Women are constantly looking for new ways to achieve soft, smooth and tamed locks and they are willing to spend hundreds on hair serums, conditioners and masks. Without a doubt, high quality hair care products are very important when it comes to nourishing and revitalizing the hair, but the hair dryer you use also plays an important part and you should not buy one at random from whatever is on offer. In fact, experts warn us that failing to invest in a good blow dryer that meets your needs can not only make hair styling more difficult, but also damage the hair.
What is your hair texture?
When you buy hair products such as shampoo and conditioner, you focus on your hair type, whether it’s oily or dry. However, when you go shopping for a new dryer, what you should be considering is hair texture. Do you have fine, normal or thick hair? Know your locks well, because not every dryer is suitable for all types of hair. For example, if you have to cope with fine, brittle hair, then you don’t need to invest in a powerful heat styling tool, because it will only make it more fragile. However, if your hair is thick, coarse or curly, you should buy a dryer with higher power and higher heat settings. Reading reviews and comparisons helps if you aren’t sure how a specific hair dryer will perform on your hair type and condition.
The importance of wattage and heat controls
The power of the hair dryer is measured in watts and this is where you can see the biggest price difference. Anything lower than 1800 watts will be cheap, but it will not be very effective, not even on thin hair. The lower the power, the more time you have to spend drying your hair and prolonged heat exposure will lead to split ends over time. Salon blow dryers can even reach 3600 watts and they deliver fantastic performance, because they dry your hair in just a few minutes. But isn’t 3600 too damaging? The answer is no, because a professional dryer also has heat controls. So, while the power may be high, the heat is not. For best results, experts advise that you start drying your wet tresses on a higher heat setting (again, depending on your hair texture and condition) and, when they are almost dry, lower the heat to the “cool shot”. This setting pushes cold air into your hair, drying it without causing any damage. The cool shot button is essential for setting the style and smoothing the ends for a polished look.
Ionic, ceramic and tourmaline
The best hair dryers on the market today are ionic, ceramic or tourmaline. They are more expensive than conventional heat styling tools, but the higher price tag is worth it if your hair is difficult to manage or if you’re very concerned about its health.
- Ionic hairdryers release negative ions which break the positive water molecules into smaller particles. This way, water evaporates faster and doesn’t get to charge your hair with the positive ions responsible for static. Briefly, ionic hairdryers prevent frizz, making your tresses smoother and more manageable. They also close the hair cuticle faster and restore moisture, so you should consider them if your hair is coarse, frizzy and unruly.
- Ceramic hairdryers contain ceramic either in the main heating element or in the body of the dryer. This material creates an infra-red heat that is much less damaging. It is distributed evenly and helps the hair retain moisture, thus making it smoother and glossier. Ceramic hairdryers are perfect for women with fine hair that gets damaged easily.
- Tourmaline hairdryers work on the same principle as ionic ones, but they are better because they are coated with tourmaline, which is a precious gemstone. Tourmaline particles enhance the properties of ions, which means that your hair gets even more protection against frizz and dryness. The effect is a picture-perfect salon blowout obtained at home but, since tourmaline is a precious stone, it does raise the price tag a lot.
What about hair accessories?
Hair accessories aren’t vital, but they do come in handy if you want to achieve a polished hairstyle without going to the salon. There are several options to choose from but the two most important that you should always have are:
- The nozzle is a small, compact piece you attach to the end of the dryer to concentrate the air flow onto a smaller surface such as the ends. You can use it smooth your hair and get rid of those annoying flyaways.
- This is a large piece that does the opposite from the nozzle: it spreads the air flow, reaching more stands at the same time. This accessory is indicated for women with long, curly hair, to keep the curls bouncy and smooth.
Travel size hair dryers
Travel size hair dryers are advertised as the ultimate solution for women who want a compact, lightweight heat styling tool that’s also easy to travel with. While having one such tool with you on holiday comes in handy, you should not rely on it on a daily basis because it does not help your hair in the long run. They may be light, but compact hair dryers have low wattage, few features and don’t do very much in terms of frizz management.