Do You Need A $300 Hair Dryer?

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Make no mistake: When it comes to beauty, we love a good bargain. Sure, we're not above spending an embarrassing amount of money on something sparkly, but if there's a cheaper, comparable option, we're not going to turn it down.
But, in terms of the quality that comes with a high price, there was one product in particular that we were unsure about: our hair dryer. Do we need to be spending hundreds on our dryers, or will a drugstore option do? And, why in the world do these tools get so pricey?
According to hairstylist Kristen Keller, there actually is a difference between a high-end blowdryer and a drugstore version — and that difference could mean big things for your hair health. "Most of the drugstore blowdryers come with high heat and very little power, which means you're actually taking longer to dry your hair," she says. The longer you expose your hair to that kind of heat, the more damage you'll be doing. Think lots of frizz and breakage.
Another reason a cheapie blowdryer causes more damage? Keller says it makes women more likely to double up on heat styling if the blowdrying doesn't yield the desired result. "Most girls are giving their hair quick blowdries with a less expensive blowdryer and then going over their hair with a flat iron. The hair will become weak and eventually will break from the double-heat exposure," she says.
As for what a high-end option can provide, Keller says that it can help lock in the moisture that a cheapie might strip away — especially ionic blowdryers. "These help break down the water molecules so that your hair dries faster, but holds onto the moisture needed to keep your hair smooth and soft."
Here's a good tip: Kelley says, "If you are looking for an expensive hair dryer and you want to know if it is worth it, check out the wattage. That tells you how much heat and power the dryer is generating, which allows your hair to dry faster."
All that being said, while it's probably worth it to shell out a little bit of cash for a nice blowdryer, you don't necessarily have to drop hundreds. "One of my favorite dryers is Babyliss," says Kelley. Babyliss hairdryers tend to be under $100. "The dryers we use at the salon where I work are in that price range, too," she says.
So, lesson learned. While we don't need to spend $300, we shouldn't be spending $20, either. Of course, we could always forgo the blowdrying completely — now that summer is approaching, that option is sounding better and better.
GHD Air Professional Performance Hairdryer, $225, available at Sephora.

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