Get your party look this Christmas with the latest hair dryer

As hair technology improves, every year brings a fresh crop of fantastic hair dryers designed to be gentle on your hair and reducing the dryness and frizz that can come from frequent use. There are plenty to choose from this Christmas, including those made with ceramic or tourmaline components that lock in moisture and heat the hairs evenly and quickly. You’ll find most models come with diffusers and other attachments to see you through the party season, whether you want corkscrew curls, straight and sleek locks or bouncy volume.

It helps to decide on a budget first, as how often you use the hair dryer should determine whether you invest in a top-of-the-range Nicky Clarke model that will last, or a lower price dryer that you can just use for the odd special occasion. If hair dryers are part of your daily hair regime, it may be worth buying hair care electricals of a professional standard. Read on to determine which type of hair dryer is right for you, what to look for and which attachments will help create your perfect Christmas party style.

Types of hairdryer

  • Ceramic: Unless you only dry your hair as a one-off, go for at least a ceramic hair dryer, rather than one made with plastic or metal, as the material is better for heat distribution and doesn’t overheat so quickly.
  • Ionic: As pioneered by brands like GHD in their hair straighteners, ionic technology minimises frizz by emitting negative ions, balancing static charge and making the hair’s surface shine. They dry hair more quickly by evaporating water molecules so that the hair dryer itself doesn’t need to get too hot. Look for ionic hair dryers if you want a smooth, straight style.
  • Tourmaline: Made with a semi-precious coating on the inside of the hair dryer, tourmaline hair dryers operate under the same principles as ionic hair dryers, helping to tame frizzy hair by producing a large amount of negative ions and trapping moisture in the hair follicle, improving your hair’s condition over time. They can be slightly more expensive, as the mineral is considered one of the best in gently heating and smoothing the hair.

Weight and size

Professional models made by names like Remington and Toni & Guy can now weigh in at under a kilogram (2lbs). If you have longer or thicker hair, choose a lightweight model over large appliances to save your arms from aching after a long drying session! You could opt for a travel hair dryer, as these have improved in design and power in recent years and you can now get a decent grip and folding mechanism from portable models like the Babyliss Travel Dryer, as well as a range of others which feature attachments, cool shot and ionic coating. Travel dryers can weigh as little as half a kilogram (1lb).

Power and settings

Standard models may be 1500 watts or less, but for a good flow of heat on the highest setting, look for hair dryers that are 1750 watts or more. Go up to 2000 watts for thick hair. Most hair dryers now come with two or three heat settings and two speed settings. A useful addition is the cool shot button, which provides a quick blast of cold air to set your style in place. Those with curly hair can also use the cool shot setting to rough dry hair that’s normally air-dried, to prevent frizz.

Use high air flow if you have thick hair and medium air flow to avoid blasting flyaway hair too much. In general, check that the hair dryer has a proper AC motor, for a longer lasting model.

Attachments and hair accessories

Hair dryers usually come with attachments as standard. A diffuser is great for curly and wavy hair types, as they surround the hair with hot air, keeping the natural curl of your hair, instead of blasting it straight. Using a diffuser also encourages loose curls and bigger body for your hair.

For straight styles, a nozzle attachment will direct the air flow and concentrate the heat in one direction, so that you can more effectively smooth the strands. Angle the nozzle from the root to the tip to get the best shine.

Thicker hair and Afro hair types might find a hair pick or comb attachment handy. These comb through and smooth your hair as you dry, either straightening it fully or making it easy to tackle using hair straighteners. You can also direct it upwards beneath the root to boost a short style and create more lift.

Care of your hair dryer

Hair dryers make a good Christmas present but they need to last through the years as well. Make maintenance part of your hair care regime and your hair dryer will keep going for much longer.

Try to clean and clear the filters around once a month if possible. With the dryer switched off, brush away dust and hairs from the back filter using an old cloth or even an old toothbrush. You might need to dampen the cloth, but don’t wet it completely.

Watch out for signs that you might need a new hair dryer. If the nozzle or body is getting too hot when in use for a short time, you could damage your hair. Modern ceramic and ionic models shouldn’t overheat in order to dry your hair. Also be wary of burning smells as this may mean the plastic in an old dryer has melted or worn in some way.

Hair drying tips

Generally, you should towel dry hair as much as possible before turning on the hair dryer – blotting away moisture, rather than rubbing. Air-drying is good if you have time, and then you can finish off with a few minutes’ blast of heat. Use a heat-protecting spray or smoothing hair product from hair care ranges like Lee Stafford before you start.

Always hold the dryer at arm’s length to avoid singeing the hair. Section off straight hair and blow dry with a brush, directing the air flow downwards and moving the brush and dryer down the strands together. Use your fingers for a more natural way of styling waves. Hang your head upside down to boost the volume even more.