The Hot Tools Pro Signature Salon Ionic AC motor hair dryer is powerful and fast for drying hair, while also helping to reduce frizz. It’s comfortable to use, plus the UK version comes with a dual plug, which is good news for travellers. However, it lacks a premium finish, the cable is shorter-than-average, and the filter can’t be removed, which makes it more difficult to clean.
Fast drying times
Simple to use
UK version comes with dual plug
Filter isn’t removable
Lacks a premium feel
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Hot Tools probably isn’t a name you’re familiar with when it comes to the hair-care market. It certainly doesn’t have the same legacy as brands such as Panasonic and Remington. However, the salon-brand, which first launched in the US around 30 years ago before reaching the UK and Europe in mid-2021, is hoping to give its rivals a run for its money with a range of hair-care appliances including hair dryers, hair straighteners, and Dyson Airwrap alternatives.
The Hot Tools Pro Signature Salon Ionic AC motor hair dryer, which is known as the Hot Tools Pro Signature Salon 1875 Watts Ionic AC Motor Hair Dryer in the US, is one of the brand’s most affordable hair dryers. It offers three temperature and two air flow settings, along with a cool shot button for setting styles.
It’s powered by an AC (alternating current) motor, which Hot Tools says dries hair up to 40% faster than a DC (direct current motor), although AC motors are heavier than DC models.
The 2000W hair dryer also comes with a diffuser and a concentrator nozzle, enabling you to create everything from bouncy curls to sleek and smooth tresses. In addition, this hair dryer generates and releases negative ions into the air flow in order to seal and flatten the hair cuticle, keeping frizz at bay.
At £69.99 / $49.99, the Hot Tools Pro Signature Salon Ionic AC motor hair dryer is one of the more affordable models we’ve tested, making it great for those who hanker after smooth hair on a budget.
Hot Tools Pro Signature Salon Ionic AC motor hair dryer price and availability
- RRP: £69.99 / $49.99
The Hot Tools Pro Signature Salon Ionic AC motor hair dryer – or the Hot Tools Pro Signature Salon 1875 Watts Ionic AC Motor Hair Dryer in the US – costs £69.99 / $49.99 and is available direct from Hot Tools or online retailers including Amazon.
The brand’s top-of-the-range hair dryer, the Hot Tools Pro Artist Black Gold AC Ionic Dryer, uses infrared to heat the hair more gently, leading to less heat damage. It’s priced at £129.99 / $129.99.
- Three temperature and two speed settings
- Comes with two attachments
- Dust filter isn’t removable
The Hot Tools Pro Signature Salon Ionic AC motor hair dryer looks just as you’d expect such an appliance to look, with a wide barrel that tapers into a smaller opening at the front, and a handle. Measuring 27 x 22 x 6.3cm / 10.6 x 8.7 x 2.5 inches, and weighing in at 565g / 1.3lbs, it certainly isn’t the bulkiest or heaviest hair dryer we’ve seen. That said, we did experience some arm ache when using the hair dryer on its lowest temperature level, due to the length of time it took to dry hair.
The hair dryer offers 2000W of power in the UK, alongside three temperature settings and two speed levels. However, the US model only offers 1875W of power. Both versions include a cool-shot button that delivers a blast of cold air to set your style.
The hair dryer comes bundled with two attachments: a concentrator nozzle for creating smooth, sleek styles, and a diffuser that disperses the air stream to avoid disrupting the pattern of curly hair, which can lead to frizz. The power cord, which measures 2m / 6ft, is shorter than many hair dryers on the market, although the hanging loop, often found on salon hair dryers, is a nice touch. There’s also a dust filter on the back of the hair dryer; however, this isn’t removable, which makes it difficult to clean.
The UK model ships with a dual plug, so the appliance can easily be used in EU countries without the need for an adapter.
- Fast drying times
- Ionic technology reduces frizz
- Balanced in use
The Hot Tools Pro Signature Salon Ionic AC motor hair dryer certainly isn’t sluggish when it comes to drying times on its hottest setting. It took 4 minutes and 11 seconds to take below-shoulder-length fine hair from damp to completely dry. Reducing the temperature to a slightly lower setting added only a further 34 seconds to the drying time.
However, at the lowest temperature setting, which is a similar temperature to the cold-shot setting, we had to abandon the test since hair still wasn’t dry after six minutes. On the two hottest settings, locks were left smooth with very few fly-away strands – proof that the ionic technology certainly does help to keep frizz at bay. However, our hair lacked the shine we’ve achieved with other hair dryers.
The Hot Tools Pro Signature Salon Ionic AC motor hair dryer felt balanced in the hand when blow-drying hair, and was comfortable to hold, in both the left and right hands (we switched hands, depending upon the side of the head being styled). However, we accidentally hit the cool-shot button on several occasions while adjusting our grip of the unit to dry the hair’s roots.
In terms of noise, on the fastest speed setting the hair dryer registered 76dB on our decibel meter. This puts it middle-of-the-range when it comes to noisy hair-care appliances, with levels similar to those from a vacuum cleaner. However, since the hair dryer is likely to be on for only a few minutes at a time, it shouldn’t bother too much.
Should I buy the Hot Tools Pro Signature Salon Ionic AC motor hair dryer?
Buy it if...
You want to reduce frizz for less
For those on a budget, this is one of the cheapest hair dryers we’ve tested with ionic technology.
You want a choice of attachments
With both a diffuser and a concentrator nozzle, this hair dryer can be used to create a range of styles including volumized bouncy locks, and smooth, sleek tresses.
You travel frequently
The UK version of this hair dryer comes with a dual plug, which means it can be used in Europe without an adapter.
Don't buy it if...
You prefer stylish hair-care appliances
The Hot Tools Pro Signature Salon Ionic AC motor hair dryer might be more affordable than many models in our best hair dryer list, but it isn’t one of the most stylish. Not only does the rubberized casing look a tad budget, it marks easily too.
You want an easy-to-clean hair dryer
With no removable filter, this hair dryer certainly isn’t easy to clean. If that’s a priority, look elsewhere.
You need a long power cable
If your power outlet isn’t close to where you dry your hair, then at 2m / 6ft, this hair dryer’s shorter-than-average cable may make this appliance unsuitable for your needs.
First reviewed: March 2022
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Carrie-Ann Skinner was formerly Homes Editor at TechRadar, and has more than two decades of experience in both online and print journalism, with 13 years of that spent covering all-things tech. Carrie specializes in smart home devices such as smart plugs and smart lights, as well as large and small appliances including vacuum cleaners, air fryers, stand mixers, and coffee machines. Carrie is now a copy editor at PWC.