It’s 2022, and hair-dryer brushes are officially everywhere right now. Seriously. If you’ve spent even five seconds on TikTok or in the (virtual) aisles of Amazon/Ulta/Walmart recently, you’ve undoubtedly seen this new wave of blow-dry brushes, which are being touted as the easiest way to get a smooth, bouncy blowout, even if you absolutely suck at blowing out your hair. And even though these hair brushes aren’t exactly new (they’ve been around for decades; just ask your mom), they’ve recently become incredibly popular again, which means you’re probably looking to try one—and probably have some questions. So let’s get started, yeah?
A hair-dryer brush is a corded round brush that blows heat from the inside out to dry your hair as you brush, twirl, and style it. Basically, it combines your blow-dryer with your round brush, so you legit only need one tool to blow out your hair (plus, obviously, a very good heat protectant spray). The result? Straight yet bouncy hair. And don’t be confused by the jargon: hair-dryer brush, hot-air brush, blow-dryer brush—they’re all the same thing.
Yes! That’s actually how you use a hair-dryer brush: to dry your hair. Although, to prevent excess damage, it’s always best to let your wet hair dry a bit (think: 30 to 40 percent dry) before going in with your blow-dry brush. Trying to blow-dry your sopping-wet hair requires a ton of unnecessary heat, tension, and manipulation. And if you’re blowing out natural hair or tight, curly hair, know that you won’t get the same super-sleek results that you’d get from a traditional blowout or silk press—you’ll still be left with some texture, even if it’s straighter.
It depends on your hair type and skill level. If you’re someone who absolutely cannot give yourself a professional-looking blowout at home—especially if you have wavy/curly or thick hair—then yes, a hot-hair brush is definitely a good tool to try. But if you’re someone who is pretty skilled with a round brush and a blow dryer already, you might not find that it leaves your hair as smooth and sleek as your usual combo.
K, now on to what you came here for: The 17 best hair-dryer brushes for every hair type, preference, and budget.