Media Spotlight : Wired
Our Favorite Hair Dryers and Diffusers
HAIR IS A fun and annoying thing. You can cut it, dye it, straighten it, curl it, or let it sit in a knot for days on end. When you want to get a polished look or just need to dry your hair quickly, you may consider a blow-dryer.
Even if you don't use it every day, it's good to have one on hand for certain situations—like when you're rushing to work straight out of the shower, your finicky curls need to be tamed, or you crave smooth, glossy locks. Whatever the reason, there's an infinite number of hair dryers out there in every price range and from a dizzying array of brands. If you have easy-to-manage hair that just needs to dry faster, you can probably go with any cheap dryer you find at your local CVS. But some of us have more temperamental hair that needs specific care. We've tried standard blow-dryers, blow-dry brushes, and diffusers to find the best. These are our favorites.
The Best Dryer AccessoriesTo Pair With Your Hot Tools
A good hair dryer can't always stand alone. You might need a few other accessories.
Get a diffuser if your dryer doesn't come with one. The Rizos Curls Travel Diffuser ($20) is affordable and compact, and does the job. It folds into itself, so you can easily store it or pack it in a bag. It also fits most dryers, because it can be attached in two ways: Slip it over a standard, long and thin barrel as is, or fold the attachment part inward to create an opening to grip onto wider barrels, like on the Hairitage dryer. It won't fit super-wide dryers like the Dyson or the Tineco, but those come with their own.
Get a quality hair towel to avoid frizz and breakage. A plain old cotton T-shirt works too, but you probably want something nicer. I've been rotating two in my routine: The Aquis Microfiber Hair Towel ($25) is extra large to fit even the longest hair and has held up for several years. I also love TO112's Bamboo Wrap ($39). It's super soft and has a button and loop to keep it secure. Bamboo is also better for the environment than microfiber, which is made from plastic.
Use a heat protectant. You can use sprays before you start drying to keep your hair safe. Chi's 44 Iron Guard Thermal Protection ($12) comes highly recommended. Moroccanoil also makes solid products, but they cost a bit more.
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