Before I was neck-deep in my hairstyling hobby with all the hair tools and mousses, I started with a hairdryer. It’s the foundation of any good hair day, as I like to say. And yes, even fine hair can take the heat of a good blow dryer! You just need to wise up and choose the best hairdryer for fine hair. Here are a few options.
Hair Dryers: A Field Guide
What are the advantages/benefits of a hair dryer?
You may be wondering, “Doesn’t heat destroy hair?”. While extreme temperatures do wreak havoc on hair, heat when carefully regulated, can benefit hair.
A hairdryer dries your hair quicker.
Compared to air drying, a hairdryer cuts the time you spend waiting for hair to dry so you can leave the house. Anything that saves you time is good in my book.
A hairdryer protects your hair from damage.
Leaving your hair wet for too long is actually a bad idea, whatever your hair type. When your hair is wet, it’s at its most vulnerable. The hair strand swells for a long time if you air dry and this can cause damage in the long run.
Blowdrying gives you smoother, lustrous locks.
Drying your hair with a blowdryer can reduce static in your hair, making your tresses softer and more docile.
A hairdryer gives your hair volume and allows you to style your hair in different ways.
For those va-va-voom curls and vivacious volume, a hairdryer is a must. Air drying can leave your hair drab and stringy. A quick fix is a DIY blowout that will make you look and feel your best. Never underestimate the power of good hair to transform your mood.
How do I choose a hair dryer for fine hair?
Shopping around for a good hair dryer for fine hair is just like shopping around for a good hair dryer in general, but with a few things to take note of for your hair type. You should look at the technical specifications of a product down to the accessories that come with it. For some, an affordable price tag is important while others want state-of-the-art build quality. Whatever you prefer, it’s good to keep in mind that fine hair has a tendency to be flat and can be vulnerable to damage.
More watts means more wind power for your hair dryer. While you certainly want something effective, a higher wattage dryer can be harmful to fine hair. It’s recommended to keep this number low for less resilient locks. A good number is 1875 watts maximum.
Components and Design
If ionic, tourmaline, ceramic, and titanium do not ring any bells for you, let me break it down so you know what to look for when buying.
Ionic and Tourmaline
When hair is wet, it’s filled with positively-charged ions. To counter this, some dryers emit negative ions that close your hair cuticle and speed up your drying time.
Tourmaline dryers are just like ionic dryers except they give you an extra boost of negative ions. Tourmaline is a semiprecious stone that’s quite pricey so you’ll find this material in more upscale hair dryers. Tourmaline is great for fine hair because it’s really gentle and non-damaging on hair.
Ionic technology, while a beast at drying hair and achieving a glassy look, is not really beneficial when you want to add volume to hair. However, unlike ionic tech that emits ions electronically, tourmaline emits these ions naturally, which lessens the flattening effect.
A good compromise is a dryer that allows you to switch between ionic and non-ionic settings.
Ceramic and Porcelain
These blowdryers are internally coated in ceramic and porcelain (they’re not just for dinnerware!). These materials are great for gentle and even heating and are ideal for fine hair types.
Titanium dryers offer less drying time and optimum and consistent heat. Titanium is a lightweight and durable material so they’re good for beginners. However, due to its efficiency, titanium hair dryers can give hot blasts of heat–not good if you have thin, fragile hair. If you don’t have thin hair, choose a titanium hair dryer.
Ease of Use
The things that determine a hair dryer’s ease of use is an ergonomic handle. Something that’s comfortable to hold and easy to maneuver around your head is a plus. Check the button placements on the dryer. Sometimes, switches can be accidentally turned off mid-styling, which is always annoying. Cord lengths should be long enough, especially if you travel or don’t do your hair in the bathroom. A retractable cord is a bonus.
The heaviness of a dryer is something to take into consideration, especially if you have long hair. While a workout is always welcome, you don’t want your arms to be too sore when styling. To be on the safe side, look for something that’s 1 pound or lighter.
A hair dryer can have a diffuser and/or a concentrator nozzle attached to it. For curly-haired girls, a diffuser keeps curls intact and reduces frizz. It can be great for fine hair too because it regulates the airflow of your dryer. If you want smooth, glassy hair, a concentrator nozzle is the right accessory for you. Contrary to what a diffuser does, a concentrator nozzle really focuses the heat on the areas where you need it.
Check the fine print before buying and look for a longer warranty period to cover any unexpected damages or shipping mishaps. At least one or two years is a good warranty period.
While I don’t recommend splurging all your savings for a blow dryer, I do recognize that quality comes at a higher price when it comes to blowdryers. A $20 dryer will cover the basics and for most people, that’s enough. More often than not, though, a more luxe dryer will last you a longer time than the budget option. Something with less powerful wattage will need to be replaced more regularly, too. But there are bargain buys out there, if you look closely. Weigh your options carefully and pick what suits your budget best.
What is the best hair dryer for volume?
If you’re looking to add body to your hair, stay away from dryers with ionic technology (except tourmaline) because while they can give shine and polish, that’s probably not what you’re looking for. Spring for ceramic, porcelain, or even infrared options instead.
Is ionic or ceramic hair dryer better?
When shopping around for a hair dryer, look for something that cares for your hair. You want the drying process to be as gentle as possible. A tourmaline hair dryer is a good choice because it has ionic technology that’s very gentle on hair.
The Best Hair Dryers for Fine Hair, Reviewed
The Dyson is, without a doubt, the Rolls Royce of hair dryers. And it’s easy to see why. It looks different from other dryers but in a good way. The design feels sleek and uber-modern. The motor is housed in the handle. It has 4 heat settings, including a cool shot, and 3 speed options.
Because of its compact design, it’s lighter than your average hair dryer. There are three attachments to choose from and they all connect to the dryer’s body magnetically. That satisfying click is a small detail but it makes the user experience so much more luxurious. You can choose from a smoothing nozzle, styling concentrator, and diffuser.
The Dyson is a great choice for fine hair because despite its efficiency, it actually doesn’t get super hot when you dry your hair. Its highest temperature is a mere 212F. A thermal sensor is embedded in the Supersonic which regulates airflow temperature 40 times per second. The device also emits negative ions to reduce static.
Because the motor is in the handle and the head of the dryer is lighter than the handle, the Dyson is easy to hold and lightweight.
This is one of the best hairdryers for achieving sleek looks because the dryer smoothens and straightens hair. Those with curly hair will love the diffuser on this one. The 2-year warranty doesn’t hurt either.
However, the Dyson has a slight flaw. It makes a high-pitched sound that is supposed to be on an inaudible frequency but can definitely be heard. You’ll also find some of the buttons are awkwardly placed on top of the handle but this isn’t a dealbreaker. What could be a dealbreaker is the price, which is on the highest end of the price range for hair dryers.
- premium build quality
- cuts drying time
- has multiple magnetic attachments and a nonslip pad
- very durable cord
- awkward button placements
- high-pitched sound
Tech has come such a long way that even hair dryers can be digital. The T3 is an ionic hair dryer with wide vents for faster drying that retains your hair’s fullness. It generates ions that penetrate the hair cuticle and reduce heat damage. There are 5 heat settings so you can adjust the levels to your hair condition and needs. There’s a cool option too and 2 speed settings which are great if you feel like the airflow is too much or not enough.
The two features I love about this hair dryer are the auto-pause sensor and the volume booster switch. There are several sensors embedded in the handle that detect whether you’re holding the dryer or not, and when you let go of it, it stops blowing. It’s great for times when you just need to take a break from styling for a moment. Definitely an energy-efficient feature. Secondly, the volume booster switch is basically just a fancy term for a switch that stops the ionic properties of the dryer temporarily. This amps up the volumizing abilities of your dryer, in case the occasion calls for it. The ability to just shift between ionizing and non-ionizing heat is genius.
At 1875 watts, this is at the threshold of the wattage suitable for fine hair. I think this is one of the best hair dryers because of its customization options and tech features. It’s quiet and lightweight. It has two nozzles included (sadly, no diffuser), one that’s wide, and another narrow one. The hair dryer comes in a glossy black with gold accents.
My misgivings about this come from the digital controls. While I like that they’re buttons and not switches, in some cases digital controls are not as durable as analog ones. Additionally, if you grip the hair dryer in an odd way, it will turn off even if you’re not using it (bad news if you have small hands) but luckily, you can turn off this feature.
- you can switch from ionic to non-ionic settings
- adjustable heat and power settings
- powerful wattage
- digital controls may not be durable in the long run
- auto-pause sensor may backfire on you
When I think of the Xtava Pro Hair Dryer, I think of salon scenes in movies where customers chit chat with their hairdressers. Because it looks heavy duty and no-frills, it would belong in a salon easily. And the best part? It’s affordable.
Though it may not be the most modern-looking dryer of the bunch, the Xtava is more than capable of heat styling. It’s equipped with large air vents boasting of 360-degree airflow. If you want to blow dry your hair quickly from scalp to ends, this is what you reach for. Users have reported fewer frizzies and more softness in the hair.
At 1875 watts, this is powerful. It comes with 2 temperature settings and 2 wind settings. There’s a cool shot feature and 2 nozzles (a large diffuser and a concentrator nozzle). The nozzles attach to the lip of the dryer through silicone grips. The diffuser is the star feature of the Xtava and will give you the most value for your money. It’s large with protruding teeth that will keep your curls fresh and defined.
Though there are adjustable heat options, the Xtava does not get scorchingly hot, which is great news for fine hair. Curly-haired women, in particular, are big fans of the Xtava.
If you’re looking for premium build quality though, this hair dryer may fall short. It’s made of plastic and fiberglass, but it can withstand temperatures up to 485 degrees Fahrenheit. The Xtava won’t be a suitable choice for traveling either because it’s nearly 2 pounds. However, its bulk hasn’t deterred its legions of fans from recommending it and the pros definitely outweigh the cons.
- large design with a large diffuser
- gentle heat
- can be bulky and not feasible for travel
- limited heat and power settings
Do you want smooth, frizz-free hair without frying it with high heat? The John Frieda Full Volume Hair Dryer might be up your alley with its titanium ceramic-coated grille that evenly distributes high temperatures. It’s even equipped with an advanced ionic generator that cares for your hair while you blow dry it. Other add-ons include a lightweight AC motor and professional rocker switches to change up the settings. There are 3 nozzles included, namely 2 concentrators and a diffuser, so you have something for any occasion.
At 1875 watts, this dryer has enough wind power to last you a long time and there’s even a cool shot option included. It has 2 speed options, in case you find the wind power too strong.
I hate it when a hair dryer scorches my skin so I’m happy this one stays at a reasonable temperature. The controls are intuitive, making for a user-friendly experience. What’s not very user-friendly, though, is its weight. At 2 pounds, this might be heavy for some folks.
The John Frieda is a hair dryer that is easy on the eyes with its silver and purple design. It almost looks like it could belong in a sci-fi movie.
Women with smaller hands may protest at the switch placements, which are inconveniently located on the handle and are easy to press accidentally. Some users also report that the handle is difficult to grip well and is a bit too narrow. For bargain hunters looking for quality, though, the John Frieda is a great deal.
- made of a ceramic and titanium blend with an ionic generator
- comes with 3 nozzles and adjustable heat and power settings
- pleasing color scheme
- switches are located awkwardly on the handle
- not easy to hold
Fragile, fine hair needs all the TLC it can get and the Remington Pro has it in droves. Its ceramic barrel is infused with crushed pearls that have ionic conditioners. Ceramic is a great material because it maintains a steady temperature. The pearl ceramic is even better with its conditioners that, when activated by the heat, imbue your hair with a lustrous, silky shine.
If you like drying your hair quickly, you’ll love the 40% faster airflow from the Remington. It has a strong AC motor that’s on par with those of dryers at the salon so you can be assured of its longevity.
The dryer has 3 heat settings and 2 speed settings with a cold shot added for good measure. I find this enough to mix and match according to what I need on a given day. The 2 nozzles that come with the dryer are also great. There’s a concentrator for extra sleekness and a diffuser to blow dry hair gently and protect curls.
This is one of the best hair dryers for fine hair because if you choose a lower heat setting, the extra airflow will get your hair dry faster without the added heat damage. The pearl ceramic is a nice touch, too. And with the dryer’s 4-year warranty, you can be assured you’re covered in case you get a product with defects.
A caveat with this product is that the cord runs a bit short. This leaves you with less space to maneuver the dryer. Also, if you don’t like rocker switches and prefer sliding ones or buttons, you may not like this one.
- fast airflow
- pearl ceramic technology nourishes hair
- short cord
- rocker switches can be iffy for some people
You may think the Dyson hair dryer will come up on top of this roundup but my heart is actually smitten by the T3 Cura LUXE Hair Dryer.
Maybe I just love cutting edge technology but the digital controls have won me over. It has features that the others in the list don’t have, notably an auto-pause sensor and a switch that turns its ionic properties on and off. My hairstyle will depend on my mood on a given day and the option to go for a sleek or volumized look is appreciated.
I love that that it’s an ionic dryer with 5 heat settings, a higher than average number, for sure. And lastly, I love that it has buttons instead of switches but that’s definitely a personal bias. Its gentle hum is easy on the ears and the dryer is easy to hold.
Overall, the T3 is one of the best dryers for fine hair and if you’re in the market for a new hair dryer, check it out!
About the AuthorLeah Williams is the founder of Lucky Curl and has been in the hair care and styling industry for the last 15 years. Since then, she has developed incredible expertise and a deep understanding of how to treat and style the most difficult hair types and is passionate about sharing her knowledge with the readers of Lucky Curl.
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