Ceramic hair dryers protect hair by distributing even, less intense heat than your standard drugstore dryer. What that means is that, whether your hair is thick, thin, or somewhere in between, the best ceramic hair dryers can dry without damaging your strands. The key, however, is knowing what to look for in a ceramic dryer since options abound.
Breaking Down The Buzzwords
There's a lot of high-tech jargon surrounding ceramic hair dryers, so it's helpful to understand the key terms.
- Ionic: Many ceramic dryers also use negative ions to help hair dry more quickly, since the negative ions react with water’s positive ions to prevent droplets from soaking into the hair strands. This technology also helps prevent frizz.
- Tourmaline: Ceramic hair dryers with tourmaline offer even more ionic power, since tourmaline, a mineral compound, emits negative ions, as well infrared.
- Far-Infrared: Dryers using far-infrared heat also are extra gentle. They work to dry the hair with longer energy wavelengths that feel cooler since they're working from the inside of the shaft out.
- Nano Technology: You might see picks advertising nano silver or nano titanium dioxide, with the promised benefit of being antibacterial. However, according to Everyday Health, that's largely a marketing gimmick.
A Note On Wattage
Most high-tech ceramic dryers are designed to be powerful yet gentle. But, a general rule of thumb is that higher wattage options are more powerful and can dry hair faster. Most hair types should look for dryers with at least 1800 to 1850 watts, although if you have particularly fine hair, a lower wattage should suffice.
Styling attachments can be helpful depending on your hair type or the look you’re going for. Consider ones with diffusers for drying curly hair with minimal frizz or concentrators for drying hair smooth and straight. Lightweight dryers are ideal if you don't want to get an arm workout simply trying to dry your locks.
Take a look at the best ceramic hair dryers below; there’s a pick for every budget and they’re all highly rated.
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1. The Overall Best Ceramic Hair Dryer
This BabyBliss Pro hair dryer harnesses the powers of ceramic, ionic, and infrared technology for gentle heat, and the 2,000-watt motor delivers fast drying that works on all hair types. It’s also a cult favorite with a 4.4-star customer rating on Amazon and more than 4,200 reviews. It has four heat settings (cool, warm, hot, and a "cold shot" button), two speed settings (low and high ), plus a concentrator nozzle for styling. The only caveat? Some reviewers noted it was a bit heavy.
A helpful review: “I discovered these hair dryers in my gym. [...] It is SO fast and doesn't damage my hair or change it's natural look. I loved it so much I bought one for home use. Come to find out, it is the same maker as my straightener, which I've had for about 10 years now!! Good quality products. Highly recommend.”
2. An Under-$50 Dryer That’s Lightweight But High-Tech
This 1875-watt hair dryer by Nition weighs just 1 pound and the grill is coated with ceramic and tourmaline — meaning it packs a punch of negative ions — and it’s infused with argan oil as well. It comes with nano silver technology, although that might not be much of a value-add. Also included: a comb, a diffuser, and a concentrator. You can also easily remove the air filter (it even comes with an extra one) so it’s a cinch to keep clean. Additionally, this pick has three heat and two speed settings, plus a “cool shot” option.
A helpful review: “It’s lightweight and fits perfectly in my hands .more quiet than my old one,but the heat is comfortable,made my hair look healthy and shine!dries up my hair less than 5 min."
3. An Under-$30 Option That's Especially Great For Fine, Thin Hair
At 1600 watts, this Conair hair dryer is the least powerful pick on this list — a plus if you’re working with fine, thin hair that might be damaged by a more powerful hair dryer. It combines ceramic with ionic technology to cut down on frizz and boost shine, and offers three heat settings and two speed settings with a “cool shot” option. Similar to the picks above, it comes with both a diffuser and a concentrator.
A helpful review: “Dries your hair very fast. I have thin hair but very long. It usually takes forever to dry. But I can get straight out of shower and blow dry my hair in less than 15 minutes. It allows my natural curls to come to life as well. Love it.”
4. The Best On A Budget
For $20, this hair dryer by Remington has a lot to offer. It features a 1875-watt motor and uses ceramic, tourmaline, and ionic technology — plus built-in micro conditioners — to dry hair gently but quickly. It has three heat settings, plus a “cool shot” option, and it comes with a removable air filter. It includes a diffuser and a concentrator as well, so it's equipped to service straight and curly hair types.
A helpful review: "Works great!I reviewed several blow dryers before making my purchase and this one had all the functions I wanted and a great price as well.I've had it for several months now and it works perfect!It is much lighter and just as powerful as the blow dryer at my other house that cost over $100 more.Love it!"