Hair drying at the speed of light
January 3, 2018 1:31 PM   Subscribe

I seek recommendations for the absolute fastest hair dryer in all the land.

I'm going back to work soon after my second and final maternity leave and I need to streamline my morning routine still further. I never, ever skip a shower, but when I'm getting ready and running short on time, if anything is going to get the axe, it's always going to be drying my hair. While my office is super casual and I never see clients in person, going in with wet locks is both unflattering and unprofessional, and especially should be avoided at all costs during frigid Minnesota winters.

My hair is stick straight, shoulder-length, and THICK. I already remove excess water with a microfiber hair towel beforehand and still it takes me about 10-15 minutes to thoroughly dry. I'd like to cut that by about half if I can. I currently use some sort of basic $30 model from CVS, I think. Cost is of only a little concern and I don't really style beyond applying a little product before and after drying; speed of drying time is my #1 priority here.

I'm 100000000% not interested in analogous timesavers like dry shampoo or what have you; this question is about SUPER FAST HAIR DRYERS. I did look through previous questions but they're all several years old and I'd like to know if there's something new and amazing on the market.

Thank you!
posted by anderjen to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (22 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I haven't used the Dyson Supersonic to dry my hair. I did play with it in Best Buy and it felt extremely well made (all-metal construction), and blew warm air at high speed. As it should, being a $400 (!) hair dryer.
posted by theorique at 1:36 PM on January 3, 2018 [3 favorites]

I have heard from many beauty enthusiasts that the Dyson hair dryer really is the fastest out there.
posted by joan_holloway at 1:46 PM on January 3, 2018

The Sweethome picks Rusk W8less ($80) as best. But fastest went to the Dyson.
posted by artdrectr at 1:47 PM on January 3, 2018

I was very disappointed when I read the hair dryer reviews on The Wirecutter (although I think it was still The Sweethome at the time), because they said at the end of the day "all of the dryers took more or less the same amount of time to dry hair."

They didn't include the Dyson in their reviews because it was so expensive, but they did say it was a little bit faster at drying. Won't cut your drying time in half.

(Also I know this is not what you want, but you can take a shower without washing your hair! I only wash my hair about 2-3 times a week, shower every day.)
posted by mskyle at 1:48 PM on January 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

The Guardian's Top hairdryers reviewed: is the £300 Dyson Supersonic really the king? from a year back is an enjoyable read although "dries fast" isn't a terribly detailed metric.
posted by readinghippo at 1:53 PM on January 3, 2018

I have super thick hair, and the Dyson is phenomenal. I have super thick hair, and it cut my drying time by quite a bit. I used to use the Chi, which is (was?) considered a higher-end dryer, and it's faster than that for sure.

This is probably obvious, but definitely keep that microfiber towel wrapped around your head for a bit (10 mins) after the shower. That makes a big difference for me.

Also I agree with jabes about maximizing the time between showering and drying. I try to make my shower the absolutely first thing and then wait as long as possible to blow dry.
posted by radioamy at 1:59 PM on January 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

Not sure if this qualifies as a hair dryer, but I also have super thick hair and HAVE TO BLOWDRY every day (I feel very similar to you). I usually put up with that 10 min or so period using the hair dryer alone, but I've noticed that if I miss some spots, my flat-iron (which is sold for using on wet hair) dries them up quickly. So maybe you want a wet dry flat iron that could take over once you've damp dried your hair.

p.s. n+1 at disappointment with the Wirecutter.
posted by Tandem Affinity at 2:01 PM on January 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

This dryer mounted on your wall , use both hands at once standing under a blast of warm air. Less than half the cost of dyson.
posted by hortense at 2:03 PM on January 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

You could also use a spray that works to reduce dry time.
posted by LKWorking at 2:05 PM on January 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

I used to use a microfiber hair towel and it sucks up water like whoa. But you know what does that even better? 100% linen cloth. I bought a linen bath towel and I wrap that around my below-shoulder length thick hair after drying my body (so it is already damp) and let it sit for 10 min, and it gets significantly more dry than when wrapped in a used-for-hair-only microfiber towel for the same time. It is still damp, but cuts air drying time from ~3 hours to ~1.5 (I don’t use a hairdryer so YMMV).
posted by holyrood at 2:11 PM on January 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have not used the Dyson, but I have this one by Harry Josh and it 100% cut my drying time in half. (I have long extensions, so a lot of hair.) Expensive, high-quality hairdryers are exponentially better than the cheapy drugstore ones - I despair when I have to go to the UK and leave my dryer at home for fear of blowing it up.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 2:14 PM on January 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

This YouTuber does dry time comparisons with the Dyson. The Dyson wins.

I do the following to cut down on dry time: (It's especially helpful if you like the blowout look and use a round brush to dry your hair.) I use two tools: I use a John Frieda Hot Air Brush as my styling brush while blowdrying my hair with a Elchim hairdryer. I hold the John Freida Hot Air brush in my right (dominant) hand and the hair dryer in the left. The John Freida hot air brush does what it says -- it blows out hot air and acts as a roller brush. It's super easy to use and my hair does not get tangled it this brush. When I use these tools together I can signifigantly speed up drying while getting a smooth blowout. I also recommend Loreal Blow Dry It Cream. There is something in this that speeds dry time. It's very noticeable how much it helps to speed dry time.
posted by loveandhappiness at 2:54 PM on January 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have used a Dyson, it is dramatically more powerful (and therefore faster) than any other dryer I've used.

The kind of keratin treatment you get in a salon also reduces the amount of time my hair takes to dry (you should research though, different salons offer different versions).
posted by mrmurbles at 4:22 PM on January 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

I own an Elchim 3900 dryer, which has most of the same features as the Dyson. It dries my fine, straight hair in about 4 minutes. By comparison, the Dyson has better weight balance and, I think, one more fan speed, and dried my hair in 3 minutes. My coworker, whose Dyson it was, has thick curly hair and says she cut her drying time in half, down from 20 minutes or so.

If money is no object and every minute is precious to you, I’d say to get the Dyson. It is a well-made dryer and so are the attachments. If money is kind of an object and you’d be okay with drying your hair in 8 1/2 minutes instead of 7, I’d recommend the Elchim (which, at $195, is not at all inexpensive, but still half the cost of the Dyson.)
posted by Autumnheart at 4:43 PM on January 3, 2018

Wildly thick hair over here. I bought the Dyson while on maternity leave and do not regret it. i also live in the Upper Midwest. It cut my drying time from 30 minutes with my drugstore dryer to about 7.
posted by notjustthefish at 5:23 PM on January 3, 2018

Longish, super thick (but fine, so many, many hairs to dry) hair here and I use the dyson. I would give almost anything for a 10-15 minutes drying time, but I went from 30 minutes using a T3 (which is still a fancy blowdryer) down to 20 or so with the dyson.

One trick my stylist taught me is to systematically rough dry all my roots, just casually straightening the top inch or two of my hair with my fingers, and then dry the rest of my hair with a brush. It really does help speed things up by a couple minutes, so you may be able to cut off a little time with better technique too.
posted by snaw at 5:31 PM on January 3, 2018

I use a hairdryer called Speed Freak. I love it—it has lasted a few years and cuts my drying time more than in half. I do not have crazy thick hair, but you might try googling that option. It was decidedly not $400.
posted by suncages at 6:31 PM on January 3, 2018

You need a Parlux 3200. Look familiar? That's because every single hair dresser you've ever been to uses one. It's heavy, but it is so so strong and hot and fast, it blasts hair dry super quickly. I used to hate drying my hair before I splurged on my beloved Parlux.

Added bonus: the thing is a freaking tank, so you don't have to worry about it breaking before its time.
posted by nerdfish at 1:18 AM on January 4, 2018

I also have the Harry Josh and it dries my almost elbow-length thick hair in less than 6 minutes. It's shocking at how fast it works and it's not heavy or large at all (I, too, use a microfiber towel first - although I'm intrigued about the linen towel trick).

The owner of the hair salon I go to, along with two other stylists there, have Dysons. Out of the three, two of them have had them crapped out in less than a year. The salon owner has been going back and forth with Dyson about trying to get it fixed for quite some time. Obviously, they use them all day, but you'd think that for that kind of money they would be up to the challenge. I just thought I would throw it out there.
posted by dancinglamb at 4:04 AM on January 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

Get some microfiber towels and towel-dry your hair as much as possible. That saves a significant amount of dryer time.
posted by theora55 at 6:23 AM on January 4, 2018

I just bought the Rusk on the recommendation of that Wirecutter/Sweethome article and used it for the first time this morning. I like it a lot for the reasons described in the article - lightweight, well balanced, good switches, solid-feeling construction, long cord - but did not dry my fine, straight hair any faster than previous dryers. I love it and am glad I upgraded from the $30 model I returned to Target, but don't think it's the answer for those with thicker heads of hair who are looking to shave meaningful time off their morning routine.
posted by misskaz at 10:01 AM on January 4, 2018

Get a “pro” / prosumer blow dryer like the ones at Costco. They’ll draw the maximum wattage which allows them to blast hot air. And they’re easy to clean so you won’t have lint preventing them from maximum scalp-blasting tornado mode.

As a rough approximation for the speed of the dryer, how many watts it draws is your number. And how easy it is to clean governs how efficient it will be in daily use.
posted by zippy at 11:39 AM on January 4, 2018

« Older Dropbox alternative that's actually good at file...   |   Have you had a Libre Pro or other CGM device to... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.