Just like it takes the right makeup tools to create a flawless look, using the right hair tools, allows you to create great hair styles. The most basic of these hair tools is the hair dryer. Most women will attest to the importance of a hair dryer. However, shopping for the right one can be tricky, especially when you take into consideration some important factors like drying time, weight and ease of use etc. With a wide array of hair dryers available in the market, they can range from under $50 to over $500. So what makes one hair dryer better than the other? Here’s a list of criteria to look out when you decide to make that investment.
Ceramic is not just for tea sets
Some dryers have ceramic or porcelain coating over the heating elements and other internal parts for an even distribution of heat. It also makes the temperature more consistent and emits negative ions that help cut drying time and minimise frizz. (More on that below.) Try the Babyliss Salon Light Dryer, $89.90. Not only does it have a 2100 wattage that will cut drying time, it also comes with ceramic heat balancing technology that ensures your hair is smooth, healthy and frizz free.
Be an ion (wo)man
Some dryers come labelled as “ionic”, which is a great feature to have in your dryer. Why? Because this feature emits negative ions that help breakdown the water molecule in your hair into smaller particles so that your hair can dry faster. Not only does your hair dry faster, it’s also smoother and less frizzy because the negative ions also help seal the cuticle.
To enjoy these benefits, opt for a dryer like the Panasonic Ionity Hair Dryer, $53.90. The ions in this model are dispensed from an outlet other than the hot-air nozzle. This ensures that the ions retain moisture to keep the hair smooth and conditioned.
Consider it an investment
While there are definitely cheaper options in the market, consider spending big bucks on your hair dryer as an investment. For one, good technology will not fry your hair, and a lighter dryer will ensure your arms don’t feel like they have had a workout each time you dry your hair. Plus, if you do a cost per use analysis, you will find that it’s actually worth every penny.
The higher the wattage, the more powerful
High wattage means a really good motor that has strong wind power. A wattage of 1,800 to 2,000 will prevent your hair from heat damage because it reduces the amount of time spent drying your hair. For example, the Dyson Supersonic, $599, uses the Air Multiplier™ technology to draw in air and amplify it by three times to have a controlled, high-pressure jet of air. As a result, the powerful stream of air emitted physically repels water droplets off of each hair strands instead of using heat to eliminate moisture via evaporation. And since your hair is subjected to heat for a shorter period of time, it is less susceptible to heat damage caused from frequent styling.
While attempting DIY hairstyling, you want something lightweight with an ergonomic design that makes it comfortable to hold in both your right and left hands. The GHD Air Hairdryer, $225, is just that, and also has a three-metre long power cable that gives you freedom to move about while you style your hair in front of the mirror. Advanced ionic technology reduces frizz and flyaways while variable power and temperature controls allow you to adjust the settings according to your hair type and how much time you have on your hands.
Choose your companion
If you like the option of wearing your hair in multiple ways, consider getting a hair dryer that comes with attachments like the Braun Satin-Hair 7 HB 785 Senso Dryer, $149. It comes with a nozzle attachment that helps concentrate the air flow, so it blows directly on the area you want to smooth. A diffuser spreads out the air flow of the blow dryer, simulating natural drying, adds bounce to hair and creates better definition of curls. In addition, it also has an in-built temperature sensor that ensures that airflow is distributed evenly to prevent overheating of your tresses.
Keep your cool
The cold shot function seals the hair cuticle, setting the final look for long-lasting hold and adds shine. When your hair is about 80 percent dry, use the cool shot button on the Drybar Buttercup Blow-Dryer, about $266, so hair is protected against overheating. Apply a nourishing serum to the ends of your hair to help smooth cuticles and keep out humidity so hair looks and feels soft and smooth for hours on end.
Text: Debby Kwong, additional text Smita DeSouza