Styling your hair when traveling can be an impossible feat. With the limits of time and baggage constraints, bringing the right styling tool with you can often be put aside.
When traveling for business or holiday, you have to look your best. When going to a salon is out of the question, the next best thing is to invest in a good quality hair dryer that you can easily store in your luggage, or better yet, your carry-on bag. There is a good number of compact and lightweight travel dryers in the market but finding one that has all the qualities you need in an affordable price can be time-consuming and difficult.
Top 5 hair dryers for travel
To help you narrow down your choices, find the best travel hair dryer for you in this top 5 list of the bestselling and top-rated blow dryers in the market:
1. BaByliss Pro Tourmaline Titanium Travel Dryer
At 10.5 ounces, this dryer is as light as a feather. It’s so tiny that when you fold the handles, you can easily place it inside a clutch- yes it’s that compact. Making it the perfect tool for drying your hair wherever life may take you, it does so much more than just being portable.
>> Check out pricing and availability of the Babyliss Pro TT Travel Hair Dryer
Its 1000-watt power packs a punch and works just as great as regular dryers. It’s infused with pure gemstone tourmaline crystals that emit millions of ions to prevent static electricity that damages hair, and instead, leaves hair shining. The far-infrared heat technology dries hair faster and safer, protecting it from heat damage.
What sets it apart from other dryers? The Tourmaline Titanium technology that eliminates frizz and its ability to create smooth and shiny hair, even without the help of hair mousse and styling products. The downside? It doesn’t have a cool shot button like other travel dryers, and its not too powerful to use for professional styling.
2. Conair 1875-Watt Folding Handle Dryer
At 1875-watt power, this Conair travel dryer is strong. If you’ve got thick and long hair, this is the right tool for you. It has 2 heat and speed settings -one for low and one for high – giving you the ability to style your hair in different ways. And because it’s strong, it dries hair in only a matter of minutes, working even faster than regular dryers found in the market.
>> Check out latest deals on the Conair Vagabond 1875 Dual Voltage Compact Styler
It has Conair’s patented “Twist It” technology folding handle that allows you to make it even smaller to fit in any bag – making it your hair’s perfect companion when traveling from one city to another. And on top of that, it comes in a dual voltage for worldwide use – so even if you have a business conference in Europe or Asia, this handy dryer will make your hair look just as good as if you were styling at your own home.
Why choose this dryer? It’s Ionic technology provides ample and even heat for faster styling time. It also comes with a cool shot button that releases cold air to set your hairstyle in place, eliminating the need to use damaging products on your hair. The downside? The high heat setting works lower when used abroad.
3. Revlon RV544PKF 1875W Tourmaline Ionic Ceramic Dryer
One of the bestselling travel dryers in the market, this Revlon Ionic Ceramic Dryer has the right features that make it an effective and high-performing dryer that you will surely love. First of, the material used is a triple baked ceramic that provides even heat distribution. It’s also a safer material that doesn’t damage hair – so you can use it everyday if you want to.
>> Get the Revlon RV544PKF Ionic Blow Dryer
It has 2 speed and heat settings, a cool shot button, an ionic indicator light, and speed rocker switches – making it one of the most versatile compact dryers there is. If you’ve got long and thick hair, this is another great choice for you.
What makes it stand out? The Tourmaline ionic technology reduces static, frizz, and boosts your hair’s natural shine. It’s also 25% lighter than regular dryers, making it easy and convenient to bring wherever you go. It’s also super quiet and dries hair fast – meeting your needs for fast styling when not at home.
The downside? Though this dryer is powerful at 1875 watts, its not ideal for professional use. If you’re a stylist, you might have to invest in a more powerful dryer.
Also note that this is not travel-sized; it is a full-sized blow dryer (so it’s bigger than your usual travel dryer) that is lightweight hence some people just pack this with them when they travel. If you want a folding version of this for travel, get the Revlon RVDR5001 (yes, it has the same power & comes with all the goodies the full-sized one has, only smaller!)
4. Andis RC-2 Ionic 1875-Watt Ceramic Hair Dryer w/ Folding Handle
The travel dryer with 3 heat and speed settings, it is the most versatile in this list. It works on 1875 watts of power giving your hair fast drying time that works just as well as regular sized-dryers. At 1.2 lbs., it is light weight and compact, allowing you to take it with you when traveling from one city to another.
>> Check out deals on the Andis RC-2 Fold-N-Go Ionic Travel Dryer
This dryer is also the only travel dryer in the market today with a retractable cord – making it so convenient to use and store. If you want a powerful dryer that works fast, this product can dry our hair in as little as 5 minutes!
What makes it stand out? The Ionic technology that dries hair faster by breaking up water molecules in your hair – restoring moisture for soft, shiny, and conditioned hair. It helps reduce frizz, restores moisture balance, and seals hair cuticles. The downside? At 1.6 lbs., this may not be the most compact dryer you can find. In fact, it is just a little bit smaller than a regular full-sized dryer.
5. Vidal Sassoon VSD 55231875W Stylist Travel Dryer
A no-fuss and compact dryer by one of the best names in hair care, this Vidal Sassoon dryer is powerful and fast. It has 2 speed and heat settings to versatility, and a cool shot button for releasing cool air and setting your hairstyle in place without using damaging products.
>> Get this Vidal Sassoon Stylist Travel Dryer
With dual voltage, you can take this dryer with you to any country and simply plug it in. It also has a 68-inch cord that allows you to use any socket in your hotel room and not have trouble getting in front of a mirror in the bathroom.
Why use this dryer? It’s compact and quiet – making it the perfect styling tool to use wherever you may be – in your hotel room or even in the office bathroom. The downside? It doesn’t have the advanced technologies used on other dryers in the market.
If you are a frequent traveler and have to keep your hair in a certain style all the time, it is essential that you invest in a quality travel hair dryer since it is likely that some of the places you will stay in may not include hair dryers as amenities.
Here’s a video by Good Housekeeping testing several travel hair dryers:
What to look for when shopping for the best hair dryer for travel
1. Attachments (diffuser, concentrator nozzle, etc.)
A travel hair dryer which doesn’t come with a diffuser is not necessarily a bad purchase. A dryer with a diffuser, after all, will require considerable cleaning and maintenance which could be more than required for a blowdryer without a diffuser. If you decide on a dryer with a diffuser, however, get a removable “trap” for lint as well to make cleaning and removing hair and dirt that gets trapped in the dryer easier to remove.
2. Safety and Durability
Remember that hair dryers, travel variety or not, consume high amounts of energy that make the wires and circuits extremely hot. That is why the importance of buying a dryer from an established and reputable manufacturer should never be taken for granted. Inferior quality hair dryers have the tendency to catch fire and become a hazard to both life and property.
The more you use a hair dryer, the more crucial it is that you own the quality kind. Those with ravel and/or weak wrists should go for a travel hair dryer that is lightweight. Professional grade hair dryers use the much heavier Alternating Current (AC) motor. Frequent travelers should look for travel hair dryers that utilize the much lighter Direct Current (DC) motor to avoid straining the wrists.
If you have a budget to stick to, choose a DC motor-operated travel hair dryer because this will be less expensive, unless you have the funds to invest hundreds of dollars in an AC motor which will last longer than its DC sibling. But because there is always an exception to the rule, you can still buy a good travel hair dryer that runs on a DC motor and can be longer-lasting as well; you just have to know where to look.
Contrary to what most people think, an expensive travel hair dryer isn’t necessarily the best buy, although in general, “cheap” translates to poor materials, weak construction, and insufficient quality control. There are many travel hair dryers that have prices well within the range of the average budget, however, and these are the ones you should consider looking into.
Like all merchandise, travel hair dryers will have prices that vary from affordably low to astronomically high end. Frequent travelers tend to use hair dryers every day, so anybody who goes back and forth between different time zones like clockwork should invest in a professional product like those mentioned in this article. Paying more on an upfront basis for a top quality dryer will be a good investment in the long run.
4. Added features
It also helps to read customer reviews, as mentioned earlier, to get ideas on what features of which brand are particularly useful. Although professional hair salons are good sources for information on travel hair dryers in particular and conventional hair dryers in general, do remember that these salons use high end hairstyling tools and products which would not normally be within the average customer’s budget range.
To help you purchase a travel hair dryer more efficiently, consider particular features of the dryer you have on your mind. The best travel hair dryer you can buy must address the needs of your particular hair type. A dryer made of ceramic material, for instance, will add shine, reduce frizz and be protective against damage for all hair types. This kind of dryer will be the least expensive as well.
A dryer designed with ionic technology will generate negative ions to decrease hair drying time considerably while providing the negative ions needed for hair shine and smoothness for all hair types. Travel hair dryers with cool shot options will set the look for all hair types as well as add luster and volume as a finishing touch. Travel hair dryers with the capability for high airflow are most suitable for thick hair types.
5. Varied settings for heat and speed
Although multiple settings for speed and heat help prevent heat damage to fine, thin or limp hair when the lowest level is chosen by the user, they can also help straighten curly or wavy hair. For those with curly hair, remember to get a travel hair dryer with a diffuser to distribute heat evenly throughout your hair and reduce the frizz. Surely, there is a travel hair dryer that will suit your budget based on these assessments.
Consider your hair length to determine what type of settings for speed and heat will be most suitable for you. If you are unable to do that, ask the help of a professional salon’s hairstylist since he/she will be quite familiar with all hair types. Additionally, the best travel hair dryer is that which will work well for the hairstyle that you wear or want. Remember that some dryers work better with certain hairstyles.
On a final note…
Flexibility is the key when purchasing something like a travel hair dryer that has a plethora of brands, numerous models, and varying prices. If you want a dryer that is out of your budget, find a comparable travel hair dryer. Never overlook options which you think will be useful. Sacrificing quality to cut cost, on the other hand, should also not be the basis for purchasing a travel hair dryer.