Hair Dryer Buying Guide

Blow dryers are one of the standard tools of beauty professionals. As a beauty expert, you know that when a customer leaves your salon, she may need help with home styling. Helping a customer find a dryer that fits her needs can be challenging. Without a good blow dryer, many cannot achieve that salon “look” a home. Helping your client choose the best hair dryer, though challenging, requires a little research to make good recommendations.

With a myriad of choices, what makes a good hair dryer? Again, it doesn’t have to be a daunting encounter. Looking over product reviews and talking with your clients can help them select a good hair dryer. And, this standard hair styling device has evolved. So, how do you help a client decide, “What is the best hair dryer?”

There are four basic types of dryers to choose from: standard, ionic, tourmaline, and ceramic. So, which type is best? Your clients will want to consider their budget, and power needs. Many of the dryers have an economy or a professional version. Once clients decide on what hair dryer to buy, then it’s a matter of use. Clients may need help in finding dryers that fit a heavy travel schedule or fit a very active daily schedule. The latter means a customer washes their hair repeatedly. So, they will need a dryer that can handle frequent use.

Below you fill find a quick list of what we have found to be the top rated hair dryers overall. These are the best all around hair dryers. Further below you will find a discussion of various hair dryer types. We have also rated the best hair dryers according to the category they fall in.

#1 Best Overall Hair Dryer - BabylissPRO Nano Titanium Portofino Dryer

Ranked highly among consumers, the BabylissPRO Nano Titanium, Portofino Dryer is our best rated professional dryer. It is also ranked as one of the best ionic dryers currently on the market. As a professional dryer, it can handle constant and heavy use. It’s very well suited to drying long and thick hair. Its Italian AC motor powers the BabylissPRO and its performance. This model is noted for its results: conditioning the hair and building in shine. The BablylissPRO combines ionic technology with titanium to deliver more ions. This boosts the model’s conditioning effectiveness. It enjoys high ratings based on hair dryer reviews and owner comments.

BabylissPRO Nano Full Review

#2 Best Overall Hair Dryer - Super Solano Professional Hair Dryer

Solano is popular and ranked as one of the best consumer level professional dryers currently available. For professional stylists and home users alike, it’s a favorite for its results and handling. The model has both ionic and tourmaline components. Both features condition the hair and both reduce static. The nano aspect gives this Solano antibacterial capability. Solano uses infrared technology to dry hair faster while keeping the hair healthy. It’s rated among the best in blow dryers. With it being an expert-level dryer, it’s built for heavy use. And, it can handle very long or very thick hair with ease. Most owners give the Solano 4.3 stars in their hair dryer reviews.

Super Solano Full Review

#3 Best Overall Hair Dryer - Andis 1875 Ionic Ceramic Folding Dryer

The Andis Ceramic Folding Dryer with its 1875 watts power dries hair fast. It also sports three heat settings including a cool shot for setting hair. The folding handle on the Andis is one of the reasons for its popularity. And, it can handle thick and long hair. This model has ceramic with ionic technology. For users it means less heat damage. According to user reviews, the company’s customer service and its 5 year warranty set it apart from others in its class. Most users rate it at 4 stars or better. Its most frequent complaint is for not being dual voltage.

Andis 1875 Full Review

Types of Hair Dryers



Travel dryers are small dryers that are great for consumers on the go. As a rule, these dryers don’t pack the power of their full-size cousins. As a result, it can take longer to dry very thick or long hair with a travel hair dryer. Designed for portability, travel hair dryers can be traditional, ionic or ceramic or a combinationof the two. This type of dryer has built in wiring that makes it adaptable when traveling abroad.

Travel Hair Dryer Reviews And Best Of List


Most hair dryers that are considered to be “professional” hair dryers are higher wattage. The results are softer, shinier, and smoother hair. Initially, only qualified stylists had access to these blow dryers.The top-of-the-line in dryers, professional hair dryers have ionic, tourmaline or ceramic versions. Professional dryers are larger and tend to run higher in price than economy versions - about $100 more. Blow dryer reviews suggest this type of hair dryer is the best option for a wide variety and types of styling and drying.

Professional Hair Dryer Reviews And Best Of List


For these hair dryers, the coils are coated or made of ceramic. Here, consumers get evenly distributed heating. This allows for a sleeker and smoother look with more control. And, like their ionic cousins, there’s less heat damage on hair.

Ceramic Hair Dryer Reviews And Best Of List


Tourmaline is a variation on ionic dryers. Tourmaline is a type of gemstone. The tourmaline gemstone generates more particles than what is found in standard ionic hair dryers. The greater number of particles means faster drying. The addition of tourmaline in a blow dryer means a smoother and sleeker hair style.

Tourmaline Hair Dryer Reviews And Best Of List


Ionic hair dryers give off negative charged particles. These particles in turn shrink the positively charged water molecules on wet hair. Ionic particles make the water evaporate faster. The faster evaporation results in smoother and shinier hair with minimal or no heat. One consumer hair dryer review rates this class as the largest among blow dryers.

Ionic Hair Dryer Reviews And Best Of List


A brush hair dryer combines two long standing styling tools. It replaces the need to use a brush while blow drying hair. With a brush dryer there is no more need to coordinate or become adept at using two styling tools. It is made for building in great body, shine and styling control. Some home stylists complain that using both tools at once makes the hair styling experience tiring. As a result, the brush hair dryer is a good option for consumers who want near-professional quality results with one styling device.

Brush Hair Dryer Reviews And Best Of List


Bonnet dryers give consumers salon powered drying and styling in a home setting. Bonnet dryers allow for roller sets, conditioning treatments, and a number of salon services not available with a blow dryer. Although replaced by hand-held dryers for the majority of home styling needs, bonnet dryers remain popular and useful. Some are relatively portable but they still have more bulk than blow dryers.

Bonnet Hair Dryer Reviews And Best Of List


You can’t avoid noise in any dryer. All dryers take in air, heat or treat the air to warm it and then use that air to dry the hair. Salon or professional dryers tend to be the quietest. Being made with lightweight materials, having low wattage, and having the latest hair dryer innovations are some of the features of quiet hair dryers.

Quiet Hair Dryer Reviews And Best Of List

Wall Mounted

You normally see wall-mounted hair dryers in hotels and on cruise ships. There are very few home models. However, the few models that are available offer convenience. Most are travel-sized but they pack the power of a professional quality blow dryer. They are convenient because mounting frees counter top space for other uses.

Wall Mounted Hair Dryer Reviews And Best Of List

The Rest Of The Story

To compare hair dryers can be overwhelming at first. There is no end to the type of blow dryers your clients can purchase. New technology gives customers greater control and styling. The newest dryers can increase shine, smooth frizzy hair and impart more body to hair. Clients have the option of choosing from standard, ionic, tourmaline, and ceramic dryers. How to choose a hair dryer that’s best for a customer? Choosing a hair dryer depends on their budget, their lifestyle and their needs. Some of the styling tools varying in drying power. Keep in mind their choice of the best hair dryer will be as unique as their styling needs.