I never thought I’d write a rave review about a hair dryer. In fact, up until recently, I’d taken a solemn vow never to touch a hot tool again, be it a curling wand or a flatiron. It was dramatic: After years of heating styling left me with irreparable damage, I tore my straightener from the outlet and shoved it into the darkest corner of my closet. I still haven’t unearthed it just yet, but I have started using heat again, every morning, to blow-dry my very curly hair.
It all started with a pasta strainer. I’d seen that viral Reddit thread where a woman shared her colander-as-diffuser beauty hack and had to give it a go. Turns out, it really works, but I also cook a lot of pasta and washing stray hairs out of your strainer is truly an unappetizing experience. So after a week of bouncy blown-out curls (and lots of compliments on how great my hair looked), I set out in search of a real diffuser and emerged victoriously with the CHI Touch 2 Touch Screen Hair Dryer.
I’m not here to start a flame war (it’s fine if you live and die by your Dyson), but this blow-dryer is second to none for curls. It comes with a diffuser attachment with extra-long prongs that get into and break up thick hair, speedily shaping them into gorgeously defined ringlets. It’s also very, very fast. You know those bougie trains that jet across whole countries in fewer hours than a Netflix binge? Fast-forward that a little and you’ve got the CHI Touch 2 Touch. I’ve got a head of thick, nearly shoulder-length curls, and this hair-dryer gets me from a wet mop of soggy hair to bone-dry, bouncy curls in under 15 minutes. And that’s not even at maximum temperature (the CHI clocks in at 450 degrees).
Now I’d like you to buckle up because I’m about to get to the best part. We’ve already established that even a pasta strainer can give curls incredible definition and at $190, this hair-dryer isn’t cheap. So what makes it such a standout? I’ve got two very techie words for you: touchscreen interface. It might sound a little gimmicky, but it doesn’t skimp on functionality and is the true secret to my endless good-hair-day streak.
You can control four settings on the touchscreen: heat, speed, ions, and the cool setting. The heat and speed settings are great, and an adjustable cool blast is always a win, but the ion control is what really stands out. The CHI promises three times the ions as a standard hair-dryer, and it’s this function that creates great curls. (You can read more about exactly what ionic hair-dryers do here, but the TL;DR is that they lead to less frizz.) With the ions on full blast, I leave the house looking like I sat under a hood dryer in a salon for 40 minutes, and the curl definition and shine last for a solid two days—satin sleeping cap or not. Even with daily use, this hair-dryer never leaves my hair looking dry, which is a big deal if you’re into frequent at-home blowouts.
Taking all that into consideration—and the fact that other dryers can set you back half a grand—it really does land on the more affordable end of nice hair-dryers. If you’ve got curly hair and a limited amount of time in the morning, you won’t be disappointed. It takes a lot to get me to break a solemn vow, but I’m back to loving hot tools. As far as ringing endorsements go, you won’t find one better than that.
The CHI Touch 2 Touch Screen Hair Dryer, $190, ulta.com
Experience the second generation of touch-screen styling with the new design of the CHI Touch 2 Hair Dryer. Slimmer and superiorly lightweight, it features a compact 2.4 inch touch screen control and a unique speedometer easily customizable intelligent settings, including controlling the speed, temperature, and ionic output.