Heat is an enemy of healthy hair, so every time you use a hair dryer, you run the risk of breakage, dryness, frizz and split ends. An infrared hair dryer is much gentler than traditional options, though, so it’s not as damaging to your hair — and can even reduce your drying time in half.
An infrared hair dryer is typically more expensive than a traditional dryer, but it’s an excellent option for anyone with dry, damaged or color-treated hair. It can help smooth and boost shine in your hair too. The BaByliss Pro BABTT5585 Tourmaline Titanium Hair Dryer is a top model because it features a 1900-watt motor and six heat and speed settings to help you style your hair in a hurry.
The more wattage a hair dryer has, the more powerful it is overall. Higher wattage dryers don’t burn out as easily as low-wattage models, either. For most people, an infrared hair dryer with between 1300 and 2000 watts can safely and effectively dry your hair.
Keep in mind that you’ll want an especially powerful motor in your dryer if you have extremely thick or coarse hair.
You can find some infrared hair dryers that weigh as little as 1 pound. Lightweight dryers are more comfortable to work with, especially if you have long, thick hair that takes more time to dry.
Professional-grade infrared hair dryers can be heavier, but they’re designed to balance their weight more effectively. That’s why they can often be pretty comfortable to hold despite their higher weight.
A hair dryer with an ergonomically designed handle is always more comfortable to hold and maneuver. If you travel frequently, though, you may also want a model with a folding handle, so it’s easy to fit in your bag or suitcase.
An infrared hair dryer with multiple heat and speed settings gives you more control when you’re drying and styling your hair. Many dryers feature high and low settings for the heat and speed, but you can find some options with a medium setting and more speed options to increase a dryer’s versatility.
A hair dryer with a cool shot feature emits a blast of cold air when you press the right button. You can use it near the end of your drying process to help seal the hair cuticle, lock in your style and boost your hair’s shine.
An infrared hair dryer with ionic technology produces negative ions, which target the positively charged molecules in water. That helps your hair dry more quickly and helps reduce frizz. A dryer with ionic technology also leaves you with smoother, shinier hair. Most of these dryers use tourmaline, a common semi-precious gemstone, to emit the negative ions.
Some infrared dryers come with attachments for the nozzle to make styling your hair easier. A concentrator helps focus and direct the dryer’s airflow to help straighten your hair. Conversely, a diffuser spreads the air out over a larger area thanks to holes in the attachment. It’s an excellent option for curly or wavy hair because it can help preserve the natural texture.
You’ll usually pay between $20 and $200 for an infrared hair dryer. Low-wattage models that don’t last very long generally go for $20 to $50, while more powerful models with negative ion technology and attachments usually cost between $50 and $100. Pro-grade dryers with the most power and features can cost as much as $200.
A. An infrared hair dryer provides more consistent, even heat than other dryers, so it doesn’t need to get as hot to dry your hair. That can help limit damage like breakage and frizz. It also dries your hair more quickly because the infrared heat penetrates all the way down to the cortex of the hair cuticle to heat it from the inside out.
A. A high-end infrared hair dryer can have a lifespan of five to eight years, though it depends on how often you use it. Lower-quality models don’t last as long, though — you’ll typically get one to two years of use out of it.
BaByliss Pro BABTT5585 Tourmaline Titanium Hair Dryer
What you need to know: This is a powerful dryer that dries your hair quickly and without causing any frizz.
What you’ll love: It features a 1900-watt motor and uses tourmaline titanium technology to boost your hair’s shine. The rubberized handle offers a comfortable grip. The infrared technology reduces dry time significantly.
What you should consider: The button controls can be accidentally hit during use.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Revlon 1875W Infrared Hair Dryer
What you need to know: An affordable dryer, this model is also highly effective for drying curly and thick hair without frizz.
What you’ll love: It features tourmaline ionic technology and infrared heat to boost your hair’s shine and smoothness. This model also comes with a diffuser for curly hair. Its lightweight construction is easy to hold and it makes less noise than other dryers.
What you should consider: Some buyers report the dryer breaking down after just a few months.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
MHU Professional Salon Grade 1875W Infrared Heat Hair Dryer
What you need to know: An infrared dryer with plenty of power, this hair dryer isn’t as expensive as some other models.
What you’ll love: It features a compact design that doesn’t require much space for storage. The dryer comes with concentrator and diffuser attachments. It boasts negative ion technology to help reduce frizz and also offers two speeds and three heating settings.
What you should consider: It is somewhat heavy, so it can get tiring to hold.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.