So this morning I was about half done blow drying my hair when my hair dryer just completely died. It wasn't even very old, and I was running it on the low setting, but it just stopped. So I had to pull out my little compact travel dryer just to make myself presentable for work, and now I need a new dryer.
Dryers come in a wide price range. I have to say, its been my experience, that all my less than $40 hair dryers have worked and worked, and then this one, which was retailing for more than twice that (though I didn't pay that, I had a coupon) lasted me a year. So cost does not necessarily buy quality.
In general, spending some money on your hair styling heat tools will pay off in less heat damage and healthier, more enviable hair. And better tools also save you time because they work more efficiently. Some blow-dryers can even cut drying time in half, which saves your hair from excess heat (and the rest of you from heat too: ever tried drying your hair when you're still hot from a workout? The sweating is counterproductive.)
The key is finding a drying in your price range that incorporates new technology of ions and ceramic or tourmaline, and with heat output of at least 1800 watts. An ionic blow-dryer produces negative ions that surround your hair, cutting frizz and pulling the water out of your hair faster. Ceramic and tourmaline are both coatings that are used to cover the heating coils of the dryer to protect hair from heat damage. Both are musts for keeping hair shiny. Also, be sure it has a separate nozzle attachment for directing heat more specifically (that's how you get sleek, shiny hair).
Resources for this post: How to Look Expensive: A Beauty Editor's Secret to Getting Gorgeous without Breaking the Bank, by Andrea Pomperantz Lustig; http://www.consumersearch.com/hair-dryers/reviewhttp://www.girlishh.com/how-to-blow-dry-hair-with-a-brush/