Hairdryers

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Which hairdryers blew us away?

It takes more than blasting hot air through your hair to get terrific tresses. It’s also useful to have a range of temperatures so you can dry hair quickly with a warm blast and then style it with a cooler setting. Find out which hairdryers are very good at styling, and the useful features to consider when choosing a hairdryer.

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Hot and cold

Hairdryers with a good temperature range had more than 30°C between their hottest and coolest setting.

High-temperature settings are useful for quick drying; cooler settings are best for styling.

Tip: Pick up the hairdryer in the shop to check its weight and balance. Holding a hairdryer for any length of time can be tiring. Also check the controls – they should be accessible and easy to operate by touch.

What to look for

Here's what to consider when choosing a hairdryer:

  • Hanging loop: lets you hang the dryer on a hook, away from wet bathroom surfaces.
  • Separate switches: for heat and airflow give you more control than a single (combined) switch.
  • Controls: should be accessible, easy to operate and labelled well. Sliding switches are set in the handle and can be hard to use if they’re stiff, lack grip or don’t stick out enough. Rocker switches can be easier to use, but can accidentally be switched on or off.
  • Cool shot: provides a burst of cool air, which helps set the style in place.
  • Concentrator: focuses the stream of air on a particular section of hair. It’s designed for spot drying and controlled styling.
  • Diffuser: a diffuser with short fingers is designed to dry curly hair by spreading the airflow to minimise frizz. Diffusers with longer fingers (also called volumisers) give volume by directing heat to the roots.
  • Turbo: increases airflow through the dryer to speed up drying.
  • Long power cord: this is useful if your power socket is a long way from your mirror.
  • Ionic: technology produces negatively charged ions that, according to the manufacturers, reduce static and frizz leaving hair shiny and smooth and dry your hair faster.
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Colour-care shampoo doesn’t fight fade

We put 23 shampoos for coloured hair to the test, but reckon you’d be better off using plain old water to retain your colour.

See the full report