The Best Blow Dryer

Rusk W8less Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Hair Dryer

Our Top Pick for 2016: Rusk W8less Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Hair Dryer
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for $74.95*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

How often do we gaze enviously at the perfect blowouts sported by famous models and actresses, cursing own our hair for not being so voluminous, shiny, or smooth? We spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on salon visits and special products, but still our hair falls flat, or even worse, manifests into a nest of flyaways and frizz. So what’s the secret to a perfect blowout? Turns out a fabulous mane depends not only on the right products, but also the right hair dryer. That’s right, it might just be time to ditch your old dryer in favor of something more effective.

Table of contents

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Quiet
2000 Watt Motor
Lightweight
3 Heat Settings
Ion Generator
2200w Motor
2 Speeds
7 Heat And Speed Settings
Concentrator Nozzle
Double Screen/filter
8 Foot Power Cord
2 Speed And 3 Heat Settings
4 Year Warranty
Includes 1 Concentrator Nozzle
Cold Shot Button

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): Rusk W8less Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Hair Dryer

Rusk W8less Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Hair Dryer Gold Pick

View it on Amazon for $74.95*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerFrom one of the top names in professional hair care, the Rusk W8less Professional Ceramic Tourmaline Hair Dryer comes in ahead of the rest for its comfort, flexibility, and ability to deliver true salon-like results. The powerful 2000 watt motor helps dry hair quickly, while 7 heat and speed settings allow you to customize your blowout. Advanced tourmaline-infused ceramic technology delivers speed and shine while protecting hair from unnecessary heat damage.

Motor
Coming in at a powerful 2000 watts, this motor will allow you to dry your hair in half the time of many less powerful motors. As an added bonus, most users found that the motor was fairly quiet compared to other dryers they had used.

Weight
As you might assume from its name, this hair dryer weighs significantly less than many of its counterparts, making it comfortable to hold throughout your hair drying process. We’ve all been there: halfway through drying your hair, the muscles in your arm start to burn and cramp. This dryer offers significant relief for a comfortable experience, weighing it at just under 1 pound.

Settings
The W8less dryer offers 7 different setting combinations, with 3 speeds, 3 heat settings, and a cool shot. The wide range of heat and speed combinations makes it versatile for different hair types. Most users found that the highest heat setting wasn’t necessary to achieve their desired look, but was useful for those with extremely thick hair. The cool shot acts to seal the hair’s cuticle, which helps to set the style once you’re finished drying, and also adds shine.

Ceramic and Tourmaline
This dryer features a ceramic grill, which emits non-damaging infrared heat. The ceramic grill is infused with tourmaline, which emits infrared heat as well as negative ions. This combination dries gently but effectively for minimal damage to keep your hair softer and healthier, while ions eliminate frizz and add incredible shine.

Aesthetics
To complement its light weight, this dryer is also incredibly compact and convenient for travel. Its pearl white body is embellished with a subtle, custom cubic-print finish. The blue cool shot button is located directly above the heat and speed switches. It might be worth noting to some users that the concentrator nozzle is black as opposed to the white of the rest of the dryer.

Other Features
The W8less Pro comes with a concentrator nozzle attachment, which focuses the air on just the section you’re working on. This helps you to concentrate the heat on the section of the hair that you’re working on and prevents frizz on other sections. It also comes with an 8 ft. power cord, which is convenient for those hard to reach outlets. The back cover can be removed for easy cleaning of the filter, which is important to the longevity of a hair dryer.

Price
Although its list price is considerably higher at $199.99, The W8less Pro can be found online at Amazon for only $53.95. Considering its exceptional performance and longevity, at $54 this dryer is one of the best values on the market.

Warranty
Rusk offers a limited 2-year warranty on the W8less Pro. If the product is defective or damaged within the first 24 months of purchase due to a manufacturing error, they will either repair or replace the unit. Users who reviewed the product and received a replacement dryer were overall satisfied with Rusk’s customer service in handling returns.

Drawbacks
A few users mentioned that on the highest speed, the concentrator nozzle sometimes dislocated from the dryer. However, because most users did not have to use the highest setting, this was noted as a minor inconvenience and not a deal-breaker. Other users noted that this dryer does not come with a diffusor, and it is more difficult to find a compatible diffusor than with other models.

What are Real Users Saying?
Real users of the W8less Pro have said their hair “gets dried in half the time as before,” with true salon results. One user, who said that she has particularly course and difficult hair, said that people at work asked her if she had gotten her hair “done” professionally. Users with various hair types, from fine and straight to thick and curly, reported excellent results with maximum shine and manageability with no frizz.

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): Babyliss Pro 2000 Watt Ionic Nano Titanium Hair Dryer

Babyliss Pro 2000 Watt Ionic Nano Titanium Hair Dryer

View it on Amazon for $79.95*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerThe Babyliss Pro is equipped with a 2000 watt motor for fast and effective drying. Users were widely impressed with the motor’s ability to deliver such powerful results without being too loud.

Weight
At 1.8 pounds, this is slightly heavier than the Rusk W8less, but it is still one of the lighter models on the market. And since its powerful motor means less drying time, most users found it to be very comfortable and easy to work with.

Settings
The Babyliss Pro has 3 different heat settings (low, medium, hot) and 2 speed settings (low and high). It also comes with a cool shot to seal the cuticle and set the hair style.

Ionic Nano Titanium Technology
Nano titanium provides what is known as “surround heat technology.” This means that the hot air is dissipated evenly throughout the hair to prevent uneven drying. It also protects the areas of your hair that you are concentrating on by spreading some of the heat to other areas of the hair, making for a gentler overall experience.
The integrated Ion generator charges this blow dryer’s air with negative ions. Since frizzy hair is often the result of excess positive ions, the presence of added negative ions balances it out and keeps hair soft, smooth, and shiny.

Aesthetics
The Babyliss Pro is small, compact, and lightweight, making it both comfortable to use and ideal for travel. As with most Babyliss products, it is light blue in color with silver accents. The blue cool shot button is located above both the heat and speed switches. Like the Rusk W8less, the concentrator nozzle is black.

Other Features
A concentrator nozzle comes with this model to allow for easier styling. The 8 ft. 8 in. power cord makes it easy to move around when plugged in. The back filter is easily removable for regular cleaning. Although it is not included, a separate diffusor specific to this model can be purchased.

Price
With a list price of $119.99, the Babyliss BABNT5548 is on the pricey side for many customers. However, Amazon offers it for only $56.95, making it accessible for those of us who can’t spend over $100 on a hair dryer.

Warranty
Babyliss offers a limited 4-year warranty on the Babyliss Pro. This warranty covers defects and damages that are a result of flaws in manufacturing.

Drawbacks
Similar to the Rusk W8less, some customers reported that the concentrator nozzle popped off when using this dryer at its highest speed setting. As this dryer has no middle speed setting, a few also complained that the low speed setting was too low, while the high setting was too high for their liking.

What are Real Users Saying?
One happy customer said that this dryer cut her normal drying time from 45 minutes to only 15, despite having very thick hair. Others say that although it is small, it “really packs a punch” and has made their hair drying process more easy and comfortable. Most customers of all hair types were very impressed with how smooth and shiny their hair was after using this product.

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): Xtava Allure 2200w Professional Ionic Ceramic Hair Dryer

Xtava Allure 2200w Professional Ionic Ceramic Hair Dryer

View it on Amazon for -*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardOur third pick is the sleek and stylish Xtava Allure. Their best-selling dryer combines an extra powerful motor with a gorgeous design for a dryer that like it belongs in a high-end salon. Combined with their exclusive proprietary fast-dry technology, this product offers exceptionally fast drying in a light, versatile, and aesthetically pleasing package.

Motor
At 2200 watts, the Allure is equipped with the most powerful motor in the bunch for an ultra-fast blow dry, even at a low heat. Despite its intense power, users said that the motor was surprisingly quiet. One user said that it was “more quiet than any model [she] had ever owned.”

Weight
This ultra-powerful dryer weighs a light 1.2 pounds, making it ideal for those who deal with shoulder pain or fatigue pain when blow drying.

Settings
3 heat settings and 2 speed settings make this another versatile hair dryer. It also offers a cool shot. The range of settings and speed make it versatile for all different hair types, from fine to coarse.

Tourmaline Ionic Ceramic Technology
Negative ions help prevent frizz and create shine, while the ceramic heat dries without excess damage to hair. One user with frizzy hair said that this was the first dryer she had ever used that cut made her hair look truly smooth and shiny.

Aesthetics
The Xtava Allure has a shiny black finish with matte black accents for a sleek, classic look. It has a long, fairly thin nozzle and a compact design for easy travel and storage. The cool shot is a plain black button located above the two heat and speed switches. Instead of lettering, the switches are labeled with easy-to-read designs – waves for the heat settings, and lines for the speed settings.

Other Features
This dryer offer an exclusive proprietary technology that claims to dissipate water molecules more quickly than its competitors. The 7 foot cord is sturdy and made to last, and many consumers appreciated the fact that it is a traditional round cord rather than a flat one. The back filter is easily removed for regular cleaning. It includes a concentrator nozzle attachment for styling control. A diffusor is not included, but can be purchased separately.

Price
The Allure retails for $89, but can be purchased on Amazon for an impressive $36, which puts this salon-grade dryer in the same range as many “drugstore” hair dryers.

Warranty
Xtava backs their Allure hair dryer with a limited 4-year warranty to cover flaws in manufacturing.

Drawbacks
Some customers said that the diffusor was difficult to attach. One also said that it was very heavy, taking away from the original lightness of the dryer and making it feel “top heavy” and difficult to work with. Another user said that the difference between the heat settings was hardly noticeable, and that only the cold shot and the hottest setting were truly effective.

What are Real Users Saying?
Consumers say that this dryer delivers professional results in half the time that other dryers did. One woman whose daughter has thin, waist-length hair said that this dryer was able to completely dry her hair in only 5 minutes, with exceptional shine. She also provided picture reviews to illustrate the before and after.

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Revlon 1875W Tourmaline Ionic Ceramic Dryer

Revlon 1875W Tourmaline Ionic Ceramic Dryer

View it on Amazon for $18.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickRevlon has long been one of the most trusted sources of affordable hair styling products. They’ve upped their game and made their way into professional salons across the country with this model: a true salon-grade hair dryer at half the price of many of its counterparts. This model is marketed as their “lightweight speed styler,” designed specifically to create fast, easy blowouts for the everyday gal.

Motor
This Revlon dryer comes with an 1875 watt motor. Most customers found that the motor was very quiet even on its highest setting, and that it was powerful enough to dry their hair quickly.

Weight
At 1.7 pounds, this is light enough to be comfortable for most users.

Settings
2 heat and 2 speed settings, plus a cool shot.

Tourmaline Ionic Ceramic Technology
Triple baked ceramic means heat is evenly distributed throughout your hair, while this dryer’s ionic technology helps prevent frizz for a smooth, sleek finish every time. Users compared their results to the results they had achieved with higher end models and said that the finish was virtually the same.

Aesthetics
The body of this dryer is a semi-matte silver with black buttons and attachments, and a blue cool shot button.

Other Features
Unlike the other dryers listed, the Revlon RV544PKF model comes with both a concentrator nozzle and a diffusor, adding to its already impressive value. The attached power cord is much shorter than the rest, at only 4 feet in length.

Price
Even at its retail list price of $24.99, this is the least expensive model on the list. You can purchase it for even less on Amazon, where it sells for $19.99.

Warranty
This Revlon model is backed by a limited 2-year warranty that covers manufacturing defects and damages.

Drawbacks
The most prominent complaint about this dryer was that the base where the cord connects to the body is substantially flimsier than other dryers. Some even had the cord split completely and render the dryer useless. However, if this occurs during the first 2 years while you are still covered by a warranty, you should be issued a replacement by Revlon.

What are Real Users Saying?
With its powerful performance and insanely low price, many buyers touted this Revlon model as the absolute best hair dryer for its price. Users said that their hair was voluminous, silky, and touchably smooth immediately after drying, and stayed that way all day.


Pre-purchase considerations

Motor Wattage

Professional hair dressers recommend investing in a high wattage blow dryer (between 1300 and 1875 watts), which will enable you to turn down the heat while still effectively drying hair.2 Since excessive heat is damaging to hair, this is essential for anybody whose hair is prone to drying or damage. A high power motor will also dry your hair quickly and effectively, which will cut down your drying time to even further reduce heat damage.

Settings

Having various settings on your hair dryer will allow you to tailor your blow dry to fit your hair’s needs. People with fine, thin hair might benefit from low heat on a lower speed setting, where people with thick hair need to turn up the heat and the speed to thoroughly dry their hair. In addition, having a cool shot helps to seal the cuticle and set the final style for a long-lasting blowout. After all, if you’re going to spend the time to blow out your hair, you want it to last.

Weight & Size

If your hair dryer is too heavy, blow drying can seem like a daunting task, especially for those with thick hair that takes longer to dry. Choosing a blow dryer that is comfortable for you to use will allow you to get the most out of your dryer without dreading the days you need to blow dry your hair.

In addition to weight, it is important to consider the physical size of a hair dryer. A large, bulky dryer can be difficult to store and even more difficult to travel with. Many salon-grade models have designed small, compact hair dryers with a powerful motor to maximize results without maximizing size.

Ionic/tourmaline/ceramic technology

While they may sound like a bunch of fancy buzzwords, these technologies actually do make a significant difference in the results you can expect from your hair dryer. Ceramic, which is a composite material usually made of clay, is beneficial because it emits non-damaging infrared heat to preserve hair’s moisture.

Ionic technology refers to a hair dryer that is charged with negative ions. These negative ions help to break up water particles on the surface of the hair to ensure a smooth, frizz-free finish.
Hair dryers use tourmaline (a semi-precious mineral) by crushing up the crystals into a fine powder, which is then transferred to the hair dryer. This interacts with the ionic technology to maximize the effect of negative ions on the hair. It has also been found that blow dryers with tourmaline technology can dry up to 40% faster than those without it.

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

Combining superior motor power, 7 different settings, and a tourmaline-infused ceramic grill with ionic generator all in an extremely lightweight package, the Rusk W8less is truly the holy grail of blow dryers. And considering its relatively low cost, it’s almost a no-brainer. If you’re looking for a salon-quality blow dryer that truly does it all, check out the W8less Pro for gorgeous supermodel locks without spending an arm and a leg.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!

Resources

  1. Best Reviews, http://bestreviews.com/best-hair-dryers, BestReviews.com, March 2016
  2. Dana Oliver, Hair Dryer Guide, Huffington Post, April 20, 2015
  3. SmartHome, Babyliss Pro 2000 Watt Nano Titanium Hair Dryer Review, Smart Home Keeping, August 30, 2014
  4. Jonathan Humes, https://thoroughlyreviewed.com/home-kitchen/hair-dryer-review/, Thoroughly Reviewed
  5. Tina Williams, Revlon 1875w Tourmaline Ionic Hair Dryer Review, Hair Dryer Reviews, June 8, 2015
  6. Kate Halse, http://heavy.com/tech/2015/01/best-hair-blow-dryer-reviews/, Heavy, September 20, 2015
  7. Maggie Mulhern, Modern Salon, May 19, 2012
  • Lorraine

    I prefer Karmin!!

    • Thanks for the tip Lorraine! We’ll add this dryer to our list to check out when we update this article.

  • Lorenza

    Karmin makes the best in my opinion ^_^

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