This Game-Changing Blow Dryer Breathes Life Into My Naturally Fine, Limp Hair

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I decided it was time to upgrade to a new hair dryer during quarantine when my old drugstore dryer started sparking. It was making demon sounds and literally spitting fire, so I thought, okay, time to retire Old Rusty (that’s what I called my hair dryer), and invest in a quality blow dryer. If you have a hard time sinking money into beauty products, I always say focus on tools first. Because what lasts longer: your car or your wiper fluid? As a beauty editor and writer with a decade of experience, that's been one of the biggest takeaways (and lessons) for me. A quality hair tool should be pricier because of the research and engineering that goes into it, as well as a time warranty.

So I landed on the Ghd Helios 1875W Hair Dryer ($279), and after the first time I used it I swear I heard the heavens part and angels sing. Turns out, Mariah Carey’s “Fantasy” was just playing on my ‘90s Spotify playlist, but you get the scene I’m painting here. It has this attachment for precision drying and it’s got an 75mph airflow—I was blown away (literally) at how quickly the entire process was. And instead of leaving me with that “puffed out” look some dryers have, my normally fine, flat hair was voluminous, but also still sleek and soft to the touch. Not at all frizzy.

I also love that it has temperature controls so I can crank it up to warm if I really want to get this show on the road, but I can also use their “cool blast” button for setting in the blow dry at the end—typically what they do at a professional salon. It’s also super lightweight and won’t cramp your hand, which is especially good to consider if you have thicker hair and require longer drying time. A quality hair dryer should be easy to maneuver; it shouldn’t be as heavy as a power drill.

Plus, this one is super quiet, which I love, because my old hair dryer sounded like I was hooking up a weed whacker to a megaphone. I live in an apartment, and so sound control on any appliance is definitely something to consider. Also, and this is just purely aesthetic, but I love that it’s white and rose gold. I prefer white tools and appliances over black or gray, because I just find them less clunky looking and more visually-appealing.

And for good measure, I reached out to an expert source for a few pro tips when it comes to the biggest mistakes people make when blow drying their hair—because even if you invest in a high-quality tool, you need to make sure you're using it correctly. “Always use the blow dryer with your hands to dry hair until 80 percent dry, and then go in with a brush to style,” says Justine Marjan, celebrity hairstylist and Ghd brand ambassador. Often people start out with a brush, but that’s a mistake. And consider the brush. “Generally, the larger the round brush, the less wave you will achieve. Or you can use a paddle brush for a straight finish,” suggests Marjan.

As important as a quality hair dryer is, so is using a heat protectant. I did so much damage to my hair in the 2000s when I was washing my fine, blonde hair daily, blasting it with a blow dryer and flat ironing it within an inch of its life—all without any heat protectant! As long as you use a quality heat protectant you’re covered, although Ghd does have one, too (and it's fantastic).

So if you’re like me and ready to retire Old Rusty (aka that burnt-out hair dryer on its last leg), I highly recommend the Ghd Helios Professional Hair Dryer. Now, I just need to book my glamour shots.

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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