- Design and weight: You want a dryer that's comfortable to hold, avoiding awkwardly placed buttons if possible. A lightweight dryer is best — especially if you have thick hair that may take a little more time to dry. No one wants to feel like they've just gotten done with a strength training routine after blow drying their hair.
- Multiple speed and heat settings: These are a must because they'll give you more control over the style of your hair as well as help to protect your hair from heat damage (though you should definitely use a heat protectant every time you use a heat tool). While not a necessity, a hair dryer that also has a cool air feature is a plus, as it helps seal your hair cuticle once your hair is dry, giving your desired style a smooth finish.
- High wattage: A higher wattage motor will have more power and can cut down on the time that you're exposing your hair to heat, which can be damaging over time. That being said, most hair dryers hover around 1,875 watts, so this is a good ballpark number.
- Cord length: To power up your hair dryer, a longer cord length anywhere from 6 to 9 feet is is ideal. You want it to be able to reach from the outlet to wherever you dry your hair whether it's in your bathroom or in front of your vanity. A cord that's too short will restrict your movement, and it's even worse if the cord isn't long enough to reach where you're standing.
- Attachments: Hair dryers that come with extras like a concentrator attachment or a diffuser are especially useful for achieving different looks and styles.