If you find yourself rushing out the door in the morning or are simply tired of using multiple tools to style your hair, it may be worthwhile to consider a hair dryer brush. These versatile items take the place of several other styling tools, letting you brush and dry your mane in a single step.
Hair dryer brushes come in both flat and round types, and with a variety of features. One that stands out for any hair type is the Drybar Double Shot Blow-Dryer Brush. It boasts ionic technology to reduce frizz, and a combination of nylon and tufted bristles that are gentle on thin hair yet capable of detangling thick locks.
People with short hair should pick a hair dryer brush with a thin barrel, while those with long tresses are better off with one that has a thick barrel. Those with thick hair should choose a model that reaches high temperatures and has tough bristles, while those with thin or damaged hair are best served by one that’s more gentle on their hair.
Hair dryer brushes come in round, oval and flat models. Most people find round and oval brushes more versatile and better for creating a range of styles, because they can be used for both creating curls and brushing them out. Flat paddle brushes can help with straightening but can’t be used to create curls or waves.
Hair dryer brushes with ceramic and tourmaline barrels are best for smoothing hair and reducing frizz. In the past, barrels made of these materials were typically more expensive than standard options. However, there are now affordable hair dryer brushes that boast ceramic and tourmaline barrels.
Nearly all hair dryer brushes have at least two heat settings: high and low. If you want more control, look for one with three heat settings or with a knob that allows precise adjustments.
If you plan on using your hair dryer brush often to create loose curls, wavy hairstyles or extra volume, consider one that features automatic rotation. This not only makes the job easier but also quicker. Ideally, these should be able to rotate in both directions.
Some hair dryer brushes are equipped with ion generators. These release negative ions that scatter water droplets, speeding drying time and preventing the water from soaking into the hair and causing frizziness.
You can find some hair dryer brushes with charcoal-infused bristles. These can help strip leftover styling product buildup and excess oils from the hair strands, as well as freshen it a bit. This can be especially useful for those prone to oily hair.
Hair dryer brushes should be easy to maneuver around your head without having to worry about a messy cord getting tangled up. To that end, some manufacturers equip theirs with long swivel cords.
Anytime you’re using a hot or motorized tool on your hair, safety features should be a consideration. For hair dryer brushes, this means an automatic shut-off if they overheat as well as heat-resistant bristles. Those with automatic rotation should also include a curl-release button or a sensor that can detect if your hair gets tangled in the brush.
Most cost $30-$100, though some highly advanced models can cost as much as $200.
A. There’s less chance of damaging your hair with a hair dryer brush than with curling irons or flat irons, since they produce less direct heat. That said, if you’re still worried about it, you can use a protective serum or blow dry spray to safeguard your hair against heat damage.
A. Hair dryer brushes can be used to create loose, wavy curls but aren’t very effective for creating tight curls. If you’re looking for well-defined curls, choose a curling iron instead.
Drybar Double Shot Blow-Dryer Brush
What you need to know: This offers a fast blowout with ionic technology to reduce frizz so you can get out the door quickly and still look your best.
What you’ll love: It features a combination of nylon and tufted bristles to offer the perfect balance of control and detangling. This also makes it a good choice for all hair types.
What you should consider: Some may find the thick barrel and handle make it awkward to use.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Sephora and Ulta Beauty
Revlon One-Step Volumizer Hot Air Brush
What you need to know: This affordable model does a good job drying and styling hair.
What you’ll love: It heats quickly and dries hair fast. The barrel's oval shape produces nice waves and loose curls. Ionic and ceramic technology reduce frizz and possible damage.
What you should consider: It's quite loud and the barrel doesn't rotate, though the design makes it easy to use anyway.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Ulta Beauty
Hot Tools Professional 24K Gold One Step Volumizer and Dryer
What you need to know: If you’re looking for salon-quality results in a short time, this is the way to go.
What you’ll love: It boasts charcoal-infused bristles to remove impurities and excess oils from your hair as you brush it. It also features a 24K gold-plated barrel with ionic technology to combat frizz.
What you should consider: It gets very hot, so be careful not to burn your fingers or neck on the barrel.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Ulta Beauty
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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.