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Best blow-drying brush 2023: Salon-quality hair from £9

Achieve salon-worthy locks at home with the best blow-drying brush

Although time and practice definitely come into play when doing an at-home blow dry, having the best blow-drying brush is essential for success. Whether you’re looking to achieve bouncy curls, sleek straight hair, or add volume to your tresses, the secret to an excellent hairstyle lies with your choice of brush and your ability to hold your hair dryer in one hand and brush in the other.

Below, you’ll find our pick of the best tried and tested blow-drying brushes that you can buy right now. The list includes a variety of brushes for everyone, whether you’re looking to buy a hot brush or are shopping for a blow-drying brush for shorter hair.

How to choose the best blow-drying brush for you

What type of brush do I need?

When choosing the right brush, you’ll want to consider your desired look and hair length. If your hair is shorter, you’ll need a smaller diameter brush, which is also ideal for those looking to add volume and curls to the hair. Meanwhile, larger brushes will help you create a sleek look or classic blow-dry.

A good brush for curly hair should feature slender, generously spaced, pliable bristles, allowing for effective detangling of hair strands without inducing frizz. Paddle brushes are well-suited for long, straight hair since they can cover a significant amount of hair with a single stroke, making it quicker for you to style. When you’re blow-drying wavy hair, it’s best to use a vented brush to style your hair without overheating, and you might even want to choose a natural bristle brush where possible, as they can help stimulate the scalp.

Nylon bristles are gentler, making them ideal for fine hair. If your hair is thicker, choose a bigger brush to make sure you have a good balance of hair to brush. Curly hair will naturally be coarse, so opt for a brush with thick bristles.

Do the materials of the brush matter?

Ceramic brushes are perfect for blow-drying because they feature heat-resistant bristles that can still efficiently conduct heat. These brushes help to facilitate swift and uniform hair drying while adding volume and a glossy finish.

If you’re short on time, consider a hot blow-drying brush instead. A 2-in-1 tool that will help you to dry and style your hair simultaneously, a hot brush might cost a little more but make styling easier. Although we’ve only included our favourite hot brush for blow-drying, you can read our dedicated piece on the best hot brushes for a more in-depth idea of how they work.

How we test blow-drying brushes

The best way to test blow-drying brushes is, obviously, to blow-dry with them – so we did just that. We tried out a variety of the best-rated blow-dry brushes on the market over several weeks to gather as much feedback as possible and get to grips with how each one works and what they’re best for.

Testing simply involved a fresh wash and minimal products each time. We also used the same hair dryer for continuity and to ensure fairness for each product.

READ NEXT: The best hairbrushes to buy

The best blow-dry brushes you can buy in 2023

1. Moroccanoil Ceramic Round Brush: Best blow-drying brush overall

Price when reviewed: £17 | Check price now at Look Fantastic

This brush from Moroccan Oil is a fantastic value option made from high-quality ceramic that is great for even heat distribution. If you find that your hair gets frizzy when blow-drying due to little strands flying around, this brush helps to smooth things out by keeping the hair attached firmly to the brush.

The 35mm size is perfect for medium-thickness hair and focuses mainly on creating big waves and adding volume. Something that adds a little more greatness to this brush is the separating tool included, which is perfect for sectioning hair before blow-drying.

As with any blow-dry brush, it does take time to perfect your technique to get the perfect balance of volume and bounce, but this brush definitely makes the job easier. The bristles are super firm, though, so be careful when pulling closely around your face.

Key features – Diameter: 35mm; Materials: Ceramic and ionic properties

Check price at Look Fantastic

2. Denman Head-Hugger: Best value blow-drying brush

Price when reviewed: £12 | Check price now at Boots

This blow dry brush range comes in various sizes, from extra-small to large, and the extra-small version reviewed here is perfect for shorter hair. The ceramic-coated barrel helps to ensure damage-free styling, while the hourglass shape allows you to get right to the root of the hair.

For a maximum amount of volume, the unique hourglass shape really is the star of the show. What’s more, it helps to add subtle curls that are easy to achieve with a few brush strokes. The barrel allows for good air circulation and prevents hot patches from forming on the hair, which can lead to damage. The brush handle has an excellent grip, too, allowing you to firmly hold onto the brush while holding the dryer in the other hand.

Key features – Diameter: 25mm; Materials: Ceramic barrel

Check price at Boots

3. GHD Glide Professional Hot Brush: Best time-saving blow-drying brush

Price when reviewed: £159 | Check price at Cult Beauty

GHD is a giant in the world of hair styling, and for good reason. This 2-in-1 hot styling tool is a must-have for those looking to tame their hair quickly. After just one use, hair feels silky and smooth. This easy-to-use tool tames frizzy or unruly hair in one brush stroke. If you struggle to dry and brush your hair simultaneously, this is the tool for you.

This hot brush heats up to an optimum temperature of 185ºC, which is just the right temperature for styling hair successfully without causing damage. The high-density bristles glide through even thick and knotted hair. Although a bit more of an investment than a regular blow-drying brush, this comes with peace of mind that you can achieve a professional style with ease.

Key features – Diameter: N/A; Materials: Pearl ceramic bristles

Check price at Cult Beauty

4. Tangle Teezer Blow Styling Tool: Best paddle blow-drying brush

Price when reviewed: £21 | Check price now at Sephora

The Tangle Teezer Blow Styling Smoothing Tool features a paddle head of non-moving teeth that effortlessly glide through the hair. They also remove excess moisture, thanks to the overlapping configuration, ensuring a quicker blow-dry process. In our tests, hair ended up shiny, voluminous and with a reduced amount of frizz. It might feel strange to use a paddle brush to blow-dry at first if you’re used to a round one, but this brush is excellent for cutting down on drying time.

When hair is wet, it’s easy to damage strands by using the wrong brush. However, this is ideal for getting through tangles without tugging. Even fine hair will see volume added without the frizz. Sometimes, the finish was so sleek that the hair didn’t need further styling with hot tools.

Key features – Diameter: N/A; Materials: Plastic; Features: Patented teeth technology

Check price at Sephora

5. Bondi Boost Bounce Round Styling Brush: Best blow-drying brush for big, bouncy hair

Price when reviewed: £20 | Check price now at Bondi Boost

For a big, bouncy blow dry, you can’t go wrong with the Bondi Boost Bounce Round Styling Brush. Available in two size options, the brush has vegan plastic bristles that are flexible enough to glide through the hair, detangling while adding volume.

Because most of your hair’s volume comes from the roots and crown, this brush works well by getting close to the root to add bouncy volume. When adding curls, this brush is easy to use for flicking out curls on the ends as it’s light to hold.

One thing to look out for is the lack of grip on the handle, which can make a large-barrelled brush tricky to keep hold of. However, after some practice, the brush becomes much easier to use and is definitely worth the time it takes to get used to it.

Key features – Diameter: 25mm; Materials: Ceramic barrel

Check price at Bondi Boost

6. WetBrush Smooth and Shine Round Brush: Best blow-drying brush to tame frizz

Price when reviewed: £10 | Check price now at Look Fantastic

The Smooth and Shine Round Brush from WetBrush is made for fine-to-medium hair. It’s an excellent choice for those looking to achieve a sleek, glossy blowout, all while reducing effort, discomfort and hair breakage. The bristles are made from natural boar hair to tame frizz and flyaways, and this material also helps keep the heat on the hair at an optimum level.

The bristles are arranged in a spiral helix design to provide just the right amount of tension when detangling and combing – without leading to tangles or hair breakage. WetBrush has also infused this brush with its complex of keratin and biotin, which offers smoothing while adding some protective properties.

Although the brush is quite hefty to hold, the grip on the handle does allow for a firm grasp. The brush, while heavier than usual, results in a sleek and smooth finish.

Key features – Diameter: N/A; Materials: Ceramic barrel

Check price at Look Fantastic

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