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Salon Style... From Your Hair Dryer?

By Julia Brown

The common presumption is that the hair dryer is the arch enemy of every woman's hairdo. Using a dryer too much can be a source of dull, frizzy hair, static, and even split ends. Follow our ultimate guide and you'll soon make peace with your hair dryer - and your hair! The first step is ensuring you get your hands on a quality dryer, but not all dryers are built the same.

What different kinds of hair dryer's are available?

1. Brush hair dryer

Combines drying and a brush for easy hair styling. Warm air flows through the brush, so while brushing your hair, you also warm it to the style you want it in one easy step.

2. Handheld hair dryers

The most common type of hair dryers used to dry one's hair with a brush or other styling aids.

3. Bonnet hair dryer

This works by putting on a helmet like in the oldtime salons. These dryers are used with hair that is set in curlers or conditioning hair treatments and can be operated hands-free. Today, they come in portable and light versions with heat settings that can be adjusted.

4. Wall mounted

They are similar to the handheld hair dryers but come in a wall mounting design for safety, eliminating electrical shocks in wet bathrooms, as they can be mounted to a wall within one's reach but off of the countertop. Usually they are a lot smaller than the handheld units and may not have a lot of features.

5. Ionic hair dryers

This has a fitted ion generator that releases negatively charged ions which penetrates each hair and hydrates it from the inside reducing static charge that can cause frizzy hair. This results in smooth and glossy hair that rests flatly.

6. Professional hair dryers

These are durable compared to retail hair dryers and offer many features such as ion and infrared heating technology. This also means they are more complex, having a variety of speed and heat settings. A professional hair dryer can handle long hours of professional use in beauty salons.

Professional hair dryer versus standard hair dryer: What's the difference?


- Has several power settings, or a dial that goes from off to full power for maximum control

- Has a full range of heat settings

- Designed to tolerate frequent use

- Come with an AC adaptor motor which provides the dryer with extended life

- Often designed with a narrow barrel nozzle that, along with the AC motor, deliver a faster flow of air.

- True cold setting that actually cools air, not just takes

- Gentler to the hair because they have lower wattage output

- Less energy needed = less electric bill!

Standard Retail:

- Often has only one power setting, sometimes more

- Often has no cold air setting or limited heat settings

- Will not sustain long hours of every day use

Regardless of which model you choose, make sure that your hair dryer has at least the following specifications:

- Wattage of about 1,600

- Light weight

- Features different heat and power settings

- Auto shut off

- Nozzle to direct better heat flow

- Cool air setting to set hair into place

- Removable filter

Blow dry your hair like a pro:

1. Shampoo and condition your hair well.

2. Dry your hair by wrapping it with a towel and squeezing off excess water. Never rub your hair with a towel as this can cause split ends.

3. Comb your hair carefully making sure that you comb all the knots and tangles out.

4. Face the mirror.

5. Apply and massage onto hair any styling product that you have chosen.

6. If you want added volume. Bend your head down, brush hair downwards while drying the hair. After which you can then go back to your normal position, and continue drying your hair in sections.

7. If you have long hair, use a clip to separate hair into sections, drying the bottom sections first.

8. Starting at the back, dry the hair section in the nape of your neck first.

9. Directing airflow from the root of the hair to the end, work your way up at the back of your head. Drying from the roots to the ends will prevent the hair cuticle from wearing out so as not to give your hair a dull look.

10. Keep on drying the hair until you reach the crown of your hair.

11. After the back, blow dry the sides and the front of your hair into sections. To create a style and body, hold the dryer on the curling brush for a couple of seconds and remove the heat. Leave the brush in place until it cools, then take it off.

12. When hair is completely dry, brush and style as you desire.

Prevent split ends! Here's how:

- Towel dry the hair first

- To protect your hair, use thermal hair products or leave on conditioners every time you blow dry your hair

- Point the airflow down to the hair shaft to smoothen the cuticles

- Do not hold the dryer too near to the scalp. Instead, hold it at least six inches away from your head while moving it continuously

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