The hair dryers Mumsnetters swear by
As the inimitable Fleabag once said, “Hair is everything. We wish it wasn't, so we could actually think about something else occasionally. But it is.”
The right hair dryer can mean the difference between a good hair day and a bad hair day, so, whether you're looking for something simple to slot into your hectic morning routine, or you want a professional model with loads of styling attachments, these recommendations from Mumnsetters will help you find your good hair day weapon of choice.
Things to consider before buying a hair dryer
- What's your hair like?
Is your hair straight? Then you'll probably want an ionic hair dryer that will leave it looking shiny and sleek. If your hair is curly, however, then you might want something that works well on low heat and drys it gently, so you get definition but don't end up with an accidental bouffant. Frizzy hair is best dried with an ionic dryer too, while your can add volume to fine hair if you attach a narrow concentrator nozzle to your hair dryer. Whatever your hair type, we reckon the right hair dryer for you might well be among the Mumsnetters' favourites below. Of course, if you're using heat on your hair regularly, make sure you restore it with a hair mask.
- How much do you want to spend?
If you just want to give your hair a post-wash blast before you dash out of the house in the morning then you could probably survive with a fairly basic hair dyer, that just has standard heat and air-flow settings along with a concentrator nozzle and diffuser. You also might be prepared to pay more, though, for a sophisticated model that will have your hair dry and bouncy in record time or one which has detailed settings for your specific hair type. Either way, you're likely to use your hair dryer several times a week so if possible it is worth investing in a good one that will last.
This might not sound (ahem) like a significant factor but, honestly, using some hair dyers can feel like you're standing on an airport runway next to a jet that's about to take off. Well, sort of. Noise could be an issue if, for example, you have young children and you're trying to cram in a bit of grooming time while they sleep (although, see the Mumsnetter tip below about white noise). The cheaper ones tend to be the noisiest, although there are exceptions, so bear that in mind before you buy.
Always check the wattage on a hair dryer as that's your guide to how hot it can get. A hair dryer with high wattage will dry your hair quickly, so if you have early starts and a lot to do in the morning then that might be best for you. The average tends to 1500-1800w, and most people can get by on that, although there are plenty of models out there at 2000w plus (those blowtorch-like ones your hairdresser uses could be as much as 3000w).
- Weight and portability
Hair dryers vary in weight. The lighter models start at around 500g while the heavier ones can weigh twice as much as that. If you travel a lot for work, say, then you might want a lighter model that you can fit into your luggage (or perhaps get a travel hair dryer as well). Also, if you have very long or thick hair that takes a lot of blow-drying, then consider a lighter dryer that won't make your arms ache.
1. Parlux hair dryer and brush set
At just 450g, this light and nifty piece of kit is popular with Mumsnetters, especially those whose hair needs a bit of taming. It is ionic and boasts an airflow of 79 cubic metres per hour which should speed up drying times. Its anti-heat casing ensures it doesn’t get too hot and will remain comfortable to hold throughout each use. Not only does its lightness mean it’s easy to use, it also means it’s quiet. The manufacturers hail it as “essential for healthy, static-free hair” and several Mumsnetters agree wholeheartedly. In fact, one even says it helps her baby to sleep. You can’t argue with that.
“I love my Parlux. It was about £70 but has lasted for years. It dries my hair as well as creating 'white noise' for ages so the baby will nap!”
“I got a Parlux following after it was recommended on Mumsnet. I love it. I have big wavy/curly hair that can get dry and straw-like. But now it's pretty shiny. After using it for a few weeks, my hairdresser commented on how my hair was less dry.”
“Absolutely up there with the best investments you'll ever make. Always worth shelling out for decent tools. Investing in good straighteners, hair dryer and tweezers has saved me from the mad professor look and, for that, I am grateful!"Buy it now from Amazon
2. Dyson Supersonic hair dryer
In the early-2000s, Dyson revolutionised the vacuum cleaner. Now this imaginative firm is doing extraordinary things with the hair dryer. For a start, the Dyson Supersonic, with its elegant design, is more like owning a new piece of tech than just another hair dryer. The details give the Supersonic its edge – three speed settings, four heat settings and the all-important cold shot to set your hair after styling – but isn't fiddly and should be easy to use. Great for fast drying, its negative ions banish static. Of course, the questions will be asked – can a hair dryer be worth this price? The consensus among Mumsnetters is that, if you can afford it, then it's worth it.
“Buy a Dyson! Honestly, it's so worth the money. I've had mine nearly a year and it's so much better than anything I've owned before.”
“I love my Dyson. I wash and dry my hair daily and I have a lot of hair so need it to be fast. That's my main priority."
“It is the same level of power as my Diva and drys in a similar time so, for three times the price, you might initially think it isn't worth it. But I feel like it is less damaging to my hair and the condition of my hair has improved since using it. I also find it easier to style my hair. I don't spend my money on expensive blow dries so I feel I can justify the price as it enables me to give myself a better blow dry. I would recommend if you can afford it.”
“The Dyson is absolutely fantastic and worth every penny. Saves me so much time and my hair stays the way I want it!”Buy it now from Amazon
3. ETI Turbodryer 3500 Professional Salon Hair Dryer
Two speeds, four heats and a salon-length cord (three metres) that'll come in handy if you need to move about/keep an eye on a toddler while you dry your hair. In fact, several Mumsnetters said they were recommended their ETI by their hairdresser. The four heat settings offer a healthy degree of differentiation in temperature, it comes with two nozzles to adjust drying time and airflow, and it has a one year guarantee. It's also available in five colours, in case the classic black isn't for you. As you can see from the Mumsnetter comments below, the ETI inspires devotion in some of its users.
“My ETI was recommended by my hairdresser and has lasted five years so far. Fab”
“I love, love, love my ETI. I've had it about six or seven years and it's still going strong. I bought it after using one in the gym, and my hair looked amazing after that. I later noticed that my then-hairdresser also used an ETI. As does my current one.”
“I got a horse's mane in the great genetic lottery. Since I got my ETI dryer a couple of months ago, my hair has been (for me) swishy and shiny. I love it.”Buy it now from Amazon
4. The Diva Professional Styling Ultima 5000
Light and with an ergonomically-designed handle, which makes holding it for longer periods comfortable, the Diva is used by hairdressers in fast-paced salons and at home by those who want to get their hair dry as quickly as possible, while still retaining shine and bounce. At 2000 watts, it's a powerful machine, but the noise reduction system means you'll still be able to hear yourself think while you dry. This one comes with a styling wand attachment, two concentrator nozzles and boasts four heat and two speed settings, as well as a cold shot. Not bad for the price.
“Diva are fantastic. I've had mine about eight years. When I dropped it onto a tiled floor, I bought a GHD as a replacement thinking it was superior, but was very unimpressed by comparison and took it back to John Lewis and bought another Diva from the local hair supplies.”
“I love my Diva 3600 professional, I bought it at my hairdressers as it's what she uses herself.”Buy it now from Amazon
5. GHD Aura
The Aura is one of the lightest (476g) around, in part because it features an external power adapter, so the weight is shifted out of the hairy dryer itself. It's fairly quiet too and the difference between the heat settings is noticeable (yes, we know, it should be – but it's not always the case). It boasts protective technology which projects a stronger stream of air and helps you dry your hair quickly at the same time as styling with precision. Some users have said that it left them with a finish so sleek they could cut out the straighteners. The tailored nozzle offers a safe-to-touch temperature level, so roots can be tended to without burning.
“I have the GHD Aura hair dryer – it cost £140. I bought it on a whim (with some money I won) and it is an amazing hair dryer. My hair is fine and fairly straight but the condition is so much better and my hairdresser has noticed too.”
“I love my ghd one, can tell the difference if I use my mum's. I have very fine hair and feel, because the ghd is more powerful, I get more ummph!”Buy it now
6. BaByliss Big Hair
Big hair is beautiful hair – but it hasn't always been easy to achieve. If your hair is thick or curly then adding too much volume can leave you with a difficult-to-manage bouffant. On the other hand, it can be hard to give fine hair enough long-lasting bounce and body. Fortunately, BaByliss has invented this wonderful product. Designed for use on hair that has already been rough-dried, it has an ionic rotating brush, a large ceramic barrel that adds fullness, and a mixture of natural boar and nylon bristles that create smoothness. With a little bit of practice, you can easily achieve bouncy, glamorous blow-dries without going to the salon.
“BaByliss Big Hair is great. There are a couple of sizes. I used to have the larger 50mm one, but then bought the smaller 42mm one. I use it all the time, and it suits my hair which is just shoulder length, and fine. It really does give a more professional look – sleek and smooth.”
“BaByliss Big Hair has changed my life.”
“Another vote for BaByliss big hair – my hair looks so much better using it! I have the one with interchangeable heads.”Buy it from Amazon now
7. TRESemme 5542DU 2200W Power Dryer
Now here's one from the cheaper end of the market which is nevertheless considered reliable and efficient by Mumsnetters. At 2200 watts, it's all about power and fast drying. The cord is 2.4 metres long, it comes with a concentrator nozzle and a removable rear filter for easy cleaning. It has two heat settings, two speeds and a cool setting. If value-for-money is what you want then this is well worth a try, especially as it includes a three year guarantee. The tourmaline-ceramic and ionic technology, combined with affordable price, should leave you frizz free and quids in.
“Tresseme Power Dryer 5542DU dries my daughter's thick curly hair in about 10 minutes!”Buy it now from Amazon
8. T3 Featherweight 2
This one, which is currently reduced by more than a third of its price, is powered by a T3 Featherweight Dryer. The fan generates a high volume of ion-enriched air that exits the dryer in a wide cone shape at a soft, gentle speed, drying large sections of your hair quickly. The negative ions in the airflow cancel static and quickly seal the cuticle, which helps your hair retain natural moisture, reduces frizz and enhances shine. The stylish design means it looks good while the tilted handle and weight-balanced shape make it comfortable to hold.
“I have a T3 Featherweight dryer which has lasted me eight years and still going strong (my sisters borrow it when they come to visit and always comment on how good it is).”Buy it now from Amazon
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