Many women, blow-dry their hair as part of a daily routine. Most feel rushed in the morning and use the blow dryer on hot and on the highest speed. So many women are intrigued by high-end dryers that claim to dry twice as fast, minimize damage, and eliminate frizz -- and cost up to $300. But most pay no more than $20 or $30 for a dryer.
Is it worth upgrading from your drugstore dryer to a pricey pro model with superhero terms like tourmaline ionic and nano ceramic? If you have a need for speed, the investment might pay off. Your current dryer's wattage -- that is, how much heat it generates -- probably ranges from 1,200 to 1,875. Pro dryers can hit 2,500 watts. That means your hair dries faster.
Heat and Hair: Not a Good Combo
High heat is good, but only for a short period of time. "When you continue to dry hair, you boil the water inside the shaft and get a condition known as bubble shaft,” says Don Capellani owner of Salon~Capellani. This is as bad as it sounds -- hair bursts from the steam. The result: Weakened, damaged hair that's more likely to break when combed.
That's where all the top-dollar bells and whistles come in, such as tourmaline-infused or ceramic parts and ionic technology that help conduct heat more efficiently with less wear and tear on hair. These fancy features have quickly become available in inexpensive dryers, too. So if you stick with a drugstore pick, opt for one with lots of speed and heat settings, and use only the lowest ones, Capellani says. Also, hold the dryer at least a foot from your hair to minimize damage.
If time is of the essence, you can invest in a dryer that has the best ionic or infrared technology (the mechanics of cutting your drying time in half) plus fancy features like an easy-to-use "cold shot' button to "set' hair, a four-year or more warranty, and a quiet, highly engineered, lightweight body.
So will you settle for a drugstore or a salon-grade dryer? This is definitely something to think about.
Healthy Blow Drying Tips
These pro tips will help you maintain a healthy mane.
Put on Air. Let hair dry naturally for several minutes or use a special towel, like those manufactured by Aquis, that helps wick away excess water” to trim dryer time.
Do Your Part. Sectioning is important. Most stylists go horizontal or use vertical sections starting at the front hairline. Divide a 2-inch chunk and, with a natural-bristle round brush and dryer, roll the hair forward toward the face for straight locks and forward and back to leave in some wave.
Focus In. Always use the nozzle attachment on your dryer unless you're diffusing curls. This concentrates heat for a quicker result.
Cool Out. The 'cold shot' button is a wonderful tool, it makes your hair malleable. Think of plastic, heating up and then cooling off and setting the shape.