Real Talk: Is Your Pricey Hair Dryer Really Worth It?

Purchasing a hair dryer is a confusing process. The inscrutable terminology brands use to market their blow-dryers doesn't help. We see words like "ionic!" and "tourmaline!" on the packaging, and we figure those must refer to something we want. But do we understand what these terms actually mean and how they translate to actual quality?

According to Heather Coughlin, Amika's director of product development, the key to finding a high-quality hair dryer starts with understanding your hair type and drying habits, and matching the technology to those needs.

Typically what sets the high-quality dryers apart from the rest is an airstream that's evenly heated, adds Ming Tran, senior product manager at T3 (the maker of some of our favorite hair tools). This allows you to dry your hair quickly without overheating certain sections and damaging them. "High-quality dryers generally incorporate advanced dryer components, heating, and airflow technology to enable this," she says. Multiple heat and speed settings can help, as can ionic, ceramic, and tourmaline technology, which serve to customize the drying experience.

But how can we tell just from the packaging which type of dryer will work best for your hair? That's where our experts come in. Keep scrolling for your crash course in how to understand the language of hair dryers and choose the right one for you!

Now that you know which hair dryer to choose, don't miss how to master the perfect blowout at home.