I've used a blow dryer every single day of my life since I was 11, and I'm still not sure I can justify dropping a few hundred dollars on one. Needless to say, the price tag doesn’t always reflect the quality. The best inexpensive blow dryers can be a lifesaver for both your hair and your wallet, but you need to make sure you're looking for the right features. In other words, not every affordable hair dryer is created equal.
Walk into your local pharmacy, and you'll probably be able to find a whole shelf of blow dryers in the $15 to $50 range. It's possible that they're on sale, but it's also possible that they're made from cheap materials that could damage your hair and break in a few months.
On the other hand, every once in a while you'll stumble upon a great blow dryer that's just as good as the professional ones — and it just happens to come at an amazing price. These blow dryers have ceramic materials to minimize damage, negative ions to reduce static, multiple heat settings, and even far-infrared light to lock in your style. The best news? They're all under $50, but they've got hundreds if not thousands of great reviews to back them up.
1. The Best Affordable Blow Dryer According To Reviewers
Despite the $40 price tag, this blow dryer has hundreds of ratings, and reviewers keep raving about how lightweight, quiet, powerful, and fast it is. It's got a built-in negative ion generator and infrared heat so hair looks healthy and shiny, plus multiple settings to dry hair quickly. The stylish design isn't just for aesthetics — it's also easy to hold and use, and the two included diffusers make it even easier.
"If you're like me and have been using a cheap hair dryer for years but can't afford a Dyson, buy this one and you'll be happy," says one reviewer. "It makes a nice difference in the volume of my fine hair and takes about half the usual time to dry."
2. The Best Blow Dryer For Curly Hair
With its giant included diffuser, the JINRI professional tourmaline hair dryer has reviewers saying it's "super great for curly hair." This one not only has multiple heat settings and a powerful 1875-watt motor, but it also has multiple features in place to minimize damage — which is a must if you're looking for bouncy, frizz-free curls. The negative ions and tourmaline construction help to hold moisture deep in the hair shaft, so curly strands stay healthy and hydrated. If you're looking to blow-dry hair straight, buyers say it's also fast and effective. "Whether I’m wearing my hair curly or blowing my hair out straight, it works great!"
3. The Best Travel Option
Even though it's small, lightweight, and foldable, the TREZORO travel dryer packs a surprising punch. It has multiple features that are rarely found in compact travel dryers, including a 1500-watt motor, ceramic materials, three speed settings, and a brilliant comb attachment. It's also fairly quiet and weighs less than a pound, which are two great features when you're packing light and staying in a hotel with other people.
4. An Affordable Infrared Blow Dryer
Infrared heat penetrates the strand to dry hair from the inside-out, and as a result, it evenly-distributes warmth while minimizing damage and frizz. Unfortunately, these types of blow dryers are usually on the expensive side — but the Revlon Infrared hair dryer is shockingly affordable at $22. It's great for locking in styles thanks to its tourmaline ionic technology and various settings. This one even comes with a large diffuser, a transparent concentration nozzle, and three free hair clips; no wonder it's got over 2,500 reviews.
5. A Blow Dryer With A Built-In Styling Brush
For tons of people, the curling motion of the brush is the hardest part when it comes to styling their hair. That's where this ceramic ionic styler comes in. It comes with three interchangeable attachments that hold and brush the hair while you dry, so it requires a single hand and minimal technique. It's also got awesome features like ionic technology, ceramic even heat, and high velocity air-flow.
"I have never blow dried my hair on my own before and this made it so easy and fast!" one reviewer raves. "I have very thick hair so I still had to part it in multiple sections to prevent breakage but it was the perfect tool to help a first timer glide through the process."
6. The Best Blow Dryer For Thick, Long Hair
BaBylissPRO is one of the most popular luxury hair styling brands out there, so you might be surprised to find that you can get one of their dryers for under $50. If you've got long, thick hair, people are saying that the BaBylissPRO Ceramix Xtreme dryer is "the only hairdryer that [cuts] drying time by more than 50 percent."
This one has a powerful 2000-watt motor, far-infrared heat, ceramic ions, and four heat settings. All of these features come together to dry thick hair fast, all while cutting down on frizz and damage.
7. The Best For Minimizing Damage
Usually, inexpensive dryers mean cheap plastic materials that burn your hair. The Remington Damage Control hair dryer is the exception. Even though it's extremely affordable, it has a grill infused with micro-conditioners, which help to provide three-times the average protection. It's also constructed with ceramic materials, negative ion capabilities, and tourmaline technology to protect the cuticle from overheating. Finally, it has multiple heat settings and a quick-cool button so you can choose the ideal temperature for your specific hair type. Reviewers say, "Works beautifully in drying my hair without causing damage."
8. If You're Looking For Shine
The Conair Ionic Conditioning Pro Styler has reviewers saying, "My hair actually looks more shiny/silky after using this one than it did with the older model." Instead of traditional hot air, this pick uses infrared heat and negative ions that fight static and bring out your natural shine. Over a thousand reviewers love it because it's fast, effective, and lightweight — but most importantly, it locks in moisture for a conditioned, frizz-free appearance. Use the included diffuser to amplify sheen even further.
9. The Best To Cut Down On Drying Time
If your biggest priority is shortening your morning routine, you'll need something that dries hair fast and without frizz. Reviewers say that the NITION ceramic dryer is "amazing" because it "cuts drying time in half." It's got 1875 watts of power and is infused with ionic technology, argan oil, and nano silver, all of which neutralize positive charges and cut down on damage and static. Best of all, it's made from quality materials, comes with three easy-to-use diffusers, and has a removable filter, so it'll last you quite a while.
10. The Best Lightweight And Compact Option
For those who are looking for a compact blow dryer (without having to settle for a travel option), this blow dryer is it. It's a great choice for limited drawer space or small bathrooms because it's easy to hold, weighs roughly 2 pounds, and stores its cord inside the handle. That said, don't let its size fool you; it still features ionic technology, three heat settings, and two speeds — and people can't stop talking about how quiet it is. You can get this one in three colors: black, magenta, and purple.
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This post was originally published on 9/6/2017. It was updated on 6/17/2019.
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