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Would you spend $250 on a blow dryer? Or $400? These are the price tags on some trending hair dryers on the market right now. Which got me wondering: Are people really spending that much money to blow hot air?
If Amazon's bestselling hair tools section is any indication, it doesn't seem like it. One of the bestselling blow dryers on Amazon is priced at $15. Nope, that’s not a typo. And yes, you could buy 26 of these dryers for the price of one $400 dryer.
I originally bought the Revlon 1875W Quick Dry Hair Dryer when it was the bestseller on Amazon (with over 2,000 reviews and an affordable price, it seemed like a good option). It's since dropped off the list but this blow dryer has a smaller and cheaper sister dryer, Revlon’s 1875W Compact and Lightweight Dryer, that's currently the No. 1 bestselling blow dryer on the site. It's essentially the same dryer as the one I own but it comes without a frizz-reducing nozzle.
The version I have comes with all the bells and whistles of many high-end blow dryers: It has three settings that regulate both heat and air flow, a cool button, a concentrator nozzle, a removable end cap to eliminate lint, 1875 watts of power (which, by the way, is equal to or more than the expensive dryers mentioned above), a 5-foot cord for mobility and a hanging ring for storage.
How it works
I got my hands on the dryer and immediately noticed two things: how light it feels (at 1.4 pounds, that may come across as cheaply made but to me it meant zero arm fatigue) and how quiet and calm the dryer sounds (no roaring engine here).
The temperature and air flow were strong — it didn't take me any longer to dry my hair with this model than it did with a pricier blow dryer I own and I was able to lower the temperature from hot to cool within five seconds of hitting the cool button. (Professional stylists often use dryers with watts up to 3600, powerful enough to dry super coarse hair but for all other hair types and textures, the experts I spoke to said 1875 is sufficient wattage.)
The one drawback
The dryer did have one drawback: the nozzle. This concentrator’s half-moon shape and widish opening made it more difficult to accurately direct heat, which can lead to uneven drying and frizz. The snap-on nozzle also popped off a few times.
I'm not sure if it's worth the additional $5, so you may want to opt for the less expensive model if you don't plan on using this feature.
What the experts think
Impressed by this low-priced model’s performance, I asked a celebrity hairstylist at the Oscar Blandi Salon in New York City to what he thought about the affordable model. Juan Carlos Maciques, whose clients include Jennifer Lopez, Chrissy Teigen and Mariah Carey, offered up his tips on how to get the most out of this dryer.
The heat settings: "Be careful not to set the dryer too high, or you'll risk drying your hair before you even start to style it with a brush," said Maciques. "Use the high setting if you've got coarse or thick hair, the low setting if you've got fine or thin hair, which requires less drying time. Normal hair textures can start on high and end on low." To prevent dehydration and frizz, Maciques also recommended using a heat protectant spray, cream, or serum to create a barrier between hair and heat. One of his favorites: Oribe Balm d’Or Heat Styling Shield.
The cool button: “Your hair sets as it cools, so hitting it up with some cool air at the end of your blowout will help seal the cuticle, set the style, and give off more shine,” noted Maciques.
Concentrator nozzle: "A nozzle, held a few inches away from your hair brush, directs the flow of air exactly where you want it so you can achieve a frizz-free polished look," said Maciques. “Always point the nozzle down the hair shaft, in the direction of the cuticle, for the shiniest and smoothest surface."
Hanging ring: “Regularly wrapping the cord around your dryer could cause the rubber to crack and expose the wiring,” said Maciques, who suggested utilizing the ring attached to the dryer. “Or, if you don't want the dryer on display, lay it flat in a drawer with the cord loosely next to it.
For more stories like this, check out:
- This $30 hair dryer works better than my friend's $500 hair dryer
- 8 affordable hair dryers celebrity hairstylists swear by
- This $40 hair tool gave me an at-home blowout with so much volume