T3 Afar hair dryer review: light, breezy and easy to travel with

This light and compact hair dryer makes an excellent travel companion

T3 AFAR hairdryer on the side
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

Offering 'IonAir' technology to dry hair smooth and six heat and speed combinations, the T3 afar is a versatile hair dryer that's ideal for travel. A foldable handle smoothly clicks into place, making the T3 Afar convenient to pack and store. It also manages to generate a decent amount of power and heat given the compact size. It delivers fast results, and its settings are easy to operate, making it a cinch for tackling post-swim holiday hair.

Pros

  • +

    Foldable handle makes it easy to stow

  • +

    Lightweight, compact design

  • +

    Three heat and two speed settings

  • +

    Auto dual voltage

Cons

  • -

    Only one nozzle included

  • -

    More powerful options if you go bigger

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Two-minute review

T3 sells a range of standard and compact-size hair dryers, with the T3 Afar design marketed as the brand’s travel hair dryer. Having reviewed both the T3 Fit and T3 AireLuxe models, I was interested to see how different an experience the T3 Afar would deliver. 

While the Afar model is very different from the T3 AireLuxe in terms of settings and shape, it does share some similarities to the equally compact T3 Fit. However, the T3 Afar’s foldable handle makes it far more suitable for traveling, and it's easily one of the best hair dryers for that reason. 

Overall, the T3 Afar feels sturdy, which isn’t true of many travel hairdryers. The handle, too, shows no signs of flimsiness, instead feeling smooth, solid and comfortable in the hand.

T3 AFAR hairdryer with luxury travel pouch and nozzle

(Image credit: Future)

Inside the box, you get one concentrator nozzle that clicks onto the body of the T3 Afar and can be adjusted to direct the airflow as you wish. Like both the AireLuxe and Fit models, the Afar has an ion generator that saturates the airflow with negative ions to create a smooth and silky finish when drying hair. I found that while the T3 Afar doesn’t dry hair as quickly as a standard hair dryer, it does produce satisfying results, limiting flyaway hair in the process. 

A travel pouch is also included in the box; it’s made from vegan leather and feels well-crafted and is easy to wipe clean, and sufficiently roomy for storing the folded hair dryer and the styling nozzle. In fact, it even has space for the hairbrush or diffuser attachment, which are sold separately. 

T3 AFAR hairdryer in the box

(Image credit: Future)

T3 Afar hair dryer: price & availability

  • Free 30-day returns 
  • Travel pouch included 
  • 2-year warranty 

The T3 Afar is significantly pricier than the average travel hair dryer you can buy from Amazon, but its ergonomically designed features place it a step above and make it easy to achieve great results.

At the time of writing, you can buy the T3 Afar for $179.99 | £150, which includes a luxury travel pouch and one concentrator nozzle. If you have wavy, curly or coily hair, you may want to add the T3 Afar diffuser attachment, but this is sold separately and costs an extra $25 | £20.

  • Value for money score: 4 out of 5

T3 Afar hair dryer specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
PriceRRP $179.99 / £150
Heat settings 3
Speed settings 2
Cord length 75in / 190cm
Attachments Concentrator (diffuser sold separately)
Wattage1,500
Weight381g

T3 Afar hair dryer review: design

  • Stylish satin blush finish 
  • Foldable handle makes it easy for transporting  
  • Controls are easy to use  

A soft pink, satin blush finish and lightweight design make the T3 Afar both easy to hold and easy on the eye. At 381g, it’s much lighter than your standard hair dryer; however, this not only limits arm ache over prolonged use, but also makes it a great option to pop in your hand luggage when travelling.

In fact, the T3 Afar’s USP is that it’s 25% lighter and 30% smaller than a full-size T3 hair dryer such as the T3 AireLuxe. Size-wise, it’s similar to the T3 Fit, which weighs in at 400g. It’s as compact as the Dyson Supersonic, which is considerably heavier at 659g (read TechRadar's full Dyson Supersonic hair dryer review) As a regular user of the Dyson Supersonic, I found the T3 Afar did feel far lighter in hand and offered a very different drying experience, which took me a few attempts to get used to. However, the results were just as satisfying.

T3 AFAR hairdryer facing forwards

(Image credit: Future)

In particular, I welcome how cleanly the T3 Afar’s handle folds in and out, clicking into place each time. The heat and speed settings are well-positioned, again clicking into position so there’s no risk of accidentally adjusting the settings while in use. 

The T3 Afar’s cord length is ample at 6ft 2, which delivered more than enough flexibility to move around freely when drying my hair at the dressing table. If you really want to be able to roam freely with your hair dryer, there are options with longer cords though (the Supersonic's cord is over 8ft, for instance). 

The T3 Afar is missing a hanging hook with which to store the hair dryer upside down, but since it’s been designed for travel, it may have been deemed unnecessary. However, in the box you do get a vegan leather travel pouch for storage purposes. And since the hair dryer has auto dual voltage, you only need to add a plug adapter when travelling abroad.

  • Design score: 4 out of 5

T3 Afar hair dryer review: performance

  • Ion-infused airstream for fast and gentle drying  
  • Reduces frizz and smooths hair  
  • Flexible heat and speed settings  

As someone who has wavy hair that’s prone to frizz, having a hair dryer that can smooth my hair quickly and easily is a priority. In general, travel hair dryers have a reputation for being flimsy in design and underpowered; but I found the T3 Afar surprisingly powerful, and sturdy and comfortable to use. 

At 1,500 watts, this may not provide as powerful an airflow as a standard hair dryer such as the 1,875-watt T3 AireLuxe, but it can still pack a punch to deliver stylish results. However, like the AireLuxe, the T3 Afar comes with “IonAir” technology. This creates a wide, ion-infused airstream that gently dries hair, while smoothing the hair cuticle to minimize frizz and enhance shine. 

T3 AFAR hairdryer on the side

(Image credit: Future)

Three heat and two speed settings provide plenty of flexibility to style with confidence. I found that switching between the two speed and three heat settings was easy, and while I preferred to ramp up to the highest speed and heat setting to get faster drying results, I can appreciate that the lower settings are beneficial for those drying shorter hair or even children’s hair.

It took me a while to figure out how to use the cool shot – it needs to be clicked into place rather than simply held down – but once familiar, I found that this actually made the whole process of setting a style easier.

T3 AFAR and GHD Helios comparison

(Image credit: Future)

Both the concentrator nozzle and diffuser fit cleanly into position on the head of the hair dryer. I welcome the fact that I could click and turn the concentrator nozzle, meaning I could easily adjust the airflow to suit my styling needs. Being able to channel the airflow more definitively helped me to achieve smoother results when blow-drying and styling more difficult to reach locks at the back of my head. I watched the T3 video on how to create a bouncy blow out and was pleased with the results. The trick is to use a 2-inch round brush and direct the airflow downwards. 

Overall, those used to using a standard hair dryer such as the GHD Helios are likely to find that the T3 Afar will take some getting used to since it doesn’t feel as  satisfying for power. However, as a travel hair dryer capable of producing smooth and stylish results, I found the T3 Afar impressive.

  • Performance score: 4.5 out of 5

Should I buy the T3 Afar?

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Attribute Comment Rating
Design Smooth and stylish, satin blush finish feels premium while the foldable handle feels robust. The T3 Afar is light in the hand, too.4 / 5
Performance With three heat and two speed settings, plus a cool shot, the T3 Afar packs a surprisingly powerful punch for a travel hair dryer. The cool shot is particularly easy to use since it clicks on and off as opposed to having to hold it down. 4 / 5
ValueAbove the average price for a travel hair dryer, but it includes many of the features you’d expect to find on a standard hair dryer. 4 / 5

Buy it if...

You want smooth and shiny results
With an ion-infused airstream, this hair dryer does well to tame frizz and direct the airflow through its concentrator nozzle for stylish results. 

You travel frequently and want a hair dryer that delivers impressive results
It isn’t quite as powerful as a standard hair dryer, but this compact and clean design will give you near professional results when you’re on the go. 

You need a hair dryer that is small and lightweight
At 25% lighter and 30% smaller than a full-size T3 hair dryer, the Afar can be neatly folded and stored in a luxury travel pouch when not in use. 

Don't buy it if...

You want the speed and power of a standard hair dryer
While this hair dryer does well to compete with standard hair dryers in terms of airflow speed, it isn’t quite as powerful. 

You don’t like pink
This hair dryer’s satin blush pink finish may not appeal to all members of a family. If you’re after a travel hair dryer that the whole family can borrow, you may want to opt for a design in a more neutral colorway.   

Also consider...

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 T3 AfarShark SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity DryerT3 AirLuxe hair dryer
Price$179.99 / £150Prices start from $179.99 / £199.99 / AU$559.99$199.99 / £170 / around AU$305
Wattage‎1408W1,700W1,875W
Weight580g / 1.4oz750g / 1.7lb before attachments707g / 1.56lb
Dimensions (W x L x H were applicable)‎55 x 78 x 231mm / ‎5.25 x 3 x 8.25 inches50 x 165 x 200mm / 1.9 x 6.5 x 7.87 inches76 x 199 x 267mm / 7.75 x 3 x 10.5 inches
Cord length190cm / 75in2.44m / 8ft2.7m / 9ft
Heat settings345
Available attachments 1 concentrator nozzle included and T3 Afar diffuser sold separatelyRapidGloss Finisher, Quicksmooth brush, Turbo Concentrator, Express Touchup brush, Defrizzfast DiffuserDrying concentrator, styling concentrator
Image

GHD Flight

This lightweight yet powerful hair dryer is excellent for travel, featuring an excellent foldable design that makes it more compact and easy to pack, and it supports dual voltage so really can be used anywhere in the world. During testing, we found it was quick to dry our hair but couldn’t achieve the shine and smoothness other hair dryers could. 

Read our <a href="https://www.techradar.com/reviews/ghd-flight" data-link-merchant="techradar.com"">GHD Flight review

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T3 AirLuxe

With comfortable grip and a lightweight design, the T3 AirLuxe can create beautiful blowouts. Compared to the Shark SpeedStyle, however, it ships with limited attachments.

Read our <a href="https://www.techradar.com/reviews/t3-airluxe-hair-dryer" data-link-merchant="techradar.com"">T3 AirLuxe review

How I tested the T3 Afar

  • Used the included attachment
  • Tested on long, wavy, frizz-prone hair
  • Testing was done during winter months in the United Kingdom

To test the T3 Afar, I used it for several weeks to dry my hair from wet. I tried both the included concentrator nozzle as well as the additional diffuser, trying different styles and techniques as well as measuring the sound output.

As it's a travel hairdryer, I also put the design through its paces in order to see how durable it is as well as how easy it would be to travel with. 

I've been testing lifestyle devices for years, and have been drying my hair for even longer, so I make sure to prioritize the right things when it comes to reviewing hair dryers; performance, value and design. 

Read more about how we test

  • First reviewed March 2024
Emily Peck
Lifestyle journalist

Emily is a lifestyle journalist who writes for a range of publications including TechRadar, Livingetc, Wired, Ideal Home and GQ. She writes about interior design and smart home, gardens, wellbeing, food and fitness and has tested everything from food processors to paddleboards, and bee hives to the best beds. When she’s not typing away at her computer, she can be found tending to her Dorset-garden, trying the latest water sport at the beach or acting as chauffeur to her two young kids.