Blow Dryers
February 23, 2021 8:37 AM   Subscribe

Do expensive blow dryers offer a significant advantage over cheaper ones? Is the difference still significant if I diffuse my hair primarily? For expensive, I’d say in the $100-200 range - I’m not considering anything more than that. For cheap, anything in the $30 and above range. I have very thick, dense curly hair.
posted by Aranquis to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I can't address your diffuser question because I don't use one, but I have a more expensive hair dryer and I find that less expensive ones are more drying and give me more frizz. I had a cheap travel sized dryer for many years and my hair was always less smooth when I used it. Same with using a hotel dryer verses mine. I don't know if that's every cheaper dryer, but it's been fairly universal for me.

I did have a less expensive revlon dryer for a long time that was pretty good though - it had some ionic and tourmaline features that I think helped.
posted by amycup at 8:43 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]

I hate using a hairdryer and along with never wearing a bra, not having to dry hair is one of the things I'll miss when the pandemic ends. I did use a diffuser till someone broke it. And the reason I didn't just go out and get a new dryer was that the expensive one I have is much, much better than the cheap ones I have had before. Like amycup said, less drying out, and less frizz. I think the expensive ones depend more on air flow and less on heat, if that makes sense.
Come to think of it, I might go looking for a replacement diffuser.
posted by mumimor at 8:52 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]

I thought I couldn't use a hairdryer on my curly hair because it always looked like a frizzy, tangled mess afterward. Then I replaced my travel size dryer a $100ish dollar hairdryer because it was on Slickdeals for a big discount. The temperature controls are better, the air is distributed more widely through a bigger, longer-spoked diffuser, and I can actually leave the house after drying my hair. I have a lot of thick 3B hair.
posted by assenav at 9:01 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]

I have a Rusk hair dryer ($80-$100) and it dries my hair more smoothly and the noise is much less piercing and painful than that of a Conair I purchased and ended up returning ($30). However I do not use a diffuser and have fine, straight hair.
posted by misskaz at 9:03 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]

My hairdresser had a Dyson hair dryer with diffuser that she would use to dry my curly hair and it did an amazing job. It's $$$, but I have seriously considered buying one for myself.
posted by mogget at 9:05 AM on February 23 [3 favorites]

I don’t know that it’s necessarily about the actual price because you can find decent hair dryers in the 30-50 range that have features that work - for me definitely, ceramic hair dryers help control frizz! (I have an old Revlon one, it’s probably not made anymore so can’t rec it.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 9:06 AM on February 23

I have a BaByliss hair dryer that I think I paid about $50 for on sale. Diffusers look to run about $20 to go with. It's a better, longer lasting hair dryer than my Amika hair dryer, which was definitely expensive, and which didn't do anything appearing to be a better job.
posted by Medieval Maven at 10:02 AM on February 23

You definitely want an ionic hairdryer. I can't explain why, but they do a better job of drying your hair without drying it (out). I've been happy with this one, and I use it only with the diffuser for my curly/wavy hair.
posted by DrGail at 10:46 AM on February 23

I think a more expensive hair dryer does make a difference. I have thick type 2B/C hair, and a few years ago I went to a professional beauty supply store and bought a Twin Turbo hair dryer. It does make a difference in terms of reducing frizz and drying my hair faster than a cheaper dryer, or ones I've used at hotels.
posted by Lycaste at 10:47 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]

I have a Rusk hairdryer that I bought from my stylist many years ago and it still works great. Using other hairdryers when on vacation made me realize how much better my 100 dollar hairdryer is than cheap models: faster drying, which for me means less overheating of hair and less frizz. I especially like the COLD button that you can use for a quick blast of cold air to help keep the cuticle flat and set a wave or curl. Mine isn't made any more, but this one is similar: Rusk CTC Lite.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:45 PM on February 23

(I don't use it every day, but I have had my Rusk for over ten years now.)
posted by oneirodynia at 12:48 PM on February 23

Agree that an ionic hair dryer is the way to go, and not terribly expensive. I remember being really surprised how much smoother and shiner my hair was when I switched from a cheap dryer to a CHI. I have the Dyson now which is probably out of your price range, but if you ever want to splurge, I'm obsessed with mine. Dries my super thick hair way faster than the CHI.
posted by radioamy at 2:56 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]

I have a Dyson, and it's very worth it IMO — I use it with the diffuser mostly, and it is faster, better and also much quieter!!! I don't think the Harry Josh ones are worth it, based on trying it a few times, but I looooove my Dyson.
posted by Charity Garfein at 4:02 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]

I have a Parlux which was $250AUD and was, for me, worth it. It got my (fine, wavy) hair dry much faster and much smoother both with a ceramic round brush (slow blow dry with hair sectioned) and with a nylon paddle brush (speed blow dry, tip hair upside down use paddle brush to pull through hair side to side). Before the Parlux I had a random off-brand one and was very firmly in the “it’s just hot air how different can it be?!” camp. But honestly, it was very different and made blow drying much easier as well as smoother results.
posted by t0astie at 6:01 PM on February 23

Years ago, my stylist convinced me to buy a Chi hair dryer, and it made a noticeable difference in the frizziness level of my hair. She explained that for frizz, the temperature of the air is critical; that is, a dryer that can get hotter but doesn't blow as hard is better than a dryer that has a strong airflow but doesn't get as hot.
posted by neushoorn at 12:54 AM on February 26

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