Following more than a decade in the reviews business, it's rare for a product to surprise us. The Blow hair dryer from mdlondon is lightweight yet feels luxurious; it's compact yet powerful; and it gave our fine hair the shine, volume and bounce we crave. It isn't perfect – its design and price won't be to everyone's taste – but it's a strong entry in an increasing sea of competition.
Considered, intuitive design
Compact but powerful
Adds volume and bounce
Slower drying speeds than its rivals
Mixed results when styling
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We've been reviewing the best hair dryers (and many other appliances and gadgets) for more than a decade now, and we often feel like we've seen it all. Many brands turn to gimmicks to stand out in a crowd, but oftentimes these gimmicks fall flat or fail to shift the dial.
On first impression, we felt the T-shaped design of the mdlondon Blow was just that – a gimmick. A way to stand out, but not really delivering on any other front. However, following two weeks of daily use, we can admit we were wrong. This unusual design makes the hair dryer well balanced and comfortable in the hand. It deliver the space for a powerful motor to be added to a surprisingly lightweight and compact design. Plus, the position of the handle and placement of the buttons make this hair dryer super-intuitive. The matte finish and copper accents add to its overall aesthetic.
When it comes to performance, the results are more mixed. The mdlondon Blow isn't the fastest dryer we've used, nor is it great at rough drying hair; it left our hair frizzy and limp. Yet when used with the concentrator nozzle and a round blow-drying brush, it created the kind of shine, volume and bounce typically only achievable from a visit to the salon – and that's with our less-than-average blow-drying skills. This is rare and was a welcome surprise.
All of this does come at a price, however. At $236 / £195 / AU$342 , the mdlondon Blow is at the upper end of the spectrum for hair dryers, and this will put it out of reach for many people. We're also aware that the industrial design won't be to everyone's taste.
We don't think any amount of features and performance can ever truly warrant spending $242 / £200 / AU$350 on a hair dryer, but given that's the world we now live in, the mdlondon Blow is at least a worthwhile investment.
mdlondon Blow price and availability
- mdlondon Blow hair dryer: $236 / £195 / AU$342
- Available in UK and ROI only
The Blow hair dryer costs $236 / £195 / AU$342 and is available in the UK and ROI in two colors, blue and green. It ships with two magnetic directional nozzles – a smaller, shorter nozzle for styling fringes, quiffs and short hair; plus a longer nozzle for more controlled, sleek blow-drys. A magnetic diffuser attachment is sold separately for £30 / £25 / AU$44.
The closest hair dryer to mdlondon's Blow dryer for design, price and features is the £180/$260/AU$315 Beauty Works Aeris. Both the Aeris and Blow are debut dryers from their respective brands and sport the same boxy, industrial outlines. They're travel-friendly and lightweight, and both promise a frizz-free finish in record time.
The Blow hair dryer also sits in the same ballpark as hair giant Cloud Nine's £199/AU$399 Airshot Pro, and is slightly more expensive than the £179/$279/AU$330 GHD Helios.
mdlondon Blow design
- Lightweight and compact
- T-shaped design
- Three heat settings and two speeds
Here are the specifications for the mdlondon Blow:
Speed settings: Three
Heat settings: Three
Hanging loop: No
Cord length: 1.8m
Cool shot: Yes
Attachments: Two concentrator nozzles. Diffuser sold separately
Ever since the Dyson Supersonic changed how hair dryers look, an increasing number of brands have pushed the boundaries in terms of their own designs. The mdlondon Blow takes this a step further.
Having the filter at the end of a longer barrel, rather than in the handle (as is the case with the Dyson Supersonic) or at the end of a shorter barrel (as seen on the Aeris and rounded dryers) is also a small, but significant benefit. It prevents you from accidentally blocking the airflow mid-style and you're less likely to suck your hair toward it by mistake. e weighted towards the nozzle. With the Blow, the front and back are almost identical in length, for a more uniform design. We prefer this symmetry because it makes the mdlondon Blow balanced and comfortable to use, as well as eas y to store and pack in a suitcase.
Having the filter at the end of a longer barrel, rather than in the handle (as is the case with the Dyson Supersonic) or at the end of a shorter barrel (as seen on the Aeris and rounded dryers) also brings a small but notable benefit. It prevents you from accidentally blocking the airflow mid-styling, and you're less likely to suck your hair towards it by mistake.
The cool-shot button is positioned at the top of the Blow's handle, on the underside of the T-shaped barrel, while the three heat and two airflow controls and the power button sit flush on the side. This layout is meant to make it easier to switch between controls mid-style, with the buttons positioned where your thumb more naturally sits. The flush nature of the buttons allows you to easily grip the Blow's handle and rotate your hand without having to navigate chunky buttons, and prevents accidental switching between modes. The cool shot can then be comfortably pressed and held using your index finger.
Both the barrel width and the handle length measure 7in/18cm. The barrel extends to 9.5 inches (24cm) with the magnetic nozzles attached, and the circumference of the handle is 4.25 inches (11cm).
Weight-wise, the Blow is refreshingly compact and remarkably light. Weighing in at 0.79lbs/360g without its cable, not only is it a comfortable dryer to hold and maneuver for long periods, but it won't take up much space or weight in a travel case. It's more than half the weight of the 1lb 11oz (780g) GHD Helios, and notably lighter than the 1lb 3oz (560g) Dyson Supersonic. On paper, it's slightly heavier than the 0.66lb/300g Aeris, but during use this difference is immaterial.
The attachments connect magnetically to the front of the barrel. The force is strong enough to hold the attachments still and in place while styling, but also enables you to snap them on and off with ease.
Color-wise, the model is available in two options: blue and green, with copper-colored branding and buttons. Both have a matte finish; it's unusual and gives the appliance a luxury feel.
In our view, there's little fault to be found with the mdlondon Blow's design, but it is an acquired taste. Its industrial look won't suit everyone – it may be a step too far for hair dryer traditionalists.
mdlondon Blow performance
- Comfortable to use
- Adds volume and bounce
Our go-to hair dryer is the Revlon One-Step dryer – it's the benchmark against which we test the speed and performance of all other hair dryers. This is because it dries and styles our mid-length fine hair in just three minutes, leaving it looking bouncy and healthy.
In comparison, the mdlondon Blow falls a little short. When rough drying our hair straight out of the shower, the Blow took our hair from wet to dry in a little over five minutes. When used with a round brush and the larger of the two concentrator nozzles, this increased to six and a half minutes.
If we then compare the mdlondon Blow with more traditional hair dryers (as opposed to a hot brush), the Beauty Works Aeris takes your hair from wet to dry in an average of 2 minutes and 3 seconds. The Dyson Supersonic is around 30 seconds faster than the Blow, yet the latter is almost three times faster than the 12-15 minutes seen with the Panasonic EH-NA65.
All of our drying tests with the Blow were carried out using the middle, 80-degree heat setting since this is the preferred setting for our hair type and porosity. If your hair is thinner or damaged, we recommend using the lower, 60-degree heat setting. If your hair is thicker or longer, you'll likely better suit the top, 100-degree setting. The drying times for the Blow will therefore vary, depending on which setting is used for which hair type and length.
After rough drying with the mdlondon Blow, our hair was noticeably more frizzy than usual after drying. This was disappointing, especially since the Blow features ionic technology which is meant to prevent, or at least lessen, the appearance of frizz.
That said, when we used the concentrator nozzle and spent time blow-drying our hair properly, the finish was super- impressive. Our hair looked shiny, felt smooth, and had a surprising amount of volume and bounce. Typically, when any hair dryer dries the hair quickly, you'll have to sacrifice bounce and movement. As a result, we'll take the marginally longer drying time to get the mdlondon Blow's styling prowess. It was both welcomed and unexpected.
The attachments all worked well during use. They didn't twist or move and, despite the temperatures being emitted from the dryer, neither the barrel nor the attachments ever became too hot. It's easy to switch attachments mid-style without having to wait for them to cool down, too.
Speaking of cooling, the cool-shot button on the mdlondon Blow works well to set your style. The air doesn't come out cold straight away, but when it does cool down, it's noticeable, refreshing and smooths the hair with ease.
Mdlondon claims the Blow is "quiet" – but doesn't specify what that means. In our tests, when a decibel app was placed six inches from the Blow on its fastest setting, the hair dryer recorded 72db for noise. For comparison, the Dyson Supersonic registered 74db on our decibel meter, while the Remington Hydraluxe Pro EC9001, topped out at 82db.
mdlondon Blow score card
|Design||The design is considered and intuitive but won't appeal to everyone||4.5/5|
|Performance||Fantastic at blow-drying, poor at rough-drying||4/5|
|Value||Great features but not without fault for the high price||3/5|
Should I buy?
Buy it if...
You want a powerful yet compact hair dryer
The mdlondon Blow is lightweight and compact, without sacrificing performance and speed.
You can’t afford a Dyson Supersonic
The Blow doesn't quite live up to the speed or performance of the Dyson Supersonic but it's close, for £100 cheaper.
You like strikingly designed dryers
While the mdlondon Blow's design won't suit everyone, it's unique and this will appeal to people looking to make a statement with their appliances.
Don't buy it if...
The mdlondon Blow isn't a slow dryer, but it's slower than a number of its rivals. Especially if you have long or thick hair.
You're on a budget
While the Blow is a great hair dryer, £195 is a huge amount of money to spend – especially if you're on a budget.
You're a traditionalist
The design of the mdlondon Blow is an acquired taste, and a significant step away from the traditional hair dryer design.
- First reviewed: January 2023
Victoria Woollaston is a freelance science and technology journalist with more than a decade’s experience writing for Wired UK, Alphr, Expert Reviews, TechRadar, Shortlist and the Sunday Times. She has a keen interest in next-generation technology and its potential to revolutionise how we live and work.