“how to find the best cheap products” — kiplinger
In this review:
  1. Best Cheap Hair Dryers
  2. Hair Dryer Reviews
  3. Ionic and Ceramic Hair Dryers
  4. Discount Hair Dryers Features Comparison Table

Cheap Hair Dryer Buying Guide

Have you ever walked out of the salon after a blowout with smooth, sleek hair, feeling great? Many consumers spend hundreds trying to recreate the look at home with high-end hair dryers. Frugal shoppers can find a number of decent cheap hair dryers with some of the same professional qualities for less than $40.

The hard part of seeking out the best cheap hair dryers is wading through a market that's flooded with different budget brands and models, all claiming to produce "professional" results.

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Many do not, of course, but some come close. Our top pick, the Revlon RV544 (starting at $20) wins raves for noticeably frizz-free results. The runners-up in this category are the Andis RC-2 (starting at $20), which works for travel as well as everyday use, and the Babyliss Pro Ceramix Xtreme BAB2000 (starting at $41), which sits atop our price range but impresses users with its 2,000 watts of power. The Revlon RV484 (starting at $18) comes with plenty of appealing features as well, but reviews suggest it poses a safety hazard.

Generally hair dryers range in price from around $10 for cheap hair dryers to as much as $300 for high-end models. The difference in price often reflects whether the appliance is meant to be used in salons by professionals or at home by consumers. Consumers have begun demanding professional-quality hair appliances and manufacturers have obliged, leading to an abundance of high-end hair dryers for retail consumption. Professional hair dryers are designed to dry hair faster, do less damage to the hair, and be lightweight so that professionals wield them all day. In addition, professional hair dryers are built to last through many more hours of use, whereas retail hair dryers tend to give out sooner. A former beauty editor writing for Lifetime Moms also points to the time-saving power of expensive models relative to cheap hair dryers.

Features to consider when shopping for any hair dryer include the wattage as well as the heating and drying technology and the heat and speed settings. Cheap hair dryers employ several heating technologies, but ceramic is the best choice because of its ability to heat evenly and avoid overheating the unit or the hair. Drying technologies include ionic and tourmaline. Ionic technology uses negative ions to enable the hair shaft to close in moisture and avoid a dull, static look. Tourmaline technology is said to use more ions when drying the hair for even better results. Of course, the more heat and speed settings (e.g., low, medium, high), the more adjustability you have for precise styling.

Few experts weigh in with reviews of cheap hair dryers, probably because they use the professional-grade models. We based our evaluations of cheap hair dryers' performance primarily on consumer reviews posted online, which weigh in on subjects ranging from frizz control and hair health to durability and ease of use.

by Raechel Conover (Google+ Profile)

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Filed in: Beauty, Hair, Hair Dryers,

Best Cheap Hair Dryer

Revlon RV544
Gold Medal

Revlon RV544

With ionic and tourmaline technologies that help hair look smooth and sleek, the Revlon RV544 is one retail hair dryer that is able to compete with professional models. It has two heat and two speed settings, a cool-shot button, and a concentrator and diffuser for styling. Users appreciate the speedy drying and frizz-free results.

Read Full Review and Compare Prices »

Good Cheap Hair Dryers

Andis Ceramic/Ionic RC-2
Gold Medal

Andis Ceramic/Ionic RC-2

This folding dryer with a retractable cord is ideal for traveling, although it works just fine for everyday use. The Andis RC-2 combines ionic and ceramic technologies with three heat and three speed settings, along with a cool-shot option, making for big results from a compact hair dryer. Consumers report quick, even drying with limited frizz, although a few say the dryer is a bit bulky.

Read Full Review and Compare Prices »
Babyliss Pro Ceramix Xtreme
Gold Medal

Babyliss Pro Ceramix Xtreme

This hair dryer uses ceramic technology and has upped the bar on power. With 2,000 watts, three heat settings, and three speed options, along with a cool-shot button and a hanging ring, this affordable hair dryer borders on professional quality. It wins praise from users for durability and good results.

Read Full Review and Compare Prices »

Don't Bother

Revlon RV484

Offering ionic technology, three heat settings, two speed settings, a cool-shot option, a concentrator and a diffuser, this hair dryer seems to be as good as the rest, but don't be fooled. It receives bad reviews across the board, with users warning it poses a safety hazard. Several report it has burned their hands, gets way too hot, and sometimes gives off a bad smell.

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