Best Travel Hairdryers
Traveling to exotic climes is exciting, but there’s a lot that we need to be mindful of when entering a new territory.
Taking the best travel hairdryer for one, or will the food match our dietary requirements? Are we dressed appropriately for the temperature and local culture?
And perhaps most importantly of all, just what impact will the humidity of our surroundings have on our hair?
Of course, if you are backpacking, you probably won’t be worrying about anything at all!
Best Travel Hairdryers Comparison Table
Long power cable
(Up to 75% less frizz)
2 heat/speed settings
Cold shot setting
It’s always a risk that we can leave an airplane with tresses as sleek as Jennifer Aniston and find ourselves looking more like we have just climbed out of a haystack by the time we reach our hotel, and that problem could be magnified upon checking in and discovering that the room does not provide a hairdryer.
Purchasing a travel model will put paid to these concerns, and the guide that you are reading will help you find the ideal piece of grooming equipment to include in your luggage.
The majority of women will want the security blanket of a hairdryer, but believe us, men are catching up very fast with all kinds of styling gels and sprays packed along with a hairdryer!
Buyers Guide to Travel Hairdryers
On paper, choosing a travel hairdryer is simple enough. Find a model that's small and light enough to fit into your luggage without any drama, and make your merry way to the airport.
As with all electrical appliances that are to be used overseas, however, there are a great many more factors that need to be given due consideration before committing to a purchase.
Picking the wrong dryer can be a hair-raising experience.
First thing's first – it is essential that your hairdryer runs from a dual voltage power source.
Most of these items sold in the USA and Canada run at 110v, which is perfectly serviceable at home, but many European territories will require 220v to prevent the appliance from blowing a gasket in your hands.
It's not quite as simple as picking up a 220v device, either – that will be next to useless on home turf. Unless you pick up a dual voltage hairdryer, you'll risk ending up with a hairfryer.
Next up, consider how portable the hairdryer is. Nobody wants to use up their entire baggage allowance with essentials such as this, which is why travel models exist in the first place.
Seek out something that will potentially fold in on itself so it can snugly slip into a corner of your suitcase, and if it has a removable or retractable power cords, so much the better.
Don't forget your travel adaptor, too! You’ll be cursing yourself if you spend big bucks on a product that is ultimately useless due to the difference in plug sockets.
Of course, it would be remiss not to mention price. There is no such thing as a set rate for the cost of a competent travel hairdryer, with fees ranging from $20 to an excess of $200.
As always, it's a case of balancing your budget with your requirements.
Power & Flexibility
Finally, look into the power and flexibility of the device. Much like conventional hairdryers, travel models are available that specialize in dry hair, long hair, damaged hair, frizzy hair, or all the above and more besides... you wouldn't use a cheap model that does nothing for your particular style and aesthetic for use at home, so why would you while traveling?
Thanks to the power of social media, those holiday snaps are going to become permanent and nobody likes to see a bad hair day immortalized.
For instance, if you have long, thick hair, you don’t want to spend three hours getting ready to go out, because your dryer does not have enough heat or power.
Ceramic Heating Element
To this end, a ceramic heating element is always wise, especially if you are entering an area of high humidity.
Frizz can be every woman's enemy and while this component may add a few dollars to the price of a hairdryer, it will also allow for a more consistent and even distribution of heat.
Likewise, check the power settings of your model of choice – you'll achieve little if you pick up weak dryer that only releases small bursts of heat in an area that demands more potency, but likewise, pulling out all the stops on a hugely powerful device for use in a country or hairstyle that requires a more gentle blow could end up doing more harm than good.
Sound like a lot to take in?
Don't panic; to make your life easier, you'll find a list of five easily obtained travel hairdryers that we recommend below.
Between these options you're certain to find something suitable, and make vacation grooming blues a thing of the past.
Our Top 5 Choices...
One of the most popular travel hairdryers on the market from one of the most reputable brands of them all, the BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium Travel Dryer is ludicrously compact, weighing just 10oz and folding into itself.
This means that you won’t even need to pack this dryer in your hand luggage – you could slip it into a purse and spruce up your bouffant in the airplane bathroom.
Running at 1,000w power this dryer packs a punch that belies its small stature, and with a power cable that stretches almost six feet you won’t struggle to find somewhere to plug it in. Very reasonably priced, too.
PROS – Incredibly portable, deceptively powerful and packed with enough technology to ensure an even, enjoyable blowdry experience, there is very little not to love about the BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium Travel Dryer.
CONS – This dryer delivers a great deal of power for its size, but it remains tiny and thus can only do so much – if you’re looking for a professional-standard styling device, you may need to search for a more elaborate and larger model.
Offering 1,600w of salon-quality styling power, the X5 Superlite is truly the best of both worlds for anyone seeking high quality at a low weight.
Boasting two plastic attachments in the form of a diffuser and a concentrator nozzle, this dryer folds into itself to avoid taking up excessive space in your luggage and offers a rapid but gentle drying of all hair styles.
It’s undoubtedly costlier than many models of similar size and stature, but it’s safe to say that you’ll get what you pay for with the X5 Superlite – the benefits of this product suggest that it’s a price worth paying if you find yourself on the move with any kind of regularity, especially as a business traveller than needs to look your best at short notice.
PROS – Salon quality styling at a portable travel size? Yes please. Few products can hold a candle to the X5 Superlite in terms of performance and flexibility.
CONS – Quality obviously comes at a cost, and infrequent travellers may balk at the asking price of this model. It also runs pretty hot, so if you have short, fine hair you may find it a little too toasty for comfort.
If it’s flexibility on a budget that you’re looking for in a travel hairdryer, this jack-of-all-trades model is the answer.
Boasting a bristle brush for volume and waves, a dual-row fine-tooth straightening comb and a wide-tooth detangling comb, this will cater for the many and diverse needs of the modern girl – especially if your hair is prone to curling.
This model does not fold onto itself, which coupled with the numerous attachments means that it’s not quite as pocket-sized as some of the rival dryers we’re discussing, but the variety that the Infiniti Pro offers makes up for that – and with 1875w of power, it packs quite an impressive punch.
PROS – It’s rare to find such flexibility at such a low price – no matter what your needs are, the brush and comb attachments that are applied to the powerful barrel of the Infiniti Pro will help you reach your glamor goals in no time at all.
CONS – The unit does sometimes run a little hot, making it less ideal for prolonged use and not advisable to be shared – it’ll need time to cool off between uses. It’s also significantly bulkier than some of the similar products that you’ll find on this list.
We’re moving back into the costlier realms of branded travel hairdryers now, as this model will not produce any change from a fifty-dollar bill, but sometimes quality shines through.
Despite a compact and lightweight folding design that means this dryer will take up no space at all, it produces a mighty 1,875w of power that rivals the full-size model, usable with or without a nozzle.
Perhaps most interestingly, this design also comes with a cold shot function, which is a rarity in the realm of travel hairdryers.
PROS – Weighing less than 1lb, usable in all kinds of different territories, as powerful as a full-size salon model, easy to tuck away thanks to the folding design, and including a cold shot mode- all while being aesthetically sleek.
CONS – The nozzle is pretty wide, meaning while that the Brookstone Ionic Dual-Voltage Travel Hair Dryer will have your hair dry in no time at all, it is less potent when used as a tool for styling. Some users may feel that for the price they pay, the model should be able to serve both functions to the same standard.
Let’s conclude with a look into the no-frills but hugely satisfying experience provided by Vidal Sassoon with their Vsdr5523 model.
Offering 1,875w of power and at a low price point, this little number ensures that you’ll get plenty of blast for your buck, and this dryer also includes everything you’ve come to expect from a travel hairdryer; a folding handle, weight of a little over 1lb and, again, a cold shot mode.
Hugely powerful for such a lightweight model, the Vsdr5523 doesn’t have to rely on gimmicks to sell itself; this is a small but perfectly formed travel hairdryer that will meet the needs of any regular traveller without breaking the bank or the luggage scales.
PROS – The Vsdr5523 is light enough to make for happy travelling and heavy enough to offer reassurance that you’re using a quality product. It also kicks out some very substantial heat for such a small and reasonably priced item.
CONS – Changing the voltage requires the use of a screwdriver – not a major issue but certainly an irritation, especially if these times of increased airline safety concerns. It’s also noisier than many of the models on our list when in use, which may annoy some, particularly if you are in shared accommodation!