Drybar vs. Revlon: Which Blowdry Brush Will Really Give You a Salon Finish?

An editor puts both to the test

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Image by Dasha Burobina

Ever since I got my first Conair blowdryer in the third grade, I’ve had one hair goal: achieve the perfect blowout. Thankfully, the hair tool game has gotten a major upgrade since my orange InfinitiPro. Whereas I used to need a round brush, flat iron and curling iron to get the fluffy hair look (see: Cher from Clueless), now, I only need my blowdry brush to replicate the flip and bounce I’m going for.

That said, there are numerous options to choose from—and the influencers on TikTok all have different recommendations on which one to get. At first, I was lured by Revlon's one-step plus, which promised frizz-free results and smoother, shinier locks. Then, I started seeing people raving over the volume and body Drybar's double shot brush delivered.

I wasn't sure which one would yield a better at-home blowout, so I decided to put both blow dry brushes to the test.

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How I Tested the Blowdry Brushes

For both tests, I made sure my hair was freshly washed with my normal shampoo and conditioner. Then, after towel-drying, I applied the Color Wow Dream Coat, as I always do before I blow-dry my hair. I dried it in four sections, working my way up from the ends to the roots, rolling the barrel of the brush [up? in? which direction are you rolling the barrel?] on the last pass. I wanted to make sure that each brush could: A) straighten my curls from root to tip, B) add some volume without causing frizz and C) make the ends bouncy and flipped out, the way it looks after a trip to the salon.

  • Value: 17/20
  • Functionality: 19/20
  • Ease of Use: 19/20
  • Aesthetics: 20/20
  • Lasting Power: 20/20
  • TOTAL: 95/100

The first thing I noticed when I unboxed this beauty? It had a 360-degree oval-shaped barrel with a perfect, 2.44-inch diameter. With other tools I’ve tried, I’ve noticed that they look more like an inflated paddle board. Most aren’t actually round—they’re somewhat two-dimensional, making it harder to maneuver when I’m styling from root to tip. Drybar’s barrel, however, made it feel just like the round brush I’d normally use with a blow dryer—only it cut my styling time in half.

After just 15 minutes of styling time, I was blown away (pun intended) by how fast this thing dried my hair. According to the brand, there are “strategically-placed vents that provide maximum airflow for a faster blowout,” and they weren’t lying. After towel-drying and brushing my hair with a detangling comb, I sectioned it into four layers from top to bottom. It took about two to three passes to get each section of hair completely dry, and I’d do a fourth run to get the flip right on the bottom. Again, the entire process took no longer than 15 minutes and my hair definitely had that salon-quality volume. When I woke up the next morning, it still looked pretty fresh. After I went over the front section, it looked just as full as it did before I slept on it (without me having to add more product in).

drybar revlon 2

The only downside is that a larger barrel means there's less focus on frizz and fly-aways. Since the wide barrel is made to tackle larger sections of hair, it doesn’t target the smaller, front pieces that are prone to curling or frizzing. Granted, this is a problem I’ve always had with larger brushes, and it’s the price you pay for a more voluminous finish overall (more on that below).  

On the flip side, the biggest selling point for this brush is its construction, which features a combination of nylon and tufted bristles. This creates great tension, while allowing you to pass the brush through the hair without getting caught in tangles or knots. And despite its larger barrel, it's surprisingly lightweight and has an ergonomic handle, so I didn't have to take breaks between sections like I normally do.

All in all, I would say this is a great option for anyone who’s looking to replicate a classic, voluminous blowout at home. While it might not target frizz as much as I’d hoped, the lasting styling power, fast-drying vents and sturdy bristles make it one of the most effective tools I’ve tried. Sure, it’s on the pricier side at $155 a pop, but I've found that it's worth the initial cost, given the results.

  • Value: 20/20
  • Functionality: 18/20
  • Ease of Use: 18/20
  • Aesthetics: 18/20
  • Lasting Power: 17/20
  • TOTAL: 91/100

Let’s start by stating the obvious: This brush is an absolute steal at $34. I have to admit, I was skeptical that it wouldn’t deliver on its frizz-free promises, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Thanks to its negative ion technology, the brush permeates the hair to lock in moisture and diminish frizz, delivering a smooth and shiny finish. Plus, the ceramic titanium barrel ensures an even heat distribution, which helps mitigate damage, and I loved how it had three heat/speed settings with a cool shot button to lock everything in.

drybar revlon 4

When it came to styling my front pieces, this guy was definitely the winner. Not only did it eliminate all of my flyaways, but it also delivered exceptional shine (which is hard to achieve on my overprocessed money piece highlights). The nylon pin and tufted bristles also made it easy to pass the brush through each strand without snagging.

Where this guy falls behind the Drybar brush is total styling time and volume. Though it didn’t take too long to dry my entire head with the one-step—about 25 minutes from start to finish—it took an extra few passes on each section to get that flip on the ends I was going for. And on that note, the paddle shape of the barrel definitely yielded less volume overall. I noticed that the final result was flatter, which made sense, given how effective it was at smoothing down my frizz.

Although the One-Step didn’t offer the bounce I was looking for, it more than made up for it in the sleek and shine department. It's also worth mentioning that this brush is great for anyone who has curly hair like me. The next morning, my hair was still straight and lustrous–and I barely had to go over it in the morning. There was virtually zero frizz or re-curling throughout the night, which was a major plus.

Drybar Double Shot vs. Revlon One-Step: Which One is Better?

TBH, you can’t go wrong with either, which is why I currently use both in my routine. I find that the Drybar brush delivers a classic blowout with more volume and flip in all of the right places—and the results last a few days, so you can reduce the amount of heat exposure you put your hair through. That said, if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, the Revlon is no slouch. It really is an all-in-one tool that's great for anyone who’s looking to reduce frizz and increase shine. Again, what really separates the two brushes are the price and the amount of volume you get from each, so consider what type of hair you have and what finish you desire most. If you're looking for max volume, it might be worth it to invest in the Drybar Double-Shot, whereas if you prefer a smoother, sleeker look (and you're on a budget), the Revlon One-Step could be the better choice.

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Associate Editor

Sydney Meister is PureWow's Associate Editor, covering everything from dating trends and relationship advice (here's looking at you, 'soonicorns') to interior design, beauty...

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