How to choose a hair dryer

hair dryersHave you ever wondered why the very same hair (yours) that looks smooth, sleek and shiny when the stylist blow dries it turns puffy, frizzy and dull when you do it? The secret is not only in the expertise. It is also in the hair dryer.

 

You cannot trust your locks with just any hot-air blowing apparatus. Good hair days come as a result of using a good instrument. Read on to find out what to look for.

 

Ceramic, ionic or tourmaline?

 

Why ceramic: Most modern hair dryers come with ceramic coils because they heat faster and distribute heat more evenly than metal or plastic elements. Infrared ceramic dryers use the technology that penetrates the cortex of hair, heating it from inside out and further reducing drying time.

 

Why ionic: The manufacturers say that ionic dryers emit negative ions (anions) that break up and disperse water’s positively charged ions, preventing frizz and drying the hair faster. Though not all scientists are convinced, women with long, thick, coarse or frizzy hair as a rule swear by ionic dryers.

 

Why tourmaline: The interior of tourmaline dryers is coated with this semi-precious mineral, which shoots out even more negative ions. So, you can think of tourmaline dryers as ionic dryers on steroids (with a correspondingly higher price).

 

And the best choice is: Why, a combination, of course! So, go for ionic plus ceramic (with or without the infrared ingredient), or (if money’s no object) for the tourmaline-boosted ceramic system. However, do note that over-drying with ionic/tourmaline technology can leave your mane looking limp and lifeless. If your hair is naturally straight, fine, flat or oily, you might be better off with a non-ionic, non-tourmaline ceramic hair dryer.

 

Other things to look out for

 

hair dryer

  • Wattage: A blow dryer that falls in the 1300 to 2000 watts range is considered best for home use.
  • Multiple heat settings: Use high heat for thick or coarse hair and to remove excess moisture when the hair is sopping wet. The low setting is perfect for thin or fragile hair, while the “cool shot” button sets the dried hair and boosts the shine. A hair dryer with multiple speed settings is an additional bonus.
  • Attachments: A narrow nozzle is vital for straightening and de-frizzing while a diffuser keeps curls smooth.
  • Cord length: You want to get the dryer to your hair, not to be forced to crane your head towards the dryer.
  • Weight: Lightweight is the code word, especially if your hair is long and thick. If that instrument is anything over feather-weight (figuratively speaking), you risk severe arm muscle fatigue.

 

All in all, you can skimp on a lot of things, but not on a hair dryer. The more often you use it, the more important the quality. On the plus side, a high-quality hair dryer will keep on going for years.

 

Bonus blow drying tips

 

  • Always use a heat protectant.
  • Pre-dry your hair before you start the styling process: blot it with a towel (no rubbing!), then air-dry or blow dry it (on high heat, without a brush or a comb) until it is about 60% dry.
  • Keep the dryer moving. If you let it focus on one spot, you risk damage from over drying.
  • Don’t keep the nozzle too close to the hair.
  • Blow-dry your hair in sections, going from roots to the ends.
  • Let your hair cool down on the brush before moving on to the next section. When your hair is dry to the touch, give it a blast of cool air to set the style in place.

hair dryer