As a former ‘carry-on only’ kind of traveler, I would never dream of packing my hair dryer when I travel. In an effort to conserve space and streamline my packing process, I’d eliminate anything that I knew the hotel would already have. That included shampoo and conditioner and of course, a hair dryer. Why take up valuable suitcase space with these items when you don’t really need to cart them along?

Well, after reading this, you might change your mind about that hair dryer …

ABC recently conducted an in-depth investigation about hotel hygiene and there was a surprising finding. It’s been well researched and widely shared that things like the bed spread, remote control and drinking glasses in the bathroom are pretty nasty but until now, the hotel hair dryer has flown quietly under the radar. But according to the results of the ABC study, the hair dryer is one of the dirtiest items in your hotel room.

Microbiologist Chuck Gerba is behind the findings. After swabbing things in nine different hotel rooms in the Los Angeles area, he discovered just how disgusting hair dryers are. In fact, in some cases, the hair dryer in your hotel room might be even dirtier than the toilet, if you can believe that. “There must be some things you can do with a hair dryer that I am not aware of, because some of them were pretty germy,” he said.

So, why are hotel hair dryers so dirty? According to the study’s findings, it’s because the hair dryer is often overlooked when the room is being cleaned. While the toilet might be cleaned after every guest checks out, the hair dryer might not be disinfected for months, maybe even years.

“The biggest concern in a hotel room is picking up cold, flu virus or viruses that cause diarrhea,” Gerba said. “It doesn’t take very many to make you ill.” If the thought of all those germs makes your skin crawl, take precautions to protect yourself. Pack disinfectant wipes in your bag and wipe everything down: Light switches, door handles, the remote control and, apparently, the hair dryer. Or just bring your own!

Below are 8 travel hair dryers to consider packing in your suitcase. My top pick? The Baby Buttercup Travel Blow Dryer from Drybar. There are lots of reasons to love this peppy little hair dryer from Drybar. First, its cheery colour is sure to add a dose of happy to your morning routine. But more importantly, it packs a big punch for a compact travel hair dryer. It features ionic technology, which is said to improve your hair’s condition by reducing the frizz factor and amping up its shine. It’s got a powerful motor to dry hair quickly (unlike a lot of travel hair dryers, which take ages to dry long, thick hair like mine) and folds easily in half, making it nice and compact. Plus, it offers up most of the same features of a regular sized hair dryer like two speed settings, two temperature settings and a button to give your hair a cool shot. I love how lightweight it is and it comes in an adorable canvas travel bag that says ‘I’m full of hot air!’ After reading the results of ABC’s hotel hygiene study, I won’t be leaving home without it again!

1 Baby Buttercup Travel Blow Dryer, Drybar, $135 | 2 Mini Blast Travel Ionic Blow Dryer, Sephora, $26 | 3 Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, Seophora, $399 | 4 Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Travel Dryer, Amazon, $29.99 | 5 Nu.Me Signature Hair Dryer, Target, $89 | 6 Wanderlust Flight Travel Hairdryer, Sephora, $99
 | 7 Mighty Mini Ionic Dryer, Amika, $60
 | 8 Original and Mineral Mini Pink Hairdryer, Net-A-Porter, $50

5 Comments on 8 Travel Hair Dryers That Will Fit in Your Carry-On

  1. Elisabeth M
    September 4, 2017 at 8:58 pm (7 years ago)

    Ew, I had no idea Hotel hair dryers were so gross. Thanks for shedding the light on that for me. Love these picks but the Drybar one is my fave too!

  2. Beth H
    September 5, 2017 at 2:18 pm (7 years ago)

    Great round-up Natalie. That yellow blow dryer from Drybar is so cute

  3. Glad
    September 6, 2017 at 2:14 pm (7 years ago)

    Shipping companies don’t allow hairdryers, my daughter in law always tries to take her dryer, only to have it taken, and returned on disembarking.
    So what do you do?

  4. Michelle Davidson-Park
    September 6, 2017 at 2:29 pm (7 years ago)

    Good to know – thanks for the information. Guess I’ll be packing my hair dryer from now on. (And good excuse to buy one of these!)

  5. Ashlee
    April 15, 2019 at 10:42 am (5 years ago)

    I prefer Karmin.


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