The Best Hair Dryers For Curly Hair

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Elite Daily/Amazon

Everyone needs a good hair dryer, whether you blow dry your hair after every wash or for special occasions only. "With curly hair, you definitely want to invest in a good blow dryer," confirms hairstylist Sophie Rose Gutterman, who spoke to Elite Daily for this article. To find the best hair dryers for curly hair, Gutterman advises that you look for a few key features. "The best ones will usually have heat control and a cool shot button," says Gutterman, who notes that the more heat settings your blow dryer has, the easier it will be to minimize damage. "The best way to dry curly hair is with a diffuser," Gutterman adds of another must-have feature. While some hair dryers will come with a diffuser attachment, often times you'll need to purchase one separately — particularly with high-end dryers.

The Expert

Sophie Rose Gutterman is a Los Angeles-based celebrity hairstylist. She has more than 10 years of professional experience that encompasses editorial work, campaigns, and red carpet events.

How To Blow Dry Curly Hair

To maintain your hair's health, always apply a heat protectant before you even turn on your blow dryer. Gutterman shares that curly hair types will want to apply any product while their hair is still wet, before they begin blow drying. "Keep in mind that if the hair is frizzy before you start drying it, it will still be frizzy when it's dry," she says, adding, "Making sure the curls are defined prior to diffusing is so important." Gutterman's product of choice is the Zotos Professional All About Curls Bouncy Cream. "It defines curls without the crunch that other gels typically have, leaving your hair soft to the touch," she says. To further help prevent damage, Gutterman advises that you use a low heat setting when blow drying your hair. "And try not to run your fingers through your curls until they are 100% dry," she adds, suggesting that you use your hands to gently scrunch your hair while simultaneously diffusing to further accentuate your curls.

Shop The Best Hair Dryers For Curly Hair

In a hurry? Here are the best hair dryers for curly hair:

  1. The Overall Best: T3 AireLuxe
  2. Best Hair Dryer With A Built In Diffuser: Bed Head Curlipops Diffuser Dryer
  3. Best Hair Dryer Under $50: Hot Tools Ionic Ceramic Salon Hair Dryer
  4. Best Budget-Friendly Hair Dryer: Conair Full Body And Shine Pro Hair Dryer
  5. Best Hair Dryer For Travel: CHI Advanced Ionic Compact Dryer

1. Expert’s Pick: The Overall Best Hair Dryer For Curly Hair

"I love this dryer because it has heat control," Gutterman says of the T3 AireLuxe, which she personally uses to blow dry her curls. "The heat control helps minimize unnecessary heat, retaining more moisture for less damage," she says, adding that the dryer has five heat settings as well as a cool shot button. The lightweight dryer uses an ionic generator to help promote smoother, shinier hair, and it comes with two concentrator nozzle attachments. Gutterman says that you'll also want to purchase the brand's SoftTouch 3 Diffuser attachment for your curls, which is compatible with the AireLuxe, and will help you achieve both definition and volume.

Relevant Review: "This is a great replacement for my old T3 hair dryer that my family has used for the past 8 years, and wow this one dries hair so much better, very quickly and efficiently, another great hair dryer from a trusted brand, the only brand my family will ever use. It's pricey but it's worth it at any price. Very lightweight and maneuverable, does not fatigue my arm, and comes with a useful set of attachments for added versatility.”

Heat Settings: Five Speed Settings: Three Diffuser Attachment Included: No

2. Best Hair Dryer With A Built In Diffuser

Bed Head’s Curlipops Diffuser Dryer was specifically designed for natural curls and waves. Thanks to its super-strong motor, it has a higher airflow that helps to speed up drying time, which is especially helpful for those with thicker hair. It also uses tourmaline ionic technology to lock in moisture, leaving curls with more shine and less flyaways. There are three heat settings on this dryer, as well as a cool shot button and two speed settings for a more customizable blow dry. It's also a favorite among Amazon shoppers, having been awarded more than 7,000 five-star ratings thus far.

Relevant Review: "If you're a curly girl, then you know how important it is to find a good dryer and diffuser. It can be tricky finding a diffuser that works and fits great on your blow dryer. I was so excited when I found this one that combines it all. The entire dryer is lightweight making it easy to use. The heat is amazing and without the extension of a regular blow dryer, the heat gets to your hair quicker allowing a fast dry time (even with thick hair). This will be so great to travel with as it's only one less bulky piece compared to a blow dryer and diffuser separately. I'm so glad I found this diffuser dryer!”

Heat Settings: Three Speed Settings: Two Diffuser Attachment Included: Yes

3. Best Hair Dryer Under $50

If you want a salon-quality hair dryer that doesn't require purchasing any separate attachments, try this Hot Tools Ionic Ceramic Salon Hair Dryer. The lightweight dryer comes with a concentrator nozzle for blow drying your hair out straight, as well as a diffuser attachment for keeping your natural curls defined. This versatile dryer uses ceramic to heat the hair more evenly and ionic technology to reduce unwanted frizz. You also get three heat settings and three speed settings with this one, in addition to a cool shot button that helps set your style.

Relevant Review: "As a curly-haired person, I have tried many hair dryers without any satisfaction until now. This one is perfection. [My] curls are frizz-free and hold all day."

Heat Settings: Three Speed Settings: Three Diffuser Attachment Included: Yes

4. Best Budget-Friendly Hair Dryer

There are more than 11,000 five-star ratings on Amazon for this drugstore hair dryer. The Conair Full Body And Shine Pro Hair Dryer comes with concentrator nozzle and diffuser attachments for more styling versatility. Despite its lower price tag, it doesn't skimp on key features: In addition to three heat settings, three speed settings, and a cool shot button, the dryer uses ionic technology and a higher airflow to increase shine while cutting down on drying time.

Relevant Review: "Professional grade dryer that gave my curly hair fantastic results. The diffuser attaches easily and made my curls look perfectly defined. Very powerful dryer that gets the job done quickly. […]"

Heat Settings: Three Speed Settings: Three Diffuser Attachment Included: Yes

5. Best Hair Dryer For Travel

Whereas full-size dryers can weigh more than 2 pounds, the CHI Advanced Ionic Compact Dryer is super lightweight at just 1 pound. A diffuser attachment and a concentrator nozzle are included with this dryer, and it features three heat settings, a cool shot button, and two speed settings to better customize your blow dry. CHI uses ceramic technology and an ionic generator to heat the hair evenly while keeping flyaways and static from messing with your curls

Relevant Review: "I love this dryer. It has cut my curly hair drying time [to] 30 minutes or less. It is great as the diffuser attachment comes with it. [...]"

Heat Settings: Three Speed Settings: Two Diffuser Attachment Included: Yes


Sophie Rose Gutterman, Los Angeles-based celebrity hairstylist