Which hand luggage hairdryer will BLOW you away?

Which hand luggage hairdryer will BLOW you away? Claudia Connell gives her verdict on the best hair styling tools for holiday

  • Claudia Connell tested a selection of the latest hair styling tools for travelling 
  • She was impressed with Babyliss Travel Pro which dried hair within 9 minutes
  • She says Superdrug Travel Hairdryer lacks power needed for styling thick hair 
  • Claudia was also pleased with Remington Air Plates Compact straightner

Whether you’re travelling light for a weekend break or taking only hand luggage on holiday, space is always at a premium when packing.

Certainly, the last thing anyone wants is to take up half their suitcase with bulky grooming gadgets. Hotel hair dryers are notoriously temperamental and while travel dryers are nothing new, in the past they’ve been flimsy, low on power and ineffective.

But now electronics companies have raised their game, introducing new ranges of travel dryers and straighteners that promise as much power as their full-sized counterparts.

Claudia Connell (pictured) shared her views on a selection of the latest hair styling tools suitable for travelling with on holidays and weekend getaways

Most now also come with universal voltage, meaning they will work just as efficiently in countries (like the U.S.) that use a different voltage to us.

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My hair is incredibly thick and curly (to give you an idea, it takes seven hours to dry naturally and 60 minutes to straighten with my usual irons) so I consider myself to be the ultimate test for any hair drying and styling device.

Here’s how I got on when I tested the latest travel tools…


Babyliss Travel Pro Hair Dryer, £40, babyliss.co.uk.

Weight: 580g.

Drying time: Nine minutes.

Claudia revealed Babyliss Travel Pro Hair Dryer (pictured) was able to tame frizz as well as dry her hair within nine minutes

This dryer, main picture, is hands down the most stylish you’ll find in the shops. 

Matt black with metallic pink trim it has a 1600w motor (full-sized dryers are typically between 2000 and 2400w) and two heat and speed settings. 

Unlike some travel dryers, this feels sturdy and expensive. It dried my hair in nine minutes and, due to its ionic conditioning, kept the frizz nicely tamed as well.



GHD Flight Travel Hair Dryer, £59, ghdhair.com.

Weight: 422g.

Drying time: 20 minutes.

Claudia says GHD Flight Travel Hair Dryer (pictured) was difficult to endure for more than a minute on its highest setting 

Comes with two heat settings, however the hottest felt rather scorching and too much to endure for more than a minute. 

It felt light and easy to use, the handle is foldable and it comes in a very smart protective travel case.

As I had to use the cooler setting it took 20 minutes to dry my hair, even though at 1800w it’s by no means lacking in power. 3/5


T3 Featherweight Compact Dryer, £125, t3haircare.co.uk.

Weight: 575g.

Drying time: Eight minutes.

Claudia claims T3 Featherweight Compact Dryer (pictured) was one of the heaviest dryers she tried. She says it was able to dry her hair quickly but didn’t give any shine

Despite marketing itself on its ‘featherweight’ qualities, the dryer is one of the heaviest I tried. T3 products are expensive because they use a different, patented, airflow system to other models, which they claim cancels static and seals hair cuticles to make it shinier.

With 1800w of power and two speed and heat settings I found it quickly dried my hair and really did reduce frizz and static though I didn’t spot any sign of shine. It’s beautifully quiet but the hefty price tag means it might cost you more than your flight!



Superdrug Travel Hairdryer, £9.99, superdrug.com.

Weight: 320g.

Drying time: 28 minutes.

light as a feather, this dryer weighs no more than a pair of chunky flip-flops and costs even less. However, at 1200w it was lacking in power and no use at all to somebody with extremely thick hair.

But you can’t balk at the bargain price, making it a great choice for kids or people with fine hair. It’s worth noting that it doesn’t have universal voltage so would only be suitable for use in European countries. 2/5


Andrew Barton Travel Dryer, £19.99, argos.co.uk

Weight: 440g.

Drying time: Seven minutes.

Claudia says Andrew Barton Travel Dryer (pictured) was able to deliver a salon quality finish

I was blown away — almost literally — by the might of this machine. At 2000w it’s as powerful as most full-sized dryers.

It delivered a salon quality dry while still feeling light to handle and taking up hardly any space in your luggage.

My hair was bone dry in seven minutes with no sign of static or frizz. Amazing.



Remington Air Plates Compact, £60, very.co.uk

Weight: 391g.

Styling time: 45 minutes.

Claudia claims Remington Air Plates Compact (pictured) was able to straighten large chunks of her hair at once for a speedy finish 

Remington launched their revolutionary ‘Air Plates’ straightener last year. Instead of being fixed, the plates are suspended away from the outer casing to give maximum contact with the hair.

The compact version heats to 200c (30 degrees lower than the full sized version but still impressive) in 30 seconds.

The plates take some getting used to after using fixed ones and I scalded my fingers a couple of times.

However, the design meant I was able to get huge chunks of my hair into the plates and two glides were enough to get it straight without it feeling singed. 5/5


Glamoriser Free-Styler, £69.99, glamoriser.com

Weight: 250g.

Styling time: Four minutes for fringe only.

Cordless and so compact they fit into the palm of your hand, these little straighteners have been a lifesaver during the recent heatwave as they’re small enough to carry in a handbag. Ready to use in two minutes, they have two heat settings and reach 200c.

The plates are infused with oil to eliminate frizz and you can get up to four hours from a single charge.

I found them great for re-touching my fringe but the small size of the plates wouldn’t make them suitable for straightening thick hair from scratch.


Claudia says GHD Mini Professional Styler (pictured) is most suited towards bobs and fringes


GHD Mini Professional Styler, £119, ghdhair.com

Weight: 320g.

Styling time: Three minutes for fringe only.

Not strictly a travel straightener, the minis are full length but the slender half-inch plates mean they weigh less than traditional GHDs.

Like all GHDs, they heat to 185c in under 30 seconds — which they believe is the optimum level, as any hotter damages the hair. They are intended for short hair styles or fringes.

It would take an entire fortnight break to straighten my whole head with these but as a fringe and touch-up tool they were speedy and efficient.


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