Hair should be fabulous no matter what country you’re in. You certainly don’t want to leave the fate of your hair down to some random “hotel” hair dryer that is too basic to really be functional. Even worse, you don’t want to be stuck with a hair dryer that will blow up when you turn it on because it has the wrong voltage. We went in search for the best travel hair dryer and below are our top five picks:
Keep reading to find out more about these amazing travel hair dryers.
Travel hair dryers are made slightly differently than regular hair dryers. They fold so that they can easily fit into luggage without taking up too much space. It’s hard enough fitting all of your clothes in your suitcase so you don’t want a hair dryer hogging a whole corner of your bag. Travel hair dryers are extremely lightweight so they are easy to carry around and won’t really affect the weight limit of your luggage. For quick accessibility, they may come with some sort of hook to hang them up. In short, travel dryers are made for convenience.
The most important feature of a travel hair dryer is the ability to be plugged up and used in any country. This is important because, in the United States, electricity is 120 volts but in most other countries in the world, the electricity is 220 to 240 volts. Many travel hair dryers come with a dual-voltage option so you can use it anywhere in the world with no worries.
As stated in the previous section, the U.S. tends to do it’s own thing when it comes to electrical outlets compared to the rest of the world. If you’re wondering whether or not your high-wattage hair dryer is going to be too powerful to use in an outlet overseas, you can stop worrying.
Outlets that have 240 volts actually tend to be more efficient than 110-volt outlets. This is due to the way that amps are calculated:
[Total Watts] ÷ [Volts of Outlet] = [Amps]
This means that in the United States, a 2000 watt hair dryer needs an outlet that can handle at least 19 amps, but overseas it will only need an outlet that can handle at least nine amps. If your hair dryer works in the U.S., it will work overseas just fine.
There are many choices when it comes to travel hair dryers. In fact, you have the same options for types of hair dryers as you do for full-sized hair dryers. The four main types are:
If you know which type is suitable for your hair, look for travel hair dryers of that type. If you aren’t familiar with the different types, continue to the next section for a brief explanation of each type and what type of hair each is best for.
There are a lot of hair dryers but not all of them are alike. They also tend to be better suited for different hair types and purposes. Here are a few points about each hair dryer type.
- Emits even, gentle heat so you don’t overheat your hair.
- Great for fine/thin hair and damaged hair.
- Tends to be the most inexpensive type.
- In many cases, it’s combined with other types of hair dryer technologies.
- Can be a bit heavier than other types.
- May take longer to dry thick/curly hair because the heat is gentle.
- The most popular type of hair dryer.
- Far-infrared heat dries hair from the inside out.
- Great for damaged hair.
- Dries hair faster than ceramic.
- It’s good for just about any type of hair.
- Great for giving hair a beautiful shine.
- It’s a powerful hair dryer.
- Provides even heat when drying hair.
- Has natural ionic properties, so it also dries from the inside out and provides shine.
- Not really suggested for fine/thin hair but is great for thick/natural/curly hair.
- Tends to be a bit pricey, but worth it if you can fit it in your budget.
- Not as popular as the other types.
- Has many properties of a ceramic hair dryer.
- The main advantage is that it’s light weight compared to ceramic hair dryers.
We didn’t pick this travel hair dryer as the best overall because it’s the highest priced. This hair dryer earned this title with flying colors. For starters, it’s a tourmaline dryer with an exclusive
The dryer is 1200 watts, so you can rest assured that it will work on the high setting in most international destinations. It also has everything you need in a travel dryer–dual voltage, two speed/heat settings, and a cool shot. It measures 7.1″ x 3.1″ x 9.1″.
- Comes with storage tote
- Diffuser available for separate purchase
- 9 ft cord
- 2 yr warranty
- Scratch resistant
- It’s extremely expensive.
- This may not be the best dryer for thick hair.
This is a great, low-priced option for a travel hair dryer. One of the biggest benefits of this hair dryer is that it is very small, 5″ x 8″, around the size of some cell phones. It’s also one of the most lightweight travel dryers around, weighing in at only 10.9 ounces. This makes it very easy to pack in your luggage and you don’t have to worry about wasting valuable space.
This hair dryer made the list as best for fine hair because of the low watts (1000 watts). It may be tempting to get a hair dryer with the highest watts possible, but you don’t need all of that for fine hair. The hair dryer has all of the basics of a travel hair dryer–2 heat/speed settings, a concentrator attachment, and a folding handle. It isn’t the most thrilling hair dryer, but if you just need something basic at a good price, this one is a good choice.
- Dual voltage
- Two different color options
- Very affordable
- Has a removable filter for easy cleaning.
- There is no warranty for this hair dryer.
- It’s not very powerful at all. Not good for thick/curly hair.
Panasonic doesn’t have a huge selection of hair dryers available in the United States, and this one is representative of that. The Panasonic EH-ND63-P is a single voltage hair dryer that is designed for use outside of the United States. Because of this, it’s the perfect for use in other parts of the world such as Europe. It’s a middle-of-the-road price range and has all the features you need in a travel hair dryer.
- You don’t need an adapter for most European countries
- 3 temp/speed settings
- 2000 watts
- Single voltage–not for use in the U.S. or Canada
- It only comes in one color–hot pink
- Doesn’t come with any type of attachment
Here is another great budget option that happens to be powerful enough for thick and/or curly hair. At 1875 watts, it can power through your locks easily while the ionic ceramic technology helps to reduce frizz and reduce drying time. It comes with a concentrator attachment to target specific areas of your hair. Like all travel dryers, it has a folding handle but it folds a bit awkwardly. It doesn’t really fold into a “compact” square or rectangle because of the way the handle is curved, and it doesn’t fold all the way so there is a gap between the handle and body of the dryer. Besides this small complication, the Revlon Ionic hair dryer is a great travel dryer for just about any hair type.
- Dual voltage
- Has a cool shot feature
- Small and extremely light weight: 4″ x 6″ x 9″, 1.28 ounces
- 3 year limited warranty
- Can’t use the high setting on 250 volts
- Cord is only 6 feet long
- It’s extremely loud.
Sometimes you just need a hair dryer. No bells, no whistles, just something that won’t break the bank. The Conair Vagabond fits that description. It’s basic, but it gets the job done with 1600 watts and dual voltage. It comes with two speed/heat settings and a folding handle like every travel hair dryer. It’s small (3″ x 4.25″ x 7.625″) and lightweight (1 lb.). This hair dryer isn’t recommended if you want to style your hair. This is mainly just a “dry” your hair type of hair dryer.
- You get 2 colors
- It’s extremely affordable
- Great for kids’ use
- Cord is less than 5 ft
- Warranty is only 1 year
- Made with cheap parts
We chose the T3 Featherweight Compact Folding Hair Dryer because not only is it an amazing hair dryer, but because T3 is a company that is known for producing quality products. They’ve won awards and they have a great warranty on their products so this let’s us know that they’re a company we can trust. The T3 Featherweight compact hair dryer is one of the best travel dryers on the market and, although it’s very expensive, it’s worth every penny.
We know that not everyone wants to kick out this much on a travel hair dryer, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t get a good quality hair dryer. The Revlon Compact Ionic Travel Hair Dryer is one that is similar to the T3 as far as reputation and quality is concerned. You could opt for the Revlon to save money. No matter which one you choose, all five hair dryers are great products and will keep you from having to worry about your hair so you can focus more on your trip.