Beauty Innovation: The Best Blowdryers on the Market
by Brittany Fischer
Man oh man. I have been using the same old hairdryer for years, and I thought it was the kind of thing where if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Literally. If it wasn’t physically broken, I thought I was in the clear. I figured that all kinds of heat damaged hair equally, so why not use my trusty old Conair 1875 Ion Shine?
But lately I’ve been hearing people talking about their amazing new luxury hairdryers, and how much of a difference they’ve made. I finally decided to look into it for myself (and for you). As my hairdresser was working his magic on my locks last night, I decided to grill him. Are these pricey, high-tech dryers worth it, or are they really, just . . . a bunch of “hot air”? (Pretty excited about that pun, I’m not gonna lie.)
According to Andrew, “This is one of the few cases where I truly believe that you get what you pay for.” He basically told me, if your hair dryer cost under $60, toss it NOW. Here’s why: cheapo hair dryers tend to get very hot, but they don’t produce a very strong “blow.” Thus, it takes longer to dry your hair, meaning more heat damage. You’re basically cooking your hair: stop it! The higher-quality your hairdryer, the less time you spend drying your hair. The less time you spend drying your hair, the less you’re damaging it, and the more time you have for other, more important things. Like lip liner. (Does anyone have time for lip liner? That’ll be the day.)
Now, there are some hairdryers on the market that actually claim make your hair smoother, shinier, and healthier. This is the kind of thing where you need to follow the “*” to the bottom of the box. What they are actually saying is that your hair will be healthier than it would be if you used a cheapo hairdryer on the reg. If you really want to show your mane some love, let it air dry every now and then, or just don’t wash it so often.
One more thing: Andrew said that anything over $250 is just cray cray. You only get what you pay for to an extent. Fancy features like infrared light, Tourmaline technology, and negative ions are not total baloney, but they will only take you so far. Some dryers even have blue, ultra violet light to “kill bacteria.” Seems excessive, no? How much bacteria do we have in our hair right after we wash it? Andrew warned me not to be fooled by scientific malarkey. Stay focused: the key is to get a powerful dryer that gets the job done as quickly as possible, and preferably one that has a medium heat setting (not just hot and cool), which is a great option for someone who wants to minimize damage but still desires sleek, silky results.
Alright, here we go. The universe of high-tech hairdryers is expansive, as it turns out, so it took me a few solid hours of creeping around on the World Wide Web to decide upon my top picks. These are my top three dryers:
1. Anyone who knows anything about hairdryers has heard of it: the Super Solano ($130), which “delivers extreme power to dry hair, up to 35% faster than conventional dryers.” My hairdresser says he’s been using this for years and years and has no plans to switch it up. Fans say it drys frizzy hair so well that they don’t have to follow with a straightener. Amazing. The only con here is that it’s notoriously heavy, but I kind of like that. Why not force yourself to get a nice little arm workout in each morning? (I’ll do anything to avoid the gym.)
2. The T3 Featherweight 2 Dryer ($200) claims to be, “healthier than air drying.” What?! I had to investigate. They say this dryer uses “T3 Tourmaline®, a patented infusion process that emits negative ions and infrared heat for faster, healthier drying.” In addition, ionic technology “breaks down water molecules for faster drying and helps smooth the hair cuticle,” while ceramic infrared energy “heats hair evenly from the inside out for faster drying and lasting results.” What do we think, people? Are we buying this? Even though my guru of a hairstylist specifically told me that this is basically BS . . . I gotta say, it’s working on me. I’m seriously tempted. All who review this dryer say they don’t know how they ever lived without it. Oh, and as you may have guessed from the name, this one is a little bit of a lighter load.
3. The Drybar Buttercup ($190) is cute and yellow. I love it all already. Plus, I love Drybar, and I trust that they know a good hairdryer when they see one. I mean, these people don’t do anything besides blowouts. They say this guy has, “an ultrapowerful motor to get the job done fast and efficiently, and conditioning nano beads to seal cuticles, leaving hair noticeably silky, smooth, and frizz-free.” No nonsense here, and I’m into it. One reviewer who has tried it all wrote, “This dryer is powerful and leaves hair full of volume which even the T3 didn’t do!”
Anyone else have an incredible dryer? I’ve read mixed reviews about dryers by CHI, Jose Eber, Harry Josh, and Babyliss, and I would love to get your input. Also–has anyone tried the Sedu Icon Privé, sold at Neiman Marcus for $700? I’m curious to know: does it also wash your hair, apply your makeup, and make you coffee?