The bad news first: No hair dryer is actually going to make you enjoy the process of drying your hair. The sectioning, the repinning, the eventual shoulder cramp...it all blows (pun shamelessly intended). We could argue about whether or not it's an actually necessary evil, but its general suckage still stands. And if you're going to subject yourself to drying your hair as a semi-regular-to-habitual torture, it's also important to come to terms with the fact that no hair dryer, no matter how technologically savvy it is, will instantly make you better at drying your hair. That's why there are professionals we pay for this kind of thing.
But, contrary to what many believe, the quality of your hair dryer does matter. A worthwhile hot tool can make the difference between hair that's actually manageable and hair that you'd rather shave off and be done with. The two pillars of a good hair dryer are heat and control. Depending on your hair type, you'll want to really take advantage of the different Cool, Warm, and Hot settings, along with the varying air speeds (fine hair does well with cool-to-warm temperature, while curly hair needs high heat at a low air speed). A good hair dryer might set you back $200, but if you take care of it, it'll last at least a decade and will can save you money on spur-of-the-moment appointments at DryBar.
'You need to buy a good quality one,” said Dale Delaporte of Prema, the Australian salon that just opened their first US location in New York's Lower East Side. And since, no matter what, professionals do it better, we pressed for a recommendation: “The T3 Featherweight Luxe 2i is easy to use, and nice and lightweight, so it's not going to feel like you just finished a bicep class after blowing out your bangs. It also isn't so powerful that you feel like it might launch itself to space every time you turn it on. The nozzle concentrates the airflow so that it slides right over your hair minimizing frizz,”
Across town in the Meatpacking District, Bumble and bumble's Allen Thomas Wood recommended the Twin Turbo 2600. “We swear by it at Bumble. It is affordable, durable, powerful and gets the job done. I'm partial to its sleek solid black finish and love that it is straightforward without the gimmicks of ceramic coating or ionic technology,” Bonuses that do make it worth the cash: four heat settings, plus a cold shot, an anti-overheating device, and two nozzles.
GHD is an office favorite (you can absolutely suck at blowdrying your own hair and it'll still come out soft and manageable with it), but in case you don't believe us, take L'Oréal Paris Celebrity Stylist Mara Roszak's recommendation: “I love the GHD Professional Hairdryer—the right amount of power and just never fails me. It leaves hair nice and shiny no matter what. And they are prettier to look at than most,” Bathroom aesthetics are not to be ignored here.
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Photographed by Tom Newton.