Hair dryer brush purchasing advice: how to choose the right product

  • What you need to know
  • Hair dryer brushes are practical styling aids for everyday use and save time.
  • In general, the so-called multi-stylers are suitable for beginners as well as for advanced stylists.
  • Hair dryer brushes dry and style the hair at the same time – one appliance for all styling purposes.
  • They style the hair gently because they get less hot than common hair dryers.

What are the advantages of hair dryer brushes?

Hair dryer brushes combine the functions of a brush and a hair dryer in one practical, space-saving device. They are suitable for all users who want to shape their hair with warm air, regardless of the hairstyle and hair structure. They are gentler than curling irons and create very natural-looking waves. In addition, styling the hair is quicker and easier with some practice than with a brush and separate hairdryer.

To get the hair into the right shape after the shower – or even in between – many women reach for a brush and a hairdryer. However, handling two different appliances can be a bit awkward. With a suitable hair dryer brush, juggling is a thing of the past. Multifunction is the keyword. The hair dryer brush combines a round or flat brush and a hair dryer in one device.

Brush and straightener on a wooden table

With an electric hairdryer brush, everyday styling works for every hair length and every hair type. Long, short or medium-length hair: the brushes offer a wide range of styling variations. In addition, depending on the hair texture – straight, wavy, curly, thin, thick – there are different round brush attachments that promise gentle styling and hair drying. Compared to curling irons or straighteners, hair dryer brushes score particularly well with their gentle application. Depending on the model, they reach temperatures of around 80 to a maximum of 130 degrees Celsius. Higher temperatures are harmful to the hair when used continuously and promote split ends and hair breakage.

As a rule, hairstyles that have been shaped with a hot-air brush look more natural than hairstyles that have been elaborately blow-dried with a hairdryer in a hairdressing salon. Women tend to afford these for very special occasions. Therefore, electric brushes are particularly suitable for everyday styling – even when time is tight in the morning. The price is also an argument in favour of buying a hairdryer brush: most products are relatively inexpensive. In addition, users save space in the bathroom cabinet because the so-called multi-stylers combine brush and hairdryer in one product.

Models and special features

On the one hand, electric hair dryer brushes include the classic warm-air brushes, which have a fixed brush attachment that cannot be replaced. On the other hand, there are the hair dryer brushes that offer different styling options with different attachments. The way both types of brushes work is the same. They dry and style the hair at the same time. Depending on the model of the hot air brush, users style their hair with warm air and fix the hairstyle at the end with cold air. Caution: Not all appliances have different hot and cold settings. Simple appliances are cheaper to buy than products with different attachments and other extras. Consumers can expect prices ranging from just under 20 euros to around 120 euros.

Rotating hair dryer brushes

Rotating hair dryer brushes – for example from Babyliss – are characterised by the fact that they achieve great results when used correctly. The rotation allows for gentle styling, the different attachments leave room for creative hairstyle ideas. With rotating round brushes, the brush head rotates by itself. This function makes hair styling easier because there is no need to turn the brush manually. This kind of comfort should not be underestimated, as it is sometimes impractical to turn the round brush with your own hand, especially at the back of the head. An extra button that controls the turning to the right or left is an additional help. The disadvantage, however, is that the hair can get tangled more easily in a rotating hair dryer brush. A little practice and caution are required here. Therefore, these models are more suitable for advanced users.

Black hair dryer brushes

Models without a rotating mechanism

For users who are buying a hot air brush for the first time, devices without a rotating mechanism are recommended. This makes it easier to use because the hair does not tangle around the round brush as quickly. Manual rotation of the brush means less comfort, but users have more control over the movement of the brush head.

The buying criteria at a glance

There are a few things to consider when buying a hair dryer brush. Be it material, handling, power or additional functions – the right choice should be adapted to your own styling ideas. Of course, the hair structure and length also play an important role when choosing a device. For example, if you “only” want to add a little more volume to thin hair, you may be satisfied with an inexpensive appliance without extras. For people who like to get creative when styling for a long or medium-length head of hair, on the other hand, a high-priced appliance with various attachments and additional functions is worthwhile. Multi-level temperature settings and different brush attachments are also among the most important selection criteria.

Which bristle material do I choose?

The different hot air curling iron models also have different bristle materials, just like normal hair brushes. These include boar, plastic and nylon bristles. The decisive factor for the choice is the grip on your own hair. If the material cannot hold the hair properly and then allow it to pass through, the most expensive hair dryer brush is no good. Of course, the touch sensation during styling should also be right. If it feels uncomfortable, the material should not be used. Soft bristles, for example, have the advantage that they are easier to pull off. Hard bristles encourage snagging on long or medium-length hair. Vegans choose between nylon and plastic bristles.

Boar bristles

Natural hair usually has a good grip. The bristles of wild boars are very similar to human hair and score highly in terms of care. They come in soft and hard versions. The harder bristles can be a little scratchy on the scalp. The soft natural bristles feel smoother.

Fresh boar digging
The bristles of wild boar (in the picture: freshlings) are excellent for hairbrushes.
Nylon bristles

The rather short and thin nylon bristles are also slightly scratchy in texture, similar to the harder boar bristles. However, the grip is usually very good, especially when the bristles are arranged close together. Nylon bristles, however, could be a disadvantage for sensitive scalps.

Plastic bristles

Bristles made of plastic materials can be hard or soft, and they are all thick rather than thin. It is important to make sure that the bristles do not have any noticeable seams that could cause damage to the hair. The hard plastic bristles often have nubs at the ends to be less scratchy on the scalp. Some also have a kind of rounded tip.


The power in watts is at least 400 watts up to 1,100 watts. Most hair dryer brushes, however, have a wattage of between 800 and 1,100. More is not necessarily better: as a rule, hair dryer brushes with a higher wattage produce more heat. If you want to dry your hair gently at a moderate temperature, you can use a low-wattage hair dryer brush without hesitation. Conversely, a high wattage does not necessarily mean that the hair dryer brush in question is too hot: Normally, the temperature of the brush can be regulated, and the wattage refers to the highest temperature setting.

Temperature and fan settings

High-quality devices have the option of regulating the temperature by means of different stages. Two or three heat settings and a cold setting are recommended, especially for sensitive hair. A low temperature setting helps with gentle styling. The cold setting is also helpful for setting the hair. Some air stylers have two or three adjustable blower settings that, depending on the strength – warm or cold – either protect thin hair or dry thick hair faster.


Weight plays a major role in handling. If the multi-styler is too heavy in the hand, styling and drying can quickly become exhausting. Most products weigh between 175 and 350 grams without the cable and attachment. With the attachment, the weight of the various appliances varies between about 245 and 555 grams.

Cable length

The respective cable lengths usually measure at least 1.75 metres and a maximum of 3.00 metres. Most manufacturers supply a cable of around 2.00 metres. A hair dryer brush should not have a cable length of less than this, otherwise you will not have enough room to manoeuvre when styling.

Hair dryer brush with coiled cable
For storage, the – hopefully sufficiently long – cable can be wrapped around the brush.


The volume of a hair dryer brush during styling is usually the same as that of a conventional hair dryer. Of course, the higher the blower setting, the louder the appliance. The volume can therefore be a slight disadvantage with some hair dryer brushes with a high blower output.

Which hair dryer brush functions and attachments are available?

Depending on the hairstyle you want and the structure of your hair, extra functions and attachments can be helpful for styling. Some hair dryer brushes score with ionic technology that keeps frizzy or electric hair at bay. Other products feature brush bodies coated with ceramic material. These promise particularly gentle styling for daily use. Automatically retractable bristles or an unrolling mechanism can also be helpful in practice. Retractable bristles prevent the hair from tangling. The integrated roll-out automatically twists the hair out of the brush. Different brush attachments such as a straightening or volumising attachment provide even more options for creative hair styling. This way, users not only save space in the bathroom cabinet, but also have only one appliance with them when travelling.

Hair dryer brush with straightener function
This unusual hair dryer brush also has an integrated straightening iron.

Ion technology

Hair dryer brushes made by Babyliss, Philips or Braun advertise the ionic function, which reduces electrostatic charging of the hair. Especially with thin, dry hair, friction can quickly cause the hair to become electrically charged with positively charged particles and stand on end. The ionic technology prevents this by negatively charging the air that is sucked in. The negatively ionised air is transferred to the hair through the attachment and neutralises the positive atoms. The result promises an anti-static head of hair – without frizz. In addition, the ionic technology helps to keep the moisture in the hair better locked in and thus provides extra shine. Buying an ionic hair styler therefore makes sense if your hair generally blows up quickly.

Does a brush body with a ceramic coating make sense?

A ceramic coating on the brush body – offered by appliances such as Philips, Grundig or Babyliss – allows the heat to act very evenly. The smooth brush body ensures low frictional resistance. This coating thus enables gentle hair styling and is therefore considered an important purchase criterion. Common ceramic coatings include: Ceramic, Ceramic Tourmaline and Keratin Ceramic. Tourmaline also helps to smooth the hair during styling.

Retractable bristles

Retractable bristles help to keep hair from getting caught in the bristles. They release the hair in no time and thus make handling easier. Those who have little practice or very unruly hair will find it easier with retractable bristles; simply pull the bristles in or out at the touch of a button and you’re done.

Automatic curler

Not to be confused with the retractable and extendable bristles, there is an integrated automatic roller that helps to unroll the hair from the brush. This can be handy for curly or frizzy hair, for example. However, very few devices have this additional function: the manufacturers Grundig and Braun, for example, score points with it.

Various attachments

For imaginative hair styling professionals, we recommend looking for a straightening attachment or a volume attachment when buying. The manufacturer Braun, for example, advertises a comb volume attachment. High-quality appliances often come with two to three different attachments. Some products also come with centring nozzles or round brushes with different diameters. Some devices have a paddle brush attachment.

Hair dryer brush with attachment

So if you decide against a classic hair dryer brush with a fixed brush attachment, you will also find inexpensive models among the hair dryer brushes with different attachments. Changing the attachments is usually possible in just a few steps. This is a clear advantage if you want to combine a hairdryer, curling iron and straightener in a single appliance. This is not only practical, but also saves space.

Which hair dryer brush for which hair

The structure of hair can be very different. Thick and long curls, in contrast to short and thin hair, require completely different care and styling applications. It is good to know that there is a suitable hair dryer brush for every hair type and length. Of course, when choosing a model, you should also consider which hairstyles you want to create with the appliance in the future. As a rule, if you have unruly hair, you should buy high-quality products and not save on the wrong end because of a price difference of a few euros.

If you are just starting out with hair styling, you will probably get satisfactory results with an inexpensive, classic model. Even with waves in the hair or pronounced curls, great results can be achieved with the right attachment. No matter what hair type is required, professional styling does not necessarily have to take a long time. With the right multi-styler you can save time.

For long hair

The long mane of hair needs at best a hair dryer brush with a large diameter. If you want to add extra volume to your hair during styling, ideally use a diameter of at least 40 millimetres. The situation is different if you want to create beautiful curls instead of a lot of volume. In this case, we recommend using a hair dryer brush with a smaller diameter – 20 to 25 millimetres.

Woman with long hair

If the hair is not only long but also particularly thick, the temperature can be set higher. However, this does not apply to long, thin hair. In general, a rotating brush head can be useful for long hair, as it eliminates the need for manual twisting. Handling is then easier. For long hair, hair dryer brushes with different attachments and, if necessary, extra functions such as retractable bristles, an automatic roll-out or ionic technology are recommended.

For short hair

Hair dryer brushes are also suitable for short hair. It is advisable to make sure that the brush head is smaller than the one for long hair. Normally, a head with a diameter of about 20 to 25 millimetres is sufficient. This can help to give short hair more volume when styling. Different attachments with different brush head diameters are not absolutely necessary for short hairstyles. Classic hair dryer brushes are recommended for those on a budget.

Woman with short hair

For thick hair

Thick hair is often unruly. You can set the temperature high. The wattage of the appliance should be high – up to 1,100 watts are suitable for thick hair. Ideally, users should choose a hair dryer brush with various attachment options. Depending on the length of the hair, a rotating brush head and the automatic roller can also be helpful in bringing unruly hair into shape. A brush head with a diameter of about 40 millimetres gives the hair even more volume, if this is desired. As a rule, heads with a diameter of 30 to 50 millimetres are ideal for thick and long hair. If you have thick hair, you should pay attention to the quality and the variation possibilities of the hair dryer brush.

Woman with thick hair

For fine hair

Sometimes it is difficult to style thin hair. It often lacks volume. In addition, fine hair is usually very sensitive. Therefore, when styling, you should take care to shape the hair gently. Strong heat damages the hair permanently. That is why it is recommended to buy a hair dryer brush with different temperature levels. The lower the level when styling, the healthier for the hair. In addition, the wattage of the air styler does not necessarily have to be high; a device with a power of around 600 watts is perfectly adequate. If the hair is long and fine, it is useful to choose a brush head with a large diameter, just as in the recommendations for long hair. 40-millimetre heads create a voluminous hairstyle.

Woman with fine hair

For curly hair

Curly or frizzy hair needs a strong wattage of 1,000 watts or more, otherwise it cannot be tamed properly. A high temperature and a slightly larger brush head diameter of about 40 millimetres are also recommended here. However, if the curly hair is rather thin, users should be careful with the temperature level and not set it too hot. For women who want to get rid of their curls every now and then, a straightener attachment can be useful in the long run.

Woman with curly hair

What to look for when using the straightener

As a rule, hair dryer brushes are suitable for everyone, whether they are styling beginners or hairdressing professionals. Styling your hair with a hair dryer brush works best when your hair is wet or damp. Ideally, the hair is already slightly dry after showering. Although styling would also be possible when the hair is dry, it is advisable to dampen the hair at least briefly before you start styling. A sprayer filled with water helps here.

High-wattage appliances reach a very high temperature, depending on the heat setting. Be aware that the brush heads can be so hot that you could burn yourself. After use, let the head of the hair dryer brush cool down a little before changing it or putting the brush back in the cupboard. Some appliances have a handy heat protection function.

Brushing womens hair

The correct way to use a hair dryer brush

The procedure for styling with a hair dryer brush is easy. However, users should always read the instructions for use to avoid application errors. These general tips, which apply to any hair dryer brush, will help to achieve a perfect styling result:

  • Wash or wet the hair and detangle with a coarse comb.
  • If necessary, use mousse for more hold.
  • Select the correct round brush attachment and fit it to the appliance.
  • Part the hair; pin up the top hair with clips or barrettes.
  • The lower hair strand by strand.
  • For wavy or curly hair, twist hair ends into the brush head.
  • For volume, rotate hair dryer brush at the base of the head, do not twist in.
  • When the hair is properly dry after styling, set the cold air setting and fix.
  • Repeat the process step by step with the previously pinned-up hair.
  • If necessary, use hairspray to fix the entire hairstyle.

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