Which Blow Dry Brush is Right for Me?

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I love testing out a new hair tool. It’s probably one of my favorite aspects of what I do here on The Small Things. From “first impressions” videos to educational tutorials, I hope my reviews and demonstrations of a hair tool are helpful to you if you’re in the market for something.

As I’m sure you know, there are a lot of blow-dry brushes on the market already and more are rolling out. I recently gave the T3 Airebrush a try and really loved it. It’s different than the Airebrush Duo because it only has one oval-shaped head that is not removable. The Airebrush Duo has a round brush attachment, as well as a paddle brush attachment.

I also recently bought and tested out the Shark SmoothStyle Heated Comb Straightener + Smoother. This is very similar to the T3 Airebrush but it also includes two sections of a heated comb to run your hair through for smoothing, curling, or straightening.

After sharing that video, my comment section was full of questions asking which tool was better. It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison so I’ll break down what the benefits of each tool are so you can make the best decision for yourself and your hair type.

Before I dive in, I just want to remind you that there are always going to be newer, better, more advanced, more customized tools that arrive on the market. That’s just what we do in this society. The arrival of a newer tool does not immediately negate a purchase you made. If a tool works for you, then it’s a win. We are not always going to agree on what makes a perfect hair tool. I read a comment *this morning* from someone saying the Dyson Airstrait is superior and I literally hope to never use that tool on myself again. I did not like it for ME.

If you’re shopping for a hair tool, pay attention to the following things: wattage, temperature, temperature adjustments (if it has that), and material.

The higher the wattage, in a dryer, the stronger the motor. The stronger the motor, the better airflow to dry your hair faster. The highest-wattage blow dryer I’ve ever used is the Rusk Speed Freak at 2000 watts. That dryer is *fast*. It was my favorite dryer to use behind the chair. The Dyson blow dryer has 1600 watts, which is also very powerful.

The T3 Airebrush Duo AND the T3 Airebrush have 900 Watts. It’s not going to be the strongest airflow you’ve ever felt. You will absolutely need to dry your hair to about 80% dry, whether by air drying or blowing dry.

The Airebrush Duo has 5 heat settings, 3 speed settings, a volume burst option, and a cool shot. It has two different brush head attachments. You can get a variety of results with this tool. This would be a nice option for someone with fine, delicate, or hair prone to damage thanks to the wide variety of heat options. The brush attachments are ceramic coated to encourage a smooth finished result.

The new Airebrush has 3 heat settings and 2 speed settings, as well as a cool shot. The oval-shaped brush with a ceramic surface encourages smooth hair with less frizz. You will likely have an easier time getting a big, bouncy blowout-like finish with this tool thanks to the oval shape. This would be great for medium to fine hair, healthy or damaged. If your hair is really thick, you may find that it takes you a long time to dry.

The Shark SmoothStyle is also 900 watts, the same as both T3 tools. This tool has the same shape head as the T3 Airebrush but also has two sections of a fixed heated comb to run through your hair after you’ve finished drying it. You cannot turn the heated comb section on while you are drying, it is a different mode.

This tool would be a great option for someone who really needs extra heat smoothing to reduce frizz. You can also get a nice flip in the hair if you hold the tool vertically (see here). The heated comb is a fixed 420 degrees, which is toasty. You will want to keep an eye on your hair and make sure to use a heat protector. This tool also has ceramic-coated plates, which is a great feature of these blow-dry brushes.


Again, they all have different features, so it isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison.

The Shark SmoothStyle is the lowest price, but that doesn’t always mean it’s the best option for you. We’ve all seen or experienced the damage from the cheap 1st edition of the Revlon One-Step (before they adjusted the heat settings). The T3 Airebrush Duo is nice for anyone who wants to have a curled end from a round brush or a smooth, straight finish from the paddle brush. And the newer T3 Airebrush, with the oval attachment, is a plain and simple, straightforward blow-dry brush.

With practice, you would get a great result from any 3 of these tools, you just have to decide what you want that result to be in order to make an informed decision.

Ultimately, look at the wattage, the material (like “ceramic coated”), and the temperature options when you’re shopping.

Personally, a blow-dry brush, no matter how perfect, will never fully replace a curling iron and flat iron for me. I like to have styling options by using those tools. I’m really happy with the T3 Airbrush with the oval shape. I also got a great result with the Shark SmoothStyle and liked that I could put a little bend in my ends with the same tool.

Assess your hair, and your ideal result, and use the information you have about the tools to make the right purchase for you!

Want more blow-dry brush information? You’ll love this.


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Debby J. says · 09.18.23

How well would any of these work with short hair?

Lauren says · 09.18.23

This blog post is super helpful!! Thanks for taking the time to write it!

Brooke says · 09.18.23

Thank you for taking the time to make this detailed post to help those of us who struggle to make decisions, and for getting it posted so quickly!!

Ellie says · 09.18.23

Super helpful and love all the detail! Thank you for taking the time! My dryer is literally 25 years old, so it’s time for a change, so I needed all this info! 💖

Jenn says · 09.18.23

Thank you for taking the time to answer this question in such detail! I think I’ve narrowed down my choice based on your reviews of them all.

Megan says · 09.18.23

Have you tried the Lange Airess? It seems similar to these but with a paddle brush vs round brush.

Melanie says · 09.18.23

Is there a link or photo missing?
There’s the sentence below that says “see here” but no link or picture. Is it referring to the beginning photo from the post?
You can also get a nice flip in the hair if you hold the tool vertically (see here).

Kate says · 09.18.23

sorry about that !Just updated.

Jamie E says · 09.18.23

Key phrase here being “with practice.” I really enjoy using my blow out tools (I have the Revlon 2.0 and the Airbrush Duo) but both of them took so much practice to get used to and to get the look I wanted. There’s no right or wrong answer here–whatever works best for you.

Hilary Parry says · 09.19.23

I’d love suggestions for thick, curly, frizzy-prone hair. None of these tools seem to work for me. Revlon had an original drying brush tool with just a few rows of bristles and it was amazing. Wish they’d bring it back. I know this isn’t your hair type but can you suggest which tools currently on the market would work best? (Or suggest someone to follow with this hair type?)

Jessica says · 09.19.23

I’m always thankful for your research. I’ve been using the Rusk Speed Freak since you first recommended it on here. I love it! I’ve been so tempted by the T3 Airebrush since you first tested it. Going on my Christmas wish list!

EWilliams says · 09.19.23

My hair is cut very similar to yours but very thick. If it air dries it has a bit of wave/curl but if I blow dry it’s smooth/straight. I find it hard to get a consistent wave/ twist/bump in my hair as I seem to have to do so many layers of twists/curls because my hair is so thick. Any suggestions for a tool to create wave with thick hair? Ps – love your blog/instagram!

Iris says · 09.22.23

Do any of these brushes spin?

Amanda Lenweaver says · 09.23.23

No, they are all stationary.

Kimberly Catalano says · 09.24.23

Great information, thank you! I have the newer revlon with 3 settings and cool shot. It still gets too hot- but what I do love is that you can remove the oval brush and use it to rough dry the hair before attaching the brush. Is this an option in any of these tools mentioned here?

Marcia says · 11.09.23

I bought the new Airebrush a couple of weeks ago, and the heat and speed settings really set it apart from other cheaper brands. I’m not into buying more expensive brands like Dyson, and I’m really happy with all the T3 products I’ve invested in.

Amanda Lenweaver says · 11.10.23

Love this! I’m so glad you found something you like.