People have different types of hair. If you have hair that is naturally curly, such as African American hair, you need to be careful with the appliances that you choose. African American hair can be quite fragile and breaks easily if it isn’t treated in the right way. It requires the right kind of hair dryer and knowing which one is the best blow dryer for black hair is a must.
With so many options on the market it’s important to know what to look for. I have done a lot of research on a number of blow dryers, looking at reviews and the experiences of those who use these appliances to bring you a comprehensive look at the top blow dryer for natural black hair.
Blow Dryer For Black Hair – Comparison Table
Top 5 Blow Dryer For Black Hair Reviews
BaByliss is well known for its styling tools and hair care. The BAB NT5548 model uses Nano Titanium technology, a combination that allows for a higher level of heat conductivity and faster drying without damaging the hair. Wattage is important when looking for a hairdryer for natural hair as well. I recommend going with at least 1,800 watts. This model gives you a powerful 2000 watts, which allows it to blow hotter and faster. That means your hair requires less drying time with minimal damage.
The reason I recommend this blow dryer as one of the best options for African American hair is that it has 6 speed and heat settings. This allows you to find the best setting for your hair type that won’t damage it. It includes the necessary cool shot feature as well which smoothes the hair cuticles, giving them a smooth look.
Another great feature I like is the weight of this hair dryer. A lot of you know how hard to dry and style your hair using a heavy blow dryer. Your arm starts to ache! This blow dryer is light in weight as well as having an ergonomic design to the handle. This means you will have a more comfortable experience when using the blow dryer. It comes with a concentrator nozzle for drying and straightening the hair. Concentrated airflow helps to close the hair cuticle, leaving hair less frizzy and shinier. The filter in this hairdryer is removable, so cleaning the lint that collects on hair dryer filters is a lot easier. Many of the reviews I have come across indicate that this is a hairdryer that can last for quite a long time, even with heavy daily usage.
Pros of the Babyliss BAB NT5548
BaByliss has been part of the hair care industry for 57 years, constantly improving their products over time. These dryers tend to last long because they are created with professionals in mind. They also tend to be very hair health conscious.
- 2000 watt power for faster drying.
- Heat waves are mild and gentle on the hair.
- Emits far-infrared heat that dries from within the hair shaft.
- Light-weight, only weighs a pound making it very good for travel.
- Works really well for voluminous and long hair.
- Non-damaging to hair.
- Uses ceramic technology.
- Has a removable filter for easy cleaning.
- Cold shot feature for fixing hairstyles.
- Comes with a concentrator nozzle for straightening hair.
- Compatible with hotel and home voltages.
Cons of the Babyliss BAB NT5548
Some customers felt this model was a bit powerful for their hair and that the mild heat waves weren’t strong enough for some hair types. Other concerns were that the dryer was a bit big and the cord on it wasn’t long enough.
Another hairdryer from BaByliss that is perfect for African American hair is the BAB 2000 Xtreme. I’ve chosen this model because it was manufactured as a professional grade hair dryer that you can use at home. It has a simple look, however, it comes with a strong long lasting motor which offers 6 heat and speed settings and an easy to clean removable filter.
The ceramic in the hair dryer gives a more concentrated amount of far-infrared heat to let you dry your hair faster. Quicker heat means you can reduce any damaging effects to your hair.
What I particularly like about this model is the narrow barrel. It gives you a maximum amount of air pressure for faster drying. It also comes with a micro concentrated nozzle, focusing the air for styling and zero frizz. There’s a ceramic grill that pushes out the ions needed, allowing you to smooth your hair as you dry.
Another feature I was impressed with is the rubberized handle coating. It just makes handling the hair dryer so much easier. They have also placed the button for the cool shot feature ergonomically, right where your finger would naturally fall when you are holding the hairdryer. It’s pretty handy to keep your style in place as you’re drying.
Pros of the BaByliss Ceramix Xtreme
Like the Nano Titanium model, BaByliss has created a nice range of professional blow dryers that you can use at home for some great results. Here are what myself and other customers like about the BaByliss Ceramix Xtreme:
- Plates are made of ceramic and emit far-infrared heat allowing for not only faster but also healthier drying.
- Rubberized coating on handle improves ergonomic comfort and allows for a firmer and comfortable grip.
- It has a narrow barrel that enhances the air pressure, making styling and drying more focused.
- Comes with a concentrator nozzle for hair straightening and less frizz.
- Cool shot feature for locking your style.
- Multiple speeds and heat intensities.
- Has a durable and high powered AC motor that gives 2000 watts.
Cons of the BaByliss Ceramix Xtreme
Some of the concerns noted for this model are that it’s a bit heavier than similar blow dryers and the rubberized coating seems to wear quickly.
I recommend this Conair model as a budget-friendly choice that works great for all hair types. It offers all of the features you would need for natural hair. Conair uses tourmaline and ceramic technology that allows you to blow at a higher heat without damaging your hair. You have the style locking cool shot feature, 3 heat settings and 2 speed settings.
This model has an 1875 watt motor, which is right on the mark wattage wise for the best blow dryers for black hair. The wattage for this dryer is the perfect choice if your hair is damaged, thin or fine, because it ensures that you don’t over-dry your hair. You get a concentrator nozzle for focused drying and a hair diffuser to help spread airflow without ruining the texture of your hair.
The 1875 Ionic dryer generates its own negative ions, which works to neutralize static and frizz and gives finished hair a smooth shine that is more manageable. The ceramic component of the blow dryer makes it lightweight and conducts heat quite well.
Pros of the Conair Ionic Ceramic
Conair has been in the beauty industry for nearly 60 years, from making old-fashioned heating bonnets to the high tech and professional appliances you see today. BaByliss and RUSK are both subdivisions of this long-standing company. So what does their Ionic Ceramic blow dryer offer?
- 3 heat and 2 speed settings that are great for all hair needs from thin and delicate locks to thick and harder to style hair.
- Uses ionic (tourmaline ceramic) conditioning to protect hair and can reduce frizz by 75%.
- High Torque DC motor increases air velocity to dry hair quicker.
- Cool shot feature for locking in styles.
- Filter is hinged for easy removal and cleaning.
- 5-foot long power cord gives good maneuverability.
- Comes with both a diffuser and concentrator nozzle.
Cons of the Conair Ionic Ceramic
One major concern was the lower wattage of this model making it not the best option for those with thicker and harder to dry hair. Some reported a funny smell coming from the dryer and another concern was that the plastic coating began to flake after a few months.
The Jinri Negative Ion Infrared blow dryer is a salon grade dryer that has 1875 watts, as opposed to the 2000 watts that many of the best blow dryers for natural black hair have. This isn’t a noticeable difference though and you still get a hair dryer that dries the hair fast. I liked that it comes with 3 attachments:
- Concentrator Nozzle for added volume
- Diffuser Nozzle to keep your natural curl pattern when drying
- Comb Nozzle, great for fine and straight textures
So you can achieve a variety of styles. It’s also light-weight and I can recommend this one for all hair types and anyone who wants to enhance their hairs’ natural curl and texture.
It also uses a combo of infrared and tourmaline technology which ensures defense for your hair against the harshness of heat and drying exposure. The tourmaline ion technology eliminates frizz and static. The far-infrared heat penetrates the hair shaft, helping even the thickest hair dry quickly. It has a cool shot feature to help hold your style after drying.
Pros of the Jinri Negative Infrared blow dryer
Jinri is a lesser known brand that has been around since 2002 and is based out of China. It focuses on hair care appliances that are professional grade but that can be used in home as well. Their infrared blow dryer was designed with all hair types and needs in mind.
- 1875 watts of power while not as high as some brands, still produces a good stream of heat quickly.
- It has three nozzle attachments for a range of styles.
- Infrared and tourmaline technology lets hair dry faster. Defends it from heat damage and makes hair smooth.
- Multiple speed and heat settings cover a range of hair needs.
- Cool shot button for setting your style.
- Power cord is nearly 6 feet long giving you more range of mobility.
Cons of the Jinri Negative Infrared blow dryer
With it being a lesser known brand, customers were uncertain of its reliability. It also is a bit less powerful than other blow dryers. It runs off of a DC motor, which is known to not have as long a life as an AC motor.
I’ve chosen the Rusk W8less Professions dryer because it’s both powerful and lightweight, so you can use this hair dryer for all of your hair styling requirements. I like the way it sits in my hand. It’s very comfortable which is the key when you are using it over an extended period of time. The Rusk also runs on a powerful 2000 watts which is perfect for natural hair.
Another great feature is that it emits far-infrared heat which can penetrate the hair deeply allowing you to dry it from the inside out. The benefit of far-infrared heating is that, when blow drying it dries your hair gently and doesn’t damage it. When styling your hair it lessens the chance of being static and frizz. It’s an ideal hair dryer for all hair lengths, styles and textures, especially on hair that is coarse and thick which tends to take longer to dry.
The hair dryer has ceramic that is tourmaline treated to create negative ions, allowing for quicker drying time. You will get 3 speed and 3 heat settings as well as a cold blow feature, all of which can be used with the included concentrator nozzle to make your hair look healthy and super shiny.
Pros of the RUSK W8less
RUSK products were designed originally for hair salons but offer a range of their products for home use. I personally like how convenient the RUSK W8less is to use due to its lightweight and easy to handle body.
- 8-foot cord for better range of movement.
- Rear filter that is removable for easier cleaning.
- Its ergonomic design makes it easier on the hand and arms when using for an extended period.
- Weighing under a pound, the name W8less is true to form.
- Low noise when operating the blow dryer.
- Runs off of an AC motor.
- Emits far-infrared heating.
- 2000 watts means hair dries faster
- Comes with a concentrator nozzle for straightening hair.
Cons of the RUSK W8less
Some concerns about this product are that it can be sometimes overheated and the concentrator nozzle has a tendency to be loosed and detached when in use.
What to look for when buying the best blow dryer for black hair
Before purchasing the best blow dryer for African American hair, there are several things you should look for. For a start, here are five key features your blow dryer should have:
The higher the wattage the better balance you get of heat and air. This will make drying times much faster, which means your hair isn’t under the stress and strain of heat for longer than necessary. The general rule of thumb is to look for blow dryers that have 1800 or higher watts. Slower wattage blow dryers will give less airspeed and more heat making drying time longer and exposing your hair to damaging heat longer than necessary.
Ionic or Parallel Technology
Both technologies do the same thing. They work to balance out positive ions with negative ions. This breaks down the water into smaller particles, making for faster drying times. It also works to seal the hair shafts’ cuticle while protecting and preserving the natural oils in the hair. The result is hair that looks shiny and feels healthy. Both technologies are gentler on hair that is kinky or curly and tends to break more easily.
This is another essential for natural black hair. Ceramic that is used in blow dryers is generally made of clay and is used in the heating element, blow dryers’ body or as a coating for the internal parts of the blow dryer. Ceramic/Porcelain components create far infrared heat that is gentler on hair. The longer wavelengths of energy that it emits are able to penetrate the hair in order to thoroughly dry it. The gentler drying gives your hair some added heat protection as well. The result is less frizz and more shine to your hair.
Multiple Speed & Heat Settings
Whether your hair is relaxed or natural, having multiple speed and heat settings are ideal. The higher temperature settings tend to be better for hair that is coarse and thick. Lower heat settings are better for hair that is more fragile or that has been relaxed. Speed settings come into play for hair styling. You want lower speeds but a reasonable amount of heat when creating your hairstyle, as opposed to high speeds to just dry your hair quickly.
This is important for straightening your hair and setting your style since your hair will set as it begins to cool down. The cool shot feature on blow dryers gives a blast of cool air throughout your style, which seals the cuticle of the hair and gives it a shinier, smoother look. This feature is used when your hair is about 80% dry and it will also prevent over-drying of your hair.
There are also some features that aren’t necessary to have but can be useful.
Some blow dryers come with a concentrator nozzle, diffuser or both. They can be helpful in certain situations. A diffuser will evenly distribute heat over a wider area of hair without disturbing the hairs’ texture. It can also help to tame unruly curls. Diffusers are better for natural black hair. The concentrator nozzle blows a direct stream of air that allows you to defrizz and straighten your style. The concentrator nozzle is a good tool for relaxed or fine hair.
How To Blow Dry African American Hair To Avoid Breakage
African American hair needs a bit of extra care and attention when blow drying and styling it. I recommend following these guidelines to keep your hair healthy.
Washing & Conditioning
Before using a blow dryer it’s important that your hair is clean and well conditioned. This will help protect it from breakage and moisture loss. Be gentle when washing your hair and focus on the scalp. A deep conditioner should be used after washing. This will get the hair ready for styling and helps protect from heat damage. A good tip is to leave a deep conditioner in for about 30 minutes before rinsing.
You need to be gentle when detangling wet hair because it’s more susceptible to breakage than dry hair. Start with detangling using your fingers. Next, use a comb and start from the ends of the hair, working your way up to the roots. This will keep the hair from pulling and breaking.
For drying I recommend using a microfiber towel because they absorb more water. This means less friction on the hair and less frizz. A good option here is to wrap the hair up in the towel and leave it until your hair is about 50% dry.
Always use some form of heat protection spray or oil. This will seal in the natural moisture of your hair. If you prefer using natural remedies for hair, coconut oil is a good choice. It not only moisturizes your hair, but it also stimulates hair growth as well. Grape seed oil is another good option because it is highly heat resistant and locks moisture in. A good tip is to let the oils sit in your hair a bit before drying. This gives the oil a chance to penetrate the hair shaft.
Prep Your Hair
Blow drying and styling is easier when you section your hair. Make 6 to 8 sections and separate them by pinning each up. This will keep sections out of the way as you work on each area.
I advise using low to medium heat when drying. This will guard against heat damage. Direct the blowdryer nozzle down the section of hair you are working with. The trick is to allow the airflow to follow the same direction as the hair cuticle, which runs from the root to the tips. This makes your hair look smoother in texture.
Blow Hot & Cold
Something to keep in mind is that, hot air is what opens up the hair cuticle. In order to counteract the effects, you should give your hair a cool blast towards the end of drying. This will close the cuticle and help set your style. It also increases shine and lowers the chance of frizz.
If you want your hair texture to remain untouched, a diffuser is a good tool to use. Diffusers are used on low to medium heat and placed on the scalp. It directs the air up and around without blowing your hair all over the place.
Concentrator and Comb Attachments
These two tools are good for those who want to straighten their hair. Both tools help direct air down the hair shaft in a more focused way. Start with using low to medium heat and then switch to a cool blast of air to set the style.
We all know how hard it can be to keep our natural hair healthy. Having the right hair appliances, such as blow dryers that won’t damage the hair, can make a huge difference to the health of your hair.
Finding the best blow dryer for African American hair doesn’t have to be a stressful experience once you know what you are looking for. Knowing how to care for your hair during and after blow drying is important too.