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14 Best Hair Dryers for Curly Hair 2023, Tested & Reviewed – WWD


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Updated November 24th, 2023: This article on the best hair dryers for curly was updated with new product selects and firsthand testing review notes, and was fact-checked by a copy editor.

If you have coils, ringlets, or curls, you know that correctly drying your hair can have a major impact on how your hair looks until the next wash day. With the best hair dryers for curly hair, defined and bouncy curls are guaranteed for the days ahead.

“Curly hair has a totally different process of maintenance than other textures, which require a different set of tools,” says curl expert Nai’Vasha, who’s styled the likes of Simone Biles, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Serena Williams. The main thing to look for in a hair dryer for curly hair is a number of heat and airflow settings: Curls do best when you dry them gently on low heat. Textured hair is no longer something that needs to be tamed — it’s something to be celebrated. Lucky for you, this means that the best curly hair products and hair styling tools for coily, curly, and wavy hair types are on the rise, so it’s easier than ever to craft a routine that keeps your hair bouncy with the best hair dryers for curly hair.

It’s equally important to start prepping curly hair from the very beginning by sudsing up with a shampoo for curly hair, followed by a conditioner for curly hair, and never, ever use a regular hairbrush — specifically designed brushes for curly hair are a must.

“People with curly hair are often scared of a hair dryer, especially when they’re trying to embrace their natural texture,” explains Nylza Yepez, hair stylist at Jenna Perry Hair Studio. But you don’t have to be: The best modern hair dryers enhance your pattern, instead of flattening it. And the wide range of the best curly hair mousses, creams, gels, and other styling products will ensure your curls stay. Plus, if your hair falls a little flat, there’s always a curling iron or hot tool to kickstart the curl back into action.

To select this list of the best hair dryers for curly hair, our editors conducted extensive testing on over 25 top-rated tools, evaluating the devices on types 2a to 4c hair. With this extensive first-hand testing and expert suggestions, we’ve narrowed down the best hair dryers for curly hair.

Top Hair Dryers for Curly Hair 2023

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Testing Verdict: Top 3 Blow Dryers for Curly Hair

No single hair dryer for curly hair earned best overall on our list due to the variation in the category and independent styling needs for different hair lengths, thicknesses, and curl patterns. Our testers found the top choices below best for a range of hair types, textures, and results.

  • Pattern The Blow Dryer: This thoughtfully designed curly hair dryer by Pattern impressed our testers for its ability to not just dry, but also expertly style types 2a to 4c hair. The included attachments are particularly handy for stretching coils for those with types 3 and 4 hair. With a sleek design and extensive settings, Pattern’s dryer is ideal for those who want a one-and-done tool for styling curly hair.
  • Conair InfinitiPro 3Q Hair Dryer: Our panel of testers rated Conair’s hair dryer as the best budget-friendly hair dryer for curly hair. Although it costs just $50 (and is frequently discounted to $20), this dryer performs as well as more expensive options on our list. It also includes two attachments that cater to curls, where similarly-priced options only include diffusers available for purchase separately. We vouch for this as a starter dryer or a travel hair dryer for those with curls.
  • Shark SpeedStyle for Curly Hair: With an impressive set of attachments, the Shark SpeedStyle hair dryer for curly hair ranks high on our list for its versatility. Not only does the Shark hair tool come with attachments that smooth and define curls, but it also includes a finishing flyaway attachment that quickly tames unwanted pieces of frizz. Its diffuser features adjustable prongs that make it handy for any hair length and thickness.

Pattern The Blow Dryer

Diffuser type: Pronged
Prong size: Medium
Special features: AC motor and ionic technology
Number of settings: Three heat settings and three airflow settings
Sephora Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars
Ulta Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars

Tracee Ellis Ross’ hair care line, Pattern, released its first hot tool in January 2023 after two full years of development, and no detail was overlooked in the process. Each of the four included attachments in Pattern’s Hair Blow Dryer were created with curls in mind. The bowl diffuser features aluminum plates that heat up to expedite your dry time, and the comb attachment helps detangle without flattening out your ringlets. If you’re looking to stretch or smooth your curls, the dryer has two attachments that’ll do the trick as well as the best hair dryer brushes out there.

Editor testing and review notes: “A multi-styling hair dryer is only handy if the attachments work with your hair texture — any for those with curly hair, that can be tricky to find. After testing Pattern’s hair dryer, I can assure you that curly girls will find use for every attachment included. I found myself using each of the included attachments in Pattern’s hair dryer on my curly hair, whether it’s the wide-tooth comb that detangles while drying or the brush attachment that stretches out curls. Yes, the attachments are genius, but the hair dryer itself is, too. The heat and airflow settings cater to curly hair — I love that I have the option to use low, gentle heat with the diffuser to dry your curls without blasting them through the roof.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $189

Conair InfinitiPro 3Q Hair Dryer

Diffuser type: Pronged
Prong size: Long
Special features: Ionic and infrared titanium ceramic technology
Number of settings: Three heat settings and two speed settings
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars

Looking for a budget pick that stands up to pricey alternatives? Say no more. Conair’s tool employs frizz-controlling ionic technology along with multiple speed and heat settings. It’s well-equipped for thicker hair, drying it quickly without blowing too much scorching heat. The included diffuser is ideal for lengthy hair types, courtesy of the diffuser’s depth and long prongs, as well as special technology that focuses the airflow within the diffuser’s bowl for faster, more efficient drying. And if you want to go sleek, the included concentrator attachment allows you to do just that.

Editor testing and review notes: “If you’re looking for a no-frills hair dryer that gets the job done, this option is for you. It gives incredible volume and ensures a fast drying time so there’s less heat exposure for your hair — aka, less damage. The real star of this dryer is the diffuser attachment, which features lengthy prongs and a deep cup that corrals my curls for fewer passes per section. On a low airflow setting, the attachment adds definition and bounce to my curls for a uniform look without frizz. Plus, it comes with a sleek concentrator that helps focus the airflow for precise drying on days I want to wear my hair straight.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $25

Shark SpeedStyle Hair Dryer

Diffuser type: Cup
Prong size: Extendable from short to long
Special features: Self-regulates temperature to prevent heat damage; ionic technology
Number of settings: Four heat settings and three airflow settings
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars
Sephora Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars

Shark is sharing an exclusive discount for WWD readers: Use code WWD15 at checkout to score 15 percent off any product over $150 at Sharkclean.com.

Shark Beauty is known for genius, budget-friendly hair tools like the FlexStyle multi-styler, and the recently launched SpeedStyle is hands-down the brand’s best hair dryer for curly hair. This tool is impossibly small and lightweight for its drying power; even thick hair types can expect quick, efficient drying with the device. The included attachments in this configuration of the SpeedStyle are crafted with curly hair in mind, giving you the option to define curls, stretch coils, and smooth unwanted frizz.

Editor testing and review notes: “I love how petite and powerful this hair dryer is — it has the portability of a travel hair dryer with the performance and bells and whistles of a luxury tool. Unlike other multi-stylers, the SpeedStyle’s attachments take mere seconds to figure out, thanks to their intuitive design and the dryer’s settings that automatically adjust based on the attachment you click into place. The diffuser attachment is a standout for to its roomy bowl and adjustable prongs, which allow me to dry the lengths of my hair or add volume to my roots.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $199.99

Related:
Shark SmoothStyle Hair Dryer Brush Review

Bed Head Curls in Check 1875 Watt Hair Diffuser Dryer 

Diffuser type: Pronged
Prong size: Medium
Special features: Tourmaline and ionic technology
Number of settings: Three heat settings and two airflow settings
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars

$24.49

$34.99

30% off

$24.49

$34.99

30% off

If your diffuser attachment is the only way you’ll use your hair dryer, this one from Bed Head is for you — the dryer’s diffuser isn’t a separate piece to tack on, but rather it’s built into the tool’s design. It’s more compact than other options, so it’s easy to tuck into a suitcase or gym bag. And the tourmaline ceramic material keeps your strands looking healthy, not frazzled. 

Editor testing and review notes: “While a hair dryer with a diffuser head instead of a nozzle might feel limiting, I can assure you that it’s actually genius. This tool is, of course, best for those who only use a diffuser in their drying process. The pronged diffuser style makes it best for those with shorter or thinner hair types, however it worked well on my long, thick curls (if you have similar length and thickness, expect it to take a few more minutes than a deep bowl diffuser). I love that I don’t need to worry about storing or traveling with extra attachments.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $24.49

Laifen Swift Hair Dryer

Diffuser type: Pronged
Prong size: Medium
Special features: Ionic technology, monitors temperature to prevent heat damage
Number of settings: Two airflow settings and three heat settings
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars

Looking to shave minutes off of your styling time? Laifen’s Swift Hair Dryer is an ultra powerful, petite hair dryer that does its work quickly. This best hair dryer for curly hair beat out all the others we tested in its airflow strength, which disperses both hot and cool air for drying and setting your curls. While it’s available in multiple configurations, we recommend this set for its inclusion of a diffuser attachment and two concentrators. Despite its serious power, the tool is impressively lightweight.

Editor testing and review notes: “I tend to dread drying my long hair because many tools can feel heavy after a while, but this one is super small, lightweight, and makes the entire experience feel less bulky and burdensome. This also may be the most quiet hair dryer I’ve ever used. My only complaint is that the heat settings are only displayed via colorful LED lights on the back of the hair dryer, so it takes a few uses to get accustomed to what color corresponds with your preferred setting.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $159

Dyson Airwrap Complete Long Diffuse Multi-Styler

Diffuser type: Pronged
Prong size: Long
Special features: Self-monitors heat to prevent damage; includes filter cleaning brush
Number of settings: Four heat settings and three airflow settings
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars
Sephora Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars
Ulta Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars

In case you missed the news, Dyson recently dropped a curly hair-friendly Airwrap Diffuse that’s complete with attachments for type 2A to 4C curls. This splurge-worthy tool comes with all the fixings that made the original Dyson Airwrap a TikTok-famous beauty product: It includes the Airwrap curling barrels for a post-blowout look, the Flyaway attachment that tames unruly pieces, and the dryer’s special airflow technology that prevents heat damage without sacrificing the styling result. The Airwrap Diffuse debuted with two new Dyson attachments for curly hair — a diffuser with long prongs and a medium-deep bowl, as well as a large round volumizing brush that smooths out curls quickly.

Editor testing and review notes: “I’ve owned a Dyson Airwrap for three years, so I can confidently attest to this tool’s ability to prevent damage and breakage while expertly styling my hair. The caveat? The original tool lacked attachments for styling my curls. But now it’s a non-issue with the Dyson Airwrap Diffuse, which features a full suite of attachments for stretching, defining, and enhancing my curls. Yes, it’s an investment, but one that will take the place of your other hair dryers and styling tools — and leave your hair healthier in the long run.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $599.99

Zuvi Halo Hair Dryer

Diffuser type: Pronged
Prong size: Medium
Special features: Infrared light technology
Number of settings: Five
Target Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.6/5 stars
Saks Fifth Avenue Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4/5 stars 
Best Buy Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.7/5 stars 

$259

$349

26% off

$349

$349

If you love the look of your hair when it’s air-dried, give Zuvi’s Halo Hair Dryer a try. This best hair dryer for curly hair and frizz employs patented technology to dry your hair without overheating the inner part of your hair shaft — this means you’ll get to dry hair in minutes, without damage or unwanted frizz. The Zuvi comes with a diffuser, styling concentrator, and a gentle air attachment. The cool airflow is particularly great for setting curls.

Editor testing and review notes: “When I tested the Zuvi hair dryer for the first time, I thought I clicked the wrong setting — this dryer is an anomaly because it feels lukewarm, never hot, while you use it. Despite the lack of heat, the dryer works impressively quickly to dry my curls without making them frizzy or frazzled. Another nice benefit: The tool hasn’t caused my color to fade like similar dryers do.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $259

T3 Featherweight StyleMax Hair Dryer

Diffuser type: Pronged
Prong size: Medium
Special features: Ionic technology
Number of settings: Five heat settings and three airflow settings
Nordstrom Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars 
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars

T3 tools are known for delivering a luxury feel and amazing results without an eye-watering price tag. The Featherweight StyleMax Hair Dryer is one of the best hair dryers for curly hair due to its diffuser, comb, and concentrator attachments that enhance types 2A to 4C hair, and its large range of heat and airflow settings. Those settings automatically adjust to your hair texture, taking out the guesswork when you’re styling.

Editor testing and review notes: “Once you get used to the range of settings, special features, and styling options this hair dryer delivers, you’ll be blown away by the results. The smoothing comb attachment was a favorite of mine during testing — it’s a dream for those who deal with tangles after wash day, as it glides right through knots to separate curls without flattening them. Just note that the hair dryer is made with a slick material, so it may slide in your hand if you’re working with hair oils or emollient leave-in conditioners.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $199.99

Drybar Buttercup Hair Dryer 

Diffuser type: Pronged
Prong size: Medium
Special features: Ionic technology
Number of settings: Four temperature and two airflow settings
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars
Sephora Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars
Ulta Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars

$199

$199

$

$199

100% off

Many dryers aren’t efficient on the lowest heat setting, but this Drybar Buttercup Hair Dryer works extra well on low heat, which is great for maintaining your natural curl pattern. The diffuser attachment is sold separately, but it’s worth the purchase for its versatile medium prong length that accommodates short, medium, and long hair. Give your hair some time to air dry before powering it on to speed up the process. 

Editor testing and review notes: “Patience is a requirement when you’re diffusing curly hair, as airflow that’s too strong can blast curls out of their natural pattern and high heat risks damage. Drybar’s Buttercup Hair Dryer is a favorite I’ve tested for its low heat and airflow settings that maintain my curl pattern without taking ages to dry my hair. I get a good amount of shine when I use the dryer, too.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $199

Gold ‘N Hot Professional Ionic Soft Bonnet Hair Dryer

Diffuser type: Hood 
Special features: Ionic technology
Number of settings: Four heat settings
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars

Hooded dryers offer a hands-free approach to drying your hair (and let’s be real, we all want that). This one earns high marks for its large bonnet that will fit even jumbo sized curlers. It also offers a wide range of heat settings. Simply secure the bonnet around your hairline, power the device, and put your feet up. You can also use this for your weekly or monthly deep treatment hair mask — the warmth helps the nourishing ingredients absorb.

What testers say: “The bonnet is just the right size, fits perfectly. I love how everything compacts into the case. This dries my hair so quickly, I’m amazed. I also need to run it low to medium as it does get quite hot, but I still give it five stars. My hair does not frizz and comes out with nice texture.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $49

Elchim 8th Sense Run Hair Dryer

Diffuser type: Cup
Prong size: Short
Special features: Ionic and ceramic technology
Number of heat settings: Three
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars

Yepez uses this luxury pick from Elchim at home and on the road (it’s incredibly lightweight). The ionic and ceramic features work together to prevent your hair from burning, and the airflow dries your strands from the inside out to boost overall shine.  The diffuser is sold separately so it’s pricey altogether, but the tool will last you ages — it promises 5,000 hours of drying time. 

Editor testing and review notes: “This is a professional hair dryer, through and through: It’s lightweight (amazing for longer styling times, which are usually involved with curly hair types) and ultra efficient even on a low heat and airflow setting. Out of the dryers we tested, this one earned high points for its durability — it didn’t show any signs of wear after weeks of repeated use and a few falls from a countertop onto a tile floor.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $265

Courtesy of Ulta

DevaCurl DevaDryer + DevaFuser Hair Dryer

Diffuser type: Hand
Special features: Ionic technology
Number of settings: Two speed settings
Ulta Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars

This funky shaped hair dryer is a favorite for any curl pattern. The DevaCurl DevaDryer + DevaFuser includes a hand-shaped diffuser that distributes airflow in a curl-enhancing way. It’s a great choice if you’re after more volume — the tool contains patented ionic technology that gives you lift while smoothing the outer cuticle of your hair for less frizz. The unique diffuser shape makes it easy to dry your roots, too.

Editor testing and review notes: “This was my first experience with a hand diffuser, and while there’s a bit of a learning curve, the results are absolutely worth it. You can use the diffuser to target roots where they fall flat and tend to use volume, or section out smaller pieces to define curls from mid-length to the end of your strands. I also love using this diffuser to refresh my curls between wash days.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $180

Ga.Ma Italy Professional IQ Perfetto Hair Dryer

Diffuser type: Cup
Prong size: Medium
Special features: Auto cleaning
Number of settings: Three speed and three heat settings
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars
Ulta Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars
Saks Fifth Avenue Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4/5 stars 

This sleek, tiny hair dryer packs a big punch: It’s beloved by hair stylists for its slim profile and high caliber drying power. Yes, it’s an investment, but the petite tool has all the high tech bells and whistles you could want. It even has an auto clean setting to keep the filter free of dust and debris and a memory function that keeps track of your most used speed and heat preferences. And the best part? This hair dryer for curly hair weighs just over 10 ounces. 

Editor testing and review notes: “Tired arms, be gone — this Ga.Ma hair dryer has the weight of a hair brush or hair straightener in the hand. While that’s a selling point for anyone, it’s particularly helpful when you need to devote 30 minutes or more to taking your hair from sopping wet to bouncy and styled. The auto-cleaning function keeps it humming like new, so you can count on it to outlast similar options. I’ve owned the tool for two years and it still feels as powerful and efficient as the day I took it out of the box.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $399

Remington ProLuxe HydraCare Dryer

Diffuser type: Pronged
Prong size: Short
Special features: Ceramic
Number of heat settings: Three
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars
Ulta Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars

Remington’s dryer has a special sensor to prevent heat damage while you’re drying — which is a high tech feature for a dryer this budget-friendly. It comes with three attachments, including two concentrators and a diffuser with short prongs, so you can amp up your curls or smooth them out. For under $150, it’s a great affordable hair dryer for those with curls to try.

Editor testing and review notes: “This compact choice is a nice hair dryer for those who can’t be bothered to fuss with a trillion settings and attachments. I found myself using the diffuser and narrow concentrator attachment equally, and both made quick work of delivering the results I was after. The diffuser’s deep bowl and short prongs are particularly handy for drying the lengths of my hair.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $129.99

What Does a Diffuser Do?

Hair diffusers are pronged attachments that snap onto the end of the hair dryer’s nozzle and are a secret weapon for all curl patterns. The best hair diffusers are designed to dry the hair in its natural state, according to Nai’Vasha. They distribute the dryer’s airflow over a larger surface area, so you get less direct heat, which tends to flatten out curls. They’re also an efficient way to dry even short, curly hairstyles, just be sure to use low heat to softly coax your hair into shape without creating excess frizz or flyaways, says Yepez. 

What To Look For In a Hair Blow Dryer For Curly Hair

Ionic technology: This is a must, according to Yepez. Ionic technology helps decrease frizziness, as the negative ions reduce static electricity and promote shiny, bouncy strands, says celebrity hairstylist Michael Dueñas. And for the science nerds among us, it also helps dry hair faster: Water has a positive ionic charge, so the negative ions repel the water from your hair.

Heat settings: We all know that hot tools can damage your hair when used regularly. But a dryer with adjustable heat settings is paramount — it allows you to calibrate the air temperature before it has the chance to burn your locks. “Your dryer should get very warm, but never so hot that you feel it’s going to burn your scalp,” says Dueñas. A cool setting is the cherry on top as chilly air seals the cuticles of your strands for a shiny finish. 

Diffuser type: All diffusers work similarly, but you can find them in a few different shapes. Cup diffusers are common: These circular attachments have prongs around a shallow bowl shape that’s helpful for corralling longer locks. Pronged options are just like the cup diffusers, but without the bowl-like indentation, and they work like a charm to lift your mid-lengths and roots. If you’re not after more volume, try a hand-style diffuser (which looks exactly how it sounds). The unique shape dries curls without poofing up your roots. 

Prong size: The length of a diffuser’s prongs also impacts your final look. Longer prongs diffuse less heat on your hair, providing softer curl definition. Shorter ones give you more control over where exactly the heat is concentrated, making it a great choice for those who want tighter ringlets.

How To Use a Hair Dryer For Curly Hair

  1. Remove excess moisture: Once you step out of the shower, Yepez recommends wrapping your wet hair in a t-shirt or microfiber hair towel to soak up as much water as possible. 
  2. Prep with product: Opt for a mousse or gel that delivers light hold. Scrunch it onto your ends and up towards your roots — it’s important to avoid a brush or comb so you don’t disrupt your natural curl pattern. 
  3. Diffuse the roots: “Set your dryer to a low air setting on full heat, and focus your diffuser on the root area, moving slowly in a circular motion until it’s about 90 percent dry,” says Yepez. This gives your ends extra time to air-dry, and allows you to finesse your hairline once you’ve dried your strands. 
  4. Dry the ends: Delicately take your curls and place the ends in the diffuser, then lift the dryer up towards your head. Be patient here, this step can take awhile. “Do not move the dryer until that section is about 95 to 100 percent dry,” Dueñas says. “The more you move curly hair when wet, the more frizz you will get.” 
  5. Hydrate your hair: Once your hair is almost fully dry, spritz a hydrating leave-in conditioner onto your ends. Then, do your best to not touch those strands — excessing touching or brushing will disrupt the natural curl pattern.
  6. Reset as needed: If your curls fall flat between wash days, just mist your mid-lengths to ends with water to reset your look, says Yepez.

The Best Products for Curly Hair

Choosing the right hair dryer is just one step in creating a routine that keeps your curls bouncy and frizz-free. Cycle these products into your rotation to ensure good hair days ahead.

  • Hair masks: All curly hair types can benefit from a monthly (or biweekly) hair mask session. Look for deep conditioners, which deliver a wallop of moisturizing ingredients deep into your hair for softer, shinier coils. Briogeo and Pattern have excellent options for different concerns.
  • Heat protectants: Before drying your hair, it’s important to apply a generous amount of heat protectant. Direct heat from a dryer — even if it’s set to low heat — can frazzle the cuticle of your hair and cause brittleness or breakage.
  • Styling mousses and foams: Even the best diffusers can cause some of your hairs to lose their curl pattern; that’s where styling mousses and foams come into play. These products give your hair some grip and hold, which sets your curls for the days ahead.
  • Co-wash: A rinse and condition is a great way to keep your curls hydrated — not stripped from over-shampooing. How often you use a co-wash depends on how frequently you wash your hair, but a good rule of thumb is to cycle one in every other wash day. Cycle in a clarifying shampoo if you notice buildup on your scalp.
  • Curl cream: Think of these formulas as leave-in conditioners tailor made for curly hair. They contain the hydrating ingredients associate with the latter, but with some extra hold to help activate and set your curls. You can use these products whenever you need a refresh. Moroccanoil has a great option.

Tips for Drying Curly Hair Without Frizz

  • Prep with product: Curly hair products with hold, like mousses, are an essential step for corralling stray hairs into ringlets and coils when you dry your hair. Apply the product on damp hair in a gentle lifting motion from your ends up to your roots.
  • Diffuse carefully: A diffuser is your friend: Without the attachment, the blast of hot air will ruin the shape of your ringlets. Stay patient and practice what Nai’Vasha calls the “do not disturb” technique. Once your hair is settled in the diffuser attachment, don’t move it until you’re dry. Finish with a leave-in conditioner or hairspray to set the curls in place.
  • Refresh with curl cream: Even the best blowout can result in frizz after a few days, but don’t fear. Curl creams and leave-in conditioners are designed to re-activate your ringlets between wash days and keep frizz at bay. Warm the product in your hands and scrunch it into any areas that are falling flat or looking frizzy.
  • Sleep strategically: Silk pillowcases or silk bonnets are excellent for maintaining your style when you sleep, according to Yepez. Unlike cotton, silky material won’t rough up your hair, meaning you’ll wake up without tangles, frizz, or clumps.

How We Chose the Best Hair Dryers for Curly Hair

To select the best hair dryers for curly hair, we first fielded questions to hair stylists with authority and expertise in caring and styling various types of curly and coily hair. Using their advice and recommendations, we researched the market to find hair dryers that cater to different curl patterns and styling goals. On top of extensive personal testing, we also evaluated new technology, popular hair dryers for curly hair on TikTok, and combed through customer reviews to ensure the selections on our list work for a variety of curl patterns, thicknesses, and lengths. We tested over 25 hair dryers, including the below notable runner ups:

  • Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer: A close second to the Dyson Airwrap Complete Diffuse, the Supersonic impressed our testers in its ability to quickly dry curls without damaging them. While we love the Supersonic’s attachments (including a diffuser), the new Airwrap Complete Diffuse offers more styling versatility.
  • Harry Josh Pro Tools Ultralight Hair Dryer: While this is an excellent choice for smoothing out curls for a fresh blow out look, Harry Josh doesn’t offer a diffuser that’s compatible with the hair dryer. This limits the tool’s styling capabilities for those looking for a hair dryer that amps up their natural curls.
  • Ghd Helios Hair Dryer: Our testers loved the feel of this hair dryer and how quickly it worked to dry hair, but we found it performed best on wavy hair types versus those after defined curls and coils. Those who are dealing with damaged hair and often straighten or smooth out their curls will appreciate how quick drying and powerful the tool is, and that it won’t singe your strands due to its controlled temperature.

How We Tested and Reviewed the Best Hair Dryers for Curly Hair

A panel of testers evaluated over 25 hair dryers to curate this list of the best blow dryers for curly hair. We tested these dryers on our own hair, as well as human hair wigs to assess the dryers on types 2a to 4c hair. Beyond this range of curl patterns, we also tested the dryers on a range of hair lengths and thicknesses. We tested the tools over two months to evaluate their longevity, styling versatility, and how they hold up to everyday wear and tear. During testing, we assessed the attachments, special features, heat and airflow settings, and the results that these best hair dryers for curly hair deliver.

Below are the criteria our panel of testers considered while testing hair dryers for curly hair:

  • Included attachments: Our testers made sure the tools on our list either include a diffuser or are compatible with one, as these attachments are essential for drying any curl pattern. We awarded extra points to dryers that come with additional curly hair-friendly attachments: Options from Pattern and Dyson, for example, include wide tooth comb attachments that are ideal for stretching type 4 coils.
  • Heat and airflow settings: Curly hair types need dryers with low airflow settings to dry curls without blasting them with ringlet-ruining gusts of air. However, the airflow and heat settings shouldn’t be so low that the drying process takes hours. The options on our list have a minimum of two airflow settings and two heat settings for efficient drying on types 2a to 4c hair.
  • Special features: On top of multiple heat and airflow settings, our testers assessed features like ionic and infrared technology, which are helpful for combatting unwanted frizz in curly hair types. We also noted if the dryers had features that encourage healthy hair, like auto temperature adjustments that prevent heat damage.
  • Ease of use: Hair dryers that felt cumbersome or complicated to use were removed from our list. We also took note of design features that impact the experience using the hair dryer, giving bonus points to dryers with long cords and intuitive button placements. For dryers with multiple attachments, we noted if those attachments easily secured to the nozzle and stayed put during styling.

WWD Shop editors test curly hair dryers on types 2a to 4c curls in our New York City office.

Allie Holloway for WWD

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Meet the Experts

Michael Dueñas is a Los Angeles-based curly hair specialist. He’s worked with celebrity clients including Rachel Brosnahan, Noah Cyrus, and Padma Lakshmi, styled for runway shows, and shot editorials for numerous brands. 

Nai’Vasha is a celebrity curl expert. She founded Curl Queen in 2021 with the goal to empower every woman to love and honor every part of themselves, including every wave, every curl, every coil, every kink. 

Nylza Yepez is a hairstylist at Jenna Perry Hair Studio. Originally from California, she trained under hair experts Leo Manetti and Marco Santini. She’s worked on many NYFW shows, and specializes in textured haircuts and playing with shapes. 

Meet the Author 

Claire Sullivan is the Senior Beauty and Lifestyle Commerce Editor for WWD and Footwear News. She’s spent over five years researching, reporting on, and writing about the beauty industry for publications like Martha Stewart Living, Martha Stewart Weddings, InStyle, and Byrdie. She has type 2B hair, so she’s well versed in troubleshooting curl-related woes, and finding the best tricks and tools that deliver a great hair day. Sullivan wrote the original version of this story and updated it in November 2023 with new hair dryers for curly hair, testing review notes, and additional expert tips.





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