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An effective hair dryer is a must in every hair-obsessed woman’s arsenal. If powerful, it can take a sopping pile of strands and transform it into a true masterpiece. Drying curly hair, however, is a form of art all on its own.
Finding that perfect hair dryer for curly hair is just as important as your drying technique. “A few things to look out for are things like negative ions, tourmaline, ceramic, and infrared heat,” says celebrity hairstylist Mia Santiago. “A combination of these will results in smoother, less frizzy hair.” Combating frizz, especially as a curly girl, is important—frizz can take your look from polished to chaotic pretty quickly. Santiago notes that using curly-centric attachments—like diffusers or nozzles—helps to get you the look you want and in half the time.
Here, explore the best hair dryers for curly hair that straighten, tame, and volumize.
Best Overall: DevaCurl DevaDryer
Straight from the curly girl’s go-to brand, this hair dryer was made specifically for your curls. Thanks to the ionic technology, this dryer helps to create curls that are softer, shinier, and smoother. When coupled with the uniquely designed DevaFuser, your curls are treated to all-around airflow, which dries your strands even faster and without the damage. Pro tip: When using the attachment, use a low to medium heat setting for best results.
Best Budget: John Frieda Frizz Ease Full Volume Hair Dryer
Get this: This hair dryer features a lightweight motor and ionic generator for a bargain. With three heat settings and two speed settings, this tool makes drying your hair easy and quick. Plus, it comes with two concentrator nozzles and a diffuser, so you can achieve almost any look you want. Don’t forget to give your look a cold shot to lock your style in.
Best for Thick Hair: InfinitiPro by Conair Hair Dryer
Is it just me or are hair dryers stepping up their color game? Yes, we love this dryer for its eye-popping shade, but it comes with way more than just cool packaging. Thanks to its ceramic technology, it gently dries tresses for a healthier hair cuticle. Reviewers love how easy it is to use, from the ergonomic design to the removable filter. Included with the dryer are the diffuser and the concentrator nozzle.
Best Splurge: Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
By now, you’ve probably heard all about this hair dryer. We credit its notoriety with its sleek design, mighty digital motor, and powerful stream of controlled air. “It’s got four heat settings, a cool blast, three airflow settings, and it regulates heat seamlessly,” says Santiago. “It’s also super lightweight and quiet.” So if you’re a night owl that likes to do her hair at one a.m., this practically silent dryer is your late-night bff.
Runner-Up, Best Splurge: Harry Josh Pro Dryer 2000
Along with its delightful signature color, this professional-grade Harry Josh dryer is totally worth the hefty price tag. It features an advanced, dual ion functionality, which basically means you can customize your style and add a ton of shine. Reviewers also appreciate the concentrated and speedy airflow—80+ mph!—that reduces your usual drying time.
Best for Frizz Control: Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer
“Negative ions are key in reducing frizz while drying,” says Santiago. Luckily, this one blows billions of them into the hair. It also features a wave heater, which promotes even heat distribution, so extreme hot spots are a thing of the past. Reviewers especially love the long cord—nine feet—so they can pretty much do their hair anywhere, even if the outlet is a smidge too far.
Best for Shine: BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Dryer
If glossy, silky strands are what you’re looking for, here’s the tool you need to get them. Because the dryer conducts and distributes heat evenly, it decreases your drying time—even if your hair is particularly weighty or curly. One reviewer notes that her hair looks significantly shinier and feels softer after drying.
Best Lightweight: T3 Featherweight Compact
Big fan of the blowout? As much as we love the results, the actual process can be a bit grueling. Add a heavy dryer into the mix, and you’ll feel like you’ve done a total workout. Thankfully, this compact dryer is not only super lightweight but actually folds for easy storage. So whether you’re a jet setter, prefer to do your hair at the gym, or have a smaller bathroom, this portable (but powerful) dryer is what you need.
Best Drugstore: Remington Pro Pearl Ceramic Hair Dryer with Soft Touch Finish
If there is anything reviewers love about this affordable hair dryer, it’s the ability to create as many looks as they could possibly want. One reviewer loves the included diffuser, which gives her the flexibility to make her curls looser or tighter, depending on the look she wants. We also find the addition of real crushed pearls within the ceramic, and in turn, the airflow, provides salon-worthy results.
Best for Travel: Revlon Compact/Folding Handle Compact Travel Dryer
Meet your new travel buddy. This dryer folds easily into the perfect carry-on size. But don’t let its tiny stature fool you—it packs a punch. With two heat settings, a cold shot, and worldwide dual voltage, it rapidly dries your hair without sacrificing space.
Best Professional: Varis Hair Dryer
Less is more when it comes to this dryer. It weighs less than one pound! It uses 75% less energy compared to its competitors, thanks to its eco turbine motor. And less time is needed to completely dry your hair. If that wasn’t enough for you, maybe the hydroionic crystals within the airflow will—they both hydrate and condition the hair for a smoother finish.
Best for Damaged Hair: Hot Tools Tourmaline Tools SuperLite Turbo Ionic Dryer
Most hair gurus will tell you that excess heat will only further damage already-damaged hair—and they’re not wrong. The key to drying damaged hair is a quality hair dryer, like this ionic dryer from iconic hair brand Hot Tools. The tourmaline technology converts heat into far-infrared energy, which dries the interior of the hair without scorching the exterior—while the ion technology helps to dry hair up to 50% faster.
Best High Speed: BaBylissPRO Rapido Dryer
This quick-drying hairdryer takes “the faster, the better” to a new level. With reduced dry time, noise, and weight, this tool checks all the boxes. With up to 10,000 hours of high-speed drying, the brushless engine is not only powerful but can withstand the test of time.