At first glance, spring and summer might appear to be effortless air drying season, but as the sunny days before us call for weddings, backyard BBQs, and photo ops galore, the blowouts start to rack up, which means money, money, money. The quickest way to put some of that hard-earned cash back in your pocket? Invest it in a powerful, salon-quality hair dryer that will allow you to flip your bathroom into a DIY Dry Bar, saving big time in the long run.
But with so many makes and models and so much confusing lingo surrounding the machines, how do you tell them all a part? Ask an editor, of course. Our team put a handful of hair dryers to the test to share with you the top dogs. Here, the ones that you need to know about at every price point.
Keep scrolling for 6 dryers that blew Well+Good editors away.
“I like my hair care to be as low-maintenance as possible. While my cut is short—a bob that grazes the bottom of my ears—it’s impossibly thick and takes upwards of an hour to air dry. Not only did this hair dryer leave my coarse, frizz-prone strands soft and shiny, my hair was completely dried less than 10 minutes after stepping out of the shower, with the machine running only on low heat. The separate controls for heat and air flow mean I can minimize heat damage, plus, the dryer is seriously lightweight.” —Jenna Adrian
“This is the only hair dryer I’ve ever used that hasn’t mandated an additional hot tool afterward to tame my inevitably frizzy, unevenly textured strands. For folks who aren’t magicians with a round brush (because I know I’m not alone here), this super-quiet, super-lightweight tool is helpful for quickly drying lengths and the two nozzles allow you to customize your blowout to be more sleek or shiny depending on what you’re going for. Yes, the price tag is hefty, but since time is money, just consider all the minutes you’ll be saving with this mint-green beaut.” — Alexis Gutter
“To me, few things are more boring than staring at myself in the mirror, blowdrying my hair. You can’t even listen to music while you do it because the roar of hot air is too loud. That’s why even though it’s pricey, I splurged for Drybar’s Buttercup, which claims to cut down drying time by 20 percent. That’s because the ‘nanoionic technology,’ breaks up water quickly for reduced drying time. I’m no scientist—I just know it saves me time.” — Emily Laurence
GHD Air Hair Dryer, $123
“This hair dryer gives an amazing blowout. It gets super hot, which I need to smooth my curly hair, and dries my strands fast. The dryer is a tiny bit heavy, but since I only have to hold it for half the time (because it’s seriously powerful) compared to other hair dryers, it’s totally doable.” — Mercey Livingston
“Like a great pair of denim or a perfect-fitting LBD, women spend their lives in pursuit of a speedy hairdryer. I stopped looking when I found the Dyson, because no lie, it gets me out the door in 7 minutes flat. Some dryers speed up dry time by cranking up the temperature to blast your strands with hot, hot, heat, but this one does not. In fact, it measures the temperature every 20 seconds to make sure that it won’t damage your hair. Then, using air multiplier technology, air enters the dryer and is sped up threefold so that the stream powerfully pushes water from your strands. All of this and I’m happy to report that the weight is in the handle, so it’s not awkward to use. Though it’s the priciest dryer we tested, for those who have hard-to-dry hair, thick hair, or are simply frequently going one-on-one with their strands each morning, it’s a Godsend.” —Ali Finney
T3 Cura Luxe Hair Dryer, $250
“I have naturally curly hair—and a lot of it—so I’ve always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with dryers. I was reasonably skeptical when I heard that this one could dry my hair faster—without frying my strands or my scalp. A few blowouts in and the whole process is as easy as I was told. For starters, the entire thing takes 10 minutes and when I lay down the dryer, it automatically shuts off and turns back on when I pick it up—making it easier to take breaks between blowing out sections without having to keep flipping it off and on. In other words, I don’t push its buttons and it doesn’t push mine, either.”— Jordan Galloway
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