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Best hair dryers to buy in 2021

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Last updated: 25 October 2021

With such variation in price, quality, and features, it can be hard knowing where to begin when looking for a new hair dryer.
 
Good hair dryers are able to dry your hair without overexposing it to damaging heat, or they come with attachments that help to disperse the heat over more hair, thus preventing damage. 
 
We’ve run through a list of some of the best hair dryers available right now, in a few different categories, to help you make your decision.

DYSON Supersonic Hair Dryer

Perhaps the best hair dryer available today, the Dyson Supersonic is extremely apt at drying your hair, quickly and without damage. But why is it so effective? Well for starters, Dyson invested $71 million into completely redesigning the hair dryer.

It functions so well thanks to its ionising ability. The Supersonic transfers negative ions to your hair, in turn attracting the positive ions found in water. Not only does this dry your hair faster, but even seals and protects the cuticles of each strand to retain internal moisture. In non-scientific jargon, it dries faster while simultaneously protecting your hair.

The Dyson Supersonic is also incredibly light to hold and comfortable to use. Ever interested in innovation, Dyson has moved the motor from the typical nozzle placement to inside the handle. This has the benefit of giving the Supersonic a balanced weight distribution.

Of course, all this innovation does come at a cost. The Dyson Supersonic is one of the most expensive hair dryers you can buy. Currently at £299.99, it is definitely out of budget for some. If you can afford it, though, you will be getting your money’s worth. Once you start using it, it’s unlikely you’ll ever want to use another hair dryer again.

Pros:

  • Ionising technology: By using ionising technology in the hair dryer, not only does your hair dry more quickly, but it’s far more beneficial than using heat alone. Ionising technology is able to remove moisture, while sealing the hair’s cuticles.
  • Very quiet: Using hair dryers is usually a noisy affair, and can easily deafen you to sounds outside the immediate vicinity. Thankfully, Dyson have opted for a new digital motor to ensure they don’t make the same mistake with their Supersonic hair dryer.
  • The ergonomic option: Most hair dryers have their motor located in the nozzle, but Dyson has moved this to the handle. This results in a hair dryer that is not only lighter, but easier to hold as most of the weight is already in the palm of your hand.
  • Magnetic attachments: Do you have issues trying to click attachments in place on your old hair dryer? Dyson has found an intelligent solution to your problem. By using a magnetic connector system, attachments are incredibly easy to swap over and remain totally secure the entire time you’re using them.

Cons:

  • Very expensive: Compared to run-of-the-mill hair dryers, the Dyson Supersonic is significantly more expensive. That doesn’t mean that the Supersonic is overpriced, however. Standard, cheap hair dryers are far less effective at drying your hair and cause significantly more damage.

RRP: £399.99

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PANASONIC Nanoe & Double Mineral Advanced EH-NA98 Hair Dryer

The Panasonic NA98 is an excellent hair dryer that offers many novel features. Panasonic claim that their ‘Double Mineral technology’ reduces split ends with prolonged usage, and there are even modes which claim to moisturise your scalp.

The biggest issue with the Panasonic NA98 is that it can be a bit tricky to work out how to get the best out of it at first. It boasts many different features designed to give you a fantastic hair drying experience, but rather than labelling its different features on the hair dryer itself, these are tucked away in the instructions. It’s not the end of the world, but having to resort to checking the instructions every time you dry your hair because you can’t remember exactly what you need to do to access a certain mode can be irritating.

Back to the positives though, the NA98 is great if you’re short on drawer space. The handle is a folding one, so it’s much easier to store away and keep tidy. A massive help to anyone who knows the pain of having a clunky hair dryer taking up space and causing a mess.

Pros:

  • Foldable handle: For those wanting to limit the amount of space taken up by various appliances, the folding handle of the Panasonic NA98 makes it very simple to pack away. An incredible feature for anyone who struggles to get their bulky hair dryers to pack away neatly.
  • Long power cord: With a 2.7m power cord, you have a wide mobility area to use the Panasonic NA98. This range is extremely useful if you want to dry your hair in front of a mirror but lack a nearby plug socket, or simply want to dance around your room.
  • Multiple innovative modes: The Panasonic NA98 makes use of several new modes which are designed to protect your hair, provide a salon-like finish, or even moisturise your scalp and skin.

Cons:

  • Confusing: The NA98’s labelling is relatively unclear, leading to some confusion on how to change and use the different modes. Especially frustrating when you can’t remember 100% how to use a specific mode, and have to take a break from drying your hair to find out.

RRP: £179.99

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REVAMP Progloss 4000 Advanced Protect & Care Hair Dryer

The Revamp Progloss 4000 is an excellent choice for anyone wanting to get themselves a good hair dryer without breaking the bank like you’d need to for the Dyson. It’s able to maintain your hair health thanks to its multiple modes and (while we don’t understand how exactly it works) is even able to infuse your hair with protective and nourishing oils.

The Advanced Care mode is an interesting development. Revamp’s choice of method to dry your hair faster while being less damaging is to oscillate the airflow. This causes the air to be quickly dispersed and stops one section of hair from getting too hot and becoming damaged.

While the Progloss is oscillating, it can be unnerving and slightly unpleasant to hold. It shouldn’t stop you from using the setting, however, and it’s less intense on a lower power setting, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s initially a jarring experience.

Overall, the Progloss 4000 is a great hair dryer to consider if you want something effective but more budget-friendly than more premium products.

Pros:

  • Keratin-infused: The ceramic grille of the Revamp Progloss 4000 is infused with several oils to provide your hair with a long-lasting shine. While it is unclear exactly how it is able to look after your hair, or how long the Progloss will possess this feature before it runs out, when used from brand new it is very effective.
  • Cool shot: At the push of a button, the Revamp Progloss 4000 blasts cold air into your hair to help set your styling. The instant cold air means you won’t have to worry about your hair losing its style and volume throughout the day, which can be incredibly relaxing when you’ve spent a lot of time and effort trying to get it perfect.
  • Advanced care: Traditionally, if you wanted to dry your hair with hotter and faster air, it would leave your hair dry and brittle. That’s no longer the case with the Progloss’s Advanced Care function. Instead of blowing a steady stream of hot air, the Progloss instead uses an oscillating method to dry quickly, without focusing all the hot air in one spot.

Cons:

  • Oscillating air feels uncomfortable: The downside of the oscillating air is that it can cause the hair dryer to vibrate uncomfortably in your hand. It’s not a deal-breaker, and you will get used to it in time, but it does remain off-putting.

RRP: £99.99

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TONI & GUY Brush & Shine 2-in-1 Hair Dryer & Styler

If you’re looking to cut down the time it takes to style and dry your hair, the Brush & Shine 2-in-1 by Toni & Guy is sure to have you sorted.

Toni & Guy have given a lot of thought to how the Brush & Shine moves through your hair. The ceramic-titanium coating has been used to evenly distribute the heat and prevent any excessive heat damage from occurring. They have also incorporated activated charcoal bristles into the design, which helps to easily and painlessly detangle any knots in your hair.

Unfortunately, while the 2-in-1 is fantastic at drying and styling your hair simultaneously, it’s not very good at anything else. If at any point you decide you only want to dry it, you’re simply not going to be able to. You could always use a different device, but at nearly £100 that’s a lot of money to use on something you only use some of the time.

The Toni & Guy Brush & Shine is a great product that does its job exceptionally well. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do much more than that. Whereas you can use typical hair dryers for several different uses, the Brush & Shine is only really usable in one scenario. If you find yourself frequently needing to dry and style your hair, then this is a great choice. But at its current price of £99.99, it’s an expensive purchase for limited functionality.

Pros:

  • Ceramic titanium coating: The spines of the brush are coated in a ceramic-titanium which evenly distribute the heat to ensure thorough and efficient drying, while also preventing any heat damage to your hair.
  • Activated charcoal bristles: Designed to gently detangle hair and purify your hair with activated charcoal, you won’t need to fear your hair becoming caught and tangled in the bristles while styling your hair.
  • 3m swivel cord: Have a full range of movement while using the Brush & Shine thanks to its 3 metre swivel cord. Not only does this give you a large area to move around in, but the swivel function works to prevent any tangles occurring in the cable.

Cons:

  • Dries hair inefficiently: When using the Brush & Shine, you can find that it’s difficult to dry your hair evenly. Because it dries hair one brushstroke at a time, it can take much longer than usual to dry all your hair. This is especially frustrating if you simply want to dry your hair, and you’ll have to style it or let parts of it air dry (and risk frizz).

RRP: £99.99

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REMINGTON Air3D D7779 Hair Dryer

Reportedly offering functionality on a par with the Dyson Supersonic, but available for a fraction of the price, we had to check out the Remington Air3D. And we’re pretty impressed.

Perhaps the first thing to mention is the design of the Remington. Clearly inspired by the Dyson Supersonic, it looks a lot more sleek thanks to its white and black scheme with chrome accents. This is definitely a hair dryer that will look great on either your shelf or in your hand.

In order to care for your hair, the Remington Air3D also employs the use of ionic airflow technology. This is extremely effective at drying your hair without causing the damage that some budget hair dryers can.

Try as it might, the Remington Air3D cannot compare to the Dyson Supersonic - but that doesn’t mean it’s unworthy of your attention, especially at around a third of the price. If your budget doesn’t stretch to the frankly eye-watering price of the Supersonic, then the Remington is an excellent, budget-friendly alternative

Pros:

  • Looks gorgeous: With a design heavily inspired by the Dyson Supersonic, but with its own twist, Remington has made the Air3D look sleek and sophisticated. An incredible feat for such a small hair dryer.
  • Storage case: If you’re worried about damaging this beautiful hair dryer by throwing it in your bag with the rest of your products, don’t be. The Remington Air3D comes with a lovely storage case, perfect for keeping your new dryer safe and secure until you need it.
  • Ionic airflow: Another feature of the Air3D is its use of ionic airflow. While several hairdryers are starting to use this technology, it seems restricted to the more expensive models on the whole.

Cons:

  • Not equal to the Supersonic: While the Remington tries to be a worthy adversary to the Dyson Supersonic, it simply doesn’t match up. At less than ⅓ of the price, however, that is to be expected.

RRP: £79.99

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Bonus options:

Hair dryers aren’t all you need to look after and style your hair. Using the wrong styling devices can be just as bad for your hair’s health as using a poor hair dryer. Have a look at the products below for the best home styling devices you can get your hands on.

DYSON AirWrap Complete Long Hair Styler

As with the Dyson Supersonic, the AirWrap is expensive. Of course, like the Supersonic, the AirWrap is designed impeccably well. Able to create fantastic curls without the incredibly hot metal of traditional curling irons, the AirWrap makes a fantastic alternative.

If you’ve ever burned yourself on a traditional curling iron, you’ll be more than glad to know that the AirWrap doesn’t get anywhere near that hot, nor does it have a heated piece of metal to burn yourself on. Instead, it heats the air and constantly monitors the temperature so that it never goes above 150°C.

By far the most fun feature is that, unlike with normal curling irons, you don’t need to wind your hair around the heated iron. Instead, Dyson makes use of something called the Coanda effect. This is when air reaches high speeds and stops behaving like air, instead following the contours of an object’s surface. The high-speed air effectively grabs your hair and wraps it for you.

As you’ve probably guessed, the biggest issue with the AirWrap is its price. Currently costing between £399.99 and £449.99, the majority of consumers are essentially excluded from buying an AirWrap. The price seems especially high considering that standard curlers roughly cost between £20 to £100. On the other hand, if you have the money then this is probably the best curling iron you can buy.

Pros:

  • Coanda effect: A natural phenomenon that’s predominantly used in motor racing, high-speed air takes on a liquid-like manner to follow the contours of a surface. In short, you only need to hold the AirWrap near your hair momentarily before the air itself grabs and winds your hair.
  • Stays below 150°C: The AirWrap Styler makes use of various sensors to monitor airflow temperature. It does this at least 40 times per second, and adjusts the heat accordingly to ensure your hair is not exposed to temperatures over 150°C. For reference, the curling irons of typical curlers reach at least 200°C.
  • Variety of attachments: The Dyson AirWrap makes use of multiple attachments, from AirWrap barrels to brushes. The different barrels are used to give different sized curls, while the brushes give your hair a wavy effect that’s usually difficult to achieve.

Cons:

  • Incredibly expensive: As with the majority of products in Dyson’s range, they come with an extremely high price tag. It is difficult to recommend a product that the majority of people cannot afford, but if it is within budget for you then it’s a must buy.

RRP: £599.99

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DYSON Corrale Gift Edition Cordless Hair Straightener & Styling Set

One of the few Dyson products to move away from air technology, the Corrale hair straightener still has a major focus on being the most innovative straightener available.

Perhaps the most useful feature is that the Dyson Corrale is completely cordless. It can be painstakingly frustrating trying to straighten your hair when every time you move the cable ends up pushing everything onto the floor. Using straighteners should never be a challenge, and thankfully, using the Dyson Corrale is a breeze.

The other thing that makes the Corrale so easy to use is its flexible copper plates. It can feel a little odd to use them at first, but your hair just glides through and usually one stroke is all you need for perfectly straight hair. Because the plates move, they don’t get as hot as traditional straighteners, which means much less heat damage.

It shouldn’t be surprising that the only thing wrong with them is that they’re several times more expensive than other premium brands. But if you straighten your hair a lot, then they’re definitely worth the money, even if it’s just to protect your hair and save you time.

Also, buying this Gift Edition set comes with a few added extras, including a paddle brush and detangling comb, for no additional cost. It’s nothing special, but they’re high quality and it’s nice to get a little bit more for your money.

Pros:

  • Cordless: One of the best features of the Corrale straightener is that it is completely cordless. No more having to position yourself awkwardly in order to straighten your hair without knocking over all your other products. With the Corrale, you’ve got a complete range of movement for over 30 minutes.
  • Variable heat levels: Not all hair was created equal, so why do most straighteners treat all hair the same? Thicker hair and thinner hair need different temperatures to straighten properly without being completely singed. Thankfully, Dyson has realised this and provided 3 different temperatures - 165°C, 185°C, and 210°C.
  • Flexible copper plates: The most innovative part of these straighteners is the flexible copper plates. They’re made from a manganese copper alloy that gathers your hair together and, because it can flex, needs a lot less heat to straighten your hair.

Cons:

  • Very costly: If you’ve looked at the other Dyson products on this list, it should be no surprise that the Corrale straighteners are incredibly expensive. Even compared to other premium straighteners, they cost nearly 4 times as much. However, just as unsurprising is that they are truly exceptional straighteners and worth every penny.

RRP: £497

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And those are our picks for the top hair dryers that you can buy. Our top choice is, of course, the Dyson Supersonic, but we do understand that it’s out of budget for a lot of people. If that’s the case for you, our next best choice would either be the Remington Air3D or the Panasonic NA98.

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Fergus Cole

Author: Fergus Cole

Fergus is a journalist specialising in the personal finance, energy and broadband sectors. He also has a passion for travel and adventure so tries to make the most of this in any spare time he gets.