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Best hairdryers 2018: The 5 BEST hairdryers from £50-£350

There’s a lot more to a good hairdryer than a power fan and heater. Here we’ll take you through some of the features you should look out for when buying a new hairdryer. We’ve also ranked, and reviewed this year’s best hairdryers.

Best Hairdryers 2018: Quick guide

If you haven’t got time to read the full article. Here are the 6 things you need to look out for when buying a hairdryer.

  • Make sure it has an Ionizer
  • Power between 1600-2000W
  • Weighs between 500g-1kg
  • 2+ speed settings; 3 heat settings; Cool Shot mode.
  • 3m cable
  • Noise = <85dB

The 5 BEST hairdryers 2018

1. Dyson Supersonic – The BEST hairdryer you can buy

Best Hairdryers - Dyson Supersonic

John Lewis price: £299

Amazon price: £349

The Dyson Supersonic ticks all the boxes from a technical point of view. The motor powering Supersonic is unique too. It’s Dyson’s new V9 digital motor that spins at 110,000 revolutions per minute. This gives it good power and Dyson also claims it achieves an “inaudible frequency” beyond the range of human ears thanks to the use of 13 blades rather than the traditional 11. Dyson has positioned the motor, and the bulk of its 700g, weight in the handle. This creates a balanced and non-top-heavy feel, making it comfortable to hold aloft for the several minutes needed to dry your hair. Users have commented on how good the Dyson is to use, reporting that it’s twice as quick as their previous hairdryer. It also gets favourable feedback regarding how shiny and unfrizzy it leaves hair.

  • Power: 1600W
  • Ionizer: Yes
  • Cable: 2.7m
  • Weight: 700g
  • Settings: 3 speed; 4 heat, including a Cool Shot mode

Click here to read our Dyson Supersonic vs ghd Aura comparison review.

2. ghd Aura – The BEST sub-£200 hairdryer you can buyBest Hairdryer - ghd Aura

Amazon price: £155

John Lewis price: £145

The ghd Aura loaded with intelligent features and delivers a salon-quality blow dry every time. Its Cool-Wall Nozzle is a new feature that keeps the outer casing and nozzle cool during use. It’s designed to let users work much closer to the hair and scalp. It also debuts something it’s calling Laminair technology, this produces 42% more concentrated air (compared to previous models). Again, this has been designed to allow more precision when drying hair letting you focus on one section of hair without disturbing other areas.

Driving the air flow is 1600W motor. This is complemented by a ceramic/ionic heating element. The ceramic element is used to prevent the unit from getting too hot which allows users to get more precise with a hairdryer. This is combined with ionic technology. Hairdryers use ionic technology to produce millions of ions which are then used to break down water molecules faster. ghd claims the use of these technologies makes hair up to 40% shinier than previous models.

  • Power: 1600W
  • Ionizer: Yes
  • Cable: 4m
  • Weight: 1.54kg (Most of this weight is in the power, which is separate from the gun)
  • Settings: 3 speed; 3 heat, including a Cool Shot mode

Click here to read our ghd Aura review.

3. Parlux Powerlight – An excellent professional & lightweight hairdryer

Best Hairdryers - Parlux Powerlight review main

Weighing just 452g, this is a remarkable hairdryer. Its performance is equal to other blow dryers that weigh twice as much. And cost twice as much too. Powering the Parlux Powerlight is an impressive 2150W motor. As we explain below, a motor’s wattage isn’t everything. But in this case, its a fair barometer of the hairdryer’s performance which has been measured at 79 cubic meters per hour.

This hairdryer isn’t simply a gale force of the wind. It boasts a ceramic heating element which regulates air temperature almost as consistently as the digital motors you’ll find in more expensive hairdryers. It’s easy to use too. It comes with two-speed settings and three heat settings: medium; high; and Cool Shot (cold). That’s it. A great hairdryer with a great price.

Amazon price: £107.95

  • Power: 2150W
  • Ionizer: Yes
  • Cable: 3m
  • Weight: 452g
  • Settings: 2 speed; 3 heat, including a Cool Shot mode

Click here to read our full Parlux Powerlight review.

4. ghd Air – Professional-Grade Hairdryer For Less Than £100

Best Hairdryer - ghd Air

Amazon price: £100

This ghd Air is the best hairdryer you can buy for under £100. It’s a fast and quiet hairdryer that gives you perfectly-styled and shiny hair. It uses a combination of a 2100W motor and an Ionic heating element to dry hair up to twice as fast as a standard hairdryer.  The 2100W motor produces instant hot air and a powerful airflow, creating perfect atmospheric conditions to dry your hair quickly. The Ionic heating element creates millions of negative ions designed to break down water molecules faster and while reducing frizziness.

For an extra £16 ghd offers users the Air Style Kit. This is a package deal the bundles in the following with the ghd Air. Wide nozzle, 2 x sectioning clips, ghd air diffuser, ghd vented radial brush size 3, ghd air hairdryer dust bag. If you want a quality hairdryer with a mid-range price tag, the ghd Air is the product for you. It’s fast, quiet and will leave your hair looking professionally blowdried every time

  • Power: 2100W
  • Ionizer: Yes
  • Cable: 3m
  • Weight: 599g
  • Settings: 2 speed; 3 heat, including a Cool Shot mode

Click here to read our ghd Air review.

5. Babyliss 3Q – The BEST budget hairdryer

Best Hairdryer - Babyliss 3Q

Amazon price: £69.99

Babyliss has been manufacturing hairdryers for over 50 years and this is its latest flagship hairdryer. Powering the Babyliss 3Q is a 2200W power digital motor, this new motor monitors and regulates the hairdryer’s heat and airflow with precision. Alongside the digital motor its a feature Babyliss is calling Super Ionic Conditioning, which in layman’s terms just means a modified ionizer.

The Babyliss 3Q is reasonably quiet, but some way off the muted levels of the Dyson Supersonic. Where the 3Q’s sound differs the most is the pitch it runs at. It’s an octave or two above most hairdryers. The helps you hear other conversational/vocal tones in the room while drying. At 510g it’s one of the lightest high-end hairdryers you can buy. It’s 3-meter power cord to be in the sweet spot of long enough to reach across the room, while not being so long that it becomes a nuisance.

  • Power: 2200W
  • Ionizer: Yes
  • Cable: 3m
  • Weight: 510g
  • Settings: 2 speed; 3 heat, including a Cool Shot mode

Click here to read our Babyliss 3Q review.

Best Hairdryers 2018: Features you should look for

Ionizer: All good modern hairdryers should come with an ionizer. Ionic elements create millions of negatively charged ions and this is a good feature to have in hairdryers for two reasons. Firstly, the ions help break down water molecules, meaning hairdryers can dry hair faster. Secondly, they reduce static buildup in hair, this makes ionizers perfect for reducing frizz and creating a shinier finish.

Power Wattage: As a basic rule, the higher the wattage, the more powerful the hairdryer. Powerful hairdryers will produce more heat and faster airflow than less weaker ones. If you’re looking for a professional-grade blow dry, look for hairdryers that are close to, or above, 2000W.

Remember, power isn’t everything. A powerful, but cheap, hairdryer will not produce the same results and high-end units. The power needs to be controlled. A hairdryer that kicks out temperatures that are too hot at the speed of a force 10 gale, will not help you blow dry your hair in the style you want.

Weight: The ideal weight for a hairdryer is between 500g and 1kg. It’s a bit of balancing act though. Well-built hairdryers, with good features, will naturally weigh more. However, as the 700g Dyson Supersonic and 510g Babyliss 3Q have demonstrated, they don’t have to be overly heavy.

Heat and speed settings: Good hairdryers will offer (at least) two-speed settings and three heat settings, this should be combined with a Cold Shot button that blasts out air at around room temperature. The Cold Shot button is designed to be used when drying the final 10% of hair to maximise hold. A variation of speed and heat settings will allow users to quickly dry hair while turning things down for patches of hair sections that require a more delicate touch.

Cable length: We find that 3m is the sweet spot for cord lengths. This is long enough to stretch across most rooms to allow users to pitch themselves in front of a mirror. Any longer and the cable can be a nuisance to keep under control at shorter distances; and shorter and you may struggle to reach where you need to in your room.

Noise: A common complaint with domestic hairdryers is that they’re too loud. This is caused by powerful motors. Good hairdryers will mute some of this noise with well-designed units. Others, like the Dyson, have tried to create motors that produce a whirl at higher octaves – making them seem quieter to the human ear while not clashing with conversational tones. If this is an important feature for you, we suggest looking for a hairdryer that doesn’t exceed 85dB.

Attachments: The majority of hairdryers will keep costs down by not bundling their devices with any attachments. Diffusers and different-sized nozzles will often be an additional purchase.

See also: The best home IPL hair removal devices.