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Fine hair can be tricky to style. The good news is that it typically dries much quicker than thicker strands. The bad news is that some blow dryers can make thin hair look flat. Why? A lot of today's models use ionic technology, which blasts out negative ions to dry locks faster. Ionic dryers also create a smooth, sleek finish. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it can make thin hair look limp.
So, what are fine-haired folks to do? Your best bet is a standard blow dryer—as in one without fancy ionic technology. That said, you can also find options that allow you to turn the negative ions off and on. Additionally, super high wattage can be a lot on thin hair. To avoid damage, look for a relatively low-watt model or one with adjustable heat settings.
Read on for the best blow dryers for fine hair.
Best Overall: T3 Cura Luxe Hair Dryer
Max Temp: 140°F | Features: 2 speed settings, 5 heat settings, cool shot | Wireless: No
Our number one pick for fine hair is the T3 Cura Luxe. With multiple digitally controlled heat settings, two speeds, and a volume-booster switch, this award-winning hairdryer checks all the boxes for thin strands and then some. It dries hair impressively fast, leaving it soft, healthy, and full-looking. Also, the negative ion generator can be switched on and off to leave hair extra-smooth.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Dryer 2000
Max Temp: 101ºF | Features: 8 heat settings, cool shot, 9-foot cord | Wireless: No
Thanks to its whopping eight speeds and multiple heat settings and lightweight, ergonomic design, this blow dryer is a close runner-up. "Harry Josh's Pro Dryer is great because you get 1875 watts and 125 volts that will blow air at 80+ MPH to cut drying time in half. It has a variety of heat settings and air settings to target finer hair as well," says New York-based hairstylist Sky Kim of Serge Normant at John Frieda. "Plus, you get dual ion functionality to allow for a customized sleek or voluminous styling with maximum shine."
Best Budget: Conair 1875 Watt Turbo Hair Dryer
Max Temp: 248°F | Features: 2 heat and speed settings | Wireless: No
Looking for something a little easier on your wallet? You can't go wrong with the Conair Mid-Size Hair Dryer. This affordable, no-nonsense tool delivers 1875 watts of power. You can run it on high or low to dry fine hair and then lock your style into place with the cool shot button.
Best Drugstore: Remington Pro Hair Dryer with Pearl Ceramic Technology
Max Temp: ≈ 140°F | Features: 3 heat settings, 2 speed settings, cool shot | Wireless: No
The Remington Pro is a solid drugstore dryer. Crushed pearls are infused into the ceramic barrel, which helps condition thin hair as it dries. With 1875 watts of power, three heat settings, and two speeds, this hair dryer allows you to fine-tune your drying experience.
What Our Testers Say
"In only a few minutes, my hair was straighter and smoother while still holding some natural volume to it." — Ashley Rubell, Product Tester
Best Splurge: Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
Max Temp: 212°F | Features: 3 speeds, 3 magnetic nozzles | Wireless: No
Dyson's Supersonic has held court in the world of hair drying since its release in 2016. This futuristic tool doesn't just look cool. It blasts your strands gently yet efficiently with heat-control technology while minimizing damage. The price tag is undoubtedly steep, but it might be worth splurging on this superstar blow dryer. "This will save you time, which cuts heat damage, and you get different nozzles to help you target frizz or rough-dry the hair. Plus, you get a variety of heat and speed settings," says Kim.
Best Pro-Level: GHD Helios Professional Hair Dryer
Max Temp: 220°F | Features: 2 heat and speed settings | Wireless: No
Professional blowouts might be having a moment, but believe it or not, you can get a pro-level finish right at home. This award-winning blow dryer boasts a high-tech aerodynamic design to deliver salon-quality results on all hair types and textures—even thin strands. "It's a powerful dryer but also very gentle and offers different settings based on your needs," Kim tells Byrdie. "It's really light, too, so it'll save you some arm strength!"
Best for Damaged Hair: Eva NYC Spectrum Far-Infrared Dryer
Max Temp: ≈ 140°F | Features: 2 attachment heads, cool shot, 2 speed settings, 3 heat settings | Wireless: No
If you're working with thin, damaged hair, we recommend the Eva NYC Spectrum. It uses "far-infrared" technology, which dries hair from the inside to protect your outer cuticles from frizz and breakage. The barrel is infused with tourmaline (AKA finely ground crystals), making it easy on thin hair. This 1875-watt blow dryer is also designed to create volume and give limp tresses a little more oomph.
Best for Styling: Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer And Volumizer Hot Air Brush
Max Temp: 175°F | Features: Cool tip, bristle brush, 3 heat and speed settings | Wireless: No
When it comes to styling, fine hair can be finicky. It can help to dry your hair with a round brush, which builds volume and creates a polished (but not overly smooth or limp) finish. With this in mind, Revlon's One-Step Volumizer is a hairdryer and round brush in one. The expertly designed nylon and boar-bristle brush detangles and styles while the warm air dries your hair and locks your look into place.
Best Volumizing: Drybar The Double Shot Blow-Dryer Brush
Max Temp: ≈ 140°F | Features: Cool tip, bristle brush, 3 heat settings | Wireless: No
Speaking of volume, the Double Shot uses a similar brush-blow dryer combination, which does wonders for fine hair. Thanks to its lightweight design and ergonomic handle, it's easy to style your hair without straining your wrists or making your arm muscles feel like Jello. This dryer has three temperature settings, so you can customize the airflow. The tufted bristles have soft nylon tips, providing the perfect level of tension for creating just the right amount of lift and body.
Best Smoothing: BabylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium 3000 Dryer
Max Temp: ≈ 140°F | Features: Cool shot, 9-foot cord, 6 heat and speed settings | Wireless: No
If your hair tends to lose smoothness when it dries, we suggest the BaBylissPRO TT. It delivers that far-infrared heat we mentioned earlier, which helps to combat static. The result? Healthy-looking locks without any flyaways.
Best Fast-Drying: InStyler TURBO MAX Ionic Dryer
Max Temp: ≈ 140°F | Features: 2 heat settings, cool shot, 9-foot cord | Wireless: No
Fast dry time is a coveted blow dryer feature, no matter your hair type. To dry your hair in a flash, reach for this product. Thanks to a high-torque motor and aerodynamic airflow, this dryer stakes its claim as one of the fastest in its category. While it does use ionic technology, this feature can be turned off to avoid limp strands.
Best for Travel: Conair InfinitiPro Travel Professional Hair Dryer
Max Temp: 158°F | Features: Cool shot, 3 heat settings, 2 speed settings | Wireless: No
You'll be glad you packed the InfinitiPro when you're on the road. This compact travel dryer is more powerful than it looks. It uses a pro-level motor and 1600 watts of power to dry hair quickly while reducing frizz and minimizing damage. With two speed settings and three levels of heat, plus a cool shot button, you can customize the airflow based on what works best for your hair. This blow dryer also comes with a concentrator attachment, allowing you to direct heat on one section at a time while styling your hair.
Your best bet for drying fine hair is the award-winning T3 Cura Luxe Hair Dryer. The heat settings, multiple speeds, and volume-boosting mode are hard to beat. However, the eight-speed Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Dryer 2000 is a close runner-up. If you're looking for something more affordable, we recommend the Remington AC2015 Pro Hair Dryer with Pearl Ceramic Technology. This drugstore blow dryer has three heat modes and two speeds, plus a pearl-infused ceramic barrel that conditions your hair as it dries.
What to Look For in a Blow Dryer for Fine Hair
Heat and speed settings
"When looking for blow dryers for fine hair, make sure you check for the heat and speed settings so you don't accidentally fry your hair in the process," says Kim.
Since thin hair is often more susceptible to damage, it's important to avoid overheating it with styling tools. You'll want to get a medium-wattage blow dryer or one with multiple heats and speed settings. Aside from minimizing damage, this allows you to customize your drying experience and create different styles.
Many modern blow dryers feature ionic technology. This means they deliver negative ions to dry hair faster and create a smooth, sleek finish. While they're certainly convenient, those with fine hair may want to avoid ionic dryers, as it can create a flat, limp appearance. Opt for a non-ionic hair dryer or one with the option to turn the feature off.
Kim also suggests considering a blow dryer's volumizing technology, which is crucial for giving body to fine hair. This might be in the form of a brush-dryer combo or a volume-boosting switch.
According to Kim, rough-drying your hair before blow-drying it is the key to fullness and volume. "If you want a more voluminous blowout, direct your rough-dry upwards and under your sectioned hair," she says.
What type of blow dryer is best for fine hair?
Kim mentions a few features to keep in mind when shopping for a blow dryer for fine hair. “I would look for a blow dryer with a wide range of settings so that you can always depend on the low watt setting to minimize damage,” she says. “Another great feature to look for is the 'cool' setting, which will set your blowout after you’ve styled in order to hold volume.” She mentions that using a blow dryer that allows you to turn off the ionic setting (or, alternatively, a non-ionic blow dryer) is another great way to give limp hair volume.
How often should you blow dry fine hair?
When it comes to how often you should blow dry fine hair, Kim recommends keeping it as infrequent as possible in order to minimize damage. “The upside to having finer hair is that your hair dries faster fresh out of the shower, so you wouldn’t have to spend too much time with heat on your hair,” she says. On the days you do need to reach for your blow dryer? “You can let it air dry a bit before, rough dry the roots upwards for some volume, and just smooth out those ends.”
Why Trust Byrdie?
This shopping guide was written by Theresa Holland, a professional content creator specializing in beauty and wellness. With a lifelong frustration for her fine hair, she's tried many volumizing techniques and blow dryers over the years. You can find more pieces by Theresa on MyDomaine and The Spruce.
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find any blow dryers for fine hair from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at email@example.com and we will evaluate the product ASAP.