Blow dryers can both be a friend or a foe if you have 4C hair. This hair type is tightly curled, making it difficult to dry and style using typical hair dryers. What you need is the best blow dryer for natural 4C hair that will deliver the right heat and airflow without causing damages.
In this post, I will review eight of the best blow dryers I swear by for 4C hair, together with some tips and tricks. Check which of these picks suit you well:
What is natural 4C hair?
Natural 4C hair refers to the curly hair type with the tightest coils. While it looks like 4B at first glance, 4C hair is more fragile and possesses a zig-zag pattern. Such a pattern is only discernible once you look closer at each strand.
The number ‘4’ on 4C refers to the specific type of hair. Basically, there are four major types: (1) straight hair, (2) wavy hair, (3) curly hair, and (4) kinky hair. In this case, 4C falls within the kinky hair type, which is the densest in terms of curliness.
On the other hand, the ‘C’ on 4C points to the extent of curliness or kinkiness. With the 4A type of hair, a person has coily and coarse-looking locks but soft to touch. Meanwhile, those with 4B hair type doesn’t have a defined curl pattern, but it remains delicate.
However, those who have natural 4C hair will sport the tightest and most intricate coil pattern. It’s so elaborately curly that the hair looks like cotton from afar. This hair type is packed and dense, which could be soft or coarse in texture.
Of all hair types, the 4C hair experiences the highest amount of shrinkage. Still, a person can have a dominantly 4C hair type with some parts that are within the 4A or 4B range.
The challenge with this hair type is it’s prone to damage. Using high-heat drying is a guaranteed way to generate frizz, split ends, and a slew of problems that will make your hair unmanageable.
This is the very same reason why your choice of hair dryer is very important. Below, I reviewed eight of the best-selling options in the market that are tried and tested for 4C hair.
Best Blow Dryer For Natural 4C Hair – Top 8 Picks
1. OUR TOP PICK: BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Portofino Hair Dryer
When it comes to the best blow dryer for natural 4C hair, I highly recommend the BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Hair Dryer. It’s a 2,000-watt tool with the brand’s proprietary Nano Titanium Technology that delivers even heat at all times.
This hair dryer helps eliminate static electricity, so your 4C hair will have a bouncy and shiny finish. It’s an excellent choice for coarse and thick hair, especially curly types.
Moreover, this blow dryer has the Portofino 6600 motor, an Italian-designed motor that can put up with regular use. It also produces negative ions that will keep your hair frizz-free.
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- Powerful long-life italian ac motor
- Nano titanium grill and true ionic generator
The BaBylissPRO has three heat settings and two airflow options. You’ll also receive a concentrator and a diffuser nozzle. Overall, it dries fast but without the frizzy result of cheaper models. Based on my experience, this blow dryer cut my hair drying time by as much as 50%.
I also like the sturdy build, which isn’t surprising for a salon-grade tool. The attachments also snap easily and stay in place while in use.
For my natural 4C hair, low to medium heat is enough, but you can also experiment with high heat if you want to style aggressively.
When it comes to downsides, the only niggle I have over BaBylissPRO is that the dryer is heavier than most that I’ve owned. But with a little practice, I managed to get through styling without straining my arms.
- 2,000-watt Portofino motor
- Nano Titanium Technology for heat protection
- Dries fast without damages
- A bit on the heavy side.
2. T3 Cura Ionic Professional Hair Dryer
If you don’t mind splurging, the T3 Cura Hair Dryer is my premium recommendation. This is a 1,875-watt hair dryer with topnotch motor life.
This hair dryer has a quiet operation and a lightweight design, which is a perfect pair for those who are tired of loud tools. I also like the built-in IonAir Technology that will prevent your 4C hair from getting frizzy after drying.
Aside from that, this has a lock-in cool shot button, so you can dry your hair with cool air without having to press the button all the time. Overall, this hair dryer has three heat and two speed settings for customized drying.
The T3 Cura Hair Dryer has a Pure Stream removable cap with a filter to keep your hair clean while drying. I also like its rotating 9-feet cord, which prevents twists and tangles as you dry.
During use, the T3 Cura didn’t emit any smell burning hair smell. A burning smell is something I always notice with many blow dryers, but I’m glad this model doesn’t have such odor.
Moreover, it dries up pretty quickly. Using medium heat, I was able to 80% dry my 4C hair in just 18 minutes. The airflow is also soft but powerful when it comes to drying.
- IonAir Technology
- 9-feet rotating cord
- Pure Stream removable cap
- Slightly noisier than other blow dryers
3. Conair INFINITIPRO Ionic Hair Dryer
If you don’t have the budget to splurge for the first two blow dryers, I highly recommend the Conair INFINITIPRO. While pocket-friendly, this hair dryer doesn’t disappoint in the drying department.
This runs in a 1,875-watt motor with three heat and two airflow settings. It also has ceramic technology that emits even and safe heat levels to keep your hair safe.
Aside from the hair dryer, you’ll also receive a diffuser to dry your 4C hair efficiently. There’s also a concentrator for styling as well as a removable lint filter for easy maintenance.
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The Conair INFINITIPRO also lets you turn the ion feature on and off to achieve the texture you like. There’s also a cold shot button to lock in the style and look of your hair after drying. I also like that the medium setting isn’t too hot and just right for curly hair.
Some users of this hair dryer complain about pressing the buttons unintentionally while in use. My tip is to stop pressing the handle too much while drying. It’s just a matter of practice, and you’ll surely get the hang of it soon. It’s also a great choice for left-handed users like me.
- Budget-friendly hair dryer
- On and off ionic feature
- Ceramic heating technology
- You’ll press the buttons unintentionally if you grip the handle too hard.
4. TREZORO Professional Ionic Hair Dryer
Another budget find I recommend is the TREZORO Professional Ionic Hair Dryer. This runs in a powerhouse 2200-watt DC motor that delivers fast drying through powerful airflow.
Aside from that, this has ceramic tourmaline grilles that keep your hair supple and glossy. This is paired with a high-grade ionic system that produces 16 million ions/cm3. This means your 4C hair will retain its natural moisture so that it won’t be frizzy after styling.
Moreover, this hair dryer has three heat settings and two speeds for your choice of styling. This is also equipped with a cold shot button to lock in your look.
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It also comes with two nozzles to make the blow dryer more versatile. There’s also a detachable filter that traps lint and dust while you style.
The TREZORO Blow Dryer has a 9-foot power cord with safe insulation. It’s convenient to use and won’t tangle while you work around your hair.
Overall, this TREZORO Blow Dryer has been tried and tested by thousands of buyers. For this price range, I really don’t have major complaints. The only thing users noticed is that the cord is a bit too thick and takes time to become more flexible. Other than that, this remains a reliable hair dryer.
- Ceramic tourmaline grilles
- Ionic technology
- 2,200-watt DC motor
- The thick cord takes time to get flexible.
5. CONFU Professional Ionic Hair Dryer
The CONFU Professional Ionic Hair Dryer offers powerful drying prowess while preventing hair damage. This runs on a 1,875-watt motor with low noise and consistent performance.
Aside from that, this blow dryer has three heat settings and two speeds. This is aside from the cold shot button to suit your styling needs.
This has a negative ionic technology that will keep your curly hair static and frizz-free. It will also give your 4C hair a glossy look, especially when finished using the cold shot button.
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- 2 speeds + 3 heat settings and special cool shot button locks style in place.
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Moreover, this CONFU hair dryer comes with a diffuser and concentrator for more styling options. For 4C hair, the diffuser comes in handy for safe and gentle drying.
Another thing I like about the CONFU hair dryer is its 8-foot power cord. It also has a removable air filter, hanging ring, and a 360-degree nozzle design. Overall, this is designed for convenience, especially for first-time blow dryer users.
This hair dryer is also backed by a 3-year warranty to protect your purchase. That’s already an unbeatable guarantee for a hair dryer you can get for such a low price.
For your safety, this is fitted with a 125V ALCI plug to prevent shock and short circuit.
- Negative ionic technology
- 3-year warranty
- 8-foot power cord
- A little heavy, but effective nonetheless
6. Elchim Classic 2001 Professional Blow Dryer
The Elchim Classic 2001 Professional Blow Dryer is a favorite among stylists and DIY users. It has a 1,875-watt motor that can last for up to 2,000 hours of use.
This hair dryer also boasts of high-pressure technology for fast drying without excessive heat damage. You can also control the heat level in five temperature levels as well as two speeds. For me, this blow dryer is a champ when it comes to adjustability.
As an old model, the 2001 Classic doesn’t use ceramic or ionic technology. Nevertheless, it dries well and very useful for hair setting a 4C type. It’s also made for thick and coarse hair.
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This is one of the first blow dryers I bought, and it held up for six years. For someone who does aggressive styling from time to time, such lifespan is more than my money’s worth.
I like how light this hair dryer is, though it’s slightly larger than other Elchim models. But since it’s a classic design, I think it’s just normal. It’s on the heavy side, too, which is something to keep in mind for very picky users.
- Quick-drying and perfect for hair setting
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Five temperature settings
- No ionic function
7. Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer
When it comes to top-dollar hair dryers, my money is on Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer. It has a 1,875-watt motor paired with an Ionic Technology for a shiny and voluminous finish. This hair dryer will also cut your hair drying time by 20%.
Aside from that, this hair dryer has a wave heater that produces even heat all over your hair. It also has three heat and two airflow settings to match your 4C hair drying process.
I also like the lightweight design of this blow dryer, not to mention its very chic yellow housing. This is matched with a 9-foot power cord for hassle-free styling.
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Moreover, this blow dryer suits all hair types, whether you have straight or 4C hair. It’s like a mini hair salon that comes with a concentrator and diffuser.
Many users love the durability of the Drybar Buttercup Hair Dryer. It also tames frizz and dries without causing heat damage.
The only thing some users noticed is that the long power cord adds too much weight to the dryer. The cord is bulky, but it’s reasonable enough for safety purposes.
- Ionic Technology
- Wave heater for even temperature
- Durable power cord
- The power cord is durable but heavy too.
8. ghd Helios Professional Hair Dryer
My last pick for this list is the ghd Helios Hair Dryer. This has a steep price tag, but for all good reasons. It’s a salon-grade tool with a 2,200-watt brushless motor for precise and reliable styling.
Moreover, this hair dryer boasts of its proprietary Aeroprecis Technology that ensures even and accurate heat settings. The result is a shiny, smooth, and salon-quality finish. With this, every cent is worth the splurge with this hair dryer.
Aside from that, the ghd Helios has variable temperature and speed settings to suit your styling needs. This is paired with a cool shot button so you can set your look after drying your 4C hair.
The ghd Helios also has an ergonomic to keep you comfortable on long hours of styling. It has a contoured nozzle that channels the airflow effectively into your hair.
Overall, I like the quiet operation of this hair dryer. It doesn’t get too hot either, which is added peace of mind for those with brittle, curly hair.
For this price range, the only thing that’s missing is a silk bag or any storage pouch. Even a Velcro tie for the cord will also do. Anyway, it’s just a small issue I can live with since this blow dryer is almost perfect for all hair types.
- Aeroprecis Technology
- 2,200-watt brushless moto
- Salon-quality finish
- The attachments can be made more durable for this price range.
How to choose a blow dryer for 4C hair
When looking for the best blow dryer for natural 4C hair, it’s important to consider the following points:
The very first thing I check in blow dryers is its heating technology. This is a make-or-break part for those who have natural 4C hair like me.
The two most popular options in the market nowadays are tourmaline and ceramic. These heating technologies both produce ionic charges, which help reduce frizz on your hair. It does so by breaking down water particles and tightening the cuticles so that the finish will be smooth and shiny.
However, there are major differences between tourmaline and ceramic. Here are some points to keep in mind:
A blow dryer with this technology has a heating element coated with ceramic material. This emits far-infrared heat, which could penetrate deeper into the hair shaft. The best part is that ceramic blow dryers heat up fast and will emit even temperatures all throughout your hair.
Unlike tourmaline, ceramic uses less heat to prevent hair damage. It dries gently, which is perfect for those with brittle 4C hair.
Tourmaline is a silicate mineral that can be used as a coating to the heating element of a blow dryer. It also produces far-infrared heat and negative ions to reduce frizz. But unlike ceramic, tourmaline hair dryers offer better heat protection even if you’re using high heat settings.
In short, this technology allows your hair to endure higher heat levels without succumbing to damages easily.
So which one should you choose? It depends on your preference. If you have already damaged hair, I suggest starting with a ceramic blow dryer. Based on my experience, ceramic hair dryers tend to be cheaper than their tourmaline counterparts.
If you’re into intense styling, a tourmaline hair dryer will serve you well. Just make sure that it has decent speed and heat adjustments as well as heat protection.
✔️Wattage and power
Another thing you should consider is the wattage of the hair dryer. This refers to the motor power of the hair dryer, which will affect its maximum airflow rate.
For natural 4C hair, I swear by low airspeed settings. This hair type can easily sustain nasty tangles, which can be a pain to fix. Pair that with a low airspeed and a diffuser for a nice, bouncy finish.
With that being said, a low-wattage blow dryer will do. This is cheaper and lighter to hold since it has a smaller motor. You can also opt for higher wattage as long as it has multiple airspeed settings. The extra wattage will come in handy whenever you need to style your 4C hair.
In general, a 1,600-watt hair dryer will do. You can also opt for 1,800 to 2,000 watts with airflow adjustments.
✔️Heat and speed adjustments
As mentioned, you should always look for adjustable settings when buying a blow dryer. This will let you use the tool for both styling and drying while preventing damages to your hair.
I recommend looking or at least two to three heat adjustments and two airflow levels. Aside from that, always look for a cool shot button. This will let you blow cool air into your hair to seal the cuticle after drying or styling.
The cool air will give your 4C hair a natural and long-lasting finish. You should use the cool shot feature for the best results once your curly hair is about 80% dry.
Aside from the blow dryer in the package, you should also look for a few attachments. For natural 4C hair, a diffuser is a heaven-sent nozzle. This lets you spread the airflow into a larger air outlet to cover more hair at once. It will also let you dry your 4C hair slowly and gently.
Most blow dryers are also bundled with a concentrator. This will be useful if you want to straighten your 4C hair using the hair dryer. I also like a hair pik attachment, which is like a painter’s brush. It helps in combing unruly curly hair while drying.
✔️Weight and size
The weight and size of the blow dryer will affect how comfortable it is to hold for long hours. Proper button placements are necessary, so you won’t keep on pressing it while drying.
Just note that high-powered hair dryers are naturally heavier than most due to the larger motor. As for the size, you should match it with your hand size and the amount of airflow you want to enjoy.
One of the struggles of drying 4C hair is dealing with cable clutter. It’s easy to get yourself tangled in wires as you work around your locks.
To prevent this, consider getting a swiveling power cord with a decent length. Around six feet is enough for me, but you can always find longer ones at 9 feet or so.
Lastly, consider how much you’re willing to spend on a blow dryer. There’s no need to splurge on expensive options just to find the best value.
There are many budget-friendly models in the market with decent features and drying power, just like the eight I reviewed above. But if budget isn’t an issue, a premium blow dryer is surely an excellent investment.
Tips in drying natural 4C hair
Blow drying 4C hair is a serious business, especially for first-timers. It can get frustrating if you don’t know how to do it right. To help you out, I suggest you consider the following tips:
Squeeze out excess moisture
Before you reach for the blow dryer, it’s important to remove as much moisture as you can from your hair. Use an absorbent towel to squeeze your curls. NEVER wring or rub it, or you’ll sustain damages and tangles.
Apply a heat protectant
Once you’re done squeezing out excess moisture, you should next apply a heat protectant on your 4C hair. I always do this regardless of the heat setting I’m using. With 4C hair, you simply can’t take chances because it’s prone to damages.
A leave-in conditioner will also work in preventing damages and frizz. Some people use hair cream while blow-drying, and they swear by the stellar results.
Section your hair
A 4C hair type is difficult to manage if you blow-dry without sectioning. I suggest sectioning your hair into four to six parts. This way, you can apply the heat protectant evenly and blow-dry each section gently.
Doing this ensures that your 4C dries properly. I’ve tried winging it without sectioning my hair, and the result is a dry top and damp roots. I ended up taking longer to dry my hair.
Apply tension to your curls
You can pull each hair section taut to let hot air get into the coils for faster drying. You can use low to medium heat on this part, but avoid pulling the hair too much.
Use a diffuser
A diffuser is your bosom friend when drying natural 4C hair. This will let you cover more hair at once, but make sure that you keep the diffuser close to the scalp. You can use this technique to add volume to your hair.
Dry your hair up to 80%
Another trick that works for 4C hair is blow-drying your locks until it’s 80% dry. After that, let your hair air-dry on its own. This will prevent your curly hair from getting frizzy, especially in a high-heat setting.
Scrunch as you go
While blow-drying your curls, make sure you scrunch and ‘shape’ it along the way. This will give you a nice finish instead of a dry but messy look. You can also re-apply a small amount of oil or cream if you feel that your hair is getting too dry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What do you put on 4C hair before blow-drying?
A: It’s very important to use a heat protectant on 4C hair before blow-drying. This will protect the tight curls from getting extremely dried. Remember that 4C hair is brittle and prone to damage. Make sure that you use a naturally formulated heat protectant that has a moisturizing effect.
Q: How long does it take for 4C hair to air dry?
A: Since 4C hair has tight curls, it may take over six hours to fully dry after a shower. This will vary based on how thick and long the hair is. Overall, most people with 4C hair will take a couple of hours to fully dry their locks.
Q: Is air drying good or 4C hair?
A: Air drying is a good choice for 4C hair as long as you do it properly. However, you have to ensure that your hair drying method won’t result in tangles. You should also consider getting a hair dryer with the right power and features that match your needs.
Q: Can I make 4C hair straight with a blow dryer?
A: Yes, it’s possible to straighten your 4C hair with a blow dryer. However, you have to do it right to prevent heat damage. I suggest using lots of heat protectants and always take it easy with the heat setting you’re going to use.
Q: What can I put on 4C hair at night?
A: It’s very important to keep 4C hair protected at night. A satin or silk bonnet is a good choice to hold your hair in place. It will also prevent products from smearing into your pillowcase.
Q: Should I wet my 4C hair every day?
A: It’s not always a good idea to wash your 4C hair every day. Since it’s prone to damages, brittle strands can easily break. Also, you’re stripping the hair of its natural oils when you wash it every day, making it more prone to breakage.
The best blow dryer for natural 4C hair should be gentle on your hair yet powerful when it comes to removing moisture. It’s important to choose one with adjustable settings, multiple attachments, and a reasonable price tag. This way, your curly hair will remain bouncy, shiny, and frizz-free all day.