dried with a round brush.

It comes with a brilliant range of features, which include two speeds, three heat settings and a cool shot button. These give it enough control for controlled round-brush styling, as well as gentle diffusing. Pair this with the diffuser and concentrator nozzle that securely clip onto the front of the dryer, and you’ve got a relatively faultless dryer that is a great option for a wide range of hair types and textures.

The dryer also has a handy hang-up loop and a removable, easy-clean grille, which will help you keep dust and dirt from building up in the dryer and ultimately prolong its life. While the Remington Shine Therapy is a fabulous dryer at full price, keep an eye out for sales as it regularly comes on sale for under £20. At that price, it’s a no-brainer.

Read our full Remington Shine Therapy hair dryer review

Key specs – Heating element: Ionic; Temperature settings: 3; Power: 2,300W; Speed settings: 2; Cable length: 1.8m; Cold shot button: Yes; Accessories: Concentrator, diffuser; Weight: 611g

3. GHD Helios: Best hair dryer for superfast styling

Price when reviewed: £179 | Check price at John Lewis GHD has exceeded our expectations with its latest hair dryer, the Helios. A reimagined combination of GHD’s iconic Air hair dryer and the discontinued Aura model, the Helios is quieter, lighter and more powerful than its predecessors. With a stylish, well-balanced design, the Helios is a delight to dry your hair with, despite us finding the styling options somewhat limited, with two power and heat settings instead of the standard three.

Despite the smaller number of settings, it’s the drying power that sets the Helios apart from the rest: the 2,200W motor rivals the Dyson Supersonic in its drying time and ability to deliver a frizz-free finish, which is no easy feat for a hair dryer that costs half the price. That’s thanks to GHD’s AutoPrecis technology creating a blast of focused air that travels at 75mph, as well as the concentrator nozzle that precisely directs airflow for a smooth blow dry.

Overall, with the GHD Helios, you can expect your hair to be dried in record time with natural volume, stunning shine and a smoothness like no other. Its price point places it firmly in the premium hair dryer category, but it’s an investment your hair will thank you for.

Read our full GHD Helios review

Key specs – Heating element: Ionic; Temperature settings: 2; Power: 2,200W; Speed settings: 2; Cable length: 3m; Cold shot button: Yes; Accessories: Concentrator; Weight: 510g

4. Parlux Alyon: Best salon-style hair dryer

Price when reviewed: £163 | Check price at Amazon This compact and stylish dryer from Italian brand Parlux packs a serious punch with its powerful 2,250W motor. The Alyon blows up to 84 cubic metres of air per hour so that you can dry hair fast using airflow, rather than heat, to keep it soft, shiny and healthy. Ionic technology and a ceramic heating element further help to evenly distribute heat and moisture, reducing frizz and keeping hair soft and healthy.

The compact design, weighing just 425g, comes in ten gorgeous shades from matte black to candy pink and metallic green, and there are two concentrator nozzles in the box for sleek styling (a diffuser attachment for curly styling is available to purchase separately). The Parlux Alyon is a good quality, salon-style dryer used and recommended by hairdressers. It dries quickly, keeps hair in good condition, and will look great in your bedroom, too.

Read our full Parlux Alyon review

Key specs – Heating element: Ceramic/ionic; Temperature settings: 2; Power: 2,250W; Speed settings: 2; Cable length: 1.5m; Cold shot button: Yes; Accessories: 2 x concentrator nozzles; Weight: 425g

5. Panasonic EH-NA98 Nanoe: Best hair dryer for afro-textured hair

Price when reviewed: £110 | Check price at Amazon Panasonic’s premium blow dryer uses its patented Nanoe water atomising technology to hydrate and condition the hair and scalp. The Nanoe system jets nano-sized water particles (a billion times smaller than steam particles) directly into your hair as you dry, reducing static, frizz and split ends. The result is impressively shiny and smooth hair, even on longer and thick-textured hair. It’s an especially good dryer choice for afro-textured hair.

The Nanoe also has an innovative alternating hot and cold mode, which blasts hot air along the hair shaft to flatten and style, followed automatically by cool air to seal the cuticle and set the style. A scalp mode gently dries the roots and scalp at 50˚C, and is particularly good for dry and sensitive scalps. The dryer is lightweight and has a foldable handle, making it neat to store at home and perfect for travel.

Key specs – Heating element: Ceramic/ionic with Nanoe technology; Power: 1,800W; Temperature settings: 4; Speed settings: 3; Cable length: 2.7m; Cold shot button: Yes; Accessories: Concentrator, diffuser and quick dry nozzles; Weight: 578g

6. Revamp Progloss 5500 Hair Dryer: Best hair dryer for long and thick hair

Price when reviewed: £100 | Check price at Sephora This powerful hair dryer has a 2,400W motor for salon-speed drying, and a focus on fast airflow rather than heat to dry quickly but gently. The Progloss 5500 also features ionic technology; while many dryers blow negative ions to speed up drying and smooth the hair’s cuticle, the Progloss 5500 gives you the option to choose between negative ions for a sleek finish, or positive ions for volume. The grille is also infused with keratin protein and argan and coconut oils to add shine and gloss when drying.

The dryer is especially good for tackling very long or very thick hair, as it dries quickly without overheating or damaging the hair, and the protective oils really do add extra shine. It comes with both a concentrator nozzle for styling straight hair, and a diffuser attachment to gently dry curls. There are two speed and three heat settings, which can be independently selected, and an ultra-cool “freeze” shot to set your finished style. A 3m cable, much longer than supplied with most home hair dryers, makes moving the dryer around the hair a breeze.

The Revamp Progloss 5500 looks stylish with its matte black finish, and feels nicely balanced in the hand. If you have very long or thick hair this dryer should make light work of heavy tresses, and leave them shiny and healthy, too.

Read our full ReVamp Progloss 5500 review

Key specs – Heating element: ionic; Temperature settings: 3; Power: 2,400W; Speed settings: 2; Cable length: 3m; Cold shot button: Yes; Accessories: Concentrator nozzle, diffuser attachment; Weight: 650g

7. Nicky Clarke Frizz Control 2200W: A great budget hair dryer for frizzy hair

Price when reviewed: £30 | Check price at Amazon Celebrity hairdresser Nicky Clarke recently introduced this ionic dryer designed to control frizz, and it’s a very effective tool at a fraction of the price of some of our luxury options. The ceramic element and ionic technology help the hair to retain moisture for a sleek and healthy finish.

The 2,000W motor is powerful enough to dry hair fast and with a minimum of fuss, and the dryer comes with a concentrator nozzle to direct airflow. The long barrel also helps make it easy to direct airflow where you want it, and there are two speed and three heat settings for drying flexibility, plus a cool shot to set your finished style. If you’re on a budget, this is an excellent alternative to some of the pricier products reviewed above.

Key specs – Heating element: Ceramic/ionic with tourmaline; Power: 2,200W; Temperature settings: 3; Speed settings: 2; Cable length: 3m; Cold shot button: Yes; Accessories: Concentrator nozzle; Weight: 590g

8. BaByliss 3Q: Best powerful, no-frills dryer

Price when reviewed: £125 | Check price at John Lewis

best hair dryer babyliss 3q

Many high-end hair dryers come with a gamut of fancy features that claim to boost results. The BaByliss 3Q, however, takes the basic features of hair dryers and absolutely nails them, giving you an effortless and fuss-free barnet without overcomplicating things. It has three control switches for speed, temperature, and a cool shot, plus two concentrator nozzles to deliver a good amount of control when blow-drying your hair.

The lack of unnecessary add-ons also means the BaByliss 3Q hair dryer is incredibly lightweight, which makes it comfortable to use for long periods of time. Not that you’ll need to – the 2,200W motor produces wind speeds of 21.6m/s. With this superfast speed, alongside the built-in ionic technology, your hair will be dry in record time.

The only caveat is that the dryer doesn’t come with a diffuser attachment, so if you have curly hair then you may want to check out another option. That being said, if you’re on the hunt for a beautifully built, powerful hair dryer that doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but rather perfects it, then the BaByliss 3Q is ideal.

Key specs – Heating element: Ionic; Temperature settings: 3; Power: 2,200W; Speed settings: 3; Cable length: 3 metres; Cold shot button: Yes; Accessories: Concentrator nozzle;  Weight: 768

Read our full BaByliss 3Q review 

Check price at John Lewis

9. Tresemme Fast Dry 2000: Best hair dryer under £20

Price when reviewed: £15 | Check price at Amazon It’s almost shocking how good the Tresemme Fast Dry 2000 hair dryer is considering its absolute bargain price. For as little as £15, you get a highly portable, fast-drying hair dryer with a great nozzle. It additionally has a decent cable length and a great selection of settings including three heat, three power and a cool shot.

It is missing the ionic technology of its more expensive rivals, meaning your hair isn’t left as shiny, but this compact dryer does a more than adequate job of creating a lasting, elegant style in a hurry and if you would have told us this dryer was £20 or £30 more expensive, we wouldn’t have doubted you.

Key specs – Heating element: Standard; Temperature settings: 3; Power: 2,000W; Speed settings: 3; Cable length: 1.8m; Cold shot button: Yes; Accessories: Concentrator nozzle; Weight: 400g

10. Dyson Supersonic: Best luxury hair dryer

Price when reviewed: £330 | Check price at John Lewis The Dyson Supersonic is a radical re-imagining of the hair dryer – so much so that it looks more like a space-age microphone than a haircare gadget. It’s been engineered to feel well balanced: even though the shape of the head and the weight distribution takes a little getting used to (the V9 digital motor is down in the handle of the dryer instead of at the top), you will be blown away by just how powerful and easy to use this hair dryer is.

The magnetic concentrator and diffuser attachments fit on, and can be removed, without too much force; the magnets also mean the attachments stay put while drying instead of turning and moving. Other features of the Supersonic include flexible speed and heat settings, and thermal sensors to prevent the unit or attachments getting too hot.

Since launch, Dyson has also added a range of attachments to join the nozzles and diffuser. The “Gentle air dryer” attachment resembles the hem of a skirt and uses its waves to diffuse the airflow, making it softer without reducing drying time; it’s perfect for fine or damaged hair. A new wide-tooth comb attachment, designed for curly or coily hair, detangles the hair while drying to prevent damage and make it easier to style.

The Supersonic creates smooth, shiny styles and dried our hair superfast. This is the ultimate combination of quietness, speed and hair-drying finesse. The lengthy cable, non-slip mat and beautifully crafted leather case help seal the deal.

Read our full Dyson Supersonic review

Key specs – Heating element: Ionic; Temperature settings: 4; Power: 1,600W; Speed settings: 3; Cable length: 2.7m; Cold shot button: Yes; Accessories: Concentrator, diffuser and smoothing nozzles; Weight: 690g

Check price at John Lewis

11. Babyliss Hydro Fusion: Best mid-range hair dryer

Price when reviewed: £60 | Check price at Amazon BaByliss’ Hydro Fusion hair dryer uses ionic technology to reduce drying time and leave your hair shiny and sleek. It has three different heat settings and a cold shot button, and two different speeds, making it ideal for a range of styles and hair types. The dryer also comes with both a concentrator attachment to direct the heat, and a diffuser to bring out natural curls.

When we reviewed the BaByliss Hydro Fusion, we thought it performed remarkably well for the price. BaByliss’ flagship “advanced plasma” technology does wonders for your hair’s health because it allows the dryer to dry your hair quicker at lower temperatures. It’s only available in the ice blue colour pictured above: that’s the same colour as the hydro fusion air styler – which also uses ionic technology – so if you’re building your BaByliss collection these two look great together.

Read our full Babyliss Hydro Fusion review

Key specs – Heating element: Ionic; Temperature settings: 3; Power: 2,100W; Speed settings: 2; Cable length: 2.5m; Cold shot button: Yes; Accessories: Concentrator, diffuser; Weight:570g