Best Travel Hair Dryer 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

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If you have ever traveled outside the U.S, you probably know this story! You took your regular home hair dryer and realized the plugs don’t match with the sockets in your hotel room. You also discovered that your hair dryer is not designed to handle voltage more than 110/120 Volts.

Unless you were really lucky to get a store that sells adapters and voltage converters, you pretty much went on with towel drying the entire trip. Or, you came back home from the tour with your hair damaged that was caused by very poor quality hotel hair dryers.

All of these could have been solved if you made the right decision. Yes, if you purchased a good Travel Hair-Dryer, you could have focused well on the joy of traveling while making every day a good hair day!

How We Found the Best Travel Hair Dryers

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4 stylists interviewed

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17 dryers tested

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4 top picks

A quick overview

Among the wide variety of travel hair dryers available, we picked the top 4 travel hairdryers based on their performance, features, and efficiency.

Model NameWeightSize/ DimensionsDual Voltage supportWattage
Conair MiniPRO Folding Handle Tourmaline Hair Dryer - V3 Apr
1. Conair MiniPRO Folding Handle Tourmaline Ceramic Hair Dryer
0.55 pounds3.8 x 6 x 9.9 inchesYes1200 watts
BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium Travel Dryer - V9 Apr
2. BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium Travel Dryer
0.8 pounds5.5 x 2.5 x 8.9 inchesYes1000 watts
Revlon 1875W Compact Travel Hair Dryer - V2 Apr
3. Revlon 1875W Compact Travel Hair Dryer
1.18 pounds3.4 x 9.4 x 7.2 inchesNo1875 watts
T3 Micro Featherweight Compact Folding Dryer - V7 Apr
4. T3 Micro Featherweight Compact Folding Dryer
2.1 pounds7.1 x 3.1 x 9.1 inchesYes1200 watts

What is a Travel Hair Dryer?

A travel hairdryer is a device that allows you to dry your hair in the midst of the hustles and bustles of traveling. It usually is much smaller in size and lighter in weight than conventional home hair dryers. It also usually has a dual voltage power system to make international traveling convenient.

In terms of power, they have lesser wattage than home or professional hair dryers and hence lighter in weight. Because of its compact size and lightweight, it is easy to pack, carry and use.


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How is a Travel Hair Dryer different from a Home or Professional Hair Dryer?

The basic differences between a travel hair dryer and a home hair dryer are in its size, weight, wattage, design, and voltage.

Home hair dryers have the average weight of 2.2 pounds and above while Travel hair dryers are much more lighter and weigh 1.0 pounds to 1.8 pounds on average. This is mainly because of wattage. Home or professional hair dryers have the wattage of 1875 and above. While travel hair dryers are lower in wattage ranging from 1000 to 1600 watts. The lower the wattage, the lighter in weight.

Size and design-wise, home hair dryers are bulkier exterior and is not suitable to slip in your luggage while traveling. Travel hair dryers, on the other hand, are much smaller in size and many of them come with options like folding handle solving space problems.

Home hair dryers usually have 110-120 volts which are the standard voltage supported all across the U.S. Most Travel Hairdryers, on the contrary, come with dual voltage (220-240 volts) options to prevent your dryer from electrical hazards.

Why would you need a travel hair dryer?

There are a number of reasons why you should consider buying a travel hairdryer. While your trusted home dryer has given you the best of service, they might not come in handy while traveling.

If you travel frequently, a travel hair dryer would save you the extra bit of weight and space in your luggage compared to a regular hair dryer. Travel hair dryers are compact in size and weigh not more than 1.0 to 1.8 pounds.  There are some exceptions in weight in some travel dryers and those are because of their powerful motors.

Unless you are traveling domestically across the U.S, the places you are planning to travel may or may not allow you to use a single voltage (110-120 volts) hair dryer. Travel hair dryers usually have dual voltage, which means, it can work with both 110-120 volts to 220-240 volts and vice versa which is vital for international travels. It also comes with the advantage of the travel-friendly power and plug-in options saving you the worry.

Cordless Travel dryer is another variety of Travel-dryer available in the market which seems to offer convenient power options but is relatively more expensive than other travel dryers. These are battery run, and the batteries are usually rechargeable. However, it takes 4 to 5 hours to charge these batteries.

Also, the wattage of these dryers are around 400 watts or lower than that which is pretty weak and would take quite long to dry your hair, hence buying it would not be a good option.

How To Choose The Travel Hair Dryer

What effects can the countries you are planning to visit and their weather conditions have on your hair?

The climate and the weather of the place you are visiting will definitely decide the state of your hair while traveling. If you are planning on spending your summer in a place that is hotter and more humid or relatively cooler or has fierce sun during the day you may want to take extra precautions. I.e.: Get a good travel hair that will ensure the integrity of hair cells.

In a hot and damp day, your perfectly healthy hair may lose its original qualities. Reasons are, your hair is exposed to heat and humidity and that causes the hair to shrink in size because of loosening the bonds in the cuticle layers. The cuticles open its ends and let moisture pass through leaving your hair, dry and frizzy. As a result, your fine hair may get wavier and your curly hair frizzier.

If you are planning to visit the oceanic countries like Australia, New-Zealand or Fiji Islands which has fierce sun rays, you may want to be extra cautious. UV rays can interfere with the melanin in your hair cells and make your hair lighter in color, or if artificially colored it will leave an undesired shade.

Cooler climate can also make your hair rather unruly. The cuticle of the hair lifts when exposed to the cooler environment. But as soon as you get to your hotel where the temperature is a lot warmer, the moisture of your hair leeches out leaving it all dry and frizzy.

Dealing with these travel problems on your hair can get a lot more manageable with a good hair dryer with the proper technologies and features. It is a good idea to purchase a travel hair dryer with hair smoothening materials such as ceramic, tourmaline etc. to able to ensure proper hair care while traveling.

What technologies do travel hair dryers come with?

Many of the good hair dryer brands have their travel hair dryers with the mainstream technologies incorporated in them. These hair dryers come mainly with ionic, Ceramic, Tourmaline or Titanium technology.

In typical Ionic travel hair dryers, a negative voltage is applied to an ion emitter. The negative ions shrink down the water molecules in the hair shaft and help them penetrate through easily. Thus the reduced size of the H2O molecules evaporates much faster. The ions also retain moisture balance in the hair by putting water molecules back into the hair shaft. The cuticles are remained flat and trapping the moisture in.  It also neutralizes the static electricity in the hair. As a result, the hair is smoother and frizz free.

Ceramic travel hair dryers have ceramic heating units. Ceramic is made into fine powder and then is used to coat the major components of the blow dryers to create these heating units. Infrared heating of ceramic dries hair gently and gives eat protection. As a result, your hair is prevented from heat-induced damages.

Because of ceramic having ionic covalent bonds, it generates ions when heated to facilitate the drying process further. Ceramic also naturally conditions hair and gives frizz-free smooth hair. But because of very gentle heating, it might not be very effective on thick hair and is better suited for fine and delicate hair types.

Tourmaline travel hair dryers are engineered by coating or molding the internal components of the hair dryer. The rare gemstone called tourmaline is crushed into fine powder in a good quantity and then incorporated into the major internal parts of the dryer. When heat is applied to crushed tourmaline, numerous negative ions are emitted.

Tourmaline also produces far infrared heating, which does not penetrate the layers of your hair and allows the hair to dry evenly without making any damage to it. Tourmaline’s natural conditioning coherently smoothens and seal the damaged hair cuticles and gives them a sleek and frizz-free finish. Surprisingly, tourmaline suits and benefits all hair types and not just thin or fine hair.

For travelers, tourmaline can help deal with the impacts of weather and climate on your hair is the best way.

If you have thick hair, you might also want to own a Titanium Travel hair dryer which is a smoothening alternative to Ceramic for thicker hair. Titanium is a metal that easily and quickly heats up. It also seals and smoothes hair cuticles efficiently, especially for thick hair types.

As a result, noticeable frizz reduction occurs in your hair. Because it takes less drying time, chances of causing damage by overheating and over drying are also less. In addition to its beneficial properties, titanium is lighter in weight compared to many other materials and especially ceramic, which as a result makes hairdryers with this material lighter in weight too.

Dual voltage is a must for international travels!

Dual voltage – V1 March

It is very important to have a Dual voltage AC or DC motor in your travel hair dryer. In the U.S electric appliances use 110-120 volts whereas the rest of the world uses 220-240 volts. Therefore, traveling outside the U.S without a dual-voltage hair dryer will not be a good idea. Because it will either burn out or will not work properly.

Your Single voltage hair dryer may fry its internal parts as soon as it is connected to a dual voltage power supply. This can cause electrical or fire hazards which you would definitely not want to experience while traveling.

Although not mandatory, it is preferable to have a high torque motor. What motors basically do is, rotationally accelerate internal components of the hair dryer. If motors have a higher torque, it has increased acceleration. This high acceleration is needed to avoid internal malfunctions and damages. And thus, you don’t have to spend extra money on repair costs.

Compact Size and foldable handle for easy luggage-packing

Size-wise, your travel hair dryer should be compact enough to take up a small portion of your luggage saving you the space for other important things you need to carry. The standard size for travel hair dryers is within 9”x 7”x 4”. A hair dryer within this size ratio will be compact enough to fit a corner in your luggage. Some travel hair dryers come with folding handles making it even more compact and travel-friendly.

Make sure your travel hair dryer is lightweight and has a good size to power ratio

A regular home hair dryer weighs 2.2 pounds and a little more than that which might not sound as heavy but is heavy enough to make your wrists ache when held for long. Especially while traveling, you want it easy on your hands and avoid straining your muscles.

Travel hair dryers are designed lightweight and can have an average weight of 1.5 pounds or less which paves the way for easy blow drying experience while traveling. However, as long as it’s below 2.2 pounds, it still qualifies as a travel dryer.

Travel hair dryers are available within the wattage of 1000 to 2000. Choosing a travel hairdryer with a wattage of 1000 to 1800 will work just fine. However, for fast and efficient hair drying, choosing a hair-dryer within 1200 to 1875 watts is a wiser decision.

Hair dryers with a standard wattage usually indicate its powerful motor and interior, hence it will dry your hair faster with strong airflow and will last longer. But the higher the wattage, the heavier is the hair dryer. You may want to stick to hair dryers with a wattage range of 1000 to 1600 watts to keep the weight in balance.

The compact size and lightweight, however, should not compromise with motor qualities and internal integrity of the dryer. It is important for a good travel blow-dryer to have a reasonable size to power ratio. While a compact size is convenient, it is important to have good dual voltage motors and a standard wattage.

Variable Heat and Speed Settings for versatile drying options

Hair Dryer Heat & Speed Settings - V1 March

Most Travel hair dryers these days have at least two heat and two-speed settings. Variable heat and speed settings allow you to dry your hair according to your hair type.

If you have very thin, delicate or fine hair, set your hair dryer to low heat and low-speed setting. If your hair is thicker and takes much more time to dry, use high heat and speed settings for the best results.

Cool Shot option for drying hair in style while traveling!

Hair Dryer Cool Shot Button - V1 March

Traveling does not mean compromising with looks and hairstyles. For you to be able to enjoy your tour in absolute style, you need a hairdryer with a cool shot option.

After drying your hair precisely, switch to the cool shot option to set your hair in your desired style. Combined with the suitable technology, the cool shot option will set your hair just right and keep it stylish for longer than usual.

Concentrator Nozzle attachments for precise drying

Hair Dryer Concentrator Nozzle Attachment - V1 March

Another important styling tool while traveling is having a concentrator nozzle attachment you’re your hair dryer. Instead of blowing your strands all over the place, you can adjust the concentrator nozzle and flow the right amount air to the areas that need it.

For voluminous hair, aim the nozzle from the roots of the hair to see great results! It is also of great use for styling and smoothening the hair along with hairbrush.

The diffuser is necessary for curly, coarse and African-American Hair

If you have curly, wavy and African American hair, it is necessary to have a diffuser attachment with your travel hair dryer. If you have curls and waves and want to save your hair from being frizzy, you must need a diffuser attachment. This will decrease the velocity of air-flow from your dryer. You will also be satisfied with noticeably frizz free softer curls.

Safety First!

Although hairdryers are machines used on a regular basis, it must be handled with care and caution since they consume electricity and generate heat and radiation. While traveling it is important to keep the voltage in check or else you might just burn your machine. Lack of proper travel preparations while using a hairdryer or any electric gadget can cause fire hazards. Using too much on children can be hazardous too.

How much budget should you have for a travel dryer?

Spending an extra amount of money on a travel hair dryer while owning a good home hair dryer may not look appealing to some. However, if you are frequently traveling, you have every good reason to purchase a travel hairdryer. These dryers have a price range of $20 to $150 or more. Performance wise, the pricier ones exceed in quality but as long as it is within your budget and it fulfills your criteria it’s good to go.

Absolute necessary features in your Travel-dryer

Compact size range9”x 7”x 4” (In any order)
WeightBelow 2.2 pounds
Voltage optionsDual Voltage
Wattage Within 1000 to 1875 watts

Top 4 Travel Hair Dryers For All Hair Types

It is hard to find a travel hair dryer with all the essential features. However, it is possible to find one with a good package of features sufficient for a good experience. Keeping the essential features like the priority and considering the most suitable technologies, we suggest the four best travel hair dryers for all hair types.

1. Conair MiniPRO Folding Handle Tourmaline Ceramic Styler – Most Lightweight Tourmaline Dryer

Conair MiniPRO Folding Handle Tourmaline Ceramic Hair Dryer - V2 March

If you are looking for a hair dryer use can use both at home and for travels, this dual voltage dryer is a great fit! It has a folding handle to make it more convenient for you to slide it in your backpack or luggage without occupying much space. Also, if you have limited storage at home, this fits just light in any corner of a drawer.

It is extremely lightweight and comes with a total weight of 8.8 ounces which is only 0.55 pounds! Its dimensions are 3.8 x 6 x 9.9 inches which will easily leave extra space in your luggage for other important things. It comes with a power cord less than 2 ft. in length.

It has tourmaline and ceramic combined to ensure healthy hair drying alongside traveling. Tourmaline will reduce drying time to 40% and will generate plenty of negative ions to facilitate the process. This makes this hair dryer a great time-saving tool for the hustles and bustles of traveling. Tourmaline’s far-infrared even heating dries hair not just fast, but coherently.

Dual voltage in this dryer makes it great for traveling worldwide. Also with the wattage of 1200, weight below 1 pound and a compact size, it has a great size to power ratio.

Compact size rangeAvailable
Weight Below 2.2 poundsAvailable
Dual Voltage SupportAvailable
Wattage within 1000 to 1875 wattsAvailable

This hair dryer is a great styling tool as well with its concentrator nozzle. This nozzle attachment also dries hair precisely by channeling correct heat and airflow.

It comes with a cool shot button to lock your styled hair. It also has 2 heat and 2-speed settings to facilitate versatile drying.

The exterior of this dryer is designed to prevent unprecedented falls by giving you a good grip on its handle.

Conair MiniPRO Folding Handle Tourmaline Ceramic Styler – Check Current Prices On Amazon

2. BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium Travel Dryer – Most convenient sized Dryer

BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium Travel Dryer - V5 March

You might be surprised by the size of this BaByliss Pro hair dryer and wonder if can dry your hair at all! It has a folding handle that allows you to slip it easily inside your backpack or slides in just right in a corner of your luggage. Compared to its travel-friendly dimensions of 5.5 x 2.5 x 8.9 inches and a weight of 13.1 ounces (0.8 pounds) only, this tiny travel hair dryer is a complete powerhouse.

This Dryer comes with switchable Dual Voltage button that makes traveling both within the U.S and outside a convenient experience. With a wattage of 1000 only, this does a tremendous job of fast drying because of the Tag teamed benefits of Tourmaline and Titanium.

It has its interior coated with both Tourmaline and Titanium, making it a great tool for drying all types of hair. Titanium heats up quickly to dry thicker hair volumes while tourmaline balances out the heat with its even infrared heat making it suitable for all hair types. Tourmaline deeply conditions your hair and smoothens out the hair cuticles. This is especially helpful for Travel related hair problems.

It comes with a concentrator Nozzle allowing you precise drying and styling options even in the midst of the busy travel schedules.

Try CoolingTech Universal International All-in-One Worldwide Travel Adaptor for best plugin options.

Compact size rangeAvailable
Weight Below 2.2 poundsAvailable
Dual Voltage SupportAvailable
Wattage within 1000 to 1875 wattsAvailable

BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium Travel Dryer – Check Current Prices On Amazon

3. Revlon 1875W Compact Travel Hair Dryer – For Domestic travels with the Lowest Price!

Revlon 1875W Compact Travel Hair Dryer - V1 March

This Revlon Compact hair dryer is exactly what you need if you have a budget, not more than $20 to $30. At a very reasonable price, this dryer offers 2 heat and speed settings, Cold shot button, removable end cap and hanging ring for easy storage.

Its dimensions of 3.4 x 9.4 x 7.2 inches make it compact enough to fit in a luggage. It is also only 1.18 pounds in weight which makes it light enough for easy handling and would not make a difference in scales.

Surprisingly, this is a powerful hairdryer compared to its size. It has a wattage of 1875 which blows strong airflow and dries your hair pretty fast. It also comes with a cool shot button for setting your hair.

It is best suited for domestic travels across the U.S for its voltage options. It has the standard U.S voltage of 110/120 volts and Type-A Plugin settings. For traveling outside the U.S you will be needing a converter and an Adapter. Try HYTED 2000Watts Travel Adapter and Converter – International Travel Power Converter 220v to 110v for versatile plugin options and safe voltage conversion.

Compact size rangeAvailable
Weight Below 2.2 poundsAvailable
Dual Voltage SupportNot Available
Wattage within 1000 to 1875 wattsAvailable

Revlon 1875W Compact Travel Hair Dryer – Check Current Prices On Amazon

4. T3 Micro Featherweight Compact Folding Dryer – For African American/ Natural Hair

T3 Micro Featherweight Compact Folding Dryer - V5 March

This hairdryer is powered by T3 Tourmaline® SoftAire(TM) technology with an extra light and compact size making it perfect for traveling. This works great for all hair types because of the natural benefits of Tourmaline in it, but if you have Natural, Ethnic or African American Hair, you really need this as your travel dryer.

Its 7.1 x 3.1 x 9.1 inches dimensions with folding handle will fit a small portion of your luggage perfectly. It has a weight of 2.1 pounds which is more compared to other hairdryers we suggested. But its powerful interior is the reason why it’s weightier. However, its clever design would not let you feel the weight much at all.

The rough hair cuticles and thicker volume of natural and curly hair can be thoroughly dried with the smoothening qualities of Tourmaline and Ceramic Combined. Its far-infrared heat will penetrate the hair cells precisely while balancing the temperature resulting in a soothing hair drying experience. Its airflow is also very soft compared to its powerful interior.

This dryer has a wattage of 1200 teamed with dual voltage making it extremely travel-friendly, perfect for international travels and saving you the hassle of buying a converter. An Adapter is all you need to make it work worldwide. Try IRON-M Universal Travel Adapter for best plugin options.

Compact size rangeAvailable
Weight Below 2.2 poundsAvailable
Dual Voltage SupportAvailable
Wattage within 1000 to 1875 wattsAvailable

T3 Micro Featherweight Compact Folding Dryer – Check Current Prices On Amazon

What are the alternatives to purchasing a travel hair dryer?

Although buying a travel hair dryer makes your trip much easier, there are other options too. If you don’t want to purchase another hair dryer and prefer traveling with your home hair dryer you need to do the following

Buy an Adapter for international travels

While American plugs and prongs are flat, traveling outside America will require you to buy an adapter that can help you plug in according to the standards of the country you are visiting. There are plug types ranging from A to L. American plugs can prongs are type A. Type B is similar to A but with an earth connector making in 3 pins/prongs.

Type C is two parallel round prongs and some countries in Europe like Italy or France support such types. Type D is similar to type C with an earth connector. Type G is three large flat prongs which are well suited for UK travels.

It is a wise idea to study the plug-in options of the countries you are planning to visit. For easy travel plugin options, purchase a good quality travel adapter with a universal socket. These adapters come with a variety of sockets and plugs saving you the worry.

Get a good Converter if you do not own a dual voltage dryer!

While adapters make plug-in options easy, it does not save you from the worry about frying your blow-dryer. If you do own a dual voltage travel hair dryer then you must purchase a converter. Since most countries have 220 to 240 voltage, your 110 voltage American dryer might just burn out without a good converter. It will convert the voltage into suitable volts for your blow-dryer.

Try the following adapters and converters for easy plug-in solutions across the globe

BESTEK Universal Travel Adapter 220V to 110V Voltage Converter

BESTEK Universal Travel Adapter 220V to 110V Voltage Converter

HYTED 2000W International Travel Adapter and Converter 220v to 110v

HYTED 2000W International Travel Adapter and Converter 220v to 110v

Iron-M All-in-one International Power & Universal Travel Adapter

Iron-M All-in-one International Power & Universal Travel Adapter

CoolingTech Universal International All-in-One Worldwide Travel Adaptor

CoolingTech Universal International All-in-One Worldwide Travel Adaptor

Other options and supporting tools

Although not absolutely necessary, and an extension cord can be useful for some travels. If you have a socket very far from your dressing table or the hotel has only one socket but in an inconvenient place, an extension cord can save your day.

On the other hand, if you are fine with the regular cord length and do not prefer carrying extra cords, you may want to go for a hair dryer with retractable cords. It will save more space than the other varieties of travel hair dryers.

Final Verdict

For frequent travelers, investing in a travel hair dryer and a good quality adapter and a converter is essential. It will save your space and luggage weight and give you a pleasant travel experience at the same time.

While these hair dryers are designed to be travel-friendly, they can also be easily used in small spaced apartments for home use. Overall, a good travel hair dryer can be totally worth the money for its versatile usefulness.

Overall

4.7
  • 1. Conair MiniPRO Folding Handle Tourmaline Ceramic Styler / Hair Dryer
  • 2. BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium Travel Dryer
  • 3. Revlon 1875W Compact Travel Hair Dryer
  • 4. T3 Micro Featherweight Compact Folding Dryer
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User Rating

4 (1 vote)

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