Understanding Hair Dryers; How to Make an Informed Purchase.

Understanding Hair Dryers; How to Make an Informed Purchase.

Hair dryers come in two categories: Ionic and Conventional Heat. What are the differences and which one is right for your hair?

Ionic Hair Dryers

The word ionic is commonly used in the beauty industry to refer to negative ions.  Ionic hair dryers dry hair differently than conventional hair dryers. I like to use an analogy of cooking food: You can cook your food in a microwave, or you can cook it in a conventional oven.  They both cook the food but the method is totally different. It’s the same with ionic and conventional hair dryers; they both dry the hair but they do it differently.

What are ionic hair dryers?

Ionic hair dryers produce negative ions.  There are various materials used in ionic hair dryers that allow them to produce these ions.  The two most commonly used are ceramic and tourmaline. 

Ceramic is used to make the heating elements in most of these dryers.  The main reason ceramic is used rather than metal is because when it is heated, ceramic produces negative ions.  Additionally, it is a better conductor of heat. Heat travels through ceramic quickly and evenly.  This is why you see ceramic cook tops over the older version of metal cook tops in stoves.

Tourmaline is another material used in ionic dryers. It is crushed and used to line the inner part of the dryer’s nozzle. This is a great material that boosts negative ion output. 

How do negative ions affect your hair?

All hair is  positively charged.  When bombarded with negative ions from an ionic dryer  it  neutralizes the hair,  closing  the cuticle, resulting in smoother, shinier, and healthier hair. In doing this the process also makes the hair less porous which cuts down drying time.

What’s happening when you use an ionic hair dryer? 

When hair is wet, each hair is lined with water droplets.  Negative ions break those droplets down into thousands of tiny water droplets.  These droplets are small enough to sink beneath the cuticle layer of the hair, resulting in smoother, more controlled hair. 

 Is an ionic hair dryer right for you?

 Speed is a major motivating factor for buying hair dryers that use negative ions to dry the hair. Many of us never have enough time in the morning. If you want to get out of the house quicker, ionic dryers do the job more quickly.  In fact, ionic dryers reduce drying time by as much as 30%!

However, it is important to understand that with ionic dryers, the hair holds onto some of those reduced moisture pellets.  More moisture in the hair means more weight.  Customers with very fine hair may opt for a conventional dryer for these reasons.

Conventional Hair Dryers

These are hair dryers that use conventional heat.  They dry the wet hair through evaporation via heat and blowing.  Conventional hair dryers also do a wonderful job, as proven by the hair stylists that still prefer them over ionic hair dryers. The pluses to these dryers are that they do create maximum volume and, depending on the power (wattage and motor design), these dryers can get the job done quickly too.  They tend to rough up the hair's cuticle layer more than ionic dryers, but in doing so they create volume.  Conventional dryers, when used properly, can yield beautiful results. 

Summary

This wraps up our examination of ionic vs. conventional hair dryers.  My next blog will examine the remaining features that define one hair dryer from another. Customers always ask, "Why should I spend $200 or more for a hair dryer?" Let’s see if I can bring some clarity to this great question! 

 Hair dryers come in two categories: Ionic and Conventional Heat. What are the differences and which one is right for your hair?

Ionic Hair Dryers

The word ionic is commonly used in the beauty industry to refer to negative ions.  Ionic hair dryers dry hair differently than conventional hair dryers. I like to use an analogy of cooking food: You can cook your food in a microwave, or you can cook it in a conventional oven.  They both cook the food but the method is totally different. It’s the same with ionic and conventional hair dryers; they both dry the hair but they do it differently.

Michael Batt

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