What to look for when buying a hair dryer

December 17, 2014

Luxurious hair begins with safe and effective blow drying. Choose a dryer with the features recommended by professionals to avoid common hair problems and make your hair care routinely hassle-free.

Types of hair dryers

Ionic: Blow dryers produce either positive or negative ions to eliminate moisture. Less expensive hair dryers that produce positive ions can leave hair damaged. An ionic hair dryer with a ceramic or tourmaline heating element produces negative ions that break up water molecules, penetrating the outer hair shaft to keep hair sleek and flexible.

Ceramic: A ceramic hair dryer contains parts made of clay or a similar mineral substance. When heated, it produces negative ions which dry hair gently and eliminate static electricity. Ceramic parts may be treated with tourmaline.

Tourmaline: A tourmaline hair dryer contains the highest quantity of a semi-precious gemstone that creates negative ions to dissipate moisture and protect hair from becoming too dry and brittle. This reduces drying time and gives hair a smooth finish.

Far infrared: Infrared dryers use ultraviolet (UV) rays to penetrate deep into the shaft, drying hair faster from the inside out, with minimal damage to follicles. Unlike other types of hair dryers, infrared models also clean hair by eliminating bacteria and product build up.

Hair dryer features

  • Wattage: Higher wattage means more power and faster drying
  • Heat settings: Control airflow temperature from coolest to hottest
  • Speed settings: Control airflow intensity from gradual to rapid drying
  • Handle: May be fixed in place or hinged so it folds for compact storage
  • Power cord: Should be long enough to reach your power outlet and allow freedom of movement

Factors to consider when buying a hair dryer

Hair type and length: Look for a more powerful hair dryer if you have thick, coarse hair. You can get by with less power if your hair is naturally thin, straight or delicate.

Usage: A powerful hair dryer with multiple settings and a fixed ergonomic handle is best for home use.

Portability: Look for a cordless hair dryer or travel hair dryer if you’re always on the go.

Quality: Quality hair dryers contain a ceramic heating element infused with tourmaline.

Hair dryer accessories

Diffusers: A hair dryer diffuser attachment channels airflow over a broader area when you want to add volume to your hair and avoid concentrating heat on one spot.

Concentrators: The opposite of a diffuser, a concentrator attachment focuses airflow on a specific spot to tighten curls and create waves.

Hair styling tools: Brushes with different bristle patterns and shapes allow you to style hair while blow drying.

Hair drying tips

  • Apply a heat protectant product to your hair before drying
  • Avoid using the highest heat setting on your blow dryer
  • Use the lowest heat setting if you have fine or fragile hair
  • Switch to the cool setting when hair is almost dry to seal the hair shaft

Choose a hair dryer that suits your type and style of hair. Modern technology makes it easier than ever to blow dry your hair at home while protecting it from damage.

What to look for when buying a hair dryer
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