The 12 Best Hair Dryers to Protect and Volumize Fine Hair
Here's a fact: Hair dryers aren't generally the sexiest tool in one's beauty arsenal. And even when the focus is specifically on hair care, it would come as no surprise for someone to credit their luxe styling products and guru-approved techniques before acknowledging the work of a hair dryer, regardless of its price tag. In reality, though, the blow drying tools can make all the difference — but they're certainly not created equal, especially if you have a particular hair type or concern.
"It is very important for those with fine, thin hair to make sure they find a device that won't leave them with wispy, frazzled-looking strands," celebrity hairstylist Annagjid "Kee" Taylor tells InStyle. "It's very common for people with fine hair to really pump up the heat in their dryers in order to build volume and reduce the time it takes to dry altogether. This can be especially damaging for already fine, thin hair because you are encouraging further heat damage, which will ultimately only make your hair wispier and frizzier, especially at the ends."
The 12 Best Hair Dryers for Fine Hair of 2021
- Best Overall: T3 Cura Luxe Hair Dryer
- Best for Travel: BaBylissPro Nano Titanium Bambino Compact Dryer
- Best Value: Conair InfinitiPro Dryer
- Best for Frizzy Hair: MHU Professional 1875w Ceramic Infrared Heat Hair Dryer
- Best for Curly Hair: GHD Air Professional Performance Hair Dryer
- Best Diffuser: Bed Head Curls in Check 1875 Watt Diffuser Hair Dryer
- Best for Fragile Hair: Elchim 3900 Healthy Ionic Dryer
- Best for Damaged Hair: Remington Pro Hair Dryer with Pearl Ceramic Technology
- Best Professional Option: Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
- Best for Volume: Paul Mitchell Neuro Halo Touchscreen Hair Dryer
- Best With Brush: Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer Hot Air Brush
- Best for Fast Drying: Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Dryer 2000
What to Look for in a New Hair Dryer
For those with fine hair that can often feel fragile and limp, finding the right hair dryer is a game changer, benefiting both the styling of hair as well as the overall strength and wellness of each and every strand. But what qualifies as the "right" one? Here are some important factors to consider during your search:
Materials: For starters, narrow in on options that utilize quality materials and up-to-date technology, including far-infrared light, ceramic and tourmaline materials, and attachments like diffusers and concentrators. "One thing that a lot of people don't realize is that the materials your dryer is made from can have a big impact on your style, so you want to pay careful attention here," celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons stresses. "Ionic dryers give off negative ions that help break up the water droplets on your hair for faster drying. This is great if you have naturally frizzy hair because ionic dryers will help leave your hair less frizzy." But if you have very fine hair, Fitzsimons recommends opting for nonionic dryers, which are usually ceramic or porcelain and distribute heat in a less harsh way that won't weigh your hair down.
Features: Considering thin hair is extremely prone to breakage and frizz, the more gentle, damage-preventing features a dryer has to offer, the better the results. At the end of the day, hair dryers will always run the risk of heat damage, so it's helpful to also consider options that offer multiple heat settings and a higher, more powerful wattage so you have full control over just how long (and at what temperature) it takes to dry the hair. "Multiple options for heat functions can be critical in making sure you're using just the right amount of heat on your locks in order to reduce heat damage altogether," Taylor adds. "Having different dryer speeds can give you more style flexibility, and for fine/thin hair, this can really help with controlling the direction of the dryer in order to benefit from the utmost protection."
Whether your hair also leans more curly or frizzy, damaged or fragile, we've pulled together some of the very best hair dryers for fine hair — at just about every price point:
Best Overall: T3 Cura Luxe Hair Dryer
For an everyday, powerful, reliable, and healthy dry, this T3 dryer is it. Its lightweight, easy-to-use design utilizes ionic technology that provides not only even heat distribution and wide, fast airflow, but a high amount of negative ions which reduce static and eliminate frizz. The sleek, 4.4-star rated blow dryer has five heat settings, two speed levels, and a cool shot feature, which guarantees that every hair length, texture, and density can get a customized at-home blowout. Plus it smooths the hair cuticle to promote shinier, stronger, and healthier hair in the long run. According to reviewers, it doesn't scorch fine hair and is gentle enough to use on children. Amazon shoppers also love its automatic shut-off feature, long cord, and easy-to-hold handle.
Shop Now: $251 (Originally $295); amazon.com
Best for Travel: BaBylissPro Nano Titanium Bambino Compact Dryer
Thanks to small but mighty dryers like this option from BaBylissPro, there's no need to compromise your tools — or your look — just because you're on the go. This compact dryer weighs less than 10 ounces, but it packs all of the power of a full-size, using nano-titanium technology for smooth, shiny, and healthy hair. It even comes with an easy-to-use concentrator nozzle attachment for more stylized looks. Reviewers also praise its quiet sound (a must in hotel rooms with thin walls). One shopper writes, "This tiny little hair dryer really blows! The worst thing about most travel dryers is that the air doesn't get hot and they're so darn loud. This one is quiet, blows hot air, and really has a lot of volume."
Shop Now: $30 (Originally $35); amazon.com
Best Value: Conair InfinitiPro Dryer
What's better than saving money without jeopardizing quality? This inexpensive Conair dryer is one of the more affordable ionic options out there, utilizing an AC motor, which allows it to dry hair quickly with cooling airflow for quicker drying and less worrying about potential heat damage. This 4.7-star rated hair dryer has more than 1,300 glowing reviews, with shoppers vouching that it's well worth the price for the results you get. One raves, "So. Much. Volume. I have very fine hair and need a dryer that blows pretty hard to get the volume I need. This is amazing. Especially for the price."
Shop Now: $25 (Originally $35); amazon.com
Best for Frizzy Hair: MHU Professional 1875w Ceramic Hair Dryer
This option comes fully equipped to tackle frizz, static, and generally unruly hair with a full suite of attachments — including a diffuser and concentrator to speed up drying time and minimize flyaways, and a removable lint filter to extend the tool's lifespan — and its utilization of far-infrared heat and negative ion technology. Plus, with its two speeds and three heat settings, you can stress less about heat damage. In their hundreds of five-star reviews, Amazon shoppers praise this hair dryer's quiet-yet-powerful motor, which many say was able to dry their strands in a fraction of the time it usually takes — even for those with long hair.
Pro Tip: To further combat frizz, Taylor says "directing your heat towards your roots can help create nice, strong waves that'll last you all day" and you'll get an extra lift. She also recommends using a diffuser to "reduce trauma to the hair follicles by concentrating the airflow directly onto targeted areas at a time, which can also help combat frizz to reveal a more smooth finish."
Shop Now: $60; amazon.com
Best for Curly Hair: GHD Air Professional Performance Hairdryer
Using advanced ionic technology, this reliable tool helps cut dry time in half, locking in moisture for longer. Plus, its two speeds and three heat settings allow you to easily adjust based on just how much volume you're looking for. Its hair diffuser attachment is just another bonus, enhancing waves and minimizing frizz. One Sephora shopper shares, "I have crazy curly frizzy hair. This blow dryer gave me the best feeling blowout ever! Straight. Silky. Smooth. Without feeling fried."
Shop Now: $199; sephora.com
Best Diffuser: Bed Head Curls in Check 1875 Watt Diffuser Hair Dryer
This funky dryer from Bed Head was specifically designed to keep curly hair in check and reduce frizz. While it's especially ideal for anyone with waves, coils, spirals, kinks, or ringlets, it'll be gentle on just about any texture that needs some added definition and volume. If your hair tends to look limp on the regular, this dryer and diffuser attachment will inject life back into your locks for full, healthy results. This Amazon's Choice hair dryer, which has more than 5,200 five-star ratings, is a favorite among shoppers for its fast results and adjustable temperature settings. As for its volumizing capabilities, one reviewer says, "I have very fine hair, and any other dryer I have tried still leaves my hair flat and limp. I recently got a new style cut and with some mousse and this hair dryer, I actually look like I have hair. I am so pleased."
Shop Now: $35; amazon.com
Best for Fragile Hair: Elchim 3900 Healthy Ionic Dryer
With 2,000-watt power, this ceramic dryer uses far-infrared heat (a special type of heat that penetrates each individual strand) to ensure hair dries quickly and evenly. And while it's designed to work great for all hair types, its powerful, easy-to-use, design makes it especially delicate on thin, fine hair. One reviewer writes, "My last two dryers were less than satisfactory as one died after a year and my current one stopped blowing at high speed after a year. I was going to rate this as an eight out of ten for speed until my hair was done and oh my god, my hair is softer than it has been in years and years and years." Another adds that its various temperature settings and attachments made quite the difference for fine, thin strands, noting, "It does a beautiful job of locking moisture in quickly and keeps my hair very straight and shiny."
Shop Now: $195; amazon.com
Best for Damaged Hair: Remington Pro Hair Dryer with Pearl Ceramic Technology
When you're dealing with thin or fine hair, you're already more prone to damage and breakage than most other hair types, so it's even more important to be proactive about safe (and smart!) styling habits when it comes to heat and blow-drying. Thankfully, tools out there like this hair dryer can do just the job. It features crushed pearls infused into its ceramic barrel, and when heat activates the technology, it transfers mico-conditioners through the dryer that helps smooth the hair. Science! Earning a 4.6-star rating on Amazon and more than 1,400 perfect reviews, this affordable pick handles your hair with care and smooths away all traces of frizz while preventing future breakage. For one reviewer, it helped repair their "damaged, fine, and delicate hair," which was left thinning from their shampoo and previous hair dryer.
Pro Tip: "In order to achieve a damage-free and salon-quality blowout at home, I always recommend you start off by prepping your hair with a heat protectant," Taylor explains. "It can provide your hair with that much-needed protection against high power settings and heat temperatures on your device."
Shop Now: $22(Originally $25); amazon.com
Best Professional Option: Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
It's no secret that the Dyson Supersonic is one of the most popular hair dryers to ever exist, and that's for a reason. Its patented air multiplier technology allows for a significantly smaller and lighter motor, but with faster dry time, making it a win/win all around. Cherry on top? The air temperature is released 20 times every second, so you can worry less about heat damage and the frizz it leaves in its wake. One of its thousands of five-star reviews writes, "I wanted to find something negative about this product, but I can not. My hair is very fine, color-treated and I have many different curly patterns throughout my hair. I went from air-drying my hair (because my old hairdryer took too long) to having freshly washed and dry hair 10 minutes after I wash out my deep conditioner."
Best for Volume: Paul Mitchell Neuro Halo Touchscreen Hair Dryer
Paul Mitchell products are known for offering professional-strength quality, and this dryer is no exception. Using a powerful 1,875-watt DC motor that emits tourmaline ions, it yields voluminous results — and what's more, it gives you full control of your blowout with its ion feature, which can be turned on to tame frizz and add shine or turned off to boost volume and thickness in fine hair. At $255, it's definitely a splurge, but reviewers say it's well with it. One shopper raves, "I give it 100 stars."
Pro Tip: "Don't be afraid of mousse," Fitzsimons shares. "I think a lot of people are still afraid of mousse after the '80s, but these formulas have come a very long way and can provide amazing volume without being over the top."
Shop Now: $255; amazon.com
Best With Brush: Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer And Volumizer Hot Air Brush
If blow drying your hair was never really your vibe, this hair dryer brush from Revlon will definitely change the way you look at heat styling. Thanks to its convenient design, which allows you to simultaneously dry and brush out your hair, this fan-favorite pick allows you to style, volumize, and smooth with ease. The multitasking hair dryer brush has gentle bristles that treat fine hair with the utmost care and comes stocked with three heat settings for customizability. It's not hard to see why the volumizer has more than 3,500 five-star reviews from Ulta customers. One shopper writes, "I have fine hair, which when I blow-dried, looked like a frizzy mess. I would have to go back and straighten it the next day, which left my hair lifeless… I would recommend letting your hair air dry until it's 70 percent dry and then go in with this product. If you have fine hair, use the low setting." Another adds, "I have fine medium-length hair and this works amazingly on my hair. It doesn't tangle, gives volume, and is much easier to manage than the blow dryer/roll brush combo."
Shop Now: $60; ulta.com
Best for Fast Drying: Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Dryer 2000
Powered by a professional-quality AC motor, this bite-sized hair dryer from Harry Josh Pro Tools is a fan favorite for its efficiency and speed, which many reviewers note doesn't result in any burning or overdrying. It's also got eight heat settings and various speed levels, plus an ion feature that can be used to achieve a silky-smooth finish or left off if you're looking for more volume and body. Fans of the teal-hued hair dryer, which has a perfect five-star rating on Dermstore, love that it comes with two nozzle concentrators and that its handle is ergonomic and comfortable to use. One writes, "Powerful without being too harsh. It cut down my blow-drying time. The weight and size feels really good in the hand, I love it! Also, it's super cute and the cool shot button is amazing."
Shop Now: $249; dermstore.com