11 best hairdryers
Could any hairdryer be worth £400? We've put the glossiest models to the test
What makes a good hairdryer? One that isn't too heavy, that dries our hair fast and, most of all, isn't too expensive. We’ve looked at these factors and more – heat can, of course, damage your hair, so we’ve also assessed new technology that promises to keep your hair in good condition, too.
Paul Edmonds, hairdresser to the stars, says this new technology can really help your hair. “[Hairdryers] with ionic technology, like the Dyson, blow out negative ions to help break down water molecules, drying your hair faster and leaving it with more shine,” he says.
It's also worth looking out for hairdryers that have ceramic elements. These promise to give your hair a damage- and frizz-free finish. Meanwhile, tourmaline-infused components help seal hair cuticles, leaving hair with a shine.
Power matters, too. Some of the best hairdryers around are modelling the power of their motors on cars. Babyliss, for example, has collaborated with Ferrari, while Dyson compares the power of its hairdryer to the speed of a Formula One car. Make sure your new hairdryer is at least 1,800 watts.
Here, we put some of the newest models to the test.
Remington Keratin Protect Dryer AC8008: £29.99, Amazon
The first thing you notice about this sleek hairdryer is its design: the dark silver colour and its streamlined shape. The keratin and almond oil infused ceramic coated grille left our hair shiny and smooth, and meant we didn’t have to wash it again for days.
It sits well in the hand, too, and has three power settings, going up to 2,200W – so it dried our hair quickly.
We did note that it was heavier than some of the dryers we tested, especially if you’re using it to style your hair, but we found this perfectly acceptable. The setting switches also seem to be fixed the opposite way from most switches, which takes a bit of used to, but this wasn't a deal-breaker, either – it's just worth noting.
It comes with three attachments: a diffuser, and two nozzles – a 7mm super slim concentrator and 11mm fast drying concentrator.
We thought it was great value for money.
Paul Mitchell Neuro Dry Hair Dryer: £92.65, LookFantastic.com
This hairdryer feels very futuristic: both in its design and its technology. Tourmaline ions mean that the heat shouldn't damage your hair, while also helping it to dry.
Turning the device on for the first time felt a little odd – as well as turning the on button, you have to pair it with the motion button. However, the latter activates the sensor, so that when you put the hairdryer down it turns off automatically, which we loved.
We also liked the design of the up and down buttons, which cover both speed and heat, and glows up on the bars next to the motion sensor.
A quick drying, clever model with good results.
Lee Stafford Coco Loco Blow & Go Nuts Dryer: £31.80, Amazon
The rose gold design from Lee Stafford is incredibly light, but still as powerful as some of the more expensive models on the market.
It comes with one attachment, a pink see-through nozzle, which helps to direct airflow to the part of the hair you want to concentrate on. It also has a removable rear grill cover to help you clean it.
The speed settings and heat settings are a little clunky, but they do their job. The front grille is infused with coconut oil, although we couldn't quite see the result.
At just under £30, this is a great model for the price.
Panasonic EH-NA65 Nonoe Ion Hair Dryer in Rose Gold: £59.99, Amazon
Despite being one of the largest hairdryers we tested, this was one of the lightest. The results were also impressive.
We found the slide settings easy to manoeuvre when styling our hair, while the four heat settings enabled us to dry our long, thick hair in minutes. The three rose-gold nozzles were a welcome addition.
Nanoe technology claims to keep moisture locked in and reduce heat damage, and we found it left our hair especially shiny.
We loved the look of this hairdryer: its rose gold rim and grill looks very sleek, especially when paired with a nozzle.
T3 Cura: £176.25, currentbody.com
A white and rose gold colour, the glossy design of this hairdryer really appealed. It also had easy button settings for speed and heat.
The dryer comes with two extra nozzles: a larger one which helps you to concentrate on parts of the hair and the thinner one for styling.
With its built-in ion generator, the results were brilliant – we were able to dry our hair quickly, and it looked smooth and glossy each time we used it.
The only reservation we had was the position of its handle: it had a slightly lopsided feeling about it when we held it, which would take some getting used to.
This is a great hairdryer, however, if you're looking to splash out.
Valentino Alfia Italia professional hairdryer: £185, Amazon
The first thing that strikes you about this hairdryer is its curved handle, which makes it easy to hold and use, while the model is also lighter than many other hairdryers.
We liked its smart black case, too (at £200, it was appreciated).
This hairdryer has three heat settings, with a top setting of 2,000 watts, and uses tourmaline-infused ceramic components and negative ion technology to dry hair faster, while protecting it from the heat.
The nozzles were great for styling. It was also quieter than most of the other hairdryers we tested.
Even at its top speed and heat settings, it felt powerful, but not overwhelming – almost as though it was gliding through our hair.
This would make a great luxury gift.
GHD air® by Lulu Guinness: £99, Amazon
Lulu Guinness has teamed up with GHD for this limited-edition hairdryer, and £10 of every purchase will be donated to Breast Cancer Now.
This hairdryer comes in a Lulu Guinness decorated box and a dust bag. An ergonomic handle design makes it comfortable to hold for both left and right-handed users, which we thought was clever.
It has easy-to-use settings and one nozzle for styling. Its ionic technology helped dry our hair quickly, although our hair didn't have quite as much volume when it was dry as it did after using some of the models.
We found it lightweight, however, and liked its design.
Dyson supersonic blue gold: £399, dyson.co.uk
Dyson launched its revolutionary design almost three years ago, and it's still one of the best. This is a new limited edition version with a smart blue and gold-plated design, hand gilded(!) in 23.75k gold leaf.
Its speed is comparable to a Formula One car, measuring the heat 20 times a second – which is impressive.
We loved how light it was, and how easily it was to attach the nozzles (magnetically!).
The result was what you'd expect from a high-tech, fabulously designed hairdryer: voluminous, shiny hair, every time we used it. It might just be worth £400...
Revlon 360 Surround Hair Dryer: £69.99, Amazon
The selling point of this hairdryer is its 360 function – you open it up and put sections of your hair inside. This enables you to dry every strand, making it particularly good for people with thick hair.
We initially found it a bit complicated to use, but we're glad we persisted: it dried our hair really thoroughly and gave our hair some welcome volume. We found it quite heavy, though.
The powerful heat settings meant that it didn't take long to dry our hair. We also loved the 'cool shot button', which gave our hair a blast of shine.
BaByliss PRO Italia BRAVA: £107.15, babylisspro.co.uk
This was one of the fastest dryers we tested, powered by the new MaxLifeTM PRO brushless motor and designed with Ferrari. We were particularly impressed by its power, especially when we pressed the turbo button at the back.
It felt quite heavy, but we didn't feel that was a deal-breaker. The settings were easy to use and it comes with three adaptors – making it great for different hair requirements or styles.
Its Nano titanium grille means it’s great for styling and left our hair with a lovely shine. It was also one of the quietest dryers we used.
TONI&GUY Ultimate Compact AC Dryer: £34.90, Amazon
This hairdryer is two-thirds the size of many hairdryers. The short handle was surprisingly easy to grip, although we did find the hairdryer itself quite heavy.
With a maximum setting of 2,100W performance (it has three heat and two speed settings), it dried our hair quickly, without it looking frizzy or damaged. Its speed settings were easy to use, too.
The added slimline nozzle was a bit tricky to attach, but once you've worked it out, you can lock it in place so that it doesn’t fly off mid-dry.
The Verdict: Best hairdryers
We loved the lasting effects of the Remington Keratin Protect Dryer – it not only dried our hair fast, but left it wonderfully shiny. At £30, it was also good value for money.
If you want to splash out, then Valentino Alfia Italia professional hairdryer is the model to go for – we loved its curved handle and lightweight feel. It left us with soft, silky locks.
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