Hair Dryers: 6 Things to Know Before You Buy

August 25, 2014

Hair Dryers: 6 Things to Know Before You Buy


The hair dryer you choose has a definite impact on the appearance of your hair. A quality hair dryer not only removes moisture, it gives you styling options and leaves your locks sleek and supple. The following blow dryer facts will help you choose the best model for your mane.

1. Heating element         

Today’s hair dryers feature state-of-the-art heating technology that makes styling your hair a breeze–literally and figuratively. Look for ionic models with heating elements made of ceramic. Coils made of ceramic heat evenly for fast, uniform drying. 

Ionic hair dryers use negative ions to neutralize the positive charges that cause frizz and flyaway, which makes for smoother, silkier hair. Those models featuring tourmaline are especially effective, as this semiprecious stone emits even more negative ions than regular ionic hair dryers. High-quality hair dryers with ceramic and ionic capabilities also dry hair more quickly.

2. Wattage

Most nonprofessional hair dryers range from 1,300 to 1,900 watts. If you have thick, coarse hair, you’ll want a dryer on the stronger end, such as 1,700 to 1,900. For thin hair, a dryer with a lower wattage is often best, in order to minimize damage. Generally, the higher the wattage, the faster your hair will dry.

3. Temperature range

Opt for a hair dryer that offers several temperature settings, such as three heat/two speed capabilities, and a cool shot option, which helps set your hairstyle and dries finishing sprays and similar products. The more settings your dryer features, the more flexibility you have for styling and drying. Lower settings tend to cause less damage to the hair and are best used when your hair is damp but not wet.

4. Styling attachments

If you use a hair dryer to style your hair, opt for a model with styling attachments, such as a straightening pic and a concentrator, the latter of which focuses heat in one area, enabling you to effectively straighten your hair with a brush. Diffusers are another helpful attachment, as they tame the frizz in curly and wavy hair and make it bouncy. 

While you can buy such styling items separately, those designed for a system often fit and work the best, giving you the most styling options. 

5. Comfort

If possible, hold the hair dryer to see how it feels in your hand. Also note the overall weight of the dryer, particularly if you use a hair dryer frequently. For ease of styling, opt for a lighter weight model that you can easily grip.

6. Traveling

If you travel quite a bit, you will find specially designed traveling hair dryers. These tend to be lighter in weight, fold, and may have a retractable cord. A great convenience when luggage space is limited.

Now that you know what to look for in a high-quality hair dryer, you can blow yourself away with the hairstyling possibilities.

Julie Bawden-Davis




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