Curly hair can seem impossible to manage, which leaves many resorting to a top knot 24/7. While curly hair takes more time and energy to manage, the first place to start is with a quality blow dryer for your specific curl type.
Finding Your Hair Type
There is a science behind curly hair and it’s more proactive than just avoiding certain brushes: you’ll need to understand your hair type and curl diameter first:
- Type 1s are straight
- Type 2s are wavy
- Type 3s are curly
- Type 4s are coily
- A’s are wide
- B’s are medium
- C’s are tight
Once you understand your curl pattern, you can find the best blow dryer for curly hair and other tools to support it. This allows you to bask in the full glory of your curly hair without fear of brushes, blow dryers, or unmanageable frizz.
First and foremost, a diffuser is a must. Some blow dryers come with this attachment, but there is an option to purchase a diffuser separately. If buying separately, make sure the attachment fits the barrel of your hair dryer.
A few other things to check before buying: the weight of the dryer, the length of the cord, and if it has a cold button for a quick burst of cool air to lock in style.
If we’re splitting hairs (pun intended), some folks on Reddit recommend a blow dryer with buttons vs. a slider for easier operation (see their detailed styling guide here).
Personally, I like the rocker switches which are a nice in-between and still easy to operate without actually having to look at the buttons.
Best Hair Dryers for Curly Hair
This is quite an interesting hair dryer – instead of blowing air towards you, it functions like a vacuum, sucking air in. This hair dryer is safe and gentle (no snags) and cuts down on drying time to boot.
Your typical hair dryer is going to work against your strands, going the opposite direction of your hair cuticle, which can create a lot of frizz. The RevAir works by drying hair in the same direction as your hair cuticle, which not only smooths hair and eliminates frizz, it cuts your drying time in half.
The unique design of the RevAir is also healthier for your hair because of its lower heat setting and its efficiency, which limits your hair’s exposure time to the windy vortex that wet curls require.
Another plus for this blow dryer is its 2-in-1 capability to dry and straighten. You can choose to keep curls natural or use the dryer to completely straighten hair. The RevAir works on extensions, braids, twists, and locs.
Just check their guide to make sure you’re using the correct speed for your desired style!Yes, it’s absolutely a splurge, but it will return the favor by cutting down on style time, giving your hair a more polished look, and keeping your strands healthier.
Dyson Supersonic (Splurge)
The innovative Dyson Supersonic hair dryer can be an amazing tool for curly hair, especially if yours is super thick and takes forever to dry.
It dries extremely quickly and even reduces frizz. The downside? One reason it dries so quickly because the heat is higher than a typical hair dryer.
So, we’d only recommend this one if you’re beyond sick of taking four hours every day to dry your hair, because it could cause some damage.
DevaDryer and DevaFuser (Mid-Tier)
Another unique and fun design, the DevaDryer and DevaFuser duo were made specifically with curls in mind.
The DevaFuser diffuser attachment stands out because it looks almost like a hand, with holes all around for air diffusion in every direction. This futuristic diffuser “surrounds curls in 360-degree airflow and gets right to the roots” which always takes the longest to dry.
Your roots are the best way to create frizz-free volume so you should always start here, drying from root to ends.If you’re bummed out by the price tag or already have a blow dryer you love, never fear: DevaCurl sells a universal diffuser separately for $50 that fits most commercial blow dryers.
RUSK Engineering Speed Freak (Mid-Tier)
This hair dryer perfectly balances price and performance. The RUSK is incredibly light, fast, and comes with a long cord; it’s a great hair dryer for curly hair because of the diffuser attachment.
You can adjust both the temperature (hot, warm, cool) and the speed (high, low, off) and it even has a separate cold button for a quick shot of cool air. Coupled with a 9-foot cord, the RUSK is a great choice for a novice styler.
A handful complained that the dryer stopped working quicker than expected, but almost every review was happy with the results of their hair – there are many positive reviews for its styling of curly hair specifically.
BaByliss Pro Dryer (Mid-Tier)
Recommended by a ton of people with curls of all types, a BabyLiss Pro is another great blow dryer for curly hair.
Well-made and built to last, this hair dryer will give you luscious (and non-frizzy) locks for years to come. On top of that, it dries your hair faster than the typical dryer!
CONAIR INFINITIPRO (Budget)
Don’t let the price fool you: the INFINITIPRO is a powerhouse for delivering quick, sleek styles. It comes with a diffuser and is known for delivering on speed.
While it doesn’t have any futuristic features like the RevAir or the DevaFuser, it’s a great pick for a novice styler looking for a basic blow dryer that will get the job done without breaking the bank.
Of the 11,251 reviews on Amazon, it walks away with an average 4.7 stars. Critical reviews pointed out the cord is only 5 feet long and the dryer itself is loud and on the heavier side, at 2.2 pounds.
Black Orchid Hair Diffuser (Budget)
When we said it’s all about the diffuser, we meant it. Simply purchasing a great diffuser for your regular hair dryer can make a huge difference! We recommend trying this before purchasing an entire new hair dryer.
This Black Orchid diffuser is loved by nearly everyone in the curly hair community. It maximizes volume while eliminating frizz, giving your curls the perfect look!
Note: If you’re going with a diffuser, make sure to check and see if the diffuser you choose will fit on your current hair dryer. Unfortunately, one size doesn’t fit all.
Bed Head Curls in Check (Budget)
This uniquely designed hair dryer can be used with or without the included diffuser attachment. Made specially for those of us with curly hair (similar to the DevaCurl), this affordable hair dryer has great results for a ton of people!
It features a convenient 6-foot swivel cord. Some reviews mentioned that they don’t recommend it for longer hair, but some others loved it, so it’s really a matter of trial and error. Luckily, most retailers have a great return policy!
All in all, when it comes to a hair dryer, the most important consideration is how much time and money you want to spend on your ‘do.
If you’re just looking for something to dry your hair, you probably don’t feel the need to drop a few hundred dollars on a hair dryer. Or, you might be looking for a professional tool that allows you more freedom to style and saves you money because you don’t have to go to the salon.
Whatever the case may be, make sure you know your hair type and curl diameter first to find the best hair dryer for curly hair that meets all your needs!
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