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Last updated: 30 March 2017

A hair dryer is an essential piece of hair care equipment for anyone who wants to tame their mane quickly, effectively and with minimal fuss. We lab test and review the latest models to help you find the best hair dryer for you. Our buying guide will tell you what features to look out for, and how we test explains our testing rigour.

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Our hair dryers review covers popular brands commonly found in department stores and stocked by hair dresser suppliers. Our expert tester gives every hair dryer a thorough workout to help find the models that:

  • dry quickly
  • offer a range of airflow speeds and temperatures
  • are quietest

We also put the hair dryers through a user trial to get an idea of how easy they are to use. And our Recommended list will help you see quickly which models come out on top.

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Brand

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List of brands we tested in this review.

Price

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This is the manufacturers recommended retail price.

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Drying rate score

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This test measures how quickly each hair dryer will dry your hair. It accounts for 60% of the performance score.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0

Features

Number of concentrator attachments

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This narrows and concentrates the airflow to where you want it. It's designed for spot-drying and controlled styling.

Number of heat settings

Number of speed settings

Cool shot

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Provides a burst of cool air and is supposed to be good for setting a style in place.

Turbo

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This feature increases airflow through the hair dryer to speed up drying.

Ionic

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It’s said to dry hair faster, retain moisture to keep hair healthy and smooth and create less static to reduce frizz.

Switch type

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Sliding switches are set in the handle and can be hard to use if they’re stiff, lack grip or don’t stick out enough. Rocker switches require you to push the raised end down. They can be easier to use but can be accidentally activated. 

Test results

Performance score

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The performance score is made up of drying rate (60%), airflow speed (20%) and temperature range (20%).

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Temperature range score

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This test measures the range of temperatures at the lowest and highest settings, 15cm from the front of the air outlet. This test accounts for 20% of the performance score. 

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0

Airflow speed score

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This test measures the range of airflow speed at the lowest and highest speed settings, 15cm from the front of the air outlet. This accounts for 20% of the performance score. 

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0

Ease of use score

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The ease of use score is made up of holding (25%), ease of styling (25%), ease of reading and understanding the markings (25%) and ease of operating the air speed and temperature controls while using the hair dryer (25%). 

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0

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Included in this review

Members-only access
  • Recommended
  • Overall score
  • Performance score
  • Ease of use score
  • Drying rate score
  • Airflow speed score
  • Temperature range score
  • Sound level (at 15cm distance, dB)
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Brand
  • Model
  • Availability
  • Price
  • Number of speed settings
  • Number of heat settings
  • Cool shot
  • Turbo
  • Ionic
  • Ceramic
  • Tourmaline
  • Switch type
  • Number of concentrator attachments
  • Diffuser attachment
  • Rated power (W)
  • Dimensions (L x W x D, mm)
  • Weight (g)
  • Origin
  • Contact
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