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How Do I Choose the Best Professional Hair Dryer?

By Amanda R. Bell
Updated May 17, 2024
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When choosing a professional hair dryer, it is important to examine the kind of heat settings and options the salon hair dryer offers. The type of heat the tool uses is also important, especially if you plan to use the professional hair dryer on a daily basis. To give yourself plenty of styling options, it can also be helpful to choose a dryer that comes with different types of attachments or is compatible with universal attachments.

Low quality hair dryers often have limited heat settings; low, medium, and high are the most common. Professional versions typically offer several options for the temperature of the air and the speed, both of which can be set separately. Choosing a dryer with the most options allow you to find a speed and heat setting that will dry your hair efficiently with minimal damage, which is essential for those who frequently style their hair. Professional hair dryers with multiple options are often designed to better maintain temperature than those with less options, thereby preventing you from using too high or too low heat on your hair.

Choosing a salon hair dryer with a cool shot button is also a good idea. Allowing hair to slowly cool after styling it, especially when straightening, can cause hair to lose its shape in the process. The cool button rapidly cools the hair down, thereby setting the style.

The industry standard in professional hair dryers is ceramic heat. Lesser quality dryers that use aluminum or plastic in the heating element can do quite a bit of damage to your hair; the heat generated by these types of dryers boils or evaporates the water off your hair, thus increasing the chances of damage. Ceramic heat is able to penetrate the hair shaft and dry the hair from the inside out with minimal damage to the cuticle. This type of drying is not only safer for your hair but will also significantly decrease drying time.

A professional hair dryer that uses ionic technology in conjunction with ceramic heat can make drying your hair even gentler. It can also reduce frizz and decrease drying time even further. Tourmaline, a semi-precious stone, is considered the best for emitting negative ions. The ions help to counteract the heat of the dryer, closing the hair shaft, and increasing shine.

A salon quality hair dryer will typically come with different attachments for different styling options. The most common is a nozzle or concentrator that makes it easier and gentler on the hair to blow it out straight. The nozzle fits over the end of the professional hair dryer and is easy to remove when it is not needed. Another common attachment is a diffuser that is flat in shape with several prongs in the middle; this attachment can make styling wavy or curly hair much easier. Choosing a professional hair dryer with these attachments included or that is made to accommodate them can make styling your hair easier and safer.

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