It takes a lot to get excited about a hair dryer—and in turn, make a hair dryer that’s exciting. The most I usually ask of mine is that it doesn’t fry my hair or go on the fritz and electrocute me. Shopping for one is laborious—if you actually want to understand what you’re getting, there are as many terms to memorize as an aerospace engineering mid-term—and, often more times than not, expensive. (See the actually phenomenal but “I’m not going out for a month” $400 Dyson.)
So, I don’t say this lightly that when Revlon’s new 360 Dryer crossed my desk, I ran around the office demo’ing it to anyone who’d watch. The thing’s just fun to play with. It’s got a convertible barrel that twists from “horizontal” mode (i.e. the regular way you’d use a dryer) into a vertical nozzle that lets you stick your hair inside—kind of like those fancy hand-dryers where you put your hands in the center instead under, but for your hair.
The thought behind the design is two-fold. The first: By drying your hair from both the front and the back at the same time, it’s meant to give you a sleeker, smoother finish. (This is also partially thanks to the air jets pointing downward inside, which help seal your cuticle to prevent frizz.) The second: It’s near impossible to stick the top of your hair into the vertical contraption, so the barrel turns back into a “normal” dryer so you can still get volume at your roots.
But, here’s the million dollar question: Is it all a gimmick or a gamechanger? On to the test!
I took this baby home and fired it up after a shower. First thing’s first, it’s fairly light as far as drugstore dryers go, but it definitely gave my biceps a workout by the end of my blowout. (To be fair, I’ve been using the Dyson for the past year, and that thing is about as feather-like as they come behind the adorable $300 Harry Josh Pro Dryer. Also, I rarely lift, bro.)
It takes some muscle-memory retraining to get the movements down. You probably want to practice with it before to needing to be somewhere on time. So, not before work. By function, this isn’t a dryer where you can blast the air all over your head and rake your hands through (or in hairstylist-speak “rough dry”). Rather, you’ll want to section your hair and go bit by bit until your hair is set. Then, at the end, I twisted the nozzle to OG-mode and went back to finish my roots.
I’ve got fairly straight hair to begin with. A pro blowout takes about 45 minutes and a rough-dry with the lightning-speed Dyson takes me about 10. The Revlon is approximately smack in the middle of that—clocking in around 25 to 30 minutes start to finish. But let’s talk about the result, because the time was definitely well spent. Where my ends often feel over-dried and my roots heavy, the shine and lift I had was so noticeable three different people stopped me that morning to ask if I had dyed my hair. (Nope, I hadn’t in seven months, in fact.)
Other functions I liked about it were the cold shot button—I use it at the very end to go back over dry sections to lock in the finish—and the hot/warm/cool toggle. It also comes with two different speed settings. I’d be curious to see how it handles on friends with wavy and curly hair, but I’ve spotted good reviews on it from curly girls in a few private beauty-obsessive Facebook groups I’m in, and they’re opinions I trust.
If you value speed above all, it’s probably not for you. But if you’re on a budget (it’s under $60!) and you’re looking for a dryer that’ll give you a slick, air-dried-but-better finish, you’ll find your answer in this.
Final score: Gamechanger.
Revlon 360 Hair Dryer, $59.99, target.com
–How to Choose the Best Hair Dryer for Your Hair Type
–5 Things You Need to Know About the $400 Dyson Hair Dryer
–This Straightening Brush Takes Me From Curly to Smooth in 20 Minutes Flat