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13 hair dryers designed to be less harsh on your hair

A hairdryer is a fairly basic hair styling tool, but it's also one of the most versatile. Not only can it dry your hair in a hurry, but you can also use it to straighten, curl and add volume.

Like any heated styling tool, though, a hair dryer can damage your hair, particularly if you have fine, damaged or color-treated hair. Fortunately, some dryers are designed specifically to limit the damage done to vulnerable hair. 

If you need a new dryer for your styling routine, check out these premium hair dryers that can effectively dry your hair without doing too much damage. 

In this article: Remington Damage Protection Hair Dryer, BaBylissPRo Ceramix Xtreme Hair Dryer and BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Portofino Hair Dryer

What to look for in a hair dryer to protect your hair

If you're shopping for a new hair dryer but want a model that won't be too harsh on your hair, it's crucial to know what features to look for.  Of course, it starts with a dryer's materials, but other factors can also help prevent damage. 

  • Materials: You may be tempted to look at cheaper hair dryers to save money, but models designed to prevent damage are made with high-quality materials that often cost more. Non-damaging hair dryers usually feature ceramic or tourmaline nozzles because they provide even, consistent heat. That reduces the chance of hot spots that might damage your hair. 
  • Wattage: A dryer's wattage lets you know how powerful it is. Dryers with a high wattage typically take less time to dry your hair, but they can be harsh on fine, damaged or color-treated hair. Dryers designed to limit damage are generally medium wattage, so expect to see motors with 1,500 watts or less. 
  • Heat and speed settings:  Hair dryers that minimize damage usually offer multiple heat and speed settings. That lets you use the least amount of heat necessary to dry your hair, so you don't accidentally fry it. 

Best gentle hair dryers under $50

Remington Damage Protection Hair Dryer

This damage protection dryer features a special protective coating that offers three times the protection of other models. It also has three heat settings and two speed settings that let you control the drying process. It features tourmaline, too, which generates infrared energy to protect your hair.

Sold by Amazon

Conair InfinitiPro Salon Performance Hair Dryer

This lightweight dryer features ceramic and ionic technology that provides uniform heat that helps your hair dry 50 percent faster. It has three heat settings and even offers a cold shot button to lock in your style. It also features a removable lint filter to make cleaning easier. 

Sold by Amazon and Ulta Beauty

Revlon Infrared Hair Dryer

This affordable dryer uses infrared technology that keeps your hair from getting dried out. Its nozzle also has a ceramic coating to ensure it provides even heat. It offers two heat and two speed settings and comes with a volumizing diffuser attachment.

Sold by Amazon

Conair Ionic Ceramic Hair Dryer

With tourmaline ceramic technology, this hair dryer offers strong, even heat that can dry your hair more quickly to limit the damage. It also provides ionic conditioning to help reduce frizz and boost shine. It comes with a concentrator nozzle that can help smooth your hair.

Sold by Amazon

Best gentle hair dryers for $50-$100

BaBylissPRo Ceramix Xtreme Hair Dryer

This powerful hair dryer uses ceramic technology to provide even heat that limits damage. It also produces negative ions that reduce static electricity, so your hair looks smoother and shinier. It has a cool shot button and a concentrator nozzle.

Sold by Amazon 

Panasonic NanoE Compact Hair Dryer

This unique hair dryer draws moisture in from the surrounding air to generate super fine nanoparticles that penetrate your hair to hydrate. It also has a folding design that makes it ideal for travel. It offers two heat and two speed settings, too.

Sold by Amazon

Hot Tools Pro Artist Black Gold 2,000-Watt Ionic Hair Dryer

Combining ceramic and ion technology, this lightweight hair dryer can dry your hair quickly but with less damage. It has four heat settings, three speeds, and a turbo boost button for super fast drying.  It also has an ergonomically designed handle, so it's comfortable to hold. 

Sold by Amazon 

CHI 1875 Series Advanced Ionic Compact Hair Dryer

This compact hair dryer uses ceramic technology to lock moisture into your hair and limit damage. It also features an ionic generator to cut down on frizz and flyaways. Best of all, it comes with concentrator and diffuser attachments for styling. 

Sold by Amazon and Ulta Beauty

Best gentle hair dryers for $100-$150

RUSK Engineering Speed Freak Professional 2,000-Watt Dryer

Using infrared heat and natural ions, this hair dryer can greatly reduce the time it takes to dry your hair, limiting possible damage.  It has seven heat and speed settings and a lightweight, ergonomic design that makes it easy to hold. Its 9-foot cord allows you to move it easily around your head.

Sold by Amazon

BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Portofino Hair Dryer

This powerful hair dryer features Nano titanium ionic technology to smooth and protect your hair. It has six heat and speed settings that let you customize the heat, plus a cold shot button for locking in your style. It works especially well for coarse, thick hair. 

Sold by Amazon and Ulta Beauty

Best gentle hair dryers for $150+

ghd Air 1600-Watt Professional Hair Dryer

This pro-grade hair dryer features advanced ionic technology to help cut down on frizz and improve shine. It offers three temperature and two speed settings to reduce damage to your hair and an ergonomic design that works for both right- and left-handed users. It also comes with a concentrator nozzle for smoothing the hair.

Sold by Amazon 

Parlux 285 Powerlight Ionic and Ceramic Hair Dryer

This salon-quality hair dryer contains titanium and anodized fused plates that help reduce frizz and damage. It offers four temperature settings and two speeds, as well as an instant cold shot button. It also has an incorporated silencer to reduce noise when drying your hair. 

Sold by Amazon

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

This highly versatile dryer is designed to protect your hair from heat damage, so it dries quickly and evenly. It has four heat settings and three speed settings and uses negative ions to cut down on static. It also comes with five attachments, including a gentle air attachment for fine hair and sensitive scalps.

Sold by Ulta Beauty 

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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

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