To air-dry or blow-dry? It’s the question on practically everyone’s minds these days as laissez-faire hair maintains its stronghold. But while there are plenty of reasons to forgo products and styling altogether, most wintery days can be won with a polished, pulled-together look that offers additional don’t-leave-the-house-with-wet-hair insurance against cold and flu season.
With hundreds of hard-working models on the market, ranging dramatically in size, horsepower, and price, it’s difficult to know which is worth the investment. Maintaining the integrity of the hair is key, says New York hairstylist Tim Rogers, who has worked with everyone from Kate Moss to Rosario Dawson: “My drying tools have temperature control chips that monitor the [heat levels].” For others, efficiency and travel capabilities reign supreme.
Here, five pro stylists, who have years of backstage and on-set experience under their belts, help navigate the complicated landscape that is the world of blow-dryers.
Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, $400sephora.com
Photo: Courtesy of Bestbuy.com
“It’s faster and lighter [than other blow-dryers on the market] because of the genius digital motor in the base of the handle,” says Rogers of this smart hair dryer. For those with long or thick hair that requires a serious time commitment—and bicep strength, “it’s also [easier] to hold over long periods, which makes a huge difference.”
Amika Mighty Mini Ionic Hair Dryer, $52amazon.com
Photo: Courtesy of sleekhair.com
“I love this travel-size dryer,” explains Pecis of the affordable dryer he used backstage at Brock’s Spring 2019 show this season—which travels particularly well overseas. “It is the lightest hair dryer I’ve found that packs a true dual voltage.”
Photo: Courtesy of Jet.com
Elchim 3900 Healthy Hair Ceramic Hair Dryer, $195ulta.com
When speed is of the essence in the pursuit of a perfect blowout—hello serial multi-taskers and new moms—“Elchim makes my favorite blow-dryer because it dries hair very fast,” says Paul, who has lent his talented hands backstage at Self-Portrait and Thom Browne.
Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Dryer 2000, $249dermstore.com
Photo: Courtesy of Dermstore.com
“I love this blow-dryer by Harry Josh,” says the French ex-pat who often works with Julia Roberts, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Julianne Moore, to name a few. A fashion world favorite, “it’s powerful, easy to travel with, and it’s handmade in France!”
TwinTurbo 3900 Ionic and Ceramic, $235amazon.com
Photo: Courtesy of turbopowerhairdryer.com
For all hair types, but especially those that are damaged, brittle, or bleached, maintaining the quality of the cuticle is key. “I use ceramic and ionic hair dryers—they’re fast, and they don’t damage hair,” says the legendary hairstylist and founder of R+Co. Because what’s better than healthy hair done in a flash?