SBB Big Blowout review

Big blowout, small budgets

sbb big blowout hair dryer
(Image: © Future / Josie Watson)

TechRadar Verdict

SBB’s Big Blowout hair dryer is a great, budget-friendly blow dryer but its performance doesn’t go above and beyond the competition at its price point. Still, it’s simple and effective, and will see you through most of your haircare needs.


  • +

    Very simple and easy to use

  • +

    Two speed and four temperature settings

  • +

    Very budget friendly


  • -

    Very basic design

  • -

    Feels very cheap

  • -

    Only one accessory included

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One-minute review

The recently-launched SBB (Salon British Brands) enters a fiercely competitive market gunning to make the best hair dryers, launching with a selection of hair styling products including the SBB Big Blowout hair dryer. For their debut, they’ve kept things simple; SBB’s models are all black, with various pastel accents, and follow conventional form factors. 

This lightweight, powerful styling tool has some respectable specs, given its incredibly affordable price tag. The Big Blowout hair dryer is the longer and more powerful of the two dryers on offer at SBB, with an impressively high power wattage of 2200W and frizz-busting Enhanced Pro air speed, air pressure and airflow. 

It offers four temperature settings, including the cold shot, and two speed settings, as with most commercial hair dryers. You can remove the dust filter on the rear of the dryer to clean it, improving the lifespan of the hair tool significantly,

There were some aspects of the dryer that we felt were lacking. Its 2m cord length is just a little too short to be used freely and easily, there’s no connector to enable the cord to swivel in use for maneuverability, and the supposed macadamia and argan-infused front grille didn’t seem to do much of anything for our hair. 

However, it can’t be denied that for such a cheap dryer, the results are impressive. SBB claims the hair dryer is designed to deliver salon-worthy results, and while we can’t say this was our experience, we found the drying speed to far exceed our expectations for a model at this price point, the level of heat is fantastic and it’s lightweight and durable enough to be travel-friendly.

When comparing the SBB Big Blowout to other popular budget hair dryers like the Hot Tools Pro Signature Salon Ionic AC motor hair dryer, it holds up fairly well, but lacks in the style department and doesn’t accommodate for all hair types, seeing as it only includes a concentrator nozzle and no diffuser. 

SBB Big Blowout: price and availability

  • List price: £39.99

The SBB Big Blowout can be purchased from Argos and Amazon for £39.99, and comes with a 3-year warranty. In the box, you’ll find the hair dryer itself and one accessory - a concentration nozzle. 

Also available in SBB’s range is a Dry & Style 1200W Air Styler (£69.99) and the Quick 2 dry 2000W compact hair dryer (£29.99). It goes without saying that these are supremely budget-friendly prices for a hair dryer, and typically we’d be sceptical about its safety and effectiveness or safety - but rest assured, we didn’t see it doing any damage to our hair in the time we used it. 

Value: 4.5/5

SBB Big Blowout: design

  •  Lightweight and compact 
  •  Plain, if not a little boring, design 
  •  Doesn’t overheat 

The SBB Big Blowout is all black with pops of pastel blue on the cool shot button and pastel pink on the rear grille - slightly at odds with its self-expression-driven branding, however a nice and inoffensive design. Its plastic casing has a shiny finish, and while the look and feel is a little cheap, it doesn’t feel like it will be prone to damage, breakage or overheating.

Despite being a robust dryer, measuring 30 x 22 x 8cm (h x w x d), the Big Blowout is surprisingly lightweight at just 0.47kg, meaning it’s comfortable to hold over long periods, however, we really wish they’d included a swivel cord so you don’t have to fight against the restrictive 2m length. 

On the left side of the handle are the heat and speed switches, and on the inside of the handle, the cool shot button - we found this to be a little awkwardly placed, so if you rely heavily on cool shots to finish your look or have shorter fingers, you might want to shop elsewhere. 

settings and cool shot on the sbb big blowout

The SBB Big Blowout has heat and speed settings, plus a cool shot (Image credit: Future / Josie Watson)

As we mentioned above, the Big Blowout comes with just one accessory - the concentrator nozzle. This snaps onto the main body, though this can sometimes be a little fiddly, and can become a little hot over the course of a longer styling session, so make sure to allow it to cool before removal.

The hair dryer packs a powerful punch of 2200W, granting a more forceful airflow that helps to speed up drying without frizzing the hair.

Design: 3/5

SBB Big Blowout: performance

  •  Helps frizz, but doesn’t get rid of it 
  •  Gets hot quickly 
  •  No noticeable benefit to the oil infusion 

With its powerful high wattage, the SBB Big Blowout performed well on test, making fairly quick work of drying hair. We dried our thick, medium-length hair on its highest setting, which took about 13 minutes from start to finish, which is in line with the average 12-15 minutes it typically takes. 

After drying, the hair was soft and slightly less frizzy than usual, however there was an odd dullness to the hair after each dry. This could be due to the hair’s typically oily nature in combination with the infused macadamia and argan oils, or because the dryer’s maximum heat setting generated a noticeably hotter airflow, but it wasn’t the best side affect. 

We definitely noticed less frizz than with some other budget driers, but it was a fairly marginal difference, and overall we’d say that SBB could do better, seeing as most of its marketing around the Big Blowout has been its frizz-defying capabilities. The cool shot also didn’t quite work as we’d like, either, never quite reaching a low enough temperature to deliver that styling-sealing effect that you want from a quick cold blast.

The concentration nozzle is a great shape and size for hair styling and getting right to the roots for a quick dry, and while it can get a little hot during use, it’s by no means unbearable. The handle remains cool throughout use. When in use, the hair dryer is pretty noisy - it registered highs of 76dB on test, making it a fairly noisy dryer, and it’s that kind of screeching whirl often associated with budget dryers.

To hold, the Big Blowout is pretty comfortable and easy, and with shorter drying times comes the benefit of less arm fatigue - plus, this model is so lightweight you’re likely going to face little challenge here, anyway. However, you’ll want to watch your grip - the side-facing temperature and speed controls are easily switched.

Performance: 4/5

handle on the sbb big blowout

The SBB Big Blowout is comfortable to hold (Image credit: Future / Josie Watson)

SBB Big Blowout: score card

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ValueThe SBB Big Blowout is a great option if you need something simple yet sturdy to travel with, or just aren’t too fussed about bells and whistles. However, we think the price could be even lower, especially if you cut out some of the buzz-wordy features like the oil-infused grille.4.5 / 5
DesignThere’s nothing particularly wrong with the SBB Big Blowout’s design, barring perhaps the oddly placed buttons, it’s just there’s nothing really right about it either. It’s very plain, lacks convenient features like a swivel cord and feels cheaply made. In a word: “meh”.3 / 5
PerformanceThe SBB Big Blowout doesn’t deliver on all of its promises; it can’t eradicate frizz entirely, and we didn’t see any real difference to the shine in our hair. However, it is very powerful, and delivers a pretty quick dry.4 / 5

Should I buy the SBB Big Blowout?

Buy it if...

 You want a more portable hair dryer

The SBB Big Blowout is lightweight and, while it’s not super compact with its long body, when it is in its case it’s the perfect travel companion.

You want something that does the job

One thing we can’t fault the Big Blowout for is that it mostly does what it should; it delivers a good hair-drying experience quickly and effectively for a lower price point than the majority if its competitors. 

You want to reduce your frizz

Does it completely defy frizz, as promised? No, but it does a pretty good job of it for its price point, smoothing out lightly frizzy hair. 

Don't buy it if...

You don’t like a cheap feel

There’s no two-ways about it - the SBB Big Blowout looks and feels very cheap. The design is very basic, plastic-y and unsophisticated, which might not be what you want for your at-home styling station.

You need a strong cool shot

The cool shot on the SBB Big Blowout is lukewarm, at best, meaning you don’t reap the full benefits of a properly cool blast at the end of your styling to lock in your work. 

You need more cord length

It’s not unbearably short, but if you don’t have a well-located plug socket at home, you might struggle to reach your mirror with the SBB Big Blowout’s short 2m cord. 

  • First reviewed: November 2022
Josephine Watson
Managing Editor, Lifestyle

Josephine Watson (@JosieWatson) is TechRadar's Managing Editor - Lifestyle. Josephine has previously written on a variety of topics, from pop culture to gaming and even the energy industry, joining TechRadar to support general site management. She is a smart home nerd, as well as an advocate for internet safety and education, and has also made a point of using her position to fight for progression in the treatment of diversity and inclusion, mental health, and neurodiversity in corporate settings. Generally, you'll find her watching Disney movies, playing on her Switch, or showing people pictures of her cats, Mr. Smith and Heady.