I recently purchased a BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium Travel Dryer based on the recommendation of a friend. While it’s lightweight and folds compactly, this 1000 watt dryer is not powerful enough for me. I have thick hair and without a powerful hairdryer it takes forever to dry my hair. Any recommendations for a dryer that is dual voltage (OR works in Europe only), is not too bulky and is powerful?
Why not just use the hotel supplied hair dryer?
If you need to, buy one there. Then take it home. Next time you travel, you’ll have it.
The dual-voltage hair dryers typically perform differently on 220 VAC than they do on 115 VAC. Most hotels these days provide hair dryers, either in the rooms or available at the desk, so that would be the least expensive solution. You could also buy a Dryer once you arrive in Europe and that will come with the correct plug which will work all over the continent (but not the UK).
Revlon 1875W Compact Travel Hair Dryer
Ken's right: The dual dryers from North America operate only on low -- at least the cheap ones I used to carry did. No gale-force volumes of air. They can be very cheap but I've fallen back on the hotel equipment.
I have an older version of the dryer you purchased - and unlike prior posters, it only works on high when switched to Europe voltage. Even then, it's not very powerful. Unfortunately size does equal power for this particular appliance. As has been mentioned, most hotels and apartment rentals provide hair dryers. For myself, before a trip I have my stylist cut my hair with more layers (she calls it a thatching) so that it dries faster (I have curly hair). I also take hair bands and ties and go for a low-fuss look.
While I have stopped carrying a hair dryer on our trips to Europe and use the one provided by each hotel, many of those have so little power. It often takes an extra 5 minutes to dry my hair as the air stream is so weak. My Brookstone dryer purchased years ago is plenty powerful but I don’t want the extra weight in my carry-on bag. Wishing you luck in finding one that works for you and recommending you bring a good dry shampoo spray (Living Proof) to keep the need for washing to a minimum.
I never bother packing my own since as many noted the hotels in Europe provide. And yes, a noticeable lack of power compared to at home. Plus the fun of hunting behind furniture, crawling under furniture, etc trying to find an outlet since they are seldom (ever?) located in the bath room. Skip packing a blow dryer and bring a folding mirror instead. Much more useful. Amazon has some pretty nice lighted travel ones.
We just returned from three weeks in Italy, back to back RS tours. My wife has short but thick hair. While the travel dryer is not powerful it beat several of the hotel dryers. About 1/3rd of the hotel dryers worked very poorly or not at all (no time to complain at the desk when you are rushing out to meet for the tour). She was glad to have the travel dryer. I don’t know the brand, its very small.
I have a small dryer that I bought at Brookstone quite a few years ago. I have used it at both voltages over the years and it has worked great (although I once blew a fuse and several of the resort’s units went dark when I used it on high in Tanzania LOL). I don’t know if they still sell it.
I bought this BaByliss Pro BABNT053T Nano Titanium Travel Dryer to replace my old beloved travel dryer that finally died. It is small, folds nicely, dual voltage (remember to move the setting) and works like a champ. We used it on our recent sailing trip in Croatia and since I was the only one with a hairdryer - I was very popular!
The BaByliss line of travel products are very high rated and seem to me well loved. You may need to section your hair to get it dry. On trips I usually dry and style my hair at night, I wear it in a pony tail to sleep (can't stand hair all up in my face) and in the morning it looks pretty good, maybe a quick go through with a straightener to show it who is boss. I DO use really good products to ensure a sleek, no frizz look. I just bought a BaByliss travel dryer and straightener set on Posh, new in boxes, can hardly wait to try them.
My experience in Italy and Germany is that hotel dryers are weak to very weak in air flow. Trying to use one in an already steamed up bathroom is nearly useless if you need a high air flow dryer for thick hair. Dual voltage dryers are better but not great. At 220 the heat and air flow is reduced. I ended up buying a dryer at a Saturn store in Germany. It's great for thick hair but it does take room in my suitcase.
I looked at a few travel hair dryers and almost all I saw were 1000 W. I finally decided and bought the Babyliss Pro Bambino. It is also 1000W but I think it will blew out of the water any hotel hair dryer.
My hair is different from yours: straight and somewhat thin so the Bambino works fine for me. The only con is it is not foldable. Can you return your dryer and try the Bambino maybe?
I was reading that Titanium and Tourmaline are very good for thick hair. Tourmaline technology is like Ionic/nano on steroids and helps to dry the hair faster.
I remember a few years ago I watched a packing light video on the Rick Steves Youtube channel, I forget the name of the lady that appeared on the video and I think is no longer available sadly, but she said that she never travels without her blow dryer, and she mentioned she got it at the Sharper Image site if I recall correctly. She said something like "this is small but very powerful". I wish that video was still up, she gave great advice in general.
I have a Babyliss Pro that I purchased for a trip we are making in September. Also got the mini flat iron. I have shorter hair and not real thick any more like when I was young. I thought I would give a try to see if they were any good. I use the blow dryer every day. It had more power than the full size I was using and I got my hair dry in half the time from usual. And so much smaller and lighter. I am sorry your hair is too thick for this to work for you. It nearly blows my hair off my head. I can't imagine hair too thick for this dryer!
I, too, have very thick hair. Once upon a time it was also long. There is no way the hotel dryers would come close to drying my hair. I suggest you take an hour on arrival and seek out a hairdryer to purchase to use while there and for future travels. (Now my hair is short and cut to dry naturally, I only dry it on rainy days.)
I have ridiculously thick, long hair. Hotel hair dryers take an eternity with my hair, even when sectioning it. I used to pack a dryer but now I just book a blow dry or two at a salon wherever I am traveling and use copious dry shampoo in between. Admittedly, I have not attempted this in Europe, but blow dry bars do exist there, depending on where you are (London and Paris do I know).
Anyway, might not appeal to everyone, but it’s an alternative to lugging hair care tools and products all over the place and buying an expensive travel dryer.