Finding the right dryer changes everything. This graphic was created to help you figure out what you need for your specific hair type or any issues you may have such as frizz, flatness or dryness. In each of the circles above you’ll find hair type or issue above the solution. You likely be a combination, like frizzy & thick or flat & fine, so make a solution checklist and then find the dryer that best fits the bill.
Here is a little additional info for each circle above.
- DRY: You’ll notice a lot of the newer dryers say “tourmaline” on the box. Tourmaline is a stone that’s crushed up and used to coat the inside of the dryer or the dryer may have parts made of tourmaline. Tourmaline is known to boost the production of negative ions causing hair not only to dry faster (like an ionic dryer), but more so to retain moisture and smooth dry damaged hair. Think of tourmaline like “ionic 2.0”!
- OILY: You may want to skip the fancy ionic and tourmaline dryers if you have oily hair and go with a regular dryer because all that smoothing, sealing and shining could potentially enhance the appearance of oily hair. If you do want the benefits of ionic/tourmaline features because your ends are dry, just avoid blowdrying the root area if possible.
- FINE/NORMAL: You don’t want to overdo it with heat on fine or normal hair so the number one concern will be temperature control. Avoid using it on high heat when you don’t have to. Medium heat should always do the trick for getting fine hair dried. Infrared dryers are interesting for fine hair, too. From all the info we gathered, it uses heat in a laser-like way to dry the hair from the inside out. I can’t speak for long term just yet, but I can say that the infrared feature did make the hair dry very quickly without “cooking” it and created zero steam.
- COARSE/THICK: At the end of the day, you simply need to cut drying time for coarse/thick hair. An ionic dryer will cut down your time while the tourmaline feature will help enhance shine and retain moisture.
- CURLY/WAVY: This is meant for those who want to actually wear their natural curl or wave. You absolutely must have a diffuser attachment if you have waves or curls. Diffusers allow you to dry your hair without stirring it up, causing frizz and disrupting the natural pattern. Negative ions from the ionic feature will help it dry a little quicker. Curly hair naturally lacks some moisture so you want the tourmaline feature to h.
- STRAIGHT: You’ll want non-ionic if you plan on wearing your straight hair straight. It’s hard to get any volume or texture in super straight hair otherwise. If you have straight hair and want to wear it with more volume, wavy or curled, see “flat”.
- NATURAL TEXTURE: When it comes to natural texture, I’m a fan maintaining health always. The only way to go is ceramic + ionic. A ceramic dryer puts off a softer, more even heat which prevents hot spots when blowdrying. The negative ions in the ionic dryer will help break up water molecules faster and dry hair quicker without causing breakage.
- TRAVEL OR WEAK WRISTS: You’ll definitely want something light weight. The weight difference between the ac motor and the dc motor is often significant. Professional blowdryers usually use an ac motor which is much heavier. If you travel a lot or have any problems with your wrists, opt for the lighter weight dc motor.
- FRIZZ: To eliminate frizz, you must have a concentrator, aka: nozzle. There’s no way around it. Blowdryer air comes out in a circle pattern when the nozzle isn’t attached. Even though it feels like it’s coming straight out it’s not. This causes the hair to stir up and that’s not going to help eliminate frizz. You need the nozzle on the end of your dryer, which will send all the air in one direction, helping the cuticles lay down flatter. Ionic + tourmaline features will help seal and smooth much more than a regular dryer. I didn’t put this on there but also try and make sure your dryer has a cold button. Once you smooth out the frizz, go over it with cold air to set in the smoothness you’ve just worked so hard for!
- FLAT: MORE WIND, MORE WIND! The only way to win the war on flatness (other than product) is more wind. As I mentioned before, the ac motor is the more professional motor so you’ll definitely need to make sure you get that. No matter how much mousse or thickening products you put in your hair, you’ll need wind power get the hair up and lifted off the scalp.
- SAVING: Again, avoid the ac motor if you’re trying to save. An ac motor is the one in the big bad heavy duty hair dryers that the pros use. Instead, find one with a dc motor. A dc motor is not as durable, so you’ll be replacing it more frequently but if you can’t throw down the $100+ to invest in an ac motor, a dc motor is fine and will totally do the trick.
- SPENDING: An ac motor is way to go if you’re looking for a blowdryer that will last a long time. If you can afford it, splurge and get one. The motor doesn’t get hot and turn off like the cheaper models. NOTE: there’s always an exception to the rule– there are some great dryers out there with dc motors so always read reviews before making a final decision!
PS: Sorry the typo last week. The list of best blow dryers goes up this Friday, not last Friday (calendar confusion on my part!). Once you’re all up to speed on what you need for your hair type/issues from this post, it will be easy to select the right dryer on this Friday’s post! xo