My old trusty Philips Sonic hair dryer decided to die on me a couple of days ago. I spent 30 minutes or so, cleaning out the lint from the back but to no avail. It simply gave out.

It was time anyway. I had this hair dryer for more than a couple years–maybe even more than five years and it was only a 1275W one–nowadays, you can’t find any lower than 1875W.

At first I panicked. I’d never gotten a hair dryer in the states before (all mine were from Taiwan) and so I decided to take Nark’s hair dryer, which was compact, quiet, and powerful, from a nondescript Asian brand that I could not find online later, much to my dismay. Tiff (her roommate) must have one–until Nark informed me that Tiff didn’t dry her hair. Ever.

I spent the next couple of nights at Mels, where I was delighted to find this hair dryer by Vidal Sassoon, called the Quiet Traveler. It was super quiet! And yet, so powerful! I resolved to get this one. Except, as you can see from the link, it is no longer available anywhere.

I despaired. I needed a hair dryer asap. Thinking to myself, oh I’ll just get a cheap one from Target–all these American brands are the same anyway–then when I or someone takes a trip to Taiwan, I’ll just get one from there and forget about this one. So I bought the most basic 1875W Conair folding dryer.

It took only a day for me to decide to return it for another one. It was horrible–the cord was retractable, but after a day, it decided that it wouldn’t retract. Plus, the cord was horribly short–how was I supposed to dry my hair with such a short cord? And the hair that it blew out was luke warm. I went to bed with wet hair–and woke up with a headache. Plus, even on low power, it was super loud. No, this wouldn’t do. I knew I had to do my homework.

I spent a good amount of time at work researching hair dryers and reading reviews. There are so mnay things to consider when you buy a hair dryer! Ionic, ceramic, heat settings, intensity settings, folding, full size, the list goes on and on. I finally settled on the Revlon Matte Chrome Full Size Dryer, which got good reviews and was only $4 more than that disaster of a Conair hair dryer.

I am pleased to say that the Revlon exceeded my expectations. The low setting is powerful enough to dry my hair on high heat–and on high, the noise level is comparatively low! The only downside is that it doesn’t fold, so it’s hard to store, but I am quite satisfied with this one.

The moral of the story is, don’t try to cut corners, especially with things that directly affect yourself! And do your research. I only spent $4 more on a far superior product. (Though in retrospect, I might have gotten a defective hair dryer the first time around…the packaging was already undone and what cord breaks after one day? And if it was new, how did it not blow hot air? But nevermind that.) Oh humanity. How vain we are.