10 under $50: Blow-dryers
Revlon Laser Brilliance ionic dryer
Here, ten drugstore hair-dryers that deliver shiny, happy results.
Bing: REVLON LASER BRILLIANCE 1875W CERAMIC IONIC DRYER, $29.99
Don't be intimidated by the vaguely James-Bond-sounding name: This dryer is both easy-to-use and easy on strands. Our tester raved about it, explaining that it cut her styling time in half and kept her strands smooth. Not surprising, since it uses ions to ward off frizz and static, as well as a ceramic infrared heater to keep heat levels uniform.
Conair Infiniti Pro Salon Performance dryer
Some blow-dryers only work well when paired with the dexterity of a professional stylist and the patience of a kindergarten teacher. Not this one: Thanks to a powerful AC motor, it's so quick that it shaved 15 minutes off our tester's usual drying time. AC motors are also more durable than the DC motors found in some other dryers, so you'll get plenty of bang for not-that-much buck.
Sephora Collection travel hair dryer
Bing: SEPHORA COLLECTION TRAVEL HAIR DRYER, $39
It's pink. It's mini. It looks like it belongs in a Barbie Dreamhouse. But this dryer is also surprisingly efficient. Although it only packs 1200 watts (not exactly at the upper end of the spectrum), its two speed/heat settings and concentrator-shaped nozzle give you plenty of juice and control.
John Frieda Haircare Experts Full Volume dryer
Bing: JOHN FRIEDA HAIRCARE EXPERTS FULL VOLUME DRYER, $45.99
With three heat settings, two speed settings, two snap-on concentrators, and ionic and ceramic technology, this dryer has pretty much every kind of bell and whistle you'd find on a much pricier tool. Plus, it gets the job done crazy fast: Our tester's superthick hair was almost completely dry within 15 minutes.
Tigi Bed Head Hot Head tourmaline ceramic dryer
Bing: TIGI BED HEAD HOT HEAD 1875W TOURMALINE CERAMIC DRYER, $29.99
As seriously as we take our styling tools, we're not too cool to admit that we're suckers for cute design. This blow-dryer has a bright fuchsia handle and a neon green concentrator attachment that make mirror time a little more fun. It's also feather light and comes with a removable vent cap for easy cleaning. See? Cute and practical.
Babyliss Pro Nano titanium travel dryer
Bing: BABYLISS PRO NANO TITANIUM TRAVEL DRYER, $29.99
Think of this tiny, steel-blue tool as the Little Blow-Dryer That Could. It looks almost comically miniature, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in substance. (The ionic dryer delivers a sleek, shiny blowout.) And the foldable handle, lightweight construction, and mini nozzle make it perfect for packing in a carry-on.
Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Color Last dryer
Bing: VIDAL SASSOON PRO SERIES COLOR LAST DRYER, $39.99
Designed specifically to help keep hair color looking fresh and vibrant, this blow-dryer uses infrared rays to dry strands from the inside out and ions to protect and smooth them. It also has a unique honeycomb-shaped ceramic heater, which lets the air flow more evenly for increased precision and fewer flyaways.
Remington T-Studio blow-dryer
Despite its ample size and 1875 watts of power, this dryer is surprisingly light, so you won't feel like you're getting a triceps workout as you style. It also shoots out ions that help sleek-ify strands for shampoo-commercial-worthy smoothness.
Hot Tools ionic travel dryer
Bing: HOT TOOLS IONIC TRAVEL DRYER, $43
Clocking in at 11 ounces, this little purple dryer shocked our tester with its significant power (1875 watts, to be exact) and speedy drying time. Though it's billed as a travel dryer, we'd use it at home, too.
John Frieda Salon Shape Hot Air Brush
Bing: JOHN FRIEDA SALON SHAPE HOT AIR BRUSH, $35.99
OK, so this one's not technically a blow-dryer (it would take eons to dry your whole head with it). But, used as a finishing touch, this brush-and-hair-dryer combo helps create a perfectly bouncy, shiny blowout with just the right amount of volume.