by | May 28, 2020 | For Mom, Reviews, Z | 0 comments

Last Updated: Sep 8, 2020 @ 1:34 pm.

What's the best hair dryer for curly hair? We surveyed the readers of our parenting books (2.1 million copies in print!) to find the best solutions. We took the top hair dryer favorites from our readers with curly hair and then did 17 more hours of research, comparing features and performance. Here are our top recommendations!

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. We don't take money or freebies from brands we review—that keeps our work independent. Our reviews are 100% reader-supported! So we greatly appreciate you reading this article.


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Best Budget-Friendly

Fast drying, less frizz
Excellent dryer with diffuser is easy to use, with simple controls and even heat. Loved the seven foot cord, which is longer than other models we tested. Lightweight and dependable.
$17.84

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Best Budget-Friendly: Remington D3190 Damage Protection Hair Dryer with Ceramic + Ionic + Tourmaline Technology

The best hair dryers for curly hair typically have diffusers—this enables more even drying of curls.

That’s what our readers told us when we surveyed them to find the best hair dryers for curly hair. We took their top recommendations and then did additional research to find which models are most dependable, quiet and lightweight.

Our top three recommendations are hair dryers with diffusers. If you have light curls, a regular hair dryer (no diffuser) might work . . . we have a suggestion for that at the end of this article.

Yes, there is a lot of hype when it comes to hair dryers—special coated ions? Tourmaline? Ceramics? In the end, we cared most about performance. Which worked best to reduce frizz?

For the best budget-friendly hair dryer for curly hair, the winner is Remington’s D3190 hair dryer. Excellent quality . . . at a price that is easy on the wallet.

What We Liked

• Diffuser works well on curly hair.

• Dependable.

Good performance.

• Settings are easy to use. 3 heat settings, 2 speeds. Cool shot button.

• Lightweight at 1.94 lbs.

• 7 foot cord.

• Affordable.

What Needs Work

• Not enough power for some folks.

• Attachments could be easier to attach.

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Best Diffuser Hair Dryer

Unique shape excellent for curls
A reader favorite, this model is one big diffuser—and it works very well on curly hair. 3 heat levels, 2 speeds. Caveat: it could be quieter. Compact size is great for travel.
$34.17

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Best Diffuser Hair Dryer: Bed Heads Curls in Check

When we surveyed our readers with curly hair, this brand was mentioned again and again: Bed Heads. The company’s Curls in Check hair dryer is basically one big diffuser—perfect for folks with moderate to tight curls.

What We Liked

 Flat head can be used with or without diffuser.

• Lightweight at 1.6 lbs.

• Excellent at reducing frizz.

• Easy to use controls.

• Six foot cord that swivels to avoid tangling. We liked that feature best.

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

• Loud.

• Have to be careful not to get hair sucked into back of dryer. While we loved this hair dryers shape and diffuser, you can easily get hair caught in the blade at back if not cautious!

• Not as optimal as a regular hair dryer in case you are sharing this with a spouse that doesn’t have curly hair!

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Best Infrared Hair Dryer

Huge diffuser great for larger curls
Excellent hair dryer quickly dries hair—and is feather-light at 1.1 lbs. Favorite feature: extra long (9 foot) cord! Caveat: diffuser accessory is extra purchase.
$23.82

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Best Infrared Hair Dryer: Revlon 1875 Infrared Hair Dryer

When surveyed our readers with curly hair for their favorite hair dryers, we found quite a large number of folks who like hair dryers with infrared heat technology. These newer-type dryers claim they reduce over-drying . . . which as anyone who has curly hair knows leads to frizz!

We looked at several infrared dryers recommended by our readers and decided Revlon’s 1875 infrared model is the best bet for most folks. Some of these dryers can get very pricey . . . but this model is easier on the wallet.

What We Liked

• Excellent performance.

• Great for curly hair.

• 2 heat and 2 speed settings.

What Needs Work

• Takes longer than other dryers on average. While the infrared technology is good, it can be a bit slower to dry hair, based on feedback from our readers.

• Some folks thought the diffuser had holes that were too big—and that sometimes got hair tangled. This seemed to be true more for folks with tight, small curls.

• Attaching the accessories takes a bit of effort.

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Best Splurge Hair Dryer

Most powerful at 2000 watts
Excellent hair dryer quickly dries hair—and is feather-light at 1.1 lbs. Favorite feature: extra long (9 foot) cord! Caveat: diffuser accessory is extra purchase.
$149.99

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Best Splurge Hair Dryer: Parlux 3500 Supercompact

And now for a bit of a splurge: Parlux dryers are a favorite of professional stylists. We once stayed at a hotel that had one of these dryers and we fell in love with its overall performance and light weight.

Parlux has several models—this one (the 3500) has a diffuser accessory. Unfortunately, it isn’t included with the dryer—you have to purchase it separately.

Nonetheless, if you want to splurge on a hair dryer, this one is what we recommend.

What We Liked

• Longest cord! At 9 feet, this is the longest cord of the brands we tested.

• Excellent drying.

• Two concentrator nozzles.

• Quiet—well at least compared to the other models in this article!

• Very lightweight at just over 1 lb.

• Powerful at 2000 watts. That’s more than the 1875 watts of the other models in this article. And you can tell the difference!

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

• Diffuser is extra purchase. 

• Cord doesn’t swivel.

• Not as compact as you’d think. The maker calls this model “supercompact.” But it is larger than what most folks think is a compact or travel hair dryer.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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