When you're packing away your essentials, particularly for a short vacation, you may have so little room in your luggage that you'd consider leaving your hair dryer at home. After all, why lug such a thing around when there is bound to be one in your hotel room? The answer may come when you switch on the provided hair dryer and find that it barely blows.
If you're wanting to look your best then it's worth investing in a travel dryer – one that is small and light enough to be carried while allowing you to inject some volume into your hair without leaving it in a frizzy mess. They're more durable and flexible that you may think, with multiple speed and heat settings that can avoid causing damage to your locks and attachment concentrators that give you greater control.
If you travel around the world, make sure you choose one that can use different voltages – US dryers can run on 120 volts but international travellers will also want 240 volt capability. Go for a more expensive model from a recognised brand, too, if you think you'll be using it often: they're more likely to last longer and prove safer in the long run (hair dryers are definitely not low in their use of energy).
Of course, a travel dryer is not going to be as powerful as a main dryer but given their small sizes, they certainly give many a run for their money. You should also invest in a travel adapter to make sure you can actually plug your travel dryer into the mains, otherwise you may end up tearing out your hair in frustration.
Light yet versatile and packed with great features
Looking like a more compact version of the GHD Aura, the Flight may be light (coming in at just 422g), but it's certainly not low on blows. In fact, it gusts air at 85 per cent of the power of the Aura while packing two variable heat settings, both of which can be toggled with a switch that's positioned well within reach on the handle.
Able to operate at both 120 and 240V and automatically turning off when it’s held too close to the hair, the airflow temperature can reach 65 degrees Celsius (150 degrees Fahrenheit), while the nozzle can be removed for more precise drying.
When styling on the go, you can also fold away the handle so that the hair dryer takes up less room in your luggage. You can even pop it in the bundled protective dust bag so that it continues to look as good as you during your travels.
Parlux 3500 Super Compact
One of the smallest hair dryers around
Coming from a brand familiar to many hairdressers, the Parlux 3500 Super Compact is certainly well named given that it’s just 17 centimetres in length and weighs only 470g. It's also infused with cutting-edge technology so although it may look little more industrial than some of the other hair dryers out there, you can rest assured that it's what's inside that truly counts.
Indeed, here you've got Parlux's 2000-watt K-lamination motor which allows for an airflow output of 73 cubic metres per hour as well as four-temperature settings, two speeds, a cold shot button and a couple of concentrator nozzles to make styling that bit easier after a heavy day by the pool. More than that, the hair dryer is designed to be long-lasting and it's a bonus that it also consumes less energy and doesn't overheat either.
Paubea Portable Folding Hair Dryer
A hair dryer to blow away some health anxieties
It's likely that you've never really considered the electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation emitted by hair dryers yet there is growing anxiety about the levels we're being exposed to daily across our home appliances. In truth, hair dryers are a source of extremely low frequency EMFs but if that remains a worry, then this portable travel hair dryer promises to be for you, although its voltage is 220-240V which could prove limiting.
To eliminate EMF, the Paubea eschews resistance wire heating for bioceramic technology that generates far infrared instead. Since it also uses ionic technology, it neutralises frizz-inducing atoms while also protecting against heat damage of the hair. At the same time, you can flick between three heat settings and have it blast at a constant temperature, with the option of attaching a magnetic smoothing nozzle for better control.
Remington D5000 Compact Travel Dryer
Cool compact control for frizzy hair
If looking after the environment as well as your hair is of concern, then take a look at Remington's inexpensive D5000. It not only packs 1800 watts of power but comes with an eco switch that lets you flick over to a low-energy, mid-heat mode – something that's sure to make a big difference in terms of energy when compared to the high-heat setting.
With a cool option as well, this hair dryer is certainly blowing in the right direction. It comes with a concentrator for precision styling and extra hair volume, while the rear grille can be removed for easy cleaning. There are also different colours available, although it seems the UK can only grab the black model with US buyers being able to get it in different shades.
YinQin Negative Ionic Folding Hair Dryer
A budget alternative to the hotel hair dryer
Sleek and minimalist in looks, light in feel (410g) and with a handle that folds away so you can pop it in its drawstring velvet bag before dropping it into your luggage, the YinQin is sold at a wallet-friendly price and boasts a healthy, albeit not exhaustive, set of features (including a loop on the power cord for hanging).
As well as two-speeds, temperature control and a cool shot button, it promises to keep the noise down as best it can so fellow travellers can continue to chill. It also has a negative ionic function to break down water molecules and seal the cuticles which means it should be kind on your hair too.