10 under $50: blow-dryers
- Don't be intimidated by the vaguely James-Bond-sounding name: This dryer is both easy-to-use and easy on strands. Our tester raved about it, explaining that it cut her styling time in half and kept her strands smooth. Not surprising, since it uses ions to ward off frizz and static, as well as a ceramic infrared heater to keep heat levels uniform.
- Some blow-dryers only work well when paired with the dexterity of a professional stylist and the patience of a kindergarten teacher. Not this one: Thanks to a powerful AC motor, it's so quick that it shaved 15 minutes off our tester's usual drying time. AC motors are also more durable than the DC motors found in some other dryers, so you'll get plenty of bang for not-that-much buck.
- It's pink. It's mini. It looks like it belongs in a Barbie Dreamhouse. But this dryer is also surprisingly efficient. Although it only packs 1200 watts (not exactly at the upper end of the spectrum), its two speed/heat settings and concentrator-shaped nozzle give you plenty of juice and control.
- With three heat settings, two speed settings, two snap-on concentrators, and ionic and ceramic technology, this dryer has pretty much every kind of bell and whistle you'd find on a much pricier tool. Plus, it gets the job done crazy fast: Our tester's superthick hair was almost completely dry within 15 minutes.
- As seriously as we take our styling tools, we're not too cool to admit that we're suckers for cute design. This blow-dryer has a bright fuchsia handle and a neon green concentrator attachment that make mirror time a little more fun. It's also feather light and comes with a removable vent cap for easy cleaning. See? Cute and practical.
- Think of this tiny, steel-blue tool as the Little Blow-Dryer That Could. It looks almost comically miniature, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in substance. (The ionic dryer delivers a sleek, shiny blowout.) And the foldable handle, lightweight construction, and mini nozzle make it perfect for packing in a carry-on.
- Designed specifically to help keep hair color looking fresh and vibrant, this blow-dryer uses infrared rays to dry strands from the inside out and ions to protect and smooth them. It also has a unique honeycomb-shaped ceramic heater, which lets the air flow more evenly for increased precision and fewer flyaways.
Despite its ample size and 1875 watts of power, this dryer is surprisingly light, so you won't feel like you're getting a triceps workout as you style. It also shoots out ions that help sleek-ify strands for shampoo-commercial-worthy smoothness.
- Clocking in at 11 ounces, this little purple dryer shocked our tester with its significant power (1875 watts, to be exact) and speedy drying time. Though it's billed as a travel dryer, we'd use it at home, too.
- OK, so this one's not technically a blow-dryer (it would take eons to dry your whole head with it). But, used as a finishing touch, this brush-and-hair-dryer combo helps create a perfectly bouncy, shiny blowout with just the right amount of volume.
Your blow-dryer can mean the difference between a good hair day and a bad one-so why not splurge? One good reason: It's possible to get a great blow-out without blowing out your entire wallet.
Here, ten drugstore hair-dryers that deliver shiny, happy results.
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