Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
People with thick hair know that blow-drying is a marathon, not a sprint. They're used to holding a hair dryer up for what seems like millennia while it whips their hair around, makes their arm weary, and drones on in their ear. This is also, subsequently, how they know that not all hair dryers are created equal.
At one end of the spectrum, there are the clunky, weak ones that fry hair faster than they dry it. On the opposite end are the sleek, lightweight, and forceful dryers that keep your hair smooth and healthy. Those are the only ones we're interested in, because who wants to stand in their bathroom for 20 minutes willing their hair to please dry faster or they'll be late for work again? That's why we've curated a list of our favorite hair dryers for quickly and effectively drying thick hair while also minimizing heat damage. Because drying your hair isn't worth it if you're going to singe it off along the way—at least we don't think so.
Below, our picks of the best blow dryers for thick hair.
The biggest reason why we love this dryer is that it generates negative ions to break up water molecules and dry strands in less time than most of its competitors. When we're short on time, we can count on this bad boy to get us out the door fast, with a blowout that looks professional we should add. Bonus: It also has a cold shot button, for when you want airflow without the heat (like we do when we want to distribute product or add a boost of volume to our hair).
If you're interested in a budget-friendly pick over an investment hair dryer, you can't do better than this one from Revlon. It has three layers of ceramic coating to ensure even heat distribution (which means less damage to your hair). It's also incredibly compact, which makes traveling with it easy.
Byrdie contributor Ashley Rubell recommends this T3 hair dryer, which she says is super lightweight, easy to use, and gave her a salon-quality blowout in just 10 minutes. Plus, it automatically shuts off when you set it down. When you pick it back up, it turns on again. (How cool is that?)
Byrdie contributor Victoria Hoff swears by this Harry Josh hair dryer, which she says is the only one that doesn't make her hair frizzy or poofy. It's a fan favorite thanks to its small size and 2000-hour AC motor that literally cuts drying time in half.
I know. It's another Harry Josh hair dryer, but we swear it's different than the other and worth mentioning just as well. Byrdie's editorial director, Faith, loves this newly designed dryer, which is super lightweight—it weighs less than a pound! Even though it's smaller, it's just as powerful and effective.
The whole point of creating this GHD hair dryer was to cut drying time in half—which it does. It also features ionic technology to seal in shine and sleekness. (It's one of this beauty writer's all-time favorites. Seriously, I get a weird shudder of excitement when I notice my stylist reaching for it.)
This bright yellow hair dryer is from Drybar—the company that made blowouts a business. If you've ever gotten your hair styled at a Drybar location, you'll know that all of the stylists use it. You'll also know it dries hair (even thick hair) quickly and effectively.
This NuMe pick combines infrared technology, a ceramic grill, and ion technology to dry hair 40% faster than traditional hair dryers. We like the ergonomic design, which is always comfortable and maneuverable.