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For the first 20 years of my life, I rarely touched a blow-dryer. We had an old, rugged-looking dryer stored in the depths of our bathroom cabinets, but I spent most of my childhood oblivious toward hair tools of any sort, and therefore, always air-dried my hair. Over the years I've been a beauty editor with access to a limitless array of products, I've learned about the wonders of leave-in conditioners and using a cotton T-shirt or hair towel — I've been using my dependable Turbie Twist for years on end — in lieu of rubbing my hair raw with a regular bath towel.
I still operate with the mindset that it's best to keep heat-tool usage to a minimum to keep hair healthy — especially after a few years of regular bleaching — but the other major difference is that I regularly pick up a blow-dryer to speed things along. And let me tell you — the Drybar Reserve Ultralight Anti-Frizz Blow-Dryer checks off every possible box for me. It's coming with me no matter how many moves I have to go through over the next 10 years. (You gotta love that New York City rental life.)
While my frizz is probably most drastic and noticeable to me (and me, alone), it still irks me to no end. All of the selfies I have to take for work-related stories and projects put this on full blast, so it'd be nice to not spend copious amounts of time harshly critiquing simple selfies. (I supposedly have better things to do, like writing stories.) So when a blow-dryer has "anti-frizz" in its name, I have to test it out to make sure it isn't all just talk.
According to this Drybar tutorial video, the dryer features "Ionic Desiccant Technology" that claims to "reduce the relative humidity [level] by 85 percent," so that's the information I'm presenting to you. From my personal, non-scientific experience, this seems to check out. I also have nonexistent upper-body strength so I'm a huge fan that this featherweight device, which clocks in at just one pound, doesn't make my arms cry out in protest by the time I'm through. On the inside, it's powered by an 1875-watt motor that dries hair at a speed of 100 miles per hour, which is why I can easily finish my entire head (with below-the-shoulder length) in about three minutes. (I don't dry my hair 100 percent of the way and instead aim for around 80 percent.)
To avoid maxing the amount of heat damage incurred, I apply a heat protectant prior to powering up my Drybar blow-dryer. "Heat opens the cuticles, allowing the hair to dry and shape when you are blow-drying or curling your hair," Los Angeles-based hairstylist Graham Nation previously explained. "Too much [heat] can damage [the cuticle], though — so using a heat protectant is necessary every time." I reach for the Ouai x Byredo Mojave Ghost Leave In Conditioner for a bonus hit of ambrette, magnolia, and Chantilly musk (among other scents) because my hair can never smell too good, you know?
Without further ado, here are the impressive results:
Before washing my hair with frizz compounded by running through the rain.
After — ooh la la.
The Drybar Reserve Ultralight Anti-Frizz Blow-Dryer works like a charm on all hair types and comes programmed with three temperatures, two speeds, two attachment nozzles, and a cool shot button for easy customization. It's not the quietest dryer around, but I don't mind when my hair looks as silky as it does in the "after" photo above. My other blow-dryers are definitely taking a backseat to this new favorite and I'm not even the slightest bit sorry.
Drybar Reserve Ultralight Anti-Frizz Blow-Dryer
Blown away yet? If so, pick up one for yourself for $285 at sephora.com or ulta.com and see what all of the hype is about. And after you're done here, check out all of our 2021 Allure Best of Beauty Award winners. (The entire list is well worth the read.)
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