When I finally decided to go natural, I quickly realized that the blow dryer I used to use on my relaxed hair wouldn’t work as effectively with natural hair. I had to look for a blow dryer that straightens natural hair as desired, without feeling the need to go for a silk press.
I eventually bought a new one that was better suited for my new hair texture. My hair is type 4C, which has its own demands. I have previously shared about how I suffered from heat damage just ten months after going natural, but this didn’t stop me from using heat to straighten my hair. I just do it less frequently now and always make sure to use a good heat protectant.
Here are my top three picks:
- Best dryer (overall) – Bio Ionic 10x Ultralight Speed Dryer
- Best mid-range dryer – BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Dryer
- The best budget dryer – John Frieda Frizz Ease Full Volume Hair Dryer
Best blow dryer that straightens natural hair
If you are looking for a blow dryer that straightens natural hair and shows the real length of your mane, there are several options you can consider.
Bio Ionic 10x Ultralight Speed Dryer
This is a heavy-duty blow dryer ideal for course natural hair. The 1,800-watt dryer was created by a professional stylist who understands how a good dryer should work.
It comes with a concentrator nozzle that enables you to straighten your hair as you desire. There’s also a cool shot button for cool air.
As the name suggests, this “10x” dryer will dry your hair in less than 10 minutes depending on the length of the hair.
This dryer has a patented EcoDrive motor that uses less 75% electricity than other dryers available in the market.
The patented technology also makes the dryer to be quite light in weight, therefore, making it quite portable.
It works by using the ionic tools that have been fused with natural volcanic minerals to give off negative ions.
These negative ions’ purpose is to sink small molecules of water as deeply into the hair as possible.
This not only conditions your hair but leaves it hydrated which is one of the best benefits of this dryer.
Remember natural hair needs as much moisture as it can get.
This dryer also helps to flatten the outer hair cuticle in a bid to lock in the moisture. This results in shiny hair.
The dryer comes with a cord that’s 9ft long and has a 10-year warranty from the manufacturer.
- High performance
- Conditions and moisturizes the hair
- Uses 75% less electricity
- It’s durable
- Really lightweight (weighs less than 1 lb)
- Dries hair within a few minutes
- Eliminates frizz
- The manufacturer has combined speed and heat. You can’t use low heat and high speed, you have to do low heat and low speed, high heat high speed, etc.
Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer Iron
This is one of the most ideal dryers for natural hair for it helps protect it from heat damage.
It comes with attachments such as a styling concentrator, a diffuser, and a smoothing nozzle. These attachments are very effective when straightening natural hair.
The smoothing nozzle works to flatten the shafts of all strands of hair, leaving them shinier.
The concentrator nozzle straightens hair, especially when dried section by section, without necessarily drying out the adjacent section.
This dryer has a diffuser with longer prongs that are able to penetrate deeper into the hair for better air circulation closer to the roots.
This is one way to add more definition to curls.
The Dyson dryer is known to effortlessly tame frizz and flyaways, making it most ideal for naturally curly/wavy hair.
This 1,600-watt dryer uses cool air to dry hair. This helps various hairstyles to stay in place longer than they would normally do when heat is used.
- Protects hair from heat damage
- Tames frizz and flyaways
- Leaves hair looking glossy
- Cool air holds hairstyles in place for longer
- Light and portable
- Quieter machine
- Dries hair faster
- Not ideal for thinner hair
Elchim Classic 2001 Dryer
This 1,875-watt dryer works to deliver fast airflow for faster drying.
This reduces the time required for drying the hair by half.
The temperature remains constant as you had set it from the beginning. It uses minimal heat and doesn’t result in any damage to your hair.
The dryer comes with a precision nozzle attachment for brushing and styling.
You can straighten your natural hair by concentrating the heat on different sections of the hair, and styling as desired.
The one feature that this Elchim dryer lacks (for those who don’t want to use heat) is a cool shot. This differs sharply from other dryers in the market.
Using the low setting has the same effect though.
It has a durable motor that’s good for 2,000 hours of use.
The housing of the dryer is made using polycarbonate plastic that is resistant to shock and flames that may result from aging.
This makes it long-lasting and safe for home use.
It has a total of seven switches that you can use to adjust the rate of airflow and heat to your hair at any time.
It leaves the hair shiny and soft after use due to its excellent ability to control heat.
- It’s long-lasting
- Shock and flame resistant
- Dries hair faster
- Control static
- It’s quiet
- Controls frizz
- Lacks a cool shot
BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Dryer
This is a very powerful dryer that works at 2,000 watts for faster drying of hair.
The faster the hair dries, the fewer chances you have to suffer from heat damage.
For hair straightening, this hair dryer has an attachable concentrator nozzle.
The dryer has six heat and speed settings to choose from. It also has a cool shot button.
The button is clearly labeled on the dryer to blast cold hair directly into your hair.
This cool shot can be used to dry all the hair or to make the style last longer after you’ve finished drying and styling.
It has a patented technology where the dryer uses titanium that conducts heat to blast negative ions deep into the hair.
The positive ions are mainly as a result of styling and can cause frizz and static.
Negative ions work to revert this static charge on the hair. This results in the hair becoming more manageable and shiny.
This dryer is great for use on thick and unruly hair. It helps this type of hair to dry quite fast.
- Uses ionic technology
- Has a removable filter making it easy to clean
- Ideal for thick hair
- Minimizes split ends
- Has a variety of speed and heat settings
- Light and portable
- The outer part tends to heat up so be careful while using it
RUSK Engineering W8less Professional 2000 Watt Dryer
This dryer delivers hot air to your hair at a very fast speed. It uses 2,000W and dries wet hair at a higher speed than others available in the market.
It has a total of seven heat and speed settings to choose from.
You can select the right heat setting for you to protect your hair against heat damage.
It comes with a detachable concentrator nozzle that enables the straightening of natural hair from the roots using the right kind of brush.
This dryer is suitable for use on all hair types and works really well on thick, coarse hair.
The outer cover is shiny and appealing. This is because it’s made using an infusion of tourmaline and ceramic.
Additionally, the dryer uses far-infrared technology known for faster drying time.
This heat styling appliance is also very light and small enough to comfortably fit on your palm.
It tends to heat up when you use the highest heat setting so be careful when using it.
You can opt to wrap a towel around the dryer’s handle to protect your hand from the heat.
- Has seven heat setting
- Dries hair faster
- Easy to use
- Durable outer casing
- Ideal for thick hair
- Tends to heat up when using the highest heat setting
John Frieda Frizz Ease Full Volume Hair Dryer
This hair dryer delivers air to your wet hair at a very fast rate and can reach high temperatures (though not uncomfortable on your head).
This cuts the amount of time you need to spend drying your hair especially when you have limited time.
If you are using it to straighten natural hair, there are two concentrators that come with this dryer that help with styling. Make sure to brush your hair throughout.
The concentrators also help in providing more body in targeted areas.
As an added bonus, this dryer also comes with a diffuser that enhances curls and volume.
This dryer uses ionic technology that delivers negative ions that break apart the positive water molecules. This results in shiny and soft hair.
It also has a cool shot button to help hold your hairstyles in place for longer.
You can say goodbye to frizz after using this hair dryer that’s powered by a 1,875W AC motor.
- Has three heat settings and two speed settings
- It’s lightweight
- Uses ionic technology
- Easy to use
- Comes with two concentrators and a diffuser
- Easy to clean by removing the filter from the back
- Breaks down after long-term continuous usage
Jinri Professional Infrared Ionic Hair Dryer
This is a tourmaline hair dryer that uses infrared technology to dry your hair at a faster rate than traditional ones.
The dryer has also incorporated ionic technology for better hair straightening.
The need to combine the two technologies is to ensure your hair is protected from heat damage that can result from constant use of the blow dryer.
The amount of frizz is also significantly reduced due to the combination of the two technologies.
This dryer has two speed and three heat settings, as well as a cool shot button.
The best combination to use is low heat and high speed for faster drying with no heat damage to the hair.
It comes with three accompanying attachments: the diffuser, the concentrator, and the comb nozzle.
For someone with naturally curly hair, you’ll want to make use of the concentrator nozzle for maximum straightening.
The dryer runs on an AC motor of 1,875W and comes with a two-year warranty.
- Comes with three useful attachments
- Combines ionic and infrared technology
- Ideal for all hair types
- Has two speed and three heat settings
- Locks in moisture
- Eliminates frizz
- The design is not ergonomic
Different categories of hair dryers
There are three different types of hair dryers. Each is ideal for a certain type of hair.
Ceramic hair dryers
Ceramic dryers are known for even heat distribution. This helps in protecting your hair against heat damage.
They make use of infrared technology that does not dehydrate the hair. It instead penetrates deep into it, locking in the moisture.
This type of dryer heats up faster, and therefore. reduces the amount of time needed to dry the hair. It emits negative ions that benefit the hair by reducing static.
The ceramic clay coats the inside of the blow dryer, which is why it’s able to an even amount of heat.
This dryer is ideal for any type of hair but works best if your hair type tends to dehydrate easily.
Ionic hair dryers
The water molecules on your hair are positively charged. The ionic hair dryer produces a multitude of negative ions whose sole purpose is to dismantle the positive charges.
These negative ions don’t cause any harm to the hair shaft and leave the hair all soft and shiny.
The reason this type of dryer is very popular is that you can use little heat to completely dry your hair.
It also helps to reduce frizz on the hair because the negative ions neutralize the static charges on your hair
Ionic hair dryers are best used on thick and coarse hair though they can be used at varying temperatures for other hair types.
Tourmaline ceramic hair dryers
This type of blow dryer is best used by people who tend to dry their hair regularly.
It is known for better heat control by evenly dispersing it and making the temperature more stable in the process.
The tourmaline material coating the inside of the dryer is responsible for sealing off hair cuticles resulting in hair that’s smooth and shiny.
The heat emitted by these dryers causes no damage to the hair because it dries the hair gently.
This means you can increase the amount of heat you use to dry your hair without worrying about damage.
It’s capable of regulating the heat by reading the room temperature automatically and making the necessary adjustment.
The air that flows from it as you start to dry your hair is hot. It then gradually cools off.
The type of blow dryer that’s suitable for natural hair
If you are like me and wear your hair all-natural, then this section is written especially for you.
You realize you cannot use most of the products and equipment you used to back when your hair was chemically treated.
Natural hair requires a new set of tools to maintain it, including another blow dryer.
I tried to use my old dryer on my naturally curly 4c hair and it didn’t straighten the hair as I wanted.
It was a traditional simple dryer. This led me to do fresh research on the most ideal dryer for my type of hair.
When choosing the most ideal hair dryer for my 4C coarse hair, I had to learn what works for my hair.
I prefer a hair dryer with a cool shot as lots of heat can easily cause damage to my hair. I don’t want to go through heat damage again.
The ideal dryer is the one that utilizes ionic technology to combat the positive molecules of water on my hair leading to reduced frizz.
Factors to consider when buying a blow dryer for natural hair
The one thing learned when looking for a blow dryer for my naturally curly and coarse hair is that you can’t just buy any.
There are certain aspects of this hot tool that I had to take a keen interest in.
Blow dryers are made using different materials. Each is best for a certain type of hair due to the heat intensity needed to dry it.
The materials most commonly used are tourmaline, ceramic, and titanium.
Tourmaline is the best for my thick and coarse type of hair. This is because of the ionic technology that gives off negative ions to dry my hair faster.
Ceramic hair dryers are the most preferred by people with fine hair. The outer casing is normally plastic which is coated with ceramic.
These are best for fine hair that’s easily prone to drying. They make use of infrared technology which dries hair from inside out faster and thus helps to prevent dehydration.
Titanium hair dryers are known for their equal delivery of heat at a steady temperature.
They’re most ideal if you want to dry your hair very fast. It gets too hot and, therefore, may not be the best choice for fine or damaged hair.
The cool shot
If you are like me who tends to over-use the cool shot button on my dryer, then this is the one feature that you look for in your dryer of choice.
The cool shot delivers cool air at a fast rate drying my hair without using any heat. I prefer it because it minimizes any chance of heat damage to my hair.
This feature also helps my hair retain a nice shine.
The accompanying accessories
Blow dryers come with several detachable accessories varying from one type to the other.
My ideal dryer has both the concentrator and the diffuser. For my frizz-prone hair, the diffuser works best to deliver airflow deep into it for maximum drying.
A good concentrator is an ideal accessory to have if you are straightening your hair; and when finishing off the drying process.
One thing to remember about these accessories is that they are ideal for different types of hair.
The concentrator works best with hair that’s being straightened and the diffuser is ideal for curly hair.
Blow dryers with higher wattage are known to have powerful motors that cut down the drying time. They also enable faster straightening using the concentrator nozzle.
This means you can dry or straighten your hair at a faster pace using higher wattage dryers, most of which are above 1,800 watts.
These are the most preferred because you don’t have to use a lot of heat to dry the hair. This reduces the chance of getting heat damage.
The high wattage dryers are also known for their durability making them the ideal purchase if you want a one that lasts.
There is no need to purchase a low wattage dryer and then keep purchasing one every year.
The speed and heat settings
Some dryers only have two speed settings of high and low while others like the one I use have three.
The more the number of speed settings, the better the control of airflow speed you have.
Dryers also have heat settings which you must consider.
There are those with three heat settings and those with four.
The size and weight
My dryer is a powerful 2000W machine but the other aspect of it I enjoy is its small frame and light weight.
When you have lots of thick hair to dry and straighten, a big and heavy dryer will easily wear you out even before you’re halfway done.
Consider the size of your hand and the type of hair you have before purchasing just any dryer.
A small and light one with higher wattage works best so that you’re not tired even before you leave for work.
You should be able to use your blow dryer comfortably without it slipping off easily or causing you any discomfort.
The best dryer is ergonomic, meaning the handle is slip-free. This means when you’re making an online purchase, check for this feature.
The placement of the buttons is another factor to keep in mind for the dryer to be ergonomic.
The buttons are better-placed where they’re reachable but not too close to keep setting them off unintentionally.
These dryers have varying warranty periods depending on the manufacturer.
They can range from two to ten years.
Cleaning and maintenance
The build-up of lint and hair on the machine can be hazardous.
Select a dryer with a detachable filter which you can remove to clean regularly. You don’t have to open up the whole dryer just to clean it.
Find one that has replacement parts in case something breaks down and you have to replace it.
It might be easier just to have it repaired than throwing it away to buy a new one.
How to use a blow dryer by yourself
I wrote a detailed post on how to use a hair dryer by yourself that looks at things that you should do first before embarking on the hair straightening process.
To make the experience a little easy, you should blow dry your hair in sections so that you give sufficient attention to each part.
Using the right hair dryer is important so as to ensure that you don’t leave your hair looking all frizzy.
Another way to avoid frizz is to detangle your hair using a wide-tooth comb before you begin blow-drying.
You can also opt to purchase a comb attachment for the dryer (that is compatible with all blow drys) that can help in detangling the hair before you begin straightening it.
During the blow drying process, use a paddle brush to ensure your hair stays smooth, without tangles and frizz.
Once in a while, I try to get rid of hair shrinkage by straightening my hair using a blow dryer.
It’s best to choose a blow dryer that works with your type of hair. Avoid purchasing any random dryer because this can lead to heat damage and frizz.
As discussed above, you’ll need a dryer with an attachable concentrator nozzle if you are straightening natural hair.
This concentrates airflow down the length of your hair and into smaller regions of the hair, resulting in straighter hair with less frizz.
You have various options to choose from above if you are looking for a blow dryer that straightens natural hair.