It’s easy to believe all blow dryers are pretty much the same, but there’s a lot more than meets the eye. Certainly, the end goal of these devices is to dry your hair, but that’s about the only similarity. Through the advances of technology, modern dryers contain a number of features that truly change the process of hair drying. Understanding those differences is key to making an educated decision when buying a dryer, so you can find the model that best fits your hair-care needs. For example, the Panasonic Nanoe releases ions that restore moisture to your hair, the Conair Infinity Pro features a twistable handle that makes it easy to store when you are on the go and the Revlon Tourmaline dryer uses a tourmaline ionic heating element to quickly dry your hair.
While the technology of any portable hair dryer varies, the way they function is virtually the same. Dryers use a fan to pull cool air into the unit and then direct it through a heated coil that boosts the air’s temperature. The now-warm air is then forced out of the nozzle at a high speed into your hair. Apart from the process of heating air, that’s where the similarities end and the following differences should be considered.
The technology used to heat the air is typically the defining point of most hair dryers, as they influence the air being directed through the unit. For example, a metal element creates a very dry and uneven heat. Ceramic elements use far-infrared rays to heat hair from the inside out, which is much more gentle than a simple blast of heat. Tourmaline elements heat evenly, helping hair retain its shininess and reducing frizz. They also diffuse positive ions, which kills static electricity and quickly dries hair without cooking it.
The wattage of even the best blow dryer ultimately acts as a measurement of heat output. The higher a dryer’s wattage, the faster it will dry your hair. Short or fine hair benefits most from a low wattage, whereas curly and heavy hair would require a higher wattage. Don't always assume a higher heat output is best unless your hair needs it, as the hottest units could damage hair.
A hair blower should have more to it than a simple on-and-off button. Many people prefer dryers with multiple settings that allow you to adjust speed and even heat. Some users even want a unit with a “cool shot” setting that doesn’t rely on the use of the heating element and simply blows room-temperature air.
Hair dryers oftentimes include additional accessories to expand their use to a wide range of consumers. For example, individuals with curly hair will want a dryer with a diffuser. On the other hand, straight-haired users will want a nozzle. Each dyer will come with a wide range of accessories to redirect air flow and better dry your hair.
The best hair dryer is largely dependent on your hair care needs. Each person has different hair types and thus must consider different solutions to keeping those luscious locks healthy and voluminous.