Key Differences Between Blow Dryer and Hair Dryer

Hoping to find the answer to “blow dryer vs hair dryer”?

Fret not, I’ve got you covered!!

With the help of this guide, I’m going to unwrap all your doubts!

Without further ado, continue reading to find out the difference between a hair dryer and a blow dryer.

a curly-haired woman showing the difference between Blow Dryer Vs Hair Dryer

Don’t forget to check these blow dryers that straighten hair!

Blow Dryer Vs Hair Dryer: Key Differences

Mickiela Smith, the creator of and famous hairstylist, notes, “Quality hairdryer tools can lessen styling time, relieve us from physical stress, and can make it simple in achieving our desired hairstyles with less to no hair breakage.” [1]

woman blow drying her hair

Both these tools come in various sizes and shapes. Thus, making it crucial for you to know their benefits based on how you wish to use them.

At the same time, as is apparent, it does lead to confusion when we use both these terms synonymously and interchangeably.

In the US, we generally know it as “blow dryers.” But if you’re residing in and around Europe, you might be using “hair-dryers” instead.

Then, of course, there’s all of the “is it spelled blow dryer or blow-dryer or blowdryer?” and “is it hairdryer or hair dryer?” confusion!

Whatever you want to call them (and I’ve seen them called all of the above by different industry pros), there are some differences between the two.

Keeping that in mind, let’s dive headfirst and analyze their key differences.

Blow Dryers

Let’s start with blow dryers.

Scope Of Usage.

In case you aren’t familiar, the capabilities of a blow-dryer go far beyond just drying your hair. You can also use the hair styler for other parts of your body. No, I don’t mean THAT part (well…maybe on cool air? but no, that’s not what I mean).

I’ve actually used my blow dryer on the lowest speed and coldest setting to set my makeup. I thought I was just a weirdo but turns out even beauty experts recommend it [2].

Makeup artist Sonia Kashuk told Women’s Health Magazine, “Most women forget to include it in their makeup process, but it can truly mean the difference between your look lasting until the end of the day or fading away before lunchtime.”

Shoots Both Hot & Cold Air.

Your blow dryer releases heated air through the ceramic technology present inside it [3]. Not only that, based on your usage, a blow-dryer is even capable of blowing cold air with a cool shot button.

pretty girl drying her hair after shower (blow dryer vs hair dryer guide)

Besides, if you’re using a blow-dryer for drying purposes, I’d suggest you hold it about 15 cm away from your scalp. That way, you won’t cause damage to the roots [4].

Also, when I use a blow-dryer, I usually skip out on using a towel to dry my wet hair strands.

Range Of Temperature.

Blow-dryers offer a wide range of temperatures. It offers various speed settings with higher levels of intense heat as compared to hairdryers.

These hot tools also come with an airflow concentrator to reduce dry time.

Also, when it comes to blow dryers, it doesn’t quite fall into the category of an electromechanical device.


Strictly considering the application aspect, I find blow-dryers to be extremely great for styling my dry hair strands with their higher airflow rate. So much so as that I wouldn’t go for a hair-dryer for the styling bit.

Besides that, if ever I want a more voluminous blowout for my curly hair, a blow-dryer is my safest bet.


Generally, “blow-dryer” is an American English term.

Hair Dryers

Now, let’s see what hair dryers can do!

Scope Of Usage.

In contrast to a blow dryer which you can use for other body parts as well, the application of a hair dryer is strictly limited to drying damp hair.

Shoots Hot Air.

Since its primary function is to dry your hair, a hair-dryer provides hot air. Other than that, it also shoots air at normal room temperature.

While some models MAY have a cool shot button, they’re not as common as they are on blow dryers.

lady showing how to blow dry a bob for medium length

Here are some characteristics of hair dryer.

Range Of Temperature.

The temperature range is pretty moderate. When compared to what a blow dryer offers, the heat settings are at best limited.


The name itself is self-explanatory. A hair dryer helps you in drying your hair shaft faster.

You can use it as a styling hair tool. Although, in that regard, I find it rather limited.


A “hair dryer” is largely a British English term.

READ MORE: The Blow Drying Hair Alternatives


Is it healthier if I air-dry my hair instead?

pretty girl giving tips for straightening thick hair

It depends.
True, you’re avoiding direct heat and that, in a way, is safer for your hair. But ultimately, as I said, it depends on whether you’re air-drying your hair using the correct techniques.
Consider checking out my expert guide on “Is Blow-Drying Better Than Air-drying?” to learn more about it.

What are some of the most efficient blow-dryers/hair-dryers out there?

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, Amika Hair Blow Dryer, or the Paul Mitchell Neuro Tourmaline Hair Dryer are among the best.
In case these aren’t to your liking, you can also go for the $60 Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer, 3900 Healthy Ionic Technology Blow-Dryer, or the popular hair dryer, 1-Pound Hair Dryer.
Whatever you choose, make sure you’re going for high-quality tools with a brush attachment.


It’s clear that there are indeed minor differences between these two hair styling tools. At the same time, I can’t deny the fact that the functioning and usage of a blow-dryer and hair-dryer are very similar as well.

For instance, these tools are both made of plastic that heats up quite fast.

In conclusion, I’d recommend a blow-dryer for adding extra volume and styling your strand of hair, in general. In contrast, if you need a tool for simply drying your hair, I suggest you opt for a hairdryer instead.


  • 1. Murden K, King A. 13 Best Hair Dryers in 2021: According to the Pros [Internet]. Vogue. Vogue; 2020 [cited 2021 Dec 6]. Available from:
  • 2. Jenn Sinrich. Should You Be Blow-Drying Your Face Every Day? [Internet]. Women’s Health. Women’s Health; 2015 [cited 2021 Dec 6]. Available from:
  • 3., How Hair Dryers Work [Internet]. HowStuffWorks. 2000 [cited 2021 Dec 6]. Available from:
  • 4. Lee Y, Kim Y-D, Hyun H-J, Pi L, Jin X, Lee W-S. Hair Shaft Damage from Heat and Drying Time of Hair Dryer. Annals of Dermatology [Internet]. 2011 [cited 2021 Dec 6];23:455. Available from:
lady holding a pink hair dryer

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