Style + Ask the Edit

Ask the Edit: Travel Hair Dryers

Do you carry your own hair dryer when you travel?  Or just want a smaller, lighter one for home use?  Here are some suggestions.

Hi Abra-

Happy New Year! I’m looking for a good quality travel hair dryer and have no idea where to start. The one I’m currently using is from target and has seen better days. Also, good luck on your move, my husband and I just visited Montana in November and absolutely loved it.

– Emily 

If I’m going to be on the road for more than four days, I usually bring my own hair dryer.  The Harry Josh Ultra Light dryer is light enough to carry, and works amazingly well (it’s also $100 off for a limited time).  I love it enough that I haul it on trips instead of using the hotel dryer.  But, I also check a bag, so I wouldn’t recommend it for travel in a carry on.

I reached out for recommendations on smaller travel hair dryers and got a few good reviews.  All from women just as obsessive about their hair as I am.

The Kristin Ess Space Saving Dryer ($50) folds up for easy storage, offers 1200 watts, and has ionic settings for frizz elimination and shine.  Another recommendation was this Eva NYC Mini Hair Dryer ($48).  The dryer is powerful, small, and has dual voltage for world travel.  My last under-$50 recommendation is this Babybliss Pro Nano Titanium Dryer ($29) — 1000 watts, dual voltage, concentrator nozzle.

Another option is to buy a small, high-quality dryer for home and travel use.  Drybar’s Buttercup comes in a mini-size for $135.  GHD also makes a travel-size hair dryer ($75) that weighs less than 1lb, has universal voltage, and heats to 149-degrees.

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  1. Denise says:

    I cannot over stress the need for a dual voltage travel hairdryer when you’re going internationally, especially to southern Europe (Greece, Italy) and to older hotels throughout all of Europe. The old ‘standard’ in Europe is a hair dryer that resembles a vacuum cleaner – long tube, mounted to the wall. I have thin hair and it takes me forever to dry mine and it still looks terrible once i’m done. I have the babybliss mentioned in this post and I take it everywhere. Even when limited to 15kg of luggage this past fall for 2 weeks in Europe – I wasn’t giving it up!

    January 3, 2019/Reply
    • CM says:

      I totally agree! And the Kristin Ess dryer is “universal voltage”. I’ve almost bought it like 15x and then reminded myself that I almost always air dry my curls when traveling. I’ll probably still buy it 🙂

      January 3, 2019/Reply
  2. sara says:

    Thank you! Bought the Babybliss Pro Nano Titanium Dryer.

    January 3, 2019/Reply
  3. Summer says:

    I’ve got the Babybliss mentioned in this post (both the full-sized for home and the travel one) and love it. I bought the travel one for a friend of mine, and she raves about it too.

    January 3, 2019/Reply
  4. Sierra Delta says:

    Thanks, Abra, you’re a mindreader

    January 3, 2019/Reply
  5. Sierra Delta says:

    Didn’t finish my thought! I’ve got a cruise coming up in the spring, and I like to travel with my own hair dryer. The one I currently have is full size and sprawls all over the inside of my suitcase, so this is an eerily timely post.

    January 3, 2019/Reply
    • Beth says:

      Definitely bring your own for a cruise. The tiny cabins usually mean tiny, ineffective hair dryers in the bathrooms. Granted, the only cruise I’ve been on was more budget travel than luxury, but still…

      January 4, 2019/Reply
  6. Kelly says:

    I’ve been bringing my full size dryer on trips short and long for the 5-ish years I’ve had it now. While I can’t remember the last time I was in a hotel room without a hair dryer, mine is better. I’d start looking at buying a travel size, but I’m afraid my daily dryer is on it’s way out (there’s a hot spot that’s developed on the handle). Or maybe that’s a good reason to get a travel one? As backup?

    January 3, 2019/Reply
  7. Bethany says:

    I used to travel with a full size dryer, wet brush, paddle brush, and a round brush. Now I have one of those Revlon one-step brush/dryers and I can pack just that and a wet brush. It simplifies things a little for me. I’d recommend it to anyone who spends a long time blowing out with a round brush.

    January 4, 2019/Reply
    • Anna says:

      How well do those work? Would you replace your regular drier with one? I usually don’t even brush my hair while I dry and it comes out generally straight but is always kind of a crap shoot. Wondering if I should step it up a little.

      January 4, 2019/Reply
      • Bethany says:

        It has replaced my regular dryer 95% of the time, but I don’t like to use it when my hair is soaking wet so you want to be sure to towel dry or air dry for a bit first. I have wavy hair that responds well to a round brush blowout but I don’t think it’d be as much of a timesaver for someone with easier/straighter hair.

        January 9, 2019/Reply
  8. Helen says:

    I really prefer my Karmin dryer I love it

    July 8, 2019/Reply