To the thick-haired, salvation is a 5 lb work of art called the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer.
Somewhere between its 13-blade impeller and intelligent heat control feature, the Dyson becomes more than an ordinary piece of grooming equipment. Topping our list of the best hair dryers for thick hair, it easily humbles hair that is otherwise full of itself. For more details on the Dyson Supersonic and nine of our other favorite blow dryers, keep reading.
Others might be envious of your thick tresses, but that doesn’t count for much when your dresser is strewn with defeated hair ties and your days are spent sifting through a heap of uninspiring hair dryers for thick hair. And all because your jungly mane will not be tamed without a fight.
Well, we’ve done our homework, and we have some good news: The problem is not your hair.
The problem is running your daily blow-drying marathon with dryers that are about as efficient as those flimsy hair ties.
Only the best hair dryers can deliver the quality and efficiency required to dry thick hair. So we conducted far-reaching research to solve all your hair dryer problems. We have the full blow-by-blow, from budget picks to luxe faves.
If you aren’t sold on our top winner, the Dyson Supersonic, we’ve got nine other options. One of them will make you very happy.
The Hair Dryers for Thick Hair We RAVE AboutReady for a frizz-free future with salon-quality blowouts? Our top three picks will get you there faster.
Best Overall: Dyson Supersonic
A technological marvel with a futuristic design, the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer is worthy of our top spot — but we’ll be the first to admit it costs a pretty penny. It defends the gasp-worthy price tag with a slew of premium features and a promise to be kind to your tresses.Read Full Review
Best Lightweight: T3 Cura Luxe
You won’t be prepared for the T3 Cura Luxe. It is a 2.4 lb beauty with a reputation as the Firebolt of hair dryers. With a surprising combination of retro details and top-tier engineering in a lightweight shell, the T3 Cura Luxe certainly delivers.Read Full Review
Hair Dryers and Thick Hair
If you have thick hair, you will probably agree that your social reputation is somehow tied to the efficiency of your blow-dryer.
On the good days, you could be basking in the joys of healthy-looking hair and a plethora of compliments. On the bad days, things can get really ugly. When your dryer decides to let you down, it leaves you a good chance of unsightly frizz.
Needless to say, if you have thick hair, the question is not whether you need a hair dryer, it’s how to find the best one for your marvelous mane.
Finding the Best Hair Dryer for Thick Hair
Knowing what is at stake, it isn’t wise to waltz into a drugstore and pick any hair dryer. If you must choose a drugstore option, your choice shouldn’t be made without the internet equivalent of an advanced degree in hair-dryology.
And no, we didn’t just make that up.
Serious about finding the best hair dryers for thick hair?
Here is a crash course on what you need to consider for the sake of your blowout goals.
Wattage and heat options
A high wattage hair dryer often packs more punch in terms of heat and wind power. With more wind power you are likely to get your hair dried with much less heat, meaning a smaller chance of heat damage.
Hair dryers’ controls are just as important as their features. A wide range of heat and speed settings means you can customize each blow-dry on a whim. With poor dial options, you are left at the mercy of your dryer.
Weight, design, and size
If your beauty routine involves a lot of blow-drying, be sure to choose a hair dryer that isn’t too heavy. That being said, some lighter models may be awkwardly shaped or not ergonomically designed, making handling (or lugging it around) a nightmare.
Infrared, ionic, and tourmaline technology
If your hair is especially thick, look for these hair dryer buzzwords. Infrared dryers use infrared wavelengths to penetrate the hair, drying it from inside. Ionic dryers use negative ions to prevent frizz, while tourmaline dryers boost negative ion functionality.
Ceramic, titanium, or porcelain
Ceramic, titanium, and porcelain often replace certain parts of a hair dryer to even out heat distribution. While ceramic and porcelain help lessen heat damage, titanium tends to create a more scalding heat. This feature would be too extreme for damage-prone hair, but your bushy mane might manage just fine.
There are a few things that will make your blow-drying experience a little easier, from attachments to a generously long cord to a cold shot button for extra shine. They may not be deal breakers, but they can be a godsend if you have thick hair.
There is nothing quite as satisfying as getting a great piece for a great price. However, we can all agree that you get what you pay for. If you can afford it, splurge a little and you might be surprised at how it pays off in the future.
Common Blow-Drying Mistakes for Thick Hair
Blow-drying seems straightforward: grab the dryer, get in a comfortable position, and attack with heat like a maniac, right?
Well, not really.
Actually, there is a certain amount of know-how involved in blow-drying hair. Here are some common mistakes that can mean bad news in the long run.
Your blow-dryer was an afterthought
If you have thick hair, a low quality blow-dryer not only shortchanges you of a great blowout, it also wastes your time.
You’re using the wrong brush
The wrong brush could actually be the difference between a good blowout and a bad one. For instance, volume comes naturally with thick hair, so using a round brush might be overkill. Boar bristle brushes and ceramic barrels smooth out frizz and static better.
Pro Tip: Ceramic is a great conductor of heat and can help move things along faster.
You’re ignoring the attachments
Switching from one attachment to another is time-consuming. However, between the nozzle, diffuser, and concentrator, you essentially have an armory of styling tools at your service. Trust us — they are all worth the trouble.
Shopping for a new dryer can be overwhelming, especially when the dryer has the arduous task of taming your wild mane.
To create our ranking, we began with an elaborate list of popular hair dryers for the thick-haired community. Then we narrowed down the top-scoring favorites based on thousands of trusted reviews and authority opinions.
As it turns out, there is a lot to consider when you are shopping for the best hair dryer for thick hair. Here is the criteria that determined our picks:
- Materials and construction quality
- Size and weight
- Wattage and dial options
- Ease of handling
- Ionic, infrared, or tourmaline technology
- Additional features including accessories, power cord length, and a cold shot feature
Dyson SupersonicPrice: $400Number of heat settings: 4
As soon as you open the box, it’s clear that the Supersonic is no average affair. A chic design gives the impression that this is something made to do more than just dry hair. And it sure does.
The Dyson Supersonic is escorted by three attachments for drying, styling, and sculpting: a smoothing nozzle for widespread airflow, a diffuser for curl definition, and a concentrator for precise styling.
For functionality that rivals a salon chair experience, the Supersonic has three speed settings and four precise heat settings. What’s more, it uses heat shield technology to keep the nozzle cool, making it safe to put down — even if you have wandering toddlers.
This hair dryer’s intelligent heat control and speed are the biggest advantages. The Supersonic has a built-in microprocessor that self-regulates air temperature 20 times every second, keeping hair follicles safe from heat damage. Plus, with direct airflow, super sleek finishes come in 19 minutes or less — all with nothing louder than a deep hum.Pros
- Dries hair in record time
- Impressively quiet
- Heat-regulating microprocessor
- Uber expensive
- No lighter than its counterparts
- Too fast even at lowest speed
T3 Cura LuxePrice: $285Number of heat settings: 5
Judge a book by its cover, and you won’t be prepared for the T3 Cura Luxe. Its retro style makes a statement, but with its understated, ergonomic design, you might underestimate this 2.4 lb beauty. In terms of performance, this baby delivers.
Thick-haired reviewers everywhere have been made into devotees of the T3 Cura Luxe thanks to its volume booster and cool shot features. They’re perfect for injecting volume into limp hair and locking styles in place, respectively. Add to that its built-in ion technology for glossy hair, two speed settings, and five heat settings, and you have a winner. Plus, its auto pause sensor means you can give into laziness and take a break mid-blow, button-free.
It’s the T3 Cura Luxe’s unique combination of sophisticated technology and portability that make it a truly revolutionary masterpiece. There’s nothing quite like getting a salon-quality finish without the arm fatigue that often comes with using clunky alternatives.Pros
- Lightweight, ergonomic design
- Volume booster and cool shot
- Auto pause sensor
- A bit noisy
- Fairly expensive
- Limited speed options
Revlon Salon InfraredPrice: $30Number of heat settings: 2
Most hair dryers under $50 do not offer more than the bare minimum of performance. But the Revlon Infrared is not like most hair dryers.
For one, the aesthetics of this dryer are praiseworthy. Its pristine white base and beautiful gold accents complement the laser red indicator that lights up when the dryer is hard at work. It is ergonomic and lightweight, with two attachments and a variety of features that handle thick hair with ease.
Where it really gets interesting is the Revlon’s infrared and tourmaline ionic technology. It guarantees that your hair dries at lightning speed but retains enough moisture to escape frizz. You can then finish things off with the cool shot feature which insures your hard-earned blowout against pesky winds. Not too shabby for a drugstore number.Pros
- Budget-friendly price
- Infrared technology
- Ionic technology for less frizz
- Short handle
- Somewhat loud
- Low air pressure
Drybar ButtercupPrice: $195Number of heat settings: 3
Here’s the thing about the Drybar Buttercup blow-dryer: it comes in yellow and nothing else.
Normally, the limited color options would be a problem, but the Buttercup is such an elegant little number, you’ll be tempted to put it in a fancy dress and take it to dinner. That said, this hair dryer is not all looks.
The Drybar Buttercup gets down to business with a unique ionic technology that protects and freshens hair. While the nanobeads work to straighten out kinks, other features offer you a chance to tailor your experience. You can blow-dry with the self-locking cool shot and proceed to enjoy your Drybar-quality blowout.
Errr…salon for what?Pros
- Comes with attachments
- Elegant matte finish
- Ionic technology
- Limited color options
- Fairly expensive
- Few controls
Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Dryer 2000Price: $249Number of heat settings: 8
The Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Dryer 2000 is easy on the eyes, but not on the wallet. However, this mint-colored blow-dryer equivalent of a Bentley is well worth its cost. This baby is handmade in France to the high-end requirements of celebrity hairstylist Harry Josh.
This dryer is not heavy or bulky. And with a generous cord length and attached tie for easy storage, it makes an excellent travel companion. For a travel-sized dryer, the Harry Josh Pro Tools dryer has the force of a powerful, professional-grade model. It’s so powerful, some users have noted it can become quite hot. But with three speed settings, three heat settings, and two standard nozzles, you won’t have to worry about the dryer getting too hot for comfort.
However, we won’t pretend this hair dryer is for everyone. At almost $250, it is guaranteed to bore a hole in some pockets. But is it worth it to dry your thick mane under seven minutes, frizz-free? Well, for some people, it sure is. So maybe it’s time to start saving your pennies.Pros
- Luxurious pastel color
- Travel size and lightweight
- Anti-frizz technology
- Fairly loud
- Very expensive
- Can get very hot
BaBylissPRO Ceramix Xtreme DryerPrice: $60Number of heat settings: 2
Something about the simple finish of the BaBylissPRO Ceramix Xtreme dryer offers an aesthetic nod to the old standard dryer. It is not busy or confusing, and as a result, it’s ergonomic and easy to operate.
The BaBylissPRO features a rugged 2000W motor, ceramic-infused infrared heat and two temperature settings. With a narrow barrel for maximum efficiency and micro-concentrator nozzle speeding up the action, salon-grade results are guaranteed.
As expected, its outmoded utilitarian design makes it one of the heaviest pieces on this list. But with a standout rubberized grip, removable filter, and a finishing cold shot feature, a little bulk is hardly a deal breaker. A good dryer with a powerful motor almost always means a little more bulk. Just be prepared for a bicep workout.Pros
- Salon-grade results
- Dries quickly
- Rubberized handle
- Outdated design
- May be loud
Conair 1875W Mid-Size Hair DryerPrice: $17Number of heat settings: 2
Even with a beautiful velvet finish, the Conair 1875W is not aesthetically breathtaking. However, it is one of the few budget options that does not compromise on functionality.
A look beyond its simple exterior reveals a 1875W motor generously combined with both tourmaline and ceramic technology. Naturally, it meets the mark when it comes to performance. While ceramic works to neutralize static with negative ions, tourmaline dries your hair quickly, keeping it 75% frizz-free. Not to mention, the diffuser and concentrator attachments customize each blow dry. With an impressive range of speed and heat settings for its price range, you are limited only by your imagination.
There are a few drawbacks to this one though: Its cord is inconveniently short and the attachments tend to fail to stay attached. It may not be perfect, but you could certainly do a lot worse.Pros
- Ionic technology
- Lightweight and fast
- The cord is a little short
- Attachments slide off easily
- Limited heat settings
GHD Air Hair DryerPrice: $199Number of heat settings: 3
With a powerful 2100W motor, thick hair is no match for the GHD Air. This fiery beauty offers a whole range of features, including two speed and three heat options, advanced ionic technology, and an adaptor ring for a universal diffuser.
Performance aside, it is a beautiful piece, conveniently sized to carry around. Not to mention, it feels lighter than the average salon hair dryer and it includes a 9-foot cord, which definitely comes in handy.
With an ergonomic design for easy handling and multiple nozzles to customize each blow-dry, the GHD Air promises a professional performance.Pros
- Faster than most hair dryers
- Ionized heat technology
- Powerful motor
- Attachments sold separately
- It can get too hot
- Buttons are somewhat stiff
Parlux Alyon Air Ionizer TechPrice: $279Number of heat settings: 4
A hair dryer made by one of the most notable names in the industry probably needs no introduction. What you might not know is that the Alyon Air Ionizer Tech is everything you want in a hair dryer. Sleek, energy-saving, and environmentally friendly, with ceramic, ionic, and anti-heating technology, and a built-in silencer…you name it, and this dryer probably has it.
With a 2100W K-Advance Plus DC Motor, the Alyon offers airflow of up to 84 cubic meters per hour, complete with soft-touch controls for easy operation. With two concentrator styling nozzles and an ergonomic exterior, the Alyon is by no means an ordinary hair dryer.
To top things off, this dryer guarantees even temperature distribution with a geometric heating element. Add that to its longevity guarantee and high torque motors, and you have all the makings of a dryer that is fit to be king.Pros
- Environmentally friendly
- Two concentrator nozzles
- Ergonomic shape
- Few controls
- Fairly expensive
Instyler TURBO Ionic BLU Hair DryerPrice: $100Number of heat settings: 2
The Instyler TURBO Ionic Dryer is the kind of book you can judge by its cover. It has a unique white geometric design with ocean blue accents nodding to its name: BLU.
The BLU wins us over with its many innovative features, from its tourmaline and ceramic grill technology to the turbo ionic switch that controls negative ions. It further stands out from the crowd with a roller dial to control air stream, and Infinity Dial to customize your drying experience.
However, this dryer’s limited heat options offset some of these perks. With only two heat settings, a few users have found the temperature to be either too cool or too hot. Nonetheless, its 1500W motor is more likely to impress than disappoint anyone with thick hair. With a jet turbine fan, 9-foot cord, and a modern chic design, it will tame just about any mane with ease.Pros
- Sleek geometric design
- Turbo ionic switch
- Speed setting dial
- Only two heat settings
- Undetachable end cap
- Accessories appear flimsy
By now, you’re probably convinced you didn’t quite know everything there was to know about hair dryers for thick hair.
To answer any other questions you might have, here are a few frequently asked questions about buying hair dryers.
Does a good hair dryer really make a difference?
Short answer? Yes!
The truth is, while no hair dryer is going to make your blow-drying marathon thoroughly enjoyable, the right one can make the process more tolerable.
Aside from convenience, a good hair dryer also lowers your risk of hair damage. Cheaper, poorly-constructed blow-dryers tend to overheat, causing frizz and damaging your hair cuticle. When you have thick hair, the last thing you need is less manageability.
What’s worse, poor dial control leaves you at the mercy of potentially scalding heat. And there is nothing quite as frustrating as having to deal with a too-hot hair dryer just because you can’t adjust the heat to a more comfortable level.
To top things off, a good dryer also includes added features like ionic or infrared technology which help retain hair moisture and protect it from long-term heat damage. Not to mention, ceramic and porcelain technologies help move things along so you don’t have to spend two centuries trying to tame your hair.
While a good dryer doesn’t have to break the bank, be prepared to be set back a few hundred bucks or so.
The good news? If you take proper care of it, you will have a salon-quality blowout within arm’s reach for a long time.
Plus, they tend to be prettier than most. If you have to wake up to the same dryer every day, wouldn’t you rather it was easy on the eyes?
Is a hair dryer with high wattage better than one with lower wattage?
Naturally, higher wattage hair dryers often have a broader wind and heat range. Extremely high heat settings may not be the best for your hair, but wind power packs a big punch.
So when it comes to wattage, feel free to go wild. But be sure to turn down the heat and raise the speed.
That said, not every hair dryer touted for being extremely powerful is the best bet, even for thick or coarse hair.
So what is a good wattage for a hair dryer?
Different kinds of hair require different levels of heat and dryer wattage, so heat levels should be adjusted to suit hair type. For example, 2300W would take care of thick hair perfectly.
On the other hand, hair dryers below 1400W may not suit even fine hair, so look for a dryer with 2000W or higher. Simply turn down the heat to suit your hair.
However, take note that higher wattage often means a bigger motor and in turn a heavier dryer. But it’s a small price to pay for convenience.
How do you make thick hair dry more quickly?
Ain’t nobody got time for hour-long blowouts.
Unless you do, in which case — good on you!
Even then, the cramps resulting from holding a dryer for too long aren’t the most fun.
So here are a few tips to help you save time while blow-drying so you can return to more important matters — like aimlessly scrolling through your Instagram feed.
Be generous with your conditioner
So you have been tasked with the great charge of managing thick hair.
It’s not something to be taken lightly — especially when it comes time to wash it.
A great conditioner can detangle your hair and make it easier to manage. The smoother it is after you shower, the less time it will take to dry. Be sure not to skimp out on the conditioner.
Wring and towel dry — but not for too long
Carefully wring out your hair while in the shower, and as soon as you get out, rock a towel turban. Just be sure not to keep it under the towel for too long. Any longer than 14 minutes and the hair to cotton friction will strain your strands.
Let nature help
Even your blow-dryer needs a little help sometimes, and air-drying can go a long way. As soon as you remove the towel, get your morning routine underway or do other things while you wait for it to air out. When you do begin blow-drying, you’ll be surprised how quickly it gets done.
Break out the detangler
A detangling cream or serum helps save you combing time. Plus, it adds bounce and shine to your hair.
Comb or brush?
If you use a wide-tooth comb, you can reduce breakage and split-ends.
Sure, you might not miss it since you have been blessed with a forest of hair, but breakage often means three to five more minutes of trying to de-hair your brush.
Unless you normally leave the hair on your brush, in which case — gross!
After combing out possible tangles, you can switch to a brush.
Which is better for this hair: ionic or ceramic hair dryers?
Both ionic and ceramic technologies are beneficial additions to hair dryers for thick hair.
Ionic hair dryers do an excellent job of preventing frizz by producing negatively charged ions that break down water molecules. This ensures that hair remains sleek and that the hair shaft is not compromised.
Overall, ionic hair dryers allow your hair to dry at lower temperatures, preventing heat damage. They also ensure that your hair dries faster while preserving its natural definition.
On the other hand, ceramic hair dryers are coated to aid in even distribution of heat, which is virtually impossible with standard hair dryers. Ceramic works as an auto sensor, adjusting the heat to an ideal temperature, firing things up at the beginning of the dry and lowering it when moisture is reduced. Ceramic dryers also release negative ions to help control frizz.
Infrared hair dryers are essentially the same as ionic hair dryers, while porcelain and tourmaline are great alternatives to ceramic.
Ultimately, any of these features will speed up the blow-drying process, but they typically cost more than standard hair dryers.
What are the best hair dryers for thick hair?
The best hair dryer for thick hair is one that can deliver an excellent blow-dry without compromising the quality of your hair.
Of course, given all the above information, you can see that it’s a life-changing decision. However, once all the technical boxes are checked, it all comes down to personal preferences and budget.
The Dyson Supersonic hair dryer promises an unrivaled blow-drying experience with top-notch, all-inclusive design and construction. However, other options on this list are fierce contenders to our top pick.
The Parlux Alyon hair dryer will deliver you the best of everything with its ceramic and ionic technology topped by energy-saving and environmentally friendly materials.
The Revlon Salon Infrared hair dryer is an enticing option with all the perks of a high-end pick for a fraction of the price.
Simply put, you cannot go wrong with any of our recommendations. And if you decide to explore your options beyond this list, be sure to do it with these tips in mind. Your hair dryer may be the difference between great praise-worthy locks and hair that you consistently consider putting a clipper through — your call!
If you made it this far, you have earned yourself a treat. How about a few something-somethings to improve your blow-drying experience?
- DuraComfort Essentials Hair Towel: Get your Carmen Miranda on, and save some blow-drying time.
- mDesign Blow Dryer Mount: For stowing away your hair dryer in style, and within reach.
- Moroccan Oil Treatment: Some added encouragement to make your thick hair behave.
- Conair Pro Hair Brush: For styling your gorgeous mane without snags.