Drying my thick, wavy hair takes time, which I don’t have. Since I didn’t want to be late for work, I made it a point to look for the best hair dryer under $100 to get the job done without spending more than is necessary. I have found several blow dryer options that I am excited to share with you.
What are the Benefits of Buying an Affordable vs Expensive Hair Dryer?
There are different types of hair dryers available today and they can be categorized into two: the affordable ones and the expensive ones. From my research, paying a high price for a hair dryer means that you will get more features from it such as heat control settings, ionic technology, and better results. However, this doesn’t mean that getting a cheaper dryer for hair will be good for you. There are benefits to investing in one such as:
- Faster Drying Time. There are inexpensive dryers that can help dry your hair faster too. As long they have a powerful motor, you can quickly dry and style your mane.
- Dual Heat Settings. If you are looking for a simple hair drying tool that will take out all the guesswork when it comes to temperature, a cheaper dryer will help simplify things because of its dual temperature settings which are high and low.
- Works with Any Hair Type. Just like the expensive models, a cheap hair dryer can work with any hair type.
- Saves You Money. This is probably one of the main benefits of getting an affordable drying and styling tool. There are several budget-friendly blow dryers out there that can get the job done.
What Should I Look For When Buying a Hair Dryer?
Finding the best hair dryer is a daunting prospect especially when there are dozens to choose from. I, myself, was overwhelmed with the products available today that I wondered what should I be looking for in a hair dryer. That being said, I have made a list of factors that I think you should consider when shopping for a hair dryer.
- Wattage. When it comes to hair dryers, the higher the wattage it has, the faster it will be to dry your damp hair. You can always dry your hair in low settings if you have fine hair, but if your mane is thick, go for a higher wattage instead.
- Ceramic or Ionic Technology. Ionic technology is said to help tame frizz because of the negative ions that it produces, however, it does have a tendency to dry strands. Ceramic, on the other hand, can work on all types of hair, plus it can easily regulate temperature.
- Size and Weight. The size and weight of the hair dryer should be based on your comfort. If you are using a big and bulky dryer, chances are, you will just breeze through the drying process because your arms tend to get tired. If your hair is long or that you cannot hold on to a heavyweight for long, a lightweight dryer will give you better control without causing your arms to tire.
- Cool Shot Button. I stumbled across this feature in my quest for the perfect blow dryer for me and I figured that it does come in handy when setting my hairstyle in place. Give your mane a blast of cold air and it will help lock in your style in place for hours, plus it will give it a nice shine too.
- Nozzle/Diffuser. Some blow dryers come with add-ons like the nozzle and diffuser that I think are worth considering too.
- Price. The cost of the blow dryer should be taken into account as well because not all expensive ones are of good quality while the cheapest aren’t guaranteed to give you the best results. What you need to look for is a blow dryer that sits in the middle in terms of cost, such as those that are $100 or below.
- Hair Type. If you are looking for a tool that will help dry your hair quickly without damaging it, it is best that you consider the type of hair that you have. Fine hair will not do well under extreme heat, while those who have thick and coarse mane will need a blow dryer that can produce high heat just to be able to dry and style your mane.
Top 5 Hair Dryers That Won’t Break the Bank
During my search for hair dryers, I came across a few options below $100 that I think you should also look into. Here’s my take on them.
BaBylissPRO Ceramix Xtreme Dryer
In this list of hair dryers that you can get below $100, I knew I had to add the BaBylissPRO Ceramix Xtreme Dryer. What I like about this product is that it has a high wattage which is at 2,000. This is perfect for those who have thick or coarse hair even because it can deliver high heat that will help speed up the drying process. The far-infrared heat minimizes the damage to the strands as it focuses on delivering heat into the strands themselves which prevent breakage.
Another feature that is worth mentioning here is that there are six heat and speed settings that give you more control over how you dry and even style your hair. A cold shot button is located in the grip of the dryer for easy access. Giving your hair that final shot of cold air can help set your mane so that the style will last for hours or even until the next day. It has a concentrator nozzle which best suits those with fine hair, plus, the filter can be removed too for easy cleaning.
- High wattage makes it a good option for thick and coarse hair.
- It has a cool shot button that helps set hairstyle in place.
- It makes use of far-infrared heat to protect strands from being damaged.
- The six heat and speed controls give you more power to styling your mane.
- One user remarked on how hot the grip handle could get that it was uncomfortable to use.
- Another reviewer commented that the product’s inner wiring melted because of the high heat.
- A customer complained that the controls were hard to switch especially when hands are damp.
INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR 1875 Watt Salon Performance Hair Dryer
So far, the drying time is considerably faster and I think it’s because of the powerful motor that it was equipped with. The combination of ionic and ceramic technology worked like a charm on my strands since the negative ions helped tame any frizz that loved to pop from my head. The ceramic technology, on the other hand, ensures that heat is evenly distributed which produced some amazing results.
On the grip handle, you will see that there is a button for the cool shot, and there are the rocker switches for toggling 3 heat settings and 2 speed settings. It may be a bit challenging to find the right set up, but with some trial and error, I am sure you will find the right setting. You will also get a nozzle and diffuser in the set too which you can switch out depending on how you want to dry and style your strands.
- Design makes it look like a professional styling tool to use at home.
- Faster drying time because of its powerful motor.
- Heat and speed settings are within easy reach as they are situated on the grip handle for easy toggling.
- Ceramic and ion technologies produce salon-style results.
- One user complained about the loud noise from the motor when it was used.
- Another stated that the dryer was heavy.
- A reviewer did not notice any difference with the drying time from their previous product.
HOT TOOLS Signature Series Ionic 1875W Turbo Ceramic Salon Hair Dryer
This hair dryer can deliver up to 1875W of a powerful blast of air that can speed up the drying process of your strands without damaging them. It comes with six heat/speed options that give you complete control of how much heat to use on your type of hair.
Just like the previous products, it also has a cold shot button which causes strong cold air to blow on your strands, keeping them in place for hours. It does look and feel that you’ve just been to the salon. This hair dryer comes with attachments too such as the nozzle and diffuser which you can swap out depending on what type of hair you have.
- Delivers up to 1875W of power that creates a strong blast of hot air for faster drying.
- There are six speed and heat settings for better control over how you dry your hair and style it.
- Cold shot button can be used to ensure that the style is set for hours.
- Prevents heat damage because of its ceramic technology that makes use of far-infrared heat to minimize breakage.
- A customer noticed that the diffuser did not lock into place and tends to fall off while being used.
- Another user complained that her hair got tangled up because of the dryer.
- It doesn’t produce enough heat to dry thick strands, according to one user.
RUSK Engineering W8less Professional 2000 Watt Dryer
If you are looking for the best hair dryers, this one is for you. It weighs just one pound which means that you won’t be bothered by arm fatigue with it. However, just because it is weightless it doesn’t mean that it won’t have the power to dry your hair. This drying tool has up to 2000 watts of power in it that can handle even the thickest mane. The combination of ceramic and tourmaline is just perfect for not only taming frizz but also to deliver even heating on the strands for a more salon-style result.
The far-infrared heat technology targets the inner part of the hair strands rather than blast the coating of your strands where breakage can happen. I think that this is a great feature for blow dryers because exposing your mane to high heat can dry them up way too fast to the point that they become brittle.
- A lightweight blow dryer that minimizes arm fatigue.
- It hs a minimalist design with controls positioned within easy reach.
- It packs 2000 watts of power that speeds up the time it takes to dry your hair.
- It comes with far-infrared heat technology that heats up the strands from within to prevent damage.
- One user complained that the cold shot didn’t produce enough cold air to set their hairstyle.
- Another customer remarked that the warm setting was way too hot.
- A reviewer stated that the product wasn’t built to last as it died after a year and a half of use.
Remington D3190 Damage Protection Hair Dryer
Another brand that I will be adding to this list of the best hair dryer is the D3190 by Remington. This is a great option if you are looking for a dryer that will give you healthy, shiny hair. What made this dryer hair styling tool is the fact that it has 3x more protection for the hair because of its Advanced Coating Technology. Remington also has this proprietary feature which micro-conditions the hair thus giving it an extra shine.
Remington has also combined three materials in this dryer which are ceramic, tourmaline, and ionic to create a blow dryer that not only speeds up the time it takes to dry your mane, but also minimize heat damage as well. There are three heat setting and two speed settings here that you can mix and match as you see fit. Don’t forget that it also comes with a cold shot button too which I definitely enjoyed using.
- It is designed with Advanced Coating Technology that prevents hair from being damaged during drying time.
- Micro-conditioner technology ensures that hair is shiny and smooth.
- It combines ceramic, tourmaline, and ionic technologies to produce salon-style hair.
- Three temperature and two speed settings give user complete control on how they dry and style their mane.
- One customer complained that the diffuser did not lock in place and that it doesn’t work well on women with curly hair.
- Another user did not like the short cord that comes with this product.
- This hair dryer wasn’t built to last.
Which is the Best Hair Dryer?
Now that you have an idea on the hair dryers that I think are worth looking into, let me tell you my choice for the perfect hair dryer which is the BaBylissPRO Ceramix Xtreme Dryer. One reason why I think it is the best is that it has a high wattage at 2000watts which is perfect for those who have thick hair like me. It has a far-infrared tech that builds up the temperature from within the strands rather than the cuticle to prevent breakage. It comes with six different controls for the speed and the temperature which, with a little bit of tweaking, you can customize for your hair.
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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