When you’re rushing off to work after a quick shower, the trusty hairdryer is indeed very handy to have. Bryan Teo, director of Essensuals Hairdressing, says that you should “always use a blast of cold air after blow-drying your hair. It closes the hair cuticles and prevents damage.”

Ionic hairdryers are said to make your hair more smooth and shiny; so how true are these claims? We test these five hairdryers to find out.

1. WE LOVE: BOSCH BRILLIANT CARE BUSINESS PHD 5781
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Features: It’s a foldable hairdryer and the lightest of all tested. It has two main settings: care (for styling) and turbo (for drying).

Performance: This gave my hair the best finish – soft, sleek and shiny. There was no hint of frizz and it straightened my natural curls easily.

Even at the highest heat setting, it is quiet and not uncomfortably hot. It took 10 minutes with the turbo function to dry my long hair. The buttons are well positioned and easy to use.

Verdict: 9/10. Gives the best results and is quiet to boot.

The Bosch Brilliant Care Business PHD 5781 hairdryer retails at $109*, from major electronic stores.

2. PHILIPS SALONDRY PRO AC LITE HP 4997
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Features: It’s not foldable, but it’s light and small enough for travel. It comes with a slim nozzle (to dry hair) and a volumising nozzle.

Performance: A dream to use, this hair dryer is light, easy to hold and not too noisy. My hair fell nicely and was smooth. There were no flyaways too. The blow-dry took six minutes at the highest setting.

Verdict: 8.5/10. Compact and effective. 

The Philips Salondry Pro AC Lite HP 4997 retails at $135*, from major electronic stores. 

3. ROWENTA RESPECTISSIM PRO CV 7420
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Features:
It comes with two detachable nozzles, one to straighten hair and another to create volume. It’s not foldable, and is the only one that comes with a two-pin plug.

Performance: I was impressed by how the concentrator nozzle tamed my stray strands perfectly and made my hair silky and straight.

The volume nozzle had less sterling results – my tresses became messy instead of bouncy. To dry my hair, it took 10 minutes on the highest setting.

Verdict: 8/10. Good for wayward hair.

Rowenta Respectissim Pro CV 7420 retails at $79.90*, from Guardian, Watsons, major electrical and departmental stores.

4. BRAUN SATIN HAIR 7 HD 710 SOLO

blowjob4braun.jpgFeatures: It’s heavier than the rest and not foldable. The Satin Protect button reduces the temperature by 70 per cent to prevent hair from drying out.

Performance: A super-fast hairdryer: At the highest speed and temperature, it took just four minutes to blow-dry my hair.

But there was some frizz and my hair didn’t fall as nicely as with the other hairdryers. It’s also a tad noisier than the rest.

Verdict: 7.5/10. Sleek and powerful, it dries hair quickly.

Braun Satin Hair 7 HD 710 Solo retails at $139*, from major electrical stores.

5. PANASONIC EH-NA30, $139, FROM BEST DENKI, SELECTED HARVEY NORMAN AND MAJOR DEPARTMENT STORES

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Features: Lightweight, ergonomic and foldable. The cord is shorter than the rest, but it’s not a problem unless you don’t have an easily accessible power socket.

Performance: Although it’s slightly noisier than the rest, my hair felt smooth and looked naturally shiny.

It straightened my curls easily and I like that it’s easy to grip. At the highest setting, it took a mere six minutes to dry my hair.

Verdict: 8/10. Comfortable to use and gives hair a good shine.

Panasonic EH-NA30 retails at $139*, from Best Denki, selected harvey Norman branches and major department stores.


PHOTOGRAPHY: Darren Chang, Art direction: Kathleen Chan

Guardian pharmacies in the Orchard area include: 313@Somerset, 313 Orchard Road, #B3-13/14/15/16, (S) 238895, Tel: 6634 0991 and Ion Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, #B4-02, (S) 238801, Tel: 6884 5956; opening hours 10am to 10pm daily. Visit www.guardian.com.sg to locate the nearest Guardian pharmacy.

Harvey Norman stores include: The Centrepoint, 176 Orchard Road, #03-31/32/43/43H, (S) 238843, Tel: 6732 8686; visit www.harveynorman.com.sg for more information on the other store locations.

Watsons outlets include one of its largest at Ngee Ann City, 391 Orchard Road, Takashimaya Shopping Centre, #B2-06 to 09, (S) 238872; opening hours 10am to 10pm daily; Tel: 6735 4936. Visit www.watsons.com.sg to view the full list of Watsons retail stores.

*All product and pricing information was correct at the time of the magazine’s publication. We advise readers to check with the store for the latest availability and pricing information.

This article was originally published in SimplyHer March 2011.