When it comes to hot tools, blow dryers are essential. Unless you plan on rocking the air-dried style through fall and winter, you’re going to need one. But before you stop by your local drugstore and buy the cheapest one on sale, keep in mind that not all blow dryers are created equal. In fact, you may want to shell out some serious cash to ensure that yours not only works well but is top-notch and won’t damage your strands.
“A pricier, professional blow dryer will give you higher quality technology, equipment, and parts, which when well-taken care of can mean your dryer lasts a lifetime,” says Kendall Dorsey, a celebrity hairstylist. “Lower-end dryers also tend to lack the temperature control — high, medium, low or even a temperature dial — that you would find on a higher-end one, and that could end up frying your hair.”
Such features are key when it comes to choosing the blow dryer. In addition to ensuring that it has heat control, hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons, who works with the Kardashians among several other celeb clients, recommends looking for options that are at least 1500 Watts (meaning it has a strong motor). Beyond that, he says it really comes down to personal preference. Is it shaped in a way that is easy to maneuver? Is it powerful enough for your hair type?
If you’re wondering what blow dryers on the market today are worth the splurge, just check in with one of these celebrity hairstylists who make selecting the highest-quality hot tools part of their business model. Here are the best blow dryers, according to the pros.
Daniel Koye, celebrity stylist and wig expert, can’t get enough of this blow dryer, which he loves for its lightweight hold and ability to get really hot without damaging. “It’s not too loud and really smooths the hair — plus, you can add some bling to it, which I love,” he adds.
Lately, celebrity hairstylist Felix Fischer has been using this dryer for all of his celebrity clients. “It is super lightweight, which is great if I’m using it all day long, relatively quiet yet powerful, and has a long cord so I can style freely,” he says. “I also appreciate that there are three temperatures and two air speeds to choose from, a locking cool shot button so you don’t have to press and dry at the same time, and it comes with two nozzle attachments.”
Dorsey’s go-to hair dryer for all of her clients, including those in Hollywood, is the Dyson Supersonic. “It is quite an investment, but totally worth it,” he says. “It has a very strong, precise, fast-drying air flow that helps speed up the process, which is beneficial because it is less heat time on your hair. And while it is fast and strong, there is an internal sensor that measures the heat of the air to keep it from ever getting too hot and causing damage.”
“Because it’s super compact and not too heavy, it’s the perfect dryer to travel with,” says Penny James, IAT-certified trichologist and owner of Penny James Salon in New York City. “The nozzle stays firmly in place when you’re working quickly, and the heat and cooling system is excellent.”
“This dryer dries hair 50 percent faster and is 20 percent quieter than competing manufacturers,” says Allyson Myette, New England Goldwell hair artist and owner of The Designory Hair And Makeup Studio, in Salem, Mass. “It is fueled by hydro ionic crystals that hydrate and condition the hair and is powerful and lightweight, weighing less than 1 lb!”
Hairstylist Dominick Pucciarello loves to use this dryer on his celebrity clients, including supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio. “Not only is it super lightweight and so easy to travel with, but it emits ions so it can dry hair really fast,” he says. “A lot of times you just don't have as much time as you want to do someone's hair, so this cuts down blow-dry time a lot, reduces frizz, and adds extra body.”
Kacey Welch, creator of the Kacey Welch Method for hair extensions and master colorist at Roil Salon in Beverly Hills, thinks that Ibiza offers the best blow dryers out there. “They are light, powerful, and work — plus, they help smooth the hair and achieve the perfect blowout, whether in the salon or at home,” she says. “So many other hair dryers damage hair with heat that is too high.”