Whether you’re traveling for work or have a wedding on the itinerary, packing a travel hair dryer is a smart move.
The only thing worse than arriving at your hotel to a mediocre hair tool with a single, disappointing setting—that’s either too weak to properly dry your hair or feels as if it’s overheating and might actually catch on fire—is discovering that there is no hair dryer at all. And, if you’re traveling for work or have a wedding on the docket, showing up to an event with slick wet strands or frizzy locks is probably not the look you had in mind.
If you don’t want to be stuck Googling local blow out bars or wearing your hair in a ponytail every day of your trip, the best precaution you can take is planning ahead and packing your own travel hair dryer. But we know it can be tough to find one that’s compact and lightweight enough to tote around in your suitcase, but is still as powerful as your at-home dryer. Even if the dryer checks all your boxes, it still might not be dual voltage, meaning you won’t be able to use it outside of the United States (read: it could blow a fuse in your European Airbnb). Thankfully, you can pick up a travel adapter to use with your blow dryer abroad—problem solved.
But how do you find a top-quality dryer that can efficiently solve all your hair woes and still fit in your suitcase? Luckily, we did the research so you don’t have to, and asked hairstylists to share their favorite travel hair dryers they’ll never leave home without. Here, their top picks that are good enough to double as your at-home, everyday hair dryer and a travel option—so you can depend on just one go-to hair tool for all your styling needs, no matter where you are.
BaByliss Pro BABNT053T Nano Titanium Travel Dryer
“If you have frizzy hair like mine, the ions in this travel dryer keep the hair looking shiny and tamed,” says Angela Cosmai, celebrity colorist at New York-based Pierre Michel Salon and founder of Angela Cosmai Hair Care Salon in Greenwich, Connecticut. Perfect for both domestic and international trips, this foldable hair dryer can be used worldwide (just turn the button from 110V to 250V). An added plus is that it’s not crazy expensive, in case you accidentally leave it behind during your travels, she adds.
Hot Tools Turbo Ceramic Ionic Salon Dryer
"This dryer is super lightweight, which is important to me as a freelance hair stylist who has to carry a full kit everywhere I go,” celebrity hair stylist Andrew Fitzsimons tells Health. The ionic technology dries hair up to 50% faster than other dryers and helps to boost shine and soften hair, which his clients love, Fitzsimons notes. Perfect for tossing in your gym bag for morning workouts, this hair dryer ensures radiant, smooth tresses so you always look polished for the day.
Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
While it may be a splurge, this high-tech hair dryer is a worthwhile investment if you travel a lot, says Oscar Blandi, founder and owner of the Oscar Blandi Salon in New York City. It’s super durable, powerful, light, easy to pack, and it’s very similar to blow dryers used in professional salons, he adds. It’s proven to increase shine and smoothness on your locks while decreasing frizz and flyaways. What’s more, this savvy, professional dryer features intelligent heat control technology that measures the air temperature over 40 times a second to prevent you from damaging your strands.
Amika Mighty Mini Dryer Obliphica
Los Angeles-based celebrity hairstylist Laurie Heaps said she loves this compact, colorful dryer by Amika because it dries hair evenly and just as quickly as a regular blow dryer—ultimately reducing heat damage to your hair. Bonus: It comes with an adorable carrying case, where Heaps also uses to store her mini flat iron, clips, and a round brush when she’s traveling.
Twin Turbo 3200 Power Hair Dryer
Great for styling at home or on-the-go, this salon-grade dryer is slightly larger than your average "travel" dryer (you know, those tiny doll-size dryers), but it’s professional grade—meaning it’s a more effective and powerful option for both travel and at-home use—said Dottie Shannon, a stylist at Cutler Salon in New York. Plus, it’s still compact enough to tuck away into your bathroom drawer or inside your suitcase, and comes with a stainless steel filter that pops out so you can easily remove any lint or dust that builds up over time.
T3 Featherweight Compact Folding Hair Dryer with Dual Voltage
Aubrey Marie, a celebrity stylist who’s worked on films like Book Smart and Lady Bird, is a fan of this dual voltage travel hair dryer from cult-favorite hair tool brand T3. “I feel that you get really good power and heat for such a small dryer, as well as a cool shot, which I love,” she tells Health. Not only does it use ions for smoother, shinier results and effectively dry large sections of hair super fast, but it also conveniently folds in half, meaning it’ll take up less room in your suitcase.
Milk Makeup Hair Dryer
Glam+Go Senior Stylist Tramel Borner said he relies on this durable dryer everyday for silky blowouts. It’s feather light, creates smooth styles, and is durable enough that you don’t have to worry about it burning out after frequent use, he says. Reviewers rave that it’s surprisingly quiet, which is a helpful addition if you live with roommates and don’t want to wake them up while you’re getting ready for work.