The 7 Best Hair Dryer Brushes for Blowout-Quality Results, Tested and Reviewed by Editors

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A streamlined, time-saving beauty routine is essential for looking great when you get out the door in the morning. And when it comes to blow drying your hair, the best hair dryer brushes are the go-to tool for cutting down your styling time without sacrificing an ounce of volume or shine. To select the best hair dryer brushes, we tested 12 options — these are the ones worth investing in.

A hair dryer brush is a hair tool hybrid (half blow dryer, half traditional round hair brush) that can create waves, curls, or a smooth, straight blowout in one simple step. Hair dryer brushes catapulted to fame courtesy of TikTok users demonstrating their ability to take your hair from damp to done in a matter of minutes. The Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer, for example, has over 62.8 million views on TikTok and counting.

Beyond social media-scrollers, hairstylists also have heart eyes for these tools. “I’m a huge fan of blow dryer brushes,” says Chicago-based celebrity hairstylist, Alex Brown, who counts Hailey Bieber, Kendall Jenner, and Bella Hadid as clients. “They are such an easy way to get a smooth, voluminous ‘blowout’ look. They make it easier to tame frizzy hair, rather than managing a dryer in one hand and a brush in the other.”

And the benefits of these hair dryers with brush-like features keep rolling. Brown adds that they’re designed to not only combine two blowout steps into one to “make it quicker to achieve a nice style,” but also to manage and smooth all hair types and textures, even wispy fine hair. She says that “fine hair can achieve volume so much easier when using a blow dryer brush.”

After gathering expert guidance from Brown and celebrity hairstylists Andrew Fitzsimons and Annagjid “Kee” Taylor, we researched hair dryer brush market and ordered up 12 top-rated, expert-recommended options to road test. Over the course of one month, a panel of three testers powered up the tools, spritzed on heat protectant, and carefully evaluated each tool on their own head of hair. Discover the top seven hair dryer brushes, plus tips on using the tools and keeping your hair healthy during your next styling session.

Top Hair Dryer Brushes of 2023

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Testing Verdict: Top 3 Hair Dryer Brushes of 2023

No single hair dryer brush earned best overall on our list due to the variation in the category and independent styling needs for different hair lengths and textures. Our testers found the top choices below best for a range of hair types, textures, and results.

  • Amika Hair Blow Dryer Brush 2.0: Gentle yet effective, our testers found Amika’s hair dryer as a top choice for those with medium-to-long, straight-to-curly hair. The tool is lightweight, doesn’t scald strands, and works effectively on damp or dry hair, adding lift and shine.
  • Revlon One-Step 2.0 Plus Hair Dryer and Volumizer: Many hair dryer brushes are hard to use on short hair, however Revlon’s barrel size is just small enough to work into roots on shoulder-dusting hair lengths. The tool is affordable, but comes with all the bells and whistles you’ll find in more expensive options, including three heat settings and ionic technology.
  • Shark FlexStyle Air Drying and Styling System: Available in multiple configurations with attachments for versatile styling, the Shark FlexStyle is our top choice for those who frequently style their hair different ways. The FlexStyle earned top marks for styling speed — its strong airflow and moderately high heat dried and styled one tester’s long, thick hair in 10 minutes flat.

Amika Hair Blow Dryer Brush 2.0

Best Hair Dryer Brush for All Hair Types

  • Heat settings: Three
  • Special features: Tourmaline coated barrel generates negative ions and infrared heat to smooth hair and minimize frizz, oval design creates extra root lift
  • Pros:
    • Features long and short bristles, which detangle and increase bounce and shine, respectively
    • Weighs less than a pound
    • Adjustable heat settings to customize blowout
    • Quiet motor
  • Cons:

The majority of hair dryer brushes feature a ceramic-coated barrel, but the Amika Hair Blow Dryer Brush has tourmaline coating instead. Combined with 360° airflow through the barrel’s vents, this material swirl negative ions through your hair to slash frizz and lift hair from the root to give mega-volume. A mix of long and short bristles detangles hair first, preventing any breakage from the blowout. For hair dryer brushes with adjustable heat settings like this one, you can customize your blowout to have it exactly as you like it, but Brown cautions against using too much heat and tension while styling the hair for a long time.

Editor testing and review notes: “I have long, medium-thick hair that falls somewhere between a straight and wavy texture. I can usually get away with air drying it, so it takes a star product to sell me on the extra step in my beauty routine. I’m really impressed with the Amika Hair Blow Dryer Brush 2.0 because it gives my hair such a shiny finish, bounce, and overall healthy feel. I tried it for the first time on my birthday (risky, I know) on a humid summer day, and it stayed smooth and frizz-free for over 12 hours. My long, damp dry with just one to two passes, and it became fairly simple to create voluminous curls and flipped ends after I got the hang of it with further use. Due to its large size, I suspect it would be challenging for the bristles to grasp on to shorter cuts for defined curls, though I did find this brush successful in styling my curtain bands in long, draping swoops. My only complaint is in terms of the tool’s design. The notches that toggle the heat settings sit at the bottom of the handle, so they can easily be shifted as you’re turning the brush for a curl. I have accidentally turned the tool off in the middle of styling several times.” — Cigliano

Amika Hair Dryer Best Hair Dryer Brushes

Amika Hair Blow Dryer Brush $100 Buy Now at SEphora

beauty editor testing Amika blow dryer brush

WWD Shop writer Olivia Cigliano tests Amika’s hair dryer brush in our New York City office.


Revlon One-Step Volumizer Plus 2.0 Hair Dryer Brush

Best Hair Dryer Brush on Amazon

  • Heat settings: Four
  • Special features: Designed with ionic and ceramic technology; lightweight ergonomic design
  • Pros:
    • Ceramic material distributes heat evenly to reduce damage
    • Nylon pin and tufted bristles detangle and create shine
    • Has cool setting
    • Oval design gives extra lift at the root
  • Cons:
    • Not a great option for fine hair

With nearly 16,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, the Revlon One-Step Volumizer Plus 2.0 Hair Dryer Brush is clearly a game-changer, and one of the best-rated TikTok beauty products and Amazon beauty products. The original version of the tool had a major moment during the peak of the pandemic, and this updated version boasts all the same features, but with improvements. The barrel size is smaller, which allows you to get closer to the roots of your hair for better smoothing and lift, and making it a great hot air brush for short hair. The handle is also slimmer, lending a more comfortable grip as you maneuver the device.

This tool is often on sale for under $50, making it the most affordable hair dryer brush on our list. Although it’s cost-effective, Revlon didn’t short you on special features: Dual bristles detangle while styling, three heat settings allow you to calibrate the temperature to your hair thickness, and it has ionic technology for extra shine.

Editor testing and review notes: “Revlon’s One-Step Volumizer hair dryer brush outperformed every other under $100 hair dryer brush on our list. You’ll get similar heat settings (four) that pricier hair dryer brushes deliver, and a similar result: It left my hair surprisingly shiny and with no frizz in sight. The only downside to the brush is its potential to damage fine hair types due to its high heat, but I found that a solid spritz of heat protectant kept my hair healthy throughout my two month testing period. Having tested the first version of this hair dryer brush, I found this newer iteration is easier to use, quieter, and brings a level of versatility that is hard to find elsewhere.” — Chwatt

Revlon One Step2

Courtesy of Amazon

Revlon One-Step Volumizer Plus 2.0 Hair Dryer Brush $69.99  $39.99 Buy Now at amazon

beauty editor testing Revlon hair dryer brush

WWD Shop editor Nikki Chwatt tests the Revlon One-Step hair dryer in our New York City office.


Shark FlexStyle Air Drying and Styling System

Best Hair Dryer Brush for Thick Hair

  • Heat settings: Four
  • Special features: Handle rotates to turn the wand into the traditional L-shape of a hair dryer
  • Pros:
    • Lightweight device
    • Regulates temperature 1,000 times per second to ensure consistency and prevent overheating
    • Three airflow settings and a cool shot button
    • Includes a concentrator attachment, two curling barrels, and a round brush and paddle brush hair dryer attachment
  • Cons:
    • Does not come with a carrying case

If we’ve learned something in the past decade, it’s that brands that make vacuum cleaners have a knack for creating knockout hair tools. Take Shark’s FlexStyle Air Drying and Styling System, which launched in fall 2022. The tool is often compared to the Dyson Airwrap for its multiple attachments, including curling barrels that feature the Airwrap’s same Coanda technology, pulling strands around the attachment bouncy waves. This top Shark Beauty hair tool includes a joint-like feature that allows the wand to bend in a 90 degree angle — great for those who want the feel of a traditional hair dryer, but with the benefit of additional styling attachments.

To turn the FlexStyle into a hair dryer brush, simply attach the oval barrel head or the paddle brush hair dryer head onto the nozzle and power it on. Its large barrel size and moderate heat make the FlexStyle the best hair dryer for thick hair on the market, according to our tester with type 2B hair. Those with short hair can purchase a smaller round brush attachment separately at for an at-home round brush blowout.

Editor testing and review notes: “During the six-month testing period of the Shark FlexStyle, I found myself reaching for each of the attachments for different looks and occasions — this tool is so much more than a plain old hair dryer brush. It works as a travel hair dryer, straightener, and curling iron, depending on the attachment you click onto the tool, all of which are seamless to click into place and intuitive to use. Some of the FlexStyle attachments, primarily the oval brush head, add noticeable weight to the device. However, the tool’s powerful airflow cuts down the amount of time it takes to style your hair. Those with long, thick hair may experience some snagging where the attachment meets the FlexStyle’s nozzle, so it’s in your best interest to properly section your hair while using the hair styling tool.” — Sullivan


Courtesy of Amazon

Shark FlexStyle Air Drying and Styling System $299.99 Buy Now at Amazon

Shark FlexStyle Air Drying and Styling System $299.99 Buy Now at Sephora


beauty editor testing Shark Flexstyle air drying and styling system

WWD Shop editor Claire Sullivan uses the Shark FlexStyle with its oval brush head attachment in our New York City office.

Related: Shark SpeedStyle Review 

Drybar Double Shot Blow-Dryer Brush

Best Hair Dryer Brush for Long Hair

  • Heat settings: Three
  • Special features: Innovative vents ensure maximum airflow and a faster blowout
  • Pros:
    • Cool setting
    • Three heat settings — cool, medium, high — work on most hair types and textures
    • Fast drying
    • Tufted and nylon bristles offer tension and control for more lift and body
  • Cons:
    • Larger than most hair dryer brushes, but still surprisingly light

A favorite of Brown’s, this blow-dryer brush from the brand that basically invented on-the-go blowouts features ionic technology to seal the cuticle and reduce flyaways. Its 2.44-inch barrel with slightly curved edges helps create a seamless curl, and the strategically placed vents around the brush maximize airflow to seriously cut down on drying time. “It has flexible bristles that can be used on wet or dry hair, and even extensions, and it’s suitable for all hair types” says Fitzsimons, who counts the Kardashian sisters, Jennifer Lopez, and Megan Fox as regular clients. The best part? It’s impossibly lightweight, and the best dual-voltage hair dryer brush on our list.

Editor testing and review notes: “Out of all the blow dryer brushes we tested, this one is our top choice for medium thick hair. It quickly dries and smooths clean, fresh-out-the-shower hair, creating a voluminous blowout in under 10 minutes. The high heat setting dries a strand of hair in one pass, leaving it straight, long, and shiny. After all my hair is dry, I like to go through with the cool setting for a styled finish. It feels super comfortable in my hand, where it’s not too heavy of a lift to cover my long hair and it allows you to have a lot of control as you style. A small but important standout detail of this blow dryer brush is the extended knob at the top of the barrel. I find myself holding it as I turn the brush to effortlessly flip out the ends of my hair and create loose curls, which isn’t an easy feat with other blow dryer brushes on the market. While I usually feel it necessary to set my curtain bangs in a velcro roller for a long-lasting hold, the Drybar Double Shot curls them in under a minute and their volume lasts all day — with no added product, besides a preliminary heat protection spray.”  — Commerce Writer & Producer Olivia Cigliano


Drybar Double Shot Blow-Dryer Brush $155  $103 Buy Now at Nordstrom

Drybar Double Shot Blow-Dryer Brush $155 Buy Now at Sephora

Drybar Double Shot Blow-Dryer Brush $155 Buy Now at Ulta

beauty editor testing Drybar blow dryer brush

Cigliano tests the Drybar Double Shot Blow-Dryer Brush in WWD’s New York City office.

T3 AireBrush Hot Air Blow Dry Brush

Best Hair Dryer Brush for Short Hair

  • Heat settings: Three
  • Speed settings: Two
  • Special features: Ceramic coated surface for enhanced shine
  • Pros:
    • 8-foot cord
    • Non-damaging bristles
    • Even venting for consistent heat while styling
  • Cons:
    • Settings button placement may cause you to accidentally change heat or airflow during styling

T3 is known for creating tools that are as pretty as they are powerful. The brand’s newest launch, the AireBrush Hot Air Blow Dry Brush, has an oval brush head that’s sizable enough to quickly dry long hair, but small enough for short hair types to easily add volume to roots and soft curls to ends. Its cool tip touch point and 8-foot cord that swivels in the socket make it comfortable to work with, too. Our tester with thin hair found T3’s AireBrush to be the best hair dryer brush for fine hair of the five she evaluated.

Editor testing and review notes: “As someone with thin, medium-length hair, it typically takes me about 10 minutes to blow dry my hair. My go-to tool is a traditional blow dryer with a separate small round brush, which allows me to control my hair styling process and concentrate heat at my wavy roots. Most hair dryer brushes can be too harsh for my hair, so I was pleased to feel the T3’s soft bristles upon opening the device’s box. The SmoothGrip Bristles moved easily through my fine strands, delivering optimal tension and styling control without irritating my scalp or pulling out my hair. While the device doesn’t do much in the way of volume for fine hair types, I was surprised at how quickly and effectively I could dry my wet hair from root to ends. The tool itself is lighter than other hair dryer brushes I have tested and felt nice in my hands. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it and would recommend it to thicker-haired friends who want to cut their dry time in half while still achieving volume.” — Style Commerce Editor Nikki Chwatt

T3 AireBrush Best Hair Dryer Brushes

T3 AireBrush Hot Air Blow Dry Brush $149.99 Buy Now at Sephora

beauty editor testing T3 blow dryer brush

Chwatt tests T3’s AireBrush hair dryer in our New York City office.

Dyson Airwrap Multi-Styler Complete Long

Best Hair Dryer Brush with Multiple Attachments

  • Heat settings: Three
  • Special features: Harnesses the Coanda effect for airflow filled with negative ions for faster, easier, frizz-free and longer-lasting styling, doesn’t use extreme heat in order to maintain the hair’s integrity, intelligent heat control measures airflow temperature over 40 times a second to prevent overheating
  • Pros:
    • Designed for all hair types and textures
    • Comes with 5 attachments for maximum versatility
    • Attachments are charged with negative ions to reduce hair static
    • Three airflow styling speeds
    • Cool shot button
  • Cons:
    • Small round brush head takes longer to dry than alternatives with larger barrels

Once you overcome the sticker shock, you’ll thank your lucky stars that you gave the Dyson Airwrap Styler a whirl, says Brown of the best round brush hair dryer on our list. “The heat control is amazing because it ensures the brush will never get too hot for your hair and I love all of the attachments it comes with. The barrel attachments are similar to curling iron size barrels that you can wrap your hair around to achieve a very bouncy blowout.” The round brush attachment has a narrow barrel size — the smallest we tested — which takes more time to dry long hair, but is particularly handy for finessing front pieces of your hair or curtain bangs. The newest version of the device includes a flyaway attachment that tames unruly strands to perfect your at-home blowout.

Editor testing and review notes: “The Dyson Airwrap is the Swiss Army knife of hair tools — its multiple attachments allow you to curl, straighten, and add volume to your hair, all while drying it. Click on the round brush head, and the tool transforms into a hair dryer brush that’s ideal for all hair lengths and thicknesses. I have long, thick, and naturally curly hair, and the round brush takes my hair from 80 percent dry to smoothed and bouncy in 12 minutes. The two-inch barrel size is narrower than any other hair dryer brush head on the market — the smaller surface area required a few more minutes to dry my hair, but also adds more curl at my ends and lift at my roots. After two years of regularly using this tool and attachment, my hair hasn’t experienced any breakage or brittleness.” — Senior Beauty & Lifestyle Commerce Editor Claire Sullivan

Dyson Airwrap

Courtesy of Sephora

Dyson Airwrap Multi-Styler Complete Long $599.99 Buy Now at Sephora

Dyson Airwrap Multi-Styler Complete Long $599.99 Buy Now at Ulta

beauty editor testing Dyson blow dryer brush

Sullivan uses the Dyson Airwrap’s round brush attachment to add volume to the face-framing pieces of her hair.

Chi Volumizer 4-in-1 Blowout Brush

Best Hair Dryer Brush Straightener

  • Heat settings: Three
  • Special features: Four interchangeable attachments; negative ions reduce frizz
  • Pros:
    • Friendly for all hair textures
    • Two hair dryer brush attachment heads
    • Compact size easily fits in an overnight bag
  • Cons:
    • Concentrator attachment can be awkward to use as the dryer isn’t in a traditional L shape

With four styling attachments and three heat settings, Chi’s Volumizer 4-in-1 Blowout Brush has maximum styling capabilities that come at a low cost. The tool is designed for all hair types, as it has a hair dryer brush head, a concentrator, hair diffuser, and paddle brush head. (Its diffuser attachment also makes this a top choice for those seeking out a hot air brush for curly hair.) These interchangeable attachments makes the tool the best hair dryer brush for curly hair on our list, but it’s also a powerful hair straightener — use the paddle brush attachment and concentrator, and your hair will look sleek without falling flat.

Editor testing and review notes: “Most budget-friendly multi-styling tools fall short with at least one attachment, so I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself cycling through each of Chi’s Blowout Brush’s four attachments with ease. The concentrator and the diffuser take a minute to get used to, as these attachments are typically used on a traditionally-shaped hair dryer brush, but the two hair brush dryer heads took no time to figure out and get comfortable with. Note that the attachments become hot to the touch with extended use, so rough dry your hair before styling, and you’ll be in shiny, smoothed shape.” — Cigliano

Chi 4 in 1 Dryer Best Hair Dryer Brushes

Chi Volumizer 4-in-1 Blowout Brush $109.99 Buy Now at Ulta

Chi Volumizer 4-in-1 Blowout Brush $109.99  $79.69 Buy Now at Amazon

beauty editor testing Chi blow dryer brush

Cigliano tests Chi’s Volumizer 4-in-1 Blowout Brush in WWD’s New York City office.

Related: Best Hair Dryers for Curly Hair

How We Chose the Best Hair Dryer Brushes

Our editors began our search for the best hair dryer brushes by fielding interviews with top hairstylists. Using our expert’s input on what to seek out and avoid in a hair dryer brush, we crafted a list of 20 hair dryer brushes that met our expert’s criteria, including multiple heat settings, non-damaging bristles, and substantial barrel size. Our editors also considered hair dryer brushes that come with an overwhelming number of positive reviews, as well as ones that are popular on TikTok. We whittled our list down to the top 12 options to try, then put these hair dryer brushes through extensive testing to select the seven best for different hair textures, thicknesses, and lengths.

Our list of the top seven includes standout options for curly, wavy, and straight hair, as well as tools with multi-styling capabilities. Of the 12 we tested, the below did not make our top list:

  • Shark Beauty SmoothStyle Hair Dryer Brush: This hair dryer brush straightener has hot plates that allow you to smooth out unwanted texture after you dry your hair with the tool. While this newcomer was a strong contender, our testers prefer Shark’s FlexStyle as its lighter and has more functionality with multiple attachments.
  • T3 AireBrush Duo: With two interchangeable attachments, this hair dryer brush was a promising choice on our testing list. While we loved the ability to style hair either straight with the paddle brush attachment or more voluminous with the round brush attachment, the newer T3 Airebrush is lighter, faster drying, and more powerful than the Duo.
  • Drybar The Smooth Shot Paddle Brush Blow-Dryer: This new Drybar release is excellent at straightening hair while drying it, however our testers had a hard time achieving lift at the root due to its paddle brush head. We preferred Drybar’s Double Shot Hair Dryer Brush, which is equally great for smoothing hair while lending more volume and uniform bounce from roots to ends.
  • BondiBoost 3-in-1 Hair Styling Tool: Compared to other budget-friendly hair dryer brushes on our list, BondiBoost’s was heavier and harder to work with. We love this tool’s long cord and oval barrel head, but it took seven more minutes to style our hair with BondiBoost’s versus the Revlon One-Step.
  • L’Ange Le Volume 2-in-1 Volumizing Brush Dryer: Our testers loved the details on this hair dryer brush — it comes with a bristle guard that makes the brush easy to store, and it features a generous cord length. But while testing the tool, we noticed that the high heat setting was too hot, causing 80 percent dry hair to release steam.

How We Tested the Best Hair Dryer Brushes

Our panel of testers included three women with a range of hair thicknesses, including fine, medium, thick; as well as textures spanning from straight to type 2B curls. Each of our testers evaluated multiple hair dryer brushes, including rotating hair brush dryers, hot air spin brushes, hair dryer brush straighteners, and round brush hair dryers. We tested each tool at least three times over the course of two weeks (some on our list have longer testing time periods, up to two years for the Dyson Airwrap). For each tool, we tested out all of the heat and airflow settings as well as any additional included attachments. Our testers evaluated each tool on the following criteria:

  • Weight: Most hair dryer brushes weigh in around two pounds, however the weight may vary depending on if the brush head is built in or comes as a part of an attachment set. We noted the amount of time we could work with the device before our hands or arms felt fatigued — any that felt cumbersome to work with after 10 minutes were cut from our list.
  • Styling speed: Our testers timed how long each hair dryer brush took to take our hair from rough dry to fully dry and styled, removing any from the list that took more than 15 minutes on the medium or high speed settings. We also noted if any of the hair dryer brushes required touch ups with a straightener or curling iron, as this adds substantial time to styling duration.
  • Durability: To assess durability, our testers tugged on the devices’ cords, compressed the bristles, and dropped the devices from table height to the floor to ensure none of the hair brush dryers on our list ended up damaged or broken from everyday wear and tear.
  • Ease of use: Upon opening each device, our testers took note of how long it took to figure out the tool, first without reading the manual. We considered how simple the heat and airflow settings were to adjust, then took note of how easy the tool was to maneuver around our heads of hair. Tools that felt over complicated to use were removed from our list.
  • Special features: Our testers gave bonus points to hair dryer brushes that come with extra attachments for more versatile styling, as well as technology like ion generators and ceramic coated barrels that improve shine while drying. We also factored in small features that greatly improve the styling experience, such as cool touch points on the tip of the hair dryer brush head.

WWD Shop Editor Olivia Cigliano tests Drybar's Double Shot Hair Dryer Brush in our New York City office.

WWD Shop Editor Olivia Cigliano tests Drybar’s Double Shot Hair Dryer Brush in our New York City office.

What to Look for in the Best Hair Dryer Brushes

Blow-dryer brushes come in all different shapes, sizes and setting strengths to tackle various hair lengths and textures, but there are a few settings that our experts find to be non-negotiable features.

  • Barrel size: Many hair dryer brushes have round or oval brush heads, but not all are built the same. Those with a slimmer barrel are ideal for those looking to get lift at the roots, coax curtain bangs into place, or achieve soft curls. Barrels with a bigger diameter tend to smooth your hair from root to end while imparting a bit of movement and flip at the ends.
  • Heat settings: More is more here, because you can use different temperatures to customize the dryer to your hair’s needs. If you have fine, fragile or damage-prone hair, Brown says to “use the lowest setting and be gentle.” For those with thicker or curly hair, a higher heat setting is best.
  • Bristle type: Bristles detangle and smooth hair while the heat dries it, and the kind of bristles your brush has make all the difference. “Depending on your hair type and how you style your hair will determine the type of brush you need,” says Fitzsimons, who recommends looking for a blend of nylon and tufted bristles. “It will not only gently detangle your hair, but will help bring the oil from the roots and scalp to the tip of your strands.”
  • Cool setting: Just like a regular blow dryer, a good hair dryer brush should have a cool shot button to lock in the style. The cool air works to seal the cuticles of your hair (which tend to lift when heat styling). This leaves you with more shine and less chance of your hair getting frizzy throughout they day.

Are Hair Dryer Brushes Damaging?

“Investing in a good blow dryer brush will pay off in the end, and your hair will thank you for it,” says Brown, adding that it cuts down on drying time as well as harm from the heat, as using a hair dryer then a curling iron causes double the damage. But just like any hot tool, moderation is key. “Don’t use a hair dryer brush too often,” says Brown. “Try to prolong your blowout to every few days, if possible. The less washing and styling with heat, the healthier your hair will be, and use anything lower than the hottest heat setting to maintain hair integrity.”

One risk involved with hair dryer brushes is mechanical damage due to brushing too firmly or forgetting to detangle before using your brush. Over time, friction between the tool and your hair can lead to frizz and breakage. To prevent these outcomes, always detangle before you begin drying with a hair dryer brush, and don’t brush the tool through too firmly or quickly.

How to Use a Hair Dryer Brush

Brown’s trick is to only start using a hair dryer brush once the hair is already at least 50 percent dry. Doing anything to soaking wet hair doubles the time, but especially in this case, as “it would also mean that you’re applying much more heat and tension on the hair for a longer period of time.” Wet hair is more fragile than dry hair, so waiting until your hair is partway dry will help prevent damage.

But the most important step, according to Fitzsimons is protecting your hair. “I tell my clients, friends, and anyone who will listen: always use heat protectant on your hair! Never skip this step,” he cautions, adding that “as long as you’re protecting your hair and using hair brush dryers correctly,” then you shouldn’t have an issue with keeping hair healthy and breakage-free.

Here’s our expert-approved guide to using a hair dryer brush:

  1. Wash your hair: Shampoo and condition hair with a duo designed for the style you’re looking to achieve.
  2. Detangle: Use a wide tooth comb, like this one from Pattern by Tracee Ellis Ross, or a hair brush to gently detangle any knots.
  3. Let your hair air dry: Air dry hair until it’s 50 percent dry, but first, apply a heat protectant. Brown loves Kérastase Nectar Thermique. If you must, you can also use a hair dryer instead of air drying.
  4. Glide the hair dryer brush through: If you’re using a paddle hair dryer brush for a straight look, simply start at the root and glide the bristles through the bottom of the strands. “Make sure you’re giving your hair a hard pull to get good tension,” says Brown. “The harder the pull, the smoother and straighter your blowout will be.” Repeat until hair is completely dry.
  5. Create some curls: For a big, salon-quality blowout, use a circular or oval brush that looks “similar to a curling iron size barrel,” says Brown, then “wrap your hair around the barrel to achieve a very bouncy blowout.” To create more defined curls or waves, wrap sections of hair tightly around the bristles, hold for a moment, then pull downward with a firm hand.
  6. Set it: If you notice any flyaways after styling, Brown suggests smoothing her hand over her hair after the heat has been removed to help lay them down. “You may also want to spray a lightweight hairspray into your hand and smooth the hair to help it set.”

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Meet the Experts

Alex Brown is a Chicago-based hairstylist who learned the ropes from the legendary Jen Atkin. Brown is a favorite of many of today’s It girls, including Hailey Bieber, Bella Hadid and Chrissy Teigen. She recently opened her own hair studio in Chicago.

Andrew Fitzsimons got his start working with the Kardashian sisters, who still have him on speed dial when they’re looking for an especially show-stopping ‘do. In 2022, Fitzsimons launched his eponymous line of hair care products exclusively at Ulta to much fanfare.

Annagjid “Kee” Taylor owns the Philadelphia salon Deeper Than Hair, which is one of the country’s premiere salons for naturally textured and Black hair. She’s also the author of the children’s book, All Hair Is Good Hair, to help girls love their natural hair.

Meet the Testers

Nikki Chwatt is the Style Commerce Editor for WWD and Footwear News, where she both writes and edits stories on the latest clothing, accessory, and shoe trends for women and men. Chwatt’s writing has appeared in publications, such as Editorialist. She is currently based in New York City. Chwatt regularly authors testing reviews on hair tools, and she tested hair dryer brushes on her medium-length, fine hair for this story.

Olivia Cigliano is a Commerce Writer & Producer at Footwear News and WWD where she writes shopping content across fashion, beauty, footwear, TikTok style trends, and more. Cigliano received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Emerson College, and her byline can be found in publications including Elite Daily and CR Fashion Book. She is currently based in New York City, where she regularly tests beauty products for consideration in WWD Shop content. For this story, Cigliano evaluated hair dryer brushes on her wavy, long hair.

Meet the Author

Claire Sullivan is the Senior Beauty and Lifestyle Commerce Editor for WWD and Footwear News. She’s spent over five years researching, reporting on, and writing about the beauty industry for publications like Martha Stewart Living, Martha Stewart Weddings, InStyle, and Byrdie. She’s tested hundreds of products during her time as a beauty editor, so she’s well-versed in selecting the products, like hair dryer brushes, that make a meaningful difference in your hair. Sullivan penned this story on the best hair dryer brushes, consulting with experts, studying the hair dryer brush category, and testing five top options on her long, thick, type 2B hair.

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