MOST of us would agree that when it comes to haircare tools, the one essential we all need to have is a good hair dryer that we actually like, we don't struggle to hold and that doesn’t leave hair looking frizzy or damaged.
Some of the best hair dryers available do come with a hefty price tag (we’re looking at you, Dyson Supersonic), although fans swear it’s a life-changer thanks to how quickly it dries hair, how completely it eliminates frizz and how gorgeous it leaves locks, without any heat damage.
Not to worry – you don’t need to spend £300 to have hair that looks like a million bucks.
There are plenty of cheap hair dryers for £40 or less from well-respected haircare brands like BaByliss and Remington that cater to a variety of different hair needs.
Some are lightweight and compact, making them perfect for travel, while others come with diffuser attachments to give you salon-quality styling for curls, in the comfort of home.
Look out for cheap hair dryers with added benefits for the hair: some boast the latest in cutting-edge technology to protect hair and banish frizz, plus they cut your drying time in half.
Those who want to save time and energy can also invest in the newest form of hair dryer: the hot air brush dryer, which dries hair quickly and styles it in one easy step – there are plenty of options to choose from under £40.
If you’re looking to splurge on a hair dryer – but still spend less than £100 – then the GHD Air hair dryer is worth checking out: it’s powerful yet gentle on the hair and delivers quick results.
Best cheap hair dryer for styling: Remington Keratin Protect Ionic Hair Dryer
- (AD) Remington Keratin Protect Ionic Hair Dryer, £36.50 at Amazon – buy here
The best hair dryers are designed to protect hair from heat styling as well as ensuring it looks great when drying, and sometimes, you can find a cheap hair dryer that delivers like one three times its price point.
The ceramic coated grille on this hair dryer is infused with keratin and almond oil to improve hair's condition, and it fights frizz thanks to ionic technology (and 2200 watts of power).
This hair dryer has three heat settings, a cold air button, two speed settings and comes with two concentrators (one ultra-slim, one fast-drying) as well as a diffuser for curls. Just note: it's on the heavy side.
Best quick-drying cheap hair dryer: BaByliss Power Fast 2400 Hair Dryer
- BaByliss Power Smooth 2400 Hair Dryer, £30 at Boots – buy here
This high-powered, high-performance hair dryer (it's 2400 watts), uses both ceramic technology and ionic technology to combat frizz and smooth hair as it dries.
It has three heat settings, two speed settings and a cool shot.
Customers like that it's also lightweight.
Best 2-in-1 cheap hair dryer: Revlon Pro Collection Salon One Step Hair Dryer & Styler
Revlon Pro Collection Salon One Step Hair Dryer & Styler, now £33.32 (was £49.99) at Boots – buy here
Save time with Revlon's 2-in-1 dryer and styler, a paddle brush design that dries, detangles and styles your hair into smooth, frizz-free locks.
Ionic technology leaves hair shiny, and fans love how it halves their drying time as well as the bouncy condition of their locks once they've used it – previously only acquired from a salon.
Best cheap hair dryer for conditioning: Remington Ionic Conditioning Hair Dryer
- (AD) Remington Ionic Conditioning Hair Dryer, now £25.29 (was £39.99) at Amazon – buy here
This high-powered cheap hair dryer from Remington uses ionic technology and high wattage (2200W) to give hair a professional-level styling experience at home.
It also comes with a diffuser and concentrator attachments.
As one fan raves: 'I bought this as a travel dryer as mine blew up while away.'
'If I’m honest I wasn’t expecting too much from it, I decided to try it out this morning and what a shock I got.'
'It’s so lightweight yet powerful and if I’m really honest it’s far better than my regular ‘home’ dryer…'
Best compact cheap hair dryer: Boots Essentials Compact Hairdryer 1600W
- Boots Essentials Compact Hairdryer 1600W, £11.99 at Boots – buy here
Cheap, cheerful and compact, this hair dryer does the job, and it does it well. Reviewers are particularly impressed with its staying power.
Best cheap hair dryer for damaged hair: Lee Stafford Coco Loco Hair Dryer
- Lee Stafford Coco Loco Hair Dryer, £34.99 at Argos – buy here
Infused with coconut oil, the Coco Loco hair dryer is a favourite for anyone with dry, damaged hair.
Choose from two heat and three speed settings, and enjoy the quick-drying 2400W motor.
We also can't help smiling at its pearlescent pink hue.
Best cheap salon-style hair dryer: Toni & Guy Daily Conditioning Dryer
- Toni & Guy Daily Conditioning Dryer, £23 at Toni & Guy – buy here
This 2000 W hair dryer from Toni & Guy is cheap yet powerful, with a frizz-control ionic barrel, tourmaline technology to lock in colour and a cool shot function.
Ideal for creating those straight-out-of-the-salon locks in your PJs.
Best cheap hair dryer for curly hair: BaByliss Curl Dry Hair Dryer with Diffuser
BaByliss Curl Dry Hair Dryer with Diffuser, £22.99 at Argos – buy here
Calling all curly-haired ladies: Babyliss' well-reviewed curl hair dryer with diffuser is designed to boost volume and get those natural curls looking their bounciest.
With frizz-controlling ionic technology for a smooth look, the 2100W device has two speed and three temp settings.
Legions of fans rave about how it leaves their curls looking amazing, as well as the fact it's 'by far the best hair dryer I have ever owned'.
Best cheap hair dryer and straighteners: Remington Hair Straightener and Dryer Shine Therapy Gift Set
- Remington Hair Straightener and Dryer Shine Therapy Gift Set, £49.99 at Argos – buy here
This gift set with 2300W hair dryer and ceramic-plated straighteners – coated in Moroccan Argan oil – conditions and styles your hair into smooth, glorious, frizz-free perfection.
The value for money set has left hundreds impressed, with one writing:
'Was to be a short term replacement for a well known brand… wife said they totally blow the well known and a lot more expensive brand out the water'.
Best investment buy hair dryer (that's still under £100): GHD Air hair dryer
- GHD Air hair dryer, £109 at GHD – buy here
The GHD Air is a super-powerful, 2,100W hair dryer that gives a salon finish at home thanks to ionic technology for a smooth blowout and a removable air filter to encourage speedy drying.
You can also vary the speed and temperature, and the ergonomic, lightweight design is a pleasure to hold, whether you're left or right-handed.
Best for in-car hair emergencies: Brunner Monsun 12V Hair Dryer
Brunner Monsun Compact Folding Travel Hairdryer 12v, £16.50 from eBay – buy here
Ever wished you could plug a hair dryer into your car socket? Well, fear not: it's a thing!
A must for cars, campervans, caravans or even boats – this 12V hair dryer by Brunner Monsun plugs straight into the cigarette socket for easy drying on the go.
Featuring a hot and cold setting, the compact fold-away design means it can easily be stored in your glove compartment for convenience whenever you need to use it.
It's obviously no way near as powerful as a standard hair dryer, but reviewers say it does a good job, wit one writing: "So pleased I could find a small 12-volt hairdryer. Admittedly it's not the same as on mains electric, but it did the job drying my hair whilst away in the campervan. Warmer than I expected. Suitable for reasonably short hair."
Best 2000 watt hair dryer under £15: TRESemme Compact Lightweight Hair Dryer
- TRESemme Compact Lightweight Hair Dryer, £13.99 from Argos – buy here
If you're looking for the cheapest hair dryer with the most power, we don't think it gets much better than this lightweight version by TRESemme.
With 2000 watts and featuring ceramic technology, it packs a punch for such a compact dryer – ideal if you find heavier dryers cumbersome to use but still want fast results.
Plus, with an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Argos (which is based on over 2,000 reviews), it definitely comes highly recommended by shoppers that have tried it.
What is the best cheap hair dryer?
There are a few things to look for when choosing a cheap hair dryer – and you'll find plenty on the market from reliable brands like Babyliss, Remington and Revlon.
Try to choose a cheap hair dryer with a few different speed settings that are powerful (look for high wattage). These will dry your hair faster, causing less damage to the hair.
Other factors to note when picking out the best cheap hair dryer are whether it uses ceramic heating technology, which distributes infrared heat evenly so hair won't be damaged as you dry.
Tourmaline technology – another option – offers infrared heat plus negative ions for a frizz-free finish ('Ionic' technology also leaves hair smooth).
Remington's sub-£30 hair dryers have brilliant reviews and many consider them just as effective as more expensive alternatives.
Enjoyed our guide to the best cheap hair dryers? You might find our round-up of cheap hair straighteners useful too.
For wavier 'do's, we've also selected the best curling wands for short hair.
And you can find more product recommendations and round-ups on the main Sun Selects page.
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