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The Best Hair Dryers for All of Your Natural Hair Needs

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Written by Jenna Cartusciello

Finding the best hair dryer for natural hair is no easy feat. Any dryer can do the job when you’re in a pinch, but the right device can make your curls pop or speed up your blowout time, all while reducing frizz and mitigating heat damage. But what qualities make for an excellent hair dryer?

It’s easy to look only at the attachments, price and reviews for a hair dryer, but it’s also important to think about product longevity, wattage and heat and speed settings. Ease of use is key as well — some expensive hair dryers are excellent until your arm begins to ache from holding it for too long. To help you discover the tool of your dreams, we’ve created a list of the best hair dryers for natural hair based on every major and minor factor. We considered product reviews, testing, features, heat and speed, noise, wattage, attachments, ease of use, drying performance and price in order to make fair assessments. Learn more about our selections and what went into our decision-making process below.

The 14 Best Hair Dryers for Natural Hair

Finding the Best Hair Dryers for Natural Hair

If you have natural hair, you have probably tried plenty of dryers in your lifetime. However, trying a new dryer every two years isn’t the goal! We set out to find the devices that would not only dry hair efficiently with minimal frizz, but also stand up to the test of time. While less expensive dryers won’t have the longevity of high-end products (take the Dyson, for example), they should last for at least three years and get you through your wash days.

So, how should you go about picking a dryer from our list? It depends on your hair type and priorities. Dryers that have a quick drying time also tend to use high heat, which could contribute to damage. On the other hand, dryers with low heat settings tend to have long drying times. Our top picks are in the sweet spot, meaning they don’t have long drying times and don’t use very high heat, but there are other important factors to consider as well.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Hair Dryers for Natural Hair

Heat and Speed

Do you plan to style your hair in a blowout, lengthen it for braiding or wear it curly? Each style has an ideal heat and speed setting. Generally, a blowout or a lengthened style requires high heat and speed, while delicate curls require lower heat and speed settings. Keep in mind that low heat and speed can significantly lengthen your drying time.

We recommend using a dryer that has at least two heat and two speed settings, preferably with a cool shot button or a cool setting for locking in your style and reducing frizz. Our top three recommendations have at least two heat and two speed settings.

Hair Type

Every hair type has an ideal hair dryer — the trick is finding your perfect match. Fine, thin or damaged hair would do well with a gentle dryer that has low heat and speed settings. Very thick hair requires a powerful dryer with a higher voltage to reduce drying time. And a good diffuser attachment is a must if you have curly, coily or kinky hair.

Attachments

Most people don’t need more than two attachments to meet their styling needs, but having multiple attachments does increase your options. At the bare minimum, opt for a dryer that comes with a diffuser for curls and a concentrator nozzle for stretching and straightening strands. Other helpful attachments include a brush and a wide-tooth comb.

Wattage

While wattage is important if you want a high-heat, high-speed dryer, it’s important not to go too high and increase your hair damage. Most hair dryers sold in the U.S. range between 1200 and 2000 watts.

Noise

If you’re blow drying your hair every day or even just once a week, the noise level can become quite annoying. Most blow dryers don’t go above 85 dB, which isn’t likely to cause hearing damage for a brief period, but long or repeated exposure can reduce your hearing over time. We made sure to include quieter dryers in our recommendations, though we still recommend wearing ear plugs while you blow dry to reduce your risk of hearing damage.

What Are the Different Types of Hair Dryers for Natural Hair?

Universal Dryer 

A universal hair dryer is one that is designed for all hair types. It’s a chameleon, meaning you can add a diffuser attachment and make it work for curly hair, or use it with zero attachments and create a voluminous blowout. Universal dryers have a wide price range — our budget pick, the Conair Infiniti Pro, costs just $40, while the Dyson Supersonic costs $430.

Diffuser-Only Dryer 

A diffuser-only dryer is one that can only be used as a diffuser. Unlike typical blow dryers, it doesn’t have a nozzle for multiple attachments — it just has a diffuser end. This makes the device much lighter and easier to maneuver around curly hair. Of course, the downside of a diffuser-only dryer is that you can only style your hair one way.

Curly Hair Dryer 

A curly hair dryer is essentially a universal dryer that was specifically designed for curly hair. It still has a traditional nozzle that can accommodate different attachments, but the heat and speed settings are optimized for curly locks and the air flow reduces frizz. Curly hair dryers are a good in-between for those who prefer to style their hair curly but want the freedom of other styling options.

1

Best Overall: Curlsmith Defrizzion Dryer and XXL Diffuser

Pros

  • Biggest diffuser
  • Ionic de-frizzing technology
  • 3 heat, 2 speed settings

Cons

  • Could use another speed setting
  • Wattage may be too high for damaged hair
  • Pricey

We chose the Curlsmith Defrizzion Dryer as the best overall dryer for natural hair because it met all of our requirements for a great dryer, and then some. It’s relatively quiet compared to other dryers on the market, and the selling point is the giant diffuser (eight inches in diameter) — so you can fit almost all your hair into the bowl and speed up your drying time. We also like ionic de-frizzing technology, the inclusion of two other attachments (a concentrator nozzle and a hair pic) and the three heat settings plus cool shot button.

What could be improved: This dryer has two speed settings, but for the price, it could have a third. The 2,000 wattage may also be too high for very fine or damaged hair, though we think the diffuser does a great job of distributing air flow and the temperature never gets too hot.

2

Best Budget: Conair Infiniti Pro SmoothWrap Hair Dryer

Pros

  • Speedy drying time
  • Lightweight
  • Long-lasting cool setting

Cons

  • Diffuser isn’t the best
  • Gets loud
  • Coloring around handle chips off

What the Conair Infiniti Pro does well: It’s excellent for a blowout! We love that this dryer is speedy (1875 watts cuts down drying time) and tamps down frizz. Plus, it’s lightweight, easy to maneuver, and has three heat and two speed settings, including a cool setting, not just a cool-shot button. The bottom line? It’s not bad at all for $40.

While the diffuser works well, it isn’t the best for curly hair, and it sometimes falls off the nozzle. Also, this dryer tends to get loud and the coloring sometimes chips off over time, especially around the handle.

3

Best Splurge: Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

Pros

  • Temperature regulated by smart technology
  • 5 magnetic attachments
  • 4 heat, 3 speed settings

Cons

  • Can take time to get used to
  • Heavy power cord
  • Our most expensive recommendation

Looking for the dryer to end all hair dryers? If so, the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer is for you. It doesn’t have the highest wattage of all our recommendations (1,600 watts) but its V9 motor does the job by creating a fast, highly-precise airflow. Smart technology inside the dryer regulates temperature, so you never have to worry about it overheating. We love that this dryer has five magnetic attachments, four heat settings and three speed settings, so you can style your natural hair any way you like.

While the Dyson Supersonic is one of the top hair dryers of all time, its cost is prohibitive. The dryer itself is also very powerful, so it can take some time getting used to using it. We also wish the power cord weren’t so heavy and clunky.

4

Best Black Owned: PATTERN by Tracee Ellis Ross The Blow Dryer

Pros

  • 4 attachments
  • Never gets too hot
  • 3 heat and 2 speed settings

Cons

  • Expensive
  • A little bulky
  • Cord could be longer

If you want to support a black-owned business while achieving beautiful curls, the PATTERN Blow Dryer is the way to go. It comes with four different attachments — a diffuser, concentrator nozzle, brush nozzle and hair pic — and has three heat and two speed settings. We like that you can turn the ion “anti-frizz” technology off for more volume, and that the temperature never gets too hot.

However, the PATTERN is one of our more expensive recommendations. It’s also a little bulky when maneuvering around your head and the cord could be a little longer.

5

Best Diffuser Only: Bellissima Italia Diffon Supreme Ionic XL

Pros

  • Never gets too hot
  • 3 heat, 2 speed, cool setting
  • Quick drying

Cons

  • Not available at most retailers
  • Cord is clunky
  • Buttons take some getting used to

If you’ve struggled with regular hair dryers for most of your life, it might be time to leave the original dryer design behind. Enter Bellissima Italia, the Ionic Diffuser that is only a diffuser, so you can’t remove the attachment. The wattage is very low (600 watts), which means this dryer never gets too hot or too forceful, and the heat and speed settings are light and designed for delicate curls. Though it doesn’t feel like it’s doing much, it dries hair surprisingly quickly. We also like that it is lightweight and easy to maneuver.

However, the cord is a little clunky and often comes out of the wall if you move the diffuser around too much. The buttons take some time to get used to as well, and this product is no longer available on Amazon.

6

Dryer With Best Attachments: Shark HD435 FlexStyle Air Styling & Drying System

Pros

  • 6 attachments, including auto-wrap curlers
  • Rotating handle
  • Efficient and anti-frizz

Cons

  • Bulky handle
  • Loud
  • Expensive

For a dryer that does it all, opt for the Shark HD435 FlexStyle Dryer. It comes with two auto-wrap curlers, which rotate left and right, two types of brushes, a concentrator nozzle and a FlexStyle Curl Diffuser. Plus, it has a rotating handle (which bends) if you need to reach your hair at different angles. At 1300 watts, it dries hair efficiently while reducing frizz.

What we don’t like: The handle is on the bulky side, and a few customers have received a faulty product. It’s also a loud dryer.

7

Best for Thick Natural Hair: TYMO Hair Dryer with Diffuser for Curly Hair

Pros

  • 3 magnetic attachments
  • Temperature reading on back
  • 4 heat, 3 speed settings

Cons

  • Buttons are awkward
  • A little loud
  • Hair pic attachment may fall off

Looking for a Dyson dupe? We recommend the TYMO Hair Dryer. It has three magnetic attachments, including a diffuser, concentrator nozzle and hair pic, and a screen shows you the temperature reading on the back of the dryer (so you can make sure it never gets too hot). We love that it has four heat and three speed settings and anti-frizz technology.

The downsides? The buttons can be a bit awkward to find and press while using the dryer. This is also a little loud compared to the other dryers in our recommendations, and some buyers have found that the hair pic attachment doesn’t stay on.

8

Best for Kinky Hair: Conair INFINITIPRO Performa Series Hair Dryer

Pros

  • 4 attachments
  • Ionic and ceramic frizz-reducing technology
  • Removable filter

Cons

  • Diffuser isn’t great
  • Cord is a little short
  • Unplugs easily from wall

Kinky hair, or type 4 curls and zig-zag patterned strands, can be difficult to style because it shrinks significantly as it dries. Whether you prefer to let your true curl pattern shine or you want to lengthen out your strands, the Conair INFINITIPRO can help. This 1,875 watt dryer comes with four attachments, including a diffuser, a concentrator and a hair pic, and it has ionic and ceramic technology to reduce frizz and heat damage. We also like that the filter is removable so you can easily clean it and extend the life of your dryer.

However, the diffuser isn’t the best and can extend the drying time. We also wish the cord were a little longer and that it didn’t unplug so easily from the wall.

9

Best for Fine Curly Hair: Featherweight StyleMax Dryer

Pros

  • Heat automation based on hair texture
  • 4 attachments
  • Cool shot stays on

Cons

  • Easy to press the wrong button
  • Heavier than other contenders
  • Pricey

If you have fine, delicate curls or waves that get blown around easily by hair dryers, the Featherweight StyleMax is a good option for you. It has custom heat automation, meaning it auto-adjusts heat and speed to your hair texture using smart technology. It comes with four attachments, including thick and thin concentrator nozzles, a hair pic and a diffuser. Plus, it has five heat and three speed settings, including a cool shot that stays on for long periods of time.

What could be improved: It’s easy to press the wrong settings on the handle as you hold it. While this dryer is lightweight, it is heavier than some of our lighter recommendations (like the Dyson).

10

Best for Travel: T3 Afar Lightweight Travel-Size Hair Dryer

Pros

  • Folding handle
  • Automatically changes voltage
  • 3 heat, 2 speed settings

Cons

  • Diffuser attachment sold separately
  • Pricey
  • Cool shot button reduces power

Traveling outside the U.S.? Consider investing in a travel hair dryer for natural hair that can automatically change voltage. We like the T3 Afar Lightweight Travel-Size Hair Dryer because of its compact size, folding handle and smart technology that automatically changes voltage. It has three heat and two speed settings, and it weighs less than a pound.

However, the diffuser attachment is sold separately, which isn’t great when you consider the price tag. The design of the cool shot button could also be improved, as it reduces the dryer’s power when it’s on.

11

Best for Straightening Before Braids: RevAir Reverse-Air Hair Dryer

Pros

  • Reduces heat exposure
  • Uses suction instead of harsh, blown air
  • 3 heat settings

Cons

  • One of our most expensive recommendations
  • Heavy styling wand
  • Not sold at most retailers

If you want the perfect dryer to prep your hair for braids, twists and more, consider the RevAir Reverse-Air Hair Dryer. It uses suction to elongate strands, and the design significantly reduces heat exposure to prevent long-term hair damage. Overall, its three heat settings create elongated, soft hair in an impressively short amount of time.

Unfortunately, the RevAir Reverse-Air Dryer is one of our most expensive recommendations. It also doesn’t allow for any other styles and the wand is heavy.

12

Best on Amazon: Revlon 1875W Infrared Hair Dryer for Faster Drying & Maximum Shine

Pros

  • 2 attachments
  • 2 speed, 2 heat settings
  • Comes with 3 hair clips

Cons

  • Cold air button isn’t long lasting
  • Concentrator may fall off
  • Takes a while for long, thick hair

What makes the Revlon 1875-Watt Dryer our top recommendation for Amazon hair dryers? It comes with the two most essential attachments (a concentrator nozzle and a diffuser) and three hair clips. The ceramic coating helps reduce frizz, and it has two speed and two heat settings. All in all, it’s a great, affordable pick for natural hair.

At just $26, we’re willing to forgive the cold-air button for not having a long-lasting setting, but it’s something to keep in mind. A few customers have found that the concentrator attachment doesn’t stay on the nozzle, and others found that it wasn’t sufficient for very long or thick hair.

13

Best Hair Dryer Brush: OMOteam Professional Dual Voltage Blowout Hair Dryer Brush

Pros

  • 3 heat, 3 speed settings
  • Soft bristles for detangling
  • Dual voltage

Cons

  • One styling choice
  • May not get hot enough
  • Easy to accidentally change heat setting

A hair dryer brush is an excellent tool if you need to straighten out and detangle your hair before braiding it, and the OMOteam Professional Brush is a great option. This 1,000-watt brush has three heat and three speed settings, soft bristles for detangling, a swivel cord for ease and a ceramic design to reduce frizz. A bonus: It has dual voltage in case you travel internationally.

Of course, this brush only allows you to dry your hair in one style, though we appreciate its simplicity. A few buyers felt that it didn’t get hot enough, and it’s easy to accidentally alter the heat setting on the dial button.

14

Best Runner-Up Hair Dryer Brush: Revlon One Step Volumizer PLUS 2.0 Hair Dryer

Pros

  • 3 combined speed and heat settings
  • Bristles are spread apart for easy detangling
  • Swivel cord

Cons

  • Slightly heavy
  • Speed and heat settings could be separate
  • Loud

Looking for an alternative to the OMOteam Hair Dryer Brush? Try the Revlon One Step Volumizer PLUS. It’s a 1,100-watt dryer that has three combined speed and heat settings and one cool-blast setting, and the bristles are spread out to make it easier to gently detangle your hair. We also like that it has a swivel cord. Overall, this brush reduces the time you need to style your hair by combining drying and brushing.

However, this model is on the heavier side, and we wish that the speed and heat settings were separate. This brush also gets loud, and all the settings except for the cool setting are hot.

People Also Ask

  • Q: Which hair dryer is good for natural hair?

    A:Our top recommendation for natural hair is the Curlsmith Defrizzion Dryer and XXL Diffuser based on price and quality. We also recommend the Conair Infiniti Pro SmoothWrap Hair Dryer (a budget pick) and the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer (a splurge).

  • Q: Is it better to dry your hair with a hair dryer or let it dry naturally?

    A:It depends on how thick your hair is! If you have fine or thin hair, you could get away with air drying it most days because it will dry quickly. Thick hair, however, could take so long to dry that the excess water could actually damage the hair. In this case, blow drying at a low heat setting may be the best way to go.

  • Q: How much do hair dryers for natural hair cost?

    A:Hair dryers for natural hair have a wide price range from $30 to $500.

Why trust Us

At Us Weekly, we aim to inform readers to make smart purchasing decisions, saving you both time and money. Our editors are obsessed with finding products in a variety of categories from fashion and beauty, to home and fitness.

We try various products, so we can recommend our favorites, and we also summarize feedback and data from other customers. Data, like product reviews and ratings, helps us recommend the best product choices for individual price points and needs.

On top of that, we highlight unique product features for special use cases, ingredients preferences, and more. We strive to make sure you are discovering new products that can make your life easier, while keeping you up to date with the best product choices for types of items you already know and love.

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By Jenna Cartusciello

Affiliate Commerce Writer Jenna loves recommending great products to her friends and family, so helping the rest of the internet on their quest to find the best stuff makes tremendous sense! Though she mainly writes in-depth buyer’s guides these days, Jenna still enjoys crafting the occasional health article. In her spare time, she loves immersing herself in creative writing. Her favorite authors (for anyone who is willing to geek out with her) include Neil Gaiman, Cheryl Strayed, and Jennifer Egan.

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