The humble blowdryer is the unsung hero of your winter hair routine. Sure, smoothing shampoo, hydrating conditioner, and a good curl mousse can help in styling. But if your dryer is heavy and wheezing and you lost the diffuser attachment, a blowout can feel like a painful bicep workout — and you might be tempted to just skip it and risk pneumonia by stepping out with dripping-wet hair.
But that whole narrative changes when you invest in a nice blowdryer; one that’s lightweight, speedy, and leaves your hair so soft and shiny that you actually semi-
enjoy the process of heat-styling your hair. Ahead, a few of Refinery29‘s resident editors break down the hair dryers they can’t live without — all of which are a worth-it splurge this winter if you like smooth strands, faster blowouts, and, if nothing else, bone-dry hair during a cold and flu season that comes to us in the midst of a pandemic.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
T3 Cura Luxe “Whenever someone asks me for a blowdryer recommendation — and they’re willing to splurge a little — I copy and paste a link to this glossy white T3 dryer. Countless celebrity hairstylist use this one, and I know from experience that it dries damp hair gently, leaving strands smooth and soft, without any heat damage or frizz. Now, my mom, aunt, and best friend’s sister all cosign.” — Megan Decker, Beauty Editor T3 T3 Cura Luxe Hair Dryer, $, available at Ulta Beauty
ghd Helios Hair Dryer “I could write a love letter to my ghd flatiron — I use it to both smooth and add bends through my long, thick hair — so I was eager to try the brand’s new innovation in hot tools: the Helios dryer. Not only does it deliver a shiny and speedy blowout, but the innovative engine also makes it the quietest tool I’ve ever used.” — Decker GHD Helios Hair Dryer, $, available at Saks Fifth Avenue
Conair Pro Yellowbird Hair Dryer “This blowdryer is tried and true and essential when I need to stretch my hair after wash day . It’s been used by the women in my family for at least 10 years and does not disappoint. The detachable comb and simple temperature adjustments make it easy to use and cut down time in my styling process.” — Sydney Clarke, Refinery29 Creative Resident Conair Pro Yellowbird Hair Dryer, $, available at ecosmetics
Revlon Salon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer “Technically, this is a blowout brush as opposed to a regular dryer with a nozzle attachment, but I love it because it cuts out my need for the whole bulky rigmarole. I use it when my hair is damp and thoroughly towel-dried, and the openings in the ceramic barrel blow hot air, so my hair dries while it’s being smoothed and detangled by the bristles. Because it’s only $39, I’ve convinced all my friends to buy one (including the ones who are too cheap to upgrade out of their middle-school flat irons).” — Decker Revlon One-Step Volumizer Hair Dryer, $, available at Ulta Beauty
Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Dryer 2000 “I will sacrifice shoes and outfits to fit this blowdryer in my carryon when I travel. It dries my thick, waist-length hair so fast, and I rarely have to follow up with an iron for smoothness or shine. It has cut my drying time in half — which means more exploring, and less time in the bathroom, while on vacation (whenever that happens again).” — Cat Quinn, Beauty Director Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Dryer 2000 (3 piece), $, available at DermStore
ghd Air Hair Dryer “I am utterly hopeless when it comes to styling my own long, wavy hair, but earlier this year I got a fringe that needs to be blowdried after every wash or else I look like a brunette Nick Carter circa 1999. This dryer is perfect for my one and only need, which is to successfully dry my hair without leaving it dry or frizzy. I’ve also dropped it a fair few times and it still works and looks great!” — Rachel Krause, Deputy Beauty Director GHD Air Professional Performance Hairdryer, $, available at Sephora
Dyson Supersonic “As editors, we have access to some of the best products and tools, but I never allowed myself to sip the Dyson Supersonic Kool-Aid, because multiple hundreds of dollars on a blowdryer seemed like a stretch to me. That was until a hairstylist recommended it to me for my curly hair journey and, well, now I’m sipping hard. While I prefer to air-dry my curls , sometimes I don’t have the time to wait, and the Supersonic dries my hair faster than I ever could’ve imagined and leaves me with zero frizz. The diffuser attachment sticks to the dryer magnetically, so I don’t have to worry about it slipping off or having to adjust it mid-drying. This is definitely an investment, but a worthy one.” — Thatiana Diaz, Senior Editor Dyson Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, $, available at Dyson
NuMe Signature Hair Dryer “After a sweaty workout , I need a blowdryer that gets super hot fast so I can dry my roots and be out of the door. This one gets the job done — plus it’s cute!” — Aimee Simeon, Senior Beauty Writer NuMe Signature Hair Dryer, Turquoise, $, available at Amazon
Dyson Airwrap “Yes, it is freaking expensive — but I’ll be damned if it isn’t worth every penny. The Airwrap has completely changed my hair-styling abilities, especially in between washes. With the multi-tool capabilities from OG dryer to heated round brush, smoothing brushes, and dual-size curling wands, I come out of my bathroom after just 10 minutes looking like I just waltzed out of a Drybar. (Even my boyfriend noticed the difference.) Taking into account the money I will save for the rest of my life on shampoo — I can now go over four days without washing — and professional blowouts, I will more than break even on this miracle machine.” – Elizabeth Buxton, Lifestyle Market Editor Dyson Airwrap Volume + Shape Styler-For Fine, Flat Hair, $, available at Ulta Beauty
CHI For Ulta Beauty Gorgeous Blowout Kit “Usually I’m an ‘air dry and sleep on it’ kind of girl, but once the winter chill hits, I like to do a quick little blow dry to speed up the process. This one by Chi For Ulta has all the settings and attachments I need to achieve a silky blowout without the heat damage. I’ve been using it for about a year, and I have no doubt I’ll be using it for the next two or three more.” — Hannah Bullion, Associate Social Media Editor, Beauty and Fashion Chi CHI For ULTA Beauty Gorgeous Blowout Kit, $, available at Ulta Beauty
Drybar Baby Buttercup Travel Blow Dryer “Drybar’s travel version of its Buttercup blow dryer is a total must-have tool for me whenever I’m away from home. While it’s not equally as powerful as the full-size, it still quickly gets the job done when I’m DIY-ing my blowout . Plus, the foldable design takes up minimal room in my luggage, and compared to hotel room dryers? Well, there’s no comparison.” — Karina Hoshikawa, Beauty and Wellness Market Writer DryBar Baby Buttercup Travel Blow Dryer, $, available at Amazon
Bio Ionic Whisper Light Pro-Dryer “I dare you to not get your whole head dry in under 20 minutes with this dryer, which has a long nozzle that makes it easy to control for a rough dry or full blowout look. It always seems to make my hair so much shinier than it would be straight out of the shower, and I love that even though I’m heat-styling my strands, the dryer never makes them look damaged.” — Samantha Sasso, beauty writer Bio Ionic Bio Ionic® WhisperLight 1400W Professional Hair Dryer, $, available at JCPenney
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