Don’t Buy a New Blowdryer Until You Read This

Everything I read in February

In a world of blow-dry brushes, air wraps, hot brushes, and more, the simple blow dryer has been neglected. And listen, if you love a blow-dry tool that is completely fine! But sometimes there is a need for a standard blow dryer and today I’m breaking down the pros and cons of 5 different top dryers.

The lineup includes…

Rusk Speedfreak, Dyson Supersonic, BabylissPRO Rapido, Conair Infinity Pro, Shark Hyperair IQ

I wanted to include not only a range of prices but brands and styles as well. I’ve personally used all of these dryers, some more than others, and think you’ll be able to find the right tool for you in this mix.

Let’s start with the most expensive of the bunch.

This has a very high wattage, which will tell you how strong the airflow is. I’ve had mine for years and use it regularly. I like the shape, I find it easy to hold, and I do like that there isn’t a vent/grate on the back that could possibly suck your hair in.

This dryer cost a pretty penny, and if I wasn’t in this job I wouldn’t have bought it. It’s too much for my needs. If you are someone with thick, coarse, wavy, medium, frizzy, difficult-to-dry hair, I think you’d like this. If you have normal, medium to fine, relatively easy-to-dry hair, save your pennies.

Next up we have this dryer that is very similar in shape and power to the Dyson shown above. And frankly, having used them both I can say they are super similar. This comes with two attachments, one of which I can live without (the brush head), and it’s a solid dryer. If you have difficult to dry hair, but don’t want to spend the $400 on a Dyson, try this.

It’s hard to beat the price and this is a great standard blow dryer. It doesn’t have the same strong or sturdy feel in your hand that the others on this list do, but it will certainly get the job done. If you have thick, coarse, wavy, frizzy, or difficult-to-dry hair, you may find yourself longing for a better dryer. Conversely, if your hair is easy to dry or you’re someone who doesn’t use a blow dryer often, this should do the trick. Do note the cord length…it’s the shortest of the bunch and I really noticed that when using.

Look at the wattage! This is the highest wattage of the bunch! Even more than the Dyson! I love this dryer. The motor is seriously powerful and it has a variety of heat and speeds. It’s also the lightest of the bunch and you can tell. It’s funny to be holding such a light dryer in your hand while knowing it has the highest wattage of the group. BabylissPro tools have lasted me years and years and years, and the Rapido dryer is a solid blowdryer that can work on any hair type.

I bought this dryer when I was working in a salon, and then bought a second one to use on myself at home. I genuinely love the low-profile look and feel of rolling heat and speed-setting knobs, but I did find myself accidentally moving them when I didn’t want to. Once you get used to where your hand holds the dryer, you’ll stop doing that. I love the sound of this dryer, it’s the least offensive of the bunch. I also like the price point. It’s a high-quality, easy-to-hold, strong dryer that can work for anyone!

So how can you choose the right one for you? Consider what your hair needs, and what it doesn’t need as well. Sure, the Dyson Supersonic gets a lot of air time on social but does your hair and lifestyle seem like it needs that level of a dryer?

If I was starting over and had to buy myself a blowdryer, I’d go with the Rusk Speedfreak. If I had difficult-to-dry, frizzy hair, I’d buy the Shark HyperAIR IQ.

I do think you’ll like any of the dryers listed above, and I hope this was helpful! Curious to hear how they sound? Watch the breakdown on YouTube!


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Sheri Madak says · 03.06.24

This is super helpful. I have and use the connor but felt like there could be aomwthing better. Going to go with the Rusk 🙂

Kimberly felker says · 03.06.24

Love this post so much-thank you!

E, R. says · 03.06.24

Love this! I’m a curly girl…and I always use a diffuser. I own the conair with an orchid diffuser…had it for years. Then someone convinced me that the shark would dry my hair faster and with less frizz. I saved up and bought it. While my hair might be a bit less frizzy, it takes FOREVER to dry my hair (using the shark diffuser). When I’m in a rush, I find myself returning to the conair and the orchid diffuser.

Stephanie says · 03.06.24

Many many years ago you “influenced” me to get the Rusk Speedfreak and I still have it and love it! Thank you!

Carly says · 03.06.24

Love your blog and insta–thanks for being authentically you!!
I have thick, wavy, past the shoulder length hair that takes forever to dry and currently always comes out frizzy and sorta wavy but not in a cute way. So I feel like you would say go with the Shark dryer based on your blog post….but that dryer is less wattage than the speed freak?? I’m confused by that a little… any insight??

thanks so much

Lynn Bass says · 03.06.24

Perfect timing! I need a new one. Going with the Rusk. You’re so right sound does matter.

Erika says · 03.06.24

I have been using the Babyliss dryer for a couple years and I really like it. I have a lot of super thick hair that takes about 5 hours to air dry on its own and this dryer does a good job in a quicker time than any I’ve had before. I will say the 6 heat/speed settings the brand describes may be a little misleading. There are 4 heat choices: low,med,high and cold shot. There are only two speed choices: high and low. I don’t think it needs more choices but just thought I’d add that since the wording makes it seem like there are 6 of each.

Caroline says · 03.06.24

I found a babyliss at the thrift store for $5 and it’s my favorite hairdryer I’ve ever had 😂 I ran over my old one (Remington that cost $$$ at Costco) when I left it on the garage floor after removing a sticker from my van lol. Anyways! I’d agree that the babyliss last forever! This was a great comparison.

Pamela says · 03.06.24

Very helpful review. I especially appreciate that you discuss cord length, my old trusty has a 12ft cord and I love it! Once it ends it life, I’ll refer back to this.

Andrea says · 03.06.24

I have the rusk and have loved it for years!

elsha says · 03.06.24

Which is the quietest?

Kate says · 03.07.24

Watch the youtube video and you can hear for yourself!

Kay says · 03.07.24

I bought the T3 dryer and love it, have you done any comparisons on it that I may have missed?

Lisa Hays says · 03.07.24

I bought the Speed Freak based upon your recommendation *many* years ago and I have used it ~ 4times/week for AT LEAST 10 years! I absolutely love it. I use my Revlon Airbrush mostly now but would probably repurchase the Rusk if it ever were to die.

Rachel says · 03.07.24

I’ve had the Conair one for years and have been very pleased with it.

Lisa says · 03.08.24

Do you have a travel dryer you’d recommend. The T3 is just so expensive.

Danielle says · 03.08.24

I am on my second rusk speed freak. You recommended it years ago and it’s been worth the purchase…twice. 🙂 I have thicker, wavy hair and it works well. You can’t be all Willy Nilly with it or you’ll end up a tangled mess because it is really powerful, but hands down the best blow dryer I’ve personally used. I have a T3 that I occasionally use on my daughter. Her hair is thick but much finer and the rusk is a little more powerful than she prefers.

Lesley says · 03.14.24

Not sure that many of these dryers are available in NZ but haven’t really checked. Great review thanks. The Dyson is used at my hairdressers but I can’t justify the price tag myself. About 4 or 5 years ago I invested in a GHD dryer after years of average priced ones that would just conk out after a couple of years – it is awesome on my thick, wavy hair. What I really appreciate about it is the length of cord – longest I have ever seen. So good when travelling when you can’t guarantee how close to a plug you will be. What is it with short cords – grrrrr.

Angie Pruitt says · 04.19.24

Hello Kate,
Thank you for your very informative post! It’s nice to know how the top brand blow dryers compare to eachother in wattage, price, and features of what hair types the work the best with. Of the five that you listed; I love the Dyson but not the price. I also watched your YouTube video, which I found very beneficial. I appreciate the pointers you gave in regard of what to look for when picking a blow dryer. I had no idea that some blow dryers actually have concentrator elements or cool shot options. With the wonderful knowledge that you have shared, and given your professional experience in the field of hair care, I feel that the SHARK Hyper AIR IQ would be the best one to accommodate my hair type and my pocketbook. Thank you again for sharing your knowledge. It is greatly appreciated.

Angie Pruitt says · 04.21.24

Hello kate,
Thank you for your very informative post on the top 5 brand of blow dryers. The blow dryer that I currently have is a cheap Con-Air and it takes a long time for me to dry my hair, which is very coarse and wavy. I just recently purchased an Ion ceramic flat iron and the Ion hair curler and they work very well for my hair texture. I decided to investigate the features of the Ion blow dryers and was surprised to find the reviews were not as high and positive as I had expected. I looked at 6 different styles of the ion brand only to find that the hair dryers did not have enough heat settings or had too short a working lifespan. It seems that for some reason, they would just stop working or the dryer would start producing sparks, prompting the user to turn it off. This would happen close to the one year of use of this product. I thank God that the 2 Ion items I purchase had really good reviews.
I found your format in comparing the top 5 blow dryers very beneficial and easy to distinguish between the features of wattage, heat settings, attachments, and usefulness according to hair texture. Of the five that you listed in your post, I really loved the Dyson and would love to have it, but I cannot justify the price for just normal everyday use. I also watched your YouTube video, which I found to be quite enlightening. I had no idea that I needed to look for a hair dryer that has the concentrator capability along with the cold shot options. Just to know that they make dryers that have the ability to seal a style into place with this cold shot option is amazing. With the wonderful knowledge that you have shared, and given your professional experience in the field of hair care, I feel that the SHARK Hyper AIR IQ would be the best dryer to accommodate my hair type and my pocketbook. It has 3-heat settings, 3-speeds, cold shot button and a no heat damage feature. My goal is to take better care of my hair and the SHARK will be the best fit for me. Thank you again for sharing your knowledge. It is greatly appreciated.

Ginny Madison says · 04.30.24

I have fine- but very wavy and prone to high frizz hair. So should I go with the higher wattage?
Currently use a ConAir and very ready to change if I could cut the frizz w a change.