A good cheap hair dryer: please recommend!
January 3, 2019 9:48 PM   Subscribe

Having previously mooched off of my friends and family, I'm now in the market for my very first hair dryer, which I'd like to be cheap-ish. Preferably under $50, ideally as cheap as possible. I mostly only use it for getting protein treatments to dry as quickly as possible (drying Aphogee goo onto the hair); I don't use it for styling or anything. What features should I look for or decide based on? Watts? Ionic? What differentiates hair dryers at different price points? Any recommendations for brands/models that are good and durable? Thanks.
posted by ClaireBear to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Once you've identified whatever features you're interested in, check a few thrift shops. My blowdrier cost $6!
posted by pseudostrabismus at 9:52 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]

More wattage = quicker drying. Cold air is good, since it dries hair almost as quickly but doesn't damage it quite so much. If this will be also used during travel, get one that can handle both 120V and 240V.

I like Babyliss hairdryers, they've always lasted me ages (as in actual decades). It's an American company (sister company of Cuisinart among others), but for some reason I'm seeing a dearth of listings for their midrange products in the US. My new travel 5250E cost around $30 this year and packs an amazing punch for something that fits in the smallest of my handbags.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 10:10 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]

For drying aphogee two step, I think the most important thing is having a good diffuser. The aphogee instructions say to use medium heat and NOT TO AGITATE THE HAIR, so having a super fast and powerful hairdryer is not helpful. Diffusers, however, allow you to dry more of the hair at once without moving the dryer and reduce the pressure of the air. Ionic also does not matter since you will then rinse the aphogee out (and the ions with it).

Get the cheapest, lightest (aphogee takes forever to dry don't be a hero) hairdryer you can find and then look for a wide, bowl-shaped diffuser that fits. I adore this diffuser on this hairdryer and have been using this combo for three years, but if I was rich I would 100% get the Dyson dryer because it is so light.
posted by Swiss Meringue Buttercream at 3:37 AM on January 4 [3 favorites]

I would recommend Sally Beauty's GVP hair dryer. This company positions itself as a more affordable professional quality hair supply chain. I am absolutely not a professional, so I can't really comment to that, but I do have this hair dryer (and the GVP curling wand) and they've been good to me.
posted by tamarack at 6:07 AM on January 4

I've had a Conair 1875w folding hair dryer for a while and I like the travel size because it makes it more lightweight. Since your goal is for a cheap+durable hair dryer I think this could be a really good option.
posted by belau at 7:05 AM on January 4

Does anyone have any opinions on this hair dryer, for my purposes? This was the one I had tentatively picked out before writing this question. It seemed cheapish, with good reviews (and a diffuser, which I didn't realize I wanted, but maybe I do!) The other InfinitiPro hair dryers sold at Target also look good, although I don't really understand the difference between them...

(I am very grateful for the other suggestions, and will definitely take a look at those too!)
posted by ClaireBear at 8:35 AM on January 5

I have never bought an expensive hairdryer. Think discount stores. Even cheap ones last years. What have you borrowed that you liked? Probably none of them cost a lot. Most come with diffusers. I would buy the folding one again, if I needed one, it's so handy to pack.
posted by Enid Lareg at 3:19 PM on January 5

That orange dryer is perfectly nice. This seems to be the US sister brand of Babyliss, so hopefully both are as reliable.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 2:02 AM on January 6

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