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How Do I Choose the Best Straightening Hair Dryer?

By A. Rohlandt
Updated May 17, 2024
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When choosing the best straightening hair dryer, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first consideration is the wattage, heat, and speed settings of the dryer. A good straightening hair dryer should also have a straightening attachment, or nozzle, and experts suggest looking for dryers that have an ionic function. The size and weight of the dryer are other important considerations, as are the price and the manufacturer's guarantee.

A straightening hair dryer should be high powered — at least 1,750 watts. If you have thicker hair, you might want 1,900 watts. The thicker and curlier your hair, the more power you need to dry and straighten it.

When looking for a straightening hair dryer, it is especially important to look for a dryer with variable heat settings. The texture of your hair plays an important part in your choice of hair dryer, as hair with coarser textures may require higher heat settings to straighten properly. It's also useful to be able to lower the heat if needed, and this can be helpful if your hair is somewhat damaged. Experts also suggest looking for a dryer that has a "cool shot" function, because being able to blast the hair with cold air immediately after styling helps set the style.

Speed settings should be considered as well, especially if you have thicker hair. Straightening hair dryers should have high enough speeds to dry even a really thick head of hair. It's also best to be able to use a higher speed when drying the hair, and a slower one when straightening.

A straightening hair dryer should have a straightening nozzle or attachment to help direct the air in a way that will help smooth the hair cuticle. This is why experts recommend holding the dryer so that it blows down onto the hair shaft and not upwards. Drying your hair from below could worsen frizz even if you use a straightening hair dryer.

Hair dryers that use ionic and ceramic technology can be very useful for straightening the hair and getting rid of frizz. Ionic hair dryers release ions that help smooth the hair and can make it easier to straighten. Ceramic hair dryers usually offer high heat settings, but the heat is distributed evenly, which is important when trying to combat curls and frizz.

The size and weight of the straightening hair dryer you choose is a less obvious but equally important consideration. The dryer should be small enough to store easily or to take with you if you travel often. A heavier dryer may also tire your arms and hands far more quickly than a lighter model.

You should also look at the price of the dryer, and at the quality you're getting for the money you're spending. Experts suggest investing in professional quality dryers if you need to straighten your hair, since these dryers offer better performance overall and could be a better purchase.

The manufacturer's guarantee is another consideration, because knowing you're covered if the dryer is defective helps give peace of mind. Most manufacturers will offer a guarantee of some kind, but the longer the guarantee, the higher the quality of the product.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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Discussion Comments
By ZipLine — On Dec 07, 2014

Even though most women use some kind of straightening tool, very few people know about straightening hair dryers. Hair straighteners have become very popular but most require drying the hair first. Plus, they use a lot of heat which damages hair if used frequently. I don't know why people don't use straightening hair dryers instead.

It doesn't cost more than a good hair dryer and it does the drying and straightening all at once, so it saves a lot of time. I think it's far less damaging to hair than regular straighteners as well. I'm very happy with my straightening hair dryer. I will never go back to regular dryers or straighteners.

By candyquilt — On Dec 06, 2014

@fify-- There are attachments to regular hair dryers that may help straighten hair such as the comb attachment or the concentrator attachment. But there is also a straightening hair dryer that's sometimes also called a styler. One side looks like a hair dryer but the nozzle is completely different with built-in heated comb driers that comb, straighten and dry the hair all at the same time.

I've also seen a straightening hair dryer that was shaped more like a hair straightener but with the same heated comb nozzle.

By fify — On Dec 06, 2014

What's a straightening hair dryer exactly? I don't think I've ever seen one. Does the "straightening attachment" refer to a "concentrator nozzle?" As far as I know, this attachment just concentrates hair into a smaller area, it doesn't straighten hair. Can anyone clarify what a straightening hair dryer and/or attachment is? What does it look like?

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